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RACE EQUALITY SCHEME 2009 - 2012

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RACE EQUALITY SCHEME 2009 - 2012 Powered By Docstoc
					            RACE EQUALITY SCHEME
                  2009 - 2012




Human Resources and Development Division
November 08 v1.1
Foreword
Working with its partners across the town, Crawley Borough Council has clearly
signalled its commitment to helping sustain a cohesive, diverse and tolerant
community. In 2002 the Council introduced a Race Equality Scheme and more
recently complemented this with a Corporate Equality Scheme which has been
developed to provide a consistent approach to Equality and Diversity for the Council.
The result has been to identify and take action in a number of areas to support
excluded, marginalised, hard-to-reach and disadvantaged groups.

A key part of this approach is recognising the special and particular needs that
different groups have, both in our town and within the Council and regularly
monitoring and reviewing our actions.

We are therefore delighted, in accordance with this commitment and with equalities
legislation, to bring forward a new Race Equality Scheme. In it, we seek to provide a
firm policy foundation for raising awareness corporately of the need to ensure race
equality in our service provision and employment practices, and set out how we
propose to engage with the community and staff, and perhaps most importantly,
commit the Council to action.

The Race Equality Scheme has been prepared within the context of the Corporate
Equality Scheme and having full regard to the need to develop further equality
schemes, around age, faith and religious beliefs, and sexual orientation. Taken
together these will play a key part in the Council’s work around the broader issues of
social inclusion and community cohesion.

We would stress - and give our personal commitment to – the importance of ensuring
that this work goes much further than just the development of policies and production
of documents. Through them, we wish to establish and embed principles and values
concerning equalities and diversity, that will become not just woven into, but part of
the fabric of the culture of Crawley Borough Council.

We hope that you value this scheme as a ‘work in progress’ and that you find it of
interest as a reference source, a ‘call for action’ or as a tool to help you achieve its
objectives. Should you have any comments or queries regarding our Race Equality
Scheme please do not hesitate to contact us.




CLLR BOB LANZER                                               LEE HARRIS
Leader                                                        Chief Executive




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Contents                                                                     Page


Foreword                                                                      2

Contents                                                                      3


Chapter 1     Strategic approach to Equality and                              4
              Diversity at Crawley Borough Council

Chapter 2     Introduction to the Race Equality Scheme                        5

Chapter 3     Progress to date                                                6

Chapter 4     Race Equality in context                                        6

Chapter 5     Involvement of community and workforce in development           8
              of the Scheme

Chapter 6     Current Position Statement                                      9

Chapter 7     Information, consultation and communication                     12


Chapter 8     Monitoring & review of Scheme                                   14

Chapter 9     Comments and Complaints                                         15




The Race Equality Scheme is available in other languages and formats
                                           language/format below,
on request. Please indicate your preferred format below, and returnand
return this section to the address
this section to the address below.below.

Alternatively contact Maggie Maxwell on 01293 438452.

Braille
Large Print
Audio Tape
Computer Disk
Language                         Please indicate what language you require




                                         3
Chapter 1
Our Strategic Approach to Equality & Diversity at Crawley
Borough Council.

The Council’s Race Equality Scheme is a key component of a comprehensive
approach to community cohesion, social inclusion and equality and diversity which
flows from the Sustainable Community Strategy for Crawley and the Council’s
corporate plan, Aiming for Excellence.

