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Who attended equality and diversity training at South Kesteven District Council is revealed

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The members of a council who attended its recent equality and diversity training have been named.

After a racist remark was made by Coun Ian Stokes during a public meeting of South Kesteven District Council, the Grantham Journal made a freedom of information request to discover which councillors went on the training course laid on for them in June.

Only 15 out of 56 councillors attended the training. It is understood all councillors had said they were in favour of having the training.

Coun Ian Stokes was chairing a committee meeting of South Kesteven District Council. Image: SKDC / YouTube
Coun Ian Stokes was chairing a committee meeting of South Kesteven District Council. Image: SKDC / YouTube

Those on the course did not include Coun Stokes, who used a racist expression while chairing a governance and audit committee meeting on October 20. He apologised shortly afterwards and was suspended from the Conservative Group.

Also absent from the training was leader of South Kesteven District Council, Kelham Cooke, and the leader of the Labour Group, Charmaine Morgan.

Asked why he did not attend, Coun Cooke (Con - Casewick) said: "I strongly support that every councillor should attend equality and diversity training as it is extremely worthwhile for undertaking the role of being an elected member, I personally look forward to attending the next session when organised by the council and encourage every member who hasn’t attended to take part.

Coun Kelham Cooke
Coun Kelham Cooke

"Unfortunately, when the training was scheduled for June 7, I was away on leave at the time.

"However, I have attended equality and diversity training through the Local Government Association on the Leader’s Programme which I have recently undertaken, and I will be attending the next planned session at South Kesteven District Council.”

Coun Morgan said she had received equality and diversity training through her employment by the Ministry of Justice and had also delivered training in equality and diversity herself.

Meanwhile, Stamford's mayor, Gloria Johnson and Coun Ashley Baxter were among those who did accept the training when it was offered. They were both on the committee at which Coun Stokes made the racist comment.

Coun Charmaine Morgan
Coun Charmaine Morgan

The following is a full list of councillors who attended the diversity training:

  • Barry Dobson (Con - Dole Wood)
  • George Chivers (Con - Belmont)
  • Annie Mason (Con - Grantham St Vincent's)
  • Helen Crawford (Con - Bourne West)
  • Jacky Smith (Con - Grantham St Wulfram's)
  • Louise Clack (Lab and Co-op - Grantham Earlsfield)
  • Mark Whittington (Con - Grantham Barrowby Gate)
  • Nikki Manterfield (Con - Grantham Springfield)
  • Amanda Wheeler (Lib Dem aligned with Ind - Stamford St George's)
  • Gloria Johnson (Con - Stamford St George's)
  • Anna Kelly (Ind - Bourne West)
  • Philip Knowles (Ind - Bourne East)
  • Judy Smith (Con - Bourne East)
  • Ashley Baxter (Ind - Market and West Deeping)
  • Virginia Moran (Ind - Market Deeping and West)

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