23 May 2013

Council sets out to improve racial equality

Brighton & Hove City Council is planning to change its approach to race equality in the work place. It’s after an independent review was commissioned by the council to examine its policies and the experiences of its staff. The review was overseen by a group which included members of the council’s BME Workers Forum and its Corporate Management Team working with the independent experts Global HPO.

An action plan is now being developed and although still in draft form some of its recommendations are already being put into practice, such as improving our management information, making sure that we have shared values and behaviours across the organisation and reviewing all of our staff training

The report recognises that the council has had some significant achievements and initiatives in equality and employment but rightly challenges us to do more to meet the standards that our staff and customers expect.

The full report will go to the council’s Policy & Resources Committee in July.

Catherine Vaughan, Executive Director of Finance & Resources said: “This report is really important, some services and teams in the council have excellent practice and a number of BME staff were very positive about their experience of working for Brighton & Hove City Council. However the situation is far too varied across the organisation and this will be urgently addressed; our staff should have consistent experiences wherever they work.”
 
Cllr Leo Littman, Deputy Chair of Policy & Resources Committee and BME Champion said: “I will be working hard with senior officers, our BME staff and the wider BME community to make sure that the Council learns important lessons from this review and that we take positive action to make a real difference.

“I am committed to ensuring that we provide an inclusive and equitable working environment; strive harder than ever to treat all our staff with the respect they deserve; and continue to improve our understanding of their needs and the needs of all of the City’s residents.”

A BME Workers’ Forum (BMEWF) spokesperson said: “The BMEWF is pleased that this essential piece of work has been brought forward - and we welcome the final report and the adoption of its recommendations.

“The report fully aired a range of issues that we have had concerns about, and is very clear about what changes need to be made to facilitate fair treatment, positive action, and a shift in organisational values. These improvements will make the council a better local employer and provider of local services.

“We are confident that this piece of work will benefit not just BME staff, but the whole council workforce, and the city’s residents too.”

Related information

Find out more about equality and inclusion in the council and read the report from Global HPO