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 or prejudicial interests they might have in the business on the agenda.
No interests were declared.
To approve and sign the minutes of the last meeting of the Group held on 14 May 2008.
Rita Sanderson referred to Minute 48 (Community Forum Reports and Feedback) and the reference in the BME Citizen’s Open Forum’s update that a funding application to the Equality and Human Rights Commission had been unsuccessful as no evidence had been made available that the scheme would incorporate cross-strand working. She confirmed that YREN had been commended for their equality work.
Lynn Jeffries requested further details in connection with the reference in sheet attached to the agenda “About City of York Council Meetings” that “We can provide the agenda or reports in large print, electronically (computer disk or by email), in Braille or on audio tape. Some formats will take longer than others so please give as much notice as possible (at least 48 hours for Braille or audio tape).” Officers confirmed that they would provide this information to members of the group by email.
RESOLVED:That the minutes of the last meeting of the Social Inclusion Working Group held on 14 May 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 Monday 7 July 2008 at 5.00pm.
It was reported that there had been no registrations to speak at the meeting under the Council’s Public Participation Scheme.
Introductions and Welcome
Councillor Vassie, the new Chair, will make introductions and welcome new members to the Group.
Councillor Vassie spoke of his new role as Chair of the Social Inclusion Working Group, as part of his new Executive portfolio, which covered Leisure, Culture and Social Inclusion. He stated that he was looking forward to this new area of work. Councillor Looker confirmed that she was the new Vice Chair of the Group and Shadow representative for the Leisure, Culture and Social Inclusion portfolio and that she was looking forward to working with the Group.
Community Forum Reports and Feedback
To receive verbal reports from representatives of the community forum’s involved in the Group’s work.
Members received verbal updates, including reports about the use of Social Inclusion Working Group grants, from members of the community forum’s involved in the Group’s work.
The update from the Older People’s Assembly included details of their 50+ Festival, which was to take place between 27 September and 5 October 2008. This years Festival would include reduced price tickets for Buddy Holly at the Grand Opera House in October, a rag rug display at the Spurriergate Centre, a pre-counselling service, an information fair with 30 stands and the 50+ games. If any member of the Group wished to include an event in the Festival they were requested to contact Sue Lister, the deadline for receipt of information was mid July.
An update was also given of the last Older People’s Assembly meeting when details had been received of a motor scooter knocking down a pedestrian on the footpath. The Police had investigated but reported that no offence had been committed. It was pointed out that motor scooters of this type did not have to be registered or insured. It was understood that Don Parlabean, Chair of the Assembly, was hoping to take this up at national level.
The update from the BME Citizen’s Open Forum included the circulation of a CYC Social Working Group background and progress report for July 2008, which included further details of the YREN Senior Citizen’s Ethnic Elders Social Group.
The update from the LGBT Forum related to their meeting held on 3 July 2008 and to their Summer Newsletter circulated at the meeting. Details were given of the York Pride Picnic, which would be a family event and to which all members of the Group were invited. The Picnic would include live music, community stalls and a dog show. It was reported that the Scarborough LGBT Forum were looking at the possibility of setting up an Older LGBT Conference either at the end of this year or early next. Leeds would probably be the venue to accommodate visitors from all over the country.
It was reported that the Disabled Peoples Forum was still in the process of development. University of York student volunteers were assisting in developing a voice for disabled people in York following the ‘Disabled People Together Day’ on 28 March. Project findings would be reported back in late Autumn 2008. Reference was made to the problems of acoustics in some buildings/venues and the need to ensure that hearing loops or microphones were used to make all meetings etc accessible.
Reference was also made to various transport experiences mainly related to buses not stopping at the kerb to assist the disabled in boarding. Other problems experienced included taxi’s refusing to carry guide dogs and wheelchairs not being adequately secured in vehicles. Officers undertook to look into the matter and report back. Officers also reported that the young people involved with PACT were at present examining the issue of accessible transport. This included buses and taxis and it was confirmed that when the information ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
This report requests the Groups views on the draft Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) from the Council’s Marketing and Communications Team.
Consideration was given to a report, which detailed the draft Equalities Impact Assessment (EIA) of the work done by the Council’s Marketing and Communications team, so that arising issues could be taken on board in the refresh of the Council’s Communication Strategy.
The group were reminded that the Authority was required by law to carry out EIA’s to cover all six equality strands (gender, race, disability, age, religion and belief, and sexual orientation). The purpose was to identify any potential or actual negative effects on each of the six equality strands, establish an action plan to deal with these. The aim of EIA’s was to eliminate discrimination and produce positive service and employment outcomes for all.
Matt Beer, Head of Marketing and Communications, stated the report detailed the policies that he was responsible for and he confirmed that it was still in draft form. He welcomed the Group’s input. He confirmed that the EIA would be completed and published in October 2008. He also confirmed that actions from the EIA would be included as part of his department’s Service Plans and would be included in the refreshed corporate Communications Strategy.
