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Lambeth Council respond to accusations of racism

ACCUSATIONS: Workers at Lambeth Council have said they have experienced several instances of racism at work (Image: Steve Cadman)

LAMBETH COUNCIL’S chief executive Andrew Travers has met with black and ethnic minority staff to address accusations of racism made against the local authority.

Travers attended Lambeth Council’s BAME Forum last week (Tuesday October 9) to reveal to employees how the issues will be tackled.

Hundreds of staff attending the meeting last week at Assembly Hall, according to Lambeth Unison.

The union’s Lambeth branch said that Travers was questioned by concerned staff and challenged on his initial response to the accusations made by a group calling itself the Lambeth Black Workers.

The chief executive denied the claims of institutional racism at first but has now sought to engage with the council’s employees over the matter.

After refuting the existence of racism within the council, Travers sent a letter to staff last week admitting that it was present, Brixton Buzz reported.

“I accept that there is racism within the council. I am determined that we should challenge this at every opportunity,” Brixton Buzz reported the letter said.

At the meeting held last week, Travers announced that an external advisor will be appointed to investigate racism in the workplace, something Unison Lambeth says was promised but former chief executive Sean Harriss over a year ago.

Unison say it “expects the council to establish the BAME Forum on a transparent and democratic basis – and to work with the forum and the trade unions to tackle the institutional racism which even the chief executive must now acknowledge.”

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