Equality Standard for
We are delighted to introduce this self-assessment report for Level 3 of the Equality Standard
for Local Government.
In 2006 the Audit Commission in its Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) found
that although Barnsley Council “is clearly committed to equality and diversity”, and was
“making good progress from a low base” it did highlight a number of areas where we needed
to improve. These were the equality impact assessment process, community engagement
and above all the need to demonstrate the outcomes arising from its work on equality and
Whilst there are undoubtedly areas where we can still improve, we are confident that further
that we have not only met these challenges but in doing so have met the requirements for
Level 3 of the Equality Standard for Local Government. We have recently adopted a Single
Equality Scheme which will drive and shape our work in this area for another three years. Our
aim is to achieve Level 5, the highest level, of the Equality Standard by 2012.
The CPA cited the Council’s commitment to equality and diversity as a strength we have
sought nonetheless to deepen and extend this commitment. We have made equality and
diversity a core part of our expectations of all employees and worked with Elected Members
to develop their community leadership role. We recognise the importance of transforming the
culture of the council (at both individual and institutional levels) and have set ourselves
In the past two years we have radically overhauled our approach to equality impact
assessments to ensure our staff have the skills, confidence and support required to make
these rigorous and meaningful, and to bring real benefits to local people using our services.
We know that we must keep reviewing how effective these are, and in particular improve how
we report the outcomes and involve community groups in helping us identify both problems
and potential solutions. Elected Members need in the future to take a much more hands on
role in driving this agenda forward and helping involve community representatives.
We have reviewed our approach to community engagement with “hard to reach” groups,
identifying key areas where we need to act and initiating some significant changes to our
practice. We are developing a Black and Minority Ethnic booster panel to support the Place
Shaping Survey (with an external consumer research company and the Barnsley Black and
Ethnic Minority Initiative). We have jointly commissioned the Local Involvement Networks and
are developing the Barnsley Community Equality Panel (both with Barnsley Arena) to provide
ongoing robust challenge to our work on equalities.
Most crucially however we recognise that our work on equalities is about making a difference
to the lives of people in Barnsley – by improving services and opportunities for people from
different sections of the community. We can’t improve everything at once however so we
have identified a number of “Equality Priorities” on which we will focus our efforts over the
next three years.
These priorities cover all six of the equality strands (gender, race, disability, age, sexual
orientation and faith). They also address each of the ambitions of the Sustainable Community
Strategy and the outcomes of the Council’s Outcome Framework.
Each of these priorities has an action plan and associated measures so we can assess
whether we are making progress towards our objectives. The actions are all included within
mainstream plans and will be monitored through existing performance management
How we perform on these equality priorities over the next three years will be the key test of
whether we are truly an equalities organization, and in so doing whether we can attain level 5
of the Equality Standard.
Cllr Stephen Houghton Cllr Tim Cheetham Phil Coppard Andrew Frosdick
Leader of the Council Spokesperson for Chief Executive Borough Secretary
Corporate Services and Equality
An Overview of Barnsley, Diversity and Inequality
Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council serves a population of 224,600 people over a wide
area of South Yorkshire. It encompasses both rural areas in the West and more highly
populated areas in the East, including the town of Barnsley and surrounding former mining
towns and villages.
The decline of the coal industry in the 1980s and 1990s resulted in the loss of 20,000
mining jobs leaving a legacy of low educational aspiration, high unemployment, contaminated
land, industrial diseases and general ill-health in the working population. Overall, the borough
is ranked 28th in the indices of deprivation with 22% of Barnsley’s population living in the
most deprived 10% of English wards.
Much has been achieved in terms of Barnsley's recovery from the unpromising legacy left
after the demise of the deep coal mining industry. The fundamental challenge now is to
develop Barnsley's economy from the recovery phase to the transformation phase, securing
and sustaining Barnsley's position as a great place to live, learn, work, relax and be
This journey has shaped the diversity and pattern of inequality within the Borough. As
Barnsley changes then so do the challenges we face on equality and diversity. Some of the
biggest issues we face are:
The number of people not working due to long term sickness is double the national
average. Data for 2006 shows that 12.9% of the working age population in Barnsley are
claiming Incapacity Benefit / Severe Disablement Allowance compared to 7% in England.
Estimates suggest that around 29,000 adults in Barnsley (16.4% of the population) have
a mental health problem. Data shows that 35% of those claiming Incapacity Benefit in
Barnsley do so due to a “mental disorder”.
There is a small but growing minority ethnic community of approximately 3.3% in 2005.
Recent economic migration from Eastern Europe (mainly Poland) has added to these
numbers in recent years. Most migrant workers are on low wages: 45% of migrant
workers reported being paid at £5.05 (statutory minimum wage at the time of survey) and
41% reported being paid in the next category up.
At present, Barnsley Council holds two Home Office contracts relating to Asylum Seekers.
The first is for an Induction Centre (Belmont) and the second is for the provision of
National Asylum Support Service (NASS) funded properties in the community to house
dispersed Asylum Seekers. Currently there are just over 400 Asylum Seekers in the local
53,500 people (24% of the local population) are aged 0-19. 28.3% of Barnsley children
and young people live in households where at least one adult is claiming a ‘working age’
benefit. 23.9% of all dependant children are living in poverty, higher than the England
average of 19.7%.
Barnsley will see its population age in line with the rest of the country. The percentage of
the population over 65 will increase from 15% of the population to 23% by 2029. People
over the age of 65 are far more likely to require health and social care support services
and this projected growth in both numbers and percentage terms will require planning for.
Inequality between men and women continues to exist most notably in wages and life
o On average men in Barnsley earn £10.41 per hour, women earn £8.65 per hour.
o Whilst male life expectancy is expected to increase in Barnsley to 76.7 years in
2001. Women’s life expectancy in contrast is expected to be 80.6 years. (Both of
these compare poorly with the national average.)
An Introduction to Barnsley Council
The Council since 1999 has been governed by a Cabinet, and supported by five Scrutiny
Commissions. Nine area forums are in place to enable local councillors and community
representatives to shape local services.
