Wakefield Council is the largest employer in the district and the 18th largest in England and Wales with over 8,000 employees engaged in a variety of different occupations providing a comprehensive range of services.
The Council has long been, and remains, one of the success stories of local government; we are financially responsible and have delivered on our commitments through economically buoyant and challenging times. We are a Council with strong political and managerial leadership, high skills and competencies, and dedicated and empowered people.
We have a clear and ambitious vision for a 21st Century district where everyone benefits from the strengths of the district and its continued growth. We are committed to quality in everything we do, from public realm to social care – and to securing the best possible outcomes for all our people, in all our places.
We are not just ambitious, we are also realistic and grounded in the social values that are at the core of our organisation. We have continued to protect our most vulnerable people and maintain the core services on which ordinary families rely, while also delivering significant savings.
Yet we have more to do. Over the next five years we want to see a real reduction in poverty and growth in skills. Both inside and outside the Council, we also want to up our game in exploiting new technology and ways of working.
We are not afraid to think differently, to forge new partnerships and set new directions. We are caring, ambitious and forward looking, proud of our teams and of our district.
About the district
Wakefield is at the heart of Yorkshire, with a population of 336,000 based around Wakefield City, the Five Towns (Pontefract, Castleford, Knottingley, Featherstone and Normanton), and the towns and villages to the north west of the district. As well as vibrant urban centres, we have a rich open countryside, with four country parks and beautiful green spaces.
We have an increasingly diverse population and community pride and community links are strong. It's important to us that Wakefield continues to be a place where all communities and families can make the most of their opportunities - enjoy their lives and achieve their potential. This reflects proud local traditions - sport and heritage are important, as is culture and contemporary art. We are home not only to the internationally acclaimed Hepworth Gallery and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, but also to three professional rugby league clubs.
We have excellent travel links, sitting on the intersection of the M1 and M62 and with rail links on the East Coast mainline for London, North East and Scotland plus Transpennine services via Leeds.
As well as providing our own lovely surroundings, we are within easy travelling distance for the Peak District, the Dales, the North Yorkshire Moors and the East Coast.
International air links are close by at Leeds Bradford and Robin Hood (Doncaster Sheffield) airports.
Our visions and values
Wakefield is a district with a strong, proud heritage and a bright future. We have rich and diverse communities, each with their own distinctiveness and history.
Through bringing together our communities and working with partners, we will make the most of people's skills, initiative and resources to ensure they achieve their full potential and help maintain a strong and successful district.
We aim to be one of the best performing councils in the country…
- In Caring for our People we are committed to having a real and lasting impact in reducing poverty and tackling its effects, particularly domestic violence.
- In Caring for our Place we have a strong focus on regeneration and economic growth – transforming our urban centres and neighbourhoods, promoting opportunities for new businesses and exploiting our world class culture and heritage offer.
- In being Ambitious for our Young People, Communities and Businesses we are focussed on driving up skills and innovation, raising aspirations and creating an inclusive future for all.
- In Delivering Modern Public Services we want to promote a learning organisation; one that understands what our residents and businesses really need and is prepared to experiment and change.
Our Council "Values" support our vision, shape our culture and reflect what is important to us. "Values" are central to the success of a business as they inform employees, potential new recruits, customers and clients about who we are and what we are about. Having a shared set of "Values" helps shape a strong and positive culture, if we are happy, we tend to have a more positive outlook on all aspects of our lives, including the people we work with and the work we produce. The Council's "Values" are:
Equality and diversity
As a major employer in the district we are committed to delivering wider employment opportunities and creating a workforce that is as diverse as the communities we serve.
This is a really important time for equality and fairness across the whole of Britain. Here in Wakefield we can play our part in moving towards a more equal society.
Legislation against discrimination has been very important in raising the profile of equalities issues. It has helped to establish the public value of eliminating prejudice and unfairness, given representation and voice to different groups and, ultimately, make a difference to people's behaviour.
Legislation is important but on its own it is not enough. Our approach within Wakefield must be to empower people in local communities, to promote equality in ways most suited to their own needs, and be based on shared rights and responsibilities for us as a major provider of public services and employment for our citizens.
Equality and Diversity Statement
Our Equality and Diversity Statement explains our commitment to improving the quality of life for everyone. We want to make sure people who live, work or visit our district are treated fairly, with respect and are given the same chances and opportunities by taking into consideration their different needs.
Wakefield is a diverse district and we need to understand more about how communities are changing to help support community cohesion and inform Council decision-making. It is also important we understand the people we employ to make sure staff needs are understood and they are supported and managed well to improve service delivery.
We use a picture of diversity of the district and our workforce - structured around the nine protected characteristics - to make a real difference. This includes information about our gender pay gap.
For more information on equality, discrimination and human rights issues, please visit the Equality Advisory and Support Service.
Positive action at Wakefield Council
Positive Action Statement
Wakefield Council are committed to Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, for both our colleagues within the Council and the services that we deliver to our residents.
Some people may think they do not 'fit into the Council because of their lifestyle or background, or that the role/s are not available to them because of their gender, gender reassignment, ethnicity, disability, religion or belief sexual orientation, marriage or civil partnership and age.
Positive action aims to bust such myths and encourage more people to apply for posts.
Positive action is often confused with positive discrimination:
Positive Action is lawful
Positive Discrimination is unlawful
Positive action provisions, outlined in the Equality Act 2010, are activities, which helps employers identify and remove barriers and issues relating to the employment, retention and progression of people from 'under-represented' groups, whilst still employing people on merit.
Positive discrimination refers to employing someone because they come from an under-represented group in spite of whether they have the relevant skills and qualifications.
We will use Positive Action and NOT Positive Discrimination.
Positive action is not about giving some people more favourable treatment; it is about "having a level playing field".
As a Council we encourage and welcome applications from people from under-represented groups. Positive action initiatives help employers to target people from groups who are under-represented within the workplace to apply for jobs and promotion. However, the decision to appoint must be based on merit.
Benefits from Positive Action include:
Having a wider pool of skills, experience and talent from which to recruit.
Greater diversity equips the Council workforce with the understanding it needs to better serve Wakefield's diverse communities.
Greater diversity and inclusion encourages others from underrepresented groups to apply.
Positive Action helps meet the public sector equality duty, a legal requirement under the Act.
The Council values its colleagues. Each and every colleague deserves to work in a fair and inclusive environment that values all colleagues as their true selves. Positive action is a demonstration of the Council's commitment to this and will serve as affirmation for all protected groups, encouraging applications.
An example of Positive Action is the Council's commitment to the Disability Confident scheme.
Positive Action Initiatives will also be monitored, evaluated and reported to the Corporate Management Team as part of Our People Strategy