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  • Jimi Reynolds

Anti-Racism motion passed by Town Council

Weston Town Council have voted to pass a policy which tackles racism. The motion, proposed by the Labour councillor for Bournville; Catherine Gibbons, and seconded by Conservative councillor for Winterstoke ward; Sarah Codling, noted that 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, and around two thirds of health care staff who have died as a result of COVID-19 are from a BAME background, even though they make up only 20% of the workforce.

Black Lives Matter protests during the summer

The council resolved " to establish further initiatives to ensure Weston-Super-Mare is actively inclusive and anti-racist" and to "initiate a review involving Black, Asian, Minority & Ethnic members of our community of our processes, policies and organisational attitudes, hold listening and engagement events seeking the views of the BAME communities 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".

Placards from Black Lives Matter protest earlier this year

Speaking after the motion passed Cllr Gibbons said "The council is officially becoming an Anti Racist council. Nneka Opene spoke brilliantly about the lived experience of black people in Weston, and the BLM standpoint. There was some debate but the motion had cross-party support"

"All Labour councillors supported it and particular thanks goes to Cllr James Clayton for sharing his personal experience of racism affecting a family member. Change must happen and change starts now! This was the Black & BAME communities motion not mine, and I was privileged to speak for them in this context and open the door to the change"

Nneka Opene of the Black Lives Matter Weston group welcomed the new policy saying "We are really pleased that Weston Town Council is putting their weight behind the fight against racism. Racial bias underpins virtually every aspect of our country and the wider world and only by having honest conversations about it, can we start to dismantle it. It is uncomfortable but nothing worth doing is easy"




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