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Four-point plan to boost equality

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A four-point plan for equality, diversity and inclusion across Dudley borough is set to be outlined at a meeting this week.

Dudley Council has drawn up the plan in a bid to ensure the highest levels of equality and inclusion at the authority, as leaders also pledge to work with communities in the borough ahead of the United Nation’s Anti-Racism Day on March 20.

The four-point plan outlines how the authority will ensure equality, diversity and inclusion is at the heart of what it does as both an employer and a provider of public services. It also looks at the development of a new equality and inclusion strategy and more focus being placed on developing and supporting a more diverse and inclusive workforce.

The plan follows an independent assessment carried out in 2020 which looked at the council’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion from a workforce perspective as well as a service delivery and community perspective.

In addition to this work, at a meeting on Thursday (March 18), members of the Corporate Scrutiny Committee will review progress made in implementing the recommendations from the independent equality review.

They will consider evidence of the work being delivered through council services to address the impact of social, economic and health inequalities in communities alongside work currently underway to address inequality in the workplace. This includes a recent partnership initiative between Dudley Council and trade unions to tackle racial inequality in the workplace through an independent review into systems, policies and processes.

The committee will also hear about recent engagement with employees exploring their experiences of working for the council.

The council has already been making significant strides to support black, Asian, minority, ethnic (BAME) groups who are more at risk to the effects of coronavirus.

Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, said:

It’s really important we remain on the front foot about how we promote and embed equality, diversity and inclusion into our workforce.
We have a robust plan to help us deliver this and reinforce our position as a council that delivers services for everyone and supports all communities.
Tackling racial inequality is key. Any kind of discrimination clearly has no place in any part of society and we recognise the importance of our workforce being inclusive and reflecting the communities we serve. We are extremely proud of our diverse heritage in Dudley borough.
It is timely that this report is going to scrutiny in the same week that people around the world come together to mark the UN’s Anti-Racism Day and I look forward to seeing recommendations from scrutiny about how we can build on our positive work around the whole equality and inclusion agenda.

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