Equalities Review by q2ENdC71

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									Equalities Review
2007 -2010
   Waltham Forest Council
                                          Equalities Review 2007-2010
                                                           



Introduction
Equality and community cohesion are critical to the                       Our Equality Priorities
quality of life of local people as both a public service
provider and a community leader. With a growing,                              2007 -2010
                                                                                         
ageing and increasingly diverse population Waltham
Forest Council is committed to putting residents first           Corporate Equality Priorities
by providing fair, accessible, value for money                   - embedding the promotion of equality
services and by protecting the most vulnerable and               - addressing disadvantage
disadvantaged people in our community.                           - enabling everyone to get their voices heard
                                                                 - encouraging independence
                                                                 - promoting respect for diversity
Over the last few years the Council has gone from                - promoting diversity in the workforce
strength to strength in delivering improved equality
outcomes for our residents and staff. This has been              Disability Equality Scheme
achieved through a combination of clear leadership,              - to enable disabled people to get out and about
a commitment to improvement and the need to be                   - to enable disabled people to get their voices heard
legally compliant. To make our equality ambitions                - to enable disabled people to live independently
transparent to the community and to support the
practical delivery the Council published a high level            Gender Equality Scheme
three year strategy in 2007. This covered race,                  - improving women’s safety
gender, disability, faith, age and sexual orientation            - raising boy’s achievements and girl’s aspirations
and was published alongside statutory race, gender               - promoting men’s and women’s involvement and
and disability equality schemes.                                   participation in decision making
                                                                 - supporting parents and carers in the workforce
This report is for residents. It details how residents           - narrow and eventually eliminate the pay gap
were involved in setting the priorities back in 2007
and how the Council responded to meet the needs                  Race Equality Scheme
that were identified then. The report is a review of             - addressing BAME worklessness and the
the equality achievements between 2007 and 2010                    employment gap
through the strategy and through broader equality                - access to business startup and support
work.                                                            - addressing issues for disabled BAME children
                                                                 - meeting the needs of older BAME people
The review is timely. The end of the cycle for the               - meeting the needs of BAME people experiencing
statutory equality schemes has now been reached                  mental health issues
and the new Equality Act 2010 has been introduced                - addressing health inequalities
alongside a new single equality duty effective from
April 2011. In addition to being a general review of
our equality achievements over the last three years,
this also serves to contribute to one of the
requirements under the new equality duty – that we

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                                           Equalities Review 2007-2010
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publish sufficient information to demonstrate our compliance with the
general equality duty. In particular, this includes information on the effect
that our policies and practices have had on people who share a relevant
protected characteristic, to demonstrate the extent to which we have
furthered the aims of the general equality duty for our employees and for            The Big Disability
others with an interest in the way we perform our functions.
                                                                                      Conversation
It is also time to set priorities for the next 3 years. This next round of                       
priorities will be based on residents’ needs and will need to reflect the
challenges we face as a community and as a Council. We will publish
these by April 2012, in line with the public sector equality duty and report       The Council’s first Disability
back to residents on annual basis.                                                 Equality Scheme (DES) was
                                                                                   prepared with the help of a
                                                                                   diverse group of 200 disabled
Residents’ involvement                                                             people. The largest discussion
                                                                                   with disabled people took place
in setting our priorities                                                          at the “Big Disability
                                                                                   Conversation” and involved
                                                                                   disabled residents, councillors,
                                                                                   senior managers and the
The setting of the council’s equality priorities involved:]                        Council’s disabled staff.
    - Gathering views from online surveys and questionnaires
    - Evidence collection about the key issues                                     During this discussion the three
    - Holding discussions with relevant voluntary and community sector             priorities were identified and a
      groups                                                                       three year action plan was
    - Discussion of the findings from the review of the evidence with              created to achieve them. Over
      local people                                                                 a third of the activity set out in
                                                                                   the action plan was based on
                                                                                   disabled people’s ideas.
Collecting evidence to understand the key issues
We collected and reviewed a wide range of evidence and other                       In 2008, the DES and the Big
information to help us understand the key issues. These included                   Disability Conversation was
demographic information; results from recent consultation; research                nominated for RADAR’s
reports; council equality monitoring data about our customer base and              prestigious Equality and Human
satisfaction levels with our services; results of recent inspections; results of   Rights Award.
our staff surveys; and information from heads of service.

