COUNCILLORS have been urged to stop bringing “hollow gestures” to meetings and to be nicer to each other.

Councillor Andy Roberts said some of his Worcester City Council colleagues needed to stop making “hollow gestures” and improve their own behaviour before standing up in meetings and asking for support for campaigns protecting the city’s shopworkers from abuse.

The call came during a debate over the abuse handed out to the city’s retail workers.

Cllr Roberts said: “Over the last two years this council has moved more and more towards hollow gestures.

“In those circumstances, something that is very important like this, can be just a gesture.

“We all stand here and pontificate about how great it is and we pass a resolution and Richard [Udall] gets his name in the Worcester News and everybody is happy but I don’t think that is enough.

“There’s a new passage in the standards and ethics guidance which talks about bullying between the members of the council and that can take many forms.

“Not least, we need to move away from the position that we have got ourselves into, this post-Trump idea of attacking the person that gives the message rather than the message he gives.

“I will support and I’m sure everybody will support what this motion puts forward but unless, on Twitter and on Facebook and in debate, we can improve our behaviour, it will be a hollow gesture.”

Cllr Richard Udall had put forward a motion at a full meeting on Tuesday (November 19) pushing the council to support shopworkers union Usdaw’s Freedom From Fear campaign which seeks to stop violence, threats and abuse towards workers.

He also asked for the council to work with Worcester BID and West Mercia Police to reduce the abuse of the city’s shopworkers.

Cllr Udall said he never brought empty and hollow gestures to council meetings and his motion was a call for action. He said council meetings were the chief forum of the city and debating issues faced by workers every day was never an empty gesture.

Cllr Marc Bayliss, leader of the council, said councillors needed to be more understanding of each other and not drag themselves down into the gutter. He said the motion was about civility and a lot of politicians often forgot about the human behind the person making the statement.