Equalities and diversity
Find out information about the council's approach to equality and diversity.
Development of our equality objectives
As part of the equality duty, Uttlesford District Council compiled and published a wide variety of equality related data on the 31 January 2012. The Equality Information and the Equality Duty has been updated for 2017 .
The Public Sector Equality Duty is made up of a general equality duty which is supported by specific duties. Under the terms of the specific duty, the Council must:
- Prepare and publish one or more objectives that will support the council in meeting the requirements of the general Equality Duty
- Ensure that those objectives are specific and measurable
- Publish those objectives in such a manner that they are accessible to the public
Reviewing the consultation responses to the Single Equality Duty, the aims of the Corporate Plan and the themes of the Local Strategic Partnership we have identified two objectives.
The equality objectives
a. To develop an improved level of understanding of Uttlesford's community and its needs through data gathering, research and community mapping.
- Specific action. Create an Equalities monitoring system that ensures equalities is included in customer service questionnaires and service user surveys, building on the information accessed from the Census and engaging with our community to inform them as to why this information is required.
b. To continue to work to improve access to and take-up of Council Services by developing engagement across all the protected equality groups.
- Specific action. Continue to support and organise events and projects that promote and celebrate equalities such as the Tenant Forum, Citizens Panel, Disability Forum, Ageing Well Forum, International Day for Older People, LGBT History month, Disability History Month, Community Partnership work around age, community safety, domestic violence, hate crime
The council will be engaging with members of the public, voluntary organisations, staff and trade unions to demonstrate that their earlier input has informed our objectives, particularly in a community that we recognise is changing.
The Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act 2010 came into effect on 1 October 2010 and brings together, harmonises and extends current equality law. The existing anti-discrimination laws have been consolidated into a single Act, which has been introduced to strengthen the laws preventing discrimination and the inequalities that still exist in society today.
The Equality Act has also created changes to earlier legislation and includes discrimination previously unrecognised in legislation. In essence, it creates a new duty on public bodies to tackle discrimination, promote equality of opportunity and encourage good community relations.
The term protected characteristics has replaced equality strands for describing the protected traits held by groups or individuals under anti-discrimination and equality legislation. The earlier separate duties for disability, gender and race have been replaced with a single, more effective framework and the newcovers:
- Gender Reassignment
- Marriage and Civil Partnership
- Pregnancy and Maternity
- Religion or Belief
- Sexual Orientation
For the purposes of Equality Impact assessments undertaken by the Council, we also consider 'Rurality' due to the nature of the district.
Equality impact assessments
Uttlesford District Council is carrying out equality impact assessments on the services we deliver, our policies, functions, strategies and procedures as part of the work on equality for local government. This includes existing policies, new policies or those which are being changed. The Equality Impact Assessment is a legal requirement under the Equality Act 2010 and aims to improve the work of the council by making sure it does not discriminate in the way that it provides services and employment and that, where possible, it does all it can to promote equality and good relations for the community and various minority groups. Assessments accompany key decisions and can be found on the council's committee system.
Uttlesford District Council is pleased to publish its Equality Information as required by the Public Sector Equality Duty.
The council is committed to equality of opportunity in our approach to service delivery, employment and being a community leader. We are committed to identifying, understanding and eliminating all barriers that prevent access to services, information and employment.
We are committed to ensuring that our equality information is as up to date as possible and will be reviewing it on a regular basis to include new data available from sources such as the Census 2011. The Equality Information and the Equality Duty has been updated for 31 January 2020.
As a community leader and service provider, the council believes that no person should be treated unfairly and is committed to eliminate all forms of discrimination in compliance with our, which sets out the council's aims and objectives for equality.
The council's Cabinet is recommending the Full Council adopt the new Equality Policy at its meeting on 8 December.