It is not right for the parish council to remain silent on important matters that affect our residents.

We watched in horror at the image of George Floyd being brutally murdered by police officers in America that serve to protect life.

We remain fixated by ongoing scenes of public protest, but also saddened by the unnecessary and unforgiveable violence and crime.

The sheer scale of anger and disbelief across the world in response to George Floyd’s murder shows that, for a large majority of us, we thought we had moved beyond such heinous acts.

But this murder, along with stories of ongoing abuse, discrimination and mistreatment, shows clearly that much more needs to be done to achieve equality for all.

As a council, we try very hard to consider the issue of equality and diversity in every decision we make, in our recruitment, and in the way that we operate and communicate. However, we are in no doubt that this could be improved further.

We are currently in the process of drafting a new 5-year strategic plan and this provides us with an excellent opportunity to ensure that our approach to equality and diversity is a significant feature to demonstrate to our community that black lives matter.

We would like to have a better understanding of the issues that our black and minority ethnic residents face so we can determine how we can seek to address this in our community.

As such, we would like to invite residents that have faced any issues regarding their colour or ethnicity to email us with their accounts so these can be considered as we finalise the plan.

Please send this information to: equality@stoneparishcouncil.comcreate new email

We would like to thank you for helping us with this and feel strongly the more united we are as a community, the more we will prosper.