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Single Equality Scheme 2021-2024

Meeting: 07/10/2021 - Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee (Item 38)

38 Single Equality Scheme 2021-2024 pdf icon PDF 553 KB


Matter for Decision

The Council has a legal obligation to publish equality objectives at least every four years to assist it in its performance of the Public Sector Equality Duty. The Officer’s report provided recommended objectives and priorities covering 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2024 relating to this.


Decision of Executive Councillor for Communities

  i.  Approved the Single Equality Scheme 2021 to 2024, including the objectives and priorities for the Scheme (Appendix A of the Officer report) and Actions listed for the first year of the Scheme (Appendix C of the Officer report).

  ii.  Noted actions undertaken relating to the three recent council motions around equality and diversity and approve recommended actions to be carried forward relating to them in the new Scheme.


Reason for the Decision

As set out in the Officer’s report.


Any Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

Not applicable.


Scrutiny Considerations

The Committee received a report from the Equality & Anti-Poverty Officer.


The Committee made the following comments in response to the report:

  i.  Members of the Gypsy and Traveller community:

a.  Needed access to Addenbrokes Hospital.

b.  May not trust the City Council and so not interact with it. Therefore, evidence may not be available for a needs assessment.

  ii.  Queried how to protect women and girls in the city, particularly at night.


The Equality & Anti-Poverty Officer said the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  The City Council was working with South Cambridgeshire District Council to implement phase two of the Government’s Syrian Vulnerable Persons Refugee Resettlement programme. The  Equality & Anti-Poverty Officer would check to see if Afghan refugees were also included in the programme.


The Councillor for Communities said she would seek to add Afghan refugees Refugee Resettlement programme after committee.


  ii.  A refugee’ needs assessment was undertaken in 2016 which identified there was a need for provision. National legislation issues prevented an identification of exact needs, but the subject could be revisited in the 2022 need assessment.

  iii.  Members of the Black community were 6 times more likely to be stopped and searched than others. Would advise councillors after committee on any updates regarding use of police stop and search powers as details from the Police were not available at present.


The Councillor for Open Spaces, Sustainable Food and Community Wellbeing said she would follow up issues with the Police after committee.


  iv.  There was a community panel to liaise with the Police on the impact of ‘force’ on the community.

  v.  Cambridge City Council employees valued the staff group who reported minority group issues to the Chief Executive. The intention was to do more to assist members of the minority community progress through their careers eg obtain promotion.

  vi.  The Council was implementing the new ‘digital first’ customer services model, ensuring that vulnerable people were provided with opportunities to have face-to-face support from the Council. People could also use the internet or phone to contact the Council. If they wanted other support, face-to-face was an option to cover all needs, not just a lack of internet access.

 vii.  The City Council was an accredited member of the White Ribbon Campaign which was set up to end male violence against women. The Equality & Anti-Poverty Officer would share information with Councillors after committee about the Celebration of Women Event.

viii.  Streets and open space lighting around the city were the responsibility of the County Council.

  ix.  The City Council was working with other organisations to signpost the intersectionality (joined up approach) of its Single Equality Scheme as good practice.


Agenda P34: Key priorities and approaches for the Single Equality Scheme 2021 to 2024 Part 4 - For services to consider intersectionality in responding to residents’ and customers’ needs (where groups have more than one protected characteristic that taken together create overlapping and interdependent systems of discrimination or disadvantage).


The Streets and Open Spaces Development Manager the following in response to Members’ questions:

  i.  Re-iterated that Officers undertook a needs assessment as the first point of contact when visiting unauthorised encampments. Enforcement was a secondary option. Officers tried to build positive relations with the Gypsy and Traveller community.

  ii.  The Traveller community may leave the area to seek winter work. Consultants undertaking the transit site needs assessment will try to interact with the community elsewhere.


The Committee unanimously resolved to endorse the recommendations.


The Executive Councillor approved the recommendations.


Conflicts of Interest Declared by the Executive Councillor (and any Dispensations Granted)

No conflicts of interest were declared by the Executive Councillor.