Statement in response to comments made at full Council

Published on 16th June 2020

front of the municipal offices against dark blue sky

At its meeting on the 15 June, Cheltenham Borough Council unanimously resolved to support the Black Lives Matter movement and put on record the council’s opposition to any kind of racism and to take a community leadership role in challenging racism in all forms.

During the debate on the motion, Cllr Parsons used an offensive term during his speech.  The council does not approve of this language and apologises wholeheartedly to anyone who witnessed it and for the distress caused. The matter has now been referred to the Standards Committee.

Cllr Wilkinson, chair of the standards committee, said: “The Black Lives Matter movement has touched the hearts and minds of so many of us and I’m pleased the council adopted a strong motion backing the campaign and calling for action locally.

“But it is clear that there is a lot of work to be done and this was evidenced during the debate at council when Cllr Dennis Parsons used an offensive racial slur during the debate.

“Complaints about a councillor’s conduct are reviewed by the Council’s Monitoring Officer and Standards Committee.  I have therefore immediately referred the matter to the Council’s Monitoring Officer and have called for a Standards Committee meeting to convene as soon as possible“

“The Committee will treat this matter with the seriousness it deserves.”