The Council employs 10,800 staff across its eight directorates and the net budget for
2007/8 was £134.239 million, excluding schools. It provides a wide range of services
including education and services for young people and families, social care for disabled and
older people, environmental services, economic and infrastructure development,
neighbourhood services and a number of important regulatory functions.
The Council's mission statement is:
‘To improve the social, economic and environmental wellbeing of Barnsley by working
with, and on behalf of, all those who live, work and invest in the borough.’
One Barnsley, the LSP, comprising community, private, public and voluntary organizations,
has produced a Sustainable Community Strategy which sets out the overarching strategy for
the future development of the borough. The Local Area Agreement describes how this
strategy will be implemented over the next 3 years.
For each of the ambitions identified in the Sustainable Community Strategy and Local Area
Agreement the Council has identified the most important equality issues it needs to address
(“Our Equality Priorities”) and what action it will take on each.
Leadership and Commitment
Strategic Leadership of Equality and Diversity
Barnsley Council has a strong infrastructure to ensure that our commitment and vision on
equalities is put into practice.
The Cabinet Spokesperson for Corporate Services takes a lead role on Equality and Diversity
within the Cabinet and the Council as a whole. He meets regularly with the Equality and
Diversity officer to ensure progress is made and advises on the approach of the Single
Equality Scheme itself and the greater engagement and development of elected members on
the equalities agenda.
The Borough Secretary is the Council’s Equalities Champion and well placed as a member of
the Senior Management Team (SMT) to ensure momentum on equality and diversity is
maintained and linkages with other strategic developments are maximised. He also chairs
the Executive Corporate Equalities Group (ECEG). ECEG is comprised of members of SMT
and provides strategic oversight and impetus to the equalities agenda.
ECEG itself is supported by the corporate Equality and Diversity Officer who provides detailed
co-ordination and implementation of the Single Equality Scheme action plans and the
Equality Standard for Local Government. ECEG is also supported by a number of sub-groups
each with a remit to implement a specific aspect the of Single Equality Scheme action plan.
Co-ordination with partner agencies on the equalities agenda is provide through the Equality,
Diversity and Inclusion Partnership (EDIP) which is a delivery partnership of the One Barnsley
Local Strategic Partnership (LSP). This partnership has responsibility for ensuring equality
and diversity issues are clearly articulated and prioritised across the LSP and for maximising
the contribution and co-ordination of all partner agencies.
SMT considers quarterly update reports on progress with equality and diversity and with the
implementation of the Equality Standard, and frequently intervenes to advise on effective
implementation, to align complementary strategies and to identify and resolve any blockages.
The Performance Review Panel, chaired by the Leader of the Council, and SMT regularly
review progress with the Equality Standard and annual reports on progress are taken to
Elected Member Engagement
Elected Member involvement in leading the equalities agenda in Barnsley is widening and
The Cabinet Spokesperson for Adult Social Care and Well-Being chairs the Cohesion Working
Group (a sub-group of EDIP). Its purpose is to promote the Cohesion Strategy across all
sectors of the community to identify the key challenges and proactive steps required to
promote the delivery of the Cohesion Strategy, taking into account the impact of changes in
All elected members are provided induction training on equality and diversity issues. Member
briefing sessions are held on relevant developments and initiatives– in December for
example there will be one on the draft Single Equality Scheme and the Community Cohesion
Strategy. This will enable members to have a firm understanding of the purpose of these
strategies and to influence their priorities, approach and implementation.
Training is also provided for Scrutiny Commission Chairs and officers on the Equality Impact
Assessment process and the role of Commissions in ensuring major policies and strategies
have carried out effective EIA processes and mainstreamed the outcomes into relevant
action plans. The Scrutiny Chairs will also discuss their role in ensuring the Equality priorities
outlined in the Single Equality Scheme are implemented and progress reported regularly.
Scrutiny Commissions have also undertaken investigations into specific aspects of equality
policy and practice – for example the Regeneration Scrutiny Commission’s investigation into
Disability and Employment.
Training on equalities and diversity has been identified as particularly important for those
members of the Council in positions of special responsibility, including all Cabinet members
and Scrutiny Chairs. In order to qualify for full payment of Special Responsibility Allowance,
these members must have completed a package of training which includes a full day session
on equalities issues.
Leadership in Directorates
It is in the service directorates where the greatest progress has been made in recent years
with promoting the equalities agenda and developing clear role for Directorate Management
Teams (DMT’s) in driving and overseeing the implementation and monitoring of equality
At the heart of this progress has been the development of a series of equality priorities for
the Single Equality Scheme and the Local Area Agreement. This involved DMTs in evaluating
the evidence of inequality, identifying opportunities for achieving real improvements in these
areas for local people and ensuring they are able to monitor progress with their
Directorates have also been much more active in identifying which aspects of their services /
functions should be prioritised for Equality Impact Assessments and ensuring this process is
embedded as a fundamental part of service planning.
All of the larger service directorates have established directorate equality working groups to
oversee implementation of Single Equality Scheme, the Equality Standard and to help
improve the quality and consistency of the EIA process. Each directorate has also nominated
an officer to take lead responsibility for coordinating work on equalities within the directorate
and for ensuring effective liaison with the corporate centre.
Every DMT has prepared their own self-assessment report confirming that they have
individually met the requirements for Level 3 of the Equality Standard.
The Single Equality Scheme
Barnsley Council has recently agreed a Single Equality Scheme for public consultation, and
will be adopted by Full Council in revised form at its February meeting.
It brings together the 3 predecessor schemes (Race, Disability and Gender) under a single
scheme. It also extends these to include sexual orientation, age and religion and belief
equality issues. Its overall purpose is to make our Comprehensive Equalities Policy (adopted
in its current form in 2006) a reality.
It will help us as an authority to:
1. Achieve real improvements in equality for people in Barnsley,
2. Make our services more responsive to the diverse needs of people in Barnsley,
3. Become a council where the principles of equality and diversity are central to everything
4. Meet our equality legal duties, and
5. Provide a clear commitment to equality that people in Barnsley can use to check our
progress and challenge us to improve further.
Full implementation of the scheme and achieving the equality priorities (each with clear
outcomes, measures and plans) and implementing the actions plans (each with clear
objectives, measures and targets where appropriate).
