Report of the Group Director of Operations.
The Cabinet Member with the Stronger Communities Portfolio introduced the report of the Group Director of Operations (previously circulated) requesting that consideration be given to the updated Equality Policy and the Equality Objective.
The submitted report stated that historically the Council had chosen to have an Equality Policy in order to maintain a clear and structured approach that demonstrated how it aimed to meet its responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010; there had been no changes to the Equality Act that required changes to the Council’s policy; and that the main amendment to the policy related to the objective. Under the Equality Act 2010, the Council had specific duties to publish one or more equality objectives and equality information to communicate how it was meeting its statutory requirements; the objective must be updated every four years; and as the previous objective expired at the end of 2022/23 it needed to be updated this year.
It was reported that the Equality Policy had been reviewed and updated to reflect the current Council Plan; the previous objective had been reviewed; a new objective drafted; in light of the consultation some minor changes were made to the wording of the policy itself; and that the suggested new objective for 2023/27 was ‘to provide ongoing training and support for staff and members to help them meet their duties under the Equality Act of 2010, raise awareness of the Equality Policy and ensure residents of Darlington were treated with dignity and respect, and continue to report on progress.’
RESOLVED - (a) That the refreshed Equality Policy, as appended to the submitted report, be approved.
(b) That the new Objective for 2023/27, as detailed in the submitted report, be approved.
REASONS - (a) The policy and objective have been through external consultation, Joint Consultative Committee and Economy and Resources Scrutiny Committee.
(b) Changes requested in these stages have been made to make the policy and objective as inclusive as possible.