Gloucester City Commission to Review Race Relations
Final Report and Findings
The work of the Gloucester City Commission to Review Race Relations has now concluded, with the final report completed in December 2021, and published in January 2022. The report features deep dives into:
- Racially minoritized youth engagement in the Criminal Justice System
- Addressing mental health inequalities in racially minoritized communities
- Attainment of racially minoritized pupils in Education
- The lack of racially minoritized representation across senior roles in Gloucester and Gloucestershire
- Access to diabetes services in the context of higher prevalence among racially minoritized communities
Each of these deep dives feature individual Calls to Action which are specific to the topics explored, and the relevant organisations and institutions involved. Furthermore, the Commission agreed four system-wide Calls to Action, which are:
- Establish an independent, permanent, funded and high-profile legacy institution for Gloucestershire. The functions of this organisation should include:
- The development of a dynamic, diverse, independent, and strong Black-led VCS and civil society sector
- Monitoring the implementation of equalities policies and commitments, including the Calls to Action of the Race Commission, and of public bodies
- Providing advice, information and advocacy
- Contributing to public sector policy development and the commissioning of services
- Providing a strong voice for, and raising the profile of, diversity through communication and celebration to ensure that racially minoritized communities feel ‘at home’ in their City and County
- Leading on the development of a shared terminology across Gloucestershire
- Set out a Gloucestershire wide vision for workforce equality in the public sector. Put in place measures to monitor workforce equality (including pay), and deliver some workforce equality initiatives at a county-wide level, most importantly a Gloucestershire ‘stepping up’ programme for aspiring leaders from racially minoritized backgrounds.
- Commit to putting in place measures and driving the required changes in culture and mindsets to ensure the collection and use of comprehensive and high-quality ethnicity data in planning and delivering public sector services, including commissioned services.
- Acknowledge the existence of racism, prejudice and micro-aggressions in Gloucester and Gloucestershire, and commit to and step up individual and organisational leadership to tackle these with confidence and clarity.
The Council is committed to monitoring the implementation of, and actions taken in response to, the Commission’s Calls to Action. The Council has committed to issue a publicly available progress report on the implementation of findings and calls to action resulting from the work of the Commission by 31 January 2023.
What was the Gloucester City Commission to Review Race Relations?
The deeply disturbing killing of George Floyd in the spring of 2020 by members of the Minneapolis Police Department is a stark reminder that so much more needs to be done to address anti-black racism in our communities and society. In response to this, Gloucester City Council passed a motion in July 2020 in support of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and resolved to set up a commission to review race relations within Gloucester.
The Commission was established for an initial period of 12 months and was a forum to reflect and gain a better understanding of experiences of racism within Gloucester, and identify actions that can improve the lives and opportunities for those experiencing racism and the disadvantages they face because of their race and/or ethnicity.
From April to September 2021, the Commission held a Call for Evidence consultation exercise to capture the views and experiences of Gloucester's residents. This Call for Evidence ended on September 1st, 2021, and the findings were reviewed and considered in the development of the final report.
Who was on the Commission?
The Commission was chaired by Rupert Walters, a businessman and social entrepreneur with strong cross sector relationships within Gloucester. He is personally and professionally invested in creating a better environment for BAME communities to succeed.
Commissioners were made up of a cross-section of those representing major institutions and BAME communities within the City. Whilst commissioners drew on their institutional and personal experiences, they acted in the interest of the City as a whole.
What did the commissioners do?
Their roles were to:
- Determine and review the work programme of the Commission
- Prepare, participate, and contribute to the individual events, drawing on their own and their organisations’ resources where appropriate
- Listen to, review, challenge and reflect on evidence
- Identify actions to create opportunities to reduce institutional racism and the disadvantages that brings
- Identify possible actions that start to tackle the underlying causes of institutional racism
Review of monuments, statues and plaques within Gloucester
In addition to establishing the Commission, a review has been initiated focused on monuments, statues and plaques within Gloucester. The aim of this review is to produce a report for the Commission to consider on the historic links to the slave trade in Gloucester. That report will consist of a list of identified monuments, statues, plaques and street names (hereafter ‘heritage assets’) as well as notable individuals associated with the City and connected with the slave trade and/or plantation ownership. It will include:
The location of each identified heritage asset;
- A description;
- A summary history of the associated individual/organisation and the asset (including references); and
- Recommendations for the commission to consider.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact the Commission by emailing us at RaceCommission@gloucester.gov.uk