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Oldham Council agree new strategy to tackle inequality

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

Oldham Council have agreed on a new strategy to tackle inequality and discrimination across the borough.

The authority say its 'Building a Fairer Oldham' strategy - which was agreed by the cabinet committee last week - aims to create "a place where people understand, respect and celebrate each other’s differences and nobody is left behind". 

It also looks to "expand on the successful work already happening" to tackle unfairness and inequality across the borough. 

The strategy was produced with input from 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 can reach their own individual potential and are 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 across our borough. We need to use all our resources, creativity and commitment if we are to deliver on our shared ambition of a more equitable Oldham; an Oldham where all who live and work comfortably, healthily and happily."

The aim of the strategy, as the borough recovers from the pandemic, is to combat 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 that Oldham Council does.

It comes after the coronavirus pandemic threw a spotlight on the marginalisation of certain groups living in Oldham more likely to face inequality and discrimination.

Fazal Rahim, from Oldham Interfaith Forum, said: "It has been a pleasure to have been involved in creating the Building a Fairer Oldham strategy.

"People from all faiths have given their time and expertise in shaping this strategy through the Equality Advisory Group, and I'm very glad to see it now endorsed by Cabinet."

The strategy will now be taken to the next full meeting of Oldham Council for formal approval.

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