Anti-racism pledge update

Date of Meeting:

11th March 2021

Report of:

Executive Director Housing, Neighbourhoods, Communities

Contact Officer:


Sarah Tighe-Ford


01273 292301



Ward(s) affected:








1.1         The initial report on actions being taken by the council towards becoming an anti-racist council was presented at TECC committee on 29th July 2020 and an update was presented on 19th November. At this meeting officers were instructed to provide brief updates as a standing item at every TECC committee meeting. This report provides an update on actions since the progress report to TECC committee meeting 14th January 2021.


2.         RECOMMENDATIONS:    


2.1         That committee note the report.




3.1         The report to TECC Committee on 19th November contains the full background and details of actions taken up to that date and this report should be read in that context.


3.2         Updates are noted where specific activities or progress has been made. Other actions from the pledges, Notices of Motion and petitions continue to be in progress and updates will be provided as progress develops.


3.3         Engagement with communities


3.3.1    The third meeting of the Community Advisory Group took place on 4th February 2020, with the first of a series of thematic discussion and ‘challenge’ sessions. The meeting was focused on the council’s Fair & Inclusive Action Plan and its actions relating to race and racism. It was attended by the Head of Human Resources along with the co-ordinator for council’s BME workers forum as well the BME standing invitees from the TECC and Policy & Resources committees. The meeting’s discussion centred on recruitment, retention and progress of Black, Asian and ethnic minority staff.


3.3.2    The process for agreeing an independent BME facilitator for the Community Advisory Group was agreed and work will start, with CAG members, to agree and circulate an invitation for expressions of interest. The CAG is open to BME-led community and voluntary groups in the city and active BME community activists. Groups/activists interested in joining can email


3.3.3    A plan for wider engagement with individuals and communities that experience racism is being developed to involve more people in this work. United action against racism, that includes white allies, is important however, the council recognises that people and communities experience of racism is different depending on their ethnicity, culture, language and colour of their skin. Therefore, the council is keen to engage with communities to understand their unique experiences and issues, for example, anti-Black racism, anti-Semitism, and prejudice towards people of South-East Asian heritage.   


3.3.4    The co-chair of the TECC committee and the Administration’s Lead for communities and equality continues to meet with members of different communities in the city having recently met with members of the Jewish community to hear their concerns which included (but not exclusively):


·                     The explicit recognition of and engagement on anti-Semitism in the                         council’s anti-racism work

·                     More emphasis and prominent celebration of Jewish culture and faith

·                     Engagement of school leaders on anti-Semitism as part of the anti-racism strategy in schools



3.4         Education and young people


3.4.1  Progress the Notice of Motion from June 2020 CYPS committee: The council’s draft Anti-Racist Schools Strategy was agreed by Committee in November 2020. The funding proposals to support the strategy will be presented to budget Council in February 2021 for approval. An engagement process, supported by members of the Brighton & Hove Educators of Colour Collective seconded for this purpose from their schools is going. If the funding is agreed, posts will be recruited to and the five year implementation of the strategy will begin.


3.4.2    Children’s Safeguarding and Care Anti-Racist project: An experienced Black social worker and manager is now in post as the anti-racist lead practitioner within the service. The service’s anti-racist project board continues, focussing on experience of workforce, improving practice with families and enhancing the capturing and response to the voices of BAME service users. We have also been chosen, along with Health and Adult Social Care, to be one of the pilot sites for the Workforce Race Equality Standards for Social Care from April 2021.


3.4.3    Ensuring BAME voices inform the SEND Strategy: The strategy got cross party endorsement at children, young people and skills committee in November 2020 and Health & Wellbeing Board in January 2021. The presentation at committees highlighted the work that had been put in place to better engage with the BAME SEND community in the city and work continues to progress that commitment.


3.5         Community Safety


3.5.1    A bid to the Home Office for support to develop social media and communications assets for the ‘Upstanders’ group has been successful, this will include messaging to tackle racist hate.


3.6         COVID19 response


3.6.1    The recruitment of a Community Engagement Officer to engage with different ethnic communities to ensure support to residents during C19 is in progress. Deadline for applications was 14th February.  


3.7         Civic leadership


3.7.1    Funding for a civic leadership programme was agreed at Full Budget Council 25th  of February. Discussions continue with Operation Black Vote - - on a tailored approach in Brighton & Hove that will build local capacity to deliver the programme in the longer term.


3.8         Fair & Inclusive Action Plan (FIAP) anti-racism actions


3.8.1    HR have appointed 2 part-time staff into the HR Diversity Recruitment Consultant post: 2 x 0.6 FTE positions (equivalent of 1.2 FTE) for 12 months. They will each work 3 days per week. starting in early April. The role is focused on delivering the actions in the Recruitment, Retention and Progression workstream of the council’s Fair and Inclusive Action Plan.


3.9         Council Workforce Learning and Development


3.9.1    Nine anti-racism training sessions have been held for specific teams, three open session (for all staff) and one for elected Members. Nine further team and open sessions will run before 31st March.


3.9.2    A further anti-racism session for members is planned for 17th March. Details are on the Learning Gateway View Details | Brighton & Hove CPD Online ( This training will include a focus on the different forms that racism can take, including anti-Semitism, anti-Blackness and other forms of prejudice.


3.9.3    27 Mandatory staff briefings have been delivered to date via MS Teams. 3000 staff have attended or are due to attend and work is in progress with directorate management teams, teams and staff to make sure they can access one of the remaining sessions. A recording of the briefing is being made available to services where on-line delivery isn’t possible. In addition, around 60 Operational Managers attended a network session in January, to consider their next steps following the mandatory briefing. A repeat session will be delivered in March.


