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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 178

Date:- 04 December 2004

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Equality and Diversity Strategy launched

THE purpose of the strategy and action plan is to provide a framework for the implementation of Golden Gates Housing's commitment to addressing discrimination and promoting equal opportunities in service provision and employment. 

The plan will help GGH make its services more accessible to everyone across the Borough, including older people and people from black and minority ethnic communities.

GGH's Board Member for Equality and Diversity, Usman Bob Stewart, said:- "This strategy is a step forward in ensuring that people can get the services they need regardless of their background or circumstances."

Key areas covered include:-

Consultation and participation
Delivering the Housing Service
Procurement of services
Recruitment of board members and staff
Training and development

Key achievements already implemented are:-

Understanding the make up of our staff and customers;
Beginning to establish relationships with community groups.
Working with customers and staff to monitor progress and help to mainstream equality and diversity issues into every part of our business.
Assessing our policies to ensure that they promote equal opportunities for all
Bobby approved website - website meets national standards for disabled users
Training programme for staff and board
Community language strap lines to customer information/documents
Language Line interpretation and translation service

The Equality and Diversity Steering Group, made up of staff from across service areas and the focus group, which includes Age Concern and Warrington Disability Partnership have been the driving force behind the project.

A number of groups including Warrington Ethnic Communities Association, Trade Unions Consultative Committee and Cheshire, Halton and Warrington Race Equality Council have been consulted on both the strategy and action plan.

Children at Cobbs Infant School won GGH's competition to design a poster reflecting the diversity of people in Warrington and it will take pride of place on the front cover of the strategy.

The GGH Board will monitor the success of the strategy by receiving regular updates on its implementation.

Premier Mayor is Ron in a million

LIVERPOOL'S former Lord Mayor has scooped the title of Britain's Premier first citizen. No, it is no joke, Councillor Ron Gould fought off competition from hundreds of entrants, to be named Mayor of the Year for his 2003 to 2004 term, by the Co-operative Bank.

The 68 year old father of two was awarded the prestigious title mainly because of the massive amount of money he raised for his charities. He smashed the civic record by raising more than £125,000 for The Alder Hey Appeal, Marie Curie Foundation, MIND and Stapely Nursing Home.
Councillor Gould also attended an amazing 750 engagements during his year in office. He won plaudits for championing fair trade, hosting outings for children and entertaining local comedians, such as Ricky Tomlinson and Ken Dodd.  His involvement with Liverpool's diverse communities was also praised as well as his ambassadorial role for the city at events in the UK and abroad.

The former Lord Mayor, who has been a community and mental health pharmacist for 45 years, will be presented with a £1,000 prize and an engraved Edinburgh Crystal plate at a special ceremony tomorrow (Tuesday) at Liverpool Town Hall. He will give the prize money to his chosen charities. 
Councillor Gould said:- "In my year Liverpool was awarded the European Capital of Culture title, the city became a World Heritage City and now this accolade. It completes a wonderful year in office. I feel like I've won the treble! 

It's a great honour to have my term of office recognised nationally like this, and this award will be shared with my wife, Tina, as it was a real team effort. She was a tremendous help throughout my year as Lord Mayor of Liverpool.

Most of all it's a great pat on the back for the people of Liverpool who supported my charities so generously."

Arranged by the Co-operative Bank, the Mayor of the Year Awards is in its fourth year. They recognise the outstanding contributions Mayors have made to their local community.

David Dunn, Customer Relationship Manager at The Co-operative Bank, said:- "To win this honour reflects the hard work and dedication that Ron has shown in the role of Lord Mayor.

As leading bankers in the local authority sector, we appreciate the contribution made by Mayors on a local level and are very pleased to be able to bring national recognition to Ron who has achieved something very special during his term in office."

Leader of Liverpool City Council, Mike Storey, said:- "Ron's term of office was during a very important and memorable year in the history of Liverpool, and one that I personally will also remember for years to come. As Lord Mayor, Councillor Gould was a wonderful representative of this city and was well-liked by everyone." 

Opposition Leader, Councillor Joe Anderson added:- "He did a marvellous job and represented the city fantastically. Hard work, dedication and enthusiasm for the city sums him up, and he's a great Evertonion to boot!"

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