City Council’s commitment to equality
Equalities Action Plan for Gloucester City Council passed by councillors at yesterday’s (10 July) cabinet meeting.
The plan has been put together by a cross party Equalities Working Group which includes council officers and councillors from across the organisation. The group was established in November 2018 to assess the council’s existing equalities work and to create the recommended action plan to help further embed equality at all levels within the council, with partner organisations and within the community.
The action plan will be accompanied by a cross party motion at tonight’s (11 July) council meeting to endorse the councils cross party political commitment to equality and diversity, and includes ‘creating a Gloucester community that is strong, safe and inclusive for everyone.
The working group identified that the council has already taken positive steps to promote equalities including appointing hate crime champions, training staff as dementia friends and providing assisted waste & recycling collections for those who are unable to move their bins and boxes to a collection point.
Considerable progress has been made by the council in engagement with communities through Asset Based Community Development (ABCD), working with communities based on their strengths and aspirations. Building upon the progress so far, the motion will endorse a programme of flag-flying and support for key awareness days and ‘supporting our communities to celebrate what’s important to them’.
Further commitments include providing equalities training opportunities for staff and councillors, ensuring contractors conform and aspire to greater equalities standards and using data to ensure services are accessible.
Cllr Jennie Watkins, cabinet member for communities and neighbourhoods, said: “I welcome this vision and plan and equality is a key priority for the city council. It’s really important that as an organisation we strive to promote equality and diversity in our community and celebrate the communities we serve. I am delighted we have been able to break down political barriers to share this vision for the city.”
Cllr Tom Coole, Labour councillor for Matson and Robinswood, said: “It’s unusual for members to take a cross-party lead on a topic such as this, but I’m delighted that we’ve put in the work to come up with a fantastic set of proposals. We’re demonstrating our commitment to a Gloucester that welcomes everyone.”
Cllr Howard Hyman, Liberal Democrat councillor for Elmbridge, said: “Gloucester City Council as a whole has a responsibility to work with all communities as well as having a workplace where all staff feel valued and included.”