13 January 2017

New rating for equality work

Work by Brighton & Hove City Council to ensure the council provides an equal and fair service for people in the city has been rated as ‘achieving’ in a new independent report.

The accreditation, from the Equality Framework for Local Government (EFLG), follows a two day peer assessment by representatives of other councils last September.

The assessment team spoke to a range of people - including members of the public who use the council’s services, staff, councillors and partner organisations. They also used information and case studies provided by the council in its application.

Councillor Emma Daniel, chair of the council’s Neighbourhood, Communities and Equality Committee, said: “Our commitment to equality remains a priority in these challenging times and this assessment gives us the opportunity to set direction, learn from best practice elsewhere, and build on the positive work we are already doing.”

Under a former framework the council was rated as ‘excellent’ when it was assessed by the EFLG in 2011.

Cllr Daniel said: “The bar has been raised and we need to meet a more rigorous challenge. We welcome a tougher assessment framework and intend to meet that challenge over the coming years.”

The EFLG’s report notes areas where the council is doing well, as well as areas for improvement. Its findings have shaped an updated version of the council’s Equality and Inclusion strategy which will be considered by members of the council’s Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equality committee at a meeting on January 23.

Cllr Daniel added: “The Equality Framework for Local Government assessment is a really comprehensive and challenging review of equality across everything we do and the assessment team’s report gives us a clear way forward.

“It has highlighted areas of good practice, such as tackling discrimination experienced by trans people. This has included work with community and voluntary projects to make it easier for people to find out about advice and support services available locally and nationally.

“However we know there are other areas where we can improve and our objective is to achieve ‘excellent’ status again by 2020.”

The council applied to be assessed – it is not obligatory for councils to do so – as part of its commitment to equality and inclusion.

Notes to Editors:

See Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equality committee papers for more background (Agenda item 50 Equality and Inclusion Policy Statement and Strategy)

Further Information:

Brighton & Hove City Council press office 01273 293033   press@brighton-hove.gov.uk