Agenda and minutes

Equality and Diversity Forum
Thursday, 25th February, 2010 7.00 pm

Venue: Salvation Army, Benhill Avenue, Sutton

No. Item




Apologies were received from Councillor Margaret Ali, Andrea Howlett (Sutton Housing Partnership), Janet Sherbourne (Carshalton College), Pam Davies (Sutton Senior Forum), Andy Wilson (Sutton Centre for the Voluntary Sector).  Apologies for lateness were received from Councillor Abigail Lock and Councillor Misdaq Zaidi.



MINUTES pdf icon PDF 84 KB

of the meeting held on 17 December 2009.


The Minutes of the meeting held on 17 December 2009 were approved as a correct record, and signed by the Chair.




Verbal report of the Project Manager.


Any item in the previously circulated Information Bulletin can, on request and with the permission of the Chair, be discussed by the Forum members.


Estimated time: 5 minutes



Linda Fisher, Project Manager stated that although the next meeting was not until the 1 July, she wanted to remind the Forum to send her interesting news, sets of minutes or anything organisations and groups wished to share in order that they could be included in the next Information Bulletin.


The despatch date would be 4 June 2010 so items needed to be with Linda by Thursday 3 June.  These should be sent ideally by e-mail at or if not, forwarded to Democratic Services, London Borough of Sutton, Civic Offices, St. Nicholas Way, Sutton SM1 1EA.


            Resolved: To note the above.




Dr. Peter Simpson, Executive Head of School Improvement, delivered a detailed presentation on pupil attainment to the May 2009 Equality and Diversity Forum.  Following the compilation of the data for 2008/9 Dr. Simpson will update the Forum on the achievements made by particular groups of pupils, including our Looked After Children, those with special needs, minority ethnic pupils and those in receipt of free school meals.


Presentation : 10 minutes/Questions and Answers: 10 minutes



Dr. Peter Simpson, Executive Head of School Improvement, delivered a detailed presentation on the achievements made by particular groups of pupils, including Looked After Children, those with special needs, minority ethnic pupils and those in receipt of free school meals.


The key points of the presentation were as follows:


  • Foundation Stage: best ever results, exceeding 2010 target and now one of the highest performing authorities in London.
  • Key Stage One: in top 20 local authorities for reading and writing and 7th for mathematics.
  • Key Stage Two: results improved in English for Level 4 threshold and held for mathematics and science; Level 5 results rose in English and maths and remained high in science.
  • In top 20 of local authorities for all measures.
  • Key Stage Four: Highest results ever.
  • Looked After Children: a very successful year.
  • Special Education Needs: a much stronger correlation between level of special need and attainment.
  • Black African and Minority Ethnic Group: a varied picture, but very strong overall.
  • The Economic Disadvantage Gap: based on the difference in attainment between those experiencing economic disadvantage and those note.  Free school meals to be used as a proxy indicator.  Will be a huge challenge called The Sutton Challenge.
  • A variety of measures undertaken to date and improvements identified for Looked After Children to main momentum and to ensure that pupils with special educational needs are appropriately supported.
  • Plans for the future to include clear, integrated planning across the services: Children and Young People’s Plan and Education Improvement Plan, detailed analysis and sharing good practice, developing independence.
  • Suggestion that an A5 sheet of guidelines for parents should be distributed among voluntary groups, Citizens Advice Bureaux and on website.
  • Dr. Simpson’s presentation to be circulated electronically and by hard copy to all members of the Forum.
  • It was confirmed that children with a physical disability largely perform as well as children without a disability.


Resolved: (i) To thank Dr. Peter Simpson and Kate Evans for their interesting presentation.


(ii) Dr. Peter Simpson would be invited back to a future meeting of the Forum.




Sutton is one of the safest boroughs in London.  However, the Police and those responsible for public safety face particular challenges.  Chief Inspector David Gair will outline how they are responding to these challenges.


Estimated time: 20 minutes



Inspector David Gair advised the Forum of the work being undertaken by the Safer Neighbourhood Teams and the Metropolitan Police and highlighted that Sutton High Street was their number one concern, followed by Woodcote Road, Wallington as the Youth Court was held there on Tuesday and Thursday mornings.


The main points of the presentation were as follows:


  • An operation was underway called ‘A Street a Week’ which involved PCs/PCSOs speaking to all the residents of a street to find out their concerns.
  • Invitations to be sent to residents inviting them to sessions at the libraries and other venues.
  • Six action days across the Borough on issues such as litter, traffic management and drugs and other issues.
  • Closer working relationship with Carshalton College had alleviated some of the problems.
  • Organisations/groups were encouraged to nominate members to sit on Ward Panels to increase diversity in the borough.
  • Concerns about possible problems during World Cup raised.
  • First planning meeting concerning World Cup on 26 February.
  • Work to be undertaken with Licensees in the borough including the possible use of non-breakable glasses in public houses, wine bars and other similar establishments.
  • Lack of youth groups was discussed.
  • Ways to engaged with young people being looked at.
  • Highlighted that outreach work proved to be more successful to find which facilities young people would like.


            Resolved: (i) To thank Inspector David Gair for his presentation.


            (ii) To note the above.




Adam French, the officer responsible for leading the Borough’s strategy on domestic violence prevention will inform the Equality and Diversity Forum on the progress made and the challenges to be overcome in this area.