3.9.4    25 eLearning Equality and Diversity modules are available for all staff, on the Learning Gateway.


3.9.5    The council is participating in the national Workforce Race Equality Scheme (WRES) pilot, with a focus on Social Workers in HASC & FCL, but with wider application. Plans include a better understanding of the experiences of BME in Social Care services - via gathering of data around people’s experiences, exploring key actions from findings and set of indicators for measures of success. This work will link closely to the anti-racism Strategy and Fair & Inclusive Action Plan as it develops.


3.10      Statues and Monuments review


3.10.1 Since the anti-racism pledges were made in the summer an initial review of road and place names in the city has been completed, as well as a review of Blue Plaques, artworks and statues. To better understand our past and its legacy, the council is planning more detailed research, working with the Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust, local universities and historians.


3.10.2 While historically the city’s wealth has connections to the slave trade, Brighton & Hove also has a strong history of support for human rights and abolitionism. There are few public monuments and plaques which memorialise slavery. However, there are street names and places associated with other aspects of colonialism and there are very few public displays celebrating the city’s diverse history.


3.10.3 There are a number of processes by which road and place names can be changed, some of which must be led by residents and some of which mean residents may incur costs. For example the changing of a street name has a prescribed process and would require property owners to change the legal documents associated with the property, from utility bills through to title deeds. The council must ensure that changes are made following national and legal guidance. Other local authorities in the UK are exploring this too and links are being made to identify how any changes can be completed most effectively.


3.10.4 Commemorative statues continue to be commissioned, so this is an opportunity to recognise more local people. For example, a campaign is currently underway to commission a statue to the memory of Mary Clarke, a suffragette active in Brighton. The council is keen to hear residents’ and groups’ suggestions for physical displays that celebrate BME residents of the city past and present. Contact There are currently around 130 Blue Plaques across the city. The most recent include those made to the memory of Sake Dean Mohammed and Ernest Beale VC.


3.10.5 Action already taken or in progress across the city (by council and others):


·         Gladstone Court: this is a council-owned building where re-naming is entirely within the council’s control. The intention is to engage with the local school to identify a new name for the building, as well as to increase awareness of the diversity of the city’s history.


·         Seeking opportunities to work within the public art strategy, including a commission for work in the Lewes Road area, using as its start point our colonial past and legacy of slavery commemorated by items named for WE Gladstone and streets named for the second Boer War. This will be used as a pilot for the wider public art strategy to develop a stronger understanding and reflection of diversity and inclusion.


·         The Blue Plaque for Admiral Sir Edward Codrington was removed voluntarily by the freeholder in June 2020.


·         In Rottingdean (burial ground at St Margaret’s), June 2020 the Diocese removed the headstones of music hall performers G H Elliott and Alice Banford where inscriptions referred to their ‘blackface’ act and stage names.



·         Brighton & Hove Bus Company have an established tradition of naming their buses for local people of note. They are shortly to launch a new naming campaign on the theme of ‘Local Heroes’ which is an opportunity to reflect the city’s values and population.


3.10.6 Next steps:


·           More detailed review of road and place names to inform decisions, working with the Royal Pavilion and Museums Trust and other partners.

·           Ongoing links with other authorities working on this topic to share best practice.

·           Further work with partners working on public arts and culture strategy to identify opportunities for new commissions and work with local BAME communities as partners.

·           Re-naming of Gladstone Place and review opportunities to rename other council-owned buildings.




4.1         The progress outlined above is on actions undertaken in response to the council’s pledge to become an anti-racist council, anti-racism Notices of Motion and petitions accepted by full council/committees and previously Member agreed work under the Fair & Inclusive Action Plan.




5.1         Engagement is as outlined in the TECC report of 19th November.


6.         CONCLUSION


6.1         TECC committee requested a standing item on every agenda updating on progress towards the council’s anti-racism commitments.


6.2         This report updates on progress and the contents are for Members to note.




Financial Implications:



7.1         Project management and leadership of the work is being carried out as part of core business of the Communities, Equality and Third Sector (CETS) team. A budget of £10,000 has been allocated from the CETS initiatives budget to support the work. Financial implications arising from the other actions identified in the report will be considered by the relevant service as part of their standard budget management processes and decisions on allocation of funding will be made in line with council’s budget setting process.


            Finance Officer Consulted:     Michael Bentley                            Date: 08/12/20


Legal Implications:


7.2         There are no legal implications arising from this report which is for noting. All of the actions proposed are in line with the Council’s powers and duties, in particular under the Equality Act 2010.


            Lawyer Consulted:                   Alice Rowland                               Date: 10/12/20



            Equalities Implications:


7.3         The intention of this work is to address identified racial inequalities and racism experienced by people who live in, work in and visit the city. The range of engagement planned with people who share other characteristics in addition to their ethnicity will ensure that perspectives are heard from a wide range of people. This will enable the development of tailored and bespoke actions to address all forms of racism, where it is based on ethnicity, skin colour or any other attribute.


7.4         The work is central to the council’s legal duties under the Equality Act 2010 to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between communities, as well as to encourage civic engagement by under-represented groups. It also complements and supports the council’s Fair & Inclusive Action Plan in addressing the findings of the review of race diversity by Global HPO.


            Sustainability Implications:


7.5         No implications arising from this report


Brexit Implications:


7.6         No implications arising from this report


Any Other Significant Implications: