Jim Davidson’s Evesham shows will go ahead following a heated debate at the town council

At a meeting last night, councillors unanimously agreed to hold no opinion on the controversial comedian’s upcoming performances at the Town Hall in March.

The town council put the matter on the agenda after concerns were raised about Davidson's perceived sexist and racist material.

Some councillors demanded to know who had called for the motion to be added to the agenda after saying the matter should not  have been debated at all.

Opponents of the motion said it smacked of censorship  and the town council had lost the trust of townspeople by holding the debate.

Francesca Pridding, the town clerk, replied: “I asked the chair and a couple of councillors their thoughts, and I said I think we should put it on the agenda for discussion.

“The council is here to debate issues and obviously the motion is framed to consider suitability. It is not framed to cancel or to throw something out.

“It throws up a wider issue in the fact that the council doesn’t have adequate terms and conditions for the rental of the town hall.

“We need to have that debate when it’s something that could be easily agreed, not wait until we’ve got somebody who’s really contentious, and actually quite offensive, trying to book the town hall.”

First to react to the clerk’s explanation was councillor Robert Raphael, who was adamant this was not a topic the council should be debating.

He said: “I don’t believe we have any rights or jurisdiction to censor people who appear in this hall and what they say.

“I also have a problem with this creating a list of rules as to what we deem acceptable.”

Councillor Julie Haines agreed, adding that the council should send an apology to Evesham Live, who organised the show.

“I don’t feel that we should be debating this, I think it’s a waste of council time and it’s highly insulting not to trust Evesham Live.

“We’ve already got ourselves into huge amounts of difficulty by including it on the agenda. It’s a nonsense subject.

“We don’t allow censure, and this is one of us going too far.

“I think we’ve lost the towns people’s trust.”

However, councillor Mark Goodge felt the topic was worthy of debate, adding that it brought up the important discussion of terms and conditions.

“I don’t think we should close down debate because we don’t like the topic of discussion,” he said.

Councillor Alan Booth responded: “We aren’t here to discuss the terms.

“Of course, he’s worth performing. Of course, we can’t stop him, its censorship.

“The town’s people aren’t stupid, they’re not going to spend money if they don’t want to see the act.

“He’s not that bad. Most of his money from his earnings goes to charity and you do not get an OBE if you're a racist.”