At full council on Tuesday 14 July, Watford Labour councillors raised the issue of COVID-19 and the disproportionate impact it has had on black and minority ethnic (BAME) communities across Watford.
In June, Public Health England published a review which confirmed that death rates were higher amongst BAME people than white people in England.
Deputy Leader of Watford Labour Group, Cllr Favour Ezeifedi who represents Holywell ward, proposed the motion on this health inequality by creating an urgent task force for it. She said: “Watford is the most diverse borough in Hertfordshire with approximately 30% BAME population according to our 2011 Census. Though we are yet to receive the official breakdown of ethnicity in COVID cases and death, there are very strong indications that it will reflect the national picture. As a Council, we have a duty to support our most vulnerable communities and be known for our actions not our words. That is why I have called on my council colleagues to support this motion to support our communities.”
Cllr Sohail Bashir, fellow Labour councillor in Callowland ward, seconded the motion. He said: “We have all seen the devastating impact of Covid-19, particularly on minority communities. It is vital that we investigate the inequalities as a Council which have led to a higher number of deaths among our BAME friends, family and neighbours across Watford.”
The motion was approved unanimously.