The scheme will be reviewed annually with progress reported to Cabinet and SMT.
Crucially the Scheme also requires the establishment of a Barnsley Community Equality Panel
which will regularly challenge the council on its performance and advise on how
implementation could be made more effective. This group will provide an independent
assessment of whether we have made significant progress on our equality priorities.
The Single Equality Scheme should make a difference to the lives of people in Barnsley – by
improving services and opportunities for people from different sections of the community. We
can’t improve everything at once however so we have identified a number of “Equality
Priorities” which we will focus our efforts on over the next three years.
These priorities cover all six of the equality strands (gender, race, disability, age, sexual
orientation and faith). They also address each of the ambitions of the Sustainable Community
Strategy and the outcomes of the Council’s Outcome Framework (as outlined in the Corporate
Each of these priorities has an action plan and associated measures so we can assess
whether we are making progress towards our objectives. The actions are all included within
mainstream plans and will be monitored through existing performance management
Each priority has a Council service and lead officer (at Assistant Director level) responsible for
making sure the action plans are implemented and reporting on how well we are doing.
Performance will be reported to Directorate Management Teams (DMTs) and to relevant
Scrutiny Commissions as part of regular performance reports. Annually our overall
performance will be reported to Senior Management Team (SMT) and Cabinet.
The equality priorities will also contribute towards the implementation of the Local Area
Agreement (LAA). These elements will therefore also be reported to the appropriate One
Barnsley Delivery Partnerships on a quarterly basis. The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
Partnership (EDIP) will provide oversight of all the equality priorities associated with the LAA
on behalf of the One Barnsley Board.
We have adapted the guidance issued by the Equality and Human Rights Commission for
developing a Gender Equality Scheme to help us develop and deliver our Single Equality
Scheme. We have taken the following steps:
Understand the equality issues
The Council began by collecting data on inequality in Barnsley. We used local survey
information, workforce data, national statistics, academic research findings as well as staff
experience and knowledge to help us. We have had discussions with local community and
voluntary sector organizations to help us identify the most important issues we need to
address. Officers from across the authority then looked at this information to develop our
equality priorities. These were considered by our Executive Corporate Equalities Group before
being consulted upon across every directorate in the Council.
Develop possible objectives
The Executive Corporate Equalities Group and every Directorate Management Team have
helped us shape clear equality objectives to address these priority equality issues. These
cover both service delivery and employment practice. These were then agreed by our Senior
Management Team in draft form before being published for consultation.
The publication of the draft Scheme marks the start of a three month consultation period. A
copy of the Scheme will be sent along with a consultation questionnaire to all of our partners
and major stakeholders. Voluntary and community groups will be sent a summary, told how
to get hold of a full copy from the Council’s website and encouraged to give their views.
Members of the public will be able to give their views via the website also.
Action planning and mainstreaming
Our draft Scheme includes reference to the actions we are already taking (or are planning to
take) to help us address the inequalities we have prioritized. Our plans will be reviewed
following the consultation period, taking into consideration the views expressed by partners
and stakeholders about how effective they feel our actions will be. Every action will be
incorporated into a mainstream plan and a senior officer given responsibility for ensuring it is
The final version of the Scheme will be published on the Council’s website. All respondents to
the consultation on the draft Scheme will receive a summary. It is available in Large Print,
Braille, Audio Cassette, various community languages and in Easy Read.
The Strategic Context
If our commitment and vision on equality and diversity is to mean anything then it must
visibly influence all other major strategies and plans of the Council. Our approach to equality
and diversity issues, although articulated in detail in our Single Equality Scheme, must be the
golden thread that runs through all of our work. More than this though, it must help shape
the nature and priorities of the most important plans and strategies that will impact on the
lives of local people.
We believe that we have made exemplary progress in both of these aspects – with the key
equality priorities providing us with the scaffolding around which these plans and strategies
can be shaped.
In previous years, the strategic direction of the Council has been mapped out in the Best
Value Performance Plan, particularly the sections detailing the Strategic Policy Framework
and the Priority Improvement Framework. However in reviewing these issues for the purposes
of the Corporate Plan, the opportunity has been taken to consolidate, and where necessary
update, the previous statements within a new, simplified format. This enables the Council to
focus clearly on a small, manageable set of key priorities over the period 2008-2011, whilst
at the same time demonstrating how these priorities link to the broader set of local and
national programmes and issues with which the Council is concerned. We have ensured that
the Equality priorities are at the heart of this Corporate Plan, and that our equality vision
informs all aspects of the plan and is seen as an key enabler of future improvement.
The Corporate Plan has 3 drivers:
1. Delivery of the Borough’s priorities
2. Excellence in Customer and Service satisfaction
3. Demonstrable Value for Money
And 5 Enablers for Improvement
1. Our Governance Arrangements
2. Workforce Development
4. Our Equalities Arrangements
5. Information Management
The overarching purpose of this Corporate Plan is for the Council to contribute to achieving
the ambitions of Barnsley's Sustainable Community Strategy by ensuring delivery against the
Local Area Agreement (LAA). Success will be measured and demonstrated by achieving the
targets set out in the LAA. This will result in specific outcomes on each of the Sustainable
Community Strategy’s 11 ambitions, of which the equality priorities are significant
Success here will be characterised by positive changes in the Borough such as a fully-
functioning market economy; educational attainment above the national average; a strong
entrepreneurial culture; and vibrant, diverse and engaged communities.
Sustainable Community Strategy
Vision for Barnsley 2008-2020: A successful, uniquely distinctive 21st
century market town at the centre of a borough that offers prosperity and a
high quality of life for all. Supported by 11 ambitions.
Local Area Agreement 2008-2011
Improvement priorities, indicators and targets, developed within
comprehensive outcome framework aligned to the Sustainable Community
Strategy. Delivered via rigorous action plans.
BMBC Corporate Plan
Supporting BMBC Service
Partnership Strategies Delivery Plans
Detailed plans for each division
Children and Young People
of service, with supporting plans
Fit for the Future as appropriate, and linked to
Reduction of Crime, Drugs performance and development
and Anti-Social Behaviour review for individual employees.
