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Resources and information

In this section, you can find background information about equality, diversity and inclusion at Southwark.

A message from Eleanor Kelly, Chief Executive about George Floyd shared with staff on 4 June 2020.

Dear colleagues,

I wanted to write to you all on behalf of the Chief Officer Team to let you know that we stand united as one council against inequality, racism and injustice.

The horrendous death of George Floyd at the hands of the police in Minneapolis has shocked us all, but I know for many of us the impact of that dreadful act has been felt much more deeply. It is a symbol of an unequal society, and shows us all how far we still need to go before we live in a world that values every life equally, and treats every person with the same respect, love and compassion.

As a white woman, I won’t pretend to know how it feels to be Black in this country, but with a Black husband and a mixed race daughter I have decades of experience of facing prejudice head on, which is why these issues are so close to my heart. I see and feel and understand the anger, and I want all of you to know that the last two months have focused all our minds on how we go further to address the inequalities that are so embedded in our society. The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on BAME communities has been a huge wake-up call. As a council we were already working hard to tackle the health inequalities in our borough, to provide opportunities for people on lower incomes to reach their potential, to make sure our workforce is representative of the borough we serve. But COVID-19, and the hurt and pain caused by events in the US, have shown us there is much more to do and that we need a step change.

I don’t know what that looks like yet, but I do know that neither the Chief Officer Team, nor our Cabinet, will have all the answers. We are listening, and we want to work with colleagues and residents to understand how as a council we can do much more to redress the imbalance. We will continue to work closely with the fantastic EMpower network, so please do contact them, or me, with your thoughts on how we have these conversations together and best involve you in those plans.

Thank you for the amazing work you continue to do, at a time when there are so many challenges and so much sadness. Not all our challenges are the same, but we share a commitment to tackling them together, as one council.

Kind regards,


Message from Strategic Director, Michael Scorer - Southwark Stands Together Listening Circles - 21 August 2020

At our chief officer team meeting we discussed progress with Southwark Stands Together and reflected on feedback from colleagues, represented by EMpower, on the recent listening circles. These were intended to provide a safe space for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues to share how they had been affected by the murder of George Floyd and the public health report showing the disproportionate affect of Covid on those same communities. However, the wide reaching conversations also covered more internally-focused issues including lack of visible senior leadership, insufficient time to speak, uncertainty about what will happen next, and the need for assurance that senior leaders remain committed to SST following the cabinet report on 8 September.

As a result, I met colleagues who jointly chair EMpower and we have agreed some immediate changes that I hope will enable colleagues to get the best from the future sessions. Firstly, I’m sorry to all Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic colleagues whose experience of the listening circles fell below the level they had a right to expect. I have recorded an introduction to the next sessions on behalf of the chief officer team (which is strongly behind the SST programme and committed to sustaining it through to the point where positive change has been made) to reinforce COT support and leadership. The sessions will now be 50% longer and colleagues are welcome to share any experience of racism including at work. The information gathered from these sessions will be captured and will feed into the upcoming focus group discussions for all staff.

A statement from Eleanor Kelly (PDF, 104kb)

Wellbeing survey and listening circle

The Southwark Stands Together workstream delivered playback sessions to share the work that has taken place in listening and engaging with our workforce. Almost 100 colleagues joined us to hear first-hand what colleagues have told us through our wellbeing survey and listening circles.

 View the presentation (PDF, 1.2mb)

Cabinet reports

We regularly report on programmes about the Southwark Stands Together programme to the cabinet. All cabinet reports can be accessed on our website.

Workforce report

The annual workforce report provides up-to-date information on the council’s workforce.

As part of Race, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion week 2021, a presentation was delivered (pptx, 1mb) in relation to the annual workforce report and the cabinet paper that was discussed and presented on 8 December 2020. The slides provide an overview of the key data and outline the work undertaken last year from the council’ equalities plan, as well as providing an overview of work going on this year and plans for the new financial year.

Useful external resources

To find out more, visit our page on learning more about racism, equality and diversity.

Page last updated: 23 July 2021


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