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Council agrees new strategy to tackle inequalities in Oldham

Oldham Council leader Councillor Arooj Shah. Image: Oldham Council.

A new strategy to tackle inequalities and celebrate differences across our borough has been officially agreed by Oldham Council.

The council says the "Building a Fairer Oldham" strategy aims to expand on the successful work already happening to tackle unfairness across the borough and create a more equal Oldham, where people from all communities have the opportunities to fulfil their potential.

It was written in collaboration with partners including the council's Equality Advisory Group, communities, Voluntary, Community, Faith, and Social Enterprise (VCFSE) organisations, stakeholders and staff. 

Councillor Arooj Shah, Leader of Oldham Council, said: "Oldham is a vibrant and diverse borough, but not everyone has access to the same opportunities.

"I believe our town will only fulfil its collective potential if everyone who lives and works here is not limited because of who they are or where they live.

"Tackling inequality requires the widest possible ownership, engagement and contribution from organisations and communities. We need to use all our resources, creativity and commitment if we are to make a difference.

"Over the coming weeks, I will be announcing further details of our plans as a council to address these inequalities in a practical way - taking real action to deliver on our shared ambition of a more equitable Oldham; an Oldham where barriers are broken down to enable everyone to work together comfortably, healthily and happily."

Oldham has a rich history of people from different backgrounds and cultures living and working together - as was thrown into the spotlight during the coronavirus pandemic. However, there are groups of people that are more likely to face inequality and discrimination than others.

The authority says the aim of the strategy is to tackle inequality and discrimination 'head-on' by addressing issues such as the impact of coronavirus, which has disproportionately affected communities from ethnic minority backgrounds; older people and younger people – the latter being particularly affected by rising unemployment.

The strategy also maps out what specific actions will be taken between now and 2025, to embed equality, diversity and inclusion into all the work the council does.

The formal adoption of this strategy comes after the council's new women's taskforce met for the first time.

The aim of that taskforce is to address the inequalities in the borough that specifically affect women, on issues such as democratic engagement; health; pay and opportunity; finances; education; parenting and caregiving; and being a victim of violence or crime.

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