Agenda and minutes

Equality and Diversity Forum
Thursday, 17th April, 2008 6.30 pm

Venue: Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, SM1 1EA

No. Item




There were apologies from Councillors Abigail Lock and Pamela Picknett, and from Sally Hill.  Clare Shearer substituted for Joan Parker.


MINUTES pdf icon PDF 61 KB

of the meeting held on 14 February 2008 (ENCLOSURE).


The Minutes of the meeting held on 14 February 2008 were approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chair.




Report of the Executive Head of Environmental Sustainability (ENCLOSURE).

       (to follow)


The Executive Head of Environmental Sustainability reported that Sutton Council’s Local Area Agreement would include at least three targets relating to sustainability: namely reducing carbon emissions, adapting to climate change and protecting bio-diversity.  He gave a presentation on the One Planet Living initiative, which had developed from discussions with residents of Hackbridge following the events of Hackbridge Week in 2007.  The aim of the initiative was to reduce the consumption of natural resources to a level that could be sustained by one planet (not three as at present in Europe); and the intention was to improve the quality of life for Hackbridge residents by providing new sustainable development, encouraging residents to shop locally and reducing the dominance of car transport.


There was an opportunity to promote the initiative in Hackbridge because of the anticipated development of former industrial land, the existence of BedZed, existing good transport links and potential areas of open space.  There were, as yet, no formal plans.


The proposals included a Sustainability Action Plan for Sutton and could affect different groups of people in different ways.  It was therefore important to obtain the views of the whole community.  The Chair asked each member to consider how they and the organisations they represented could influence, and would be affected by, the initiative.


Members considered aspects of the initiative, various sustainability measures and the impact they could have.  The importance of good communication was emphasised and in particular that the written word was not always appropriate for everybody.


            Resolved: To thank the Executive Head of Environmental Sustainability for his presentation.



At previous meetings members have been invited to suggest actions by their organisation that could be developed over the next 12 months, and which would make a difference to minority groups in the Borough.


The Chair of the new Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender Forum will report orally on its recent formation.


The organisers of the Borough’s young people’s lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender organisation, Let Me Out (LMO), will also brief members on that organisation’s re-launch.


The representative of the newly formed Sutton Minority Ethnic Forum will report on their recent activities and their planned Annual General Meeting.


Sutton Equalities Officer will report orally on the work to establish a women’s organisation in the Borough.


At previous meetings members had been invited to suggest actions by their organisation that could be developed and which would make a difference to minority groups in the Borough.


Joanna Warwick, who worked for the community drugs team, had suggested a women’s forum for employees and residents.  A number of prominent and influential women had been invited to an initial discussion on 16 June to see if there was sufficient interest to progress the proposal.


Richard Barnes reported that he had been asked by the police to set up a lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender forum as part of their campaign to combat hate crime.  At present there was no social venue for this group in the Borough but it was not clear yet whether the forum would be a formal structure or just a social group.


Sutton Council’s Equalities Officer also reported on the re-launch with Merton Council of Let Me Out (LMO), a lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender organisation for young people, primarily to provide support for children bullied at school.


Beau Fadahunsi reported that the Black and Minority Ethnic Forum hoped to organise a second event where young people could shadow a local councillor and a local film festival, and work jointly with the Travellers’ Forum.


Nasser Butt reported that the Sutton Minority Ethnic Forum had held several meetings to try and bring together the different minority communities in Sutton and promote integration.  Their first formal annual meeting would be on 29 April 2008.


            Resolved: To note.



By Minute 46(d)/08 it was decided to consider further the time when the Forum’s meetings would start.


The Chair referred to an earlier decision in 2007 that meetings of the Forum begin at 6:30 pm rather than 7:30 pm.  Experience suggested that this was not a convenient time for a large number of members, although many members did prefer an earlier time.  7:00 pm was proposed as a compromise.


            Resolved: That henceforth meetings of the Forum begin at 7:00 pm.