Agenda and minutes

Equality and Diversity Forum
Thursday, 12th February, 2009 7.00 pm

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

No. Item



Estimated time – 2 minutes


Apologies were received from Councillor Margaret Ali, Councilor Abigail Lock, Councillor Pamela Picknett and Councillor Misdaq Zaidi who were all required to attend other meetings.  Rachael MacLeod and Joanna Warwick also sent apologies.


Introductions were made around the table.




of the meeting held on 10 December 2008 to be approved and signed.


The minutes of the meeting held on 16 December 2008 were approved as a correct record and signed by the Chair.




brought forward at the direction of the Chair, who has approved the reason for urgency.


Estimated time : 2 minutes


Frances Newell, Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust’s representative reported that the PCT is consulting on proposed changes to hospital-based care in London for patients with a major trauma or a stroke.  (Major trauma includes limb amputation, severe gunshot/knife wounds, and severe injuries from road accidents).  This would involve setting up major trauma centres and ‘hyper-acute stroke units’, which for Sutton residents would be at St George’s Hospital.  Research has found that a smaller number of specialist centres achieves better results for patient recovery.  St Helier would remain as a local stroke centre where people would go after the first three days of treatment at the hyper-acute centre. 


Frances stated that the Primary Care Trust were particularly keen to inform the Forum about the consultation on stroke and trauma services, because of its ‘umbrella’ role in linking to a number of groups representing vulnerable people.  It was hoped that the consultation would be placed onto the London Borough of Sutton’s consultation finder database and it will be on the Primary Care Trust’s website  Frances will also e-mail the documents to the Equality and Diversity Forum’s members.  Consultation documents should be available next week and the consultation closes on 8 May 2009.


Frances said that an item would be included onto the Forum’s next Information Bulletin accompanied by a handout offering groups a more detailed briefing and would give feedback on the consultation at the next Forum’s meeting on the 14 May 2009.


            Resolved: To note the above.




Information Bulletin


Oral presentation by the Project Manager



Linda Fisher, Project Manager thanked everyone who had sent items for the last edition of the Forum’s Information Bulletin and reminded everyone that it could be used to keep everyone updated about events/happenings or for the sharing of interesting information. 


Linda stated that the despatch date for the next edition is the 24 April 2009 and requested items by e-mail at or by post to the Second Floor, Civic Offices, St. Nicholas Way, Sutton SM1 1EA.


Resolved: That items for the next edition of the Information Bulletin should be forwarded to Linda Fisher by the 22 April 2009.




The Site Development Policies : Preferred Options documents identifies proposed sites for future development outside Sutton Town Centre, including Hackbridge, and policies to be used to decide planning applications.  Public involvement early last year helped identify possible sites, proposals and policies.  The Council has now developed a draft document as the next stage of this process.


Presentation by Belinda Boerkamp, Strategic Planning.


Estimated time: 5 minutes



The Site Development Policies – Consultation report was presented by Duncan Clarke and Belinda Boerkamp and was well received. Two tables were circulated.  The first table detailed the proposed site development and the second one was a précis of the proposed policies.  The contents were chosen for their relevance to equality and diversity, e.g. Proposed Policy DM 28 covers Gypsy and Traveller site provision.


Duncan and Belinda informed the meeting of 3 consultation events as listed below and asked to be invited to equality and diversity groups’ meetings.


The consultation events have been arranged for people to have their say on policies to help decide planning applications, future development sites (outside the Sutton Town Centre) and changes to the UDP Proposals Map and Parking Standards. 


Carshalton: Wednesday 18 February 2009, 7.15 pm at Carshalton College

Wallington: Thursday 19 February 2009, 7.15 pm at the Trinity Centre

North Cheam: Thursday 26 February 2009 at St. Bede’s Conference Centre.


To register for a workshop or find out more call 020 8770 6229 or e-mail


The full Site Development Policies Document will be available to view from 11 February 2009.  Everyone wishing to find out more:


Online             Go to hhtp://

Telephone:     020 8770 6299 for information

Visit:               Civic Offices, St Nicholas Way, Sutton

                        Council Offices, 24 Denmark Road, Carshalton

                        All local libraries.



Resolved: (i) That Duncan Clarke and Belinda Boerkamp be thanked for their presentation.


(ii) To note that the consultation dates are from 11 February 2009 to 25 March 2009.


(iii) To note the details for the three consultation events.




Oral presentation by Councillor Ruth Dombey/Joanna Warwick.


Estimated time: 10 minutes


The Forum discussed the details of the International Women’s Day event which is to take place on Sunday 8 March 2009, 10.30 am – 2.30 pm in the Millennium Gardens, High Street, Sutton Town Centre.  The event will include dancing, food and display, Sutton Women’s Forum will formally be launched by Councillor Ruth Dombey and a surprise Sutton celebrity.


The Sutton Women’s Forum has been created by popular demand in order that issues that affects the female gender in Sutton, from careers to childcare can be discussed.


Further information can be obtained by contacting Joanna Warwick at


            Resolved: To note the above.




Presentation by Sally Collins.


Estimated time : 20 minutes


Sally Collins, Project Manager for the Life Skills Centre gave a brief outline of the project.  The Forum watched a promotional DVD, which showed greater detail of the layout, and facilities that would be available at the Centre.


Sally explained that four million pounds from Government Lottery funding from the Department of Children’s Schools and Families had been secured.


The Centre will be a new building comprising of the following:


  • A new library
  • Youth facilities
  • Meetings rooms
  • Eco sensory garden
  • Café/coffee shop
  • Multi-use games area
  • Climbing room
  • Citizen zone, which is an unique educational facility that provides education for up to 40,000 youths across London.