In relation to the document the Group made the following points:
· Remove jargon;
· Adopt a format that is easier to read – no tables;
· Ensure that consultation is carried out and a consultation strategy for the refreshed Communications Strategy is put in place early;
· The headings should be repeated at the top of each page;
· Comic Sans font would make the document more accessible;
· An easy read version of the document would be helpful;
· Questioned length of time taken to produce documents in other languages (details to be emailed to Group, prior to next meeting);
· Important that the York Blind and Partially Sighted Society has the opportunity to comment.
The Group welcomed the opportunity to review the EIA and expressed their thanks to the Head of Marketing and Communications for presenting the document to the Group first.
In addition the Group were informed that towards the end of October/November, a Community EIA’s Fair would take place where community representatives from the Group would go through the findings and action plans arising from the EIA’s of key Council strategies and plans. It was confirmed that EIA’s to be considered at the Fair would be presented in a simple and accessible format.
RECOMMENDATION:That the report be noted and the views of the Group be taken into account in the finalisation of the refreshed Council Communications Strategy.
REASON: To ensure the Council Communications Strategy takes on board and deals with equality issues, and that the work of the Marketing and Communications team is inclusive.
This report outlines actions that the Council proposes to take between July 2008 and July 2009, to make sure that it has in place structures and mechanisms that will help it to continue to be a fair and inclusive service provider and employer. The Group are requested to consider and approve the approach outlined in the draft.
The Group considered a report, which outlined actions at corporate level that the Council would take between July 2008 and July 2009, to make sure that it continued to be a fair and inclusive service provider and employer.
The Group was requested to note the approach outlined in the 12 month Single Corporate Equality Scheme and to make the draft available for consultation before the approach to the scheme was finalised in the Autumn of 2008. It was confirmed that the Authority was required by law to have a Scheme in place.
It was reported that the purpose of the consultation was to seek feedback about the Council’s approach to the scheme and in particular whether this corporate scheme should be supplemented by directorate schemes for the period 2009-2012.
Officers confirmed that the consultation period ended on 22 August 2008. Co-optees and expert witnesses on the Group were requested to report back to their groups on the draft of this scheme and feed back their comments to the Equalities Team, regarding the approach to the scheme.
Group members referred to the short consultation period during the month of August when many members and stakeholders were on holiday. Officers confirmed that individual Group members’ comments were sufficient at this stage. A 3 year scheme would follow this interim scheme and additional consultation would be undertaken with community groups for the 3 year scheme.
Officers noted that clear and recent data about service users and staff from each of the equality strands was needed for the 3 year scheme, which would follow this interim scheme. To this effect they noted that funding had been made available for a temporary post to support this work and that it was hoped that an appointment would soon be made.
RECOMMENDED: (i) That the Group note the approach in the draft Scheme outlined in Appendix 1 and that the draft be made available for consultation within the community representatives and expert witnesses group;
(ii) That the summary of the Equality Scheme be emailed to Group members.
REASON: To ensure continued and focused progress with equality and inclusion in the council.
It was decided at the Groups meeting May 2008 that members would discuss how to develop cross strand working and consider ideas for cross strand projects to be funded by the SIWG budget in 2008/09 at this meeting.
This topic will be discussed at this hour long workshop.
Members formed into 3 discussion groups to examine and identify areas for cross-strand working and to discuss which cross-strand joint projects could be developed for funding from the Group’s budgets in 2008/09.
The discussion groups examined what each community group did at present and how they could interact with other strands to produce joint projects. The Group’s three objectives were displayed to help focus members minds.
The discussion groups made the following suggestions for cross-strand working:
·Celebrate Yorkshire Day together with representatives from all the strands
·Database of photographs, to obtain a better awareness of who we are and to show others (with permission this database of images to be shared with other authorities)
·Inclusive Lord Mayor’s Day: representatives from each of the equality strands and groups in York to be invited to attend the occasion and accompany the Lord Mayor’s parade to the Merchant Adventurers Hall
·Schools extended services to provide and support family learning or intergenerational events (all schools are required to provide extended school services by 2010)
·Expansion of work with BME elders’ group e.g.Befriending Schemes
·Community development capacity – support for interstrand networking required
·Raise awareness of equality issues of people in care
·Higher York Students’ Forum offering to undertake voluntary activities with groups inc. older people (social activities, bingo, visiting etc)
·Celebration Day to cover all the strands
Officers confirmed that there were a number of excellent ideas suggested by the discussion groups. They undertook to examine these ideas in detail, and bring a report back to the Group suggesting possible cross-strand projects, including costs where possible.
Heather Rice, Director of People and Improvement, also confirmed that she would pursue the suggestions made by the Group regarding Lord Mayor’s Day separately. The Higher York representative also confirmed that the Students Forum would undertake the suggested voluntary activities without requesting any funding from the Groups budget.