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Gloucestershire Business News

Race relations commission created for Gloucester

Councillors have given the go ahead for the creation of a commission to review race relations in Gloucester.

Backed by Gloucester City Council's cabinet, the commission will run for a year to improve understanding of experiences of racism and inequality and identify areas where it can help to improve the lives and opportunities for those who experience it.

Set up in response to the Black Lives Matters movement, the commission will be chaired by businessman Rupert Walters and will include a review of monuments, statutes and plaques in the city.

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

Mr Walters said: "We know 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."

The commission will be made up of representatives from both major institutions and BAME communities within the city.

The cabinet meeting welcomed correspondence with the American ambassador which stated the authority's concern and condemnation of the killing of George Floyd.

Council leader Councillor Richard Cook 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."

Anyone interested in getting involved in the commission's work and the review of heritage assets should contact Blacklivesmatter@gloucester.gov.uk.

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