Agenda and minutes
Venue: Clementhorpe Room, Priory Street, York
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.
Members were invited to declare at this point in the meeting any personal of prejudicial interests they might have in the business on the agenda.
Councillor Potter declared a general personal non-prejudicial interest as the Older People’s Champion.
Councillor Alexander declared a general personal non-prejudicial interest as he worked at York St John University and as a candidate for the Young People’s Champion.
To approve and sign the minutes of the last meeting of the Group held on 16 January 2008. 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 16 January 2008 be approved and signed by the Chair 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 Groups 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 11 March at 5.00pm.
It was reported that there had been no registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.
This report outlines the principles that will guide the distribution of Social Inclusion Working Group project budgets in the future and members are requested to approve these principles.
Members considered a report, which outlined the principles, which would guide the distribution of Social Inclusion project budgets for this financial year and for the future.
At the Groups Development Day on 25 February 2008 the community representative and elected members had jointly considered possible principles and had felt that projects requesting support from the budget should:
1. Contribute to Social Inclusion Working Group objectives and agreed yearly work plans
2. Support the engagement of the widest audience in each of the six Equality strands i.e. Gender, Race, Disability, Sexual Orientation, Religion and Belief, and Age
3. Aim to engage hard-to-reach groups within each strand
4. Explore new or emerging issues
5. Be innovative and not previously tried
6. Not be main running costs, which will not be funded
7. Receive priority when brought forward by a number of community groups and covering a number of Equality strands
In answer to questions the Officers confirmed that money allocated from this years budget had been raised by cheque and would be forwarded to the community groups, together with the grant agreements, early next week.
RESOLVED: That the seven principles outlined above, agreed on the Development Day, be approved as a guide for the distribution of the Groups budget in this and future financial years.
REASON: To facilitate the business of the Group in 2008/09 and beyond.
This report summarises discussions during the Development Day on 25 February 2008 between members and community group representatives regarding membership of the Group. Members are requested to approve the involvement of expert witnesses in future Group meetings.
Members considered a report, which summarised discussions regarding possible improvements and additions to membership of the Group during the recent Development Day.
Officers confirmed that there had been extensive discussions on the membership issues, the key points of which were set out in Annex 1 to the report. A suggestion had been made to invite expert witnesses to future meetings to provide information and knowledge about specific issues. It was hoped that representative from the Primary Care Trust and Education Services could be invited to all future meetings of the Group. Heather Rice stated that Rachel Johns, who was the newly appointed, Associate Director of Public Health (York and Health Improvement), would be a useful contact for PCT representation.
The following witnesses had been suggested:
a. York Travellers Trust, to inform traveller issues
b. York Humanists, to inform non religion/belief issues
c. Young people invited in consultation with and supported by Steve Rouse, the youth worker who is currently commissioned by SIWG to work with young people, to inform specific issues such as intergenerational projects.
d. User representatives from Valuing People Partnership and York People First to inform learning disabilities and mental health issues
e. People from York Access Group to inform mobility issues
f. Representatives from Higher York to progress higher education student inclusion
g. Following investigation to identify relevant groups in the City, invite representatives from women’s groups, men’s groups and transgender groups to assist with gender issues.
h. Representatives from the Primary Care Trust and Education services to assist with and inform service issues arising in these areas.
Members referred to the representatives from Higher York, referred to in point f) “to progress higher education student inclusion” and which they felt may work against social inclusion and suggestions were made to amend this to relate to the Students Union and Higher Education Institutions.
Some Members referred to the point made at the Development Day that there were too many elected members on the Group and questioned how this could be addressed. The Chair stated that any changes to the numbers of members on the Group would require changes to the Constitution and agreement by Council. Other Members pointed out that there was a need for as many elected members as possible to hear the views of the group but just not to override them.
Heather Rice confirmed that these were all valid points and that the group should be looking at improving links. She stated that there was a need to raise the group’s profile which required a communication plan perhaps with the preparation of edited highlights of groups meetings for circulation at corporate Management Team meetings and to community group members. Officers confirmed that they were to meet with Ward Committees, at the end of the month, with a view to ascertaining how these could link up with the group.
RESOLVED: i) That the contents of the report be noted.
ii) That approval given to the attendance of expert witnesses as detailed on page 28 of ... view the full minutes text for item 37.
This report outlines progress, to December 2007, on each of the six improvement themes of “Pride in our Communities”, the Council’s Equality Strategy and plans for 2005-08.
Members considered a report, which detailed progress to December 2007, with each of the six improvement themes of Pride in Our Communities, the Council’s Equality Strategy and plans for 2005-08.
The Equalities Officer, gave an overview and summary of the main successes in the last year which included:
In answer to members questions, Heather confirmed that the employment equality statistics, detailed on page 48, related to the 2003 Annual Population Survey and that the Authority did not have a further breakdown of the figures. She agreed that further work was required in profiling to obtain accurate up to date figures.
Members also questioned at what Inspection Level the Authority were at following changes to the Equality Standard for Local Government. The Equality Officer confirmed that the Authority had not yet been assessed following these changes. She confirmed that the standard had been raised and detailed what work would be required to achieve Level 3. She also confirmed that she would let members of the group have details of what work would be required to meet each of the inspection levels.
Sue Lister commented that the Strategy did not appear to include reference to the 50 plus age group and as older people were part of the City she asked that this was kept in mind, particularly the involvement of the various strands in the yearly York 50 + Festival. Jack Archer also questioned how the new Equalities Legislation would affect older people.