Cohesion Strategy Equality Scheme
Our Next Steps
Senior Management Team will:
o Use their regular meetings with Scrutiny Chairs and Cabinet Spokesperson / Portfolio
leaders to discuss the Equality Priorities for their directorate and how the Scrutiny
Commissions can help oversee their implementation and assess outcomes for the people
o Use their regular contact with elected members to discuss their community leadership
responsibility and the equality and diversity aspects of that role.
The Executive Corporate Equality Group will:
o Consider how the equality and diversity aspects of the Corporate Leadership responsibility
of elected members can be incorporated so as to further strengthen the Member
The Directorate Management Teams will:
o Ensure that their equality working groups report regularly on the directorate’s progress
with the EIA process, the equality priorities and associated equality monitoring and
community engagement improvements.
o Communicate the equality priorities to service areas and make sure they are consistently
aligned with service planning processes
Equality Impact Assessment and Performance
Impact Assessments and Service Planning
In 2005 we adopted a three year programme to subject every service, function and policy to
an equality impact assessment (EIA). These covered all aspects of equality including gender,
disability, race, religion and belief, sexual orientation and age. Relevant officers were trained
in undertaking EIA’s and standard templates and guidance were issued to assist. Many
services have used these assessments to help improve their services and to make them
more accessible and inclusive.
In 2007/8 the Executive Corporate Equalities Group undertook a review of the effectiveness
of this approach and found that whilst all EIA’s were carried out as planned the quality of the
EIA’s undertaken was variable, with some services completing very thorough and detailed
EIA’s. However some EIA’s either:
lacked clear evidence, community engagement or specific outcomes (actions and
had a weak linkage with the service’s business plan or work plans, to ensure the
outcomes were delivered. or
appeared to be one-off exercises as opposed to an ongoing process of service
In the future we want to make these assessments more effective. We believe that if they are
embedded into mainstream service planning then they are more likely to be carried out and
issues acted upon.
The Equality and Performance Group was established to ensure EIA’s are of a higher and
more consistent quality, and that this is supported by an effective equality performance
monitoring framework. The Group is made up of representatives from each directorate (a
mixture of equality leads and business management or performance specialists). The Group
has sought to ensure that:
All services undertake an EIA as a necessary part of their service delivery planning
process. (This is now an integral element of the Service Delivery Planning Guidance).
Equality Impact Assessments focus on a set of key outcomes for customers (take-up,
quality, satisfaction and access) and to plan improvements based on better outcomes or
better knowledge about these outcomes for different sections of the community.
There is an increased emphasis on EIA’s being a process, not a one-off template to
complete – an intrinsic part of service and policy development.
The outcomes of EIA’s are published on the Council’s website.
There is greater oversight and ownership of the EIA process by Directorate Management
Teams. This is being done by each directorate prioritising its own programme of EIA’s and
by establishing directorate equality groups which can advise on EIA’s and how to embed
these into service planning, ensuring relevant staff are identified for the corporate
training or to arrange supplementary targeted briefing sessions.
Services can identify equality issues for their service (including the policies and
procedures they implement), to assess their relative priority and to determine their
relevance to the gender, race and disability equality duties (such as the duty to promote
equality of opportunity).
EIA’s are extended to cover community cohesion (we are currently working with
Neighbourhood Renewal Advisors to implement this).
The guidance and training provided to officers involved in EIA processes has reflected this
Indications through feedback (direct from managers and indirectly through directorate
equality groups) suggests that this new approach is resulting in more meaningful
engagement with the EIA process and linking much more effectively with the service planning
Internal Audit are currently undertaking an assessment of service plans to help evaluate
whether the new approach has been effective at embedding the EIA process within
mainstream service planning. Key indicators will be whether the plans include clear equality
objectives, outcome measures, and actions deriving from EIA’s undertaken by the service in
the previous year. Internal Audit will report their findings to the Equality and Performance
Group in December 08.
Ongoing oversight of the EIA process through the directorate equality groups has nonetheless
shown that many EIA’s are leading to concrete examples of service improvements and
customer outcomes. These outcomes do however need to be better communicated both
internally and externally.
Equality Performance Monitoring
Barnsley Council has made significant strides towards establishing a robust and effective
equality performance monitoring framework within the authority. Led by the Equality
Performance Group, we have introduced an approach to equality performance monitoring
that is both realistic and meaningful. This approach is based upon the following:
Recognising that we cannot and should not monitor the equality performance of all
aspects of our services delivery. Instead our approach should be proportionate and
targeted. Therefore we have committed to in the first instance ensuring that our equality
priorities (outlined in the Single Equality Scheme) can be performance monitored so
success can be measured. These measures are to be reported regularly as part of
mainstream performance management structures.
To orientate our equality performance monitoring around the customer outcomes
identified through the EIA process – to ensure these two processes are complementary
To have common categories for equality-profiling customers to enable sharing and
comparing of equality data within the Council and between key partners in the Borough
(such as the PCT and SYPTE).
To only ask customers for their equality profile data where the service involved has clear
understanding of why they are asking, how the data will be used to improve services and
where staff collecting the data from customers have been appropriately briefed / trained.
To reduce the impact of equality performance monitoring on both customers and front-
line staff. A key aspect of this will be to remember customers’ equality profile so we do
not have to repeatedly ask for it. The Customer Relations Management software, currently
being developed by Barnsley Connects, should deliver this ability and enable many
aspects of service performance to be disaggregated according to equality profile groups
The Equality Performance Group has approved guidance for services on how to implement
this approach to equality performance monitoring. Briefings have been provided on this to
every Directorate Management Team – who have produced directorate action plans for its
implementation. The effectiveness of this approach will be assessed by measuring the
number of equality indicators reported in mainstream service delivery plans.
