Progress on Equality Scheme commitments and action plans/measures

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Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council
Public Authority Statutory Equality and Good Relations Duties 
Annual Progress Report 2020-21


Section 2: 
Progress on Equality Scheme commitments and action plans/measures 

Arrangements for assessing compliance (Model Equality Scheme Chapter 2)


Were the Section 75 statutory duties integrated within job descriptions during the 2020-21 reporting period? (tick one box only)

   ☒   Yes, organisation wide

   ☐    Yes, some departments/jobs

   ☐     No, this is not an Equality Scheme commitment

   ☐     No, this is scheduled for later in the Equality Scheme, or has already
           been done

​   ☐    Not applicable

Please provide any details and examples:
All Council job descriptions contain a clear obligation placed on staff to comply with and actively promote the Council’s policies and procedures relating to equality and diversity.



Were the Section 75 statutory duties integrated within performance plans during the 2020-21 reporting period? (tick one box only)

    ☐  Yes, organisation wide

    ☐  Yes, some departments/jobs

    ☒  No, this is not an Equality Scheme commitment

    ☐  No, this is scheduled for later in the Equality Scheme, or has already been

    ☐  Not applicable

Please provide any details and examples:



In the 2020-21 reporting period were objectives/ targets/ performance measures relating to the Section 75 statutory duties integrated into corporate plans, strategic planning and/or operational business plans? (tick all that apply)

     ☒     Yes, through the work to prepare or develop the new corporate plan 

     ☒     Yes, through  organisation wide annual business planning

     ☒     Yes, in some departments/jobs

     ☐     No, these are already mainstreamed through the organisation’s ongoing corporate plan

     ☐     No, the organisation’s planning cycle does not coincide with this 2020-21 report

     ☐     Not applicable

Please provide any details and examples:

The Corporate Plan was developed incorporating equality, diversity and inclusion elements.  Action Plans from the Every Customer Counts assessment were incorporated into annual business improvement planning.  Equality measures were included in Business Plans and departmental objectives.




Equality action plans/measures 


Within the 2020-21 reporting period, please indicate the number of:

Actions completed: 10       Actions ongoing: 22        Actions to commence:      13

Please provide any details and examples (in addition to question 2):

Examples of actions which are on-going include:

  • Inclusion of S75 groups in the consultation process for plans and policies.
  • Implementation of the Council’s Disability Action Plan.
  • On-going programme of equality and good relations training.
  • Review of procurement policy to ensure continued compliance with equality and diversity requirements.
  • Improve equality data and create an equality database.
  • Development of new future orientated accessible website.
  • Continuous equality and diversity communication programme for staff.



Please give details of changes or amendments made to the equality action plan/measures during the 2020-21 reporting period (points not identified in an appended plan):




In reviewing progress on the equality action plan/action measures during the 2020-21 reporting period, the following have been identified: (tick all that apply)

     ☒     Continuing action(s), to progress the next stage addressing the known inequality

     ☐     Action(s) to address the known inequality in a different way

     ☐     Action(s) to address newly identified inequalities/recently prioritised inequalities

     ☐     Measures to address a prioritised inequality have been completed




Arrangements for consulting (Model Equality Scheme Chapter 3)    


Following the initial notification of consultations, a targeted approach was taken – and consultation with those for whom the issue was of particular relevance: (tick one box only)

All the time    ☐           Sometimes     ☒           Never     ☐



Please provide any details and examples of good practice in consultation during the 2020-21 reporting period, on matters relevant (e.g. the development of a policy that has been screened in) to the need to promote equality of opportunity and/or the desirability of promoting good relations:


  • Production of an Easy Read version of the Disability Action Plan for Consultation purposes.
  • The Equality Forum terms of reference were reviewed and the group reinvigorated. 
  • An accessible communication advice section was added to the staff portal and distributed to all staff to improve consultation processes.
  • The Town and Village Management team carried out a wide-spread exercise to identify barriers and ways to support individuals to come out and shop again.
  • The Mayor and Diversity Champion raised the profile of various consultations through video messages.
  • Many programmes and services were moved on-line as a proactive measure to support individuals and groups in our community.  This was done in consultation and partnership with community groups, local businesses and representative groups for various Section 75 areas.



