Council’s bold response to Black Lives Matter

Following the council motion for ‘commitment to fighting systemic racism’ (July 2020), Black Lives Matter protests, coupled with the Public Health England report evidencing the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 on people from a BAME, the council plans to focus its work initially on race and ethnicity to support the council in its on-going commitment to being an anti-racism organisation.
According to the chief executive report before the forthcoming cabinet, the Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion strategy will have an initial focus on responding to the issues raised by the Black Lives Matter agenda and is intended to set the foundations for improving the experiences of all Harrow residents and staff.
The council takes notice that:  people from BAME backgrounds were up to twice as likely to die from Covid than people of white ethnicity, 7.5 times more likely to be homeless, are overrepresented in lower pay bands, and that absence and exclusions of children of black heritage in Harrow schools are above the national average.
In explaining why a change is needed, the report informs: “The death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minnesota, USA has highlighted deep inequalities and systemic racism that still exists in this country and other countries around the world and has left many of our staff and residents feeling hurt, scared and angry.
“It also comes at a time when we know that Harrow and people from Black, Asian and Multi Ethnic (BAME) groups have been disproportionately impacted by Covid-19. We have reflected on the findings set out in the Public Health England report on the disproportionate impact of Covid-19 in the UK and discussed with trade unions, members and staff about how best to go forward.”
The programme of work that includes development of an Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Framework will be enhanced through working closely with a range of local agencies, statutory partners and the voluntary and community sector. The council has allocated £100,000 for this work.
No obvious support by Harrow MPs for such a positive initiative by the council!
Covid cases in Harrow20,572 and 156 deaths as at 8/11/2020