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Tuesday, 16 May, 2000, 10:37 GMT 11:37 UK
Gurbux Singh: Fighting for racial equality
Gurbux Singh
Gurbux Singh: A lifelong commitment to racial equality
The new head of the Commission for Racial Equality knows that the fight against racism is a long campaign.

However in Gurbux Singh's career promoting ethnic minorities, he has learnt a thing or two about perserverance.

Gurbux Singh
1956: Moved to Wolverhampton
1972: Housing specialist with the former Community Relations Commission
1980s: Worked on housing services for the Greater London Council
1987: Director of Housing, Haringey Council
1989: Appointed Chief Executive
He has spent the last 11 years helping to turn round the problems of a London borough that includes Broadwater Farm estate and has pockets of 70% young black unemployment.

And in his early career working at the community relations commission he spent a great deal of time on housing and local government, tackling building societies and estate agents who charged black and Asian people more expensive mortgages or stopped them moving into white areas.

Born in Punjab

Mr Singh's family came to Britain from Punjab in the 1950s when he was six, moving to Wolverhampton.

Following his work at the Community Relations Commission he joined the newly-established Commission for Racial Equality, taking up a senior position in housing and local government.

In the early 1980s he entered local government, working in housing services for the former Greater London Council.

His town hall career then took him from the London Borough of Hackney to Brent, then Haringey in 1987.

He was director of housing for two years before being appointed Haringey's chief executive in 1989.

There he initiated a policy of attracting a workforce which reflected the diversity of the local community, leading the council's management development initiative to give women, black and ethnic minority staff greater representation in the most senior tiers of the council's structure.

Wolverhampton Wanderers FC

Mr Singh also served as an adviser to the Association of London Government and the Association of Metropolitan Authorities.

He has chaired a number of national working parties commissioned by government departments and is currently a member of the Home Secretary Jack Straw's Race Relations Forum.

Mr Singh also contributed to a number of policy documents on housing and chaired a working party which oversaw a Department of the Environment research project on racial violence.

He speaks Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu and lives in north London.

He has three sons and is a fanatical supporter of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club and the Indian cricket team.

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