Decision details

Tackling Inequality Strategy (2023 to 2026)

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The Executive Director of Resources submitted a report presenting the Tackling Inequality Strategy which articulated how the Council would focus its activities to reduce inequality.  Attached to the report at Appendix 1 was the draft Tackling Inequality Strategy and at Appendix 2 an Equality Impact Assessment.


The report noted that Reading could be an unequal area in terms of wealth and life experiences, having some of the most affluent and some of the most deprived localities in the whole of the Thames Valley.  The latest Index of Multiple Deprivation from 2019 showed that Reading had five areas within the Borough that were in the 10% most deprived nationally compared to two in 2015, and that a total of 24 areas had at least one indicator which was in the 10% most deprived in the country.  The initial finding from the 2021 Census showed a similar picture, with areas in the south of the borough showing the greatest prevalence of household deprivation relating to education, employment, health, and housing.


The report explained that the aim of Tackling Inequality in Reading was delivering a more equitable society and improving people’s standard of living and participation in economic, political, social, and cultural life.  The Tackling Inequality Strategy Commitment stated that it would prioritise issues and areas where it was most needed by residents, drive attainment in skills, education and training and access to quality employment for people in the areas of the town where need was greatest, and be mindful of the diverse personal life experiences of residents and how these could contribute to their equal enjoyment of life and achievements.   Inequalities experienced by residents were often evident within specific areas of the borough, and the Strategy focused on how the Council would support these specific communities within the borough and on how improved educational attainment, skills, and training could achieve long-term sustainable change for current and future generations.


The report explained that the new strategy had been developed using a broad range of deprivation and exclusion analysis conducted during 2022.  To support this analytical review, Councillors and Officers had conducted ‘walkabouts’ with the purpose of understanding the issues that residents were experiencing in the most deprived areas of the borough.  The development of the strategy had also been heavily supported by the input of key stakeholders and their strategic ambitions for improving the quality of life for residents, including Brighter Futures for Children, New Directions College, and the Reading Economic Destination Agency.  The strategy would develop and complement existing strategies, work, and partnerships aimed at closing the gap between the life experiences of residents and achieving the vision laid out in the Corporate Plan of making Reading a more equal place to live by bringing the opportunities of growth and achievement to all Reading’s communities.


Resolved –


          That the Tackling Inequality Strategy be approved.

Publication date: 06/03/2023

Date of decision: 23/01/2023

Decided at meeting: 23/01/2023 - Policy Committee

Accompanying Documents: