Anti-Racism pledge update

Date of Meeting:

15th Sept 2022

Report of:

Executive Director Housing, Neighbourhoods, Communities

Contact Officer:


Jamarl Billy


01273 291952



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 2020. 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 last progress report to TECC committee.


2.         RECOMMENDATIONS:    


2.1         That committee note the report.




3.1         The report to TECC Committee on 19th November 2020 and all subsequent reports contain the full background and details of actions taken up to the last TECC committee meeting and this report should be read in that context.


3.2         Updates are noted where specific activities or progress has been made.


3.3         Anti Racism Strategy Document


3.3.1    The council’s Anti Racist Strategy document is now being developed. The aim of the strategy is to highlight the anti racism work being undertaken across the council, and to provide a clear action plan for the next steps to take. The strategy will use local data, national data and information gleaned from community engagement to identify the next set of actions. Internal engagement with teams and services across the council is underway. These discussions focus on embedding anti racist best practice into the service. Additionally, a focus group for external stakeholders has been planned for October. Up to £5,000 of funding has been allocated to support engagement around the anti racism strategy.




3.4         Civic Leadership Programme


3.4.1    £53,000 has been confirmed for the Civic Leadership Programme. Operation Black Vote (OBV) has been selected to deliver the programme based on a track record of successful delivery elsewhere in the country.    The aim is to support a cohort of 30 Black & Racially Minoritised residents through the programme, to encourage future uptake from BME communities of leadership and decision-making roles in the political sphere and other public bodies. OBV plan to begin preparation for the programme in October 2022. This will include engaging with organisations in Brighton & Hove that represent Black & Racially Minoritised Communities. They plan to promote and recruit participants in early 2023, with the full programme launching in spring. The programme aims to include observations and shadowing of various council roles, learning seminars and a graduation ceremony. The programme is due to be completed in November 2023, with an evaluation report produced in January 2024.


3.5         Business & Intellectual Property Centre


3.5.1    The Business & Intellectual Property Centre (BIPC) is based in Jubilee Library and formally launched by the Council this year. It is a service dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs at every stage of their business journey. Although the service is not exclusively for Black & Racially Minoritised entrepreneurs, they have specific anti-racism targets from the British Library. BME engagement target for 2022-23 is 14% (up from last year’s 11%). The BIPC outperformed the target set for 2021-22, with our end of year BME engagement result as 16%. Officers expect to outperform 2022-23 targets.


3.6         Engagement with Communities


3.6.1    The tenth meeting of the Anti Racism Community Advisory Group was held on 7th June. The meeting was focused on the council’s Third Sector Commission (TSC) and its Communities Fund and how it could better support the BME community and voluntary sector. It predominantly explored the issues and barriers for BME groups accessing the Commission and learning to be taken forward into the next iteration of the Commission.


3.6.2    The council’s Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Officer leading with BME communities continues to maintain working relationships with key voluntary sector stakeholders. Alongside direct outreach to community groups, the officer produces a monthly bulletin to BME groups in the city. The aims of the bulletin are to share information about the council with specific BME groups who may otherwise not be reached, share events and opportunities available in the city and facilitate networking between groups. Feedback from the bulletin has been very positive, with many recipients expressing their gratitude for circulating culturally relevant opportunities and information.


3.6.3    Funding was granted to four community groups to enable community led discussions about their experiences of racism and racial inequality. Community groups brought their members together between March and July to discuss how racism affects specific ethnicities differently and what the next steps are in tackling racism. The groups that were funded are Black Anti Racism Community Organisation (BARCO), Bridging Change, Sussex Indian Punjabi Society (SIPS) and Socially Engaged Art Salon (SEAS). These groups have now successfully completed their activities.


3.6.4    Funding of £10,000 has been allocated to engage with BME communities around the topic of the covid vaccine, covid recovery and public health. This funding has been made available via the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC) and is part of a wider neighbourhoods and communities engagement project around covid vaccine. The groups that have been funded are: Bridging Change, Sussex Indian Punjabi Society, the Old Boat Community Centre, Hangleton and Knoll Project Multicultural Women's Group and the Chinese Educational Development Project. Activities took place between May and September, with most groups having now delivered their activities. We are expecting all activities to be completed and reported on shortly.


3.7         BME Community and Voluntary Sector


3.7.1    The second application deadline for the Communities Fund, the council’s annual CVS grants programme, passed on 8th July. In total 33 bids were received, with 6 applications from organisations that serve Black & Racially Minoritised communities. This equates to 18% of overall applications received. Groups applied for a total of £38,387. Applications are currently being appraised and community groups will be informed of the outcome of their bids late September/early October.


