At a meeting of Barnet Council’s Policy and Resources committee last night (18 June), Barnet Councillors agreed to a motion to support the Black Lives Matter movement and consider the impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities.

The member’s item from East Finchley Labour Councillor, Arjun Mittra, called on the Council to consult Barnet’s BAME communities on the issues arising from the recent Public Health England report on the disproportionate impact coronavirus has had on BAME groups. It also called on the Council to consider structural inequality in their post-pandemic recovery planning and to support the Council’s BAME staff. The results of the consultation and review will be used to update the Council’s Equalities Action Plan.

 

Cllr Mittra said:

“Racism is painful. It leaves a scar. I remember the first time I received racist abuse, and every time it happens it takes something from you. Given what is going on in the world right now I could not sit on my hands and not speak out against racism. I am proud of how diverse our borough is, and how that diversity strengthens Barnet. But like everywhere, there is systematic racism and we must root it out.

“I am beyond delighted that my motion has been unanimously agreed to by all parties. Coronavirus is tough for everyone, but it has disproportionately affected BAME people. In practical terms, this motion will give voice to those who have been unheard, and for the first time we can really start to air the worries and anxieties of BAME people in Barnet.”

 

Leader of the Barnet Labour Group, Cllr Barry Rawlings said:

“We have an opportunity to tackle the structural inequalities that adversely affect members of our BAME community. It is no good just returning to the same situation, we must listen to voices and lived experiences of black and minority ethnic residents and work with them to make Barnet a better and fairer place to live.”

 

Ends.

Notes:

  1. A copy of Cllr Mittra’s member’s item can be found here (Agenda Item 6): https://barnet.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=692&MId=10197

For more information contact:

Cllr Arjun Mittra: 07790 240 807

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