To consider the draft 2022 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Annual Position Statement and provide a recommendation to Cabinet to publish the information.
The Cabinet Member for People and Safer Communities presented the draft report. The Member informed the Committee that while the report was slightly delayed, figures from the Census 2021 were able to be included as a result.
It was the responsibility of all Officers and Elected Members to implement the principles of equality, diversity and inclusion. The aim of these principals was to inform decision-making at every level within the Council, reflecting an ongoing commitment to the Public Sector Equality Duty, Section 149 of the Equality Act 2010 placed a duty on public sector organisations when exercising public functions to have due regard to:
• Eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
• Advance opportunities for people who share a protected characteristic and those who don’t share it
• Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who don’t share it.
Two further specific duties are placed on public sector organisations, which are to:
• Publish information to show compliance with the Equality Duty, at least annually, and
• Set and publish equality objectives, at least every four years.
During discussion, Members raised the following points:
· The draft report was welcomed, allowing Members advanced notice to comment ahead of the confirmed report.
· Staff demographics were welcomed. It was suggested that Councillors demographics could be included.
· Was it possible for tribunal case numbers or Police figures on hate crimes to be reported?
The Community Engagement Officer informed Members that any figures they requested could be included in future reports. The draft statement included all that was required in legislation.
The Chairman confirmed that a member of the police force would be present at the next Committee meeting on the 16 March 2023.
The Cabinet Member for People and Safer Communities requested that the statement be published as soon as possible. The statement would be reviewed in September 2023, the Committee would be invited to further develop the statement.
One Member queried what the budget allocation was for the Disabled Facilities Grant and how long a tenant would typically wait for a facility to be fitted.
ACTION: For the Community Engagement Manager to provide the Committee with information on the Disabled Facilities Grant budget allocation and the timeframe on a facility to be fitted.
A proposal had been agreed at Cabinet into the use of contracts which covered Lincolnshire in regard to the delivery of some of the specific adaptations in particular ramps and low-level interventions within people’s homes.
The Council had secured £160,000 of government funding for the provision of four changing places in 2021. It was noted that there were no changing places in South Kesteven as of yet.
The Community Engagement Manager highlighted that the report was a snapshot in time. The funding secured did not need to be spent in the year it was awarded, it was a programme over a period of years to locate four Changing Places Facilities in the District. Work had already been carried out on viability studies relating to the locations identified. Updated information would be included in relation to Changing Places within the next Annual Position Statement.
It was proposed, seconded and AGREED that the Rural and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee:
a) Recommends to Cabinet that the 2022 Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Annual Position Statement is published at the earliest opportunity. Enhancements suggested by the Rural and Communities Overview and Scrutiny Committee to improve the extent and clarity of information would be taken into consideration when preparing next year’s statement.