NUL – Leaders Pledge to Challenge Racism in Open Letter
10 May 2019 Local News
The leaders of all four political parties representing Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council have endorsed a collective commitment to challenge and eradicate racism and all forms of prejudice.
They have signed an open letter – available on the Council’s website – highlighting elected members’ commitment to a range of principles and values that positively promote equality.
A motion proposed to Full Council recently by Cllr. Tony Kearon – which received unanimous support – highlighted that action needed to be taken following examples of racism, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, in some national and local politics across the country. It was also noted that some individuals could harbour and express views that are contrary to public sector obligations under the Equality Act 2010.
The leaders begin their letter by reiterating that councillors are elected to represent all members of the diverse communities they serve.
The document outlines how they will ensure that all councillors, and those seeking public office, are clear about their responsibilities under the Equality Act and the expectation to demonstrate higher standards of conduct in accordance with the Nolan Principles as well as the Council’s own code of conduct.
It details a collective commitment to speak out and take immediate action if anyone engaged in political activity expresses or endorses racist views in any form, including anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, regardless of their role, status or political affiliation.
Council Leader Simon Tagg said: “Racism and other forms of prejudice have no place in our borough. We are proud to live in a diverse and tolerant society as it brings a wealth of skills, experience and culture which enhances our lives and society in general.
“All councillors supported the motion which shows their strength of feeling about this subject. It sends out a clear message that all forms of racism and prejudice will not be tolerated.”
The Equality Act 2010 covers nine protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.
Public authorities must work to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment, victimisation and other prohibited conduct, advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who don’t as well as foster good relations between them.