Consultation and Involvement Work
Following our initial information gathering we had further discussions with
local people. We asked about the key equality issues that were of concern
to people in the area and which ones were the most important. The ‘Big
Disability Conversation’ helped us talk to over 200 disabled people. For

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our Gender Equality Scheme (GES) we were able to engage with
over 40 local women and men through four focus groups.
Discussions were also held with relevant voluntary and
community groups. Trade unions put forward areas of concern
and were given an opportunity to comment on the draft                             Action Planning
                                                                                              
objectives. Online questionnaires on our website such as ‘What
women and men want!’ resulted in 56 individuals providing                  In developing our Race Equality Action
comments on draft priorities and providing suggestions for other           Plan we met with 30 colleagues from
areas for inclusion.                                                       statutory partners and local community
                                                                           groups together to agree a final set of
Setting Priorities and Action Planning                                     priorities, gain broader ownership of
Following the information gathering and involvement work the               them and identify activity for inclusion in
findings were matched against the Council’s strategic priorities           the plan.
and its legal equality requirements. The final priorities were set         The workshop presented key evidence
on the basis that:                                                         to support the selection of key issues,
    - Action to address an inequality was required as part of              and involved agreeing the priorities for
      meeting statutory equality duties such as eliminating pay            delivery in the next three years and the
      discrimination                                                       outcomes sought during this timescale.

    - The Council was in a position to make an impact
    - The inequality was a persistent one
    - The inequality had a severe effect on an individual’s ability to live life as they wanted



Achievements
We have delivered over 90 per cent of our GES Commitments and over 90 per cent of our DES Commitments.
Our Race Equality Scheme started in 2009 and although many of its actions are underway, recent changes in
the equalities landscape and in our budgets means that we are re-looking at this.
Some of the items in our actions plans were not delivered. For example, a vacancy freeze meant that we
were unable to deliver a recruitment fair which was to feature opportunities for disabled people. Also, placing
tactile markers on bins presented problems, but we are expecting to introduce this as part of our new waste
management contract.
The remainder of this review highlight our key equality achievements. It is not an exhaustive list of all our
equalities successes, but provides an insight into our activities and demonstrates our commitment to improve
services for all of our residents.

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You told us “increase                                                   Domestic Violence
Women’s Safety”
                                                                                       
