Councillors made a promise to fight inequality across the borough at meeting of Ealing’s Full Council on Tuesday, 14 December.
Inequality was high on the agenda with the council taking the opportunity to thank Ealing Foodbank for its work supporting local families in crisis. It also noted with sadness that the foodbank had recently reached the milestone of 100,000 food parcels issued and pledged to do everything they can to eradicate food poverty and support those struggling to feed themselves and their families.
The issue of wider inequality was also discussed with the council noting the stark differences in income in different parts Ealing, the tragic health inequalities across our borough’s wards, the high levels of homelessness, and the extra challenges faced by the borough’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities.
The council also committed to implement in full the recommendations of the Ealing Race Equality Commission, whose report is expected to be published in the new year.
Full Council is when all councillors, from across the political spectrum, come together to discuss important issues, make decisions, as well as hear petitions and questions directly from local people.
Some of the facts discussed at the full council meeting include:
- Life expectancy is lower in Norwood Green than Northfield. Men living in more deprived areas of our borough have a lower average life expectancy by almost six years, and women of almost four.
- There are 11,000 families currently on our housing waiting list and Ealing has the third highest rate of accepted homelessness duties in London. Ealing has a higher rate of evictions than the London average.
- A third of Ealing’s workforce are earning less than the London Living Wage and 30,000 of households across Ealing are currently claiming Universal Credit.
“We are determined to do whatever we can”
Councillor Aysha Raza, cabinet member for tacking inequality, said: “Sadly, not everyone is born with equal opportunities in our borough. Ealing is a patchwork and differences in income, health, housing and opportunity vary massively from neighbourhood to neighbourhood.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a light on the deprivation that exists, and we are determined to do whatever we can to fight inequality and ensure that everyone has access to opportunities and services, regardless of where they live, what language they speak, their sex, race, religion, disability, sexuality or parent’s income.”
Councillor Peter Mason, leader of Ealing Council, said: “Fighting inequality is one of our three priorities and it is an especially important one for me.
“I grew up in a single parent household and lived in council housing. The public services that supported me and my family as I grew up were crucial in creating the opportunities I needed to thrive. I am now lucky enough to be in a position where I can work to make sure that others are supported and given the same life chances that I was. I’m determined to do this.
“Much of the work that is already happening, including our independent Race Equality Commission, our 2500 genuinely affordable new homes programme, our Brighter Futures work and our impressive jobs and skills agenda, are designed to do just this, but we know there is much more to do. We will not shy away from the challenge.”