Brent councillors agree Brent Black Community Action Plan to tackle generational inequality

Brent Civic Centre was lit purple on June 2 to support Black Lives Matter. Picture: Brent Council

Brent Civic Centre was lit purple on June 2 to support Black Lives Matter. Picture: Brent Council - Credit: Brent Council

An action plan to support the Black community in Brent has been given the green light by councillors.

The ten point Brent Black Community Action Plan, which includes tackling health inequalities, developing community spaces that will be run and managed by community members and an internal review of processes in the council, was unanimously agreed at a full council meeting on July 13.

The plan has been put together with support from black communities within Brent and received varied responses at the virtual meeting.

Council leader Cllr Muhammed Butt said: “Education, employment, health, skills, poverty, and structural inequality is something what all of us came into politics to fight, to make sure that those injustices are tackled and this report is part of that work, part of that commitment, part of that endeavour.”

He added: “The black community has been hurting and today we have the opportunity to make sure that we make this commitment, not just to the black community but all our communities.”

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Deputy leader Cllr Margaret McLennan said the report “was a very long time in coming” adding: “This is about taking black lives to the level that it should be.”

Cllr Faduma Hassan said that communities facing “double discrimination” such as those who are “Muslim and Black, Jewish and Black” must also be recognised while Cllr Robert Johnson said he had “mixed feelings” about the report.

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“It took Covid 19 and George Floyd’s inhuman execution for people to recognise the generations of inhumane treatment and inequality to all people of colour,” he said adding he hoped the report will bring “real generational change.”

Cllr Abdirazak Abdi addressed Cllr Butt and chief executive Carolyn Downs directly saying: “I hope in the spirit of this report and what has been said today, that you take this forward and into the negotiations with the Bridge Park Community Centre.. [due to begin in court on July 20}.. so that the legal battle, the ownership of Bridge Park, doesn’t go to the court.”

Chair of the scrutiny committee Matt Kelcher suggested non-Blacks to educate themselves and recommended Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race, which recently became the first book by a black British woman to reach number one in the country’s charts, while Cllr Neil Nerva called for “unconscious bias training” for all councillors.

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