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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Denham Room, Priory Street, York

Contact: Jayne Carr  Democracy Officer

No. Item


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.  None were declared.


Minutes pdf icon PDF 81 KB

To approve and sign the minutes of the last meeting of the Group held on 30 June 2010.  An “easy read” version of these minutes is also attached.

Additional documents:


Resolved:       That the minutes of the meeting of the group held on 30 June 2010 be approved as a correct record subject to minute 4 being amended to record “that other members of the group supported Councillor Aspden’s request that his unease at perceived narrowing of the group’s focus be recorded”.


In accordance with the Group’s request that their recommendations were

tracked to ensure that they were being actioned, an update was given on

matters arising from the previous minutes:


(i)                     Allocation of £1000 Poverty and Exclusion Awareness Raising Fund


It was noted that Sarah Fennell, who had been co-ordinating the arrangements for the filming of a documentary to raise awareness of poverty and social exclusion, had resigned as a member of the Equality Advisory Group.  It was unclear as to whether any progress had been made with the project.


Resolved:(i) That Simon Rodgers look into this matter

 following the meeting.1


(ii)                    Disabled User Toilets


The Group was informed that discussions were still ongoing as to whether it would be possible to ensure that a member of staff was alerted if an alarm in the disabled user toilets was activated.  Members of the Group suggested that the alarms should be linked to warden call.  If this was not possible the alarms should be removed as they currently provided a false sense of security.  Concerns were also raised regarding problems in respect of accessibility and design of the toilets and basins.


Resolved:(ii) That “Disabled User Toilets” be an agenda

item for the next meeting and relevant officers be invited to attend to discuss the issues that had been raised.2


Public Participation

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 Group’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 Wednesday 10 November 2010 at 5.00 pm.


It was reported that there had been no registrations to speak under the council’s Public Participation Scheme.


Community Issues

This item presents an opportunity for community representatives on the Equality Advisory Group to raise equality and inclusion matters about council policy and services as they affect them and the groups they represent.


The Chair welcomed new members to the group. Introductions were carried out.


Community representatives were given an opportunity to raise equality and inclusion matters about council policy and services as they affected them and the groups they represented.  The following issues were raised:


(i)         Green Badge Scheme


Sue Lister, on behalf of the York Older People’s Assembly, raised concerns regarding the difficulties that a member of the public had faced when trying to obtain a green badge permit.  Members of the group agreed that there was a lack of clarity as to the areas covered by the green badges, how they differed to the blue badge permits, and as to whether they had to be renewed on an annual basis. 


Resolved:(i) That further information on this issue be provided

                                    at the next meeting1.


(ii)            Pedestrian Safety on Beckfield Lane


Sue Lister, on behalf of York Older People’s Assembly, raised the issue of pedestrian safety on Beckfield Lane.  Concerns had been expressed as to whether an Equality Impact Assessment had been completed which considered the needs of vulnerable pedestrians in the context of encouraging cycling on pavements.   Members of the group stated that pedestrian safety was an issue in many areas of the city.  Shared space could be very difficult for pedestrians, particularly for children, people with mobility problems or those with hearing or sight difficulties. 


Resolved:(ii) That officers from Cycling City be requested to

attend the next meeting to give further information on this issue.2


(iii)      York Older People’s Assembly Questionnaire


The Group was informed that 105 questionnaires had been completed at the 50+ Festival.  It was hoped that the information they contained would be very useful to the council.  Thanks were expressed to Claire Newhouse for the advice she had offered in respect of processing the data.


(iv)      Homecare


Lynn Jeffries drew the group’s attention to the Equality and Human Rights Commission Inquiry into Homecare.  It was suggested that the Equality Advisory Group may wish to contribute to the inquiry.


Resolved:(iii) That details of the inquiry into homecare be

                                    forwarded to the group3.


(v)       Good Neighbour Guide


Claire Newhouse gave details of the work that Higher York’s students’ forum was carrying out to prepare a “Good Neighbour Guide”.  Ideas for items for inclusion in the guide were welcome.


(vi)      Valuing People Partnership


Maureen Ryan gave details of issues that had been raised by the Valuing People Partnership including:


·                    Respite care

·                    Leisure – how people with disabilities spend their time.


It was hoped that a survey could be carried out which would assist integrated working as well as highlighting any omissions in provision. 


It was noted that at the launch of the York Independent Living Network, the issue of respite care had also been raised and hence there might be the opportunity for the two organisations to work together on this.  It was suggested that the personalisation agenda would link to the issue of leisure.


(vii)      YREN Representation on the Equality Advisory  ...  view the full minutes text for item 14.


Spending Review and Council Budget

A presentation will be given on the Spending Review and how the review is expected to affect council budgets and ways of working.  There will be an opportunity for discussion following the presentation.


A presentation was given on the Spending Review and how the review was expected to affect council budgets and ways of working.  A copy of the presentation is attached as an annex to these minutes.  Officers explained that the actual financial impact for the City of York Council would not be known until December but that the potential loss to the council could be several million pounds.  In order to meet this challenge, work was already taking place, under the More For York programme, to transform the way in which the council operated. 


The presentation included details of how members of the Equality Advisory Group could be involved in the budget consultations that would be taking place.  There would be an initial opportunity for members of the group to raise issues at the meeting that had been arranged with the council’s chief executive and directors on Wednesday 15 December 2010.  A special meeting of the Equality Advisory Group would be convened in January when more detailed information about the budget would be available.1  Community representatives on the EAG would then have the opportunity to consult their groups about the impact of proposed cuts or growth areas.  


The group’s attention was drawn to a government document entitled “Overview of the impact of Spending Review 2010 on equalities”.  It was reported that the Equalities and Human Rights Commission had issued guidance for people making budget decisions in the public sector.  The guidance had been circulated to relevant council officers and councillors.


Following the presentation the group made the following comments:

  • In respect of the data that indicated that 2.5% of the population in York received help to live at home, the group requested more information as to how this figure was defined.2
  • Because both the City of York Council and the PCT were low spending authorities this meant that any cuts to services had an even greater impact.
  • Community representatives were encouraged to stress to their members, the importance of completing next year’s census.  It was important that the data collected about the city was as accurate as possible and that it was funded accordingly. 
  • It was important that the information that was presented to the public as part of the consultation was fully accessible.   The York Blind and Partially Sighted Society offered their services in making information accessible and distributing it to those on their database3. 
  • It was important that very effective audit and monitoring arrangements were in place when services were commissioned.
  • The council could save money by ensuring that the information that it provided to the public was accessible at source.  It was noted that the Corporate Equality and Inclusion Manager served on the Accessible Information Working Party convened by the Valuing People Partnership.  There was a commitment to create a charter to ensure that information provided by the council and other organisations such as the PCT was accessible and that the guidance was disseminated to all staff. 
  • Members of the group stated that it  ...  view the full minutes text for item 15.

Presentation on Budget pdf icon PDF 4 MB


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