AN action plan to address racism and inequality has been drawn up by the ruling Plaid Cymru group in Carmarthenshire. In a statement abhorring past and present racism and discrimination councillors have declared their commitment to working with BAME communities in the county.

They propose holding a review of street names and public monuments, including the one to Thomas Picton in Carmarthen, and consider their appropriateness in 21st century Wales. They’ve declared a commitment to working with schools to include the themes of colonialism, exploitation, discrimination and racism in the new National Curriculum and in lifelong learning. The Plaid councillors want to set up a cross-party Task and Finish group to take evidence to ensure that the concerns, fears and proposals of BAME communities are fully heard to inform future council policy. They also wants to work with the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner to address racism, prejudice and discrimination within the judicial system, and intends embracing Black History Month in October by holding public events to highlight the negative impact of racial inequality as well as celebrating the contribution made by BAME communities to local and national life.

The action plan will go before the full meeting of Carmarthenshire County Council early next month in the form of a Notice of Motion, proposed by Cllr Liam Bowen. “The harrowing death of George Floyd and the weeks of protest and debate that followed has given us all an opportunity to reflect on the harsh reality of racism,” said Cllr Bowen. “We pride ourselves on being a caring, open and inclusive county, but it’s a sad fact that elements of racism and intolerance remain within our society today. It’s therefore incumbent on the county council to formally recognise these failings, reach out to BAME communities, formulate proactive educational programmes and undertake a re-evaluation of our historical monuments in the light of recent events.”

Notice of Motion action points in full
This Council:
Makes a clear and unequivocal statement that it abhors racism, prejudice and discrimination in all its forms – past and present.
Supports the message of ‘Black Lives Matter’ and believes in the right of citizens to protest peacefully in a safe environment
Recognises the importance of BAME communities in our county and commits to working with them we aim to educate, identify and eradicate racism in Carmarthenshire.
The council will:
Listen to the voice of BAME communities in our county and will set up a Cross Party Task and Finish group to take evidence to ensure that their concerns, fears and proposals are fully heard and informs future policy
Work with the Dyfed Powys Police and Crime Commissioner to deal with racism, prejudice and discrimination within the judicial system
Continue to learn from historical events with a factually balanced approach
Commit to working with our schools to include the themes of colonialism, exploitation, discrimination and racism in the new National Curriculum and in lifelong learning
Undertake a review of public monuments, including the one to Thomas Picton in Carmarthen, as well as street names and report upon their appropriateness in 21st century Wales
Embrace Black History Month (October) by holding public events to highlight the reality of the negative impact of racial inequality and celebrate the contribution made by BAME communities to our local and national life
Proposer: Cllr Liam Bowen Seconded: Cllr Cefin Campbell

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