Equality statement 2024

Delivering equality in our services during 2023

We deliver a range of services, which we adapt and review to meet local needs and opportunities and to take account of our funding situation. We also offer a range of services that particularly support individuals with protected characteristics.

Our teams carried out a range of activities to support our equalities objectives in 2023 detailed in this section.

Active Lichfield District

Our leisure centres In 2023 the management of our two leisure centres transferred from a private provider to the council’s wholly owned trading company. With the support of several key partners, we have provided a range of activities to support our equalities objectives. These included:

  • Older adults – aerobics, pilates, relaxation classes, walking netball, walking football, chair yoga, cricket, exercise sessions and silver circuits.
  • Children and young people – coaching courses and sessions in swimming, football, gymnastics, tennis, multi-games and dance.
  • Adults and young people with physical and learning difficulties - coaching sessions.
  • Mothers and toddlers – swimming sessions, new soft play facility and football coaching.
  • Children and young people (aged 5 - 16 years) – free holiday activity and food sessions for pupils who receive benefit related free school meals.
  • Health referral scheme – to support residents with health conditions to become active.
  • Dementia friendly activities. • We offer free Leisure Activity Passports (LAP) to people with disabilities, carers, people aged 60+ and those on means tested benefits. LAPs provide up to 30% savings on leisure activities across the district.

Our team also provided specific targeted intervention programmes which included:

  • Getin2it diversionary programme to reduce anti-social behaviour among young people aged from 7 to 19 years.
  • Health & wellbeing programme including pickleball, women’s wellbeing yoga, gentle fit, parent and toddler yoga and Tai Chi.
  • Developed an Active Lichfield referral pathway working with social prescribers tackling health inequalities.
  • Disability multi-sports sessions for young people aged 5 to 18. • Parks activities including physical activity, physical literacy and wellbeing programmes.
  • Physical activity sessions for young carers.
  • US Girls programme to increase female participation in sport, supporting and providing awareness to women and girls in the community, aged from 8-25 years.
  • Let’s Get Physical programme to target inactivity in 8-11 year olds.
  • Hello Velo event included adapted bikes for people with disabilities.

During 2024 our team will:

  • Expand the Active Lichfield referral pathway to work with other community organisations to tackle health inequalities.
  • Introduce a health and wellbeing outreach programme to older people in independent living and care homes.
  • Launch Play Streets, a resident-led short road closure, creating a safe space for children to play freely together on their doorstep.

Find out more at www.activelichfielddistrict.co.uk 

Building control

We continued to enforce building regulations where we are the regulator, to ensure the built environment is accessible and can be used by the whole community, particularly people with a physical disability.

Find out more at www.centralbc.org.uk

Car parking and pedestrianisation

We provide disabled car parking spaces in most of our council-owned car parks. The Friary multi-storey, Bird Street and Lombard Street car parks are the most accessible due to the amount of disabled spaces and their close proximity to the city centre.

Parking in Lichfield City district council-owned car parks is free to blue badge holders, even if parked in a non-disabled space, provided their badge is displayed.

We also provide a Changing Spaces public toilet in our Friary car park in Lichfield City and Swan Road toilets which is close to Bird Street car park.

In partnership with Staffordshire County Council, we began trailing pedestrianisation within Lichfield City centre. Our aim is to create a safe, prosperous and vibrant city centre, whilst balancing the needs of all city centre users.

We consulted with stakeholders throughout 2023 to continuously assess the trial's impact. This included introducing an Experimental Traffic Regulation Order (ETRO) that has enabled us to trial various arrangements and get feedback from city users to help revise and tailor the scheme. Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/pedestrianisation

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Section 106 (s106) agreements

We work with developers to secure contributions towards community improvements and infrastructure and engage all sectors of the community in determining how to best use these funds.

These contributions help to reduce the impact of developments on local areas and create better quality environments in and around new developments.

Projects funded range from improving roads and building new community facilities, through to creating open spaces and improving local schools. In 2023, we continued to secure and allocate contributions toward appropriate projects.

Examples of projects that have positively impacted on communities and specific groups of people include funding for community halls and spaces to accommodate community activities, provision of open spaces, enhancing medical facilities, supporting a range of arts projects, and contributing towards new school provision.

We also funded a range of local infrastructure and initiatives which aim to positively impact our communities including:

  • A climbing wall, soft play and a new play area at Burntwood Leisure Centre.
  • Adventure golf, obstacle course and padel tennis courts at Beacon Park.
  • Play equipment at Chase Terrace Park.
  • Variable traffic signage in Lichfield City Centre.

Looking to the future we will continue to work with developers to secure these contributions and engage all stakeholders and sectors of the community when we determine how best to use these funds. Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/howdevelopmentshelp.  

Community funding

We distributed grants ranging from £6,000 and £50,000 to the local voluntary and community sector to deliver outcomes that support groups of residents within the local community.

In 2023 this included:

MHA Communities (the Lichfield and District Live at Home Scheme) – support for their members including dementia day care, developing digital skills, shopping support, care checks and telephone befriending.

