Calderdale Council has published its annual equality progress report, which highlights the many steps it has taken over the past year to ensure it meets the needs of all our diverse communities.
The Council sets equality objectives to make sure it does everything it can to improve the life chances of all residents, and reports on its achievements every year.
Good progress has been made across these objectives, which include making services easily accessible for everyone; supporting vulnerable people; celebrating Calderdale’s heritage and diversity; and ensuring different communities live together in harmony.
The Council’s Cabinet will discuss the report at its meeting on Monday 6 March from 6pm at Halifax Town Hall.
Cllr Susan Press, Calderdale Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Communities, said:
“We are proud of Calderdale’s richly diverse, vibrant and changing communities. We continue to adapt our services to meet everyone’s needs effectively, and this includes making sure our workforce is committed to equality and reflects the diversity of our local residents.
“There are lots of examples of great work over the past year, but we will keep looking for ways to be more inclusive and we’re reviewing our equality objectives to ensure they remain relevant.”
Here are just some of the things that the Council has done to improve equality of opportunity for local people in the last 12 months:
- Recognising that written child protection plans can be difficult for families to understand, children’s social workers are now using more pictures in the plans to ensure that processes are clear and everyone knows what is expected of them.
- To open up more services to the deaf community, the Council has trained a number of staff in basic British Sign Language, and last September held a signed tour of Todmorden Town Hall to make the area’s fascinating heritage more accessible.
- So far the Council has installed inclusive play equipment in 30% of its play areas. This means that disabled children and young people can play alongside their friends and siblings, and it’s easier for parents and carers to help them.
- The Council continues to work with Calderdale Council of Mosques to improve provision of Muslim burials and access to graves at Elland Cemetery on Exley Lane. Community registrar volunteers have been introduced outside of office hours so that paperwork for funerals can be issued according to religious needs.
- The library service benefits from a team of volunteers from different ethnicities and backgrounds. For example, at Todmorden Library they have helped to develop a regular events programme for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people over 50.