Appendix 13 (EQIA - The Flying of the Union Flag)
Appendix 13: Minutes of the EQIA Flags Consultation – Elected Members
7pm, 3rd March 2020, Microsoft Teams
18 Councillors, 2 consultants and 3 members of staff
The meeting began at 19:00
Presentation by John Kremer – Gilmartin Consulting
John welcomed everyone to the Members Consultation and gave a short presentation.
At the conclusion of the presentation members were invited to express their views.
John Kremer offered members the option of expressing their opinion or asking questions on an individual basis by contacting the Policy Officer. Stella Gilmartin added that written submissions by political parties were also important as these range of views provided greater clarity in the report.
John Kremer explained that although responses from members of the public would be anonymised those from representative groups including political parties would be summarised with an explanation as to how it impacted on the final decision.
One Councillor asked when this will come back to council.
This councillor was advised that the 12-week consultation process will be complete by 13th May and the report will go to Council in June.
Another councillor felt that the timeframe should be extended by a further 2 weeks due to Easter holidays and the Election. The councillor also sought clarification if the report for the June or August meeting was the final report or a draft.
The Councillor was advised that the report would be a final draft report to the Council.
John Kremer advised that if the consultation spans across a holiday period it can be extended. Stella Gilmartin explained that people left things to the last minute so if an extension is agreed it should be done in the last couple of weeks, which would reinvigorate the consultation.
One Councillor queried the timing of written submissions and asked if this can be done at any time, also if the councillors can respond as individuals or if it had to be from the party. This councillor had no issues with the timeframe.
John Kremer advised that they could respond from their party but also complete as an individual. John also explained it was important to follow due process.
One Councillor asked if other community groups had been contacted.
It was advised that the Council has an Equality Forum and also invited community equality groups interested in good relations work to a consultation event. We have also sent out information using the community development database to local community and voluntary groups across the borough to get the message out there and reach out.
The Councillor confirmed the message is out there as he has been contacted by groups. The councillor said not to forget about the independent Councillors and the importance of getting views from all.
It was advised there was also an on-line survey on the Council websites consultation page.
A member queried the online survey and asked if this was controlled to not allow multiple returns from individuals.
The councillor was advised that it was not controlled, and that people can make multiple entries. John Kremer advised that this was why the Equality Commission is adamant it is not treated as a head count. Stella Gilmartin advised the information submitted would be analysed in the report.
Policy Officer to send out information to all Councillors.
The meeting ended at 19:38