Tory councillor for Loggerheads and Whitmore, Ashley Howells has offered the people of Stoke-on-Trent some advice, using his Twitter account he said, Work slim down stop whinging.
Mr Howells ‘tweet’ was in response to Pits n Pots reader Mark Porter who had used his twitter account to say, ‘Cameron ought to come to Stoke to tell the people here why we never get anything but cuts. #condemfail’ about David Cameron launching the Big Society initiative in Liverpool on Monday.
Mr Howells sent this tweet in response, ‘@marksporter not in the junk food fuelled calorie intake of the lazy stoke underclass!Look at obesity. Work slim down stop whinging’
Mr Porter from Kidsgrove said, ‘Ashley Howells doesn’t follow me on Twitter and I have never met him but this tweet shows exactly what the Tories think of Stoke-on-Trent, I personally feel a councillor should not be making comments like these. I see from his latest tweet Mr Howells is attending a “Nulbc Licensing liaison committee this lunch. Seeking improvements in town centre drinking behaviour” perhaps he should look at his own behaviour on Twitter first.’
We went out and asked the ‘lazy Stoke underclass’ what they thought of Mr Howells advice that they should ‘Work slim down stop whinging’.
I go to work, eat what I want when I want. I’m not obese, I pay my taxes, contribute to my local community and to society. This NUL Councillor obviously has a twisted and unusually biased view of the people of our great city.
Given the fact that Newcastle is only minutes from Stoke, I can’t think that there would be much different between the folk of both areas. Maybe he lives in one of those big houses in the Westlands and thinks that makes his opinions more valuable than those of us who live in modest, but not the less important areas of our County. With ideals like that, you have to wonder whether he should be elected to serve the people of NUL. Heaven forbid he should have to help someone un-employed.
I’m disgusted that a man of his standing can make such a generalism about the entire population of Stoke-on-Trent. He might well be a twitter virgin, but there’s no excuse for insulting an entire city.
He’s done nothing but damage his own reputation.
What a snobby git! I think he should resign for having such outrageous views of his borough’s neighbours. These comments have brought Newcastle Borough Council into disrepute. My uncle has been out of work for months due to no fault of his own and he still contributes to society through doing voluntary work. He is trying so hard to get back into work.
What a load of rubbish he talks! I have a full time job, plus work as and when required at the Regent Theatre. Due to having a hectic social life, whenever I get the chance, I go walking in the Lake District. The man should be sacked without hesitation as he is obviously not fit to represent all the communities.
When Mr Howells is not sunning himself in his Andalusian home he is the Managing Director of Stoke-on-Trent based Ashley Recruitment, ‘The Quality Agency For Healthcare And Hospitality Staff’, who we assume must employ members of what he likes to call the ‘Stoke underclass’.
Mr Howells also went to the trouble of telling us how he was, Glad to see nulbc leaving ineffective regeneration partnership with badly run stoke on trent
Ross Irving, Deputy Leader of Stoke-on-Trent City Council & Leader of the Conservative & Independent Alliance was outraged by these comments, he said:
“These comments are completely out of order. They are unacceptable and I expect the Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council to deal with this matter urgently. It is simply not on to make abusive comments about the people in a neighbouring area. Stoke-on-Trent and Newcastle are a part of North Staffordshire and sometimes we do not see eye to eye on matters, but we need to work together. Comments like these are not helpful and make matters more difficult.”
Nicola Ralph, Secretary of the Newcastle-under-Lyme Conservative Association was also keen to distance herself from these comments. She said:
“Oh dear, that’s not very good is it? Yes, Stoke has it’s problems but I have always found the people dead friendly and completely unpretentious.
I don’t think the people of Stoke-on-Trent do themselves any favours by constantly re-electing Labour.
These comments aren’t very nice though, especially the obese comments. I can’t see there being a greater percentage of people that are obese in Stoke as opposed to Newcastle”.
Stoke-on-Trent Central MP Tristram Hunt hit out at the comments, he said:
Well, the Tory leopard hasn’t changed it’s spots!
At this very moment Stoke-on-Trent is coming out of recession with falling unemployment and is looking forward to the future with confidence and low and behold the nasty party rears it’s ugly head.
There is no place for the unattractive reality of negative and out of date stereotypes.
Update Thursday 1145
While it maybe uncertain exactly who made these comments on twitter, people who use twitter expect casual and informal language to be used but these are abusive and insulting comments about the people of Stoke-on-Trent and are completely unacceptable.
Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council declined to comment saying that it was a personal matter.
We have not yet been able to contact Mr Howells for a statement.
Is Mr Howells right to call people from Stoke-on-Trent ‘the lazy stoke underclass’?