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Agenda and minutes

Venue: Sports Hall - The Meadows Community Centre - The Meadows Community Centre. View directions

Contact: Toni Birkin  Committee Manager

No. Item


Welcome, Introductions and Apologies

Attendance and apologies 


Apologies were received from Councillor Bird, Councillor Ratcliffe and Nicky Wrigley.


The Panel noted the resignation of Jackie Hanson and expressed their gratitude for her contributions to the Equalities Panel.



Declarations of Interest


No interests were declared.



Minutes of Previous Meeting and Matters Arising pdf icon PDF 64 KB

To agree the minutes of the last meeting.


The minutes of the meeting of the 22nd June 2015 were agreed as a correct record.


Mental Health pdf icon PDF 63 KB

Holly Hodge (Public Health Manager) and  Claire Harris  (Mental Health Promotion Facilitator) from the Public Health based at the County Council will be presenting the recently developed countywide Mental Health Strategy:




They will talk about the key facts and figures for the County and the City, describe the main elements of the Strategy and its associated  Action Plan.


Vicky Schueller from the Councils ‘Tenancy Sustainment’ Team and Clara Gomez Serrano from the Councils ‘Independent Living  Service’ will talk about how their roles support people experiencing  mental health issues and the events that they ran during World Mental Health Week this October.


The Mental Health Strategy and a short briefing on World Mental Health Week and the Councils current work on mental health are attached for information.        



The Panel received a presentation from Holly Hodge (Public Health Manager) and Claire Harris (Mental Health Promotion Facilitator) on the recently developed Cambridgeshire Public Mental Health Strategy.  They discussed the main aims and themes of the Mental Health Strategy in relation to Cambridgeshire County Council and its associated Action Plan.


Vicky Schueller (Tenancy Sustainment Co-Ordinator) delivered a presentation on the Cambridge City Council Tenancy Sustainment Service which included the aims of the service, what the role of the service was in relation to public well-being and a case study of the role played in supporting a particular individual who suffered from mental health issues.


Clara Gomez Serrano from the Council’s Independent Living Service talked about her role supporting older people in Cambridge with mental health issues.


The Panel made the following comments in response to the presentations:

i.             The key message was that early intervention into mental health awareness and prevention was key and should be focussed on.  Questioned whether further responsibility should be put onto teachers given that they were not qualified professionals on mental health issues. 

ii.            Requested that a leaflet which contained information for teachers on what to look for to identify mental health issues and signposts to organisations was produced and made available by the County Council.

iii.           Some Mental Health Services in Cambridgeshire had closed their lists to certain services; it was therefore questioned whether there was a link between children and adolescents and closed lists.

iv.          Questioned what work had been done with schools and bullying.  Commented that some schools ignored that they had bullying issues, others would only deal with overt bullying and did not deal with more undisclosed types of bullying.

v.           Questioned the self-harm figures presented and whether the figures were due to a high recording rate or whether there were more individuals that self-harmed in Cambridge. 

vi.          Asked for clarification on the County Council’s remit for mental health issues.


In response to questions from the Panel Holly Hodge (Public Health Manager) and Claire Harris (Mental Health Promotion Facilitator) confirmed the following:

          i.             The Mental Health Trust provided a service that was tailored to working with young people and free access was provided to schools.  A prospectus of services offered by the Trust could be circulated round the Equalities Panel members.

         ii.             The waiting lists for children were closed as they were 6 to 12 months long, however the Hub provided signposts to lots of voluntary organisations which could assist.

       iii.             The Education Well-being Team worked with schools in relation to bullying.

       iv.             Recorded self-harm figures were only the ‘tip of the iceberg’, as they represented the number of people presenting at hospital with self-harm injuries. Many people who self-harm do not attend hospital. Analysis of the figures showed that the electoral wards around the hospitals had a higher self-harm record rate.  This may have been due to the fact that these individuals had better access to facilities, or greater awareness of the support available.

        v.             The County Council’s role in well-being was to try and prevent poor mental health issues arising.


