York leads the way and becomes the first Good Business Charter city

York has become the first city in the UK to sign up to the Good Business Charter – a pioneering imitative that puts fairness, representation, diversity and a shared commitment to our environmental responsibilities at the heart of our economic strategy.

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, City of York Council has had a clear focus on working closely with the business community, supporting small and micro businesses, and promoting our unique approach to economic development – the ‘York Way’.

Recently an independent evaluation of the Council’s £1.14m micro grant scheme revealed that since its introduction in March 2020, 294 local businesses were saved from closure and over 500 families and employees from falling into personal and financial hardship.

As we continue to work together to support the city’s recovery with inclusive economic growth at its core, it is important that we take the lead to continue to encourage businesses to adopt a holistic approach to their social, environmental and economic impacts.

The Good Business Charter, developed in partnership with the Confederation of British Industry, the Trades Union Congress and Federation of Small Businesses and spearheaded by entrepreneur Julian Richer, seeks to promote responsible behaviour through ten key components:

  1. Real Living Wage
  2. Fairer Hours and Contracts
  3. Employee Well-being
  4. Employee representation
  5. Diversity and inclusion
  6. Environmental responsibility
  7. Pay fair tax
  8. Commitment to customers
  9. Ethical sourcing
  10. Fair payment to suppliers

The Charter will help us ensure that York’s residents have access to the best working conditions, with fairness and a shared commitment to our environmental responsibilities at the core of employment standards.

As a historic city with a Liberal Democrat led council, we are rightly proud of our vibrant culture and heritage, but we also want to lead the way in supporting employees in accessing fair conditions and pay, as well as businesses that put sustainability at their core. We want everyone to be able to contribute to the success of York, which is why we are committed to the values that The Good Business Charter promotes.

While it is important that the City of York Council shows its support for the GBC, I am delighted that some of our city’s most prominent employers have also chosen to do so. Thank you to Julian Richer and the Good Business Foundation, the University of York, Aviva, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and York and Scarborough Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Throughout the pandemic joint working has underpinned our efforts, so I look forward to working together, as the first Good Business Charter city, to create a better, fairer and more sustainable future for our communities.

* Keith Aspden has been the Councillor for Fulford Ward in York since 2003 and for Fulford and Heslington Ward since 2015. Since 2019 he is the Leader of City of York Council, and the Liberal Democrat Deputy Chair of the LGA Fire Services Management Committee.

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One Comment

  • Congratulations to York in leading the way in this local government initiative.

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