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Celebrating diversity

February 9, 2020 12:50 PM
Cllr Patrick Solomon with Legacy of Windrush Descendants members Nadeen P Salmon, Pauline Stepney and Norma Hoyte

Councillor Patrick Solomon with members of the Windrush Support Group, Legacy of Windrush Descendants

On Wednesday, the Council unanimously voted to support Councillor Patrick Solomon's motion marking the Windrush generation's contribution to British Society.

The motion marked the contribution and also acknowledged the terrible injustices suffered by the Windrush generation. Councillor Solomon made a deeply heartfelt and personal speech of his own family's experiences.

Mayor Dave Hodgson took the opportunity to put on record his thanks to all of the Windrush generation's contribution and to Councillor Solomon and the Windrush Support Group, Legacy of Windrush Descendants for bringing the motion to Council. The Council will now work together with the Windrush Support Group to signpost any residents affected to support services and also develop future activities to celebrate and give recognition to the Windrush generation.

Bedford is one of the most diverse towns in the UK and it is important we celebrate that diversity. Over the last few years the Council have taken the opportunity to fly national flags, on national or independence days - and for major sporting events. We proudly fly the Union flag on UK national days, the English flag on St. Georges Day and last year we flew the Scottish Saltire on St. Andrews Day. We have also recently flown the flags of India, Jamaica, Pakistan and Poland and other countries, as well as the United Nations flag on UN Day.

Many of our local residents have come from other European countries or are descendants of those that did. Following Brexit there is a some confusion over the right to remain and 'settled status'. Mayor Dave is encouraging anyone who is in doubt to check the government's advice at https://www.gov.uk/settled-status-eu-citizens-families.

We also flew the LGBT+ last weekend to mark the start of LGBT+ History Month. This will also be celebrated at The Higgins Bedford on 15th February with a series of talks. Mayor Dave also had the pleasure of helping to relaunch the Barley Mow pub on Friday, which is believed to be the UKs longest established LGBT+ venue dating from 1837 showing Bedford's long history of tolerance and diversity.

Mayor Dave looks forward to continue to celebrating Bedford Borough's diversity and would welcome any community groups getting in touch to see how we can work together to celebrate their contributions locally.