Second report brands London borough as racist

A report into racial diversity at Lambeth Borough Council has labelled the
local authority ‘surprisingly backward’, with inadequate HR concealing discri-
minatory practices.

The report of the Race Scrutiny Commission, set up by Lambeth borough
councillors, said the council shows a ‘high degree of cynicism, and with it
poor morale, motivation and probably productivity’. It added ethnic minority
staff are ‘bypassed on the ladders of promotion’.

The study says staff training seems to be targeted at managers and those
with the self-esteem and confidence to ask for it, and that ethnic-minority
officers did not have a forum or agency to express their feelings and fears.

Only four months ago, an investigation into racism in the Lambeth Community
Alarms Service, found a ‘social cyclone’ in the service, with ‘racism in all
its forms being the root cause.

The latest report accepts that there have been major attempts to address the
problems, but warned that it would be hard to convince disillusioned and
cynical staff that things really were changing for the better.

Carole Litchmore, head of diversity at Lambeth, told Personnel Today that
the report’s results had to be considered in relation to the high levels of
diversity in the council. Almost 40 per cent of its workers are from ethnic
communities.

"Everything is geared to improvement," she said. "But we have
some way to go."

, but to achieve change you have to find the problems first.

"Structurally, there have been a lot of changes at the council, and
this self-diagnosis puts us streets ahead of other councils," she said.

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