Decision details

Draft Equality Objectives and Equality Strategy 2024/28

Decision Maker: Community, Cultural, and Corporate Services Scrutiny Committee

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Purpose:

This report is presented in response to the Committee's request to consider a Workforce Equalities Strategy. In response to changes within the County Council and the reflection of equality, diversity and inclusion within the People Strategy, the Equality Strategy has been developed. It is a new document which will support the County Council over the next four years to develop further as an inclusive and respectful employer, deliver inclusive services more consistently which meet the needs of diverse communities, encourage greater participation from all citizens in our activities and ensure the general aims of the Equality Act 2010 are met and evidenced. It aligns with other County Council Strategies such as the People Strategy and Digital First Strategy.

Decisions:

The Chair welcomed County Councillor Peter Buckley, Cabinet Member for Communities and Cultural Services, Lucy Thompson, Director of People, and Jeanette Binns - Equality & Cohesion Team: Equality Act & Equality Analysis Lead to the meeting.

 

The Draft Equality Strategy 2024 - 2028 was presented. The strategy had been developed to support e further progress of the county council as an inclusive and respectful employer and a provider of inclusive services which met the needs of diverse communities. The strategy aimed to encourage greater participation and understanding of citizens in the county council activities and ensured the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 and the general aims of the Public Sector Equality Duty were being met and evidenced.

 

A presentation was also provided, a copy of which was attached to the agenda.

 

Comments and queries raised from the committee were as follows:

 

·  Since the Lancashire County Council Highways and Transport Strategy covered a wider area than the Bus Improvement Plan, it was suggested that the wording in the Equality and Accessibility Strategy be amended from "Bus Improvement Plan" to "Lancashire County Council Highways and Transport Strategy". 

 

· In addition, it was requested that the Equality and Accessibility Strategy 2024–28 be referred to the Environment, Economic Growth, and Transport Scrutiny Committee for them to consider the relevant elements of the strategy, and ensure services were inclusive and accessible, such as through the Lancashire County Council Highways and Transport Strategy.

 

·  The committee asked if it was possible for statistics to be provided to the committee on the number of staff who may had left the Authority due to abuse.

 

·  Although it was noted that Lancashire County Council was among the best of Local Authorities in terms of the collection of data, it was asked if consideration could be given to using Webber Origins software by Richard Webber to do some profiling work for Lancashire to help gain a better understanding of the county council workforce.

 

·  The committee appreciated the fact that county council officers contacted the equality team early in the work they were doing to obtain an equality impact assessment, if required, and the committee commended officers for the efforts they had made to make venues and offices more accessible to those with disabilities. 

 

·  The Public Sector Equality Duty and gender equality were discussed by the committee, with particular attention paid to Black and Minority Ethnic women obtaining senior positions within an organisation, and it was noted that further research was required to examine career advancement within an organisation.

 

·  It was requested that wording in the strategy be amended from "Citizen" to "Resident".

 

The Chair thanked the Cabinet Member and officers for their presentation and for answering the committees' questions.

 

Resolved: That the following recommendations be shared with the Cabinet Member for Communities and Cultural Services:

 

i.  That consideration be given to the following suggestions made by the committee, prior to the Draft Equality Objectives and Equality Strategy 2024 - 28 being presented to Cabinet for approval:

 

a.  To amend wording in the Equality and Accessibility Strategy under Ensure Services are Inclusive and Accessible from Bus Improvement Plan to LCC Highways and Transport Strategy. 

 

b.  Amend wording in the strategy from Citizen to Resident.

 

ii.  The Equality Objectives and Equality Strategy 2024 - 28 to the Environment, Economic Growth, and Transport Scrutiny Committee for them to consider relevant elements such as ensuring services are inclusive and accessible, for example through the LCC Highways and Transport Strategy.

 

iii.  Consideration be given to using Webber Origins software by Richard Webber to do some profiling for Lancashire to help gain a better understanding of our workforce involving the Director of People. 

 

iv.  If available, statistics about the number of people who have left the organisation due to abuse.

 

Corporate Priorities : Delivering better services;

Divisions Affected: (All Divisions);

Contact: Jeanette Binns Email: jeanette.binns@lancashire.gov.uk, Misbah Mahmood Email: Misbah.Mahmood@lancashire.gov.uk Tel: 01772 530818, Saeed Sidat Email: saeed.sidat@lancashire.gov.uk Tel: 01772 536118.

Report author: Jeanette Binns

Date of decision: 21/05/2024

Decided at meeting: 21/05/2024 - Community, Cultural, and Corporate Services Scrutiny Committee

Accompanying Documents: