New Equality and Diversity Framework agreed to help Edinburgh build back better
Councillors in Edinburgh today approved a new four-year framework setting out the Council’s ambitions to advance equality and promote diversity as the city rebuilds after the pandemic.
Following consideration at Policy and Sustainability Committee earlier today, the Equality and Diversity Framework 2021-2025 was given the green light.
The framework, developed jointly by the Council and partners, includes a new set of equality outcomes and mainstreaming actions across key areas of the Council’s work and aligns these with the Council’s new Business Plan 2021-2024.
Its core aim is to bring tangible improvements to the lives and experiences of people living in Edinburgh and the Lothians. Through the mainstreaming actions, equality will be integrated into the day-to-day working of the Council.
Five key equality outcome themes have been established in the framework, namely:
- Inclusive communities
- Accessing facilities and support
- Having a warm and affordable home
- Improved health, wellbeing and attainment for young people
- Diverse and inclusive workplace
Priority actions related to each theme have been agreed for the first year of the framework.
Council Leader Adam McVey said: “We’re fully committed to improving equality, inclusion and diversity across Edinburgh.
Tackling inequality and promoting wellbeing for all our citizens are fundamental to our approach as an Administration, alongside eradicating poverty and achieving Net Zero Carbon status for Edinburgh by 2030. This new framework will help us shape Edinburgh’s recovery from the impacts of Covid19 in a way that leaves nobody behind.
“It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from, everyone in Edinburgh should be able to access the same opportunities and the same life chances. I’m so grateful to all our partners and the many stakeholders and members of the public who took the time to help us develop this framework.”
Depute Council Leader Cammy Day said: “It’s been one of the toughest years this city has endured in living memory – and, sadly, our most disadvantaged communities have been among the most impacted. We know that if we’re going to meet our 2050 Vision of being a sustainable, fair and thriving city, we have to build back better, holding on to the many positives of our collective response to the crisis.
“Equality will be integrated into the day-to-day working of the Council and the framework will help us structure and deliver our services differently, working with communities, including equality groups, to consider the needs of all our residents.”
The Council worked collaboratively on the framework with partner organisations, including City of Edinburgh and Midlothian Education Authorities, NHS Lothian, West Lothian and Midlothian Council, Midlothian and East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnerships. Officers also worked closely with the Edinburgh Health and Social Care Partnership and the Edinburgh Licensing Board.
A huge range of stakeholders from across the region were contacted directly and invited to feed in their comments, including disability groups, religious associations, equalities organisations, community councils and groups, charities and tenants’ federations, among many more.
A public consultation was held online, given Covid restrictions, from 3 November to 22 December 2020, to find out what was most important to Edinburgh citizens. Extended social distancing measures meant that most engagement activity was online, with additional methods including paper versions of the consultation, a child-friendly survey, BSL videos and interpretation and translation available on request.