Tower Hamlets Council: promoting good relations between communities *
In response to the previous duty to promote good relations between people from different racial groups, Tower Hamlets Council has been undertaking work to tackle inequality and discrimination in the borough for many years. This provided a strong basis to develop further work to tackle high profile incidents of homophobia and Islamophobia in the borough which threatened to damage relations between communities. In response to several incidents that took place between 2008 and 2009 the Council used the incoming public sector equality duty to build an effective partnership of public and community sector organisations to act together to challenge those who promoted hate and division between different parts of the local community. These partners include the police, local schools, faith communities and lesbian, gay and bisexual community groups.
In 2010 the council funded a conference on Faith Communities and Homophobia in the borough. The event was organised by a steering group of faith leaders from Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and Muslim communities and supported by Rainbow Hamlets, the borough’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender forum, as well as the borough’s No Place for Hate Forum. The event was open to all but considerable outreach work was undertaken to ensure representation from a wide range of faith communities. There was a specific focus on the role of educators and dedicated workshops were run for teaching staff. For the flyer for the event see Appendix 21.
* Review of the public sector equality duty, Call for evidence Stonewall response [April 2013]