A new Equality Action Commission has been established by BCP Council’s Strategic Equality Leadership Group (SELG), with its inaugural meeting held on Friday 25 September. The group aims to help improve the way the council works with and supports Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) individuals and communities.
Will Chakawhata, Chair of the Equality Action Commission said: “Our group has representation from Councillors, community leaders and the Trade Union Congress, and is vital to help the council understand more about the BAME community. We will help guide the council on how to build trust amongst BAME residents, as well improving representation of BAME people in the council’s public profile and messaging.”
As part of the corporate strategy, BCP Council is committed to respect and engage with our diverse communities.
The commission aims to:
- review BCP Council’s current practices and what it could do to improve it’s understanding of the needs and vulnerabilities of BAME communities and individuals
- review and understand the impact of the council’s public profile and how we can encourage BAME communities and their representatives to engage with the council
- understand the experiences of BAME communities to enable the council to take appropriate actions which increase participation, representation and reduce marginalisation.
The commission are expected to be addressing issues including:
- increasing BAME representation in senior management grades
- enhancing the range of images used in internal and external communications so that they are more representative of the communities served across the towns of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole and reflective of the people employed across BCP Council
- increasing trust and confidence from BAME residents/service users
- improving recognition of BAME people amongst recognised community leaders.
Mr Chakawhata added: “Our starting point is BAME issues, but we will move onto focusing on other disadvantaged groups defined under the Equality Act 2010.”
The makeup of the group consists of representatives from the administration, opposition, and independent community representatives specifically from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
- Councillor Bobbie Dove
- Councillor Beverley Dunlop
- Councillor Rachel Maidment
- Councillor Vikki Slade
Independent Members from the Community
- Will Chakawhata – Chair
- Bernadette MacDonald-Raggett – Deputy Chair
- Jenni Douglas-Todd
Trade Union Congress Nominated Representative
BCP Council Officers (Advisory capacity only)
- Graham Farrant - Chief Executive
- Samuel Johnson – Policy & Performance Manager
The commission will meet at least quarterly and updates will be given at each of the quarterly meetings of SELG.
Further updates from the group will be issued on our Equality Action Commission webpage.