The Corporate Equality Scheme sets out this framework in detail and identifies the
Council’s commitment to equality and diversity under 6 key headings:

   •   Culture of Equality – To develop a culture of understanding and commitment
       to equality, and to ensure that the Council’s service delivery, employment
       policies and procedures, are compliant with legislative requirement.
   •   Positive Promotion – To positively promote all aspects of equalities, and set
       behavioural and performance expectations for staff in relation to customer
       care, service provision and dignity at work.
   •   Identifying Improvement – To assess, monitor and improve services using
       the Generic Equality Assessment process, and improve monitoring
       information in relation to levels of under representation within the workforce,
       recruitment and the take up of services.
   •   Working in Partnership – To work in partnership with other agencies,
       voluntary organisations and community groups to improve access to services
       and employment opportunities, removing barriers and delivering targeted
       positive action.
   •   Supporting Staff – To identify and support the needs of staff in under
       represented groups through the establishment of staff forums and support
       groups, and increase the level of support groups within all levels of the
       workforce.
   •   Developing Initiatives – To ensure that the Council develops and
       implements initiatives and projects that enable members of the community
       and employees to be treated fairly and equally in all areas of service delivery
       and employment.

Other key components for the successful implementation of equality schemes set out
in the Corporate Scheme include:

   •   Framework for leadership and direction by Members and Officers of the
       Council
   •   Arrangements for consultation and engagement of the community and of
       Council employees

The Race Equality Scheme is therefore integral to the Corporate Equality Scheme
and should be read in conjunction with this document.




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Chapter 2
Introduction to the Race Equality Scheme

The Race Relations Amendment Act 2000 and subsequent regulations enacted in
2001, created a Race Equality Duty for the public sector.

The government recognised that positive steps were needed to promote racial
equality and created a general duty and some specific duties on all public authorities
including, local councils, to promote race equality. It requires Councils, when
considering policies, employing people or delivering services to have due regard to
the need to:

   •   Eliminate unlawful racial discrimination
   •   Promote equality of opportunity
   •   Promote good relations between people of different racial groups.

The purpose of a Race Equality Scheme is therefore to explain the Council’s values
and principles relating to racial equality; identify the areas of activity requiring
attention; set out a programme of action for fulfilling these duties; and provide clear
benchmarks by which progress can be assessed.



Human Rights Act

The Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) sets out a right for everyone to have access to
public services and the right to be treated fairly and with dignity. It includes the right
to be safe and protected from harm and the right to take an active part in your
community and society.




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Chapter 3
Progress to Date

The Council’s first two Race Equality Schemes covered the period from 2002-2008
and there are many positive outcomes for race equality flowing from the work of the
Council and its partners to develop and maintain sustainable communities over this
period. For example:

   •   The Council fully complies with CRE’s code of practice for socially rented
       housing and has a BME Housing Strategy in place.

   •   The proportion of Council employees from black and minority ethnic
       backgrounds has increased from 4.7% in 2006/2007 to 7% in 2008.

   •   The Council is at Level 2 of the Equality Standard.

   •   An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) toolkit has been developed and a
       comprehensive training programme has been implemented to ensure that
       EIA’s are carried out across the organisation.

   •   A BME staff group has been established.

   •   Equality and diversity requirements have been written into all tendering
       documentation and into the Council’s Procurement Strategy and Code.

   •   Co-ordination of the Interfaith Network in Crawley has been established
       through our Community Development Team

   •   Racist incident reporting and the VOICE project for victims of racist incidents
       and hate crime (and domestic violence) have been developed in partnership
       with the West Sussex Community Safety Partnership. A database of
       incidents has been established across West Sussex and staff training is in
       place.


Whilst these achievements are encouraging, we recognise that there is still much to
do to ensure racial equality in employment and service delivery in Crawley. In
particular, it is necessary to ensure that the equality impact assessment process is
implemented consistently across the organisation and that consultation and
engagement with community groups becomes part of the culture of the organisation.




                                          6
Chapter 4
Race Equality in context
People of different ethnic backgrounds, will experience different forms of
disadvantage depending on their age, gender, religion or belief, sexual orientation,
marital or civil partnership status, and whether or not they have a disability. In order
to understand and address questions of race equality under the duty, public
authorities may need to consider that complexity and whether particular racial groups
are experiencing particular disadvantages.

Crawley has a larger black and minority ethnic (BME) population than the average for
England and the South East Region. In the last census 11.5% of the population was
from these groups and the largest proportions were from Asian groups. Net inward
migration to the UK has accelerated in recent years and the information from the
census is now unlikely to represent a true picture of the ethnic composition of
Crawley. There is no reliable means of estimating the distribution of migrants in the
UK or how many have settled in Crawley but some insight can be gained by
considering a range of data including requests for national insurance numbers, the
workers registration scheme and electoral roll data. This information suggests that
Polish, Indian and Lithuanian migrants are the most common but the key message
from this data is that Crawley has an enormous diversity within its population with 61
different nationalities from within the European Union and the Commonwealth alone.

Two of the wards which have the highest levels of black and minority ethnic residents
are amongst the five most deprived wards in Crawley and are also within the 10%
most deprived wards across West Sussex.

The Council regularly consults residents on perceptions of the town and its
neighbourhoods. In 2008, 40% felt that Crawley is a place where people from
different backgrounds get on well together and 39% felt that the benefits of cultural
integration are promoted.




Crawley Borough Council in context
Workforce Race Profile

Crawley Borough Council‘s workforce currently comprises some 776 members of
staff. The percentage of people from a BME community within the workforce does
not reflect the community of Crawley. 7% of staff are from a BME background, with
2.6% of staff in the top 10% of earners are from a BME background. (Figures at
October 2008 do not include white European people within the BME percentages).




                                           7
Chapter 5
Involvement of the community and workforce in developing
the Scheme
Crawley Borough Council recognises that a successful scheme must meet the needs
of all racial groups, and must be developed through involvement with the community
and staff. The Council also remains committed to working in partnership with local
focus groups to ensure a successful delivery of the race equality agenda.

This Scheme has been developed in consultation with staff, Trade Union
representatives and the community, and is focussed on issues for the Council to
deliver on including raising awareness, and integrating the involvement of the
community and staff in determining priorities for action in all our policy and service
planning processes.

The Corporate Equality Scheme action plan does have a range of race equality
specific and generic equality actions already in place and these have been updated
as a result of this consultation.

It is important that this Scheme remains in constant review to ensure that the
proposals are in line with the views of staff and the community and offers the Council
an opportunity for real engagement and involvement.

Engaging the community and workforce as part of our consultation programme
included surveys and working with other community organisations and support
groups. Internally, consultation has taken place with officers within the Council in a
range of service areas including community safety, community development, arts,
communications, customer contact centre, human resources, leisure services,
economic development, housing and benefits, staff forums and the Trade Union

Now that the consultation is complete, the Scheme will be formally published and
launched within the local community. It will be made available through a range of
formats and will also be accessible through the website.




                                            8
Chapter 6
Current Position Statement
In implementing the actions of this Scheme, the Council does not have to begin with
a blank sheet of paper and is instead able to expand upon the practices that are
already in place to promote race equality both in service delivery and employment.

Generally, this progress has included increasing the amount of public consultation
and community engagement that the Council undertakes every year, and the
introduction of equality impact assessments for our key policies and practices.


Employment

The Council currently monitors the ethnicity of its staff and potential applicants for a
range of Human Resources and employee development practices and will continue
with this practice. Equality impact assessments have been carried out on policies
relevant to our workforce to ensure that no race discrimination exists. In addition, a
number of these policies are already designed to promote equality of opportunity and
to tackle harassment and bullying.

Our workforce profile does not reflect the community that we serve in Crawley and
this will be difficult to achieve as the commute to work area for the majority of our
employees is across Sussex and Surrey where the black and minority ethnic
representation in the community is much lower. It is a concern that the top 10% of
our posts have only 2.6% representation from BME staff. Action is being taken to
create career pathways and to promote talent management for staff within the
Council to make it easier for those in more junior roles to be promoted to more senior
roles. Plans are also in place to work with local community groups to promote the
Council as an employer and to provide help and advice on applying for jobs and
attending interviews.

Equality and Diversity Training

The purpose of training is to provide managers and employees with the skills and
knowledge they need to ensure that equality becomes part of our day-to-day
activities. It also helps to create a culture where diversity is truly valued and is seen
as an asset to help deliver all the Council’s objectives.

An equality and diversity training plan, with a range of learning and development
options has been agreed by Corporate Management Team. This includes training on
Equality Impact Assessments, a programme to create a team of Equalities
Champions to promote a culture of equality across the organisation and an e-learning
package or workbooks for all staff to ensure a consistent understanding of our
commitment to equality and diversity. The plan will be regularly reviewed to ensure
it continues to provide the tools for staff to promote race equality through their roles.

Tackling Harassment and Discrimination

The Council is committed to tackling all forms of harassment, including racial
harassment. In the 2008 staff survey, 10% of staff that responded stated that they
had been subjected to some form of discrimination or harassment by another
employee. This is an improvement on the responses from previous surveys but the


                                            9
Council is keen to reduce this percentage further. Harassment is not tolerated by
the Council, and we have specific procedures to deal with such allegations. The
Fairness at Work procedure is regularly reviewed to ensure that it continues to reflect
best practice and that all employees are aware of the support and advice available if
they experience harassment. It also identifies the option of mediation for cases
where both parties feel this would be an appropriate way to address concerns and
reverse any discriminatory actions or practices. Staff have been trained in mediation
skills to ensure this option is available.

We also have a ‘whistle blowing ‘procedure, which extends the protection for
employees who want to report bad practice without fear of being victimised as a
result.

Service Delivery

The Council intends that all of its services should be fully accessible to all parts of the
community. Over the coming three years we will, focus on a range of work designed
to build on the initial programme in our first two Race Equality Schemes. In particular,
we will be continuing the programme of Equality Impact Assessments which are
designed to highlight and eliminate any factors which indirectly discriminate by
making a service less accessible to particular groups.

We will review our consultation processes to ensure that all communities have an
opportunity to influence and inform the decisions that are made on their behalf and to
promote and encourage involvement by increasing the capacity of those groups to
participate in the consultation process. By doing this we will better understand the
needs of all our communities which will help us to improve access to and satisfaction
with all our services.

The development of a Community Cohesion Group working with partner
organisations such as the police and the County Council will allow us to develop a
local community cohesion action plan. Increased resources within community
development will enable us to improve engagement with Crawley’s diverse
communities to encourage greater cohesion and integration.

Some services already use monitoring information to develop services which meet
the needs of all communities within Crawley. In Community Services, this has
highlighted that, relative to population composition, participation from ethnic minority
communities in sport and physical activity is lower than participation across the whole
community. This data has been used to prioritise new work aimed at increasing
participation from these communities including a successful bid to the Big Lottery
Fund to support targeted sports development work with Black and Minority Ethnic
Communities and a number of Programmes being developed through the Health and
Well Being Partnership. Participation will be monitored through the annual Active
People Survey and there is a commitment to undertake benchmarking at K2 on a
three yearly basis. We will continue to develop monitoring arrangements across our
services to identify barriers and concerns and to improve access and satisfaction
levels.

The BME Housing Strategy which was formally adopted by the Council in 2008 will
focus on understanding more about the needs and aspirations of the different
communities living in Crawley, ensuring equality of opportunity and race equality in
access to housing and other related services and working with partners to ensure
that housing and related services are appropriate to the diverse cultures that exist
within the town.




                                            10
Crawley Homes have developed service standards for improving access to housing
services for members of the BME community and will now focus on reviewing their
racial harassment policy each year to ensure that it continues to support victims of
racial harassment and enables them to remain within their homes.




                                         11
Chapter 7
Information, Consultation and Communication

Community engagement and involvement is an important part of how the Council can
continue to develop its services to ensure these meet the needs of local people. We
are also committed to providing a workplace culture that respects the individuality of
our workforce and promotes equality.

To ensure the contents of this Scheme meet the above objectives, a wide-ranging
internal and external consultation process has been undertaken.

Within the Council the following stakeholders have been consulted:

   •   Staff, including members of the BME support group
   •   Trade Unions

The following organisations and partners have been approached for their views on
the approach the Council has decided to take:


   •   Crawley Ethnic Minorities Partnership (CEMP)
   •   Moroccan Workers Association
   •   Bangladeshi Welfare Association
   •   Crawley Kashmiri Women’s Welfare Association
   •   Crawley Tamil Human Rights Association
   •   Crawley Local Strategic Partnership – various organisations



The consultation process is now complete and feedback from the community and
through our internal mechanisms indicates that they are satisfied that the scheme
sets out realistic milestones.

The Council recognises the importance of informing both the community and its
workforce of what the race equality duty means to people and how we intend to
deliver our social responsibilities.

It is important to be clear however, that the ongoing development of this scheme and
others like it, must be driven from the involvement of the community and workforce
concerned, and driven by the needs, priorities and barriers to be addressed that have
been identified by them.

To do this we will continue to work with our existing internal and external networks
and explore partnership working with other organisations or community groups to
establish effective consultation methods for the future development of this scheme.

To ensure that the scheme remains relevant it will be reviewed in its entirety in 2012,
the input of our community will be key to the development of our objectives and
priorities.

The contents of this scheme are part of our overall equality and diversity policy
framework and this document will be made available to the whole of Crawley’s
community and the workforce through a variety of printed and electronic means,
including the Council’s website and intranet.

We will continue to keep our arrangements for providing information in community
language formats under regular review to ensure that information is available in
community languages on request. We will also ensure that a summary of the Race
Equality Scheme is available to those who request it.
Chapter 8
Monitoring and reviewing the Scheme
It is clear that the Race Equality Scheme will only be genuinely effective if all the
actions and commitments within it are implemented and completed.

Heads of Service will have responsibility for the initial monitoring and review of the
action plan. Progress on the action plan and further areas for development are fed
back through the Corporate Equalities Champion to the Corporate Management
Team and the Member Champion for Equalities.

At a Directorate level the actions identified by the Scheme are incorporated into the
relevant directorate service plans, with annual reviews and impact assessments
incorporated as part of this process.

The rolling 3-year impact assessment programme currently under development will
provide a framework for the ongoing review of services, with new policies and
functions being reviewed through the service planning process.

Progress on the actions identified by this scheme will be published in an annual
report and made publicly available. The progression of specific actions throughout
the year will be reported through relevant Committee Reports and information
available on the Council’s website.
Chapter 9
Comments and Complaints
We believe in continual improvement, and are very keen to hear what people think of
Crawley Borough Council’s services.

For individuals wishing to make contact with the Council in relation to the
development of this scheme, including the identification of issues and barriers being
faced by people from BME backgrounds, the responsible officer is:

Lucasta Grayson Head of HR & Development
Crawley Borough Council
Town Hall
The Boulevard
Crawley
RH10 1UZ

Tel: 01293 438 213
Fax: 01293 438 600
Minicom: 01293 405 202
E-mail: lucasta.grayson@crawley.gov.uk

Members of the local community can raise race issues with their local Councillor or
through the West Sussex Racist Incident Reporting Team at Chichester on 01243
382948.

In addition, mechanisms are in place to ensure concerns over race issues from
members of staff are addressed through various routes. These include:

•   Discussing concerns with line managers
•   Raising issues with the Staff Forum
•   Use of the Whistle-blowing Policy and Procedure
•   The Grievance Procedure
•   Fairness at Work Procedure
•   Health and Safety Policies and Procedures

Unison can also be contacted through the Unison main office on 01293 438481.

Publication of the Race Equality Scheme

A copy of the Scheme can be obtained from the Human Resources and
Development Division, Crawley Borough Council, Town Hall, The Boulevard,
Crawley, RH10 1UZ, and is also available via the Council’s website
(www.crawley.gov.uk).

				
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