The Brighton & Hove City Snapshot Report 2014 paints a picture of a popular, tolerant and diverse city:
- Nine out of ten residents (92%) are very or fairly satisfied with their local area as a place to live.
- Nine out of ten residents (92%) agree that their local area is a place where people from different backgrounds get on well together.
- However, only half of respondents to the 2013 City Tracker survey felt that they could influence decisions affecting their local area.
- More than two out of five city residents (42%) stated that they had no religion in the 2011 census. The largest religious group is Christian (43%) and Muslims are the largest non-Christian religious group (2%).
- Almost 1 in 5 (19.5%) of the population identified themselves as having a black or minority ethnic background (53,351 people) and 16% of residents were not born in the UK. This cultural diversity brings with it a wealth of different knowledge and experience.
- For 1 in 12 residents (21,833 people, 8.3%) aged over three years English is not their main or preferred language. Arabic is the most widely spoken language in the city after English, with 0.8% of residents (2,226 people) using it as their main or preferred language.
- One in six residents (44,569 people, 16.3%) is disabled or has a long term health problem that limits their day-to-day activities and we have a large number of people with mental health needs or at increased risk of mental health problems.
- Estimates suggest that 11-15% of the city’s residents aged 16 or over are LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender).
- The 2011 Child Poverty Index estimated that 19.6% of our city’s dependent children were living in poverty.
The local third sector, also referred to as the community & voluntary sector, supports the city’s communities by enabling community voices, strengthening collaboration, delivering effective services and generating resources to enhance the social value and voluntary action in our communities.
The Equality & Inclusion Partnership (EquIP) works to improve community engagement, specifically collaborative working between public services and communities, to reduce inequality and foster community resilience and activity.
The challenging financial circumstances currently faced by the public and third sectors provide a greater imperative to work more closely, more effectively with communities and citizens. There is the obvious need to decrease costs while meeting growing demand, but with that the opportunity to fundamentally rethink how we can collectively create better outcomes for communities.
This means bringing about a cultural shift and creating genuinely collaborative, empowering and transformational relationships. Public services have to release more of the control they have traditionally held and invest in community skills and capacity so that citizens in turn can take on more responsibility.