The initial findings of an inquiry into social exclusion in the city and how to close inequality gaps for people in Birmingham have been revealed.
The Social Inclusion Process findings were shared at the latest Birmingham summit, Building a More Inclusive City.
Led by the Bishop of Birmingham, the Rt Revd David Urquhart, the project has been engaging with people across the city to examine issues of exclusion and poverty and to decide how they can be tackled more effectively.
Through five key lines of enquiry – People, Place, Inclusive Growth, Wellbeing and Young People – over the last four months the process has engaged with a wide range of groups and organisations across the city including residents’ groups, providers of healthcare, family support, employment and skills services, schools, youth groups and agencies working with excluded and vulnerable young people.
The evidence that has been gathered will be presented to over 150 delegates from the public, private, voluntary, faith and community sectors in the city who are expected at the summit. The delegates will take part in debate to test the findings which will then be turned into recommendations in a “green paper” to be issued in September.
The Rt Revd David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, said: “Working towards a more cohesive city is still a massive challenge. Inequalities in health, life expectancy and education still persist.
“That is why we have been engaging with so many people across the city and beyond, to gain a fresh perspective, gathering evidence of what works, talking to people about the barriers and challenges they face and visiting examples of good practice, so that we can develop the practical responses that are needed to close the gap between our most advantaged and disadvantaged individuals and communities.”
Cllr John Cotton, cabinet member for social cohesion and equalities, Birmingham City Council, said: “Tackling the deep-rooted inequalities and deprivation that scar parts of our city is one of the city council’s key priorities. We will be working alongside our partners in other public sector agencies, from business, the voluntary and community sectors to challenge the causes of deprivation and to deliver strong, cohesive communities across Birmingham.
“The council is committed to working for fairness and social justice in these tough times. We want to see an inclusive city in which many more people can play their part. The findings of the Social Inclusion Process will play a key role in influencing this agenda for the city.”
Notes to editors
The city’s partnership team (formerly Be Birmingham) brings together partners from the business, community, voluntary, faith and public sectors to deliver a better quality of life in Birmingham.
The Social Inclusion Process blog can be found at www.fairbrum.wordpress.com.
Giving Hope, Changing Lives http://www.bebirmingham.org.uk/page.php?id=469
For more information, contact Sue Smith, Senior Partnership Officer, by phone on 0121 675 3624 or email email@example.com.