Councillor branded a bigot after comment on website
A TOWN councillor has been accused of bigotry after describing a neighbouring area as an "Indian reservation".
Roger Avenin made the comment during an online argument on a community news website.
The Bradley Stoke town councillor, who represents the Baileys Court ward for the Conservatives, intervened in a debate on politics triggered by the defection of fellow Tory councillor Kim Harris to the UK Independence Party, as reported in the Post last week.
During the discussion Mr Avenin, who chairs the town council's finance committee, asked other people who had made comments: "Do you even live here or are you, as I suspect, refugees from the Patchway Indian reservation?"
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Dave Tiley, a Patchway Labour town councillor, was one of those commenting in the thread on the Bradley Stoke Journal.
Mr Tiley described Mr Avenin's remark as "bigotry" – and said he would make a complaint to South Gloucestershire Council, whose standards committee deals with complaints about possible breaches of the Members Code of Conduct by town and parish councillors.
Mr Tiley told the Post: "I find Bradley Stoke Conservative councillor Roger Avenin's remarks offensive as bigotry towards my friends, neighbours, constituents and all the good people of Patchway.
"I have heard this offensive term used against council house tenants previously, and it's clearly unacceptable from anyone, let alone an elected representative."
The Post attempted to contact Mr Avenin but he was unavailable.
But after being criticised for making the remark online he posted an explanation, which said: "As regards my remark on the Patchway reservation – Patchway seems to be a predominantly Labour enclave in the middle of what should be, and what I hope is, predominantly more or less Conservative heartland.
"I was merely comparing this with the treatment meted out by the settlers to the native Red Indians where they were rounded up and settled in reservations.
"Exactly what should happen to Labour voters — just joking!!"