Estimated time: 15 minutes



Adam French, the officer responsible for leading the Borough’s strategy on domestic violence prevention gave a presentation on the national ‘Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy’ and explained that a consultation had been launched in March 2009 with 10,000 practitioners and members of the public which represented a cross-government commitment, led by the Home Office.  Other departments involved include Health, Education, Housing Local Government and Transport.


Adam said that the main focus is on women because acts of violence are suffered disproportionately by women.  Most cases of serious injury/repeated attacks involve a male perpetrator and a female victim.  Nevertheless it is recognised that there are male victims and same sex victims, and this strategy does not exclude them.


The main parts of the strategy include:


  • Prevention
  • Provision
  • Protection


Adam French advised that Sutton’s initiatives include:


  • Strengthening the co-ordinated community response, i.e. One-Stop-Shop, young people, elder abuse and Domestic Violence protocol.
  • Sutton Life Centre to include a scenario on domestic violence for years 6’s and 8’s, linking in with Childline.
  • Materials for teachers to be developed to ensure they know how to respond.
  • Media awareness – 3 articles in Guardian before Xmas and the World Cup campaign to be developed.


Adam informed the Forum that the strategy would link in to Smarter Services Sutton by demonstrating that other issues, such as alcohol and drug misuse, youth offending, poor education attainment, homelessness and anti-social behaviour would be addressed by investing in effective domestic violence prevention initiatives.  Investment in domestic violence services represents value-for-money and domestic violence advocacy is a key area that Adam would like to increase, as well as empowerment initiatives.


Adam advised that the next Domestic Violence Forum meeting would be held on Thursday 4 March 2010.  Attendance had been good at meetings with approximately 30 people at each meeting and 70 people on the mailing list.


      Resolved: To thank Adam French for his interesting presentation.




Following his presentation to the 17 December 2009 meeting of the Forum, Dennis Bartholomew, Senior Policy Officer (Equalities), will provide a short verbal report on the progress since then.


Estimated time: 10 minutes



Dennis Bartholomew, Senior Policy Officer (Equalities) gave a short verbal presentation on the progress made since the last meeting of the Forum on the 17 December 2009, the main points of which are set out below:


  • Hate incident monitoring form now on-line.
  • System to be revised.
  • Discussion taking place re ongoing strategy.
  • Meetings to take place with interested groups, officers from Police Station, Sutton Housing Partnership and Sutton Racial Equalities Council.
  • Training given to Call Centre colleagues to deal with incident reports.
  • Sutton Racial Equalities Council Workshop to be held on 24 March 2010 at the Salvation Army Hall, Sutton,
  • Publicity to be circulated through Linda Fisher.
  • Further work to be done on unreported faith and religious incidents.
  • Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bi-sexual are now covered on the new electronic reporting.
  • Engagement with schools to raise awareness.
  • Hate incidents with people with visible disabilities unreported.  Further work to be carried out.


Resolved: To note the above.




Groups, who have obtained the permission of the Chair, will present on their activities.


Estimated time: 10 minutes



Barbara Waluube explained that Sutton had been granted £210,000 as a Take Part Pathfinder throughout 2009/10 and 2010/11.  Take Part is a government sponsored programme (by the Department of Communities and Local Government) and is part of the ‘Together We Can’ programme.  The programme is to be managed by Sutton Centre for Voluntary Sector.


Take Part provides programmes of citizenship learning to help adults gain the knowledge, skills and confidence required to become empowered members of their communities.  They could then go on to be active members of society, changing the way public services are provided (for example by being a councillor, trustee, governor, magistrate or by setting up their own local group, starting petitions, being involved in consultations or simply taking steps in their local area to improve the quality of life for everyone).  It is about encouraging everyone to become more responsible for changes they want to make, thereby improving social cohesion, satisfaction, understanding and responsibility.


Sutton has been part of the Take Part Programme since April 2009 and is now starting to offer a range of courses, how your council works, how to be a trustee, being a councillor, presentation skills and more. All courses are free and will be held on various dates from April 22 2010 to July 8th 2010 from 9.30 am – 4.30 pm.  There is a website available where people can find some resources (  The other part of the programme is to identify people who want to ‘act’ but do not know how, and to support them to do the things that they want, i.e. helping them to set up a Friends or a Park Group, and bid for money for repairs.


Barbara explained that there is to be a free Launch, Event, including lunch, on Monday 15 March 2010 at the Salvation Army, Benhill Avenue, Sutton SM1 4DD from 9.30 am – 2.00 pm.  As places are limited, anyone interested please call 020 8644 2867 or e-mail to book your place.




Verbal update by Dennis Bartholomew, Senior Policy Officer (Equalities) and Marwood Braund, a representative from the Sutton Support Hearing Group.


Estimated time: 10 minutes



Marwood Braund, representative from the Sutton Support Hearing Group and Dennis Bartholomew, Senior Policy Officer (Equalities) confirmed that work would continue to be carried out on the guidelines for booking meeting rooms with regard to accessibility, and the outcome of this work will be reported at a later meeting.


Resolved: (i) To thank Marwood Braund and Dennis for their hard work.


            (ii) To note the above.




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


There were no urgent items.



The dates of the next meeting will be on Thursday 1 July 2010 starting at

7.00 pm.  Venue to be confirmed.



It was noted that the date of the next meeting would be on Thursday l July 2010 starting at 7.00 pm at a venue to be notified.