We are committed to working with our residents, businesses and partners to make sure that Warrington is accessible, welcoming and provides opportunities for everybody. This strategy sets out how we will achieve this vision through the delivery of our equality objectives and priorities 2020-2024. These are an integral part of the organisation and link closely with our Corporate Strategy. They guide the work we carry out and show our commitment to challenging inequality and promoting a fair and inclusive town. They also demonstrate our commitment to the Public Sector Equality Duty contained within the Equality Act 2010.

The strategy was revised in September 2020 to help guide the town’s recovery from the coronavirus pandemic. It contains priorities and actions to help mitigate some of the health and economic impacts of the pandemic on those most affected.

Our Strategic Equality Group is responsible for the delivery of the objectives and priorities. The strategy will be reviewed on an annual basis. Regular progress reports will be forwarded to Cabinet. In addition, some of the projects will be monitored through our performance management framework.


Our Equality Objectives, Priorities and Actions

Provide opportunities to improve life chances
Improve life expectancy and health and wellbeing

We will:

  • Promote good health, management of health, healthy choices and physical activity
  • Maximise opportunities to deliver an integrated Public Health Prevention Model to better address the causes of poor health and inequality including housing, neighbourhoods and public protection.
  • Assess the impact of COVID-19 on population wellbeing and promote positive mental wellbeing messages and services across all settings.
  • Conduct suicide surveillance, especially in relation to the impact of COVID-19, activate community response plans as relevant
  • Commission a number of large Public Health services, including drugs and alcohol services and new healthy child programme 0-25 years PH commissioned services.
  • Minimise the harm of tobacco on communities through the delivery of the Warrington Tobacco Control Plan

This objective will be overseen by Thara Raj, Directory of Public Health.

Provide employment and educational opportunities for young people

We will:

  • Deliver a Local Offer for 19-25 year olds for learning, respite, and independent skills by July 2021 as a pilot basis for further expansion
  • Implement the Journey First Project, including the recruitment and training of staff to provide support to young people and adults into employment
  • Ensure that there is suitable post-16 education provision in place which improves independence and leads to employment.

This objective will be overseen by Paula Worthington, Director of Early Help, Education and SEND

Improve educational outcomes and employment opportunities for disadvantaged children* and young people and young people with special education needs and disability (SEND)

We will:

  • Encourage and support the take-up of free early years places for disadvantaged pupils so that children’s progress is not impaired by the lockdown restrictions
  • Promote social mobility by closing the attainment gap between specific vulnerable groups and their peers across all the key stages
  • Work with local businesses to improve the opportunities available in Warrington for young people with SEND, adults with LD and/or Autism and people with mental health needs to engage in meaningful employment
  • Grow our education and employment opportunities and aspirations for our children in care and care leavers including work with local businesses

This objective will be overseen by Paula Worthington, Director of Early Help, Education and SEND and Amanda Amesbury, Director of Children’s Social Care

*Disadvantaged children are pupils who have been eligible for free school meals in the past 6 years or they are a looked after child in the care of the council. Children who have ceased to be looked after by the council are also classed as disadvantaged.

Work with our partners to provide emotional and mental health support for children and young people.

We will:

  • Deliver mental health support teams in schools to improve the emotional health and wellbeing of children and young people
  • Deliver a high quality youth offer as part of the wider holistic early help service in line with the proposed statutory guidance on youth work
  • Work in partnership with the Youth Zone to ensure that it meets the need of young people living in Warrington
  • Maximise the impact of the central area masterplan by working with key partners to support young people across central to develop confidence and find positive outlets for socialising, creativity and skills.

This objective will be overseen by Paula Worthington, Director of Early Help, Education and SEND

Address inequality across the town, ensuring all of our communities have access to sustainable employment

We will:

  • Provide opportunities for those furthest from the labour market
  • Develop and deliver supported employment offer and skills development.
  • Work with the LEP and Skills Commission to develop a range of opportunities which support people into apprenticeships, internships, supported employment and paid employment
  • Generate more employment opportunities in the borough for those with additional needs.
  • Support adults with learning disabilities (LD) and mental health (MH) in paid employment
  • Support employment and work opportunities for our most vulnerable residents through supported employment forum
  • Advocate and support delivery of the Social Mobility agenda

This objective will be overseen by Steve Park, Director of Growth and Paula Worthington, Director of Early Help, Education and SEND

Work with our partners and businesses to improve accessibility and tackle discrimination
Provide access to support services and networks for older people and vulnerable residents
  • Ensure there is a clear service pathway for our most vulnerable residents including Safe and Well Service, adult social care and other commissioned providers.
  • Build on our response to the coronavirus pandemic to further develop our approach to assessment and care management in adult social care, which focuses on individuals’ strengths, support networks, and available technology to maximise independence and wellbeing
  • Support Warrington Wellbeing to continue to deliver its work supporting refugees and other commissioned services e.g. dementia and high intensity users.
  • Embed prevention across older people’s services, including the frailty programme, to ensure it has a central role in all provision
  • Protect the elderly from falling victim to doorstep crime so that they can continue to feel safe to live in their own home

This objective will be overseen by Cath Jones, Director of Adult Social Care

Provide access to housing for residents with additional needs

We will:

  • Deliver an expansion programme of learning disability and mental health support and accommodation through:
  • Complete the existing medium term capital programme of open market house purchases and adaptations
  • Launch the housing position statement for complex needs.

