A LABOUR Councillor from Whitehaven has explained why she shockingly stood up in a council meeting and called her own constituency a ‘sh*thole’.
Frustrated at lack of investment in Whitehaven and a ‘lack of partnership working’, Cumberland Councillor Emma Williamson employed the colourful language to describe the town at a recent Whitehaven Town Council meeting .
Cllr Williamson, who represents the Kells and Sandwith ward for the Labour Party, attended the meeting of 36 members of the public in attendance, whereby she embarked on a rant and told her councillor colleagues that Whitehaven is a ‘s***hole’.
Speaking afterwards, Cllr Williamson acknowledged that she had used the term during the meeting, but said Cumberland Council is going to work on a regeneration plan for the town centre – although she lamented that they cannot do this without investment.
“I said this in relation to the under-investment and the fact that we needed to work better with the town council as a partnership,” she said.
“If any of the town councillors don’t see the state the town is in, I suggest they step down and let residents let councillors do something about it.
“We as a council are committed to improving my town and we want to work with anyone possible, that’s what the meeting was about.
“Whitehaven has been under-invested in and it breaks my heart walking down King Street and seeing the state it’s in.
“Before we got elected in April I can’t remember the last time the streets were cleaned.
“It was the public that came to talk to me when I stood up and gave my statement, so what the meeting was about was discussing partnership working.”
The Labour Councillor continued: “It’s brilliant to see the town council has been investing in flower baskets and the Harbour Commissioners renovating the harbour, but it’s been a long time coming.”
Responding to her comments, Town councillor Brian O’Kane said: “I must admit I was greatly surprised at the phrase used the describe our town.
“I found the phrase very hurtful personally as being a proud resident and I think people have to be careful in saying things like that because of the damage it can do to the community in terms of labelling them with such a derogatory piece of terminology.
“I think it damages the future reputation of the town, a town that’s struggling to attract investment and people to move to the area.
“I think the most important thing about our town is the people that live in it.”