I think Peter Black AM says pretty much what I want to say about the decision of Trevor Phillips' CRE to take legal action aganist a man who raised a petition against the possible siting of a "travellers" site near his home.
The decision by the Commission for Racial Equality to take legal action under the Race Relations Act against a local resident who collected 953 signatures on a petition against a possible official travellers’ site near his home is one of the most bizarre I have come across for some time. It just flies in the face of commonsense ...
This intervention by the CRE in my view is a perverse and unwelcome intrusion on this process.
Whatever one’s views on this matter, the prosecution of local residents who are using legitimate and democratic means to bring their concerns to the attention of the local Council, will set a dangerous and unwelcome precedent. If for example the Council were to proceed with an official site and lodged a planning application would the CRE determine that anybody who objected to it, and any Councillor who spoke against it, were acting in breach of the Race Relations Act?
To which the answer is "yes, probably".
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