This objective will be overseen by Cath Jones, Director of Adult Social Care

Improve the lives of victims of domestic abuse

We will:

  • Deliver our targeted Domestic Abuse strategy, in partnership with Adults Safeguarding and the wider multi-agency Partnership, to improve the lives of victims (adults and children) and reduce the risk of repeated abuse

This objective will be overseen by Amanda Amesbury, Director of Children’s Social Care

Work with Cheshire Police and Warrington Hate Crime Action Alliance to improve reporting and reduce levels of hate crime

We will:

  • Continue to fund and support the annual Wise Up awards scheme which celebrates schools in Warrington who work to help stop hate crime and bullying.
  • Lead a multi-agency group to investigate whether racism and race and religiously motivated hate crime is prevalent in Warrington schools.
  • Promote hate crime awareness in the new council building, registrars and community buildings.
  • Launch the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme* in Time Square and all council buildings which are open to the public.

Continue to receive half yearly updates on the work of Warrington Hate Crime Action Alliance

*The Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Scheme is a leading national initiative which is designed to act as a discreet sign to staff that the wearer has a hidden disability and may require additional assistance.

This objective will be overseen by Gareth Hopkins, Deputy Director, Corporate Services and Paula Worthington, Director of Early Help, Education and SEND

Strengthen the inclusion of all black, ethnic and minority (BAME) communities in community and communication initiatives

We will:

 

  • Work alongside communities and other key partners to deliver key elements of the central masterplan, including developing friends of groups for local parks, community clean up days and community growing spaces.
  • Maximise opportunities to involve BAME residents in delivery of key projects, particularly within the Central masterplan programme
  • Include and deliver cultural community activities within the Central Neighbourhood Renewal Masterplan. This will include the option of more activities in parks and public spaces to bring different communities together
  • Provide people with a safe and clean environment that promotes health and community cohesion
  • Information and sign posting campaigns to different communities (including transient communities) on waste disposal systems and other public services.
  • Inclusion of Black Ethnic and Minority communities in the active travel initiative contained within the Local Transport Plan 4 (LTP4).
  • Improve our knowledge, understanding and communication with Black, Ethnic and Minority communities
  • Promotion of the Home Office EU Settlement Scheme to residents affected by the UK’s departure from the EU

This objective will be overseen by Steve Park, Director of Growth, Dave Boyer, Director of Environment and Transport and Gareth Hopkins, Deputy Director, Corporate Services

 

Develop a transparent robust equality impact assessment process to help improve our services and make sure they are accessible and inclusive.
  • Revision of the EIA template and publication of guidance.
  • Staff training and identification and training of EIA experts in directorates to assist in the completion of EIA’s
  • Specific intranet page containing links to all demographic information to assist in the completion of EIA’s
  • Half yearly reports to the Audit and Corporate Governance Committee on the completion of equality impact assessments.
  • Regular reports to the Strategic Equality Group on the completion of equality impact assessments
  • Improve our knowledge of Warrington residents through improved equality monitoring.

This objective will be overseen by Gareth Hopkins, Deputy Director, Corporate Services

Promote and Foster an Inclusive Working Environment for our Workforce
Support the health and mental wellbeing of all staff
  • Continue to deliver the council’s health and wellbeing programme

This objective will be overseen by Gareth Hopkins, Deputy Director, Corporate Services

Raise awareness and promote LGBT+ inclusion
  • Submit application to Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index in 2021.
  • Continue to work with Silver Rainbow’s Body Positive and Livewire on the “Prejudice to Pride Warrington Project”. This initiative aims to improve facilities and communication with the older LGBT+ community in Warrington.
  • Set up an Equality Champions Group
  • Support and receive regular updates on the work of the Youth Service’s TAGS (Teenagers, Gender, Sexuality) Groups
  • Explore the feasibility of an initiative to restart Warrington Pride
  • Organise a special edition of Your Voice to promote LGBT+ inclusion

This objective will be overseen by Paula Worthington, Director of Early Help, Education and SEND, Gareth Hopkins, Deputy Director, Corporate Services and Dave Boyer, Director of Environment and Transport

Achieve level 3 leader status under the Disability Confident Scheme.
  • Explore what work is required to achieve level 3 status and learn from other local authorities who have already achieved this accreditation.
  • Work towards achieving level 3 status by July 2022

This objective will be overseen by Gareth Hopkins, Deputy Director, Corporate Services

Deliver a leadership and career development programme to help reduce the Council’s gender pay gap
  • Publish special edition of Your Voice on closing the council’s gender pay gap to include case studies of women who had progressed their career.
  • Explore options for a “gender pay gap conversation event” taking into account the phased return to 1 Times Square.

Continue to develop and deliver female career development initiatives as follows: -

  • Female development programme aimed at lower graded staff
  • Female Leadership masterclasses in partnership with other Local Authorities.

This objective will be overseen by Gareth Hopkins, Deputy Director, Corporate Services

Improve our equality monitoring information for our workforce and reduce the proportion of unknown equality data
  • Review and republish customer and workforce Public Sector Equality Duty Report 2020.
  • Undertake a communication campaign to encourage all staff to complete their equality monitoring information on SAP.

This objective will be overseen by Gareth Hopkins, Deputy Director, Corporate Services

Deliver an equality, diversity and inclusion training programme for councillors and employees
  • Continue to promote mandatory E-Learning courses to staff and elected members.
  • Receive an update on the number of staff and the number of elected members who have completed the E-Learning courses
  • Promote class room equality diversity and inclusion courses and receive an update on the number of staff who have attended the course
  • Include equality diversity and inclusion training in the new member induction programme

This objective will be overseen by Gareth Hopkins, Deputy Director, Corporate Services