Report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place)
The Cabinet Member considered a report of the Deputy Chief Executive (Place) which provided an update on the Equalities Objectives Performance Report 2017/18. The Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities approved the equality objectives for the Council in July, 2016, as set out in the appendix to the report (minute 25/16 refers). The Equality, Diversity & Inclusion Commitment were also appended to the report
The equality objectives were linked to the Council Plan and were set for four years or until the next refresh of the Council Plan. The Cabinet Member had also agreed to receive an annual report on the progress made on the equality objectives. This report provided information on the progress made with the equality objectives from April 2017 to March 2018.
The report noted that the Public Sector Equality Duty required the Council, as a listed public authority, to publish equality objectives that it thought it needed to achieve to further any of the aims of the general equality duty. The Council’s emerging One Coventry programme provided an opportunity to refresh our approach on this, and the development of new equality objectives 2019 to ensure that equality objectives for the future were clearly aligned to both Council plan priorities and the outcomes that we want to be achieved through delivery of these.
Through One Coventry, the only way to be successful was by having a clear focus on our equality and diversity responsibilities from concept to implementation and throughout delivery of change and improvement projects. A number of key priorities were already part of the One Coventry programme including Housing and Homelessness, Children’s Services and Our Future Workforce with equality and diversity being embedded within these.
In May 2018 the Council sent a formal response to the Integrated Communities Green Paper. The Green Paper set out recommendations for local authorities including: to set and deliver a vision with partners and communities to mainstream integration objectives across policy and service delivery; to set an equality objective outlining specific activity to promote integration; and, to review a selection of policies and services to determine how they might drive integration. Work to explore a Coventry response to creating greater integration with partners had begun and revision of the equality objectives would enable the Council to set out how it would respond.
The report detailed the 15 equality objectives and progress towards the equality objectives measured through a variety of means including performance indicators, comparators with other areas, contextual information and actions taken. Where possible, indicators had been broken down by protected groups to ensure that all protected characteristics under the Equality Act had been considered, monitored and reported on. For example, improving educational outcomes was broken down into gender, Special Educational Needs, race and by pupil premium progress. Progress against each equality objective was set out in the report and linked to the appropriate Council Plan theme.
In summary, the report detailed that there had been good progress in some areas; lots of work was being undertaken in relation to employment and training, in particular around the promotion of ‘living wage and above’ jobs. In addition, support was continuing to be offered to migrants with regard to accessing employment, work experience and higher education. There had also been a reduction in numbers of teenage pregnancies, first time entrants to the youth justice system and alcohol related admissions to under-18s. However, by contrast the report showed increasing numbers of hate crime incidents, the majority of which (85%) were classed as racist incidents.
The Councillors commended the progress made on the objectives and discussed improving educational outcomes and employment and training.
RESOLVED that the Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities:
1. consider the development of a new set of equality objectives during 2019
2. consider the progress made on the equality objectives at year end