Page last updated at 14:58 GMT, Wednesday, 11 June 2008 15:58 UK

Councillor sorry over litter slur

The litter notice in Woodford Court
Ms Ivimy said she wanted the problem of littering resolved

A Conservative councillor has apologised for her "ill-advised comments" after she accused immigrants of causing a litter problem.

In an e-mail, Hammersmith and Fulham councillor Lucy Ivimy said rubbish thrown from Woodford Court in Shepherds Bush, west London, must stop.

She wrote that it is common in India to throw rubbish out of windows and that immigrants need to learn UK rules.

Ms Ivimy has "unreservedly" apologised and said her mail was misinterpreted.

'Ill-advised comments'

In the e-mail sent to the council, Ms Ivimy, who is the cabinet member for housing, said that after a meeting with residents of the block she found it was a "small number of people throwing rubbish from the tower blocks on to the space or indeed passers-by below".

In a statement, Ms Ivimy said: "I am aware that some ill-advised comments of mine in a private email have been interpreted as something that I never meant and have given offence, for which I unreservedly apologise.

"I should stress that I have no idea who are the specific culprits, or even if they are estate residents.

"I never meant to imply that this sort of careless behaviour belongs specifically to any one particular group."

Stephen Cowan, a Labour councillor on the Conservative-run local authority, said: "She is now responsible for 14,000 tenants' homes and over 4,000 leaseholders' homes and all the housing association homes in the borough of Hammersmith and Fulham.

"Many of those people, like the whole of London, come from all sorts of backgrounds."

Raymond Charles, a resident, said: "I wouldn't say its just the Indians.

"I live on the third floor and sometimes you see things flying past. You can't even leave your window open anymore in case it gets smashed by something heavy."

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