                                                                        Farhana*, 22, was both a
                                                                        witness to and a victim of
We have:                                                                domestic violence, which forced
                                                                        her to leave home two years
  - Provided 46 sanctuaries under the Sanctuary Scheme. The             ago. “When I was younger. I
    Scheme helps people who feel vulnerable or threatened by ex-        saw my dad being abusive
    partners but wish to remain in their homes because they are         towards my mother. When it
    close to children’s schools, doctors, family and other support      happened to me, that was it, I
    networks in the area. The Scheme aims to make the home more         left”.
    secure by undertaking building works that make it harder for        “I had no money, I had just left
    unwanted visitors to gain access to the property.                   my mum’s house and was
  - Funded Ashiana Network to run the Y Stop: the first safe house      homeless – I had nothing”.
    in the country for young women at risk of forced marriage. The      Farhana went to Ashiana, which
    project has won the Lilith Project’s Rising Stars Awards (Best      found her a safe place to stay
    Voluntary Sector Violence Against Women Project), the BME           and helped her to get her life
    Spark Award for service innovation for BME Communities and an       back on track. “Without Ashiana,
    award of distinction from the Mayor of London in recognition of     I would have been homeless. I
    outstanding and innovative work to further the aims of the          would have been scared. I
    London Domestic Violence Strategy.                                  wouldn’t be able to do half the
                                                                        things I’m doing now – the
  - Delivered services to help support victims and to help men          voluntary work I am doing with
    understand why they have used abusive behavior and how they         Ashiana has really opened my
    can change this. An exercise of anonymous self-reporting            eyes and given me better
    questionnaire showed 70 per cent of respondents reported no         avenues for work”.
    further violence since involvement with the Domestic Violence
    Intervention Project (DVIP) ; 78 per cent of respondents reported   “I’m getting my life back
    abusive behaviour from perpetrators is reduced or eliminated ;      together now and living it the
    65 per cent of respondents reported feeling safer or much safer     way I want to live. I’m in a safer
    since being involved with DVIP; and 30 per cent of respondents      place. I’m enjoying life. I don’t
    reported that there has been violence but this violence is less     have to worry about family
    severe / less frequent.                                             issues and who I marry because
                                                                        now I get to choose how to live
  - Secured civil remedies against perpetrators of domestic             my life”.
    violence. Through commissioning ‘Report It’ to advocate on the
    victim’s behalf, 178 cases have been dealt with. This includes 40   * Identity has been changed

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     injunctions, 14 non-molestation orders and three occupation
     orders. In most cases, legal advice was given.
  - Raised awareness among young people of the effects of              Disability Guide
    domestic violence and provided support services for young                     
    people in families where domestic violence is an issue. We        Working in partnership with
    have funded Ashiana Network, a London based service that          award winning disability
    run refuges, outreach and counselling for women of domestic       organisation Disabled Go,
    violence in Waltham Forest to deliver 67 workshops to 754         Waltham Forest Council has
    young people across five local schools.                           compiled a guide which
  - Made progress in making parks and open spaces safer               includes information on the
    women, to improve pedestrian links between major transport        accessibility of over 1000
    centres and to increasing safety for women tenants and their      local venues such as
    families in Council housing.                                      restaurants, shops, leisure
                                                                      centres and public buildings.
                                                                      The guide gives disabled
                                                                      people more choices and
You told us “enable                                                   more freedom to live
                                                                      independently. The guide is
                                                                      useful to carers, family and
disabled people to                                                    friends, as well as parents
                                                                      with children and older
get out and about”                                                    people.
                                                                      A local disabled resident who
                                                                      was trained to carry out some
We have:                                                              of the audits, said that she
                                                                      “loved meeting people and
  - Contracted with a nationally recognised organisation to recruit   explaining what I was after…I
    local disabled people and to consult and involve them in          was so proud…it is a
    creating an access guide to 1000 venues across the borough        fantastic idea providing an
    including restaurants, cafes, parks, leisure centres, tourist     online access guide”.
    attractions, council buildings and police stations.
                                                                      The disabled access guide
  - Increased accessibility of our Council buildings. Our most        can be viewed at
    current figures show that almost 62 per cent of our buildings     www.disabledgo.com or visit
    are now accessible and we are continuing our work to              any Waltham Forest Direct
    improve this further (compared to 43 per cent in 2008).           shop or library in the
                                                                      borough.
  - Provided more accessible toilets. There are now 15
    accessible toilets available to the public through the


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     Community Toilet Scheme. The toilets are located in public buildings, such as libraries and parks
     buildings and private businesses. In each of these places the owners have agreed to make their toilet
     available for public use, free at the point of use. The location of the current toilets provide a
     reasonable geographic and access spread across Waltham Forest. For more information see:
     http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/index/transport/public-conveniences/community-toilet-scheme.htm


