Gillick’s view on Fenland: “The people we describe as obese, thick and badly educated are very, very content. They enjoy being 25 stone. They are just a burden on the state”

11:44 23 July 2014

Cllr Gordon Gillick. Picture: Steve Williams

Cllr Gordon Gillick. Picture: Steve Williams

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UKIP county councillor Gordon Gillick courted more controversy yesterday as he described some people in Fenland as “obese, thick, badly educated but very content because they enjoy being 25 stone”.

Cllr Gordon Gillick, speaking at a full meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council, said people, particularly in Fenland, “despise the state, despise authority and despise the law”.

He said: “I’ve been in Wisbech for 33 years and brought up 10 children, all graduates, all very successful and paying a lot of tax.

“At present I’m engaged with group of young guys who live in hostel for £5 a week. “They help me decorate my large house. I pay them more than minimum wage. It isn’t employment, its lunch money. They only work for short hours.

“I stepped out of the front door the other day and noticed one of them two cans of beer in pocket heading to the pub.

“I said have you not got a job yet, are you still looking? He said it’s a bit difficult really; I’ve got a baby on the way. “I said are you married? He said no, it’s a girlfriend. I said what’s the advantage of that? He said more benefits.

“The people we describe as obese, thick and badly educated are very, very content. “They enjoy being 25 stone. They are just a burden on state. They don’t see themselves as poor, they see themselves as living. It’s an attitude of mind, you can’t solve that.”

Cllr Gillick was speaking to a motion from council leader Steve Count which called on the committee chairmen and vice-chairmen to work with their fellow committee members to tackle deprivation and fund projects to ease poverty in parts of Wisbech, March and Cambridge.

The motion was unanimously approved, with 58 votes in favour, none against and no abstentions.

Cllr Gillick said: “People, particularly in Fenland, despise the state, despise authority and despise the law.

“They pedestrianised the centre of Wisbech years ago but they ignored it. Now you can drive and park there. That’s the way they are.

“They’ve rebuilt the major secondary school three times in 30 years, spending £20 million or more, but it has not worked.

“The lads I’m working with at the moment smoke dope. I tell them I’m not giving you money to smoke dope. I’m not a fool. I say why do you do it? They say makes us feel up. I said do you feel down rest of time? They say they just feel like nobodies.

“They can’t read properly, can’t write letters and after 11 years of education can’t get a job.”

Cllr Gillick said there were no longer the “simple” jobs available to young people in Fenland that used to exist because they have been taken by Eastern European workers.

He said: “My youngest daughter worked in a sausage factory to make money so she could carry on to university. These jobs have gone.

“She was receiving £9-10 shovelling potatoes. Now it’s £6.50 because Eastern Europeans are doing it. The jobs have been taken from us.

“A multi millionaire local entrepreneur said to his staff of middle aged women, who know the growing trade superbly, they would have to take 45 per cent cut in wages or go.”

In November 2013, a cross party complaint was made about Cllr Gillick after he described youngsters in care of being “takers” from society.

Conservative Councillor Fred Yeulett said: “I welcome the motion. There are many challenges to be faced in the north of the county, not least March and Christchurch, my division.

“However, it’s not all doom and gloom. I went to Cavalry Primary School and was told their key stage results have again improved. This shows achievements can be made around here.

“We need to deliver the quality of life in areas of deprivation that people in other parts of the county enjoy and expect.”

UKIP Councillor Paul Clapp said: “If the Conservatives hadn’t starved Wisbech of money for the past 20 years we would not be in this situation.

“We have the 20/20 vision but I’m never invited to meetings. How can I contribute if I’m not getting any input?

“I’ve lived in Wisbech for 14 years and Fenland District Council have been told to investigate dereliction but it’s still the same. Nothing changes.

“What we need in Wisbech are more things for the youth to do and real jobs. One lady I know has two degrees and still doesn’t have a job. We need more youth work focusing on 16 to 18 year-olds.

“It’s a lovely motion but I want to see actions.”

3 comments

  • "He may have a point.."? If Mr.Gillick and his friends were given free range there wouldn't be many of us standing. Since the election I have lost counts of the segments of our society they have condemned in pursuit of some frightening vision of a perfect world. Every time they make some crass statement it has been prepared without the aid of recent knowledge or facts, and perhaps conveniently so. For example, the numerous studies and testaments of food producers which report that there are insufficient local people to fill roles and without migrants businesses would fail. Perhaps more recently the East of England has a shortfall of some 400 nurses and as it has done since the start of NHS (again because of insufficient take up of Brits) will recruit from abroad. So now we are attacking what would seem to be a phalanx of fat and lazy people - numbers based on what exactly, I'm anticipating no data source here. For some these comments will translate to attack people with disabilities as described above. The politics of the extreme right thrive on division and hate, Mr.Gillick is a veteran. Wisbech has had UKIP County Councillors for a year now; will they share what has been ACHIEVED by them? I agree they were elected without any stated vision or even a meaningful programme but what have they done. Rather than complain about not being invited to meetings for example why not behave like an adult find out meeting dates and turn up if you feel ignored. I have seen no campaigning, nothing raised on any forum or media which is positive for our town by UKIP. What's wrong with Wisbech? We are poorly lead and represented, our image besmirched each time one of the Kippers speaks.

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    Dean Reeves

    Saturday, July 26, 2014

  • I think Cllr Gillick might have a valid point, even if he has put it in a rather crass way. I've lost count of the number of times I've seen cars pull up in disabled spaces only to see a massive person hobble out with their walking sticks. Now it may be that they have a genuine mobility problem, or it may be that their joints have gone due to their size. Either way, it's clear that if they were to shed half their weight, then they would be much more healthy. But then, of course, they would lose their blue badge, disability benefits etc! Mind you, having travelled extensively round the country, this problem is not limited to Fenland. It occurs in deprived areas all over the country.

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    Citizen of EUSSR

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

  • Yes, and some people are just nasty, spiteful people who are trying to overpopulate an already overcrowded world, but they are clearly very very happy being so offensive!

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    Norfolk and Good

    Thursday, July 24, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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