Bromley Council silence on moves to tackle racial discrimination

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Cllr Angela Wilkins, Leader of the Labour Group, recently emailed all Bromley councillors seeking support for proposals to tackle racial discrimination in the Borough.

The Labour Group agreed this approach because meetings of full council have been suspended due to COVID19, so there is no formal way that this type of proposal can be put to the council.

Not one reply to or acknowledgement of Cllr Wilkins’ email was received.

Cllr Wilkins said:

“It is simply unacceptable for Bromley’s elected representatives to sit back and do nothing; I am appalled and also angry to hear silence from other councillors, and I’m particularly surprised not to have heard back on this important issue from the Leader of the Council. Cllr Colin Smith.

“As councillors we can – and must – do much, much more than sign petitions and protest alongside groups such as Black Lives Matter. We are elected to effect change at a local level; we can and must use that power to stamp out both racism and racial discrimination by working more closely with our BAME communities and examining the way the council operates.

“There are some simple, quick actions that could be taken. For example, under the Equalities Act, Councils are bound by the Public Sector Equality Duty. Most councils undertake full equality impact assessments when making decisions about council services and spending, to make sure that discrimination is not inherent in any decisions. But Bromley Council doesn’t do this, and it is high time they did.

“Five years ago, the council removed funding for its BAME Officer; as a starting point this decision should be reversed.

“I would also ask any BAME residents or businesses who have experiences of either discrimination or proposals to address such to get in touch with their local Councillors or to contact me.”