Town Signs Deemed Racist Removed

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The Devon town of Bideford in North Devon has decided to change Town welcoming signs that refer to it as the ‘Little White Town’ due to complaints of racism.

Bideford has been known as the ‘Little White Town’ for more than 150 years after author Charles Kingsley coined the phrase in reference to its large number of white buildings.

But in recent years concerns have been expressed that there is a racist undertone to the title and it should be scrapped from all the signs around the quaint streets of the town.

According to a survey on the issue where locals were polled, 69% were in favour of keeping the name while 31% thought it should change.

But at a recent meeting, Bideford Town Council voted to change the signposts to remove any suggestion of racism.

Local councillor Dermot McGeough had tabled a motion saying: “Following a number of complaints from parishioners, I propose that the words ‘Little White Town’ are removed from all signs within the town and at the town entrances.”

While some members described the suggestion as ‘political correctness gone mad’, it was agreed that the signposts will be changed.

They will now include Charles Kingsley’s name to add context to the phrase, and will read: “Charles Kingsley’s ‘Little white town’ (1855)”.

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