Glasgow will not “rush” into any steps to change street names linked to slavery a new report has stated.

Following the Black Lives Matter protests, including in Glasgow, a cross-party working group was set up to discuss how to address the city’s past and its association with the slave trade.

Instead of moving to change the names of prominent streets like Buchanan Street, Glassford Street and Ingram Street, the group said it recognised efforts to promote education about the slave trade and tackle racism towards black and minority ethnic citizens today should take priority.

The National:

Discussions took place with officials, campaigners and academics in Liverpool and Bristol, who are already taking steps to address their city's role in slavery.

After the protests which, led to counter-demonstrations in the city centre, it was noted by the council the demands of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The National:

They included dealing with discrimination in employment opportunities, tackling racism and racial hate crime in the city’s schools and recognising Glasgow's role in slavery, and beginning a “civic conversation regarding the statues and street names that commemorate prominent figures associated with slavery through the tobacco, sugar, and cotton trades”.

Efforts to enhance understanding of Glasgow’s involvement in transporting slaves through the merchants in tobacco, celebrated in the Merchant City, are to be taken forward.

In the Glasgow Household Survey, respondents were broadly split regarding their level of interest in finding out more about Glasgow’s historic links to the slave trade: 52% were interested and 44% were not.

The National:

People in the survey were generally supportive of initiatives to “enhance understanding of Glasgow’s historic links with the slave trade”.

Two-thirds supported teaching children in schools about these links and making educational resources available.

Just over half, 56%, supported more opportunities for the public to share their views.

In a report to councillors, Bernadette Monaghan, executive director of community empowerment services, said: “As a result of these discussions, (with Liverpool and Bristol) rather than rush into a consultation on street names, the Group agreed to carry out a set of initial community conversations, primarily targeted at the BME community.”

The National:

Monaghan added: “Although the participants in the community conversations felt that the Council should do something about the places named after slave owners, there wasn’t a clear sense of what that should be.

“As highlighted in the Household Survey, the desire for more awareness and education is there, possibly linking to work in Education Services, which includes telling of the history alongside modern anti-racist work.

“For Glasgow’s current BME community, challenging racism now is arguably more important than dealing with the past.”