In The South

Greens describe new anti-racism strategy as “a vital step forward for the city” 

Graham Robson March 17, 2023

Following work with dozens of organisations, Brighton & Hove city councillors voted through an anti-racism strategy that lays out how Brighton & Hove City Council will combat racism. 

In a meeting of the Policy and Resources Committee on Thursday, March 15, councillors voted to ratify an anti-racism strategy for the next five years. Twenty-eight organisations, as well as staff, focus group participants, local advocates and community members, contributed to its development. 

According to Brighton & Hove City Council, this strategy “sets out the council’s renewed commitment to becoming an anti-racist council, first formally pledged in 2020 following the Black Lives Matter demonstrations. It addresses the long-term vision and aims in combatting racism, and details steps needed to begin to make that vision a reality alongside community accountability.”

Across its five directorates, actions include: 

·       Developing better pathways to settled accommodation 

·       Proposing £100,00 investment into Black and Racially Minoritised infrastructure and voluntary sector work 

·       Embedding anti-racism, intersectionality, and accessibility into policies and plans across departments  

·       Developing and improving training programmes for staff 

·       Strengthening anti-hate crime services 

·       Building and developing Libraries of Sanctuary and increasing the collections of Books in Other Languages 

·       Setting a target for number of multi-cultural and community-based events in the city annual events programme and supporting Black and Racially Minoritised groups putting on events 

·       Continuing dialogue with the Royal Pavilion & Museum Trust to support their work to decolonise museums and embed anti-racism practice in their service

·       Engagement with Black and Racially Minoritised communities, tenants, artists, businesses, families, children, carers and staff 

Cllr Stephanie Powell

Cllr Steph Powell, co-chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee, said: “After months of work, this anti-racism strategy presents our vision to be an anti-racist city and council that fully grasps and understands the severity of racism in all its forms and manifestations. 

“The council has powers and platform; we must be using what we have, to fight back against racism wherever we find it. In our society, white people have greater access to power, finances and support; nothing but consistent, proactive anti-racism will turn the tide. 

“We believe that Brighton & Hove must be a place where Black and Racially Minoritised people have equity of access, opportunity, and representation of voice, and this strategy offers a roadmap for getting us closer to that goal. 

“Thanks to the leadership of Black and Racially Minoritised communities, and the input of so many people and organisations, this strategy offers a vital step forward for the city. I’d like to thank each and every organisation and person who worked with us on this strategy, for putting forward their experiences and ideas. I look forward to continue working with them in the years ahead.” 

Cllr Phelim Mac Cafferty

Cllr Phelim Mac Cafferty, Chair of the Policy and Resources Committee and leader of the council, added: 

“I am exceptionally proud of the work the city council is doing to make anti-racism not just a slogan, but a reality. This has come as a result of the dedication of many of our community organisations over many years working with the council to articulate a plan for action.  

“Eliminating racism won’t happen overnight and it won’t be easy – but fight we must and fight we will. In order that we can fight racism effectively, we must acknowledge that racism in Britain is historic, systemic and nation-wide. When the Tories cut council funding, or when the climate crisis goes unaddressed, it is Black and Racially Minoritised people who so often feel the harshest effects.  

“Across the country, in our own city and council, the reality is that we still have a lot of work to do. But we stand in the proud tradition of anti-racism. We will continue to fight racism and make our city a better, fairer and more just place for communities of colour.“