In response to the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement and the disproportionate impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on different ethnic groups and communities London Councils, in partnership with London boroughs, has initiated a pan-London programme to tackle racial inequality. The programme is led, at a political level, by Cllr Muhammed Butt (London Councils Executive Member for Welfare, Empowerment and Inclusion). London Councils’ organisational commitment to driving improvement and supporting boroughs’ work on this agenda is reflected in our statement.
Our response to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities call for evidence around "ethnic disparities and inequality in the UK", describes the perspectives and examples across London local government on several key themes:
Chief Executives London Committee Tackling Racial Inequality Working Group
To lead work to tackle racial inequality at a pan-London local government level the Chief Executives London Committee established a dedicated Tackling Racial Inequality Working Group, lead by Kim Smith (Chief Executive, LB Hammersmith & Fulham).
At its core, the group aims to support and build on the work already taking place across individual councils in London seeking to address racial inequality. It aims to tackle the long-standing racial injustices faced by London’s communities and contribute to making London a fairer and more inclusive place for all its residents. The group's work programme consists of three key areas which encapsulates the breadth of activity and action needed but also already underway across London local government:
Demonstrating leadership – ensuring London local government demonstrates visible leadership on this agenda within our organisations but also across partnerships, our ‘places’ and our communities.
Our role as large employers – as large employers within our communities and across the region, local government must be an exemplar for inclusive workforces and we seek to accelerate action to ensure this. Some boroughs have made significant progress to establish inclusive workforces and others are developing work to become more diverse, culturally aware and to support the development of their staff. This activity is centred around supporting boroughs by unblocking existing barriers (e.g. around recruitment) and sharing good practice.
Challenge and improve practice across services – Sharing and building upon examples of good practices at borough, sub-regional and regional levels to actively tackle racial inequality. There are many positive examples of how boroughs are actively tackling racial inequality. However, local government can do more to share these examples to enable learning but also understand what could be replicated elsewhere or at different levels (e.g. sub-regional or pan-London).