The Council and democracy State of the city report 2020

A progressive and equitable city

Our aim is for everyone in the city to have the same opportunities, life chances and potential to lead safe, healthy, happy and fulfilled lives, no matter where they are born or live. This means reducing the disparities between different areas of the city and different communities within the city. While Manchester has made real progress towards achieving this aim, much more work is needed. It is likely that the city’s most deprived communities and vulnerable residents will be disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning our focus on reducing inequalities is more important than ever.

The number of households experiencing homelessness in Manchester has remained high. Significant changes have been introduced as a result of the Homelessness Reduction Act in 2018. The Council continues to work with partners to develop new interventions to address the multiple reasons that people experience homelessness, and to make this experience as rare and brief as possible.

Our Children’s Services continue to focus on reducing the number of children and young people going into care. This is done by using evidence-based interventions aimed at supporting families to remain together, and where possible preventing the need for children to go into care, or when they do, ensuring a timely return home.

Work in Manchester has focused on employment as a route out of poverty, raising and protecting family incomes, boosting resilience and building on strengths. While the number of children living in poverty has continued to rise, the rate of growth has slowed each year since the introduction of the Family Poverty Strategy in 2017. However, COVID-19 endangers much of the progress that has been made in tackling poverty throughout Manchester, partly due to the large increase in unemployment across the city – the claimant count almost doubled from March to May 2020.

Good progress has been made in a number of health outcomes, including increases in healthy life expectancy, more cancers diagnosed at an early stage, fewer mothers smoking during pregnancy, fewer under-18 conceptions, and a significant reduction in the rate of suicides. Despite these improvements, Manchester still has some of the worst health outcomes in the country and there are also significant inequalities between the most and least deprived areas of the city. The Manchester Population Health Plan is a long-term plan to tackle Manchester’s entrenched health inequalities. In addition, the Manchester COVID-19 Local Prevention and Response Plan will ensure that the Council, working with all key-partner organisations in the city, can respond effectively to the ongoing threats and challenges caused by COVID-19.

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