Council fails to deliver equality objectives again

Oldham Council has again failed to deliver its new equality objectives and strategy – with them not being ready in time for the November Council meeting.

The Council had a statutory obligation to renew the objectives at the start of 2020 – well before any delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, but delayed them, claiming that they needed to ensure that they aligned with the forthcoming strategy in order to be effective.

However, despite this being repeatedly flagged by Liberal Democrat Councillor Al-Hamdani, the Council failed to bring them forward in June, September and again in November, despite saying that they were a priority and were nearly ready.

Councillor Al-Hamdani said: “What it boils down to is fairness. That’s what equality policies must deliver – and after a year of waiting for this to be delivered, I find it difficult to see that the Council cares about being fair.

Sam Al-Hamdani at the Civic Centre

“I know that there have been delays caused to much of the Council’s work by coronavirus, but these should have been delivered before we were ever in this situation. The objectives need to match the strategy – great – but the objectives were required at the start of the year. If you want the strategy to match, do the work sooner.

The latest delay has occurred after the Council started consultations with concerned groups on the strategy and objectives.

Councillor Al-Hamdani added: “I don’t understand how this has delayed the strategy. Of course consultations must take place. That should have always been part of the process, and should always have been allowed for in the timeline. We shouldn’t have reached the date when the Council promised to deliver and then someone realised there were more things to do.”

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