Council pledge to tackle ‘systemic racism’ after Black Lives Matter protests

A Norfolk council has agreed to “proactively” tackle “systemic racism” and pledged to “improve ignor

A Norfolk council has agreed to “proactively” tackle “systemic racism” and pledged to “improve ignorance” about racial justice. Photo: NNDC - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk council has agreed to “proactively” tackle “systemic racism” and pledged to “improve ignorance” about racial justice.

District councillors in north Norfolk unanimously voted in favour of a motion in support of the Black Lives Matter movement and vowed to act to “eradicate race discrimination in society”.

The motion was put to a North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) full meeting held on Wednesday, June 24, and saw councillors voice their support for the protests which have engulfed the globe after the murder of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a US police officer.

The motion stated: “After the recent protest marches in the UK as a result of the killing of George Floyd in the USA there has been a noticeable rise in racial tension in the country. There is no place for racism and far more needs to be done to eradicate race discrimination in society.”

READ MORE: For the next generation - what city racism protests meant to those there

It added: “The council recommits to lead by example to ensure equal opportunities for all regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity or disability. It is our responsibility to respond thoughtfully and improve our ignorance and educate with the aid of the BAME community.”

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Richard Kershaw, Liberal Democrat councillor for Priory ward, who proposed the motion, said: “Black people comprise 3pc of the population in England and Wales but make up 12pc of the prison population. That’s a worse disproportion than the USA.”

He added: “We suffer systemic racism. Positive acceptance is not good enough - we need to be proactive about stopping racism.

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“This is something we must all do together.”

READ MORE: Peaceful Black Lives Matter protest takes place in King’s Lynn

And Lucy Shires, the Lib Dem member for Happisburgh, who seconded the motion, added: “Children are just learning to live with racism.

“It’s absolutely unacceptable. We must commit to the future we want to see for all north Norfolk children.”

Christopher Cushing, leader of the council’s Conservative group and Lancaster North member, said: “We abhor racism and we will be supporting this motion.”

While John Rest, leader of the independent group, and Lancaster South councillor, said: “I would have liked a bit more detail and drilled down into, in my view.

“Independent councillors will vote individually, not as a group.”

The motion passed with no votes against and no abstentions.

READ MORE: ‘Appalling’: Outrage as Black Lives Matter graffiti is painted over

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