CALDERDALE councillors have adopted the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-Semitism and the All Party Parliamentary Group definition of Islamphobia – but not before some debate and some councillors expressing reservations.

Council Leader Coun Tim Swift (Lab, Town) told the full meeting of Calderdale Council that adopting the definitions as recommended by Cabinet would form part of the council’s efforts to combat hate crime.

Following adoption of the definitions, which were important to those who felt at risk or were vulnerable, officers will be going on to build on what they mean in practice for the council, he said.

The definitions were perfectly compatible with the council’s Vision 2024 aims, said Coun Swift.

In Calderdale in 2024 – the authority’s 50th anniversary – these are for the borough to be a place where people can realise their potential whoever they are, whether their voice has been heard or unheard in the past, a place defined by kindness, resilience, distinctive and where talent and enterprise can thrive.

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But Coun Stephen Baines (Con, Northowram and Shelf) said while making it absolutely clear any form or racism or race related crime was totally unacceptable he was concerned the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) definition had not been as widely accepted as the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition.

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These included concerns raised by several groups included that the APPG definition might hinder criticism of Islamic terrorism or undermine attempts to counter homophobia, he said.

Coun Josh Fenton-Glynn (Lab, Calder) said adopting the definitions was about stopping people from inciting hatred and making it clear racial and religious intolerance were not welcome in Calderdale, where communities of all faiths and creeds would be supported.

Neither precluded legitimate criticism, he said.

Coun Faisal Shoukat (Lab, Park) said: “No matter what faith you are, we will support you and protect you.”

Liberal Democrat Group Leader Coun James Baker (Warley) said the council needed to stand against hatred in all its forms, not just the religion you practised but your sexuality and how people expressed their individuality.

Coun Susan Press (Lab, Todmorden) said the service this week at Halifax Minster showed it was absolutely necessary that the Holocaust should not be forgotten.

“These two measures are equally important,” she said.

Coun Swift said it was right the council adopt the definitions and said Calderdale’s Youth Council, when setting their priorities for the year, had placed hate crime second only to climate change as their most important concern.

Bradford Council has also adopted both definitions in recent years.