Stevenage Equalities Commission
Introduction from Chair
I have lived in Stevenage for 47 years, my children and grandchildren were born here and this is where I began my social work career. “I’m really honoured to be in this role as chair of this commission at this extraordinary time, where Stevenage Borough Council, like many authorities around the country are looking at themselves and saying: ‘How can we be better?’ ‘How can we deliver services on a more equitable level and how can we be a beacon of good practice?"
‘There are a range of things people can do’
We all have a role to play, be it male allies against sexism, white allies against racism or non-disabled people against inequality for disabled people.
There are a lot of things people can do, some might be big, and some might be small, but they all add up to something special.
“I believe that we owe it to future generations to try and change our world and make it a more equitable place so that everyone benefits from the same opportunities and outcomes in life. That is why I am so excited about heading the commission in Stevenage, I hope that we can play a small but significant part in shaping Stevenage to be one of the best places in the country to live in.”
I am encouraged by the spirit in which everyone has been approaching the commission’s work and the will to work together to make improvements.
I know that some of the things that we will be exploring will be uncomfortable, however being honest about uncomfortable truths and having a plan to put them right is a prerequisite for a successful commission.
How to get involved
The independent commission will be speaking not just to the council, but to a whole range of local organisations and groups, and to businesses. Members of the public will also be invited to share their views with the commission before it reports its initial findings to the council.
Errol John: MBA, Certificate in Qualified Social Work (CQSW)
Social Welfare, Charities and Community Sector Consultant
Independent Chair: Stevenage Equalities Commission
Introduction from Executive Member for Communities, Community Safety & Equalities
I have represented the people of Stevenage as an elected member for over 20 years, more recently I have been honoured to take on the role as executive member for Communities, Community safety and Equalities. Following the brutal killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, USA in May 2020 and subsequent demonstrations exemplified through the Black Lives Matters movement globally, nationally and locally in Stevenage, Stevenage Borough Council agreed to establish an Equalities Commission. Along with other elected members I championed this motion, to provide the people of our town with an independent Equalities Commission, a body made up of community members and organisations, independently chaired, focusing on the disproportionate impact of inequalities on the lives of Black Asian and Minority Ethnic individuals and communities in Stevenage.
Whilst there has been some progress on equalities issues in Stevenage over a number of years, there is clear recognition that more needs to be done. My hope is that The Equalities Commission will drive forward a number of recommendations in order to create lasting change for communities across the town and where all residents feel included.
The Equalities Commission has full backing of Stevenage Borough Council and over the next year will undertake a strategic assessment of the nature, extent, causes and impact of race inequality in Stevenage and make recommendations for tackling them to create lasting change for communities across the town and ensure all residents feel included.
The Stevenage moto “the heart of a town, lies in its people” is used far and wide across the borough but in this instance it could not be more relevant, this town belongs to all of us, it is our home, our community and our children’s future and that makes it all the more important to ensure that all voices are not just heard but listened to, respected, appreciated, understood and represented.
So please, if you can, get involved, give us your ideas and contributions, the good and the bad, hold us accountable to our promises and help us to make sure we live up to our motto.
Jackie Hollywell: SBC Executive Member for Communities, Community Safety & Equalities
Our Commission Members
- Errol John – Chair of Stevenage Equalities Commission
- Councillor Jackie Hollywell – Deputy Chair of Stevenage Equalities Commission
- Michelle Gardner
- Rita Cooper
- Ahisha Ferguson
- Akua Owusu Nyantakyiwaa
- Arif Devji
- Farhana Kamali
- Jamesdean Aitkins
- Sanjay Majmudar
- Yvonne Adams
- Gary Younge
- Tim Anfilogoff
- Carol Young
- Tony Fitzpatrick
- Councillor Phil Bibby
- Kate Belenis
- Simon Taburt
- Patrick McPeake
- Albert Ziwa
- Josie O'Driscoll
Our Stevenage Equalities Commission 2021 Terms of Reference details areas of inequality we intend to focus on. Following our initial meeting on 28th July 2021, the Commissioners split into focus groups to tackle each area. We are also establishing a Community Voices group to feed “on the ground” information into the Commission. If you would like to be involved in Stevenage Equalities Commission by joining our Community Voices Group or would like an informal chat about the process, please contact us at, Equalities.Commission@stevenage.gov.uk. You can also download an information pack here.
It’s Time to Talk Questionnaire
Below is the link to our Questionnaire. We are looking for lived experience and views from all members of the community. Please take the time to complete it and pass it on to anyone who you may feel would be interested. We are hoping that the information gathered through this will assist us in our work.
You can also download a hard copy of the questionnaire and email it back to the above email address. If you want to post the questionnaire back, please send it to:
Communities & Neighbourhood
Stevenage Borough Council