Our commitment South Staffordshire Council is an inclusive and open council that collaborates with residents, partners, and employees to build communities that are great places to live, visit and work. We are working hard to shape our services to ensure that communities can access the services and support they need and that we actively promote and practice equality, diversity, and inclusion to ensure we achieve equity and a sense of belonging for our communities and our workforce. Our vision The council has a vision for Equality and Diversity which is set out in South Staffordshire's Equality and Diversity Narrative 'Everyone Counts' for a society that: Improves quality of life by removing discrimination Builds strong cohesive communities Acknowledges that diversity enhances the lives of all who live, work and travel to the area Leadership The Leader of the council, all elected members, Chief Executive, Corporate and Assistant Directors have responsibility for the strategic direction of equality and diversity in the Council. They also ensure equality is considered when key decisions are made that affect residents and employees. This is supported by the council's corporate equality steering group who develop strategic plans and corporate work programmes to support equalities at South Staffordshire Council. Our leaders are committed to promoting a culture where diversity is valued and thrives at all levels in our organisation and that every community can access the services and support, they need. Strategy and plans Our strategies, plans and policies seek to ensure we eliminate discrimination and exceed our legal responsibilities and we are committed to reducing inequalities and driving better outcomes for people who experience disadvantage relating to their protected characteristics and because of socioeconomic and health inequalities. We also recognise our responsibilities as an employer because we know that a workforce that represents the make-up of our district is better placed to deliver equitable services that are sensitive to different needs. Service Equality Group The Service Equality Group is representative of key council services. The aim of the group is to quality assure Equality Impact Assessments and to provide a forum to consider the needs of underrepresented colleagues and ensure they have a voice and can share their expertise to help us continually improve Our elected members Elected members are a vital part of equality, diversity, and inclusion. They are the voice of our communities having a unique opportunity to make a difference to people’s lives. They are often able to feedback information from residents and provide a greater depth of local knowledge when considering the impact of policies and decisions. Our equality, diversity and inclusion objectives are set out here.