  You told us to “tackle hate crime”
We have:
  - Pledged to better support members of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)
    community in Waltham Forest. This announcement came as the Council published a new report,
    revealing that many LGBT residents “passed as straight” in their everyday life to avoid the threat of
    harassment or personal attack. The Council undertook one of the largest LGBT surveys of its kind in
    the country, specifically to find out how we can better support local LGBT people.
  - Encouraged people to report disability
    related hate crime and harassment. It is now
    easier and faster to report harassment
    through an online reporting form on the
    Council’s website. The first phase of hate                    The Laramie Project
    crime publicity has been produced and                                        
    distributed to public locations.                      Young people from Waltham Forest secondary
                                                          schools recently performed an adaptation of The
  - For more information on reporting hate crime          Laramie Project – an internationally renowned
    visit:                                                play which depicts, through a series of
    http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/index/safet           interviews, the reaction of the Laramie
    y/hate-crime/report-hate-crime.htm                    Community to the murder of Matthew Shepard, a
                                                          young, gay student at the University of Wyoming
                                                          in October 1998.
                                                          The amateur production was performed by
                                                          students from Leytonstone School, Walthamstow
                                                          School for Girls, Willowfield School and
                                                          Norlington School for Boys.
                                                          “I have enjoyed taking part in this play because it
                                                          is an effective way of giving people the message
                                                          not to be homophobic” (Annie)


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You told us that you “want to have
your voice heard”
We have:
  - Established a Muslim women’s community
    engagement project. It is important that everyone’s
    voice is heard and the Council has found that some
    Muslim women need encouragement to express                       Community Councils
    their views, thoughts and ideas. During the first year                          
    of the Gender Equality Scheme, the Council                   Community Councils enable people to be
    explored whether there was a need for a specific             involved in their local areas. meetings are
    community engagement project to encourage                    held at physically accessible venues and
    Muslim women to express their views on topical               provide hearing loops to ensure disabled
    issues. The Women’s Resilience Panel was                     people are able to attend and fully
    developed in line with the newly established                 participate. Monitoring data showed 21
    national Muslim Women’s Advisory Group. The                  per cent of people attending said they
    panel was set up with the support of Ashiana                 had a disability, exceeding the current
    Network, a local women’s organisation and part of            target of a minimum 15 per cent
    the Council’s work to promote community cohesion.            participation rate.

  - Delivered a ‘Women in Civic Life Event’. The event          Four Community Councils funded ‘WF
    was delivered to encourage local women to                   Workbase Supported Employment’ to the
    become active citizens by becoming charity                  value of £10,200. The project will increase
    trustees of local voluntary organisations as well as        the number of people with learning
    school governors in local schools. The project was          disabilities and dual diagnosis in those
    delivered by the Council and involved local women           Community Council areas that access
    from a wide range of backgrounds. It included               paid work through supported
    partners such as Strong and Safe Communities;               employment. The support for this project
    School Governor Services; The Kiran Project;                from residents reflects the representation
    Ashiana: East London Out Project; Waltham Forest            of disabled people at Community Council
    Haven; and Kreative Culture Klub. It was an                 meetings and is a likely result of their
    opportunity for local women to meet organisations           increased participation.
    who required trustees. School governor representatives from LBWF School Governor Services were
    also invited to inform the local women about the avenues by which people could apply to become
    school governors. A young governor of the year was also invited to give her view on what it is she
    does in her capacity as a school governor at her primary school. Participants reported back that
    having information and networking with others helped point them in the right direction.

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You told us that you
“want to live more                                                        The Blue Badge
independently”                                                              Process
                                                                                     


