Equality Act 2010 - published equality objectives (March 2012)

Background

Under the Equality Act 2010, we now have to comply with the public sector equality duty which came into force on 6 April 2011. The Equality Duty ensures that all public bodies play their part in making society fairer by tackling discrimination and providing equality of opportunity for all. As part of this we have a duty to set and publish equality objectives every four years.

We have already published equality information in relation to both our employees and people who are affected by our policies and services.  In our corporate strategy 2012-13, we agreed three objectives that we feel are most important in promoting equality and diversity:

  • Listening and responding to a wide-range of communities.
  • Promoting fair access to our services;
  • Ensuring fair employment practices;

These three objectives relate back to our corporate equality and diversity policy that was agreed by the council in March 2008. The actions we will take forward in the coming year are as follows:

Listening and responding to a wide-range of communities.

Our commitment

We will provide a framework for the consultation and engagement with communities in the commissioning of our services so that we are better able to provide services that are responsive to the needs of our customers

Actions

Develop engagement mechanisms that pay regard to people who share the protected characteristics covered by the equality duty.

Continue to work in partnership with the police, housing providers and the voluntary sector to respond to incidents of hate crime through the Cheltenham Anti-Social Behaviour Working Group and the Gloucestershire Hate Crime Group.

Promoting fair access to our services

Our commitment

We will ensure that customers, service users and the wider community of Cheltenham have fair access to our services and are not discriminated against in any aspect of our service delivery.

Actions

Continue to use an equality impact assessment process to assess the impacts of key decisions on groups of people.

Embed equality considerations into commissioning and our procurement approach to ensure that relevant equality issues are taken into account when designing and procuring services.

Ensuring fair employment practices

Our commitment

We will ensure fair and equal opportunity in all areas of employment, including recruitment and selection, appraisals, learning and development and the career development of our employees.

Actions

Commit to the regular publication of workforce intelligence reports that will help monitor trends in our workforce in terms of recruitment, retention, turn-over and sickness absence.

Provide equality and diversity training for our employees so that they are able to help implement our equality objectives.