The report of the Executive Manager – Transformation is attached.
The Executive Manager – Transformation presented the report which provided the Group with an update on the Rushcliffe Equalities Scheme 2021 – 2025. It was noted that the Communities Scrutiny Group had originally responded to proposals in respect of the review of the Council’s Equality Scheme and provided a steer on further work to develop a refreshed Equality Scheme before being submitted to Cabinet. This report provided an update on that work for consideration by the Communities Scrutiny Group.
The Executive Manager – Transformation explained that taking into account the feedback of the Communities Scrutiny Group it was proposed to put forward an Equality Scheme that kept its focus at a strategic level, setting out the vision and aims of the Council over the next four years. It was noted that annual action plans would be developed to progress against these strategic aims. The action plans would be developed through consultation with key stakeholders and groups, which will ensure that the actions are relevant and support inclusion and engagement. The Group were informed that these actions would be embedded as part of annual service plans to ensure that equality, diversity and inclusion are integral to the work of the Council and the design and delivery of services.
It was noted that examples of priorities for action plans for 2021-22 were:
- Health inequalities, considering an asset-based approach to health and wellbeing.
- The impact of COVID-19 on certain groups in terms of health, safety, housing and employment.
- Lessons and messages from the community regarding diversity issues.
- Recognising and respecting fluid identities.
The report also detailed a list of projects and work delivered by the Council which highlighted the work already undertaken and that which was ongoing to ensure that the Council’s services are accessible to all.
The Group raised concerns about the content of the Equality Scheme and suggested that characteristics should be reviewed and monitored for inclusivity with performance indicators. It was noted that data and performance indicators would be reported at a later date once the equality scheme was approved. Additionally, the Group were reminded that the diversity annual report which was delivered to the Corporate Overview Group looks at the diversity of the Rushcliffe Borough Council workforce in comparison to the diversity of the local community.
The Group were informed that the Council would work in partnership with other organisations such as Nottinghamshire County Council to support work experience placements as part of the Government’s Kickstart scheme, which will provide work experience and skills development for young people who are at risk of long term unemployment.
The Group agreed that the Equalities Scheme would be reported back to the Communities Scrutiny Group within 12 – 18 months. The Group were encouraged to contact the Executive Manager – Transformation if there were any specific areas of focus or data which the Equalities Scheme could capture beyond the themes already listed in the document.
It was RESOLVED that
a) The report of the Executive Manager – Transformation be noted;
b) the proposed approach for the revised Equality Scheme be supported for submission to Cabinet and
c) the revised Equalities Scheme be reported back to the Communities Scrutiny Group in 12 – 18 months time.