How we deliver equality

Achieving the highest level of the Equality Framework for Local Government has been critical to delivering our commitment to equality. The framework is a nationally recognised tool used to measure progress on mainstreaming diversity and equality across organisations. In January 2010 we were the second council in the country to be assessed at ‘Excellent’, the highest level of the framework. We have now set ourselves the target of being re-accredited at the ‘Excellent’ level in February 2014.

Our commitment to equality is supported by a number of legal duties that require us to promote equality and eliminate discrimination. These provide important tools to help further embed diversity and equality in the culture of the organisation. We believe we have a strong moral and social duty to recognise that discrimination takes place, that tensions can sometimes exist between different communities, and to do everything we can to challenge prejudice and discrimination and promote better understanding and respect.

We recognise that delivering this commitment can only be achieved through building sustainable partnerships. We will deliver our commitment by:

  • building on our good practice
  • involving all sectors of our community in the design, review and scrutiny of our service delivery and employment practices
  • promoting information and access to our services in accessible ways
  • carrying out quality analyses of new and existing policies and practices to make sure that they will not discriminate against anyone
  • delivering services which are appropriate, flexible and responsive to the needs of the community
  • removing barriers which deny people access to our services
  • using our powers to make sure that organisations providing services on our behalf work in line with this policy
  • promoting an environment which gives all residents an equal chance to learn, work and live free of discrimination and prejudice
  • developing a workforce which reflects at all levels the community we serve
  • making sure that all employees and councillors know the effects of this policy and are provided with appropriate training
  • making sure that all employees (and the resident communities) know about their rights of protection from discrimination, harassment or bullying
  • developing and promoting policies which give everyone equal access to employment and related opportunities
  • setting performance targets so we can measure our progress.

Our Single Equality Framework explains how we will deliver upon our commitment each year. We regularly review, assess and evaluate our progress and address any areas of under-performance and weaknesses in policy and practice.