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Agenda item

City of York Council Democratic Services Equality Impact Assessment

This report asks members of the Social Inclusion Working Group to consider and comment on the findings of the Equality Impact Assessment of Democratic Services.

Minutes:

Members of the Group received a report seeking their views on the findings of the Equality Impact Assessment of Democratic Services. 

 

The Democratic Services Manager explained the work of the department and sought the views of the Group as to how improvements could be made.  The following suggestions were put forward:

 

1.                  Written and Verbal Information

 

·        Comic sans is the preferred font for many users.

·        Font size 14 is preferred.

·        Improvements need to be made to the Council website as information is not easily accessible.

·        Sometimes organisations prepare written documents in different languages but this tends to get stockpiled and go out of date.  It is better for the information to be available electronically and produced on demand.

·        Although agenda papers give information about access arrangements this needs to be better promoted. 

·        It would be better for documents to be personalised on request in order to meet the specific needs of individuals e.g. large font size, easy-read version or in another language.

·        When documents are emailed the format can be amended by the reader to meet their needs e.g. increasing font size.  This is not possible for PDF documents.

 

2.                  Procedures

 

·        Council procedures should be modernised and made easier to understand.

 

3.                  Members Support and Training

 

·        It needs to be made clear to the public that all strands of the equalities are encouraged to stand for election and that if they have specific needs appropriate support will be in place.

·        More action needs be taken to raise the profile of the work that councillors carry out.  Information should be available in places like the library. The role of the councillor should be more prominent on the Council website.

·        Careful consideration should be given to the timings of meetings.

·        The Group welcomes the proposal to offer equalities training to councillors but notes that not all councillors attend training sessions.

 

4.                  Mayoralty

 

·        The Group welcomes the proposal that the Lord Mayor’s engagements diary will be more formally monitored to ensure that it supports engagements and visits to groups representative of the equality strands.

·        Consideration should be given to The Lord Mayor hosting a reception for representatives of the equality strands on an annual basis.

 

5.                  Mansion House and Guildhall Facilities

 

·        Praying/contemplation facilities should be available.

·        The situation in respect of the bell at the Mansion House should be addressed as soon as possible as it is extremely demoralising for a member of the public to seek assistance in this way and for this to go unheard.

·        The refurbishment of the toilet for disabled people that is adjacent to Committee Room 2 should be treated as a priority to ensure that it is fully accessible.

 

6.                  Performance Management

 

·        Whilst the Group welcomes the proposal to collect data to help understand how effective the measures outlined in the Equality Impact Assessment have been, there are concerns that some people may find the questionnaires to be intrusive.  The Group would not wish such arrangements to deter members of the community from attending or participating in council meetings or from using facilities such as the Mansion House and Guildhall.        

 

The Group was informed that the questionnaire would be brought to the Group for consideration in due course.

 

RESOLVED:That Democratic Services be requested to take into account the comments and suggestions put forward by SIWG.

Supporting documents:

 

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