By KLTV Newsdesk
Kirklees Council has announced a new recovery plan for the next year as it aims to tackle inequalities at the heart of the borough’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dubbed “Our Council Plan”, the plan looks to build on the Council’s vision for Kirklees to be a place which combines a strong, sustainable economy with a better quality of life for its citizens.
The council highlights a number of goals for the plan, including aspirations to create thriving communities and grow businesses with high prosperity and low inequality.
The full plan can be read on Kirklees Council’s website.
It is an extension to the 2018-2020 Corporate Plan, but the council claims it puts a renewed focus on ensuring no one is left behind as Kirklees recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coronavirus has only further highlighted that deep-rooted inequalities affect people every day and can lead to significant impacts on economic status, education, good quality employment and safe and secure housing.
Physical and mental health and people’s ability to feel included and valued has also taken a significant hit in these difficult times.
As part of the new plan, the council says they are establishing a cross-party Inequalities Commission.
They say it will work closely with partners and communities to better understand the issues faced by many and take forward clear actions to deliver equality in Kirklees.
Councillor Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council, said: “Ultimately, our aim is the same and that’s a thriving economy and a great quality of life for all residents.
“However, coronavirus has starkly highlighted that people on the fringes of our economy will be hit hardest in terms of jobs and financial insecurity.
“These issues are deep-rooted in society and have been there for as long as any of us can remember. This pandemic has merely highlighted them and shown us all how cruelly unequal this world is for people.
“We must break this cycle of unfairness and make sure that no one is left behind as we recover.
Cllr Pandor described the togetherness and community spirit of people in Kirklees during the pandemic, calling it ‘inspirational’ and said that continuing to work together in such as way will offer a better future for everyone in the borough.
He continued: “No matter your race, religion, gender, disability, sexual orientation, age or any other factor – if we don’t work to make sure everyone has the same opportunities to fulfil their potential and ambitions, we are failing. I want our first step to be the creation of a new cross-party Inequalities Commission.
“The new Council Plan is our roadmap for recovery in Kirklees. At its heart is a determination to build a fairer and more equal borough for people to live, work and grow up in.
“I invite anyone who wants to play their part in building a fairer Kirklees to join us in delivering this plan.”