Residents asked for their views on city’s race relations


Gloucester residents are being asked for their experiences of race relations as the city’s Commission for Race Relations puts out a Call for Evidence.



The Commission has been set up by Gloucester City Council and is headed by local businessman and social entrepreneur Rupert Walters.

Running for a year, it aims to identify areas where it can help to improve the lives and opportunities for those who experience racism and disadvantage because of their colour.

The commission members are 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.

Residents, organisations and representatives of local groups are invited to submit their opinions on race relations in the city to generate an open discussion of issues communities face.

The evidence provided will be used to inform recommendations in the Commission’s final report, to be shared with the city’s key organisations and decision makers.

The Council has recently signed the Race at Work Charter, a public commitment to improving the experiences of black, Asian and minority ethnic employees in the workplace.

Internally the Council’s Equality and Diversity Working Group has overseen a review of recruitment and policies with regard to diversity and is committed to raising awareness of equalities events including Black History Month, Gloucestershire Pride, and Srebrenica Memorial Week.

It has also put in place focussed training for staff at all levels on how to deal with personal and institutional bias.

Councillor Jennie Watkins, cabinet member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said “We hope that we have good race relations in the city but we want to know about the actual experiences people have day to day, good or bad and find out exactly what challenges our communities face. We are fully committed to addressing the issues of discrimination and inequality that can have a detrimental effect on people’s lives in countless ways. We know these will be difficult conversations but facing this is the only way we can move forward as a society and an organisation.”

Rupert Walters, Commission Chair, said: “We hope that as many people as possible will come forward with their honest experiences of life in Gloucester. To make any kind of real progress we need to know what people are experiencing today and what the issues are so that we can address them and help to change lives.”

Submit evidence to the commission here by 1 September.

Information that participants provide will be anonymised and used in reports or other supporting materials that will be publicly available.