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Liverpool unites with others to tackle social exclusion

Liverpool has united with other cities, towns and boroughs across the country in a new national network to tackle issues of social inequality. 

To symbolise the commitment, Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has signed the Birmingham Declaration on Social Inclusion, published today.

The declaration states that, against a backdrop of public sector cuts, the task of creating more inclusive cities has moved beyond what local or national government can do on their own and that there is an urgent need to rally resources and expertise.

By signing the declaration, Liverpool has agreed to:

• Be part of the National Social Inclusion Network
• Share learning and develop joint campaigning on key issues around social inclusion
• Build a strong collective voice to articulate the arguments for social inclusion for all our communities across the country
• Identify action that can be taken around issues of shared concern

The authorities that have signed the declaration alongside Liverpool are Barrow-in-Furness, Birmingham, Bristol, Islington, Knowsley, Leeds, Leicester, Manchester, Newcastle, Plymouth, Sheffield, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent and Tower Hamlets.

The formation of the National Social Inclusion Network and the declaration came out of the National Social Inclusion Symposium in Birmingham, funded by the Barrow Cadbury Trust, in September 2013.

The network’s activities will be focused on eight themes that were identified from the reports produced by fairness and poverty commissions from around the country and developed at the symposium, and Liverpool will focus on education and skills.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said: “These are tough times for people with cuts to essential services and reductions in welfare all contributing to increasing social inequality.

“In Liverpool, we are losing 58 percent of our net budget, while the impact of the welfare cuts amounts to taking a further £227 million out of people’s pockets. Those who already face a daily struggle, have less to spend in local shops and businesses.

“I am pleased that we are leading on the education and skills agenda because, despite the economic downturn, we have had some real successes which we can share with others. We have created hundreds of apprenticeships with our public and private sector partners, and insisted on opportunities for local people to be employed and trained on our key regeneration, housing and school building schemes. All of this has helped reduce the number of 16 – 19 year olds not in education, employment or training by around a quarter over the last year.

“The National Social Inclusion Network will provide an opportunity to bring together our experience and expertise, learn from each other and combine our efforts to build a strong collective voice to articulate the arguments for social inclusion for all our communities across the country.”

The other themes and areas are:

• Living wage and income inequality (Islington)
• Impact of welfare (Birmingham)
• Fuel, finance and food (Plymouth)
• Youth employment (Birmingham)
• Access and affordable transport (Sheffield)
• Democratic accountability (Newcastle)
• Housing (Tower Hamlets)

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