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Viewpoint: We must ensure council is racially reflective of borough

PUBLISHED: 08:00 12 November 2017

Archant

For centuries our borough has welcomed people who want to make a better life from themselves or who are fleeing persecution. From the French Huguenots, to the east European Jews, from the Irish to the Bangladeshis, our borough is one of the greatest of melting pots.

But a jarring note has been struck by the government’s ‘Race Disparity Audit’ published in October. It showed there are huge economic, educational and employment disparities across people of different races and backgrounds across the country.

In Tower Hamlets, these disparities are now on stark display. We actually appear to be going backwards rather than forwards. For instance, since May 2015, almost 500 Black, Asian and minority ethnic have left their jobs at the council. Today, there is not a single corporate director in our borough of Bangladeshi, Black or Somali origin – the largest ethnic minorities in the borough.

All of this has happened on Mayor John Biggs’ watch. I am determined not to let this dismal record go unchallenged, and we must come together to do ensure that our council is properly reflective of our borough as a whole.

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