A FORMER Dudley Mayor was left in “disbelief” when an email she sent about traditional Black Country fodder cooked up a storm in the council’s IT department.

Amblecote councillor Pat Martin returned an email to a friend who had been discussing the famous meatball delicacy known as faggots - only to find Dudley Council’s security software had blocked it because it contained a “profanity”.

Whilst known in these parts as a harmless term to describe the traditional Black Country dish - the word has somewhat different connotations in other parts of the world - and is used as a derogatory reference to homosexuality in America where the council’s software system Sophos was designed.

Cllr Martin the News: “I wasn’t aware Black Country faggots was a profanity. It’s hilarious. I just laughed. It’s the American system; it does pick up odd words that you wouldn’t think are offensive. It wouldn’t happen if we had an English system.”

Cllr Martin, who was Mayor from 2009 to 2010, was replying to an email sent by pal John Sanders, aged 76, about how he’d had a letter on the availability of Gentleman’s Relish published in a national newspaper.

Cllr Martin explained: “I always send him an email of congratulations if he manages to get a letter published, he sent me a thank you back and it mentioned food and how his mother used to make faggots and when I sent an email back I had a warning pop up to say it wouldn’t be allowed through because of a profanity.”

Mr Sanders, a retired solicitor from Stourbridge, dubbed the matter “stupid political correctness” and said: “I couldn’t believe what she was telling me, I collapsed with laughter on the phone. I absolutely howled.

“It’s total absurdity. My mother would have said what absolute nonsense.

“I pay good money with my taxes, council tax, business rates etc and it is spent on equipping Dudley Council with the kind of IT system that can’t fathom out our own beautiful language.”

Dudley’s cabinet member responsible for ICT, councillor David Blood, said: "Dudley Council has a system in place to screen words which could be deemed offensive. The system is regularly reviewed and updated."