County councillor denies claims she called villagers fat

Coun Anita Romer has denied branding villagers in Seaton Delaval fat.
Coun Anita Romer has denied branding villagers in Seaton Delaval fat.

A COUNTY councillor has hit back at claims that she branded residents of Seaton Delaval fat.

Hartley ward councillor Anita Romer, of nearby Seaton Sluice, sparked a furore at last week’s meeting of the council’s south east area planning committee while joining opposition to plans for the Double Row Diner to switch premises.

Coun Romer, also the authority’s executive member for public health, told the meeting: “Personally, I think it’s a disgrace. From a public health point of view, the level of obesity in this area is a major problem.”

However, a member of the public attending the meeting, held in Blyth, interpreted her comments as a slur on his home villagel and took offence.

Stephen Stanners, 21, pictured, said: “Anita Romer said that the reason the residents of Seaton Delaval were so fat was because of the number of takeaways they eat.

“This is completely unacceptable and is very offensive for the people of Seaton Delaval.

“I am calling for Coun Romer to apologise for these disgusting, unnecessary comments.”

However, Coun Romer insists she has nothing to apologise for as she maintains that she referred to too many people in south east Northumberland in general, not Seaton Delaval in particular, being obese, rather than fat.

She added: “I’m in charge of public health and really concerned about the level of obesity. “People die in this area 10 years earlier than in rural parts of the county.

“If I can save lives by raising awareness of obesity, I will, but I did not call them fat.”