Two motions showing our support to continuing to fight against racism and promoting LGBTQ+ education received cross-party agreement at Wednesday’s (15 July) full council meeting.
The first motion, proposed by Leader of the Labour Group, Cllr Jeremy Newmark and seconded by Conservative Councillor, Cllr Victor Eni, expressed ‘sadness and revulsion’ at the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor by police officers in the United States. It asked members to agree that: ‘whilst every life matters unconditionally, that at this point in time, given recent events, we specifically echo the cries that black lives matter, for justice for the black communities, along with historic challenges they have faced’.
The motion also put forward a raft of resolutions signposting approaches and events that the council will look to undertake to ensure Hertsmere continues to strive to be actively inclusive and anti-racist.
Cllr Newmark commented: “I was encouraged and grateful for the wholehearted support that the resolutions in the motion received. As a local authority, we must take a lead in eradicating discrimination within our communities, promoting tolerance and understanding and using our influence to effect positive change when change is needed. This motion means we now have a meaningful plan of action.”
Put forward by Labour Councillor Chris Myers, and seconded by Labour Cllr Christian Gray, the second motion asked council to note the critical role LGBTQ+ inclusive relationships and sex education has to play in both creating a more tolerant and open society and in supporting young LGBTQ+ people.
The motion also highlighted that the repeal of ‘Section 28’ in 2003 was a pivotal moment for LGBTQ+ rights and that the UK ‘must never move backwards…by stopping LGBTQ+ inclusive education in schools’.
Cllr Myers commented: “I feel so passionate about the role of education in creating a more tolerant and open society and supporting the development of young LGBTQ+ people. People of all faiths and none are LGBTQ+ so it’s vital that we continue to support inclusive and comprehensive relationships and sex education, which is why I and my colleagues brought this motion.”
Leader of the Council, Cllr Morris Bright MBE, concluded: “It was heartening to hear these motions being put forward at our council meeting and to listen to the constructive and positive representations being made by members across all our three parties here in Hertsmere.
“As a borough council representing the second most diverse population in Hertfordshire, we have an important and continuing role to play in challenging inequality and, I want to stress, we have a proud tradition of embracing and celebrating diversity. But there is always more that everyone can and must do and that includes our council. These two highly constructive motions aptly reflect that commitment."
Both motions can be read in full at item 14 of the full council agenda for 15 July: http://www5.hertsmere.gov.uk/democracy/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=106&MId=10605&Ver=4
Posted on Friday 17th July 2020