New Black and minority ethnic representatives appointed to Council committees

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Two key new appointments have been made by the Council to sit at the heart of democratic decision making and represent Black and minority ethnic people in Brighton and Hove.

Stephanie Powell, who works in business development, and Dr Anusree Biswas Sasidharan, who works for the Local Government Association, have been appointed to sit on the Council’s Tourism, Equality, Culture and Communities Committee and Policy and Resources Committee respectively.

The two appointments are for voluntary positions but will carry full speaking rights.

Earlier this year, the Council made a public pledge to be an anti-racist council and work towards Brighton & Hove becoming an anti-racist city.

Speaking in August, the leaders of the three political groups jointly said: “As political leaders we recognise that the council must be actively anti-racist and use our privilege, platforms and resources to challenge and remove structural racism wherever we can, both within the council itself and throughout our city.

“We’re united in wanting our actions and decision making to reflect our anti-racist commitment and include our Black, minority ethnic and faith communities.”

“We’re united in wanting our actions and decision making to reflect our anti-racist commitment and include our Black, minority ethnic and faith communities.”

Tourism, Equality, Culture and Communities Committee (TECC) appointment

Stephanie Prior, who will join the TECC Committee, has been instrumental in creating a platform for women in business to build their professional network, learn from experts and develop ideas. She has represented BME people in the beauty industry and has challenged the industry to do more to embrace diversity.

Speaking about the appointment, Stephanie said: “I am extremely honoured to have been given the opportunity to make history by joining Brighton & Hove City Council as a Standing Invitee and to represent the Black and Minority Ethnic community.

“Whether it be age, gender or race, it’s extremely important for politics (on a local and national level) to embrace diversity to support a fair and democratic society for all. I look forward to working towards positive changes for our city.”

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Councillor Steph Powell, Co-Chair of the TECC Committee said: “Stephanie is passionate about equalities and social justice, and combines that passion with highly developed business and marketing skills.

“We’re so pleased she has joined the TECC Committee, which will so greatly benefit from her passion, expertise and contributions particularly as this committee has particularly responsibility for driving forward equalities and anti-racism work.”

Policy & Resources (P&R) Committee appointment

Dr Anusree Biswas Sasidharan, who has joined the P&R Committee, currently works for the Local Government Association as a Safeguarding Programme Advisor and as a Research Equalities Consultant. She has many years of experience of equality and inclusion strategy, policy and training that extends across the third sector, local government, health, think tanks and the education sector.

She has recently represented ethnic and cultural minorities as a Council representative for Community Works and as chair of the Sussex Police Stop & Search Panel.

In response to her appointment, Dr Sasidharan said: “I am delighted to be appointed to the P & R committee as a Standing Invitee and given an opportunity to champion inclusion within the Council. I hope this role enables me to embed equalities and diversity within the heart and spirit of Brighton & Hove City Council.”

Councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty, Chair of the P&R Committee and Leader of the Council, said: “Dr Sasidharan’s experience and commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion will bring so much to our council and city.

“She will be able to draw upon her deep knowledge and experiences while sitting on the council’s central policy committee which considers some of the most important areas to the council including our budget, corporate plan, city development and more.

“On behalf of the Council I want to thank everyone in these roles, and welcome both Stephanie and Dr Anusree Biswas Sasidharan to these two committees.

“We know that there is much more that must happen in the Council and throughout the city to work towards becoming anti-racist and there is more to do; we must continue to outline more ways we can elevate the voices of under-represented communities.

“I’m delighted that these two important committees will now hear from our new invitees; a diversity of perspectives improves both decision making and democracy.”

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