Tackling access to services inequalities for Kirklees residents

Woman speaking with a headphone set on

Following a year that has highlighted existing inequalities and the social isolation due to COVID-19, councillors will discuss proposals for a new strategy to improve access to services for Kirklees residents.

Cabinet will meet next week to review the proposed Access Strategy which has been co-developed with residents, partners and businesses. The strategy aims to respond to the ways access is provided to ensure those who need and receive services are supported in the most appropriate and efficient way.

What does the Access Strategy include?

The five-year strategy is ambitious – making improvements to the council’s online and digital platforms; working with people to review and develop council services and improve outcomes will take time to be fully delivered.

The proposal aims to reduce the need for repeated contacts, provide more localised services in communities and develop online and phone services. Services will be co-designed, produced and evaluated with people and businesses the council serves to strengthen and build on positive relationships and with partners, volunteer groups and businesses.

Councillor Paul Davies, Cabinet Member for Corporate said:

“Reducing inequalities is key as we recover from the impact of COVID-19.  We can sometimes make assumptions about how people want to access council services and as a result alienate those who don’t use the latest technological or digital channels. I am pleased that we have developed an Access Strategy that puts people at the heart of our approach, so they are able to benefit and feel included when accessing and using council services.

Our vision is for Kirklees to be a district which combines a strong, sustainable economy with a great quality of life – leading to thriving communities, growing businesses, high prosperity and low inequality where people enjoy better health throughout their lives.”

Why are these proposals being put forward?

Research has shown that people who access council services all have different circumstances and present different needs. It also highlights the need for people not only to be able to get in touch using digital technology such as websites and social media, but some people often require or prefer face to face assistance.

Read Kirklees Council’s Access Strategy 2021-2026 proposals.