Generic filters


  • The large majority of participants in the workshops supported the mission statement’s aims and objectives
  • Some individual words or phrases attracted criticism as detailed below
  • Elements that might be considered ‘missing’ were the word “accessible” to include people of different abilities; mention of the role partner organisations might play in the process; and the phrase “reflected in our values and the ways we work”
  • Participants wanted more active language e.g. instead of “is committed to” and “aim to” change it to “will” and “actively build”

Draft Mission Statement

Portsmouth City Council is committed to eliminating discrimination, advancing equality of opportunity, and fostering good community relations. This Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Framework and Toolkit seeks to build and cultivate a safe space for colleagues and residents with inclusivity and equality at its core. We aim to build a community where everyone can thrive and express themselves fully and without limitations or fear.

Respondents comments on the highlighted words:

‘Eliminating’ – Some voices felt that ‘eliminating’ was an impossible goal, and on that basis should be removed. ‘Challenging’ was seen as a possible alternative that still has intent and action behind it

‘Equality’ – Some voices felt that ‘equality’ should be replaced by ‘equity’ to reflect the concept of some people needing more help to achieve ‘equity of opportunity’ or ‘equitable opportunity’. Equality has the sense of a level playing field, whereas for some currently seldom heard from sections of the community they would need additional assistance to achieve equality i.e. raised up higher from a lower starting base

‘This’ – Some felt ‘This’ should be ‘Our’ to make it more inclusive and reflective of all stakeholders

‘Toolkit’ – ‘Toolkit’ is seen as an operational word by some, and as such has no place in a mission statement

‘Cultivate’ – Some felt ‘cultivate’ might be given more intent if replaced with ‘create’ or ‘implement’

‘Colleagues and residents’ – Some felt ‘colleagues and residents’ should be ‘everyone’ to make it more inclusive and reflective of all stakeholders

‘Express themselves fully and without limitations or fear’ – The phrase ‘express themselves fully and without limitations or fear’ provoked a lot of discussion. Some questioned whether that was possible without offending others. Adding ‘without limitations or fear of reprisals’ was raised as an option. Others felt it was important to get across an idea of ‘respect’ and/or ‘empowerment’. The sentiment was generally positive but the current wording is troubling for some

Alternative mission statement

Below is an alternative mission statement with suggested wording after attendance at one of the workshops:

We believe and recognise that the diversity of our population is one of our greatest strengths and assets. We will champion diversity, equity and inclusion, cultivating a safe environment for staff, residents and businesses to achieve their full potential through empowerment, innovation and freedom of expression. We will work with staff, communities and business partners to eliminate discriminatory barriers and ensure that everyone within Portsmouth has a sense of shared, common belonging and understanding.”

  • This version of the statement works well in using ‘we’ instead of Portsmouth City Council or ‘this’ to make it feel more inclusive and collaborative. It also draws in the other partners involved in the process, although the language is slightly repetitive
  • It focuses on the positives the strategy will promote rather than the negatives it will combat
  • The last line has a similar feeling to the original but avoids any controversy around complete freedom of expression being impossible, or a potentially negative force