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Citizens’ tribunal meets for first time

A new citizens’ tribunal, set up by the council, has held its first meeting. The tribunal met on 13 October, where it set out its initial priorities, best practice and ways of working to ensure the recommendations of Ealing Race Equality Commission (EREC) are delivered.

The citizens’ tribunal aims to provide an extra level of scrutiny to hold the council to account and ensure that the council delivers on priorities and recommendations put forward by the EREC to fight race inequality and promote equality.

Earlier this year, the independent EREC published its report after a year of listening to the experiences of local people. The report outlines the priorities, which include, health, education, crime and policing and can still be read online.

The tribunal is fully independent of the council and all commissioners work or live in the borough. Together they represent a wide range of knowledge and expertise, that they can bring to the meetings and, also, to suggest ideas and new initiatives for how to achieve the EREC objectives.

In response to the EREC, one of the council’s commitments was to set up the tribunal and, over the course of the summer, 10 tribunal members were recruited via an open application process overseen by an independent panel.

The tribunal had its first meeting last week, when the tribunal members met for the first time. They initially met with council leader Peter Mason and Councillor Aysha Raza, cabinet member for inequalities. The tribunal then moved into a private session alone, where members began to set out their priorities.

‘I love the fact everybody is independent’

Chair of the tribunal, Denise Charles, was also part of the work of the EREC. She said: “I love the fact everybody is independent on the citizen’s tribunal. We want to make sure all the actions from the race equality commission report are focused on and dealt with. What has inspired me to work with the citizen’s tribunal is to be part of the solution, ensuring that there is fairness for everybody within the borough.”

Denise added that public meetings would be held regularly online and encouraged residents to get involved. More information will be made available soon.

‘New ideas and a fresh voice’

Councillor Mason said: “There remain some very deep-rooted inequalities in our borough that hold too many people back from reaching their dreams and aspirations. The citizens’ tribunal has been designed to be fully independent, to ensure we remain accountable, and to hold us and others to the promises we have made to do something about it.”

Councillor Raza added: “The tribunal will play an important role in providing a new approach to working with the community, to highlight people’s concerns and finding ways to create a fairer borough with opportunities for all. The commissioners, all independent from the council, have a wide range of knowledge and expertise, bringing new ideas and a fresh voice to tackling inequalities.”

Find out more

Read an interview with Denise Charles and watch a video on Around Ealing website soon, and also in Around Ealing Extra email – which you can subscribe to.

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