Published on 26th August 2016
Cheltenham’s councillors have discussed the importance of celebrating diversity and supporting people from different backgrounds.
Councillors were in unanimous support of a motion that was put to the last full council meeting. The motion was:
‘’Council re-affirms its commitment to an inclusive, tolerant and diverse town. We welcome the contributions made to our vibrant multicultural and multiracial community by people regardless of their background, and will continue to work to tackle hate crime and discrimination in all its forms.’
Councillors spoke of their experiences and privileges in working and meeting people of different cultures and they felt that this diversity enhanced the town and should be celebrated. Councillors recognised that there are many EU nationals living in Cheltenham and they make a valuable contribution to the society they live and work in and added to the motion:
“This council also calls on the government to provide a full assurance to EU Nationals residing in our town that they will have the right to stay in the UK indefinitely.”
Councillor Flo Clucas, cabinet member for healthy lifestyles, said: “Cheltenham is an open, inclusive and welcoming town. We are rightly proud of the way we celebrate culture and diversity. We know that hate crime and discrimination can destroy communities. In Cheltenham we value our communities, old and new, too much to see that happen.”
Cheltenham’s mayor, Chris Ryder continues: “As mayor, I meet many visitors from all over the world. I embrace the opportunities that I have to learn about their homeland and culture. I enjoy offering them friendship links with our town and do all I can to ensure that they have a memorable and enjoyable stay when they visit us in Cheltenham.”
The council is working with the police, the Gloucestershire 3rd Party Reporting project, Crimestoppers, Victim Support and other partners in the county to plan a campaign for National Hate Crime Awareness Week (8-15 October), to encourage and raise awareness of reporting of hate crimes and incidents. To find out more or to get involved, please contact Gloucestershire 3rd Party Reporting project on 0800 077 8460 or visit www.gloshate.org.
If you are a victim or a witness to ANY hate incidents, contact the police. Alternatively you can report by phone or online, anonymously if preferred, to Gloucestershire 3rd Party Reporting Routes on 0800 077 8460 or www.gloshate.org or to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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The borough council also supports projects to bring people from different backgrounds together to celebrate diversity. Examples include the recent Midsummer Fiesta; International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia in May and Inter Faith Week coming up in November. Through its Community Pride Fund, the council is also supporting Black History Month activities in October, led by the African Community Foundation and a World Fun Day on Saturday 10 September, led by Cheltenham Together.