Report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place)
The Cabinet Member considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive (People) which reported achievements of the Disability Equality Advisory Panel (DEAP) over the last 3 years and sought approval for the continuation of the Disability Equality Advisory Panel for a further 3 years. The Chair of the DEAP was present at the meeting.
The report noted that the Disability Equality Advisory Panel (DEAP) was appointed at the Annual Meeting of the Council with Terms of Reference. The panel meets three times a year and representatives of various groups were invited by the chair to attend, DEAP was not open to the public. The aim of the panel was to improve services, enable, empower, involve and educate various community organisation’s representing persons with disability, who would otherwise struggle to put across their views, thereby improving the quality of life for people from the particular “communities of interest” they represent. The panel dealt with different issues at every meeting as well as providing updated information on on-going issues.
As a working proactive panel the DEAP had always been well attended by invited members. Councillor Christine Thomas has been Chair for two years. Each year the panel had been reassessed to ensure that new people were invited that represent a diverse cross section of Coventry residents, Charities/Voluntary Organisations and service users who meet to work together as an effective, proactive, working panel.
The report noted that the Chair of the Disabled Equality Action Partnership (DEAP) Councillor Thomas, had been encouraged by the way that this panel had raised and in certain circumstances been able to support community initiatives in relation to equality issues brought to the panel by members. One example was that a panel member raised the issue of pavement parking with regard to the difficulties it caused him and others due to his sight loss. The panel discussed the issue which was then picked up by the students of Hereward College who then took it forward with support from officers, the Chair, and the Cabinet Member Councillor Abdul Khan. The students of Hereward College had now developed and launched a pavement parking initiative with a campaign highlighting the problems all people with disability had due to thoughtless pavement parking. This and other initiatives undertaken by the panel confirmed, the best value of this panel.
DEAP had also supported and publicised the ‘near miss’ survey of cyclists, skateboarders and mobility scooter users having had near misses with pedestrians as part of the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO). Over the past year the DEAP had worked very effectively as a conduit for information and discussion about Coventry City Council’s aspirations for the City. Members had been consulted on the masterplan of the redevelopment of the train station, bus services, and taxis and more recently Coventry City Centre South redevelopment.
Councillor Thomas attended the meeting with officers and discussed with the Cabinet Member the work of the Panel, representation and inviting members. Councillor Thomas thanked all those who supported the effectiveness of the DEAP.
RESOLVED that the Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities:
1) Following the successful format, approve the continuation of the Disability Equality Advisory Panel (DEAP) for a further 3 years from July 2018 to July 2021, to act as a formal advisory panel to the Cabinet Member with responsibility for equalities.
2) Accept and note the DEAP work and achievements as set out in the Report over the last 3 years.