The Equalities Officer, stated that government department policies were being challenged in relation to age, gender, disability and race and that policy decisions were now being made with these in mind.
RESOLVED: That the contents of the Pride in Our Communities Equality Strategy and plans for 2005-08 and the progress made to December 2007 be noted.
REASON: To keep members updated on progress with Equalities.
The report summarises issues that the Council need to consider and take on board in its Equality Strategy and schemes during 2008-2011. In connection with this, Members are requested to approve a one off grant to each of the five community groups, currently co-opted to the Group.
The Group considered a report, which summarised issues that the Council needed to consider and take on board in its Equality strategy and schemes for 2008-2011.
Members were asked to approve a one off grant totalling £1,250 to be shared between five community groups who were currently co-opted to the SIWG. This would allow them to consult with people from the six equality strands about issues that needed to be considered in the context of the Council’s refreshed Equality Strategy and schemes for 2008-2011. Officers reported that feedback was required from the Groups by the end of May 2008 to enable their points to be fed back into the strategy.
Group members expressed concern that there would be insufficient time for them to consult their members and provide genuine feedback in the short time available. They also requested proactive engagement with the individual groups to assist with their input into the strategy and assistance with the development of the draft questionnaire. The Equalities Officer confirmed that the May date was driven by the Strategy but there was no reason why any additional feedback could not be taken into account during the next financial year.
RESOLVED: i) That the Group note the contents of the report.
ii) That approval be given to making one off grants of £250 to each of the following groups to assist with consultation on the Council’s Equality Strategy. 2008-2011:
· Older People’s Assembly
· York Racial Equality Network
· York Interfaith Forum
· York LGBT Forum
· Disabled Peoples Forum via the Council’s Equalities Team
iii)That Officers contact each of the groups to assist them with their input into the Strategy.
REASON: To collect the views of as many equality strand groups as possible to inform the refreshed Equality strategy and schemes 2008-2011.
This report considers the principles, which guide Social Inclusion Working Group work planning, and recommends priority topics for 2008/09.
Consideration was given to this report which considered the principles which guided Social Inclusion Working Group work planning and which recommended priority topics for consideration during 2008/09.
The Chair referred to Annex 1 of the report, which listed the principles, and topics identified by the Group at its Development Day in February. Members then broke into three groups (Groups A, B and C) to put forward their prioritised work plans for the Group. Officers confirmed that these plans would be used to make a list of priority topics for the first six months of the 2008/09 calendar year, for consideration at the next meeting.
The following priority topics had been identified and the various Groups priorities were shown against each:
Group C stated that they felt that they had been unable to prioritise the topics as they felt some should be classed as topics, some as agenda items and others could form part of a development day. This group had felt that they had a responsibility to the CPA improvement, to BME women, to the Council and to the changing demographics in York.
Cllr Watt made reference to the young/old generation gap and he felt that priority should be given to examining this in context to the different strands.
RESOLVED: i) That the work planning principles outlined in Part a of Annex 1 of the report be approved.
ii) That the list of priority topics agreed by the individual groups be used by the Officers to prepare the SIWG Forward Plan for the first six months of the 2008/09 calendar year, for consideration at the next meeting.
REASON: To facilitate the business of the Group in 2008/09.
To consider the following updates:
a) Verbal reports from the Chair and Vice Chair regarding community group surgeries.
b) Verbal presentation from the Disability Forum Project Leader.
c) Verbal reports from community groups regarding their activity in 2007/08 and in particular their contributions to SIWG objectives.
d) Inclusive York Forum minutes from their meeting held on 12 December 2007 (attached).
The Chair and Vice Chair confirmed that they were continuing to meet community groups. They indicated that if any groups wished them to attend any of their meetings could they contact them direct.
Sam Holmes, from the University of York, reported that he was the Disability Forum Project Leader, one of 6 students who had volunteered to take part in a mapping exercise to consult groups in the city about their perceptions regarding the disabled. It was proposed to compile a report of their findings in a couple of months. There was to be a meeting on 28 March for the researchers to meet disabled people and their carers. The Equalities Officer stated that any support the Group could offer the students would be welcome.
The Older Peoples Assembly reported on their last meeting which had looked at a number of issues which included the Intergenerational Photo Exhibition, gas and electric price rises, Age Friendly York, Home Appreciation Loans, the Champions report and York Vale Carers. They also circulated copies of their 50+ Spring 2008 news letter for information. All members were invited to attend the next YOPA open meeting (2.00pm, Monday 17 March 2008, Central Methodist Church, St Saviourgate) when the speaker would be Richard Eames, Manager, First York.
Jan Jauncey of York Interfaith, circulated their recently updated calendar of events for 2008. Jan explained that she had only joined the SIWG in 2007 but that there had been a number of highlights to report which included the preparation of a constitution for their group, the bringing together of different faiths and their concerns, the setting up of a website www.yorkinterfaith.org, and the organisation of a joint meeting with Scarborough Interfaith. She reported they had prepared a very active programme for the forthcoming year. This included working more closely with the Mosque in Bull Lane, York, examining the options relating to organ donation and their contribution to the Face to Face & Side by Side consultation, a framework for interfaith dialogue & social action.
The Group noted receipt of the Inclusive York Forum minutes from their meeting held on 12 December 2007, circulated with the agenda.
The Chair thanked the Group for their updates and in particular Sam and Catherine for their input and for their attendance at the meeting.