Council launches new strategy to help tackle inequality across Salford

Salford City Council has pledged to build a fairer and more inclusive Salford at the unveiling of a new strategy.

The new Equality and Inclusion Strategy, launched on Monday 8 November by Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett, will help build an environment in Salford that nurtures a sense of inclusion and ensures that everyone is on a truly equal footing.

It has been developed following engagement with partners across Salford’s VCSE sector and key front-line services who have supported the city’s most diverse communities at a time when the city’s inequalities have been laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Salford City Mayor, Paul Dennett said: “Salford has always been a city that has celebrated and championed its diverse communities with their voices helping to make this city such a unique place to live and work.

“However, we are not blind to the fact that it remains a place where inequality, in all its forms, is still a daily presence in our society and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this.

“Our new Equality and Inclusion Strategy will help us address this and make Salford a place where everyone who lives and works feels valued and included. The people of Salford are our greatest asset and I want to work together with our businesses, charities and voluntary organisations so that everyone can access the opportunities that they rightly deserve.”

At the heart of the strategy are four key priorities; that people are visibly represented in decision-making and know that their differences are valued, that people have equal physical and digital access to services and spaces, that people are communicated in the right language for them while receiving support to access more information and that we tackle structural racial inequality.

For each of the priorities, the strategy provides a number of key commitments to be carried out over the coming years.
These include:

  • Establishing a new Salford Women’s Commission to examine the key issues facing women in Salford and strengthen the city’s response to those issues.
  • Ensuring staff and volunteers receive appropriate and regular equality and inclusion training to enhance their awareness of Salford’s diverse communities.
  • Promoting the city’s digital devices appeal scheme to collect and redistribute donated devices to local schools and low-income families so that everyone has access and knows how to use a computer.
  • Ensuring all public information and documents are available in a range of communication formats such as audio-visual, braille and easy read versions.
  • To work closely with local education and community learning and support providers to increase provision and awareness of English for Speakers of Other Language (ESOL) courses.
  • Adopting a Salford-wide reverse mentoring programme to encourage new and innovative ways to address the barriers to race equality. This will be specifically designed for people from ethnic minorities to mentor senior public and private sector leaders in Salford from white backgrounds.
  • Commit to work towards completely ending the ethnicity and gender pay gaps across all levels of organisations in Salford.

The new document seeks to continue the achievements of the Equality Strategy 2016/17 which led to the launch of the Salford Equality Network, improved the use of equality impact assessments as part of public service decision making and led to the organisation of a successful programme of annual events which celebrate the city’s diversity such as Salford Pride and Black History Month.

The ground-breaking Digital You project to tackle digital exclusion has also already helped over 8,000 residents to improve their digital skills and get access to digital services.

Councillor Sharmina August, lead member for inclusive economy, anti-poverty and equalities said: “We live in an unequal Britain where inequalities are rife in all communities, but Salford City Council is determined to take the lessons learnt from the pandemic and use this opportunity to put equality at the heart of everything we do in Salford.

“I’m proud of the work we’ve done to date to help thousands of people get online through our Digital You project and have access to public services but we must do more and it is important for both residents and businesses to understand that we all have a role to play and must work together.
“This new strategy will be our catalyst for change as its four new priorities will be our blueprint to achieving the goal of a fairer, more inclusive Salford.”

Today’s launch was chaired by the Salford City Mayor and also featured the views of Councillor August, Kay Fairhurst, the Chair of Salford Disability Forum, Alison Page, CEO of Salford CVS and Shaun Donnellan, Chief Superintendent for Salford GMP, during a question and answer session.

Tom Stannard, Chief Executive of Salford City Council and Councillor Barbara Bentham, executive support member for workforce and industrial relations also launched the council’s new Workforce Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy which set out how the council will play its part as an organisation to celebrate our diverse workforce and tackle inequality.

The new strategy can be found on The Salford Way page.

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Date published
Monday 8 November 2021

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