Kingston wins MJ Achievement Award for focus on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion to transform services for residents
Kingston Council’s sharp focus on prioritising diversity and inclusion and empowering its workforce to transform services for residents has been recognised at the MJ Achievement Awards.
This award recognises local authorities for their hard work and dedication to motivate and engage employees as well as deliver community-focused and flexible public services.
Kingston’s Human Resources and Organisational Development team, a Shared Service with Sutton Council, won the Workforce Transformation Award, for Community Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, recognising the leading role that creating a comprehensive diversity and inclusion programme, shaped collaboratively with elected members, staff networks, the workforce and the voices of residents in our communities has played.
Kingston is one of few councils nationally that funds a local Race and Equalities Council, and together delivered events to celebrate diversity, build community cohesion and tackle vaccine hesitancy. In education, Kingston has created an extra 42 specialist school places and opened overnight short breaks facilities to improve the local SEND offer for families. The borough also worked to shine a light on excess COVID deaths of adults with disabilities and, despite the pandemic, opened a brand-new day centre for Tamil and Korean elders - a lifeline with people as old as 95 learning new ways of tackling isolation via Zoom.
Cambridge Road Estate, where we are now building 2,170 new high-quality new homes, gardens, play areas, streets, community facilities, as well as providing new jobs and local training, is one example of where Kingston Council used an innovative approach to reach as diverse a population as possible and hear from seldom heard voices.
Ian Thomas, Chief Executive of Kingston Council, said:
“Codesign with the community and sharing our experiences has significantly increased the focus on Equality, Diversity and Inclusion in our work within our communities.
“I would like to thank all our amazing staff and partners for all the work you have put in, this is an amazing achievement and truly demonstrates our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion. We will continue to learn from, and improve our understanding of, the diverse communities we serve, celebrating and championing communities, making sure that Kingston is a safe and welcoming borough for all, and that Kingston Council is the best employer for people of all backgrounds.”
Kingston Council has introduced a new recruitment approach for a more diverse workforce that is better reflective of the community it serves, including more diverse interview panels and anonymised recruitment.
We have also demonstrated our strong commitment to equality and inclusion by becoming a White Ribbon accredited organisation, engaging with boys and men to tackle male violence against women and girls. Kingston was the first council nationally to commit to becoming a Bloody Good Employer, to raise awareness of menstrual health and fight stigma in the workplace.
The council has also signalled its support and commitment to all the borough’s diverse communities through actions such as flying flags in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement and Pride, and signing the Time to Change Pledge aiming to end negative attitudes towards people experiencing mental health issues.