Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Sincere apologies from Coun Steward
MANY have read my comments on poverty with anger and I am one of them. The comments were a rushed extract from an email but I realise how clumsy, stupid and largely wrong they were.
A vital part of my comments was not published when I said we don’t have absolute poverty but we definitely do have relative poverty. However, that is not to take away from how the comments read and how sorry I am for any offence caused. I also said, inappropriately, that without food banks people were not starving, but think it unfair to call this ‘an attack’.
Straight away when people suggested it, I said I would happily visit a food bank, not in the words of The Press to “see how they work” as I understand this, but to build on my knowledge and speak to those who kindly give up their time and those who receive their help. It is my role as a councillor to engage with people wherever and whenever they want me to.
With the state of the economy, high fuel and food prices and other factors, times are very tough for many people and I understand this. I was trying to say there are many in the world worse off. However, that does not mean we should not help those most in need here and it is policies to further that which I support. I again offer my sincere apologies for any offence caused.
Chris Steward, Conservative councillor, Rural West York.
• Editor’s note: The original story did mention Coun Steward’s comments on absolute poverty (The Press, page 6, January 3).