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Black Community Action plan agreed for Brent

14 July 2020

An action plan to further support the Black community in Brent was agreed at the borough’s Full Council meeting yesterday (July 13).

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

Brent is the most diverse borough in the country and has the seventh highest Black community in London by numbers. The Black community continue to be affected by inequalities and systematic racism, some of which has been highlighted following the tragic killing of George Floyd in the US that sparked off protests around the world. The Covid-19 pandemic has also had a disproportionate impact on BAME communities in terms of the number of cases of the virus and mortality rates.

In addition to this, the Black community in Brent has also been rocked by two recent incidents in the borough, the shooting in Harlesden that resulted in four people, including a mother and her two-year-old child, injured and the murder of two women in Fryent Park whose case was further marred by subsequent alleged police misconduct.

In June the Council’s Leader, Cllr Muhammed Butt, Deputy Leader, Cllr Margaret McLennan and Chief Executive, Carolyn Downs, met with leaders and young people from Black communities across the borough to listen to their concerns and ideas about what could be done to make lives better for local residents. The plan that was agreed at Full Council aims to support the Black community and reduce inequalities in the borough.

Some of the key initiatives in the plan are ongoing pieces of work. There are already positive results following the initiative to raise the educational achievement of boys of Black Caribbean heritage as a Borough Plan priority.

Other policies, such as supporting the black community and voluntary sector, or reviewing the Equalities Analysis process the council uses to assess the impact of decisions on the black communities, are new and are part of on-going conversations between the council and the community.

Cllr Muhammed Butt, Leader of the Council, said: “We are extremely proud to be the most diverse borough in the UK and the Black community is an integral part of that.  We would not be the Brent we love if it wasn’t for the wide variety of people who live here.

“This new community plan is our commitment to do whatever we can to reduce the inequalities that people from Black communities experience on a daily basis.

“From housing to health, education to entrepreneurship Black people come up against prejudice, discrimination and systemic issues which mean they can’t always achieve their full potential. This is not acceptable.

“Working closely with community leaders and young people we have identified the key areas we as a council need to work on and together we can improve the lives of Black people in Brent.”

The action plan is available to view here under agenda item 14: http://democracy.brent.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=180&MId=6097

The ten steps are - 

1) Early intervention: children, young people and families

2) Enabling and strengthening community leadership through capacity building

3) Developing community spaces – run and managed by local communities

4) Supporting the black community and voluntary sector - grant funding to voluntary sector organisations and procurement

5) Support for employment and enterprise

6) Accountability and engagement

7) Internal review of processes within the Council

8) Homes and homelessness

9) Tackling health inequalities

10) Embedding equality and diversity within the Council workforce