Welcome to Bexley's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy

I’m delighted to introduce our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy, which sets out our commitment to make Bexley a fairer place.

Graphic showing the Bexley borough formed of people's faces

Bexley is a changing area, and we are a changing council that is committed to equalities, diversity and inclusion.

This policy is for everyone and we will regularly refresh and update it to make sure it is effective.

Bexley has a proud history of strong neighbourhoods, underpinned by community spirit and respect for each other. We want to make sure that everyone in Bexley feels like they belong, can be themselves, and participate in all of the cultural, social and economic life in Bexley.  We consulted on this policy and heard that strong, safe and cohesive communities are important to our residents.

We aim to work together with our partners to build a fairer Bexley, now and into the future. We will do this by working to reduce inequality, eliminate discrimination and strengthen good relationships between residents. And we know that by having a diverse workforce we are better serving our residents and being an efficient and effective council.

I’m proud of the progress we have made so far on equality, diversity and inclusion. We’ve created a Data Hub that pulls together data and insights about our residents, allowing us to better understand and serve. And we’re implementing the Social Care Workforce Race Equality Standard, which helps us tackle race inequalities in our workforce.

We’ve also supported our staff networks for Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic, LGBTQ+, women, and disabled staff. We’ve been trying to get better at listening, learning, and working with all our staff to put inclusion at the heart of what we do. We know we can best serve Bexley residents when our staff feel they can be themselves at work and are valued.

Celebrating diversity is really important, we’ve flown the Pride Flag at our Civic Offices and curated library displays for events including Black History Month and South Asian History Month.

We’re also proud to be a Disability Confident Employer and have worked with local businesses to promote employing disabled residents. We have consulted on a new strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls and continued engaging with the Bexley Interfaith Forum on hate crime issues.

But we know that there is more we can do, and need to do, to tackle discrimination, inequalities and disadvantage in Bexley. Some Bexley residents are not living for as long or as healthily as they could be. There are significant differences in life expectancy, health, and economic well-being and participation between some groups and some areas. This is starkly illustrated by the gap in life expectancy between Bexley’s least and most deprived wards. The rising cost of living and the legacy impacts of the pandemic are intensifying some of these challenges.

It is so important we meet these challenges. I’m confident that we, alongside our partners, and guided by this Policy, can make positive progress in the next four years, for the benefit of everyone in Bexley.

Councillor Teresa O'Neill OBE, Leader of the Council

Councillor Baroness O'Neill of Bexley OBE, Leader of the Council