  • Liberty Jamboree – provide new and exciting opportunities for young people and adults with learning and physical barriers in and around Staffordshire.
  • Royal National Institute for Deaf People – awareness raising and support to improve the wellbeing of older people with hearing loss.
  • Spark – wellbeing activities for young people and older people, including wellbeing walks for men and support sessions for dads and male carers.
  • Friends2Friends – offering more opportunities for people with learning disabilities to develop skills and friendship groups.
  • Pathway – supporting those who have experienced economic abuse and helping them address the issues that this presents.
  • CRUSE – bereavement care for residents across the district.
  • Support Staffordshire – support for the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector.
  • South-East Staffordshire Citizens Advice Bureau – providing debt, financial and wider advice to residents across the district.
  • Phoenix Counselling Service - a low-cost counselling service for adults living in Burntwood, Lichfield and the surrounding areas who are unable to afford private counselling.
  • Lichfield Arts - an independent registered charity based in the centre of Lichfield which is mainly run and supported by volunteers.

We have supported The Hub @ St. Mary’s in their Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Action Plan, using funding from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF). The funding has supported projects aiming to reduce incidences of hate crime in Lichfield, support young people, particularly those with mental health issues, support young families, support black and brown business owners and artists, support refugees in Lichfield, and celebrate diversity and promote racial and religious harmony across the city. Also, as part of the UKSPF, we have launched the US Girls programme which is designed to increase and sustain young women’s participation in sport and physical activity, tailoring the delivery specifically for disadvantaged and vulnerable young women and girls within the district who are from low socio-economic backgrounds.

Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/communityfunding

Customer services

We continued to ensure that our customer services were welcoming and accessible to all in the following ways:

  • Our reception is open during the week between 9am and 5pm for general enquiries.
  • Customers with in-depth enquiries or those who need additional support can book face-to-face appointments with our trained advisors.
  • We offer wellbeing and cost of living drop-in sessions across the district so we are more accessible for anyone who cannot travel to us or has concerns using the telephone or going online.
  • Our reception area offers level flooring and entry to the building is via a pavement ramp through double width doors or up steps. We are enhancing our buildings further in 2024 to ensure that meetings rooms and public spaces within the building are more accessible. • Our reception area has a portable hearing loop and our reception desk is wheelchair user friendly. • We have a gender-neutral accessible toilet for visitors, also offering free sanitary products.
  • We offer British Sign Language translation through the Sign Live app, allowing customers who are deaf or have hearing loss to use BSL to communicate with us easily over the phone and face to face. Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/signlive
  • Introduced a live chat option available on the website which allows customers to interact online increasing the options available for customers to engage with the council. Visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/livechat
  • We introduced an electronic Sign In app for visitors with appointments, and our reception team are available to assist.
  • We encourage the use of our online services, however, for anyone unable to self-serve online, we offer telephone and face-to-face appointments.
  • Our customer services team regularly receives safeguarding and equality training.
  • We can offer translation services to customers on request. Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/contact

Digital services

We continued to ensure our website is welcoming and accessible in the following ways:

  • Use of descriptive headers and images so a screen reader can pick them up.
  • Clear font colour contrast.
  • Descriptive links for easy access on a screen reader.
  • Clear and consistent navigation and use of plain English.
  • Access to digital forms has been simplified into a single form making it easy to find the right one and they are all accessible and easy to complete. Visit www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/oneform
  • Worked with a broad range of customers to test and enhance new developments.
  • Introduced AccessAble guides on our website which provide detailed accessibility guides to local council facilities including leisure centres, public toilets, car parks and more. Find out more at www.accessable.co.uk
  • Utilised testing software to ensure our web pages remain accessible, compliant, and easy to read.

Disabled facilities grants (DFGs)

In 2023 the management of disabled facilities grants transferred from a private provider to the council’s wholly owned trading company.

During the year, grants were approved for 115 disabled adaptations and 65 residents received their disabled adaptation.

These adaptations allow residents to live safely and more independently within their own homes, relieving pressures on carers and hospital admissions.

Governance, democracy and elections

We continued to develop the Lichfield District Youth Council to engage, consult and empower local young people, hosting regular meetings and workshops.

Our committee reports are required to indicate whether an equality impact assessment has been completed, assessed and logged by our equalities officer.

With the introduction of Voter ID and new accessibility rules, we consulted with different groups so they could provide us with feedback to assist with our plans.

This included people from our Muslim community and members from local disability groups. We purchased more tactile voting aides, bigger ballot paper magnifiers, finger grips for polling pens/pencils, provided A3 sample ballot papers, an easy read voting guide, a Makaton voting guide and reviewed physical access to polling stations.

Housing and homelessness

We increased our tenancy sustainment staffing support.

This vital support helps households to stay in their accommodation and maximise their income, ensuring they are claiming all benefits they are entitled to.

It also provides advice and guidance in relation to a wide range of other supporting measures, including mental health support, shopping and nutrition, tackling loneliness and more.

We updated our housing allocation scheme to offer more support for overcrowded households and pregnant residents. Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/housingallocations

We provided 24-hour response to homeless individuals in the city and worked with partners to provide a range of wrap around support, including accommodation, drug and alcohol support and access to health services.

