Bishop’s challenge for a more inclusive city

By on 14/11/2012 in Cllr Cotton, News
Cllr John Cotton

Cllr John Cotton

Birmingham's social inclusion process, Giving Hope Changing Lives, will be presenting its findings at an event at the CBSO Centre on Wednesday 14 November 2012 where the Bishop of Birmingham will be inviting delegates from across the city to take up the “social inclusion challenge”.

For the last six months the process, led by Bishop David Urquhart, and guided by a steering group of the city's leaders and key influencers, has been engaged in research and conversations about how inequality and unfairness can be tackled in Birmingham against the backdrop of a difficult economic situation nationally and locally.

The findings from the process have been turned into seven commitments to social inclusion, with detailed recommendations for action underpinning each one. The commitments are to:

  • Support families and children out of poverty
  • Embrace super-diversity
  • Protect the most vulnerable
  • Connect people and place together
  • Create a city that values children and young people
  • Empower people to shape their neighbourhood
  • Address safety, isolation and loneliness

Examples of the practical recommendations to achieve this social inclusion vision for the city include creating a Birmingham Jobs Fund to provide paid job opportunities for young unemployed people and establishing neighbourhood welcome centres to ensure that new arrivals, both from within the city and outside, can get the information, contact and assistance they need.

David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham, said: “In this time of unprecedented global economic and social uncertainty, it is vitally important that we work together across the city to shape the future wellbeing of the people of Birmingham.

“Achieving the best quality of life is important for everyone, but in order to do this people need to be able to participate fully in society and the economy. Inequality and social exclusion is something that we should not easily accept in a rich country and a city like ours.

“This task will require the combined energy, resources and wisdom of everyone to address some of the fundamental economic and social issues we face. I am asking for help and expertise to turn ideas into action.”

Cllr John Cotton, cabinet member for social inclusion and equalities, Birmingham City Council, said: “The inequalities that scar the face of our city are holding Birmingham back. If we accept that parts of our city will forever be mired in a cycle of worklessness, low income, educational underachievement and poor life expectancy, we are committing an act of economic and social sabotage.

“The message from this process is clear. I’m looking forward to working with the Bishop, partners and local communities in meeting these challenges and seeking to make a real difference to life chances of people across Birmingham.”


Notes to editors:

  • The city's strategic partnerships team 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 Green Paper, Making Birmingham an Inclusive City, can be downloaded from
  • Media are welcome at the summit. For more information, contact Sue Smith, Senior Partnership Officer, by phone on 0121 675 3624 or email

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