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21.03.14

15 councils sign up to National Social Inclusion Network

Fifteen local authorities have signed up to be part of the new National Social Inclusion Network, launched by Birmingham City Council and the Bishop of Birmingham, to tackle social inequality

The declaration states that, against a backdrop of public sector cuts, the task of creating more inclusive cities has moved beyond what local or national government can do on their own and that there is an urgent need to rally resources and expertise.

The authorities that have signed the declaration are Barrow-in-Furness, Birmingham, Bristol, Islington, Knowsley, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Plymouth, Sheffield, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent and Tower Hamlets.

Focused on eight themes, the Network’s activities were identified from reports produced by fairness and poverty commissions from around the country.

Each theme is being coordinated by a local authority member of the network. They are: Living wage and income inequality (Islington); Impact of welfare reform (Birmingham); Fuel, finance and food (Plymouth); Education and skills (Liverpool); Youth employment (Birmingham); Transport, access and affordability (Sheffield); Democratic accountability (Newcastle); and Housing (Tower Hamlets).

Cllr John Cotton, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for social cohesion and equalities, said: “I entered politics to help people and I’m proud to say that this declaration represents a very real commitment to improving the lives of millions of people across the country.

“Even as we face up to unprecedented cuts, the councils signing up to the declaration are demonstrating a united commitment to those people who feel they have been marginalised for too long.”

The formation of the National Social Inclusion Network and the Birmingham Declaration came out of the National Social Inclusion Symposium hosted by Birmingham City Council’s Leader, Cllr Sir Albert Bore and The Rt Revd David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham and funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, in September 2013.

Revd Urquhart added: “The National Social Inclusion Network will provide an opportunity to bring together our experience and expertise, learn from each other and combine our efforts to build a strong collective voice to articulate the arguments for social inclusion for all our communities across the country.”

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