Appendix 8 (EQIA - The Flying of the Union Flag)
Appendix 8: Relevant Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council policies
A Better Future Together
A better Future Together, a Community Plan for Causeway Coast and Glens 2017–2030 sets down a long-term vision and plan for the Causeway Coast and Glens area. Its values include “Respect – We will encourage fairness, making decisions based on evidence, need and equality”.
The Council’s Equality Scheme was approved by the Equality Commission in 2015 and reviewed and renewed in 2020. It is supported by the Equality Action Plan 2019–23, which aims to:
- Design, commission and deliver services that are accessible, inclusive and responsive to our customer’s needs
- Raise awareness of equalities issues and tackle prejudices, both internally and externally
- Attract, recruit, retain and progress a diverse range of employees in a culture which celebrates diversity and inclusion
- Provide a working environment where employees are treated with fairness, dignity and respect
Issues identified through an audit of inequalities include:
- Need to tackle both persistent and emerging inequalities in a strategic manner
- Need to have better information about our workforce which enables us to take appropriate action to make improvements in areas where we notice that there are issues with attracting, recruiting, retaining and progressing people with particular protected characteristics.
- Need to improve participation levels among under-represented groups in a range of the Council’s activities and Services
Equal Opportunities Policy
In line with the Fair Employment Code of Practice, the Council’s Equal Opportunities Policy states that it is committed to:
- Promoting equality of opportunity for all persons;
- Promoting a good and harmonious working environment in which all persons are treated with respect;
- Preventing occurrences of unlawful direct discrimination, indirect discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
- Fulfilling all our legal obligations under the equality legislation and associated codes of practice;
- Complying with our own equal opportunities policy and associated policies;
- Taking lawful affirmative or positive action, where appropriate;
- Regarding all breaches of equal opportunities policy as misconduct which could led to disciplinary proceedings.
Dignity and Respect at Work Policy 2018
In its Dignity and Respect at Work Policy, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council also commits to promoting equality of opportunity and good relations and defines harassment as, among other things, “visual displays of posters, graffiti, obscene gestures, flags, bunting or emblems or any other offensive material”.
Policy and Procedure for Dealing with Harassment
Within its Policy and Procedure for Dealing with Harassment, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council commits itself to providing equal opportunities and defines harassment, inter alia, as:
“Visual displays of posters, graffiti, obscene gestures, flags, bunting or emblems or any other offensive material.”
Good Relations Strategy
The vision of the Council’s 2018–23 Good Relations Strategy is:
“a united community, based on equality of opportunity, the desirability of good relations and reconciliation – one which is strengthened by its diversity, where cultural expression is celebrated and embraced and where everyone can live, learn, work and socialise together, free from prejudice, hate and intolerance.”
It will do this by:
“Tackling sectarianism, racism and other forms of intolerance while actively promoting Good Relations both within Council and building positive relations at a local level.”
Intended outcomes include:
- Increased use of shared space and services (e.g. leisure centres, shopping centres, education, housing);
- Shared space is accessible to all;
- A community where spaces and places are safe for all;
- Reduce the prevalence of hate crime and intimidation;
- Increase sense of community belonging (widens contribution beyond community background).
The strategy was informed by the results of an audit which consulted with stakeholders through public meetings, an online survey, a street survey, one-to-one interviews, focus groups and telephone interviews.
Under the theme of “Our shared community”, which aims to have all areas of the Borough open and accessible to everyone, the survey found that:
1. 50.3 per cent of respondents felt that the Borough is welcoming to people of different religions; 31.8 per cent felt that is sometimes welcoming to people of different religions; and 5.6 per cent felt that it is not welcoming.
2. 43.6 per cent of respondents felt that the Borough is welcoming to people of different political opinions; 34.4 per cent felt that is sometimes welcoming to people of different political opinions; and 9.7 per cent felt that it is not welcoming.
3. 49.2 per cent of respondents felt that the Borough is welcoming to people of different racial backgrounds; 27.1 per cent felt that is sometimes welcoming to people of different racial backgrounds; and 5.1 per cent felt that it is not welcoming.
4. 12.0 per cent think sectarianism is a major problem and 38.3 per cent think it is a minor problem.
5. 7.2 per cent think racism is a major problem and 30.5 per cent think it is a minor problem.