Reporting Performance on Equalities
The Executive Corporate Equalities Group has agreed a reporting mechanism for
implementation of the Single Equality Scheme (both the equality priorities and the action
plans) that seeks to ensure it is embedded in mainstream processes and open to community
challenge and scrutiny:
Performance against the equality priorities outlined in the Single Equality Scheme will be
reported as part of mainstream service delivery plans and relevant strategy progress
reporting. The Scrutiny Commissions have a key role to play in ensuring these priorities
are addressed effectively, and progress against the agreed measures is made. The
Barnsley Community Equality Panel has been established to ensure that community
representatives can challenge service managers on performance and advise on future
The equality action plans outlined in the Single Equality Scheme have clear targets and
measures associated with them. These will be reported to ECEG and SMT on a regular
The EIA process itself leads to the improvement of equality performance data and
provides a mechanism for this performance to be integrated into service delivery
planning. Internal Audit will provide evidence to the Equality Performance group as to
whether this is happening effectively.
Our Next Steps
The Equality Performance Group will:
o Evaluate the outcome of the internal audit of the service delivery planning process and
assess where improvements need to be made to make the embedding of the EIA process
o Work with the Neighbourhood Renewal Advisors to link the EIA process to identification of
Community Cohesion impact assessment requirements.
o Provide guidance and training to lead officers within service directorates as appropriate.
o Discuss with Barnsley Community Equality Panel how they could be used to enhance
community engagement with EIA process.
The Directorate Equality Groups will:
o Provide ongoing advice and support to officers leading on EIA’s and ensure the EIA
programme is prioritised and implemented.
Directorate Management Teams will:
o Ensure the outcomes of EIA’s are reported regularly and published.
o Implement the Equality Performance Monitoring Guidance based on directorate priorities
and EIA outcomes.
Scrutiny Chairs and Support Officers will:
o Ensure that all reports to Scrutiny Commissions are impact assessed and the outcomes
reported to the Commission.
Community Engagement and Accountability
Our Approach to Engagement
The Council has adopted a comprehensive strategy for promoting effective citizen and
community consultation and participation. This strategy is based on a number of
Integrity and impartiality
Visibility and accessibility
Fair interpretation and publication
Effective use of resources
This strategy highlights the importance of reaching sections of the community whose voice is
frequently not heard. The Council has taken concrete steps to enhance consultation and
engagement with these groups, such as:
Partnership in Action (PIA) is a joint working agreement between the PCT and Barnsley
Council. It describes the basis upon which the two organisations integrate the planning,
commissioning and provision of services of joint responsibility in Barnsley. It also
describes the principles upon which service delivery will be based. Consultation with
service users, carers and non-statutory providers is a fundamental part of the planning,
delivery and evaluation of services under Partnership in Action arrangements. The
Barnsley Participation Process (BPP) is an integral part of the PCT/BMBC’s commitment
Barnsley ARENA, an independent organisation, has been commissioned to develop
innovative ways to enable the participation of service users and carers. It is now helping
the Council to establish and support the Barnsley Community Equality Panel.
In Barnsley there is an active, democratically elected Youth Council, who are part of the
formal Council political decision making processes. They can get involved in Scrutiny
investigations, or write reports or do presentations to the Council's cabinet. The Council
supports the Youth Councillors to enable them to go out and consult with their
There are three Youth Councillors per Area Forum area and at the last Youth Council
election 10,395 young people voted, which was a 43% turnout of young people aged 11
to 19 years of age who were eligible to vote. The Youth Council has an annual budget of
£50,000 that it uses to engage with young people within the borough of Barnsley. One
example of how they did this task was the 14 Youth Summits it organised and funded in
2005 that 1,350 young people participated in. A wide range of different methods, such as
music and the arts, were used at the Youth Summits to ensure that as many young
people as possible could participate.
Older people in Barnsley are also represented through an ‘Older People’s Community
Forum’, an independent organisation that holds public meetings every two months –
providing an opportunity for people over 55 to have their say.
The Social Services directorate and Culture, Sport and Tourism in Barnsley Council have
organised and supported the ‘All Barnsley Diversity Festival’ for the last 4 years now. This
important 12 week festival provides a great social opportunity for everyone in Barnsley to
find out more about other cultural groups. Diversity events can be effective in celebrating
a multicultural society. They are also an opportunity for councils to engage with people in
an informal situation.
Barnsley Asylum Team and the Welcome to Barnsley area of the Council website (set up
in 2006 for new arrivals and provides a range of information to assist newer members of
Barnsley’s population to settle in, from advice on employment issues to local schools and
The Council however recognises there is still room for improvement and that further effort is
required to engage fully with the range of groups that make up Barnsley’s population.
Community participation has been recognised by Barnsley Council as a fundamental aspect
of both neighbourhood regeneration and community cohesion. The development of the One
Barnsley Participation and Engagement Strategy recognises also that we can only achieve
both of these goals when working in partnership with the wider community and other
agencies, and by co-ordinating our engagement activities.
Barnsley is also a pioneer of the Neighbourhood Management approach piloted in Kendray
and to the communities of New Lodge, Athersley North and Athersley South, in order to
improve the standard of life for local people by:
Ensuring that service providers are more responsive to neighbourhood needs and
improve their service delivery as a result.
Empowering local people to have a greater voice and put them at the heart of
neighbourhood level decision-making and future planning.
Working with partners and the community to reduce crime and reassure the public,
including reductions in anti social behaviour and the fear of crime.
Working with partners and the community to develop cleaner and greener public spaces.
The Neighbourhood Management approach is based upon the following underlying principles;
all of which are adapted to be most appropriate for the local area. Critically these include:
Putting residents at the heart of planning and decision-making.
Developing a local partnership board to provide strategic direction for the area.
Providing a range of structures which enable engagement between service providers and
the communities they serve.
The identification of priorities for action using extensive community consultation
alongside strong neighbourhood statistics and data.
The Neighbourhood Management initiatives have taken important steps to ensure equality
and diversity issues are at the heart of the partnership’s work. They are also using the
equality impact assessment process to help target their work effectively to those most in
need (such as supporting single parents, disabled people and young people into work).
The Single Equality Scheme has at its heart a series of equality priorities. These were
developed as part of the engagement work to develop the Sustainable Community Strategy –
through discussions with community groups (such as Barnsley Black and Ethnic Minority
Initiative – BBEMI), specific consultation or research activity (for example the Gypsy and
Traveller accommodation needs assessment, the Youth Service’s reports from Youth
Summits), or by analyzing the disaggregated (equality profile) data from mainstream
consultation methods (such as the Citizen’s Panel). Employees and managers have also been
invited to comment on these plans.
