Listen Live

Torbay launches racism review

Thursday, August 13th, 2020 7:58am

By Ed Oldfield, local democracy reporter

Black social worker quits job

A black social worker quit her job in Torbay after suffering racial discrimination in supermarkets. 

Proposing a review of racism in the Bay, Torbay Council leader Steve Darling told fellow cabinet members the incident happened after the council recruited social workers from abroad. The social worker left her job with the council said her experience had been very different from elsewhere in the country.

The cabinet agreed to set up a panel of five councillors to carry out a six-month review. The study is in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody in the United States and the Black Lives Matter movement. It will consider how to improve the lives of people from a black and minority ethnic background in Torbay.

Torbay’s first black councillor Jermaine Atiyah-Alla said he had been working with council colleagues to bring forward the review. The councillor for Ellacombe told the meeting: “We want people from black and ethnic minorities to share their experience of racism and discrimination in Torbay.

“What we want with this review is to see what more as a council we can do, and how as a council we actually educate people and change people’s mindsets. I do believe that this review will help people for many generations to come. We are changing the face of Torbay.”

He said many people from a black and minority ethnic background came from areas of high deprivation, which also existed in Torbay.

Cabinet member Swithin Long said as a member of the LGBT+ community he was aware of discrimination that still existed in society. “Myself and my partner would not dream of holding hands walking down the high street, despite living in a more enlightened age,” he told councillors.

Cllr Darling said relatively low numbers of people from a black and minority ethnic background in Torbay meant the challenges they faced were hidden.

The cabinet voted unanimously to set up the review. Views will be sought from the public and organisations, with a final report due to be produced in March 2021.

Data from the last census in 2011 showed the population of Torbay was 94.8 per cent white British. The figure for England was 86 per cent.

The south west was England’s second least ethnically diverse region, behind the north east, with a white British population of 91.8 per cent.

 

More from Local News

Listen Live
On Air Now Dave Gould Playing Can't Stop The Feeling Justin Timberlake