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Congratulations to Derby City Council who became the latest local authority in England to voluntarily adopt the Socio-economic Duty.

On 25 May 2022 the council voted to carry the following motion unamended,

“Council notes that the Socio-Economic Duty (Section 1 of the Equality Act 2010) (6) requires public bodies to adopt transparent and effective measures to address the inequalities that result from differences in occupation, education, place of residence or social class. While the Duty has been enacted in Scotland and Wales. The United Nations has criticised the UK government for failing to activate the Duty since 2010. 

Council notes that authorities in Newcastle, Southwark, Stroud and North of Tyne have signed up and Councils including in Sheffield, Preston, Glasgow, Wigan, York, Bristol & Manchester are taking action due to cutbacks and financial struggles affecting their residents. 

Council ….resolves to voluntarily:

  1. Formally adopt the Socio-Economic Duty
  2. ‘Poverty-check’ decisions and policies for socio-economic impact, and how this interacts with other types of inequalities (protected characteristics e.g., race, disability, sex) including within EIAs (Equality Impact Assessments) 
  3. Urgently develop a proactive strategy, taking meaningful action to alleviate the effects of the cost of living crisis and reduce socio-economic disadvantage, drawing upon good practice examples from other cities and consultation with diverse local community groups, unions, activists, Derby People’s Assembly, Derby United Against Poverty, Derby Poverty Commission, and residents subjected to inequality by circumstance in Derby.”

Assessing how policies and decisions will impact on those experiencing socio-economic disadvantage is a powerful tool in tackling inequality locally. Read more about practical steps for implementation of the Socio-economic Duty in our guide.

We commend Derby City Council for taking this action and committing to work collaboratively with experts on the ground and in other local authorities to ensure meaningful change is achieved.

To find out more about the 1ForEquality Campaign, check out our webpage.

You can view the recorded debate on and passing of this motion from the Derby City Council Youtube channel. The motion begins 49 minutes in and continues until the end.


Photo by Kevin Hendersen on Unsplash