We have:
                                                                   One of our residents who had a Blue
  - Increased housing choice for disabled people by                Badge for five years said: “After I moved
    making sure that refurbished and new housing is built          I visited the WFD shop in Walthamstow to
    to meet the needs of physically disabled people. One           renew my badge and the service was out
    of our Senior Occupational Therapists, in the Council’s        of this world! I’ve moved around a lot in
    Housing Service, was awarded the Elma Shearer                  my life but this was the best place I’d
    Award for Excellence in helping disabled residents             been too, the staff were so lovely and
    move to more accessible housing, and for advising              helped me fill in all the forms, changing
    housing planners on the design and layout of                   my address and other details.”
    wheelchair accessible housing                                  She was extremely impressed with the
                                                                   service: “I received my Blue Badge
  - Enabled disabled people to take more control and               within five working days and was able to
    have more choice about who provides the services               drive up to London the very next day for
    they need by promoting the take up of direct                   the first time in 20 years and visit the
    payments. Instead of receiving council services they           sales!”
    can buy in the services they want. 176 people have
    taken up direct payments so far. This exceeds our              Waltham Forest has also introduced
    initial target of 150.                                         holograms on the badges to deter theft,
                                                                   this has since been adopted by
  - Reviewed the Blue Badge process, and reduced the               Government as a standard feature on
    turnaround from six weeks to five days. The Blue               Blue Badges.
    Badge scheme provides a national range of parking
    concessions for disabled people who have severe
    mobility problems and who have difficulty using public
    transport. The scheme is designed to help badge
    holders travel independently, as either a driver or
    passenger, by allowing them to park close to their
    destination.




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You told us “raise
the aspirations of                                        Making training accessible to
young women to                                            disadvantaged women
                                                                                 


pursue non-                                               During 2008/09 the ‘Class’ community education
                                                          service:
traditional                                                    provided nine Skills for Life
                                                                  courses/Parenting Classes at a Women’s
learning                                                          Refuge;
                                                               attracted and supported 51 learners to the
                                                                  Skills for Life courses at Kiran Centre in
opportunities                                                     Leyton;
                                                               attracted and supported 36 learners to the
and careers”                                                      Skills for Life courses at the Asian Centre
                                                                  and nine learners at Faisa-E-Islam; and
                                                               delivered a course on “Keeping Up With
We have:                                                          the Grandchildren” to 17 older women in
  - Promoted a range of non-traditional learning                  line with meeting the needs of older
    opportunities and careers to girls. We have                   women.
    provided:
     construction training courses and taster
       events
     painting and decorating courses
     horticultural, land-based and animal care/ husbandry programmes
     music production and event management training
     promotional events at schools such as Women in Construction, and Women in Engineering days
     face to face advice from the ‘Connexions’ service for girls in schools and colleges to promote non-
       traditional careers
     construction work has been demonstrated at local schools and mock interviews held, and both
       boys and girls have been encouraged to work in the construction industry. Local apprentices
       worked with the Holy Family secondary school (mixed) to give students an opportunity to try
       bricklaying.




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                                      Equalities Review 2007-2010
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You told us to “help more Black,
Asian and other ethnic minority
people over the barriers they face
in getting jobs”
We have:
  - Developed our ‘Apprentice                       Experience of an Apprentice
     Scheme’ which has recruited                                           
     over 80 apprentices into the           “Before starting the apprenticeship I was out of work and unsure
     organization and into Business         about what career route I wanted to go down. I saw the
     Administration, Customer Care,         Apprenticeship Scheme advertised and was unsure about what it
     Health and Social Care,                was fully about, I saw the basic information about it being work
     Finance and IT. There have             four days and college one day which appealed to me as I am
     also been opportunities to             more of a practical worker.
     extend into career pathways
     and undertake professional             I had a successful interview and started my work placement at
     qualifications. 24 apprentices         Waltham Forest Town Hall on July 1st 2009 studying Business and
     have gained permanent                  Administration NVQ 2. I was nervous coming into an organisation
     employment at the Council.             as large as mine but I picked things up quickly and settled in
                                            straight away.
  - Had 24 new starters since the
    beginning of July 2009, of              My everyday tasks changed from day to day as I work within a
    which 13 were from BAME                 team of 22 people, they could range from photocopying to
    background. Before July 2009,           arranging seminars for outside organisation which involved
    66 people have been on the              meeting and arranging schedules, room bookings, organising
    Council’s Apprenticeship                refreshments, ensuring all attendees needs are met.
    Scheme (which started in
    2006), and 61 per cent of               I have developed and built new skills that I did not have before,
    apprentice starts were from             and I have learnt a lot more about myself and the career I would
    BAME background.                        like to build for the future. The apprenticeship has given me
                                            confidence and helped me to find better job opportunities that I
                                            would not have had before”




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  -   Delivered “Going the Distance”, an employment and
      skills project.