3.7.2    £110,000 has been reallocated from The World Reimagined (TWR) funding to strengthen the BME community and voluntary sector. How to best utilise this funding was discussed at the most recent meeting of the Anti Racist Community Advisory Group (see 3.6.1). A small part of the funding will be used to work with a local BME-led consultancy that will engage with BME communities to generate a more nuanced understanding of what model of infrastructure support would best serve the city’s Black & Racially Minoritised community voluntary sector, and how the  remaining funding could be used to have the greatest impact. This initial engagement is to ensure Black & Racially Minoritised communities are involved at the early stages of decision making regarding TWR reallocated funding. This will make the use of the funding more efficient when a decision is agreed on. Officers are currently reviewing a proposal from an external consultancy and the aim is to start the project in early October.


3.7.3    An Anti-Racism Project Officer will also be employed on a fixed term basis to support the infrastructure project. This will include but will not be limited to the following: establishing and convening a task and finish group of BME organisations to provide direction and oversight; contract managing the external consultancy to carry out the research project on the needs of, and investment into, the BME CVS; producing a recommendation report on investment into the BME CVS for Brighton & Hove Anti-Racism Community Advisory Group (CAG), Brighton & Hove City Council (BHCC) senior management and BHCC Members Advisory Group for consideration.



3.8         Council Workforce & Fair & Inclusive Action Plan (FIAP)


3.8.1    The 6-month Diverse Talent Programme pilot has now been completed. The programme was set up to support BME staff with personal and professional development, increasing confidence to progress in their careers and to overcome barriers in accessing opportunities and gaining promotion. It was established in response to council workforce data which shows that BME staff are under-represented in roles grades SO1/2 and above. 16 staff members who were in grades 3-6 and identified as Black or Racially Minoritised took part in the programme after being successful in their application. Their application included a statement outlining their motivation for the role and a supporting statement from their manager. Staff involved in the programme were assigned a sponsor from a pool of senior staff members that had applied. All sponsors were in management positions, including Executive Directors, Assistant Directors and Heads of Service. Participants remain in contact with their sponsors and continue to engage in shadowing or similar opportunities where possible. There was a celebration event on September 13th, with feedback and evaluation of project to follow shortly afterwards.


3.8.2    The HR Diversity Recruitment Consultant continues to run fortnightly inclusive recruitment surgeries to offer timely advice to recruitment managers such as developing inclusive shortlisting questions, promotion of roles on social media and inclusive advert writing. Since the inception of these sessions, 32 managers have attended the inclusive recruitment surgeries. This breaks down as 23 during 2021-22, and 9 so far in 2022-23.


3.8.3    Our HR Diversity Recruitment Consultant also works with partners including Trust for Developing Communities and the Adult Education Hub to deliver ‘Insight into Working at the Council’ sessions for community members.  To date, 132 people have attended these sessions.



3.8.4    More detailed information about the council’s workforce and the Fair & Inclusive Action Plan can be found in the Workforce Equalities Report 2020-21 that was presented to Policy & Resources Committee on 24th March 2022.


3.9         Our Legacy


3.9.1    Discussions are taking place with community stakeholders about the next phase of engagement around the ‘Our Legacy’ project. This is to build on the work the council undertook to officially rename its new temporary accommodation on Hartington Rd Manoj House. The focus is ensuring community groups and BME residents are involved from the start in choosing the next piece of work to prioritise regarding the colonial legacy of the city. The council are working with Urban Flo, a Black led creative arts organisation, to deliver a round of engagement with Black & Racially Minoritised residents. Online promotion of the engagement is due to begin in September and an open call will be going out to local Black & Minoritised artists to design a logo for the project. A launch event is planned for October to coincide with Black History Month.



3.10      Emergency Food


3.10.1 The council has allocated funding of £15,000 for an exploratory piece of research on the emergency food access needs of Black, Asian and Minority ethnic communities and Refugees & Asylum Seekers. The Commission aims to reduce inequality and address immediate concerns about malnutrition, health and well being. This funding has now been granted to Brighton & Hove Food Partnership and Bridging Change, who will be collaborating to deliver the outcomes of the research. Together, these two community organisations will provide research and feedback about the different communities access needs, best practise by providers in meeting needs, and recommendations on strengthening organisations providing support. This will supplement our current understanding of the city’s food needs. We expect to identify initial findings by the end of October.


