Islington Council launches Challenging Inequality Strategy to create a fairer, more equal borough

Islington Council has launched a new strategy aimed at tackling inequality, racism and injustice in the borough for both staff and residents, in line with the council’s commitment to building a fairer Islington where everyone, regardless of background, has the opportunity to realise their potential and enjoy a good quality of life.

Sitting alongside other council initiatives such as the council’s Fair Futures Commission, the Challenging Inequality Strategy is designed to take advantage of the council’s unique position as a local strategic leader, an employer, a service provider and commissioner. The strategy describes long term goals and plans to improve every aspect of the council’s services in a way that addresses inequality and inequity, and creates a more inclusive environment free from discrimination.

Of the many actions described in the strategy, some highlights include:

  • Establishing a Challenging Inequality Coalition of community representatives who, along with staff forums and other community partners, will lead the way to challenge prejudice and celebrate diversity through an expanded programme of equality events, communication campaigns and in reviewing the use of language throughout the council.

  • Enabling and supporting more people from under-represented groups to start up businesses, and help those businesses survive and thrive by developing a business support programme for underrepresented entrepreneurs and minority owners via a dedicated network and applicable training resources. Two more affordable workspaces will be up and running by autumn 2021.
  • Efforts to better understand and respond to the disproportionate health effects of COVID-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities including through the local voluntary collection of ethnicity data at death registration, going above the national requirement. Covid recovery plans from areas such as Public Health, Adult Social Care and others will include a focused plan for communities disproportionally impacted by COVID-19, such as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic residents.
  • Looking at the council’s role as an employer, the council will review recruitment and selection processes, use workforce data to understand issues such as inequality of pay and progression, introduce leadership and mentoring programmes for staff to support their development and roll out training for senior leadership around cultural competence and inclusive leadership.

The Challenging Inequality Strategy will be reviewed on an ongoing basis and monitored annually to hold the council and its partners to account for delivering the shared vision and outcomes and ensure transparency in reporting.

Cllr Una O’Halloran, Executive Member for Community Development, said:

“The council is committed to building a fairer Islington, where everyone has the same chances in life no matter what their background.

“In 2020 the Black Lives Matter movement shone a spotlight on racism, inequality and injustice, and made clear that we all have more to do to change the way we think and work if we want to build a fairer society.

“The council’s new Challenging Inequalities Strategy lays out the council’s long term plan to listen, learn, and work in partnership with local people and communities to challenge inequality and discrimination, and promote inclusion. The road to a fairer and more equal Islington is one we need to take together, as one community, and I’m delighted to be launching this strategy as another important step towards equality.”

More information, including the full strategy document is available on the council’s website.

Media contact information

If you are a member of the media and would like more information please contact:

Islington Council media team – media@islington.gov.uk or 020 7527 2307.  Out of hours: 07769 163303

If you are a member of the public with a general question about the council please contact:

Contact Islington – www.islington.gov.uk/contact-us or 020 7527 2000