Cambridge University

Kevin Coutinho - Equality & Diversity and Athena SWAN Consultant – at Cambridge University will be coming to talk about how the University approaches equality and diversity, how they work with local communities and the recent joint work on the ‘Equality Pledge’ for Cambridgeshire.


The Panel received a presentation from Kevin Coutinho, an Equality and Diversity consultant for Cambridge University on the measures that the University had put in place to promote equality and diversity within the University.


The Panel made the following comments in response to the presentation:

i.             Reference was made to the City Council’s Chief Executive reading the Equality Pledge and the event at Queens College Cambridge.

ii.            Asked whether the University had disability champions.

iii.           Asked whether the implementation of equality practices were getting easier.

iv.          Asked if the new Prevent Policy had had any impact.


In response to questions from the Panel Kevin Coutinho, an Equality and Diversity consultant for Cambridge University made the following comments:

       i.                Asked whether the Chief Executive’s reading of the equality pledge had been tweeted.

     ii.                Confirmed that the University had disability champions.

    iii.                Commented that most organisations were comfortable with the headlines of equalities but some had difficulties in embedding equalities within working practices.  The University’s practices had improved although further work was needed.

   iv.                Students with disabilities were likely to be affected by budget cuts.

     v.                Employees were reluctant to disclose if they had a disability as they felt that they may be dis-advantaged.

   vi.                Referred to a ‘make no assumptions’ Cambridge University campaign in relation to gender identity issues.

  vii.                Commented that in terms of the higher education sector women made up 50% of the workforce, but less than 20% were professors.  The introduction of a compulsory retirement age by Cambridge University which has led to increased turnover of staff has seemed to help with increasing the number of females amongst senior academic staff.

 viii.                The University was mindful to support both faith and non-faith communities.



Climate Change Strategy pdf icon PDF 74 KB

David Kidston will be outlining the Councils draft Climate Change Strategy




which is currently out for consultation. He will set out how climate change impacts might affect equality groups.  The Panel will be asked for their input into the particular impacts or risks as part of the Strategy’s wider consultation by completing a practical activity based on the draft Climate Change Strategy and its Equality Impact Assessment (EqIA) A blank EqIA form is attached for information.


Additional documents:


The Panel received a report from David Kidston, The Strategy and Partnership Officer on the draft Climate Change Strategy.


The Panel were asked for their input on the particular impacts and risks on equalities groups which might arise from predicted changes to the climate in Cambridge.


The Panel made the following comments:

i.             In relation to impacts on disability, comments were made that lots of people with a disability had a mobility car as public transport was not as accessible as it should be.  Mobility cars tended to be diesel which was now understood to be more polluting than petrol.  Some villages only had one bus an hour.  All public transport was meant to be accessible by 2016 however there was no definition of what accessible meant. 

ii.            In relation to impacts on gender, comments were made that women tended to be the main carer for children, if there were school closures following an environmental incident (for example flooding) women could be disproportionately affected.

iii.           In relation to impacts on pregnancy, maternity, civil partnerships and marriage it was highlighted that if the weather was severely hot then this would affect pregnant women.

iv.          In relation to race and ethnicity the key factor identified was language barriers and the production of advisory material.

v.           In relation to religion and belief, it was raised whether multi-faith buildings could be developed to make more efficient use of buildings and development land.  The issue of food supply was also raised and whether climate change could impact on the ability to be able to produce certain foods in order to meet various faiths’ requirements.  It was also questioned whether there could be better use of agricultural land to try and meet the needs of different faiths so there was less reliance on importing products and less impact on the environment.  The availability of land for burials and also the different requirements for different faiths was also discussed.  


The verbal feedback provided by Panel members was constrained by the limited time available for this item. However, additional written comments were also provided from the breakout group discussions at the meeting, and officers said they would incorporate these comments into the consultation feedback on the strategy.