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Review of Equalities Panel

Meeting: 03/10/2023 - Equalities Panel (Item 16)

16 Review of Equalities Panel pdf icon PDF 94 KB


Helen Crowther, Equality and Anti-Poverty Officer, provided brief context for the review into the role of the Equalities Panel for supporting Council-led initiatives promoting equality and diversity. As part of the review the council aims to identify how and if the Panel or another formalised partnership can help develop a whole systems approach to tackling inequality and discrimination.


Helen shared that a key part of the review involved seeking feedback from current and former Equalities Panel members on their experiences of being involved with the Panel. She shared some common themes from conversations so far including:

·      That members felt that the Panel has played an important role in raising the profile of equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) work at Cambridge City Council. Panel members also often mentioned the strong quality of many of the reports that were brought to the Panel.

·      Some members shared that the Panel has helped to raise their personal awareness of EDI issues.

·      However, often members were not sure what concrete/practical changes have been made to improve EDI that resulted from their feedback on Panel, given that the Panel itself is not a decision-making body. Some members asked whether recommendations made by the Panel could be explicitly attached to a leadership role or a function (e.g. committee) that has authority to decide whether to take on recommendations or not.

·      There was varied feedback from members on how the meeting might be structured differently to get the most from members’ engagement. There were very varied suggestions on different means that the Panel might engage with partners by expanding the remit of Panel or developing a new structure.


Helen shared that there will be a longer agenda item on the review at a future Equalities Panel meeting.


Councillor Mairéad Healy, The Executive Councillor for Communities, shared her view that the Panel has been due a review for a long time to improve accountability around EDI. A particular concern of Councillor Healy’s is the lack of diversity at senior levels in the council.


One member shared that they felt agreement on the future of the Panel needs to be achieved at a cross-party level.

Meeting: 04/07/2023 - Equalities Panel (Item 5.)

5. Review of Equalities Panel pdf icon PDF 93 KB