Brighton & Hove councillors from all political parties unite to condemn racism, xenophobia, and hate crimes at a meeting of the full council last night (Thursday, July 21).
All three political groups represented on the council submitted a joint notice reassuring people living in Brighton & Hove that they are all valued members of the community.
The notice committed Brighton & Hove City Council to ensuring local services and programmes have the support and resources they need to fight and prevent racism. Councillors declared that they were proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society, and would not allow hate to become acceptable.
Cllr Warren Morgan, Leader of the City Council and the Labour & Co-operative group said: “Hate crime and bigotry has no place in Brighton & Hove, prejudice and intolerance is not part of who we are as a city and as a community.
“Whatever your shade of skin, whatever language you speak, whatever faith you follow, whatever your place of birth, you are welcome here, you have a right to live and work in safety and free from harm or abuse, you have a right to live your life free from bigotry and intimidation.
“We say today, we say together, we will defend those rights. I am proud as leader of this council to move this motion which says we are united against hate.”
Cllr Geoffrey Theobald, leader of the Conservative group, added: “For many years Brighton and Hove has had a positive reputation for being an open and inclusive city that welcomes all.
We will therefore not tolerate any behaviour that causes people to feel threatened, intimidated or excluded.”
Cllr Phelim Mac Cafferty, leader of the Green group, concluded: “As long-standing champions of equality, Greens wholeheartedly support the cross-party commitment made here today to condemn all forms of racism, xenophobia and hate crime. At a time when the country is historically divided, Brighton & Hove stands united against hate and prejudice. We are determined to ensure Brighton & Hove remains a welcoming and fair city where diversity can flourish.”
Brighton & Hove has a long history of being a welcoming and tolerant place. The stone pylons built in 1928 to welcome visitors, located on the A23 into Brighton, bear the inscription: “Hail guest, we ask not what thou art. If friend we greet thee hand and heart. If stranger no longer be. If foe our love shall conquer thee”.
Brighton & Hove residents can report hate crime incidents to the council’s community safety team on their website safeinthecity.info or by telephoning: 01272 292735.
In an emergency people should always contact the Police directly through 999 or 101.