Agenda and minutes
Contact: Jill Pickering Democracy Officer
Declarations of Interest
At this point Members are asked to declare any personal or prejudicial interests they may have in the business on this agenda.
The Chair invited Members to declare at this point any personal or prejudicial interests they might have in the business on the agenda, in addition to the standing declarations below:
Cllr King – as a member of the Access Group
Cllr Potter – as Older People’s Champion
Cllr Scott – as Young People’s Champion
No further interests were declared.
To approve and sign the minutes of the last meeting of the Group held on 17 January 2007. An “easy read” version of these minutes is also attached for Members’ consideration.
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the last meeting of the Social Inclusion Working Group held on 17 January 2007 be signed as a correct record and the “easy read” version be noted.
At this point in the meeting members of the public who have registered their wish to speak regarding an item on the agenda or an issue within the Panel’s remit can do so. Anyone who wishes to register or requires further information is requested to contact the Democracy Officer on the contact details listed at the foot of this agenda. The deadline for registering is Tuesday 20 March 2007 at 5.00pm.
There were no registered speakers at the meeting under the Councils Public Participation Scheme.
In November 2006 the Social Inclusion Working Group considered options for developing the effective involvement of young people in the Group and the various community forums that sent representatives to it. This report outlines the steps that have been taken to implement the recommendations.
Members considered a report, which detailed steps that had been taken since the November meeting of the Group to implement the recommendations for developing the effective involvement of young people in the Group.
Officers had undertaken discussions with the various forums and it was now hoped to develop a network of young people from each of the relevant communities (i.e. BME young people, disabled young people, and LGBT young people) which could then develop close links with the forum itself, and maybe send a young person’s representative along to the SIWG meetings. These networks once established could also feed into events organised for schools councils in autumn ensuring that these had a strong emphasis on social inclusion and equalities. If resources were found the groups could work with a Forum Theatre company to develop a performance on social inclusion for young people at the autumn event.
The Chair confirmed that it was proposed to use the remaining £3280 Equalities Team budget for Social Inclusion for the employment of an outreach worker to provide development support for this work and to fund the cost of engaging with equality and social inclusion issues at the Schools Council events.
Cllr Scott queried the wording of para. 2.3 which stated that it had been agreed that he would, as Children and Young Person’s Champion, attend meetings to advocate on behalf of young people. The role would be to articulate the views of young people as had already been expressed through consultation and involvement activity, as recorded on the consultation database.
Members supported the involvement of young people in both primary and secondary schools and the possible involvement of school drama groups to produce a forum theatre production relating to social inclusion to present to their peers.
Members also pointed out that the secondary school event at the Mansion House, hosted by the Lord Mayor, could include a social inclusion item. Concerns were raised that the Group had now been meeting for a year and no input had yet been received from any young people other than from the Young People’s Champion.
RESOLVED: i) That the Social Inclusion Working Group support the way forward proposed in the report for the effective involvement of young people in the Social Inclusion Working Group and the use of the remaining funds in the Equalities budget to support this work.
ii)That Officers report back to the Group on progress made with this work in September 2007.
REASON: To develop a more comprehensive and inclusive means of involving young people in issues of social inclusion and equality.
Centre for Independent Living (CIL)
To receive an update from Cllr Sue Galloway on progress with the setting up of a Centre for Independent Living in York.
Members received an update report from Cllr Sue Galloway on progress with the setting up of a Centre for Independent Living in York (CIL).
Cllr Galloway reported that, following production of the report “From Client to Citizen: A CIL for York? by Lynn Jeffries and Alison Cowen further discussions had now been undertaken. Arising out of these discussions two differing strands had appeared, the first had been whether to just supply information from a virtual office or secondly whether to provide a true centre with practical equipment which could be tested e.g. stair lift, room chairs etc. It had therefore been decided to set up a forum, similar to the Valuing People Board, with an independent chair, to progress this further. The PCT and CYC would be unable to fund this project individually but it was hoped that funds could be attracted in partnership.
