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Latin American community wins official council recognition

Southwark Council is to include 'Latin American' in the ethnicity section of its monitoring forms for the first time, in response to a long-running campaign from the Latin American community at Elephant & Castle.

The Latin American Recognition Campaign has long pressed for Latin Americans, who often have to tick the 'other' box on official forms, to be recognised as a discrete group.

Campaigners brought a deputation to Southwark's council assembly last autumn to press the case for change.

The council says that the move will help it to monitor participation in meetings and consultations to ensure it is properly engaging with all of the borough's communities.

Southwark has one of the largest Latin American communities in the country, especially around Elephant & Castle where a large number of businesses are run by and for Latin Americans.

"Southwark has a large and vibrant Latin American community so I am pleased that we are on of the first councils in the country to officially recognise them in this way," says Cllr Claire Hickson, cabinet member for equalities and community engagement.

"It may only be a first step but one that the community has been campaigning for a long time and a good starting point for ensuring that we are listening to the Latin American community across our work."

"As a Labour administration equality is central to everything we do, from the day-to-day delivery of the services to how we engage with our diverse communities."

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