To consider a report by the Executive Director – Corporate, Customer and Community Services (copy enclosed).
Members received a report from the Assistant Director – Customer and Community Services and the Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Advisor providing an update on progress on implementing the three recommendations from the Task and Finish Group on Equality Objectives. All public bodies had a requirement to set four yearly Equality Objectives which were to eliminate discrimination, harassment, victimisation, advance equality of opportunities and foster good relations between persons who shared a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
The Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Advisor outlined the action taken to date on the Task and Finish Group’s three recommendations. A county wide Equality Action plan setting out how the objectives were to be met had been developed and was appended to the report. The Equality Needs Analysis was a data set providing information on services and employment relating to people who shared a protected characteristic and work was underway to complete the 2020 Analysis which would inform the 2020-2024 Equality Objectives and a revised Equality Plan. The suite of local Equality profiles had been produced for local committees and published on the Council’s website. Carlisle District’s Equality profile was also appended to the report as an example of the information available.
Members discussed the progress of the objectives in the Action Plan. The officer confirmed that eighteen out of the twenty two objectives were on track, with work on the other four being progressed. Members were informed that staff focus groups were in place and could assist in the measurement of the effectiveness of the policies. The VIP appraisal system would also help in the measurement of the effectiveness of the policies.
The SEND figures in the Equality Profile were discussed. The Strategic Policy and Scrutiny Advisor advised members that following the Ofsted inspection a SEND Action Plan and a Task and Finish Group would focus on this issue. The lack of diversity in some schools, tackling childhood obesity, the variance in the SEND figures in each of the districts and issues faced by small rural schools were discussed. Members requested a report on local Equality Objectives be prepared for each local committee.
In discussion of the neurodiversity guidance appended to the report, other hidden disabilities such as colour blindness, hearing loss and prosopagnosia, also known as face blindness were mentioned for inclusion. The difficulties with non-diagnosis was highlighted.
RESOLVED,that the report be noted.