Executive Member for Finance and Governance Minutes

Executive Member for Finance and Governance Minutes

Date:
Wednesday 22 November 2017
Time:
2:00 p.m.
Place:
Spencer Room, Town Hall, Middlesbrough
 

Attendance Details

Present:
Councillor N J Walker
Officers:
S Blood and AM Johnstone
Declarations of interest:

None declared

Item Number Item/Resolution
PUBLIC
17/3 EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY POLICIES- 2017 REFRESH


The Strategic Director for Finance, Governance and Support submitted a report which ought approval of the following revised policies:

 

  • Equality Policy
  • Equality Monitoring Policy, and
  • Hate Incident policy

The policies were attached to the report as appendices.

 

The report outlined that the public sector equality duty, which was  contained within the Equality Act 2010. The
duty contains both general and specific duties that are applicable to the Council. In line with the Council’s Policy framework these policies are brought forward for review every three years.
 

Over the years these policies have been refined to reflect case law changes and identify opportunities to streamline and merge documents, resulting in the three revised policies that are appended to this report for approval:

  •  Equality Policy;
  •  Equality Monitoring Policy; and
  •  Monitoring of Hate Incidents Policy.

The key amendments to each policy were as follows:

 

Equality Policy
The policy attached at Appendix 1, had been updated to reflect changes to HR policies and procedures that have been introduced since it was revised last and name changes. Changes include introduction of the People Strategy, flexible working policies, Middlesbrough Manager and Middlesbrough Employee Frameworks
and the Work Life Balance Policy. It also reflects the creation of the Equality and Inclusion officer group, led by the Director of Adult Social Care to advance the equality and inclusion agenda within the Council.

 

Equality Monitoring Policy
 The covering Policy (attached at Appendix 2) has been streamlined further and an additional question has been added into the standard equality monitoring form for adults to enable the Council to capture transgender status. There is a lack of data available on transgender people which makes it difficult to identify views on a range
of issues and information on how well services are meeting the needs of all communities in Middlesbrough. It is anticipated that a question on transgender status will also appear in the next Census, enabling the Council to benchmark its data.


Monitoring of Hate Incidents Policy

Following consultation with the Equality and Inclusion group, changes to the policy have been made to include reference to hate crime reporting processes that can be followed, ‘Call a Halt to Hate Crime’, which is a Tees Valley partners produced form for communities and the national reporting tool promoted by the Police. In addition information on who information may be shared with has been made clearer. The revised policy is attached at Appendix 3 for consideration.

 

ORDERED

 

That the revised policies be agreed and implemented.

 

REASON

 

The decision was supported by the following reason:

 

The d ecision was necessary to ensure the Council’s arrangements continue to reflect the expectations of the Public Sector Equality Duty and effectively support the organisation to deliver its priorities.

 

 

 

17/4 ANNUAL EQUALITY AND INCLUSION REPORT

The Director of Social Care and Health Integration submitted a report which set out the Council's first Annual Eqaulity and Inclusion report. The report combined previous reports on Workforce composition and Equality and Diveristy.

 

The report outlined that the Equality Act 2010 placed a Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) on Local Authorities and other bodies. The broad purpose of the equality duty is to integrate consideration of equality and good relations into the day-to-day business of the Council. It required equality considerations to be reflected into the design of
policies and the delivery of services, including internal policies, and for these issuesto be kept under review.

 

This duty is supported by specific regulations, which place additional duties upon the Council. It is required to publish information / data to demonstrate compliance with the Public Sector Equality Duty.


The Council was also required to periodically publish information around the composition of its workforce.
 

This report ensures both duties are met and will be published annually, in line with statutory requirements.
 

As part of the annual report, the Council publishes details of progress that has been made in relation to equality objectives which are embedded within the Mayor’s vision for the town and the Council’s strategic planning and policy framework.

 

The report gave information in relation to current staffing composition and provided information in relation to the benefits of a diverse workforce and actions being action to increase the diversity of the workforce.

 

ORDERED

 

That the Equality and Inclusion report be approved.

 

REASON

 

The report was supported by the following reason:

 

Publication of equality and diversity annual reports provides evidence of the Council’s compliance with the PSED and Transparency Code requirements.

The decision(s) will come into force after five working days following the day the decision(s) were published unless the decision becomes subject to the call in procedures.
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