Maria Miller MP chaired the second meeting of the reference group formed to monitor the progress made following the published results of the Inquiry launched into the lived experiences of residents from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds in Basingstoke.
During the meeting Maria received updates for the Police, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Hampshire Hospital Foundation Trust, Fujitsu, Hampshire County Council (schools) and the Basingstoke Multicultural Forum.
The inquiry was launched in June following the death of George Floyd, which resonated globally and in Basingstoke where an event was held by Basingstoke Unites Against Racism to stand against racial injustice.
The Inquiry set out to gather the voices of a diverse cross section of people in order to understand the range of issues faced by the BAME population in Basingstoke. Submissions were received from individuals and a range of local community groups. This Inquiry shared what the BAME community have experienced and what community leaders think.
Several themes were raised in the Inquiry’s evidence which show that BAME residents often experience discrimination in a range of settings and feel compelled to accept the racist abuse they receive. The inquiry found that the normalisation of this type of discrimination often impacted people’s mental health, wellbeing and confidence.
The Inquiry had reviewed its evidence with relevant public and private sector organisations for them to identify a plan to address the issues raised. Several large organisations and employers have signed the ‘Race at Work Charter’ in response to the findings of the inquiry as a commitment to improve equality of opportunity in the workplace. Organisations that have currently signed the charter in Basingstoke include: Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, Boots, Fujitsu, Sainsbury’s, Sovereign, Unum and Vivid and more recently the Hampshire FA.
Maria commented; “It was a very positive second meeting of the Reference group which was formed to monitor progress made in key areas. Organisations have submitted detailed updates on actions taken and being taken to tackle weaknesses highlighted in the Inquiry. I am also delighted that the Hampshire Football Association have been in touch to confirm that they have signed the race at work charter. Together we can ensure that Basingstoke is a place where everyone is valued and treated equally."