Kirklees Council has revealed its plan for the next year as it puts tackling inequalities at the heart of the borough’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Full Council has approved “Our Council Plan” which aims to build on the council’s vision for Kirklees to be a place which combines a strong, sustainable economy with a great quality of life.

It aspires to create thriving communities, growing businesses, high prosperity, and low inequality where people enjoy better health throughout their lives.

It is an extension to the 2018-2020 Corporate Plan but puts a renewed focus on ensuring no one is left behind as Kirklees recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus has further highlighted that deep-rooted inequalities affect people every day and can lead to significant impacts on economic status, education, good quality employment and safe and secure housing, as well as physical and mental health and people’s ability to feel included and valued

The first step towards delivering a fairer and more inclusive borough for everyone, will be the establishment of a cross-party Inequalities Commission.

It will work closely with partners and communities to better understand the issues faced by many and take forward clear actions to deliver equality in Kirklees.

This was also approved by Full Council on 21 October 2020.

Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said, “Ultimately, our aim is the same and that’s a thriving economy and a great quality of life for all residents.

Cllr Shabir Pandor

“However, coronavirus has starkly highlighted that people on the fringes of our economy will be hit hardest in terms of jobs and financial insecurity.

Pandor said, “These issues are deep-rooted in society and have been there for as long as any of us can remember. This pandemic has merely highlighted them and shown us all how cruelly unequal this world is for people. We must break this cycle of unfairness and make sure that no one is left behind as we recover.

“No matter your race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age or any other factor – if we don’t work to make sure everyone has the same opportunities to fulfil their potential and ambitions, we are failing. I want our first step to be the creation of a new cross-party Inequalities Commission.

“The new Council Plan is our roadmap for recovery in Kirklees. At its heart is a determination to build a fairer and more equal borough for people to live, work and grow up in.

“The togetherness and sense of community spirit during the pandemic has been nothing short of inspirational. If we can continue to work together in this way, our recovery offers a better future for everyone in Kirklees. I invite anyone who wants to play their part in building a fairer Kirklees to join us in delivering this plan.”

You can read the ‘Our Council’ plan on the website here