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OBV Statement: Bristol Council Deserves Credit on Diversity

Woolley: Bristol deserves credit

Over the last few days there has been a spate of inaccurate coverage regarding a very positive and important initiative being led by Bristol City Council.

This statement is from Operation Black Vote.

It is a great shame that Bristol City Council has come under so much criticism in regards to its training programme that has sought to ensure greater diversity at a senior management level.

The truth is in the vast majority of our public and private institutions there is a subtle, but in-built bias that works against women, and particularly African, Asian and Caribbean individuals. This fact is accepted by all the leaders of all the mainstream political parties, including our Prime Minister David Cameron and his Deputy Nick Clegg.

Bristol City Council has a proud record in undertaking award-winning programmes that aim to ensure greater diversity amongst elected politicians and appointed representatives; councillors and magistrates are some areas where under-representation has needed attention. OBV has been a proud partner in these endeavors, increasing both the number of BME councillors and magistrates.

Their latest attempt-to offer two training positions-is a very small, but courageous attempt to circumvent a system that most acknowledge has its faults. To ensure overall fairness, from time to time, you need positive action measures. The gross misrepresentation of this story is that in a dynamic multiracial city such as Bristol, everyone benefits, black and white from an administration that is inclusive and representative.

We should be applauding their efforts not deriding them.

Simon Woolley

OBV Director

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