Council proposes a new way forward to tackle race inequality

A new report on how to better address race inequalities in Hounslow was discussed at the Council’s Cabinet this week.

Published: Friday, 23rd October 2020

Image of Cllr Lily Bath, Deputy Leader of Hounslow Council and Lead Member for Housing.

Cabinet Members agreed a broad range of measures in its recommendations to improve the quality of residents’ lives as well as increasing and improving engagement with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

Cabinet heard how the impact of the Black Lives Matter campaign and coronavirus on the borough’s BAME residents highlighted the need for this report.  This report was developed by the Council's  Member led Race Equality Task Group, chaired by Cllr Lily Bath, Cabinet Member for Housing and Social Inclusion. 

In this new, proactive approach the Council have identified the gaps and will now base all equalities work on:

  • Strategy and policy - to embed equality in our strategies and policies
  • Members and community leadership - to offer members greater insight into place and community
  • Partnerships and community - to achieve greater than the sum of the parts by harnessing our collective energy to close the inequality gap
  • Our organisation and our people - which aims to be aspirational and support our staff to develop knowledge of Hounslow communities

Cllr Lily Bath, said: “Hounslow is one of the most diverse boroughs in the country, which is something I’m incredibly proud of and is a great strength. However, we want to better work with our residents, faith groups, the voluntary and community sector and partners to understand and tackle racism and achieve equality.

“We want to shape a borough in which all citizens and communities enjoy equal opportunities, better life chances, better education and better health outcomes regardless of where they live in the borough and regardless of their background. Co-designing solutions with our community to tackle structural inequalities has never been more important.

“Partnership working is crucial for us to harness each other’s resources, skills and expertise to tackle inequality.

“The actions we are taking is the start of a long journey, but an important step in the right direction.”

The Council has already started working with the West London Alliance as well as a number of other organisations. This includes work with the police on increasing BAME representation in the police force and offering a joint approach to support hard to reach Hounslow communities.

The PEACE project (Protecting and Empowering Against Child Exploitation), has undertaken some work with members of the Somali community in response to the disproportionate representation of this group amongst young people experiencing criminal exploitation and continues to offer support to this community in helping to build resilience and increase awareness. 

The Council also works regularly with Feltham Young Offender’s Institution through the Hounslow Safeguarding Children’s Partnership Board, and is undertaking some early work, auditing and exploring the use of separation / isolation of BAME prisoners.

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