Devon County Council’s Cabinet has mostly backed the anti-racism motion I have prepared with a group of students from Ottery’s The King’s School this morning.
Many thanks to group leaders – Rob Hannaford (Labour), Frank Biederman (Ind) and Alistair Dewhirst (LibDem), who all spoke in support of the motion.
(The LibDems have their own similar (albeit less controversial!) motion also coming before full council on 1 October).
The original text as outlined in the Cabinet papers for today, has been strengthened to:
That Council be recommended to:
- Support Members to continue to find and take opportunities to promote and celebrate the role and work in Devon by BAME people past and present;
- Support and encourage Members to continue to engage with BAME people;
- Note that the streetnames etc are the responsibility of District Councils, however, should the County Council be involved in any such processes, the LGA guidance will be followed;
- Encourage Schools, Settings, DCC Babcock LDP to write a ‘Position Statement’ in reference to the Black Lives Matter campaign and post clearly on their website;
- Write to the Secretary of State for Education urging him to encourage schools to;
- Capture the voice of children and young people and their responses to the Black Lives Matter movement;
- Ensure that the school environment and curriculum delivery allows all students to see themselves reflected and included; and
- Reflect on how they challenge historic and persisting racist ideas and to how they celebrate diversity.
I will now discuss this with the students and we will decide what, if any, amendment we propose for the full council meeting on 1 October.
It’s certainly a great starting point and I thank the officers and leadership for their enthusiasm and support so far.