The equality priorities have been approved by SMT and Cabinet for public consultation. The
draft scheme has been circulated to local community groups and partners in the LSP for
further consultation (due to end in December 2008). There will also be a number of other
consultation activities to discuss specific aspects of the scheme – for example a Disability
Access Conference on 3rd December and presentations at the Inter-Faith Forum and Youth
The Single Equality Scheme with associated equality priorities and actions plans has been
published on the internet also.
Every directorate has, through the embedded EIA process within Service Delivery Planning,
identified its priorities for comunty engagement with hard to reach groups in the year ahead.
Progress will be reported annually and updated priorities set with this years SDP process.
Recent examples include:
Adult Social Services
A Stakeholder event to raise awareness of the Every Adult Matters seven outcomes was
attended by over 150 people. The event was designed to capture stakeholders’ views on
how services could be delivered to improve people’s quality of life. The day was opened
with a short play from a professional theatre company and then continued with a number
of workshops, activities and information stands.
Learning Disability Health Check – following the completion of a self assessment a
workshop was held with service users to look at Barnsley’s action plan and prioritise
those areas that were most important to them. The self assessment was completed using
easy language and service users were then asked to use colour coded stickers to identify
which areas were important to them.
Community Development Workers have been based in BBEMI to assist with Delivering
Race Equality in Mental Health. They are part of the government response to the David
'Rocky' Benett Inquiry around what was described as institutionalised racism in the NHS
mental health services and their role is to look at the needs of BME communities in
respect of mental health needs, and work with services to improve their understanding of,
and access to mental health services.
Health Trainers were employed to work from within the Travelling community, employed
by BBEMI, to improve access to all primary health care services for community members.
Piloted several initiatives aimed at engaging young people and influencing the positive
effect young people can have on their communities (such as the Dream Scheme, the
Younger Person’s Funding Pot and the New Lodge Art Project).
The BBEMI Forum acts as our key vehicle for engaging the BME community in the review
of the Sustainable Community Strategy and the community planning process. This is then
further supported at neighbourhood level through a series of neighbourhood conferences
in the Area Forum areas and complemented by conferences for communities of interest.
Children Young People and Family Services
CYPF services has been scored 4 (the highest possible) in its Annual Performance
Assessment for children and young people making a positive contribution including voice
The directorate has established Well-Being Partnerships involving local parents, carers,
children and young people to determine their local priorities. The evidence provided
through this community engagement activity is used by services when doing their EIA’s.
Successful examples include the achievement of Barnsley best ever figures for NEETS
(Not in Education, Employment or Training) and the identification of the need to improve
family support and engagement with Traveller families.
Customer and Neighbourhood Services
Bereavement Services consulted extensively with BBEMI and have attended the Pakistani
Welfare Association to engage with the Pakistani community. This was aimed at
identifying requirements in respect of the whole holistic approach to Muslim burial,
ensuring we can cater for the cultural and faith requirements from the moment of death
to the actual burial, thereby providing a responsive and sensitive burial service. This has
included involving representatives of the Muslim community in assessing potential burial
sites identified and their prioritisation. The choice of burial site has been directly
influenced by this input.
Our Next Steps
The Executive Corporate Equality Group will:
Develop the capacity of disabled people’s organisations to engage with the council more
effectively outside of the social care field. The equality priority for city centre access will
facilitate this process by coalescing engagement activity around key issues of concern for
disabled people locally (such as physical access, taxis and public transport, Blue Badge
parking, facilities for people with learning difficulties etc). This should provide a
framework out of which we could help disabled people build their capacity. It will be
essential to link this to the community cohesion strategy.
Similarly we will support LGB people locally to develop and grow their newly created LGB
Forum as this will enable the council to engage much more effectively with LGB people in
the local community than we have in the past.
The BME Panel must be used effectively if it is to be successful in not only providing
comparative data for the place shaping survey but also to help us engage BME people in
focus groups and other consultation and participation activities across the LSP. This will
need careful development in collaboration with BBEMI.
Service Delivery and Customer Care
The equality priorities outlined in the Single Equality Scheme outline the most important
equality objectives, action plans and associated measures of success. Each service
directorate has lead responsibility for one or more of these. They are also required to report
on the progress made with implementation and to publish the outcome to the wider
community (and the Barnsley Community Equality Panel). However all services are asked to
identify within their annual service delivery plans how their service over the next year could
support these priorities.
The SES action plans also incorporate important objectives and targets for the improvement
in equality of service and customer care.
To ensure customers know what service they can expect and how it will be provided;
To work with partners to deliver improved services to more people, in more ways, more
places and in a more timely manner;
To provide customers with a choice of ways to access services, whilst promoting and
encouraging the most cost effective methods;
To treat customers fairly, with respect and dignity in line with their individual needs;
To treat customers equally, regardless of how they choose to access the Council;
To aim to deliver a consistent and reliable approach in relation to customer expectations
and customer contact
We have already made significant improvements in this area. For example all but one of our
public buildings (a former historic stately home) is fully accessible to disabled people.
The Access to Services Strategy is a core long-term project for the Council to improve the
customer’s experience of contacting the Council to request services. This strategy has made
customer access a central theme and includes specific actions to improve the experience of
disabled and BME customers in particular.
The working group responsible for the implementation of this strategy has also reviewed the
council’s policy on interpretation and translation and has started a procurement process to
identify a provider of interpretation, translation and transcription services for the authority.
Our Next Steps
The Policy and Performance Division will:
Retender for providers of interpretation, translation and transcription services.
The Customer and Neighbourhood Services Directorate will:
Update Accessible Communication guidance in light of procurement process and new
interpretation policy and disseminate to staff. This will include face to face briefing
sessions for key customer service staff.