3.11      Community Safety


3.11.1 The council has partnered with the Racial Harassment Forum to provide a Third-Party Reporting Centre. Launching in May 2022, this service has been commissioned by the council in response to national and local feedback that informs us that those from Black & Racially Minoritised backgrounds may be less likely to report racist incidents directly to the police or local authorities. Therefore, this new service ensures that Black and Racially Minoritised residents can report racism directly to a BME led community organisation. This service is being promoted with flyers, posters at community centres, emails via various council and community networks, social media, and word of mouth via community engagement. A formal engagement event was held on Wednesday 7th September.


3.12      Education


3.12.1 The Anti Racist Education Advisor continues to work closely with schools to inform anti racist best practice in education. A termly newsletter is distributed to educators in Brighton & Hove to inform of updates of the work, news, and opportunities. The latest newsletter included information about racial literacy training opportunities for education workers, unconscious bias training opportunities for governors and an overview of work in the previous terms, among other topics.


3.13      Adult Education Hub


3.13.1 The Adult Education Hub continues to provides courses and education opportunities for adults and has a particular focus on ensuring people with lived experience of racism have access to education. So far the Adult Education Hub has had many people from different backgrounds use the service including residents from the Black diaspora, Syrian residents, Iranian, Afghani & Hong Kongese residents.


3.14      Social Care


3.14.1 In Children’s Safeguarding & Care, the anti-racist project board continues to meet on a monthly basis, after its establishment in late 2019. The project was set up following an audit of our work with families from Black and minoritised communities and feedback regarding staff experiences. The aims of the project are: to support the development of an anti-racist organisational culture and anti-racist social work practise; to identify, challenge and tackle racism; to support an improvement in the experience of staff from Black and minoritised communities so that they feel that Brighton and Hove is a safe and supportive place to work; to improve social work practice with families from Black and minoritised communities, making sure that issues around race culture and ethnicity are considered when we are assessing, supporting and recording our work with families.


3.14.2 The anti-racist project board continues to oversee an action plan based on three workstreams: supporting staff; how we work with families; and the voices of children families and carers.


3.14.3 Actions taken include providing learning events such as webinars on anti-racist practise in collaboration with the University of Sussex; reviewing our training offer around anti-racist practise; weekly practice discussions for all staff and taking steps to ensure engagement from all staff at these sessions.


3.14.4 The work of the anti-racist project board also feeds into the action plan for the Workforce Race Equality Standard for Social Care that Brighton Hove City Council (WRES) is now a part of. The WRES is a national project to improve the experience and progression of staff from Black and minoritised communities.  It is being piloted in 18 local authorities across adult and children’s social care.  The WRES allows us to be publicly accountable for our anti-racist work as the WRES action plan is published on our website.


3.14.5 One example of how this work is making a difference is that we have seen an increase in diversity of staff in roles graded SO1/2 to M9.


3.15      Health & Care


3.15.1 In July, two council officers attended the Sussex Workforce Race Equality away day. This was an event that brought together anti-racism and EDI stakeholders from across Sussex to discuss the Sussex Integrated Care System’s Anti Racist Strategy. The aim was to establish an anti racist statement and strategy that other partners across Sussex could sign up to. It was agreed that Brighton & Hove City Council would continue it’s current timeline of publishing it’s own Anti racism Strategy and delivering it’s Fair & Inclusive Action Plan. BHCC continues to be represented in ongoing conversations about Anti-racism in Sussex healthcare at the Ethnically Diverse Workforce Network hosted by Sussex Health & Care Partnership.





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 above in Section 3.


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.




7.1         There are no direct financial implications arising from this report, which is for noting.


            Finance Officer Consulted:     Mike Bentley                                 Date: 24/08/22




8.1         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:29/8/22




9.1         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.


9.2         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.





10.1      No implications arising from this report.




11.1      There are no direct social value and procurement implications that arise from this report




12.1      Crime & Disorder implications are covered in section 3.10 & above




13.1      As outlined in 3.4.4, engagement around the topic of the Covid-19 vaccine may provide us with clearer data on uptake of the vaccine. This will then inform all of our COVID and vaccination related actions going forward and may lead to changes in our current methods of making the vaccine accessible. In particular, the implications of this engagement may inform new mobile vaccination unit locations and the information shared about accessing public health services.




14.1      There are no other implications that arise from this report.