Kirklees Council is proud to be diverse and inclusive. This Inclusion and Diversity Strategy set out our ambitions for the future.
I am proud to present our Inclusion and Diversity Strategy 2021-23. The plan sets out how we will make our council, and our borough, more inclusive for people and communities across Kirklees.
Much has changed since our last strategy was published. Many long-standing inequalities in Kirklees and beyond have been starkly exposed by the pandemic. At the same time, national and international events have shone a light on inclusion in new ways. Our strategy recognises these profound experiences, focuses on what we have learned from them and looks to the future as we plot our recovery.
Inclusion is an easy word to say, but it takes planning and persistence to deliver a more inclusive society. Nevertheless, the benefits of inclusion are worth the challenge. We want to create a fairer economy where everyone can benefit from success. Everyone in Kirklees, regardless of your background or where you live, should be able to live a long and healthy life. And we are ambitious for everyone to be able to gain the skills and opportunities they need to make the most out of life. Crucially, we also want Kirklees Council to be an employer of choice for our diverse population, delivering excellent services for all communities. It is for all these reasons that I have put inclusion right at the heart of the council's values.
This new Inclusion and Diversity Strategy will guide us through the next two years. It outlines a core approach and how we can build on the progress we've already made. Four priority action areas are set out in detail within the plan to guide us through this important work.
We will focus on making sure that all our decisions and policies take account of our diverse communities. This matters - every single day - for people of all backgrounds. We will do that by refreshing our equality impact assessments and going further than before so that we take account of socioeconomic factors and poverty when we take decisions. We will give more employment opportunities for residents who have learning disabilities or autism, who can be some of the most marginalised in our economy. And we want to be a truly inclusive organisation, where the recruitment and development of our staff is sensitive to everyone's background.
We do not underestimate the challenges this ambitious agenda presents to the council. Our society is complex. Race, sexuality, gender, age, disability and class are just some of the issues we need to work with. We will need to adapt to make sure the council works for everyone. This challenge will take work and it will take humility. A truly inclusive organisation is open and honest about the work we still need to do.
We are not a perfect organisation, but this strategy gives us the tools and the focus to improve further. I look forward to working with people and communities across Kirklees to deliver our inclusive vision.
Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of the Council
Our vision for equality, diversity and inclusion
Promoting fairness and tackling inequality are at the heart of our values as a council.
We want to understand our citizens, celebrate our diversity, and address the barriers to achieving inclusion and the freedom to be ourselves. We must leave no-one behind on this journey to an inclusive Kirklees.
We want to provide high quality and accessible services that meet the needs of our diverse communities. The quality of council services depends on our workforce; we are committed to supporting our workforce to develop, and to deliver and commission quality services. In Kirklees we recognise the importance of this by promoting and embracing equality, fairness and inclusion.
Priority action areas
Our 2021/23 strategy: Recovery through Inclusion has four priority areas to assist the council and its communities to continue to address inequalities and help facilitate pandemic recovery.
- we will consider diversity and inclusion at every step of the process as we reshape council services in a post-pandemic world.
- is a pilot internship programme for young adults with learning disabilities and autism.
- we will diversify our workforce and develop inclusion across teams and services
- we will develop staff to feel confident working with all colleagues and citizens - listening to, learning about, and understanding one another's cultural values.
- we will develop person-centred inclusion and diversity training for staff
- we will expand our employee networks, encouraging those who champion diversity across the organisation to become active allies.
- we will train and support Inclusion Allies to be effective allies to all underrepresented voices
Just like individuals, our organisation's values guide the way we think and act. In our response to the pandemic we have seen our values in action, under incredible pressure and in a rapidly changing environment. Read more about our values.
Keep up-to-date with the council's brilliant work on Inclusion by visiting the Kirklees Together website - Kirklees Together: Inclusion