Continue to develop the Customer Relationship Management software to enable the
Council to obtain detailed information about the service access outcomes for all
customers and provide detailed reports for services to inform their equality impact
Procurement and Partnership Working
The Corporate Procurement Unit together with the Equality and Diversity Officer have
developed a comprehensive action plan to thoroughly embed equality and diversity into the
procurement process. The action plan has been partially implemented with further actions to
be implemented over the next 12 months.
The procurement process has been reviewed and a number of priority improvements
identified. The key to the effective implementation of the action plan however is to ensure
that the EIA process is consistent, reliable and outcome-focussed. With this in mind a specific
EIA template has been developed for the procurement process and it is currently being
piloted (eg Housing Management).
Our approach to embedding EIA’s into the procurement process is to initially identify the
relevance of the contract to the equality duties, the Council’s equality priorities and to the
service’s own equality objectives as identified through other EIA processes.
Contracts will be prioritised and treated in the following ways:
1. Contracts identified as having a low equality relevance – these will require a minimum
equality standard and non-discrimination clauses to be included into the contract. (This is
already in place for all contracts). These are usually the contracts where there is no direct
contact with the public.
2. Contracts identified as medium relevance – where there is direct contact with public.
These contracts require specific equality clauses written into the tender specification and
subsequent contract and review process.
3. Contracts identified as high priority – where the service procured includes specific
customer equality objectives identified through an EIA undertaken by a service or to
support one or more of the equality priorities outlined in the SES.
We are also keen to develop supplier diversity. Therefore we have implemented monitoring of
the equality profile of suppliers and will produce regular reports on the equality profile of
suppliers requesting tender information, applying for a tender and of those successful.
We work in a very wide range of partnerships, some formal arrangements with established
structures, some more informal and temporary in nature. Major examples include:
Sub-Regional authorities for Fire, Police, Passenger Transport and Pensions.
One Barnsley Local Strategic Partnership
Partnership Boards for Health and Social Care
Community safety partnerships at a Borough and neighbourhood level.
Although much work has already taken place to ensure these partnerships address equality
and diversity we would like to ensure this is thoroughly embedded within our partnership
working and governance arrangements. Our Single Equality Scheme outlines a number of
actions to achieve the following objectives:
Embed equality criteria into our partnership governance arrangements to ensure all
services have clear equality objectives associated with their partnership work.
Provide guidance and training for lead officers from council involved in partnership on
how to undertake and embed Equality Impact Assessments into their partnership work.
Consider how we can provide support for partner agencies that may have limited access
to specialist advice on equality and diversity matters (for example voluntary and
community sector organisations) to ensure they can meet the requirements of equality
legislation within their partnership work.
Our Next Steps
The Procurement Unit will:
Continue to implement the action and monitor its effectiveness.
Work with BBEMI to raise awareness of the Council’s procurement process amongst small
BME businesses within the Borough.
Equality and Performance Group will:
Ensure the internal audit process assesses the consistency of the EIA process in
procurement contracts and the outcomes it leads to.
Annual Governance Statement Working Group:
Update the Partnership Governance Toolkit and Guidance to ensure that our equality
priorities and outcomes of EIA’s are fully addressed in partnership arrangements.
Employment and Training
The Council has made considerable improvements n recent years in how it monitors the
diversity of its workforce, the impact of its policies and procedures on different sections of
the workforce and in listening to the views and experiences of employees. We have
undertaken a full job evaluation exercise to meet our equal pay duties. We have developed a
comprehensive work programme to ensure we make equality of opportunity a reality for our
current and future employees.
For example we have responded to the Scrutiny Commission investigation into Disability and
Employment by developing a comprehensive Disability and Impairment Related Leave policy,
and are now in the process of developing an Access to Work for Disabled Employees policy
We are proud of our achievement in implementing a suite of flexible working policies that are
available for our employees to help them balance their work and personal commitments. A
central element of these is the recently revised “Super-Flexi” Flexible Hours Policy that
provides employees with much greater discretion over their working hours.
We believe that if we have a workforce that reflects the diversity of the local population, that
feels it is treated equally and fairly and has the opportunity to grow and develop at work will
help us to provide the best possible service to the people of Barnsley. Our aim is to be an
equal opportunities employer. To do this we have identified the following objectives:
To increase the degree by which workforce diversity reflects the local population.
To ensure all staff are paid equally for work of equal value.
To ensure that staff are treated fairly and equally at work, regardless of their background
To reduce any differentials in pay received by people from different sections of the
To ensure that all staff can work in an environment and culture free from harassment,
bullying and discrimination.
To ensure that all staff have the skills and understanding they need to meet the diverse
needs of a diverse population.
To help us achieve our workforce diversity objective we have undertaken detailed analysis of
our workforce equality profile (looking at job application success rates, pay, policies, training
applications, staff turnover rates and reasons for leaving) and on the basis of this have
developed a comprehensive Workforce Diversity Plan. This identifies a series of priorities and
for each agreed clear objectives, success measures and action plans to achieve them. These
The percentage of women in the 25% of highest paid posts.
The percentage of employees who are disabled
The percentage of employees who are BME
The percentage of young people (20-34) working for the Council
The percentage of LGBT employees who feel safe to be ‘out’ at work.
The ratio of BME applicants who are successful compared to the White UK applicants.
The ratio of Disabled job applicants who are successful compared to non-disabled
The rating achieved for the Stonewall Workplace Index.
Equality Impact Assessments
We have a consistent and robust process for ensuring that all HR policies and procedures are
equality impact assessed on a regular basis and the outcomes reported to the HR
Management Team. The Human Resources Equality Impact Assessment Group oversees and
supports this process to ensure the EIA’s are completed and are of a good quality.
We have taken steps to strengthen and extend this regime in recent months to ensure that
the Workforce Diversity Plan and workforce monitoring data informs the prioritisation process
for EIA’s. This has been with the purpose of ensuring that the EIA’s are better focussed on
outcomes for employees (and particularly our equality employment objectives) and more
effectively use workforce equality monitoring data.
Last year the Council undertook a major employee perception survey. We included in this
survey a number of questions to assess employee perceptions of the Council’s approach to a
number of equality issues.
