A BASINGSTOKE political party has been pulled up for publishing an article using “outdated stereotyping” in a leaflet it distributes to households.

The newsletter, titled Grove Liberal Democrats Focus, was the January 2019 edition and in it the councillors spoke about improving access for pedestrians to the new St Michael’s Retail Park, in Harrow Way.

It referred to access for ‘mothers with pushchairs’ being overlooked.

But the group has been criticised for assuming that only mothers use pushchairs.

The newly formed Women’s Equality Party Basingstoke has offered to work with the Liberal Democrat party to “combat these sorts of gendered assumptions” after seeing the leaflet.

Stacy Hart, branch leader of the Women’s Equality Party Basingstoke, which officially launches on March 2, said: “Challenging gender stereotypes is a big part of our equality in media objective, and it is disappointing to see this sort of outdated stereotyping in local literature.

“It may seem like a tiny thing to quibble over, but we know that these sorts of assumptions, when taken cumulatively, really do inform and limit the choices that people make for their families.

“I give the Lib Dems credit for thinking about the impact of planning on parents and hope we can work together on combating these sorts of gendered assumptions after the Women’s Equality Basingstoke branch launch on March 2.”

Councillor Ron Hussey, who represents the Grove ward where the leaflet was distributed, apologised for the “mistake”.

He said: “There was no intention to cause any upset by what was said in the Focus article. We apologise profusely to those that were offended by what was said, it was never our intention. I am very sorry that people are upset by what has been said.”

Cllr Hussey referred to the Liberal Democrat Constitution which states: “We reject all prejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality.”

The Liberal Democrat party has no women representing the party as councillors for Basingstoke and Deane.

Cllr Hussey was keen to point out that the editor of the newsletter is a woman, adding: “There are no excuses.”