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Agenda item

Key Issues in the Community

Community representatives and expert witnesses will have the opportunity to raise issues about equality in Council services as well as to report recent activity.


Community representatives and expert witnesses were given the opportunity to raise issues about equality in Council services as well as reporting on recent activities. 


(i)                 Community Cohesion


An update was given by York BME Citizens’ Open Forum.


The Group’s attention was drawn to the effect that the distribution of European Parliament campaign leaflets by a political party was having on some members of the community.  A request was made for there to be a named contact at the City of York Council to whom incidents could be reported1.


(ii)               York and District LGBT Forum


A written report was circulated on LGBT issues and which detailed forthcoming events. 


It was suggested that the Council needed to be more aware of trans equality issues in policy making.  Training was available from Gendershift and other organisations.


(iii)             Online Fraud


The Group’s attention was drawn to the number of online financial scams.  Elderly and vulnerable members of the community were particularly at risk from this type of fraud.  It was noted that www.getsafeonline.org was a source of advice on how to deal with this issue.


(iv)              Higher York Students’ Forum


Details were given of a project that was being carried out by the Higher York Students’ Forum to find out what it was like to be a student in York and whether they felt part of the community.  The project was in the form of a questionnaire and focus group.  A report on the findings of the project would be presented to SIWG at a future meeting2.


(v)                50+ Festival


The SIWG Diversity Day project would take place as part of the 50+ Festival.  A “Bridging the Generation Gap” event would be held at the Friends Meeting House during the 50+ Festival week – the date and venue would be confirmed soon.  It was hoped that all of the groups involved in the SIWG would organise a display or activity during the day.


The Group were also encouraged to participate in the following activities:


·        A food and drink festival to be held on Tuesday 22 September 2009.

·        The “Fit as a Fiddle” activities arranged by Leisure Services and Age Concern.


As part of the 50+ Festival it was proposed to encourage care homes to open their doors to the community to demonstrate the type of activities and provision that they arranged for their residents.  Members of the Group suggested that there was also a need to involve members of the community who lived independently and who may sometimes feel isolated.


(vi)              Access Group Directory


Details were given of the guide that was being produced by the Access Group and which would incorporate useful contact details.


(vii)            York Humanists


The Group was informed that the York Humanists would wish to see all members of the community having the same impact on policy and decision-making regardless of their beliefs or views.


(viii)          Valuing People Partnership


Details were given of the “Valuing People Now” strategy.  It was suggested that this could form the basis of a future presentation to SIWG.  Consideration was also being given to complaints processes.


The Group’s attention was drawn to a “Hate Crime Conference” that was being held in Harrogate on 13 July 2009.


(ix)              City of Faiths


A “City of Faiths” survey was currently being carried out and was available on the council website www.york.gov.uk The results were due to be published in October.


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