Salford City Council has launched a new Equality and Inclusion Strategy today, which has been developed following engagement with Salford’s VCSE sector and key front-line services that have supported the diverse communities.
It comes after inequalities have been further laid bare by the Covid-19 pandemic and the Black Lives Matter movement.
This strategy follows on from Salford City Councils Equality Scheme in 2016/17, where they launched the Voluntary Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE). As well as the Digital You project to tackle digital exclusion, which has already helped over 8000 Salford residents and much more.
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.”
The new Equality and Inclusion strategy aims to:
- Set up a new Salford women’s commission to tackle issues facing women 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 the city’s diverse communities.
- Promote the appeal of a digital device scheme to collect and redistribute donated services to schools and low-income families so that everyone has access. (This scheme asks anyone who can help, whether it be a small financial donation or donating any unused laptops or tablets)
- Work with local education and community learning and support providers to increase provision and awareness for English speakers of other languages (ESOL) courses.
- Salford-wide reverse mentoring programmes to find new ways to address the barriers to race equality. Designed for people from ethnic minorities to mentor senior public and private sector leaders in Salford from white backgrounds.
- Commit to working towards ending the ethnicity and gender pay gaps across all levels of organisations.
Councillor Sharmina August, lead member for an 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.”
A full overview of the new strategy is here:
The Salford Equality Strategy will be overseen by partners from across the city, with these partners being responsible for their activities. There will be measurable performance indicators put in place and will be agreed upon by partners to ensure these aims are being reflected and ensure that these outcomes will be delivered and reported annually to ensure that a difference is being made to the people of Salford.