To seek approval for the approach towards developing an inclusive economy in North Tyneside
Cabinet considered a report seeking approval for an overarching approach to building a more inclusive North Tyneside, particularly using the local economy as a route to make that happen. It provided a framework for a range of projects and activities which aimed to make North Tyneside and its economy, more inclusive.
Following a peer review in 2018, a clear recommendation for the Authority was to develop and implement an inclusive economy strategy for the Borough. Building upon the good work already achieved and the commitments already made in promoting inclusivity and tackling deprivation, this strategy aimed to act on that recommendation and provide an approach in which North Tyneside could achieve some real gains in becoming an inclusive economy.
A great deal of international policy development had gone into thinking about inclusive economic growth. Focus had shifted to look at the quality of economic growth and not just its rate. This meant an economy that worked for and included everyone, where the benefits of the economy were spread, so that all communities flourished and grew equally.
The single biggest excluding factor in North Tyneside was deprivation. Around 1 in 10 residents lived in an area that was ranked as the most deprived in England and an estimated 18.7% of children in North Tyneside were living in poverty in 2018/19. This approach aimed to tackle that and respond to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, which had only served to heighten the gap. In addition, this approach would concentrate on supporting those 9 Protected Characteristics created by the Equality Act 2010.
This framework for change was organised across seven fundamental areas, key to promoting an inclusive economy; Education, Employment, Safety, Social equity, Housing, Connections and Environment.
Success in creating an inclusive economy would mean:
· Every resident had the right to a good education, closed the attainment gap between students from deprived and affluent areas and made sure that young people had the skills, experience and qualifications to take up quality training and jobs.
· Every resident had the right to employment in a safe working environment, with opportunities for progression, paid a fair wage and feeling valued.
· Every resident had the right to the feeling and experience of safety in their communities.
· Every resident had the right to social equity, including commitment to fairness, justice and equality from employers, education and training providers.
· Every resident had the right to good quality and affordable housing, providing a place to grow and learn throughout the life course.
· Every resident had the right to social and digital connections which maximised opportunities to fully participate in their communities.
· Every resident had the right to a sustainable environment, where the Borough’s growing economy did not come to the detriment of the climate.
The strategy set out the challenges across each of these rights and how the Authority would achieve these successes as a Council, including current and proposed interventions and activities, links to existing strategies and polices and ways in which the Authority could work with partners and stakeholders to maximise its chances of being successful.
This framework had been developed in consultation with service areas across the Authority to make sure this approach was all encompassing. It was also linked with the ambitions of the North of Tyne Combined Authority and their statement for an inclusive economy.
The Deputy Mayor referred at the meeting to an amendment to the report in section 1.5.40, to reflect the revision by Cabinet of its strategy for education within the ‘Ambition for Education’ documentation, also to remove the reference to additional provision over weekends, this only related to school holidays.
Cabinet considered the following decision options: to agree this strategy and the proposed next steps, or alternatively, to not agree this strategy and seek more work on the issue.
Resolved thatthe approach towards developing an inclusive economy in North Tyneside be approved.
(Reason for decision: This strategy builds on policy decisions already taken by the Elected Mayor and Cabinet and forms part of the Action Plan agreed by Cabinet following the Local Government Association Peer Challenge of the Authority in 2019.)