Racism in Havering-what is the way forward? A statement from Havering’s Labour councillors.

No decent human being in the 21st century would condone slavery. However, there has been a long tradition of established road names in the borough some with debatable origins. Labour councillors have no intention of advocating any changes to our street names at this time or in the future.

However, we are pleased to see that the Tory administration has called for a review into racism. There are many aspects to this but what is crucial is to know whether the council operates in a racist manner at any level. 

Are all residents treated in the same way by housing officers, children’s services teams and finance personnel? It’s clear there needs to be the raising of awareness for some council staff as to what a racist action is. Focused training needs to tacklethese issues.

The Cohesion Forum is admirable in its objectives to tackle inequality. However, it fails to meet regularly and is not effectively publicised. Items raised on the agenda seem to lose their momentum because of its very loose organisation.

Havering Labour councillors want to see a far-reaching, truly independent review of racism in the council that has been highlighted by various councillors and staff employees.

Many Havering residents from differing backgrounds have occupied key roles in suppressing Covid 19, risking their lives for the sake of others. Some are in low paid jobs with few financial resources. The very least Havering council can do is to ensure everyone using its services is consistently treated with the utmost respect.

Labour councillors want to see the council keep its promise to eradicate ‘complacency and injustice’. We want to see these stirring words now translate into immediate action. The council now needs to openly and honestly interrogate every arena within its many spheres of influence.

Life will be better for everyone in Havering if our community cohesion is improved.

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