We assessed the incidence of discrimination, harassment and bullying, the reasons for it and
whether it was reported. The responses told us that a quarter of all employees have
experienced this at some time (a particular problem for disabled employees) but that over
half reported it. We have identified looking again at our Dignity at Work policy as a priority to
ensure it is effective at stopping harassment and bullying.
We assessed whether employees considered:
Barnsley Council is a genuine equal opportunities employer.
Equality and diversity to be an important part of their job.
That they understand what the council is trying to achieve through its equality and
That they had the skills and knowledge to handle equality and diversity issues in the
This is the first time we have asked these questions so we have no previous performance
with which to compare. We are looking to benchmark these figures with neighbouring
authorities and partner agencies to see how we compare with them (although these often
use different questions or different methodologies that make easy comparison difficult). We
will repeat these questions however in the next employee survey next year to assess our
All respondents to the survey were equality profiled so we could have a detailed analysis of
whether some groups of employees’ experiences and perceptions varied. The issues
identified are now being used to inform our workforce diversity plan and equality impact
We are also planning an employee equality conference to discuss these issues raised in more
detail with employees. We will use this conference to discuss our equality priorities and to
identify improvements we could make to our employment practice.
We will ask employees whether they would like to be involved in staff equality groups to help
us develop our equality impact assessments and to advise on our employment practice. This
would build on the existing staff forums and networks that already exist (such as the LGB
Staff Group and Network One, for young employees).
Training and Development
We recognise that every employee has an important role to play in helping the council to
implement its equality policy and achieving our equality objectives. This must begin at the
highest levels of the organisation, amongst the senior management team and the wider
To achieve the objectives we have set ourselves in this Single Equality Scheme then we must
also look very carefully at the type of organisation we are and how we work. We have asked
ourselves the questions:
What type of an organisation do we need to be to make gender equality a reality in
What would we look like if we achieved this?
What are the attributes of an ‘equalities council’?
We know that if we are to make this a reality we need to change and improve as an
organisation. We believe that currently we are an equalities compliant organisation (where we
do what we have to do on equalities to meet the law). However in the future we want to
become a beacon of best practice on equalities – where equalities is engrained and
embedded in our culture. Where we want to be we have described as “Our Equalities Vision”.
How we hope to get there we have called “Our Equalities Flightpath”. Senior managers and
Equalities Officers within the Council considered what we believe the attributes of an
organisation with a truly equalities culture would be. We looked at four themes in particular
(Leadership, Involvement, Planning and Culture), and for each identified where we believe we
are and describing where we want to get to.
This Vision and flightpath will not however just be aspirational documents – we will use them
regularly to help us critically assess how well we are changing, and making the journey to an
equalities culture. By doing so we hope not only to chart our progress but also to identify
areas of weakness and the barriers that are slowing our progress. They are informing the
Executive Corporate Equalities Group development of a “Leadership Work Stream”. One of
the first aspects of this was a very successful forum theatre session for senior managers to
help consider how their actions and decisions can affect community cohesion at a
However this approach must be embedded across the whole council. We are therefore
ensuring that the new Corporate Competency framework, being developed to replace the
previous annual increment scheme, identifies core attributes and behaviours to support our
equalities agenda for all employees at all levels of the organisation. This will form a central
part of the Professional Development and Review process.
To support the development of employee understanding and commitment to the equalities
and diversity agenda we have developed an Equality Learning and Development Strategy.
This has identified a series of learning and development priorities which are being met
through a wide variety of innovative methods.
An example of this is the current pilot of an equality and diversity work book which all
employees will be required to undertake and will become a core part of the induction process
for new employees. It has been designed to reach those employees who are often missed by
corporate training initiatives such as part-time manual staff, who often have limited access to
computers and frequently have limited literacy skills. The pilot is being run with Facilities
Management for example, which involves over 600 part-time cleaning staff in locations all
over the Borough. Its purpose is to raise awareness of our equality and diversity priorities, our
equality legal obligations and to make clear our expectations of employees and what they can
expect of us as an employer. Once developed it will be rolled out to all employees and made
into an online training programme also.
We also have a varied programme of Equality Impact Assessment training for managers and
employees involved in the process. We use external trainers to provide the core training
required and supplement this with a range of briefings and workshops, delivered by equality
In April 2008 the Council fully implemented its Job Evaluation Scheme and accompanying
pay structure – and in so doing undertook an equal pay review. The purpose was to
determine where male and female employees are doing work of equal value, like work or
work rated as equivalent, and then to examine the pay and benefits of the employees to
identify if there is a gap between male and female pay.
We undertook an Equality Impact Assessment of this work however the full impact of the
changes cannot yet be assessed as the appeal process is still underway. This EIA process will
be an ongoing one, and will be a critical aspect of the annual equal pay reviews we will
Despite this job evaluation scheme implementation there are still a number of issues the
Council needs to address on Equal Pay:
The occupational gender-segregation still results in women employees on average earning
less than male employees.
The new pay and reward scheme will have to be equality impact assessed to ensure it
treats all employees equally.
Ensure that structural inequalities in pay (for work of equal value) do not creep back into
the pay structure despite the job evaluation process.
Therefore over the next three years we will:
Develop a new Pay and Reward Policy that ensures that our employees are treated
equally and fairly.
Carry out an annual Equal Pay Review and report the results.
Address occupational gender-stereotyping through our recruitment and working practices.
Our Next Steps
Whilst significant progress has been made in this aspect of our equality and diversity work we
recognise there are areas for further strengthening. The Executive Corporate Equalities Group
has therefore committed to:
Improving our engagement with employees over equality and diversity issues, in particular
to better inform our EIA process of policies and procedures.
To establish and support the development of staff equality groups.
Improving our workforce monitoring to improve the quality of information we have on the
impact of some policies and procedures and to ensure schools provide better equality
profile information on their employees.
Working with partners to identify opportunities for supporting positive action and
employee well-being initiatives to help improve the diversity of our workforce.
Establish a People and Equality Project group to oversee the continued development of
our work on workforce diversity planning, employee engagement and training and
development. This group will be chaired by a member of the Executive Corporate Equality
Run an annual employee perception survey and ensure equality issues are appropriately
embedded and addressed in subsequent action plans.