Stroud District Council leader Doina Cornell told members of the Strategy and Resources Committee that everyone must stand together to tackle racism in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

All four political group leaders issued a statement on Monday June 8, condemning racism and reaffirming the council’s commitment to promoting equality and tackling discrimination.

At the committee meeting on Thursday June 18, councillors listened to residents’ concerns on racism and answered questions.

“In recent days, and again tonight, we have heard powerful personal stories of the racism which exists in our own community,” said Councillor Cornell.

"We’ve seen racist graffiti on our streets. We’ve seen racist posts on all social media platforms challenging the legitimacy of black protests and denying that racism happens here.

“This is not acceptable. Speaking on behalf of the council, I say now that we condemn all racism against BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) people in our district.”

Cllr Cornell has worked with Green group leader Martin Whiteside and others including Liberal Democrat leader Ken Tucker to develop some specific actions, including:

1. Do all we can as a council to ensure we are an inclusive and anti-racist organisation with zero tolerance for racism and discrimination. We commit to reviewing existing anti-racist and anti-discrimination policies and practices, including training for members and staff and take action to strengthen these as required.

2. Work with everyone in our community, and especially our local BAME residents to amplify BAME voices in our district and to hear from them where best to focus efforts.

3. Consult with the community on any street and building names, statues and architectural features that may be considered offensive and if actions need to be taken. And we must consult on how best to educate ourselves about our history, the local legacy of slavery, and the local historical contribution of BAME people to our district.

During this current administration, councillors have continued to receive equality and diversity training, and mandatory racism awareness training for all councillors will be undertaken shortly. SDC staff will also undergo the same training, building on existing mandatory equality and diversity training.

Watch the meeting, including the whole Leader’s speech and public questions at