Gloucestershire

Gloucester's slave trade links to be scrutinised

Phillpotts Warehouse, Gloucester Image copyright Google
Image caption Phillpotts Warehouse is named after Thomas Phillpotts, who was involved in the slave trade

Statues and place names of white men who were beneficiaries of the slave trade will be reviewed in Gloucester.

At a meeting on Thursday, Labour councillor Said Handsot's motion was unanimously agreed.

The review will include Bakers Quay and Phillpotts Warehouse, named after Samuel Baker and Thomas Phillpotts, who were both involved in the slave trade.

A race-relations commission will also be created to help find opportunities for people of colour in the city.

Across the UK, statues are being reviewed for links to the slave trade in response to Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests following the death in US police custody of African-American George Floyd.

It follows the toppling of the statue of 17th Century slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol during a BLM demonstration last month.

Mr Handsot said: "It will help the future generations because what we do not want to do is disintegrate the past history, but to tell the history of what has happened and how they got their ill-gotten money."

He added that black people in the UK were eight times more likely to be stopped as part of stop and search, more likely to be in low paid jobs, or be unemployed, and more likely to be in poor housing conditions and less likely to have had a good education.

Labour councillor Tom Coole added that racism needed to be called out by rejecting a "bystanders" stance.

'Not solved overnight'

He added: "I myself am never going to experience racism like most of you here tonight and like most people in the country, but that doesn't mean we can stand by and let it happen.

"Any approach that we take has to be intersectional.

"We have to recognise that different forms of oppression don't exist in a vacuum and that they intersect."

Conservative Sajid Patel added: "These issues will not be solved overnight. It will take years, if not decades to change attitudes and behaviours but we must start somewhere and now is as a good a time as any.

"Education is a good starting point and we must educate people about our history."

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