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Published: Tuesday, 2nd June 2020

We are appalled and outraged by the murder of George Floyd and stand in solidarity with our residents and those across the world who are understandably angry, distressed and grieving for his loss.

We extend our deep and heartfelt condolences to his family and all who knew him.

The murder of George Floyd is a stark and shocking reminder to all of us that racism remains alive and well in the world.

As a borough, we have seen first hand the truly devastating impact racism can have on our communities and we reaffirm our commitment to eradicating racism in our society.

It is clear that the fight for equality is far from won, and we need to be honest about the inequalities that exist across the world, and indeed within our communities. Last year, the Council worked with the Runnymede Trust so we could get an independent assessment of how we were doing as a borough. The hard truth is that the outcomes for our BAME residents in some areas, such as education, housing and involvement with the police still raise serious concerns. Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, we had been working with schools, the police and a wide range of partners to tackle these injustices.

In the midst of the pandemic we have been made even more aware of the disadvantages our BAME communities face by the Public Health England report COVID-19: review of disparities in risks and outcomes. While the report may have told us much of what we already knew, it serves as a timely remind that we are not doing enough to ensure equality for everyone who calls Royal Greenwich home.

In our borough Black lives matter. We are absolutely determined to do all that we can to eradicate racism in our society. We have worked for many decades with local people and our police to build strong ties to strengthen our community - we renew our commitment to that work today. We also acknowledge that we have a lead role to play in dismantling structural racism.

We recently met with representatives from BAME organisations across the borough, listening to their concerns and explaining the work we are doing in Greenwich, particularly on the COVID-19 response.

Each and every one of us has a role to play in the fight against discrimination and hatred.

From tragedy must come change and we are committed to leading that change.

Cllr Danny Thorpe
Leader

Cllr Denise Scott McDonald
Deputy Leader

Cllr Adel Khaireh
Cabinet Member for Communities, Culture and Equalities

Statement was updated 11 June