Our pledge to be an anti-racist council
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At the end of November 2020, the Town Council passed an anti-racist resolution as follows:
The Black Lives Matter Movement was set up in 2013 after the death of Trayvon Martin and subsequent acquittal of his killer. Global protests increased following the killing of George Floyd in June 2020, for which Minneapolis police officers were charged with second-degree murder (and aiding and abetting second-degree murder).
Peaceful protests in support of Black Lives Matter have been held in Weston super Mare and throughout the UK. Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people are 54% more likely than white people to be fined under the new coronavirus lockdown laws in the UK. Around two-thirds of healthcare staff who have died as a result of COVID-19 are people of colour whereas they make up 20% of the overall workforce.
Racism in all forms, both structural and in individuals, continues to be a serious and often unseen problem in the UK. Although progress has been made in combating racism, work to eradicate it entirely is far from complete. This Council, representing people in Weston super Mare has a duty as a public leader to actively lead that work. Thus:
That the Council resolves as follows:
- To stand together unreservedly with black people in Weston-super-Mare
- To work to eradicate racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, Antisemitism and discrimination which impact the entire community and blight our society.
- To establish further initiatives to ensure Weston-super-Mare is actively inclusive and anti-racist.
- To initiate a review involving Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic members of our community of our processes, policies and organisational attitudes, hold listening and engagement events seeking the views of people of colour on the issues rising from recent protests, and work with and support Community groups, youth groups, and places of worship in engaging with these issues.
- To update our Equalities Policy and produce a plan addressing matters identified by these reviews and consultations.
- To invite appropriate speakers on these issues to deliver training which will be mandatory for staff and expected for all councillors.
The council is committed to implementing this, and working with black and ethnic minority members of our communities will begin to develop an action plan.