                                                                             Going the
You told us to                                                               Distance
                                                                                    

“support dads as                                                      Going the Distance is an
                                                                      employment and skills project
                                                                      that supports those who have
carers”                                                               had drug or alcohol problems, or
                                                                      who have been drug-using
We have:                                                              offenders in Waltham Forest to
  - Supported men as active fathers in children’s lives.              get back into work or training.
    Taking action to support men in their role as modern              The project provides support
    parents has the double benefit of supporting gender               and access to voluntary work,
    equality for women by giving men the opportunity and              short courses, searching and
    confidence to be responsible for caring for children.             applying for jobs, and improving
                                                                      skills.
  - As part of the service that is offered in Children’s              The nature of this project means
    Centres the Council offers dedicated services for dads            that a difference is made for ex-
    to be involved in looking after their children                    offenders and those on probation
                                                                      from diverse backgrounds
                                                                      (which are a significant
                                                                      proportion of clients).
                                                                      133 people have had detailed
                                                                      skills sessions with a career
              Dads, lads and daughters                                coach. 23 of which have gone on
                                  
                                                                      to become volunteers, gone onto
           This group meet at Church Hill and Hoe Street              further education or employment.
           Children Centre on Saturday mornings. The group            Detailed equality monitoring
           meets regularly for planned activity sessions, as          information on the clients shows
           well as visits to places of interest such as the           that 28 (21%) are female, 72
           Science Museum and Queen Elizabeth Hunting                 (54%)* are from BAME
           Lodge in Chingford. One of the dads attending              background, 11 (8%) are over
           said “I really enjoy attending the group at Church         50, 39 (29%)* have a disability.
           Hill, it’s a great opportunity for the kids to             The portfolio contained 6 clients
           socialise, and gives me the chance to meet and             who defined themselves as
           talk to other dads in a relaxed atmosphere.” He            members of the LGBT
           added, “dads want to spend time with their kids,           community.
           and we always look forward to going on the
           outings. I would encourage dads to come along              * % distorted by 3 who preferred
           and take part in the groups”.                  11          not to say
                                       Equalities Review 2007-2010
                                                    



Community
Cohesion                                                                       iMuslim
                                                                                   
                                                                Waltham Forest Council launched a
We have a strong tradition of tolerance, cohesion and           series of short films made by eight young
understanding in the community and have developed a             Muslims examining the portrayal of their
regional and national reputation for our proactive work in      religion in the media. They helped recruit
promoting community cohesion and tackling violent               the film company and were then trained
extremism. This has been achieved through a range of            to storyboard, film, edit and in parts
initiatives and the use of well-established mechanisms such     animate iMuslim - a film that explores the
as our Community Cohesion Task Group and Faith                  portrayal of Muslims in mainstream
Communities Forum. The capacity of Waltham Forest was           media. The film was developed after
tested by multiple terror suspect arrests in August 2006,       evidence showed that they were
bringing the world’s attention to the borough. There was        unhappy with the way the media
swift action taken to reassure the community through joint      portrayed their religion.
communications involving key agencies and community
representatives in the Community Cohesion Task Group.           As part of the project the young people
Commended by the Police, this good practice has been            conducted interviews and discussion
widely shared with others and we continue to foster             group sessions with nationally renowned
dialogue to tackle inequalities within our community.           journalists including Jon Snow and
                                                                Krishnan Guru-murthy from Channel 4
-The “Waltham Forest: 225,000 people, 1 Community’’             News and storywriters from the Bill.
campaign has received national recognition and has been
featured as a best practice example with the IDeA,              The young people identified the biggest
alongside our response to the terror arrests. The campaign      impacts on them as:
involved residents in showing our shared understanding of       - Getting their voice heard by journalists
the things which unite rather than divide us. Working with      and script writers
the Institute of Community Cohesion (ICoCo), we have            - Learning that the media is not all
undertaken a comprehensive study of youth disengagement         against them and that they can change
and extremism with a particular focus on Muslim                 negative perceptions and stereotypes
communities, entitled ‘Breaking down the walls of silence’.     - Confidence in asking questions and
                                                                working together as a team
-Pioneering work with young people has driven the
‘Swapping Cultures’ initiative in schools, which received       The film has received plaudits at the
government recognition at the time. Additionally, Waltham       London International Documentary Film
Forest became a pathfinder area in relation to tackling         Festival held at the Royal Society of Arts.
violent extremism and three key initiatives were                The scriptwriters said, after the challenge
implemented in 2007/08, including our acclaimed Young           session, that some of the young people’s
                                                                views would be taken on board when
                                                                writing in Muslim characters for the Bill in
                                                                the future.
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                                      Equalities Review 2007-2010
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Muslim Leaders programme (YML), reaching 500 young people in the borough.


