COUNCILLORS have given their backing to a call for more to be done to tackle racist and sectarian behaviour across West Dunbartonshire.

Depute Provost Karen Conaghan’s motion on the issue attracted unanimous support when it was debated at a full council meeting last week.

Councillor Conaghan called for a report to be brought to the next meeting of the council describing the education provided by local schools on the issue, and the policies and procedures the council has to protect staff and residents from sectarian behaviour.

Officials were also asked to bring a report back on the issues around marches in the area, especially on the routes such events take.

At the meeting, Councillor Conaghan said: “I will amend my motion to include the terms anti-Catholic discrimination and anti-Irish racism.

“I’ve been asked by a number of people over the years to act on this.

“I believe that injustice needs to be tackled and this sort of bigotry and racism should be called out and addressed.

“Some people say that we should keep quiet, that sectarianism is in decline and it’s best not to shine a light on it.

“It’s something that needs attention.

“I know there has been legislation brought forward, but it is not enough unless this legislation is enforced, rather than just enacted.

“I’ve had people contact me distressed at what they see, about graffiti that is calling for people of their faith and background to be killed - which is despicable in this day and age.

“We need education in our schools because this sort of behaviour is coming from somewhere.”

Supporting the motion, Conservative councillor Sally Page added: “I am married to an Irish Catholic and I attended a Catholic school myself.

“I was amazed when I moved to the west of Scotland that this was still a problem and I can see it is not going away.

“I think it’s great we are doing something about it.

“I’ve had correspondence from people from Polish, Bulgarian and Pakistani origins and all have experienced racism living in West Dunbartonshire.

“It is our duty as elected members to set an example of how to treat everyone.”