Progress with Equal Opportunities

This chapter follows on in topic and chronologically from chapter 5, detailing how Equal Opportunities policies were implemented in Manchester City Council from 1987 to 1994. This includes disagreements between ‘oppressed groups’, and restructuring departments and sub-committees to adapt to both budget constraints and changing priorities. In some matters Manchester was leading the field and sharing experience at a national level through Khan Moghal’s attendance at Association of Metropolitan Authorities meetings and the European Local Authorities Network. In other matters, the Council sought to learn from the successes in other local authorities. The chapter includes the setting and monitoring of Global Equality Targets for the Council’s employees to reflect the population they served, in relation to gender, race and disability. There was less success in achieving a balance in the political representation and positions of responsibility.
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Breastfeeding in the Council Chamber
Changes and Restructure
Global Equality Targets
Gay and Lesbian Support
Progress on Issues Affecting Women
Difficulty in Finding Enough People
Racial Equality Issues
Monitoring Against the Targets
National Involvement and Example
Dissolving the Equal Opportunities Unit
Review Against Targets 1993
Equal Opportunities and Anti-Discrimination Sub
Relaunch and Restructure


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Editor’s Comments

I have found this chapter very difficult to read and edit. It has been hard to pull it into a structure because it seemed to jump about from topic to topic, all under the wide umbrella of equality. Perhaps that illustrates the nature of equality issues, not actually being one matter, but a loose collection of things, which are often completing or not necessarily mutually complementary. The chapter highlights the difficulties of putting policies into practice, but also contains too much detail in chronological order about the people and structures that seem to have been frequently shifting. To make it more readable I have moved some paragraphs to connect them to those on the same equality issue rather than sticking religiously to chronological order. I have cut a few paragraphs and added the section headings.


[1] By retirement Kath means resigning or not standing for re-election.

[2] A few months after retiring from the Council, in October 1987, Margaret Roff died (aged 44) tragically in a hotel fire in Puerta Cabezas. She had been part of a women’s delegation to Nicaragua and a fire in the hotel in which she was staying led to her death and to serious burns for another member of the delegation, Maggie Walker. When committee room 3 in the town hall was refurbished it was agreed to designate it as the Margaret Roff Room and make it ‘woman friendly’ (ie without pictures of old, male lord mayors on the walls). A commemorative picture of Margaret and text is displayed in the room.

[3] See Appendix 15A for full list of chairs and deputies of the committee.

[4] Cath Inchbold later was elected as a councillor who played a lead role (see chapters 18, 25 and 27).

[5] None of the branches did adopt all-women shortlists, but at the May 1991 elections, out of eleven new Labour Councillors elected, five were women. However, this only gave a net increase of one woman in the Labour Group. By 1994, there were 28 women in the Labour Group out of 78 (31%).

[6] A jobs reservation scheme was agreed in April 1990 to help increase the number of disabled people employed – at the time it was at 3%, which was below the target.

[7] From 1994, Section 11 funding was reduced by the government and merged with the Single Regeneration Budget.

[8] The Art Galleries committee had University representatives and the Education committee had representatives from Dioceses that ran Voluntary Aided schools in the city.

[9] Nov 1991 (Moghal, Firth, Mambu & Siddiqi present). Considered reports on Human Rights in Jammu and Kashmir; 2nd Review of 1975 Race Relations Act; Refugees and Asylum Seekers; Positive action training for black and women employees. March 1992: – Multi-agency racial harassment project; funding for northern Race Relations advisory group; Moss Side and Hulme job-link training project; Positive action training for BME professional grades; Section 11 funding; career prospects for black workers.

[10] The new targets to be achieved by 1997 were – women at PO1- 4 = 43%; PO5+ = 22%; Black people at PO1 – 4 = 8% (4% black women), PO5+ = 5% (2.5% black women).

[11] The Association of Metropolitan Authorities consisted of the 38 Metropolitan Councils across the country and the 36 London Boroughs.

[12] Revised targets for 2000: 9.2% disabled (inc 4% registered) and 12.7% black; 45% women in middle management; 25% women in senior management; 8% black people in middle management; 5% black people in senior management.

[13] Twelve months after this Terry Day got another job and left the Council. Val Edwards felt that she had been treated very shabbily.

[14] Margaret Ainsworth had retired, but Marilyn Taylor came back on and a new young woman from Wythenshawe (Alison Ryan) joined the Group. The 2 new black men were Von Cunningham and George Harding.

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