The Director of Social Care submitted a report that outlined how the Council currently demonstrated its compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty and recommended a revised approach for future years.
The report outlined the content of the 2016 Annual Equality and Diversity Report (attached at Appendix 1). As part of the annual report, the Council published details of progress that had been made in relation to equality objectives that were embedded within the Mayor's vision for the town and the Council's strategic planning and policy framework. The report summarised the progress made in relation to the previous set of objectives and set out how the delivery of the Mayor's vision would be monitored and reported upon.
The report proposed that future Annual Equality and Diversity and Workforce Monitoring reports be presented within one report that focussed on internal equality and diversity issues and equality and diversity within service delivery. If agreed, the integrated approach would take effect from summer 2017 and every 12 months thereafter to align with the reporting timelines that had been in place for the Workplace Monitoring report. The presentation of the data within the report would also be improved.
The report proposed that the Director of Social Care lead on a piece of work to explore how to promote the Council's ambitions for the equality and diversity agenda in a more user friendly format. The Council had recently established an equality and inclusion working group and the Director of Social Care had been designated as the organisation's Equality and Diversity Champion.
It was proposed that the Director of Social Care, (with the support of the group and the various employee engagement groups that had been established), lead on developing detailed plans to underpin the Council's revised approach to articulating and promoting its ambitions in relation to equality and diversity whilst also meeting its legal obligations. The draft work plan would be required to be submitted to the Executive Member for Finance and Governance for consideration.
The following options were considered:
Option one - continue to report separately. The Council would continue to meet its Public Sector Equality Duty and requirements to publish a range of data on its workforce. However an opportunity to rationalise this process and achieve added value from putting all this information within one report would be missed.
Option two - agree the report recommendations. A revised approach to publication of information within the scope of the integrated report and improved engagement with staff will result in a more detailed presentation of equality and diversity related information within one document.
ORDERED as follows:
1. That this years Equality and Diversity report be approved ; and
2. That in future years, the Equality and Diversity report and the annual Workforce Monitoring report be merged to provide a more comprehensive overview of equality and diversity within the Council in one document.
The decisions were supported for the following reason:
Publication of equality and diversity annual reports provided evidence of the Councils compliance with the PSED. Merging future reports with the Workforce Monitoring report would enable a more detailed picture to be presented.