Leaders of local authorities across the country have pledged to work together to tackle social inequality.
Fifteen councils have signed the Birmingham Declaration on Social Inclusion, a national network that helps share resources and expertise to tackle the issues around social inclusion.
The declaration states that against a backdrop of public sector cuts, there is an urgent need for local and national government to work together to create more inclusive cities and towns.
Cllr John Cotton, Birmingham City Council’s cabinet member for social cohesion and equalities, said: ‘I entered politics to help people and I'm proud to say that this declaration represents a very real commitment to improving the lives of millions of people across the country. Even as we face up to unprecedented cuts, the councils signing up to the declaration are demonstrating a united commitment to those people who feel they have been marginalised for too long.
’It's clear that we're all facing similar challenges. Looking across the various fairness commission reports and frameworks that have been developed it is also clear that we all share a common determination to address deep-rooted issues of inequality and disadvantage and to deliver the changes needed.’
The authorities that have signed the declaration are Barrow-in-Furness, Birmingham, Bristol, Islington, Knowsley, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Plymouth, Sheffield, Southampton, Stoke-on-Trent and Tower Hamlets.