Agenda and draft minutes

Equality and Diversity Forum
Thursday, 29th September, 2011 7.00 pm

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

Contact: Victoria Lawson, Head of Chief Executive's Office. Tel 020 87770 5779 email  victoria.lawson@sutton.gov.uk 

Items
No. Item

1.

APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE AND DECLARATION OF SUBSTITUTES

Minutes:

Equality and Diversity Forum

Thursday 29th September 2011

7pm

 

Members

Councillor Wales

 

Councillor Holloway

 

Councillor Davey

 

Julie Duffy

 

Marion Harper

 

Aisha Arif

 

SalmaSaeed

 

Melanie Faulkner-Barrett

 

Kim Brown

 

Ian Kershaw

 

Joan Parker

 

David Parker

 

Thikra Ali

 

Glen Ocsko

 

Victoria Lawson

 

 

 

Absent

 

Councillor Campbell-Klomps

 

Councillor Picknett

 

ShafiChowdhury

 

Susanna Bennett

 

Pam Davies

 

Nicole Richardson

 

DCI Alan Chambers

 

WasiaShahain

 

 

1.  Introductions, Apologies and Previous Minutes

Cllr Wales welcomed the Forum together and introductions and apologies were made.  The previous minutes from 30th June were agreed as a true record.

 

2.  Update on the Equality Act 2010

Victoria Lawson provided the Group with an update on the Equality Act 2010.  The Act and its general duty came into force in April 2011.

 

The specific duties came into force following parliamentary approval which confirms the requirement to publish information by 31st January 2012 and for schools (maintained by the local authority) to publish information by 6th April 2012.

We need to be transparent about how we are responding to the Equality Duty – so we are required to publish relevant, proportionate information showing compliance with the Equality Duty, and to set equality objectives. 

In response to this the Council is reviewing:

 

  • What information it currently holds and what can be published on each of the groups, referred to in the Act as protected characteristics.

 

  • Its Equality Impact Assessment process, which considers the relevance and impact of both services and policies on the different protected characteristics.

 

There were a number of proposals for the Forum:

 

1.    To share the information analysis from the Council with the Forum for advice and guidance on what would be useful, relevant and proportionate for publication (Action: Victoria Lawson).

 

2.    To consider the Equality Impact Assessment process and share other public authority approaches from the Forum and other local authorities (Action: Victoria Lawson).

 

The Forum discussed these proposals and made the following comments:

 

  • Cllr Davey questioned whether impact assessments are for new or all existing projects and they should be completed for all to reflect the ongoing developments made within organisations. 

 

  • Thikra Ali updated the Forum on the development at Sutton Racial Equality Council which had decided to widen the remit of its organisation to turn into Sutton Centre for Equalities, who will work to deliver range of equalities strands.

 

  • Cllr Davey felt with any new approach to impact assessments it was important to provide equality assurance by passing the ‘so what’ test with regards to assessments; and that it needed to be more than a simple tick box exercise. 

 

  • Cllr Holloway expressed concerns that the current EIA process felt like many had been produced as an afterthought, but appreciated we needed a balance between process heavy exercises and protection from discrimination. 

 

These comments would be considered in the update of the Equality Impact Assessment process (Action: Victoria Lawson).

 

3.  Faith, Communities and Culture Project

Julie Duffy, from SCVS, took the Forum through her presentation which detailed her work  ...  view the full minutes text for item 1.

2.

MINUTES pdf icon PDF 65 KB

of the meeting held on 30 June 2011 (ENCLOSURE).

Minutes:

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

 

3.

Update on the Equality Act 2010

·        Publishing equality data

·        Review of equality impact assessments

 

Brief update on the Equality Act and the practical changes that will be undertaken in the authority.  Explanation of the opportunity for the Forum to act as a “critical friend” in the changes and development of current processes.

 

Estimate time: 20 minutes

 

4.

Faith, Communities and Culture Project

Presentation from Julie Duffy from SCVS on her project on safeguarding and faith groups

 

Estimate time: 20 minutes

 

5.

Hate Incidents Report - Update

Update from Ian Kershaw on hate incidents and reporting in Sutton

 

Estimated time: 15 minutes

 

6.

Events Programme

  • Black History Month (October)
  • Interfaith Week (November)
  • Holocaust Memorial Day (27th January)

 

Brief update on the Black History Month and the opportunities for the Forum to influence and get involved in future events which promote and support equality and diversity in the Borough.

 

Estimated time 30 minutes

 

 

 

7.

Forthcoming Consultations

A discussion on the forthcoming consultations where the Forum would be interested in having greater involvement.  Long list of consultations to be provided to the Forum for its consideration.

 

Estimated time: 30 minutes

 

8.

Update from Forum Members

An update on the activities of the Forum members

 

Estimated Time: 10 minutes

 

9.

ANY OTHER URGENT BUSINESS

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

10.

Date of Next Meeting

The date of the next meeting is Tuesday 6 December at 7pm in Meeting Room 2