Letter to the chair of the Westway Trust - Tutu Foundation UK report

Friday 15 January 2021

As we both know, the Westway Trust was established (as the North Kensington Amenity Trust) in 1971 with the intention of giving the local community a voice and power over what happens on their doorstep. Having read the Tutu Foundation's Review into institutional racism at the Westway Trust, I am clear that the Trust lost sight of this purpose over time, as did the Council. 

Therefore, I think it is important that the Council too takes the publication of the Review as an opportunity to reflect upon the role it played in enabling institutional racism to develop at the Trust. I am sorry for any part the Council played in this. As I said in our statement on the Review before Christmas, racism is racism, whether perpetrated by an institution, by an individual, or both, and must be tackled wherever it exists. 

It is clear that the community groups involved in driving change at the Trust have already made giant strides in the right direction, and we support these efforts. The Trust's leadership has taken an important step in acknowledging the Review's findings in admitting to a long-term culture of institutional racism that continues to this day. 

We look forward to working with you, ensuring that the Council and the Trust's relationship supports your commitment to justice. I would also like to reiterate that we are open to any changes in your constitution that affect the number of Council appointees to the Trust's Board. 

I am keen to explore ways in which the Council and the Trust can work together to make sure the land and property which we each hold, in trust, on behalf of our community, are used for the maximum possible community benefit.

This ethos is the basis of our emerging Social Investment Strategy, and we would welcome a discussion with you on how it might relate to your own review of assets which I understand you’ve been working on. By working with our residents to understand what they want to see happen with these precious assets, we can both directly support our residents’ aspirations and needs, and also create a unique example of a truly community driven organisation.

Please let me know if you are interested in exploring this further, and I will introduce you to the team working in this area here at the Council. 

I look forward to the day that we can meet once again in person but in the meantime, I wish you and the Trust all the best in your endeavours.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Elizabeth Campbell

Leader of the Council

The full report is available here: https://www.tutufoundationuk.org/westway-trust-review-launch