Merton acts to end inequality

Merton has strengthened its commitment to promoting equality and valuing the diversity in the borough by publishing its Corporate Equality Scheme 2010-2013. The scheme, officially launched earlier this week (9 February 2010), sets out a programme of action that the council will take to address inequality and discrimination faced by some members of the community, due to age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, or sexual orientation.

Plans laid out in the scheme include cutting the proportion of pupils from specific ethnic minorities who are excluded from school and increasing the life chances of boys from low-income families at school. Other elements of the programme cover increasing the care choices for disabled and elderly people and developing interfaith dialogue in schools.

The scheme also promotes breaking down barriers between different groups by increasing young people’s involvement in local democracy, developing young religion and belief ambassadors, combating domestic violence and all forms of hate crime; and ensuring transgender residents are treated with respect.

Merton Council cabinet member for community safety and engagement Councillor Henry Nelless said: “We all value the rich diversity of ages, religions and races which make Merton such a culturally varied and interesting place to live and work.

“We are therefore committed to addressing the needs of all our residents and making sure everyone is able to take advantage of services the council offers. The new Corporate Equality Scheme sets out how we intend to do this and put an end to people facing disadvantages in their daily lives because of their age, disability, race, gender, belief or religion, or sexual orientation.”