New Race Panel

Are we doing 'Justice' justice?

People who want to help address discrimination and disadvantage in Bath and North East Somerset are invited to apply to join a new Race Panel.

Bath & North East Somerset Council is setting up the panel to promote equality in the region, in response to the Black Lives Matter movement and the disproportionately higher incidence of Covid-19 related deaths amongst Black and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.

To coincide with national Black History Month 2020, council Leader, Councillor Dine Romero, is today (October 16) opening applications for people to join the panel.

Councillor Dine Romero said: “I am inviting people to put themselves forward to become part of the Race Panel, to work alongside the council on developing our anti-racist practice and promoting race equality. Recent events, including the global public outcry at the murder of George Floyd in the US, the ensuing rise of the Black Lives Matter movement and the disproportionately higher rate of Covid-19 in BAME communities have brought about an increased focus on race equality initiatives within the council.

“The overall aim of the Race Panel is to contribute to the core purpose of the council – to improve people’s lives – by highlighting and addressing the discrimination and disadvantage experienced by BAME people who live, work or visit Bath and North East Somerset.”

The panel will meet every other month and will determine its own remit and scope, however the overall aim will be to address systemic inequality, racism and discrimination which disadvantage the people of Bath and North East Somerset because of their culture, ethnicity or race.

The council is looking for panel members who:

  • are passionate about tackling racial inequality and discrimination wherever they find it
  • have insight or first-hand experience of the issues the panel will focus on
  • have strong links with local B&NES communities
  • are also able to actively seek out the voices of people who are not currently heard, and to work people with other perspectives
  • will inspire BAME people to participate in civic life
  • will champion the work of the panel to encourage wider participation

The panel will agree its own work plan, objectives and terms of reference. It will appoint its chairperson at the first meeting.

Examples of the objectives the race panel may consider include:

  • examining the culture of the council and its commissioned services and making recommendations for improvement.
  • consulting stakeholders to ensure that the council meets the needs of those it serves.
  • highlighting the inequalities of outcome experienced by BAME people in B&NES.
  • examining the work of other public sector organisations in B&NES, the local voluntary community sector and private sector organisations to highlight inequalities experienced by BAME communities, and to challenge where necessary to bring about change.
  • monitoring and reporting on the impact of inequality and discrimination on BAME communities in B&NES, and to also monitor progress towards race equality.

To apply to join the Race Panel and find out more, click here. Applications close on October 31.