The Council considers equality throughout all its functions to ensure that all members of the public have equal opportunities to access our services. The equality duty encourages public bodies to make good decisions by considering how different people may be affected by our services and any changes we make to them.
We have adopted a number of methods in order to embed equality throughout our services and bring it to the forefront of our decision making. Staff and Councillors have been provided with the opportunity to attend training including a training session with role play scenarios. There are various internal avenues where equality issues can be identified and addressed, these are outlined below.
Equality Member Champion
Full Council has appointed Councillor David Easton as member champion for equalities. He attends the Corporate Equality Officer Group to contribute to the meeting and provide feedback to other interested councillors where necessary.
Corporate Equality Officer Group
An Equality Officer Group has been set up to oversee the implementation and mainstreaming of equality and diversity in all aspects of service provision and employment matters. Chaired by our Head of Paid Service, the group is responsible for the delivery of the Council’s Single Equality Scheme and monitoring progress of equality action plans and completion of equality impact assessments.
Single Equalities Scheme
The Council has developed a scheme which sets out how we will eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation; advance equality of opportunity between different groups; and foster good relations between different groups. In 2010, the councils first scheme was developed through a comprehensive and positive engagement process, with local residents, staff and councillors. This consultation exercise led to the development of 7 key objectives for the Council to progress through the equalities agenda. In 2014 the scheme was reviewed and consultation carried out on the objectives, here you can view the Single Equality Scheme 2014. This scheme is then supported by an annual action plan to work towards achieving these objectives, and monitored by the Equality Officer Group.
Equality Impact Assessments
The council undertakes equality impact assessments (EIA) to identify potential impacts of our policies, services and functions on residents and staff. Although they are no longer required by law we still carry out EIAs to ensure that the services we provide, and changes we make to them, do not negatively impact upon specific protected characteristics. EIA’s are published and available to view below:
Equality Impact Assessments
Completed EIAs are published under each of the service areas. Please use the links on the left hand side or below to navigate to the impact assessment you require. When assessments are updated previous documents will be replaced, so only the most up to date are displayed.
While there is no explicit legal requirement under the general equality duty to engage with people of different protected characteristics, the general equality duty requires public authorities to have an adequate evidence base for decision making, and engagement can assist with developing that evidence base.
The Council's Community Engagement Team work with voluntary and community organisations, parish councils, village agents and residents and are therefore well placed to gather feedback from the community.
The Council has also developed and adopted a Feedback Policy that enables members of the public to contact us to provide feedback on our services. This is published on our customer feedback pages on our website. We also publish details of any current consultations on the consultation pages on our website.