Labour has always had a proud history of championing the rights of the vulnerable and marginalised. It was Labour, for example, which got rid of Section 28, which brought in the Equal Pay Act, the Sex Discrimination Act and the Equalities Act. Labour also brought in a minimum wage and introduced Sure Start.
Locally in Cambridge, Labour has always championed equalities and the rights of marginalised and oppressed groups. Here are some examples below of things we have done recently at the city council:
- Strengthened our commitment to personal safety, winning Purple Flag status for the city in 2019. Retained our Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance accreditation, continued to support the Ask Angela campaign, and pledged action on drink spiking and associated safety issues.
- Funded women’s aid groups such Women’s Aid, Cambridge Women’s Resource Centre, Corona House, and Rape Crisis, and led a domestic abuse conference for professionals and survivors.
- Run an older people’s visiting support service to help with independent living and combat isolation, and funded groups working with older people including Age UK, Care Network and COPE.
- Built 31 fully wheelchair adapted council homes, exceeding our target of 5% adapted properties, and ensuring all new properties are fully accessible to people with disabilities.
- Built Changing Places toilets at Clay Farm and Storey’s Field community centres.
- Funded LGBT+ groups and events, including Cambridge Pride and the Kite Trust, and continued our commitment to the ‘Safer Spaces’ campaign.
- Pledged support, as a City of Sanctuary, to refugees from Syria, Afghanistan and Ukraine.
- Supported groups advocating for the rights of our diverse communities, including Cambridge Community Ethnic Forum, Cambridge Vietnamese Refugee Community, the Indian Community and Culture Association and the Indian Cultural Society, and ensuring that EU citizens are aware of their rights.
- Taken a stand against anti-GRT hatred and racism, working with Traveller advocacy groups, especially in the wake of Jimmy Carr’s comments.
- Commemorated Holocaust Memorial Day with a series of events, celebrated Black, LGBTQ+, South Asian, Disability and GRT History months; and funded events to celebrate the unseen role of women in Cambridge.
- Passed a council motion pledging to explore parental leave for councillors and making the council buildings breastfeeding-friendly.
The equality act lists 9 protected characteristics. These are characteristics which put people at particular risk of discrimination and they are:
- gender reassignment
- being married or in a civil partnership
- being pregnant or on maternity leave
- race including colour, nationality, ethnic or national origin
- religion or belief
- sexual orientation
As a city council, we are committed to upholding the equalities act and part of that means recognising all protected characteristics.
You can find our more about our council’s equality policies here: https://www.cambridge.gov.uk/collective-responsibilities-under-the-equality-act-2010
We will continue to do all we can to promote equality in the city, as set out in our equality pledge, which says:
We believe in the dignity of all people and their right to respect and equality of opportunity. We value the strength that comes with difference and the positive contribution that diversity brings to our community. Our aspiration is for Cambridge and the wider region to be safe, welcoming and inclusive.