Agenda item - Identifying Racial Disparities within Bromsgrove District Council's Operations - Topic Proposal

Agenda item

Identifying Racial Disparities within Bromsgrove District Council's Operations - Topic Proposal


Identifying Racial Disparities within Bromsgrove District Council's Operations - Topic Proposal (Item 7) was moved forward in the agenda.


The Chairman welcomed Councillor H. Rone-Clarke, who was invited to the meeting to speak on behalf of the Topic Proposal. Councillor Rone-Clarke presented his Topic Proposal to the Overview and Scrutiny Board. Mr Jilani was also welcomed to the meeting and had been invited to support Councillor Rone-Clarke and the topic proposal.  During discussions which followed Mr Jilani queried what mechanisms were in place where ethnic minorities could express their voice at Bromsgrove District Council and if there were wage disparities between workers from the BAME community at the Council.


The Head of Transformation & Organisational Development, Business Transformation reported that the Council had mechanisms in place that included the following: -


  • Regular meetings with Equalities Officer
  • Organisation-wide equality training including ‘Dignity at Work’
  • Staff Survey
  • Close working with Trade Unions
  • Phone a Friend scheme
  • Robust job evaluation process ensuring an objective recruitment and pay procedure.


The Senior Democratic Services Officer explained that there were already two task groups currently being undertaken and that the Democratic Services team did not have the capacity to undertake a further investigation and that this Topic Proposal may have to wait until another investigation was completed. This was acknowledged by the Overview and Scrutiny Board but Members expressed that such an important topic needed to get underway in the very near future.  Councillor McDonald, supported by a number of Members suggested that, as this was such an important subject, extra funds should be sought in order to carry out this additional task group or that it should take precedent over the existing work.


There was a detailed discussion regarding the Topic Proposal during which the following was debated: -


  • A request by Councillor Beaumont, supported by a number of Members that the wording of the Topic Proposal be amended so as to read ‘Identifying if racial disparities exist within the council’s operations’. This change was agreed by the Board and the wording would be amended as part of a review of the scope at the first Task Group meeting if the Topic Proposal was agreed.
  • That the topic proposal could be added to the Work Programme as a regular item at the Overview and Scrutiny Board meeting, before a decision was made in respect of a task group being established.
  • Further investigation by officers be made and information presented to the Board at a future meeting.
  • The suspension of one of the two task groups or the Finance and Budget Working Group – this was not agreed by Members as it was felt that the current task groups were investigating important topics and the Finance and Budget Scrutiny Working Group was integral to the budget setting process.
  • That a request for a recruitment process to be undertaken to increase capacity within the Democratic Services team – this was considered unworkable as the timeline to recruit to a post would be at least 3 months and probably longer given the current pandemic. 


The Chairman requested a brief adjournment.


On returning from the adjournment the Board considered whether the Corporate Performance Working Group, which had not met for some time could be suspended in order to allow the task group investigation to be undertaken. Members were agreeable to this being considered as an amendment to recommendation (c) detailed within the report.


The Chairman once again thanked Councillor H. Rone-Clarke and Mr Jilaini for their presentation to the Board.




a)    the Corporate Performance Working Group be suspended in order that the Identifying Racial Disparities within Bromsgrove District Council's Operations Task Group investigation be undertaken;



b)    Councillor P. McDonald be appointed as Chairman of the Identifying Racial Disparities within Bromsgrove District Council’s Operations Task Group.


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