Race Relations Commission for Gloucester given green light


Councillors have given the green light for a new commission to be set up to review race relations in the city.


The commission will work to gain a better understanding of experiences of racism and inequality in Gloucester.

Given the go ahead at Wednesday’s cabinet meeting, the commission which will run for a year, will aim to identify areas where it can help to improve the lives and opportunities for those who experience racism and disadvantage because of their colour.

Set up in response to the Black Lives Matters protests it will be chaired by Rupert Walters, a local businessman and social entrepreneur, and as part of its remit will conduct a review into monuments, statutes and plaques within the city.

The review will establish any connections with the slave trade or plantation ownership and also look at the collections held by the Museum of Gloucester and how the city may reinterpret them. 

The commission members will be made up of representatives from both major institutions and from BAME communities within the city and will be tasked with putting together a strategy based on the findings of the commission.

At Wednesday’s cabinet meeting Councillors also welcomed the correspondence between the American Ambassador and the council, which stated the authority’s concern and condemnation of the killing of George Floyd.

Councillor Richard Cook, leader of Gloucester City Council, said: “We would like to add our voices to the many from around the world who were horrified at the killing of George Floyd and who are determined to take action inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

“While we are lucky to enjoy generally good race relations in this city and already have a cross party equalities working group but we can always do more in terms of tackling racial discrimination and shedding light on the challenges faced by many of our residents.”

Rupert Walters, Commission Chair, said: "I am delighted to be chairing this new Commission on Race and Equality for Gloucester. We know that inequality limits the progression of individual communities within our society and I am dedicated along with my fellow commissioners to understand why. Collectively we will set out a future work programme, that will inform an accurate conversation about race, led by evidence and experience.”  

There are a number of ways of contributing to the work of the Commission and the review of Heritage Assets. Anyone interested in getting involved in its work, please contact us on Blacklivesmatter@gloucester.gov.uk