Calls for the creation of a new body to tackle racism

By Review reporter   |   Reporter   |
Friday 31st December 2021 11:05 am
Share

Subscribe newsletter

Subscribe to our email and get updates right in your inbox.

An independent organisation could be set up to tackle institutional racism in Gloucestershire.

This is one of the recommendations which has come out of a review into race relations set up by Gloucester City Council.

The council passed a cross-party motion in July 2020 in support of Black Lives Matter after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin in the USA that year.

Councillors in Gloucester resolved to set up a commission to review race relations within the city.

The report, which will be considered at January’s cabinet meeting, shines a spotlight on discrimination and prejudice and highlights the challenges racially minoritised people face day-to-day.

It calls for more to be done to engage fully with communities to address issues that they face and to make sure local organisations are representative of the people that they serve.

The report looked at several key areas including the criminal justice system, health inequalities such as mental health and diabetes, education and representation in senior roles across the county.

It also highlighted the experiences of local people following a call for evidence, which asked Gloucester residents for their experiences of racism and discrimination in the city.

This includes discriminatory hiring practices by employers, a lack of access to interpreters in public services, and racist comments and micro-aggressions towards racially minoritised individuals.

Headed by local businessman and social entrepreneur Rupert Walters, the race commission was made up of a cross-section of representatives from local communities, key organisations including the NHS, University of Gloucestershire, Gloucestershire Police and Gloucestershire County Council’s Black Workers Network, as well as councilLors from all three parties.

Gloucester City Council will consider the commission’s report in the new year and how it will take steps to support change across the city.

Commission chairman, Rupert Walters, said: “This is a really important report that takes a look at a wide range of issues that are fundamental in addressing racism in our society.

“I hope that this will help us go some way to looking at these problems in more depth and bringing about lasting and meaningful change.”

City council leader Richard Cook said: “I welcome the report and look forward to considering and discussing its contents in our council and with our partner agencies.”

The commission calls for the establishment of an independent, permanent, funded and high-profile legacy institution for Gloucestershire, such as a race equality council, in order to develop the black-led voluntary and community sector, monitor progress, hold to account, advise and advocate, coordinate engagement and raise the voice of racially marginalised people.

They also want to set out a Gloucestershire wide vision for workforce equality in the public sector and collaborate to create better and more workforce initiatives, including a leadership development programme.

And commit to putting in place measures and driving the required changes in culture and mindsets to ensure the collection and use of comprehensive and high-quality ethnicity data in planning and delivering public sector services, including commissioned services.

The commission also calls for the existence of racism, prejudice and micro-aggressions in Gloucester and Gloucestershire to be acknowledged and commit to and step up individual and organisational leadership to tackle these with confidence and clarity.

Comments

To leave a comment you need to create an account. |

All comments 0