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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Cooperatives 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 Co-operative Commission to ensure that the city-region stays at the forefront of co-operative development. The Commission will help Greater Manchester identify ways to:
As part of the Commission, research will be carried out on the role of co-operatives in Greater Manchester to gather evidence on how they are achieving the ambitions of the Greater Manchester Strategy before publishing a report detailing the findings and recommendations.