Agenda item

Equalities Annual Report


The Business Improvement Manager (undertaking an extended management remit to cover Policy & Performance) presented the Equality Strategy Annual Report 2022 for Members consideration.


Members were informed that the Annual Report informed the progress on the Council’s equality objectives covering the period January 2022 to

December 2022. Building on the last report and work carried out since

2021, this progress report provided a detailed insight into our ongoing

commitment to equality.


The Council adopted its new Equality Strategy 2022 to 2026, and this provided a detailed insight into our ongoing commitment to equality.


As we continued to recover from COVID-19, the Cost of Living crisis struck and this impacted greatly the work being undertaken by the Council and its partners, generating new activity to help support disadvantaged groups and to promote equality during this challenging period.


It should be noted that the examples included in this report were not a

complete list of everything the Council had done or would do to achieve in terms of equality objectives.


Members’ attention was drawn to ‘Community Engagement’ and

‘Community Safety’ as detailed in the report.


Members expressed their thanks for the report, which had stimulated a

lot of questions; as follows:-


·                 The demographics of the Bromsgrove Community Panel. The Leader explained that the next Community Panel was in October 2023, whereby it was our opportunity to engage and ensure that residents were aware of the Community Panel and were used to prioritise our priorities. It needed to be promoted so as there were more than 393 members, with just over 99,200 population; it might not be representative. The Business Improvement Manager further added that earlier this year the annual community survey was to go big, in an effort to increase the Community Panel. It may be a wide representation of Bromsgrove, but only those who opted to respond, and it was optional as to whether they divulged their area in the District.


·                 The Bromsgrove Partnership Board – could all Members have copies of the minutes, as the minutes were distributed to all Parish Councillors. The Business Improvement Manager agreed to action this.


·                 The Social Prescribing Service – with a population of 99,200 we needed to get the bigger picture. The Leader highlighted that she chairs the district collaborative and was looking at how this could be included. Members agreed that Hagley, Wythall and Alvechurch needed to be brought back into Bromsgrove’s Social Prescribing Service. The Leader explained that the social prescribing service was commissioned by Bromsgrove Primary Care Network, hence some slight anomalies. The Leader and Deputy Leader agreed to continue to raise these anomalies at the next meeting of the Primary Care Network.


·       Employee Support – Staff Q & A sessions were referred to and the possibility of Cabinet Members and Group Leaders being invited to attend. It was agreed that the Chief Executive (Interim) would liaise with the Communications Team with regard to Cabinet Members and Group Leaders being invited to attend a future Staff Q & A session, (where a Senior Officer was in attendance); with staff being given the opportunity to submit any questions prior to the Q & A session.


·       Theme Groups – how knowledgeable were Back Benchers? Engagement, how did new Councillors know / find out, via Democratic Services / Groups Leaders? The Leader informed Members that she was looking at producing a Members Bulletin in order to cascade information to all Members. The Portfolio Holder for Health and Wellbeing further informed Cabinet Members that all of this information was included in the Partnerships emails which were sent to all Members and was also included in the Portfolio Holders reports to Full Council.


At the invitation of the Leader, Councillor Hunter addressed Members. Councillor Hunter said it was an interesting report and the first year that the 2021 census results were available to look at. The point was made at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Board to look at our staff and user groups, with 10% having a disability. Were our staff representative of our communities, going forward look at this information, how representative were they of the communities we supported. The Leader added that we advertise in the appropriate places and that we are an equal opportunities employer and strived to be an employer of first choice.


In response Councillor Whittaker commented that he did not agree and it should be the best person for the job and with equal opportunities to attain the job.


·       Community Builders – how did they enable the community, and how could Councillors and residents get involved? The Leader highlighted that as Councillors you were Community Champions and should be familiar with the links provided on the Council’s website. The Leader asked the Business Improvement Manager to ensure that once the report had been ratified at Full Council that a link to the Equality Annual Report 2021 be placed on the Council’s website.




·                 that the Equality Annual Report 2022, as attached at Appendix 1 to the report, be endorsed.


Supporting documents: