Tower Hamlets Council

Question:
Tower Hamlets Council
Answer:

Data

We recognise the value of reporting ethnicity pay gap data and have been publishing this as part of our Gender Pay Gap on an annual basis since 2018. We will improve the way we communicate this to our staff and the community to ensure the information is accessible and details the ethnic profile of our senior leadership.        

  1. We will undertake a detailed analysis of ethnicity pay gap data to form a comprehensive understanding of why the gap exists, the areas of the organisation where the gap is most prominent, and this will inform a range of options as to how we can close the gap and investment and time required to do so.
  2. We have reviewed the way we collect and monitor equalities data on service users. We will implement actions to improve data collection and analysis which will better inform decision making and access to services. 

Targeted interventions

  1. We understand that we have many different communities in our borough who each have their own cultural beliefs and nuanced needs. As we implement our action plan to respond to the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Inequalities Commission’s recommendations we will ensure that interventions are tailored and consider the specific needs of each community.
  2. We will ensure, where appropriate, decision making is supported by an analysis of the impact on each of the borough’s Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities
  3. We will work closely with our partners and community organisations to understand the needs of our different communities.
  4. Where we engage residents in the co-design of services and commissioning projects, we will ensure all voices from the community are represented.
  5. We will ensure that all consultations reach out to the borough’s different communities.
  6. We will enable anonymised application process in LBTH e-recruitment system and ensure all recruitment panels are diverse.We will regularly provide a refresher on recruitment practice for all managers in order for them to have a licence to practice.
  7. We will develop a talent and succession pool, as part of implementation of the People and Wellbeing Strategy, which will include a focus on how Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff can be developed for success in progression.
  8. We will support Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff to attend range of national, regional and local leadership training programmes. We will continue to work with our staff BAME Network to encourage and support our Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic staff to increase take up of our leadership development offer.
  9. We will deliver a Cultural Leadership Programme which equips leaders and managers with a range of tools, skill and knowledge to ensure LBTH becomes culturally competent. This includes development of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic mentoring and coaching.
  10. We will deliver an Anti-Racism Education programme for staff which will be a series of events/workshops and interventions that educate, challenge, and grow inclusivity and recognising difference.

Targets

  1. As part of the council’s strategic plan, which sets the aims and objectives for the organisation and is the main business planning document, we will include a commitment to measure the top 5 per cent of earners who are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.
  2. We have set a target to ensure 35 per cent of the top 5 per cent of earners are from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds in 2021/2022. This will be reviewed annually as part of the council’s target setting policy to ensure we continue to grow representation at our most senior levels and delivers year on year improvement.
  3. Following detailed analysis of gender and ethnicity pay gap we will develop strategy to address issues identified including how this can support greater representation at senior level.

Influence

We recognise the ability and responsibility we hold to shape and influence the equality principles of organisations throughout our procurement policies. We do business with organisations with differing resources and capacity. We do not want to discourage any organisation from bidding for our contracts and will ask each organisation to provide a proportionate response which is making every possible effort to comply with our anti-racist commitments.

  1. Organisations who are awarded a contract by the council must sign up to the Tower Hamlets Anti-Racist Pledge. We will include a requirement for organisations to demonstrate how they will be anti-racist in all our contract specifications and as part of the selection process. During the life of the contract we will monitor this through our contract monitoring and require contractors to demonstrate the efforts they have made to improve their diversity and realise the commitments in their pledge

  2. We will hold information sessions for all organisations bidding for a council contract to ensure they are aware of the equality and diversity principles the council expects to see demonstrated if they are successful in bidding for the contract. Training and support will be given to them through this session to ensure they fully understand the requirements placed on them.

  3. We will ensure council officers involved in tender submissions are comprehensively trained to identify, understand, and score the anti-racist principles organisations must demonstrate.

Awareness and communication

We will publish our pledge on the council website and communicate this through our social media channels, newsletters, short videos in different community languages. We will communicate to our staff and members through internal communication channels including attending meetings and events to raise awareness and support to delivery our pledge commitments. 

The progress against the pledge will form a key part of our Corporate Equality Board and Strategic Plan.

Additional commitments

  1. We will review data and insights from our community to ensure we identify new communities and we are able to meet their needs.
  2. We will work with London Councils on the tackling racial equality in London Programme.
  3. We will support a voluntary and community sector race equality network to ensure race equality is driven by the community. 
  4. We will establish a local recognition scheme to foster a shared anti-racist culture and drive improvements in organisations equality and diversity policies, and champion best practice.
  5. We will deliver an  innovative and powerful anti-racist curriculum  project with schools in Tower Hamlets which will  ‘decolonise’ the curriculum and establish the difference between non-racism and racism, and what that means in a school setting. This will include a discussion with the Senior Leadership Team of each school to audit how the curriculum is delivered and give practical advice around changes and reforms to embed broader perspectives.

As system leaders we will work with our partners to drive this agenda to ensure collectively we can make a difference.

Signed pledge

By signing this pledge on behalf of my organisation, I pledge that we will address the issues identified, monitor our progress on an annual basis, and agree to be held accountable for the
delivery of our actions.

Organisation: London Borough of Tower Hamlets   

Name and role: John Biggs, Executive Mayor

John Biggs' signature