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We’re committed to equality, diversity and inclusion – but there’s more to do and you can be involved

Published: Thursday, 8 July, 2021

We are asking residents to tell us if there are monuments, plaques, buildings, street names or other representations of history that they feel don’t align with the values we want to live by.

We are launching an 8 week consultation to gather views on our draft Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy as well.

Review of street or building names and monuments in the district

In 2020, the Black Lives Matter movement brought to the world’s attention important issues relating to on-going racism in society. An important issue that was raised related to ensuring that commemorations of history are appropriate to the current time and the Council committed to consult with the community on any street names, buildings and statues within the district that may be considered offensive.

This review is to ensure statues and commemorations, as well as the names of streets and buildings, are representative of local people’s values and those of a modern, inclusive Council.

As part of this review we want to ensure that the diversity of our communities is appropriately reflected so we’re also asking for nominations of other names, particularly of under-represented groups, who have done something memorable and who we should celebrate.

This consultation therefore also invites the consideration for future recognition of individuals or events that celebrate diversity and important events in our recent history.

Feedback from the consultation will also be used to help determine a future approach to public spaces. Hearing from people through this consultation about what’s important to them will help us ensure that in future the different histories and achievements are reflected.

Residents are also being asked what they think and feel about the Blackboy Clock, Blackboy House, Castle Street, Stroud and a comprehensive 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 the action that should be taken. The suggestions received will be reviewed with a range of possible outcomes including but not limited to relocation, the addition of explanatory information, renaming or removal. In some cases, it may be decided that no action is necessary at all. The Review Panel will then publish it’s recommendations based on the representations made.

“We want to ensure that statues and commemorations, as well as the names of streets and buildings, are representative of local people’s values and those of a modern, inclusive Council,” said Cllr Natalie Bennett who chairs the Review Panel. “We have an opportunity to celebrate the diverse communities which make up the Stroud District and to recognise the achievements of people from black, Asian and ethnically diverse communities and from other underrepresented groups that may have been overlooked in the past. Hearing from people through this consultation about what’s important to them will help us achieve this.” 

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy aims to set out the Council’s commitment to providing an inclusive and supportive environment for our residents, our employees, members, contractors and visitors that is free from discrimination.  As a public body, we have both a legal and moral duty to promote equality, diversity and inclusion amongst residents, service users and our own employees.

The consultation gives you the opportunity to review and submit your comments on the draft policy.

Stroud District Council is committed to equality, diversity and inclusion, valuing and recognising our differences, and we appreciate there is more we could do.

The draft policy proposes how the council will act on equality, diversity and inclusion over the next four years and our Action Plan details the work we have committed to undertake from April 2021 – March 2022 but we want to hear what else you think we need to do and we will either add it to this year’s Action Plan or the Action Plan for 2022-2023.

Following the consultation, responses will be collated, reviewed and incorporated into the policy, which will then be adopted at a full Council meeting.

The consultation is open for comments until 1 September 2021.

“Your feedback is really important so please get involved,” said Cllr Norman Kay, Chair of the Council’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Working Group. “We need to hear from as many people as possible in the district.”

View the draft Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy 

To take part in the consultation, please respond to the survey links below

ED&I Policy Survey

Review of street or building names and monuments in the district

If you are unable to complete a response online, you can complete a paper copy of the consultation or complete the consultation by telephone.

Word doc ED&I Policy Survey

Word doc review of statues

Email your consultation response to policy@stroud.gov.uk

Or by post to:

Policy & Governance

Stroud District Council

Ebley Mill,

Ebley Wharf

Stroud

GL5 4UB

Call us on 01453 766321

The consultation findings will be shared with the public, all personal details will be removed before being published.

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