Councillor hits back over ‘sexist’ title change

Councillor Stewart Rickersey from Mansfield District Council
Councillor Stewart Rickersey from Mansfield District Council

A leading councillor has denied that a decision to enforce the use of the term ‘chairman’ rather than ‘chair’ is sexist, describing political correctness as a “creeping disease”.

Coun Stewart Rickersey gave a detailed and passionate response after a member of the public questioned the decision during this week’s full council meeting.

Coun Rickersey successfully put forward a motion last year to ensure the term ‘chairman’ is used when dealing with council business.

He said this week: “It’s really a question of choice, and this council by a majority vote decided that the commonly-used names are more generally accepted.

“This is not a gender issue, indeed every woman - or should I say wo-person’ - I have discussed this with is the least bit offended about being referred to as chairman.

“I’m personally appalled by the growth of political correctness and a lot of the people I speak to do not understand how a chairman can be referred to as a ‘chair’.

“Who does promote this absurd notion of ‘chair’? It’s probably the same people who promote PC (political correctness), those who have turned linesman into assistant referees.

“Let’s use the word chairman in its proper sense and play a small part in defeating the creeping disease of PC.”

He gave other examples of changes that he described as “political correctness gone mad”, including altering the name of the classic English dessert ‘spotted dick’ to avoid embarrassment, while some schools have banned the use of the term ‘brainstorming’ - sharing ideas - to ‘thought showers’, in case it offends those with brain conditions.

“All this political stuff is nonsense,” he added.