Members questioned linking up with the technologist at York University where a house had been set up on these lines. Reference was also made to the existing equipment store which demonstrated equipment and that it would be more convenient if the wheelchair centre at Clifton was to move to adjoining premises.
RESOLVED: That the update be noted and a further update be made to the Group following the setting up of the forum.
REASON: To update Members on the feasibility of setting up a Centre for Independent Living in York.
Sexual Orientation Monitoring
To receive an update on the most appropriate way of collecting data about sexuality from the Lesbian, Gay Bisexual Transgender Forum (LGBT).
Pete Blackburn updated Members that the Council had asked the York and District LGBT Forum on the most appropriate ways of collecting data about sexuality, details of which were circulated at the meeting. He stated that members of the Forum had felt that a ‘Strategic Working Group’ made up of LGBT forum representatives, council members and senior officers should be set up to examine the provision of better and more relevant services for LGBT people in and around York.
He explained that the key areas that had been identified that would make a real difference to the lives of LGBT people were:
Members confirmed that the proposal was an excellent idea and that representatives were required at a strategic level in the authority and any information collected should be done in a sympathetic manner. Concerns were raised at what the data would then be used for, any data protection issues and if the information collected could be anonymised . Officers confirmed that some of this information had been included in the Councils staff survey and that the individual had a choice whether or not to complete this section.
Peter Blackburn confirmed that Aberdeenshire Council had recently undertaken a similar survey and that he was sure that the problems raised by Members would also have been encountered by them in their survey work.
RESOLVED: That the update be noted and that the Groups support be given to the setting up of a Strategic Working Group to examine the best way of collecting data about sexuality.
REASON: To enable the Social Inclusion Working Group to analyse trends and influence improvements in equality monitoring and to highlight these issues.
To consider the Forward Plan for future meetings of the Social Inclusion Working Group.
Consideration was given to the circulated Forward Plan for future meetings of the Group for 2007/08, this showed items inside a circle, which were key events that may have an effect on the group’s agenda. Outside the circle were the proposed meeting agenda and each agenda had been designed as a whole to relate to important events such as the corporate strategy. Issues raised by the forums had not been included as it was considered that additional items should come from the forums direct. Members were asked to give further consideration to the Plan.
The Chair reported that the next meeting of the Group was not scheduled until Tuesday 10 July in the Councils draft diary but as soon as the dates were finalised they would be forwarded to Members.
Members raised the following items for future meetings:
RESOLVED: That the Forward Plan for 2007/08 as circulated be noted as a working document subject to the addition of the above additional items.
RESOLVED: To focus the future work of the Social Inclusion Working Group.
Community Forums Reports and Feedback
The Chair reported that the community reports and feedback had previously been agreed as a regular agenda item and that its purpose was to receive notes or minutes from meetings of the forums involved in the Groups work. Unfortunately no notes or minutes had been received and a request was made for forums to send copies to Jill Pickering, preferably by email to enable them to become part of future agenda.
i) LGBT Forum
Peter Blackburn circulated a copy of details of the emerging York and District LGBT Forum and updated members on the background to the Forum. He stated that the forum currently had over 70 members and that the first edition of their newsletter, which would be produced on a quarterly basis, was near completion and would be sent to all members. He reported that arrangements were being made for a ‘Pride Picnic’ on 19 August 2007.
ii) International Women’s Day/Festival
Sue Lister referred to problems she had encountered in organising the York Women’s Festival, which had unfortunately coincided with the York Literature Festival. She expressed concerns that they had been unable to obtain funding and following an evaluation of the events it appeared that a number of workshops had had no attendees. She asked the Group for support in the arrangement of a future event.
Members referred to the Yortime website which listed details of possible funding avenues. It was pointed out that the broader issue of raising the profile of women and the various groups could be addressed through discussion at the next meeting when consideration was given to the Gender Equality Duty.
iii) Living Islam
Cllr Potter reported that she had recently attended an excellent course run by the Leeds Church Institute on what it was like being a Muslim in Great Britain. If the chance ever arose she recommended attendance at this training course.