Maria Miller MP welcomed residents to one of her regular Community Chats for an update on the actions that have resulted from the 2020 Basingstoke BAME Inquiry which Maria undertook in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in the USA.
Toju Ogbe, from the Basingstoke Afro Caribbean Catholic Association,(BACCA) recapped the main findings of the Inquiry and then a panel updated the meeting on the actions their organisations have taken. The Panel included Alex Whitfield, CEO of Hampshire Hospital Foundation Trust, District Commander Chief Inspector Matt Reeves, Catherine Redgrave Schools Improvement officer at Hampshire County Council, Cllr Arun Mummalaneni from Basingstoke Unites Against Racism and Paul Jenkins Headteacher at Aldworth School.
Maria said, “The Community Chat was an opportunity for important organisations in our community to update residents on the work that has been done since the 2020 Inquiry, which found that whilst BAME residents loved living in Basingstoke, many had also experienced behaviour they felt was racist as a part of their everyday lives. The findings showed that a range of organisations needed to act to make sure everyone regardless of their race or ethnicity could reach their potential at work, in school and play a full part in civic life.
“I have established a Reference Group which enables organisations to show the progress they have made. At our Community Chat the panellists were able to highlight the work undertaken to address these issues and answer questions from the audience.
“ Basingstoke is a great place to live but we need to ensure that it is a great place for everybody. It is vital that people feel able to succeed regardless of their race or ethnic background, and also safe to report incidents of racism. To thrive we need to be a community that celebrates difference in every aspect of our community life.“
Full findings of the inquiry are available at BAME Inquiry Basingstoke | Maria Miller (maria4basingstoke.co.uk)