Sefton Council shows commitment to tackling inequality with Socioeconomic Duty Pledge

07 September 2023 5 min read

Sefton Council’s Cabinet has today (Thursday, September 7th) reaffirmed its commitment to supporting its most disadvantaged residents by adopting the Equality Trust’s Socioeconomic Duty pledge.

The Duty will mean that Sefton Council will continue to do all it can to reduce inequality and barriers that disadvantaged residents and communities face in their day to day lives.

Reducing disadvantages

Socioeconomic disadvantages impact many aspects of life for people in Sefton, including health, life expectancy, housing, employment and access to education.

Studies have shown that one in five Sefton residents live in the most deprived 10% of England and in the Borough’s most deprived communities, people are thought to lose around 18 years of good health compared those in the most affluent areas of the borough.

The Local Authority works hard to reduce disadvantages across the Borough and the adoption of this Duty aligns closely with Sefton’s existing Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion strategy.

Building better communities

Cllr Trish Hardy, Sefton Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, presented the report and its recommendations, saying that more support is needed by Government to help combat the issues within our communities.

Cllr Hardy said: “We have all been hit hard by the Cost of Living Crisis but no matter where you go in Sefton, you will find people who are struggling beyond what many of us could comprehend.

“We are not shy about the challenges we face as a Borough whose budgets have been decimated in recent years and I continue to place on record my thanks to all those staff within Sefton who work so hard to address inequality, support our most vulnerable and provide new ways of building better communities.

“But all of this work is done under a shadow of a Central Government that has ravaged our budgets and heavily restricted our powers to help others.

Improving outcomes

By adopting the Equality Trust’s Socioeconomic Duty, Sefton Council will be able to provide a number of additional considerations when carrying out plans and projects, including:

  • Improving outcomes for local people experiencing socioeconomic disadvantage.
  • Supporting cross organisational and cross departmental working.
  • Raising awareness of socio-economic inequalities within organisations and among partners.
  • Ensuring widespread organisational commitment to, and consideration of, socioeconomic inequalities.

This work will be progressed in close collaboration with other local authorities and agencies in the Liverpool City Region who are also adopting, or who have already adopted, the Socioeconomic Duty.

Cllr Hardy continued: “The duty provides another mechanism to support the most vulnerable in our society and which will be extremely important when we recover from the current cost of living crisis.

“Above all we will now formally incorporate poverty and socioeconomic disadvantage in all equality impact assessments, equality plans, and the broader decision-making process and strategies that affect our Borough.”

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