We continued to support up to six previously rough sleepers through our housing pathway scheme.

We began a project to introduce trauma informed practice across our housing and homelessness service and worked with partners through our new annual housing and homeless conference and forum to boost partnership working for the benefit of our residents and customers.

Local plan

We continued to ensure our local planning process was accessible to all and supportive of the needs of our growing district in the following ways:

  • We withdrew our draft emerging local plan from examination and began work on a new local plan which we believe will better meet the needs of the district in future.
  • Our adopted local plan includes policies to support the delivery of housing, including affordable housing and housing to meet differing needs, as well as sites to serve the requirements of the gypsy and traveller community and policies to help all our residents live healthy and safe lives.
  • We liaise with interest groups and representative bodies to ensure our policies protect and safeguard our important centres, allowing access to services and facilities.
  • We prepare executive summaries to help people understand detailed documents and we make all documents available in alternative formats when requested.

Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/localplan

Parks and open spaces

We continued to ensure our parks and open spaces are welcoming, safe and accessible to all in the following ways:

  • We installed autism communication boards in Beacon Park and Burntwood parks.
  • We provided lanyards to families with vulnerable adults in case help was needed at an event.
  • We installed accessible footpaths in Beacon Park golf course and at Stowe Fields.
  • Parks staff attended a Dementia UK Masterclass, improving awareness in the parks and at events.
  • The toilets in Beacon Park have disabled facilities with a portable hoist on site. There are also disabled facilities in the football changing rooms.
  • In 2024 we will be installing dropped tactile kerbs at Stowe Pool.


We introduced new florescent yellow site notices, that are more visually accessible and weatherproof, with the ambition to make it easier for residents to see where new developments may take place and give their views.

We launched a new plain English planning enquiry form that provides easy-to-understand answers to all common planning related queries 24/7 and provides our customer services team with better information to help customers face to face and on the telephone.

We launched a new planning enquiries dashboard that ensures customer queries are dealt with in a timely and transparent way and a log of calls is retained.

Public toilets

We provide seven public toilets across Lichfield and Burntwood in car parks and parks.

All facilities either have separate cubicles suitable for disabled people or a gender neutral disabled cubical suitable for everyone.

We provide a Changing Places toilet in our Friary Car Park in Lichfield City and this year we refurbished our Bird Street/Swan Road toilet facility to also include a second Changing Places facility.  


We published our modern slavery and human trafficking statement which recognises that slavery and human trafficking remain a hidden blight on our society, and we have a responsibility to be alert to the risks and to strive to ensure that our supply chains are free from slavery and human trafficking. Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/modernslavery

We reviewed and updated our supplier code of conduct, which now includes an expectation that suppliers abide by ethical standards, the Nolan Principles, the Equality Act, and demonstrate their commitment to sustainability, environmental commitments, and their social responsibility. Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/suppliercode

Regulation and enforcement services

We continued our regulation and enforcement work to ensure local facilities are safe, well managed and accessible.

This included:

  • Licensing taxis and ensuring they assist passengers with disabilities and are welcoming to assistance dogs.
  • Regulating the use of pavements by businesses for tables and chairs to ensure that sufficient space remains for users with wheelchairs and pushchairs.
  • Inspect private rented dwellings, scoring risk hazard and working with landlords to bring properties up to the Decent Homes standard.
  • Supporting people with mental health conditions to improve their living conditions, including hoarding and residents living amongst vermin or filth.
  • Providing information in multiple languages to advise people that enforcement action is being taken and supporting them to seek legal advice.
  • Introduced smart warrant cards which have QR codes so when an officer approaches someone vulnerable, or if they are challenged as to their identity, they can invite the person to scan a QR code on the card which links to a hidden page on our website listing all the officers, their photos, and warrant card numbers.

Revenues, benefits and corporate debt recovery

We continued our work to support residents in relation to council tax payments and debt relief.

We launched a new council tax support scheme that provides 100% support to residents on the lowest incomes and provides an extra £50 disregard for residents who claim a disability benefit.

We supported the introduction of the new scheme with a discretionary policy to support those facing exceptional financial hardship. Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/counciltaxsupport

We ran a social media campaign to encourage those who are struggling to pay their council tax or those struggling with debt to contact us.

We introduced a new online form for business rates relief to make it easier for all businesses in our district to apply for a reduction.

We worked with our customer services team to host wellbeing and cost of living drop-in sessions across the district.


Our shop mobility service provides low-cost scooter rental for residents and visitors who have permanent or temporary disabilities to help them access Lichfield city centre shops, businesses and attractions.

Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/shopmobility

Waste and recycling

We continued to ensure our waste and recycling service is accessible to all in the following ways: 

  • Provided 1,021 assisted bin collections each week for people who have difficulties getting their bins to the roadside.
  • Provided 1,150 free additional domestic waste bins to families where extra waste is generated – for example due to a medical condition, children in nappies, or families of six or more.
  • Supplied bin collection calendars in braille and large print.