Equalities in the
Workplace
                                                                       Single Status
Workplace Equality                                                            
   - Over 50 per cent of our staff are from            Following on from our commitment in our Gender
     Black, Asian or other ethnic minority             Equality Scheme to narrow the pay gap, the initial
     backgrounds                                       phase of the Single Status project has been
   - Since 2006 there has been an upward               completed. The purpose of this was to harmonise
     trend in the proportion of minority ethnic        the status of all local government officers,
     staff employed in the Council with figures        particularly those who are manual workers.
     for top five per cent earners rising
     progressively from 19.7 per cent June             All former manual workers have now been
     2006 to 28 per cent in September 2010             harmonised onto administrative, professional,
   - The Council has been recognised as one            technical and clerical staff terms and conditions.
     of the UK’s 100 best employers of lesbian,
     gay and bisexual staff’ and is very proud         Over 700 women members of staff have seen their
     of this achievement. In 2010 we ranked 82         pay increase.
     in the Stonewall’s Workplace Equality
     Index beating the previous year’s ranking of 109 hands down and becoming one of only five London
     boroughs to be in the Top 100.
Staff Forums
   - The Council has three staff forums for BAME staff, disabled staff and LGBT staff. Staff are
     encouraged to attend and each group meets regularly throughout the year to discuss and raise
     equality employment issues, improve people-management practice and support the development and
     delivery of the equality schemes.
          A refreshed and creative BAME staff network was launched in 2010 with a strong emphasis on
             learning, development and social networking. The new network is open to managers and staff
             from other public bodies in the borough and includes our partners.
          The Disability Equality Working Group is the council’s network for disabled staff. The Council
             is an accredited 2 Tick Disability symbol employer and we continue to work in partnership with
             Job Centre Plus, Access to Work and other agencies to improve the level and quality of
             reasonable adjustments provisions, as well as improve retention rates of our disabled staff.
          Established an Influential LGBT Steering group and expanded our LGBT Network, which was
             awarded Star Performers status by Stonewall in January 2010.



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                                        Equalities Review 2007-2010
                                                     

Preventing harassment and bullying at work
   - The Council has launched a new anti-harassment and bullying policy.
Council’s Equality Training strategy 2010-2013
   - The Council has developed a three year high level equalities strategy to complement existing work
     around organisational development. This focuses on disability confidence, LGBT awareness and faith
     based equality.