The Centre will be sited on the old site of the 21 Youth Club, on the corner of Alcorn Close, on the A217, and Sutton Common Road which is ideally positioned for several transport routes.


Sally emphasised that particular attention would be paid to the role that the Centre would play in the life of young persons from this region.  Sally explained that there would be guided tours of up to 30 people at a time, mainly pre-arranged school parties and the aim was to provide a safe place for the community to visit.


Resolved: (i) That thanks be given to Sally Collins for her interesting and informative presentation.


(ii) To note the above.




Verbal presentation by Sutton Minoriity Ethnic Forum.


Estimated time : 10 minutes


Nasser Butt, Sutton Minority Ethnic Forum updated the meeting on the Shadowing Scheme.  This would be planned to coincide with Local Democracy Week in October 2009.  Nasser said that he would present the plan at the 14 May 2009 meeting.


The Forum noted that the young persons’ Councillor Shadowing would be planned and led by the newly formed group, Next Generation, and would take place during the Take Part, Take Pride event 6-12 July 2009.


Resolved: That Nasser Butt, Sutton Minority Ethnic Forum would do a presentation at the next meeting on the 14 May 2009.




Verbal presentation by Peter Rollins, Chair of the Minority Ethnic Employees Association.


Estimated time : 15 minutes


Peter Rollins, Chair of the Minority Ethnic Employees Association reported on the progress of the association.  The meeting suggested that:


  • MEEA to consider supporting a graduate recruitment scheme
  • Support Sutton’s Human Resources at career fairs.
  • Tap into Grammar Schools to help with recruitment of young employees, and
  • Investigate ways in which potential employees of Chinese heritage, which is the least represented group in Sutton’s workforce, can be supported to join the Council.


Peter also advised about the Diversity of Sutton Day to be held on the 10 March 2009 in Meeting Room 1, Civic Offices from 10.00 am – 4.00 pm.

and welcomed everyone to drop in.  Excellent speakers, brilliant displays and a free lunch have been organised.  As they were not present at the meeting, an invitation would be sent to Sally Hill of Downview Prison and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Group.


For more information, people are invited to visit or contact Janette Garlick on 020 8770 5317;


            Resolved: (i) Peter Rollins be thanked for his presentation.


(ii) To note that the Diversity of Sutton Day would be held on the 10 March 2009.




Oral presentation by the Senior Policy Officer (Equalities).


Dennis Bartholomew circulated the leaflet titled “Take Part, Take Pride – Sutton’s Summer Festival 6-12 July 2009” and informed the Forum that this year’s event to be organised by Suzy Humphries and Paul Edge, would take the theme of diversity.  Residents, community groups and people who work in the borough would be invited to take part by setting up an activity or event which gave others the chance to get involved.


It is hoped that all areas of the borough’s community would take part to provide a festival of activity throughout the week that highlighted excellence, inspire people to try new things, showcase an issue that is important and provided fun and interesting way for individuals and families to take part.


Suzy and Paul especially would like groups and people to consider:


  • Taking the lead on setting up a major event which other organisations can join
  • Using Take part, Take Pride to promote major campaigns and strategic activities
  • How they can use the event to come together with other partners, companies and organisations in order to fulfil strategic plans.


The Forum requested an update at the 14 May 2009 meeting, requested for the leaflet to be circulated electronically, and requested to know what small fund, if any, was available to community groups wanting to put on activities during Take Part, Take Pride.


Anyone interested in taking part, please contact Suzy or Paul at Take Part, Take Pride on 020 8770 4391 or via


            Resolved:     To note the above.




Report of the Executive Head of Policy and Communications.


Estimated time : 10 minutes

Additional documents:


Dennis Bartholomew, Policy Officer (Equalities) explained that the Forum’s comments were sought on a proposed Sutton Equality charter.  Dennis stated that as individual organisations, members of the Sutton Partnership Board have their own equalities policies.  The idea of the Sutton Equality Charter is to set out clearly as a partnership, the borough’s commitments to promoting equality of opportunity and to eliminate unlawful discrimination on the grounds of race, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, religion and belief and any other difference that can lead to discrimination or unfair treatment.


It seeks to add value to the separate commitments of individual organisations and provide a building block for the Audit Commission’s new area-based assessment framework (CAA).


The Forum were asked to provide comments on the Sutton Equality Charter and to agree that the Charter, incorporating any changes made following this meeting, should be submitted for adoption to the Sutton Partnership Board’s meeting on the 28 April 2009.


The Forum strongly welcomed the Charter and a number of positive comments made as follows:


  • Paragraph 4 of the charter needed to be clarified
  • That every company or individual providing a service to Sutton or local public service providers should sign up to the Charter (Procurement to be consulted).
  • We should consider mentioning bad language, i.e. swearing, behaviour and dress within the Charter, viz minimum expected standards.
  • The Charter should be extended to the Sutton business community. 


Dennis explained that the first step was to get sign up from the member organisations of the Sutton Partnership.


Frances Newell of the Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust advised that she would recommend its adoption by the Trust but would have to negotiate with her colleagues in the Merton Local Strategic Partnership and the London Borough of Merton of Council.


Resolved: That Dennis Bartholomew would relay the Forum’s comments to the Policy and Communications Team of the Council.




The date of the next meeting will be on Thursday 14 May 2009 in room 5, Civic Offices commencing at 7.00 pm.


The date of the next meeting is scheduled for Thursday 14 May 2009 at

7.00 pm in Room 5, Civic Offices.