Thursday, 5 April 2012

Liverpool's Black Experience in 2012

1.       Liverpool is a city that is home to the longest established Black and Chinese community, a city with diverse multi racial communities (Costello, 2001). The city is making greater efforts to improve   Community cohesion and improve race equality. Statistical evidence however shows matched against the demographics of Liverpool’s black community; such communities have little political or civic influence (currently we have 2 black councillors and one Asian councillor). As a result Black people do not occupy senior or strategic roles in any significant numbers in terms of their employment within both private and public sectors.
  1. There is evidence of poor performance in education for some sections of black communities, notably those who are described as Liverpool born black. EMTAS reported that students gaining 5+ A*-G grades there was an improvement of five per cent on 2009 and Black and racial minority pupils are now only one per cent behind the overall city result, narrowing the gap by four per cent . Due to the diversity of racial communities evidence and documentation is questionable. School outcomes have also led to low level entry into universities particularly locally .
  2. Black people are notably employed in the council. The council in May 2010, recorded 8577 employees of which 174 (2%) were from BAME groups and 6386 (75%) were White. In 18 of the Liverpool Council’s 22 departments, the maximum percentage of BAME employees is 2.9%, rounded up to 3% i.e. 3 BAME workers out of every hundred Council employees. The highest percentage of BAME employees in any Council department is 6.1%, in the Children & Social Care department. Notably, there are no BAME employees at a strategic level in Corporate Services, Leadership Group, Liverpool First and Merseyside policy Unit . BAME’s tend to be represented in the arts and culture industry when working in the city.
  3. Relations have improved between the Merseyside Police and black communities though they still feature disproportionately in rates of stop and search. Per 1,000 of the population, Black people were stopped and searched 6.0 times more than White people in 2006/07. This rose to 7.0 times in 2009/10 when referring to the rate per 1,000 of the population. Overall, there were more arrests per 1,000 populations of each BME groups (except for Chinese or Other) than for people of White ethnicity in 2009/10. Per 1,000 of the population, Black people were arrested 3.3 times more than White people, and those from the mixed ethnic group 2.3 times more. A higher percentage of those in the BME groups were sentenced to immediate custody for indictable offences than in the White group in 2010 .
  4. Plans are in place through various routes to challenge the chronically low black youth employment in the city, the unacceptably small numbers of Black teachers and low levels in the senior management team (currently 2 black head teachers and 1 asian, around 52 BAME teachers out of 5400 teachers). Exceptionally low numbers of local people who go onto university and BAME students continue to not achieve 5 A-C at GCSE level on leaving school. The live issue of underachievement and exclusion experienced by the indigenous black population who are 3rd and 4th generation, Liverpool born black people is yet to be fully acknowledged and addressed. There are pockets of success for Black communities notably in the arts sector.
  5. There is a consensus in the city that although we have come a long way we are not yet at a place where racism can be consigned to the history book.
[1] The terms ‘black’ is a political term. It refers to African, Asian, Caribbean and other ethnic minorities.
[1] Costello R (2001) Black Liverpool. The Early History of Britain’s Oldest Black Community 1730-1918. Picton Press: Liverpool

[1] Liverpool Council website (2010) Workforce Ethnicity data February 2010
[1] Race For Opportunity (2008)  Race To The Top: The Place for Ethnic Minority Groups In The UK Workforce
[1] Joanne Moore & Felicity Dunworth January 2011 Review of Evidence from    Aimhigher Area Partnerships of the Impact of  Aimhigher

[1] Liverpool Council website (2010) Workforce Ethnicity data February 2010
[1] "Statistics on Race & the Criminal Justice System 2010 and A ministry of Justice publication of the Criminal Justice Act 1991 (Published October 2011)

[1] DCSF (2009) Statistical Analysis Unit: Teacher Workforce Data: Table 10 Ethnicity , DCSF: London

Consortium of Liverpool National Black and Antiracist Organisations