Stockport residents and businesses come together for first ever virtual Inequalities Summit

Stockport Council hosted its first virtual Inequalities Summit last week, on Friday 10th December.

Businesses, residents and representatives from community groups came together to immerse themselves in vital discussions about how inequality can be tackled in the borough.

The Summit comes as Stockport Council have pledged to work towards a fairer, more inclusive Stockport as a key priority in the One Stockport Borough Plan, published earlier this year. With Stockport the 8th most polarised borough in England, and as much as 11 years difference in life expectancy between the most deprived and most affluent parts of the borough, tackling inequality is a priority for the council and its many partner organisations.

Keynote speakers at the Summit included Professor Sir Michael Marmot, UCL lecturer and author of ‘Build Back Fairer: The Covid-19 Marmot Review’, as well as Professor Arpana Verma from the University of Manchester and Start Point Stockport’s Founder, Nicola Wallace-Dean.

The Summit culminated with guests, including council representatives, making pledges on an organisational or individual level as to how they would help to fight inequality and make Stockport a fair and inclusive place to live, work and spend time. Stockport Council will be following up with key partners in attendance regarding the actioning of these pledges and other outputs from the Summit in the new year.

Through One Stockport, the council and its partners will also continue to raise awareness of the fantastic work going on in the borough to tackle inequality. One Stockport celebrates Stockport’s businesses, community groups and individuals via its website and social media channels.

The success of the day came through the engaged participants and interesting discussions which were had, particularly in the four workshops facilitated by leaders in the fields. Topics included approaches to tackle inequality across Early Years and Education, Healthcare and Employment and Income. The communities workshop focused in particular on the issue of food poverty which sadly affects all too many individuals and households.

Councillor Amanda Peers, Cabinet Member for Inclusive Neighbourhoods at Stockport Council, commented: “I’m very pleased with the success of our first ever virtual Inequalities Summit: I would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate, we had some great feedback from those attending. The Summit allowed community groups and businesses to make connections across the borough, and get involved in some crucial conversations regarding inequality in Stockport. The very valuable contribution made by Professor Sir Michael Marmot demonstrated the stark realities and impact of inequalities on society and it is everyone’s responsibility to try to address this in Stockport.”

“We know that there is still lots of work to be done, and the Summit opened up a dialogue between the council and residents, and allowed us to focus on the next steps we need to take to start building a more equitable, inclusive borough.”

Jo McGrath, Chief Executive at Sector 3, added: “This was a fantastic day full of interesting discussion. We must work together across sectors and community groups if we are truly going to make a difference and tackle inequality in Stockport, and this Summit felt like the start of something very exciting. It was interesting to listen to the different pledges by people from all sections of the community at the conclusion of the day: there’s definitely something we can all do to help make Stockport a fairer and more inclusive place to be.”

If you missed the Summit but want to access a recording of the day, please email to request a copy.