Accessibility must lie at the heart of how we think and work at Brighton & Hove City Council, both as a service provider and an employer. We'll evidence this through systemic change. 

This means looking at our policies, practices, procedures, and services and challenging ourselves with the following questions: 

‘Are our services proactively accessible and disability-inclusive?’‘What barriers are we creating, how are these impacting those we serve and what must we do to change and remove these barriers at their root?’‘Are we actively creating equitable voice, outcomes and value for disabled people who live, work and visit the city? If not, why not, and what needs to change?’‘Are we aware of the barriers that may exist for disabled people from diverse backgrounds and preventing and removing those barriers?’

There are good practices and engagement we can speak to, however, we also have significant work to do in terms of accessibility and disability inclusion.

Communities are rightly holding us to account. We need to work as one council and as individual services, alongside communities - not have our communities do all the work for us - to create an accessible city and council.

Councillors and staff alike realise that achieving the vision and the aims of this strategy will take some time which is why it's important to have a strategic approach setting out where we want to get to and how we plan to get there.

This is a continuing journey, and the strategy provides a foundation and a framework for the first 5 years of this journey. We'll keep it under review and expect it to become part of the operating principles of Brighton & Hove City Council for the foreseeable future.

Residents want to see action and change. So do we. We need a considered plan to achieve systemic change ensuring we truly understand accessibility and diverse disabled people’s requirements. In this way, inclusive, accessibility-informed practice is embedded in how we think, work, design and deliver services. We hope this strategy sets us on the right path.
- Councillor Leslie Pumm, Chair of Equality, Community Safety and Human Rights Committee.