This is how Lancashire intends to ensure equal opportunities for its residents
Lancashire County Council has laid out how it plans to promote equality of opportunity in the region – regardless of factors which could risk people being treated differently to each other.
All local authorities are obliged to produce a set of guiding principles to ensure that they consider the needs of those safeguarded under equality legislation when they formulate their policies.
The so-called “protected characteristics” covered by the regulations include age, race, disability, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, religion or belief, sexual orientation and gender reassignment.
Councils not only have to ensure that they do not fall foul of the law by actively discriminating against a particular group – but also to “advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who don’t”.
The authority has committed to 15 equality objectives, including narrowing gaps in health and attainment between different groups, ensuring that investment in public infrastructure considers the needs of all communities and making it easier for people to travel across the county to take advantage of the opportunities and services available to them.
County Hall has also pledged to be an inclusive employer – promoting diversity within its workforce and celebrating it across society as a whole.
The equality objectives for the authority were due be refreshed, having last been revised four years ago.
Cabinet member for community and cultural services, Peter Buckley, said: “This new policy will help to ensure the county council continues to provide services which meet the needs of our diverse communities.
“We want Lancashire to be a place where everyone can live, work, prosper and visit.
“The equality objectives are a key part of our plans,” County Cllr Buckley added.
The objectives have also been aligned to the county council’s corporate priorities which set the policy direction for the authority.