Continuous improvement through
Equality Impact Assessments
We have produced EIA Guidance and an E-Learning tool to help staff to analyse how a particular policy or
service will affect people in each of the equality groups. We use EIAs as the main way of demonstrating that
we have given ‘due regard’ to the equality duties in Cabinet decision making. Through this process any
negative or adverse impacts is identified and, where possible, mitigated together with opportunities to better
promote equality. This also helps promote good relationships between different groups of people and
promote community cohesion. We have had programmes of training and EIA Surgeries to support managers.
During the period 2007 – 2010, Cabinet received 331 reports on key decisions, some of which went to full
Council. In order to embed equality considerations into these key decisions, each report included an Equality
Impact Assessment.
      Year                       Number of EIAs
      2007/2008                  89
      2008/2009                  112
      2009/2010                  130
      Total EIAs                 331




    Equalities Impact of Construction Training Centre
                                                  
    An integral part of developing a flagship training centre in Leyton involved undertaking
    an EIA. This assessed the implications of the development through an equalities lens,
    focusing particularly on maximizing opportunities for different groups of people as well as
    ensuring that any potential negative impact was identified early on and dealt with in an
    appropriate way.
    All equalities groups will be able to access and benefit from the opportunities presented by
    the training centre. There will be satisfactory access for disabled people into the building as
    well as the surrounding area. A multi faith room and separate male and female changing
    areas will be provided.                             14
                                    Equalities Review 2007-2010
                                                



A Snapshot of Workforce
Indicator        Baseline  2010/11     Qtr 1          Qtr 2     Qtr 3     Feb 2011   On track?
                 (2009/10) target      outturn        outturn   outturn
Percentage of
the top 5%       59.42%    51%         57.55%         56.12%    55.8%     56.1%      
earners who
are women
Percentage of
the top 5%       28.46%    25%         29.01%         28.24%    30.2%     26.0%      
earners who
are from black
and ethnic
minority
communities
Percentage of
the top 5%       4.35%     3.5%        3.6%           3.6%      3.6%      3.8%       
earners that
have a
disability
Percentage of
employees        5.4%      4.5%        5.4%           5.5%      5.5%      5.4%       
declaring that                                                                       
they meet the
Disability
Discrimination
Act
Percentage of
Local            50.31%    34.33%      50.52%         50.45%    51.3%     51.2%      
Authority’s                                                                          
employees
from minority
ethnic
communities.




                                                 15
                                          Equalities Review 2007-2010
                                                        


Next Steps
This report has highlighted some of the work that we have done to address some of inequalities faced by our
diverse residents and to meet our obligations under equalities legislation. The Equality Act 2010 now replaces
the separate duties for race, disability and gender with a single equality duty extended to all of the ‘protected
characteristics’ - age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex
and sexual orientation. This duty came into force April 2011.
Waltham Forest Council now has a general duty to have ‘due regard’ to: the need to eliminate unlawful
discrimination; advance equality of opportunity; and foster good relations across all of the protected groups.
The practical effect for the Council is that we will have to consider how our policies, programmes and service
delivery will affect people with all the ‘protected characteristics’ listed in the Act. To a large extent, this work
has already been underway as our equalities work was not limited to just race, gender and disability. For
instance, our Equality Impact Assessment process extended to considering age, faith, sexual orientation and
cohesion.
The new equality duty is designed to be flexible, proportionate, to help public bodies deliver even better
public services for our residents in times of economic constraints and to target resources on the areas where
it can make a difference. Compliance with the duty should result in better informed decision-making and
policy development, and better outcomes. It can lead to cost-effective services that are more suitable for the
user. This can lead to increased satisfaction with public services. A workforce that has a supportive working
environment is more productive.
By April 2012, we will also have to publish our equality objectives that seeks to further the aims of the general
equality duty. This information will be available on the Council’s website. If you require this guide in an
alternative format and/or language please contact us to discuss your needs:
Equalities Team - Residents First
Waltham Forest Town Hall, Forest Road, Walthamstow, London, E17 4JF
Email wfdirect@walthamforest.gov.uk
Phone 020 8496 3000 Minicom 020 8496 3010 Fax 020 8496 3301




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