Waltham Forest Council’s Vision for Race Equality

Myself and Councillor Afzal Akram with Council Chief Executive Jacquie Dean

Councillor Afzal Akram, the new Council Cabinet Member for Community Safety (pictured above right), and I attended the launch of Waltham Forest Council’s new Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) staff forum today.

The Event, which took place at Waltham Forest Assembly Hall in Forest Rd, Walthamstow, saw over two hundred staff of BME origin come together for their new staff forum’s inaugural meeting.

It was hosted by the Pravin Consultancy, which is assisting the council to set up the forum, and the meeting was addressed by Jacquie Dean, the council’s Chief Executive (pictured above centre), Councillor Akram, and Bevan Powell, Deputy Chair of the Metropolitan Black Police Association and me.

Attendees of the council's BME staff forum meeting

The purpose of the council’s BME Staff Forum will be to assist the council in its statutory obligations under the various Race Relations Acts, especially in its duties in relation to staff consultation, monitoring and training. It will also promote the personal and professional development of all BME staff within the Council.

After the key note addresses, which included a video about the history and formation of the Black Police Association, delegates broke up into workshops to discuss the issues they feel the forum should tackle in its first year.

Addressing BME council workers
I fully support the forum’s formation because I believe that for the council to serve its residents better, it must have a good understanding of the needs of the borough’s diverse communities.

Having a forum where Black council staff feel comfortable to contribute their life experience and share their ideas can only help me, in my work as a councillor, to really improve the delivery of services for all our residents.

If you come from a Black and Minority Ethnic community, work for Waltham Forest Council and would like to know more about the Council’s BME Staff Forum contact: GMB steward Steve Andrews on steve.andrews@walthamforest.gov.uk

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