LEADER’S COLUMN: Why we are reviewing Stroud’s ‘offensive’ street names

It was an amazing achievement of our England football team to get to the Euro2020 finals under Gareth Southgate’s inspiring leadership and it was so disappointing to lose on penalties. What came after with the horrible racist abuse of the three young black men was disgusting; although tempered by the lovely messages of support others sent them.

It is up to all of us to take a stand, and call out prejudice, discrimination and racism when we see it. In our own district and local communities, we can all make a difference and you can be part of this conversation locally. Last year the Black Lives Matter movement pushed us as a council to commit to do more. Anti-racism training is now compulsory for all councillors; I just completed mine this week. We are also currently consulting on our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, which aims to set out the Council’s commitment to providing an inclusive and supportive environment for residents, council employees, councillors, contractors and visitors that is free from discrimination.

Last year we also committed to consult with the community on any street names, buildings and statues within the district that may be considered offensive and don’t align with the values we want to live by. Residents are also being asked for their views on Blackboy Clock, Blackboy House, Castle Street, Stroud. A report detailing its history and what we know about the statue and the clock has been published with the consultation documents. A Review Panel made up of community representatives, councillors and historians will review the findings to determine any action that should be taken.

Find out more information and complete the survey: stroud.gov.uk/news-archive/were-committed-to-equality-diversity-and-inclusion-but-theres-more-to-do-and-you-can-be-involved. You can also call 01453 766321.

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