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Llanelli councillor moves to defend himself over 'Polish rant'

By Llanelli Star  |  Posted: October 12, 2012

Councillor Keri Thomas

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A LLANELLI councillor has declared himself "not against any particular ethnicity" following an anti-Polish rant.

Keri Thomas, who represents the Tyisha ward, spoke out at a meeting of the Safer Communities Action Group and blamed a rise in street drinking on Polish people.

Since the "unfortunate incident" was brought up at the Senedd by AM Simon Thomas, the councillor has defended his claims.

"I'm just saying what I have experienced here in the Tyisha area and it is unfortunate that they are Polish individuals," he said. "I'm not against any particular ethnicity.

"I have had complaints about Polish people from constituents. There is an element that seem to congregate and they cause a nuisance.

"People are concerned about it and they are being pestered for money.

"I have informed the police about it, particularly in St Paul's cemetery where people take a shortcut to town, they are begging, asking my constituents for money."

Raising the issue at the Senedd last Tuesday, Mr Thomas addressed Jane Hutt and said: "As the Leader of the House, could you ask yourself, as the minister with responsibility for equalities, for some kind of debate on the multiplicity and diversity of cultures that we have in Wales.

"I ask for that because of an unfortunate recent event in Llanelli, where Councillor Keri Thomas of Tyisha ward blamed the Polish people in Llanelli for the on-street drinking there.

"This has undermined the work of the Llanelli Multicultural Network, as well as people, for example, in the Polish-Welsh Mutual Association in Llanelli.

"Llanelli has a huge number of Polish people, who have gone there to work, and many of them are in work.

"It would be a good opportunity to nip this kind of blaming in the bud early on."

In response, Mrs Hutt described the matter as a "serious concern".

"We applaud our diversity," she said.

"I have made many visits to Llanelli, where I have met with vibrant multicultural and multi-ethnic communities, who are engaged in tackling all sorts of social issues, across the community.

"Lessons will have been learned as a result of this.

"I would expect that local authorities, which now have a duty to deliver specific equality duties, will embrace the opportunities to promote diversity and understanding, as well as community cohesion, which is what this is crucially about," she added.

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  • maxmin  |  October 20 2012, 11:28AM

    Neathboy CLM the only time I have ever been to Neath was in 2002 when I was interviewing a man about a serial killer - and I know you aren't that man!

  • maxmin  |  October 18 2012, 9:51AM

    There he is mentioning BNP again!

  • Neathboy234  |  October 17 2012, 8:05PM

    flepwales have u ever considered the fact that it may be down to the fact that more people agree with me than U. I know yourself and your twin-brother/alter-ego maxmin might find this hard to believe, but not everyone is a right winger and i have the results to prove it, UKIP/BNP zero MP's.

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  • Neathboy234  |  October 17 2012, 7:15PM

    maxmin the only card i carry is my membership card to the rugby club. BTW we must have the same friends because i know quite a bit about u. Do u remember the time we met in neath town center

  • Dooyah  |  October 17 2012, 5:25PM

    maxmin So what? You have offered to supply personal information about a poster which is tantamount, if not equal to, breach of privacy. On clicking the commenter's pseudonym, there is nothing on his profile to indicate who he is. Both of us know that he works for Tata Steel and I doubt that you have worked for Tata so, how have you indentified the poster from information passed to you by former colleagues? It's how the information was acquired in the first place that matters.

  • maxmin  |  October 17 2012, 4:26PM

    Thats right Dooyah I have not uploaded any personal information on this site. Who said anything about information coming from electronic storage?

  • Dooyah  |  October 17 2012, 3:39PM

    maxmin EP House Rules Rule 6: Confidentiality, privacy and contempt Please respect people's privacy. You are not allowed to submit confidential or private information. For example, you must not upload the telephone number, email address or any other contact details of any person without their permission. Although you haven't posted personal information on this website, you have offered to supply data via an email address. You now state that friends have given you personal information. Your previous post refers to old colleagues. Colleague n. a fellow worker of a staff, department, profession, etc. If your former co-workers acquired personal information via electronic storage at their place of employment, they may have breached the law.

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  • maxmin  |  October 17 2012, 1:55PM

    Dooyah, Please clarify, some friends of mine know something about Neathboy CLM and have told me what they know. How exactly is that breaching the Data Protection Act? So if a friend of yours says that a certain young lady would like to go out with you, I suppose that's a breach of the DPA as well is it?

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  • Dooyah  |  October 17 2012, 1:46PM

    flepwales Contact the EP and recommend removing the readers' rating facility. Demand that comments that are not relevant to the news item, e.g. most of your posts, be deleted.

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  • flepwales  |  October 17 2012, 1:30PM

    Neathboy 234, before you agree with me I am refering to you.

    |   -1