OCTOBER is Black History Month and the council celebrated the occasion by holding an exhibition at their offices on Wednesday evening (October 10).

The celebration is held every year to recognise the contribution of black people to British society.

Mayor John Kaiser was at the event and he told the News: “I like to think that Wokingham as a town and as a borough is very inclusive.

“Over ten per cent of all people that live in the borough are from a different ethnic background.

“One of the things I enjoy doing is the citizenship ceremony which normally happens once a month and we have between 20 and 25 people who come along who have become British citizens and they all really want to come here, they want to work, they want to be part of the community.”

One of the exhibition pieces highlighted the council’s work with Black History Month and it read: “In Wokingham we have traditionally broadened the scope of Black History Month to embrace our wider black and minority ethnic communities.

“Wokingham Borough Council helps the BME forum in organising an exhibition on a different theme every year highlighting the positive contributions of these communities to Britain and to the world.”

This year’s exhibition remembered the Windrush generation.

The exhibition piece continued: “It is a well-known fact that these communities have contributed very heavily to the British National Health Service, nursing, transport, construction and areas of labour shortage.

“Unfortunately unknown numbers, particularly people of West Indian origin have lost their right to remain in this country even after living here for over sixty years due to a change in government policy.”

Wokingham’s black and minority ethnicity (BME) forum provides a voice for the 10 per cent of Wokingham residents with black or minority ethnic heritage.

Over the years it has hosted and organised many events including a ‘Question Time’ style event which brought BME people together to discuss issues affecting ethnic minorities in Britain.

The group also played a big part in the council’s community cohesion conferences between 20017-2012.