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Important to take care how we use language

Column by the leader of Stroud District Council, Doina Cornell.

This will be my final leader’s column before the 6 May local elections, as we will be entering the ‘pre-election period’ as of next week, when certain rules apply to council communications.

Some know this time as ‘purdah’ but a couple of years ago we discussed ending our use of this word with its rather sexist and colonialist connotations. Bearing in mind how the tragic death of Sarah Everard has put violence against women in the spotlight once again, it is important to take care how we use our language.

How we tackle discrimination, and champion diversity and inclusion in our communities and within the council itself will be addressed at this Thursday’s council meeting where councillors will be aiming to adopt the council’s revised Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy which will be out for public consultation after May.

On Thursday councillors will also be making an important step in looking to adopt the council’s Carbon Neutral Strategy and Master Plan. We are part of an ambitious group of UK100, UK local authorities who are focussing efforts ahead of COP26 later this year on what local government’s role can be in the climate emergency.

Whoever is running the council after the election will need to deliver on our ambitions to be a carbon neutral district by 2030.

The SDC election team is working hard on preparing for everyone to have a safe and fair election. It is easy to apply for a postal vote, you can download or ask for a form to be sent to you, and you’ll have plenty of time from two weeks before polling day itself to cast your vote.

So make sure your voice is heard, as you choose who will represent you in our district for the next few years.

 

Article originally appeared on  Gazette

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