The Bath & North East Somerset Race Equality Panel has issued the following statement in response to the outcome of the Edward Colston statue trial in Bristol.
“The history of Bath, as is that of Bristol, is closely linked to the financial benefits of slavery, colonialism and empire, which were achieved through the exploitation of other countries and their peoples. The toppling of the statue of Edward Colston was a milestone in coming to terms with that history.
“In respect of Bath & North East Somerset we welcome the work that is starting to be done by local heritage organisations towards showing transparency and a full and honest history about these links. Bath & North East Somerset residents have the right to feel confident that the true history of Bath is being told and that the contribution of diverse voices is central to that narrative. Equality and justice in the future can only be achieved when the denial of those rights in the past has been fully acknowledged.
“Grappling with the historic practice of honouring slavers must also take place in a way that makes those impacted by slavery, past and present, the focus of activities. We must promote inclusive, open and measured ways to address our city and our region’s efforts to acknowledge its past.
“We are committed to ensuring that the history of Bath and Bath & North East Somerset will be told and we are committed to taking all members of the wider B&NES community with us on this journey."