At last night’s town council meeting Cllr Catherine Gibbons asked councillors to agree to pledge to become an anti-racist council. The motion was carried forward unanimously, following some debate about the wording of the pledge.
Addressing the council was Nneka Opene from Black lives matter, who explained to members some of the experiences of discrimination that black people living in Weston have experienced.
Cllr Catherine Gibbons explained that it is not enough to be non-racist. That as a council, we must actively use our privilege and position as community leaders, to create a platform to challenge structural racism and inequality within the council and in the town.
Actions are yet to be agreed. It is likely some can be delivered quickly, while others will take time to implement. The council is committed to working on this for the long term to bring about real and lasting change.
For all residents and guests to the town, the Town Council will listen and learn, enable ignored voices to be heard, remove barriers, and ensure opportunities are open to all, so people can live their lives free from discrimination and harm.
Nneka Opene from Black Lives Matter Weston said “We are really pleased that Weston Town Council is putting their weight behind the fight against racism. The Council took the opportunity to change the image of Weston to one that is welcoming, inclusive, whereas a community we look out for one another. It is always better to stand out for the right reasons”.
Town Clerk Malcolm Nicholson said – “Weston Town Council recognises that racism continues to be a serious problem in the UK. The council stands unreservedly with black people in our town and is committed to actively combatting racism in all its forms.”
You can watch the full meeting below.