Wakefield's South Asian community encouraged to get involved in district's City of Culture bid

Wakefield's South Asian community has been urged to get involved in the district's City of Culture bid.

Friday, 30th July 2021, 4:45 pm

Wakefield Council is vying to become the UK's next holder of the coveted title in 2025, but has said it will have a cultural celebration regardless of whether or not it wins.

This week, the local authority directly appealed to the South Asian population to come forward with their own ideas for the year-long event.

The council has also indicated its intention to formally recognise the Kashmiri identity, having offered moral support to people from the troubled region in 2019.

Wakefield could become the next UK City of Culture in 2025.

Kashmir is disputed territory between India and Pakistan. Two years ago, the Indian government stripped it of its autonomy.

Asked about the City of Culture bid on a Facebook Q&A, council leader Denise Jeffery said: "It's very important that the South Asian community get involved.

"When we talk about culture, it's everyone's culture and we'd really welcome some involvement from you.

"We want to embrace the South Asian community. They are so important to us.

"When we talk about culture, it isn't just about what we do as a council. It's about diversity and cohesion.

"If you can offer some help, I'd be really pleased."

Coun Jeffery's deputy, Jack Hemingway said that the contribution of South Asians to Wakefield over the last 80 years had been "massive".

He added: "On a related point, the council is doing an equalities review and looking at how we can be more representative of the people of Wakefield.

"I know there was a campaign during the census to support the recognise the Kashmiri identity, and we're looking quite favourably at that.

"That piece of work hasn't been completed yet, but it's looking likely that the council will recognise the Kashmir identity in future and will offer tailored support to people in those communities."

Local Democracy Reporting Service