Deep Dive: Race and Ethnicity in Manchester
- Meeting of Communities and Equalities Scrutiny Committee, Tuesday, 12th October, 2021 10.00 am (Item 41.)
Report of the City Solicitor
This report provides an overview of the data and activity in Manchester in relation to Race and Ethnicity, linked to life chances, COVID-19 impacts, crime and community participation. This is one of a series of ‘deep dive’ reports that the Committee requested into different aspects of equalities.
The Committee received a report of the City Solicitor which provided an overview of the data and activity in Manchester in relation to Race and Ethnicity, linked to life chances, COVID-19 impacts, crime and community participation. This was one of a series of ‘deep dive’ reports that the Committee requested into different aspects of equalities.
The main points and themes within the report included:
- Data relating to race and ethnicity in Manchester, including geographical data and information on educational attainment;
- Work to improve life chances;
- How the city’s diversity was celebrated; and
- The impact of COVID-19.
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:
- What aspects of this related to the Council’s climate change aims;
- What was being done to address the inequalities which had led to Black and South Asian people been hit hardest by COVID-19;
- The economic recovery of BAME communities following the pandemic;
- That the report should have included a focus on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) women and the impact of the pandemic on them;
- That the Kashmiri community should be specifically referenced in the report, noting the Motion to Council in April 2015 calling for this to be included as a category in equality monitoring and for more work to take place to engage with this community;
- Concern about some of the statistics on educational attainment within the report, whether they could be further broken down by gender, to see the impact of the intersection of race and gender, and whether there were any more recent figures since 2019;
- That, in addition to work to improve educational attainment for these groups, schools should conduct a race review of their workforce, similar to the one conducted by the Council, noting that teaching staff and senior leadership within schools were disproportionately white; and
- Uptake of applications for compensation for those affected by the Windrush scandal and work to encourage eligible Manchester residents to apply.
The Deputy Leader outlined the ways in which climate change linked in with work to create a more equal city and improve people’s lives, including tackling poor housing, making homes more energy efficient, creating, and preparing people for, jobs in the green economy and encouraging a healthy lifestyle, including walking and cycling.
The Director of Policy, Performance and Reform informed Members that health and social care partners were working on a recovery framework and that inequalities based on race and ethnicity were central to this work. He also informed Members about the COVID Health Equity Manchester Group, which was working with those communities. He highlighted that the Health Scrutiny Committee would be looking at health inequalities at its meeting the following day.
In response to questions about domestic abuse and the intersection of race and gender, the Strategic Lead (Business Change, Reform and Innovation) advised that intersectionality was an area that the Council would be looking at and that issues relating to intersectionality would be pulled together in the Communities of Identity report which would be submitted to a future meeting of the Committee. She advised that, when more up to date educational attainment figures were available, she would circulate them to Committee Members and that she would also check whether a further breakdown by gender was available.
The Deputy Leader advised that work would now take place to address the inequalities which had been identified through this report. In relation to educational attainment, he highlighted the work that had been done in Wythenshawe previously to improve the attainment of white working class boys and advised that similar work could be done to address educational inequalities affecting other groups. The Director of Policy, Performance and Reform advised that he would speak with colleagues in Children and Education Services about the points raised in relation to educational attainment and the schools workforce. In response to a further question about care leavers of Afro-Caribbean heritage, he advised that he would also discuss this with the service.
In response to the question about the Kashmiri community and which groups were included in the demographic data, the Strategic Lead (Business Change, Reform and Innovation) advised that officers were reliant on the data available but that it was hoped that the data coming out of the next census would be more robust. The Director of Policy, Performance and Reform advised that, in addition to the statistics, officers could do more to gather intelligence from local communities and that this would be included in the Communities of Identity report. The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Manager suggested that she speak with the Member who had raised the issue about the best way to engage with the Kashmiri community.
The Director of Policy, Performance and Reform advised that he would provide data on the take-up of the Windrush compensation scheme after the meeting. The Deputy Leader advised that he had circulated a note to Members on this. He reported that this was a government scheme but that the Council and Citizens’ Advice Bureau were offering support to Manchester residents who had been affected and that the Council would continue to promote awareness of the scheme.
In response to a Member’s question about youth crime and violence involving young people from BAME communities and strategies to address this, Chief Superintendent Paul Savill advised that he and the Community Safety Lead could meet with the Member outside of the meeting to discuss this further and, if invited, would be happy to attend a future meeting to provide the Committee with data and information on actions being taken in relation to this.
In response to a question from the Chair about data on the ethnicity of students in further and higher education and why there was no data recorded for 33% of students, the Director of Policy, Performance and Reform advised that this information came from one survey and that he would look into whether there was a better source of data available. He also advised that it was important that people understood why this data was being collected as that would encourage more people to respond to those questions.
To note the report.