As an employer and service provider, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, like other agencies, has to comply with the Equality Act 2010 and fulfil statutory duties with regards to equality and inclusion. But the Combined Authority’s ambition stretches far beyond this, with many of the aspirations set out in the Greater Manchester Strategy and the Mayor’s manifesto looking to improve outcomes for all.
Devolution has been a great step forward for our city-region, but we must be sure to take full advantage of these new powers and responsibilities in a way that makes a difference to the lives of people across all our communities, regardless of age, background, gender, culture or beliefs.
LGBT Adviser and Panel
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has set up a panel of experts to tackle the inequalities lesbian, gay, bi and trans people face, and ensure they feel included, valued and safe.
The panel will reflect the diversity of the LGBT community from across Greater Manchester and will be headed by a new LGBT Adviser. Former Lord Mayor of Manchester and prominent LGBT activist Carl Austin-Behan has been appointed as the Adviser.
When running for election, the Mayor made a commitment that our Combined Authority would be gender balanced. Women are represented in senior positions, and now both men and women are responsible for shaping the future of Greater Manchester.
But there is still a long way to go to achieve true gender equality. In workplaces, for example, we need to see more being done to promote flexible working, ensure good wages, and tackle discrimination. This is why we are drawing up a Good Employer Charter, working with local employers to ensure people in Greater Manchester receive fair pay, have access to high quality secure jobs, and are given the opportunity to reach their full potential, regardless of gender.
Social Cohesion Commission
In September 2017, the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, set up an independent commission to consider how to tackle hateful extremism, social exclusion and radicalisation. You can find out more about the findings of this commission on this page.
Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Accord
Greater Manchester is home to 16,000 voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations working to improve the lives of citizens. The VCSE sector is active across every aspect of growth and reform, including crime and disorder; sport, culture and leisure; skills, employment and enterprise; health and social care; housing and transport; environment and carbon reduction; poverty reduction; inclusive growth and governance.
On the 7th November 2017, the Mayor signed a formal Accord with the 16,000 voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) organisations in Greater Manchester.
The Accord sets out the framework for a new relationship between the Mayor of Greater Manchester, the Combined Authority and the VCSE sector. It includes building and sustaining the VCSE sector’s strategic capacity to deliver the shared vision as set out in the Greater Manchester Strategy, supporting the priorities that will help make Greater Manchester one of the best places in the world to grow up, get on and grow old.
Membership of the Co-operative Council’s Innovation Network
Greater Manchester is the home of the co-operative movement. The Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers was established in 1844 and Greater Manchester remains the home of the Co-operative Group, the world’s largest consumer owned business.
In July 2018, the Combined Authority became a member of the Co-operatives Councils’ Innovation Network (CCIN). The CCIN is working to define a new model for local government, built on civic leadership. Member councils work in partnership with local people to shape and strengthen communities, with a view to replacing traditional models of top-down governance and service delivery with local leadership and genuine co-operation.
The building blocks of cooperation in Greater Manchester are strong, with more than 160,000 people in Greater Manchester already members of a co-operative. Co-operatives collectively contribute £73 million to the local economy. The co-ops include credit unions providing financial services to communities, ten housing cooperatives, and retail, which is the largest sector and includes a number of organisations that are reporting significant increases in turnover. Co-operatives are also starting to emerge in key growth areas such as digital and green technology.
In July 2018, the Combined Authority agreed to set up a Greater Manchester Co-operative Commission to ensure that the city-region stays at the forefront of co-operative development. The Commission will sit as an independent panel, making policy recommendations to support the continued development of the co-operative sector in Greater Manchester and to ensure that Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) is drawing on the benefits that co-operatives can bring to our local economy. It will examine:
- The existing evidence which supports the role of the cooperative and mutual sector generally and the benefits which it could generate for Greater Manchester;
- How Greater Manchester can build from best practice in the sector, the business advice and support available to grow this sector; and
- How Greater Manchester can overcome the challenges and address the barriers that the sector faces.
The Commission will also examine how the sector can support the delivery of the Greater Manchester Strategy, exploring four ‘opportunities’ for co-operative business and working:
- Digital economy
- Co-operative business development
The Commission is chaired by Cllr Allen Brett and vice-chaired by Cllr Angelika Stogia, the GMCA Portfolio Lead and Deputy Portfolio Lead for Community, Voluntary and Co-operatives. They are joined by nine independent Commissioners.
The Commission has launched a call for evidence to explore how Greater Manchester can make the most of the benefits co-operatives bring, particularly in the four ‘opportunity’ sectors. Share your experiences of co-operatives via the call for evidence at www.gmconsult.org
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