BRAINTREE DISTRICT LOCAL COMPACT by hcj

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									BRAINTREE DISTRICT LOCAL COMPACT

BRAINTREE DISTRICT LOCAL COMPACT

BLACK & MINORITY ETHNIC (BME) VOLUNTARY & COMMUNITY GROUPS CODE OF PRACTICE

Working in Partnership

BRAINTREE DISTRICT LOCAL COMPACT

BRAINTREE DISTRICT LOCAL COMPACT

CODE OF PRACTICE FOR BLACK AND MINORITY ETHNIC (BME) VOLUNTARY AND COMMUNITY GROUPS
1. Who is the Code of Practice for?
   Black and Minority Ethnic Voluntary and Community Sector Groups Organisations supporting the Black and Minority Ethnic Communities Public Sector Bodies

2. What is the Braintree District Compact? The Braintree District Compact is an agreement between local public sector bodies and the voluntary & community sector, to support and improve partnership working between the sectors. It is underpinned by Codes of Practice, based on the National Codes, which cover the following areas.  Funding  Volunteering  Black and minority Ethnic Voluntary and Community Organisations  Consultation and Policy Appraisal  Community Groups 3. What is the aim of this Code of Practice? This Code of Practice aims to give specific attention to the needs of the BME communities in the Braintree District. It aims to set up a framework for promoting: A joint commitment to taking forward race equality, including sharing best practice and promoting good relationships  Improved quality and quantity of consultation and participation with BME communities  Recognition of the specific needs of BME communities  Better access to resources and support for BME communities 4. Background and Context Both central and local government recognises that BME groups, including faith and refugee groups, have important and continuing roles in helping achieve their objectives and that both can play positive roles in supporting the work of BME groups. Despite this recognition, BME communities still experience social exclusion, marginalisation and disadvantage. The BME population of Braintree District is low but the perception is that an increasing number of BME people are now resident tin the District. The 2001 Census officially recorded a BME population of 1.8% but it is generally acknowledged that this figure may not reflect the true picture. In addition to this, the BME population is geographically

BRAINTREE DISTRICT LOCAL COMPACT

scattered across the District, which is predominantly rural in nature. These factors make it even more important for the public sector, the wider voluntary and community sector and the BME communities to work effectively together. Although BME groups work to tackle the disadvantage experienced by the communities they serve, many of them continue to be excluded from the traditional structures of the voluntary and community sector. This often also results in exclusion from engagement with both the local Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) and statutory agencies. In applying the Compact theme of ‘getting it right together’ and the aim of addressing the exclusion experienced by BME groups, the Braintree District Compact believes that it is vital to engage with this sector to build positive relationships, with mutual trust and confidence. In view of this, actions need to be taken by all concerned to ensure that BME communities in the District have equality of opportunity to be directly involved in partnerships, consultations and decision-making processes with local statutory agencies. Some of the issues addressed below include: the role of BME groups; the framework for partnerships between statutory agencies and BME groups; and local relations; tackling racism, inequality and exclusion; consultation, participation and representation; funding, capacity building and other support issues such as volunteering and mentoring. 5. Joint Undertakings Statutory agencies and the BME supporting organisations in the Braintree District are committed to establishing and maintaining best practice in their relationships. The Voluntary and Community Sector and Statutory Agencies will:   Develop a partnership approach to responding to policy issues and strategies for achieving race equality, including the promotion of cultural diversity. Work together in partnership with other agencies to promote joint working on initiatives aimed at improving services for the BME community, social inclusion & a cohesive District. Encourage and support volunteering by and within BME communities in line with this Compact’s Code on Volunteering. BME groups should be consulted on policy documents to ensure that they address the needs for BME communities in line with the Consultation and Policy Appraisal Code of Practice.

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The Statutory Agencies will:   Encourage the development of BME communities that represent the diverse communities in Braintree District Seek and value the contribution the BME communities can make in helping them achieve their objectives.

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Recognise and support the independence of the BME communities, their uniqueness and diversity. Operate effective and transparent equal opportunity policies with monitoring and evaluation systems to ensure that the BME communities are treated fairly and with respect in all their interactions with statutory agencies. Support and advise BME communities to have access to grants and funding opportunities administered by local statutory agencies and government funded programmes, particularly those that impact significantly on BME communities. Seek the views and encourage the active involvement and participation of the BME communities in PACT, the development of community plans/strategies and the Braintree District Local Compact.

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The BME sector will:    Play a full and active part within the wider VCS by making sure that the compact undertakings are realised. Work in partnership with statutory agencies and the wider VCS in promoting race equality, tackling social exclusion and promoting cultural understanding. Make use of appropriate training and capacity building opportunities for the BME communities of Braintree District.

6. On tackling racism, inequality and exclusion The need to tackle racism in all its ramifications has long been recognised. The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry Report (1999), the amendment to the Race Relations legislation and the Race Equality in Public Services (2000) are some of the key actions taken to push forward race equality. The Braintree District Compact will provide a framework through which the BME and the local VCS can work in partnership with statutory agencies to:   Challenge institutional racism. Detect and take action on processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage BME people.

This Compact also recognises that the negative outcomes of social exclusion are disproportionately represented in BME communities. Tackling social exclusion effectively should include:   Positively targeting initiatives at BME communities. Work in partnership with the BME communities to draw on their experience and knowledge, to make sure targeted interventions become more effective.

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Tackling racism and exclusion should be kept firmly on the agenda right across the VCS and statutory agencies.

7. On Consultation  In recognition of the above, the consultation with the BME communities should be all inclusive, recognising the broad spectrum of interests and in line with the Consultation and Policy Appraisal Code of Practice. .  A number of barriers exclude the effective involvement of the BME communities in consultation processes. In overcoming some of these barriers particular attention should be given to the most appropriate means of engaging smaller, underresourced groups (these constitute the majority of the BME sector) These may include:  informal interactions  meeting language needs  offering financial support for expenses incurred

8. On BME participation and representation in policy development, delivery and review   it is imperative that policy development and implementation meets the needs of BME communities consideration should be given to the selection of individuals to act as representatives from BME communities to avoid individual overload. Diversity input into policy development should draw on a large pool of individuals, forums and organisations. It should always be important to recognise and value the skills, experience and knowledge held by individuals.

9.Action Plan 2006/07 Action Encourage and develop BME volunteering in line with the Braintree District Compact Code on Volunteering Provide funding/training advice to BME groups to encourage capacity building Encourage and participate in events that celebrate multi cultural living Lead BDVSA Target date Ongoing

BDVSA

Ongoing

BDVSA/BDC

Summer 2007 Ongoing

Work with partners on projects that support the needs of BME BDC communities

10. Applying this Code This Code of Practice has been produced on behalf of the Compact Steering Group and will be reviewed annually in line with the changing community mix of the Braintree District.
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Published on behalf of the Braintree District Local Compact Steering Group

Working as part of

BRAINTREE DISTRICT VOLUNTARY SUPPORT AGENCY

This document is available in alternative formatsBraille, large print or on tape. If you require additional copies or further information then please contact: Judy Cuddeford BDVSA, Room 5, Colne House Coggeshall Rd, Braintree CM7 9BY Tel 01376 550507 Fax 01376 550092 e-mail: judy@bdvsa.org

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