Council - councillors vote for gender neutral titles despite amendment calling for ‘freedom of choice’

Councillors voted in favour of using the gender neutral titles, chair and spokesperson, despite an amendment suggesting members should be given the “freedom of choice”.

Previously chairman and spokesman had been used in standing orders, but members voted in favour of using terms which do not relate to gender at last night’s council meeting in Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford.

Cllr Sue Nolan, who put forward the amendment, said: “I don’t think this matter should have been brought to council. I object to be being dictated to and individuals should have the freedom of choice of how they want to be addressed.”

Cllr Joyce Ryan said: “As everyone knows I loathe political correctness. People have always been addressed how they have wished to be as this is common courtesy.”

However the amendment was voted against with 30 votes to 28.

Cllr Ian Bond added: “It is tradition that members use any title they feel happy to, and I doubt this will change after today.”