In the 2020-21 reporting period, given the consultation methods offered, which consultation methods were most frequently used by consultees(tick all that apply)

    ☐     Face to face meetings

    ☐     Focus groups

    ☒     Written documents with the opportunity to comment in writing

    ☒     Questionnaires

    ☒     Information/notification by email with an opportunity to opt in/out of the consultation

    ☒      Internet discussions

    ☒     Telephone consultations

    ☐     Other (please specify): 

Please provide any details or examples of the uptake of these methods of consultation in relation to the consultees’ membership of particular Section 75 categories:

The consultations undertaken were open to all S75 categories.  No monitoring information was gathered in relation to uptake by particular S75 categories.




Were any awareness-raising activities for consultees undertaken, on the commitments in the Equality Scheme, during the 2020-21 reporting period? (tick one box only)

    ☒      Yes             ☐       No               ☐     Not applicable 

Please provide any details and examples:

Emails, tweets and facebook messages were sent to equality and community groups within the Council area and online to any interested party regarding the equality process and asking individuals to get involved in equality either as a consultee or as part of the Councils equality forum.



Was the consultation list reviewed during the 2020-21 reporting period? (tick one box only)

     ☒     Yes              ☐     No            ☐       Not applicable – no commitment to review






Arrangements for assessing and consulting on the likely impact of policies (Model Equality Scheme Chapter 4)
Equality, Diversity and the Disability Duties - Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council


Please provide the number of policies screened during the year (as recorded in screening reports):       17



Please provide the number of assessments that were consulted upon during 2020-21:


17      Policy consultations conducted with screening assessment presented. 

 0        Policy consultations conducted with an equality impact assessment (EQIA) presented.

  0       Consultations for an EQIA alone.




Please provide details of the main consultations conducted on an assessment (as described above) or other matters relevant to the Section 75 duties:


  • Consultation on the Re-development of Portrush Recreation Grounds involved:
    • Engagement with the Elected Members;
    • Direct consultation with existing users of the Portrush Recreation Centre site;
    • Consultation with the wider public and casual users; appropriate statutory sector representatives; internal stakeholders (e.g. grounds maintenance, operations, events management, Portrush regeneration); and specific interest groups (Surestart, Causeway Association Urban Sport (CAUS) and Portrush Matters).  Consultation on the Disability Hub project with service users and disability groups.
  • Consultation on Limavady Accessible Play Park involved:
    • Engagement with the Elected Members;
    • Playboard NI consultation facilitated through surveys, workshops and public information session with young people, parents/carers and the wider public; 
    • Consultation with appropriate statutory sector representatives;
    • Consultation with internal stakeholders (e.g. grounds maintenance and operations); and external stakeholders including local schools (e.g. Mae Murray Foundation and Rossmar Special School, Limavady).
  • Consultation on the Coleraine Bomb Memorial involved: 
    • Interviews with family members of those who were killed; those who were injured and impacted by the bomb; interviews with key stakeholders; 
    • A Councillor workshop and follow-up discussions when requested; 
    • Engagement with victims and survivors’ groups; and 
    • Open surveys (both online and postal). 
      This consultation was largely conducted via online platforms, with socially distanced meetings and discussions taking place were relevant and permissible within the Public Health Agency and Northern Ireland Executive guidance.
  • Consultation on the Digital Strategy involved:
    • Elected members;
    • A range of around 55 consultees from stakeholder groups and organisations
    • Public consultation.
  • Consultation on the Economic Development Strategy involved: 
    • Around 60 consultees from stakeholder groups and organisations;
    • A further 40 responses to initial public consultation; and
    • The elected members of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.



Were any screening decisions (or equivalent initial assessments of relevance) reviewed following concerns raised by consultees? (tick one box only)

     ☐     Yes 
     ☒     No concerns were raised 
     ☐     No 
     ☐     Not applicable 

Please provide any details and examples:




Arrangements for publishing the results of assessments (Model Equality Scheme Chapter 4)

Following decisions on a policy, were the results of any EQIAs published during the 2020-21 reporting period? (tick one box only)

     ☐     Yes
     ☐     No
     ☒     Not applicable

Please provide any details and examples:




Arrangements for monitoring and publishing the results of monitoring (Model Equality Scheme Chapter 4)

From the Equality Scheme monitoring arrangements, was there an audit of existing information systems during the 2020-21 reporting period? (tick one box only)

     ☒     Yes 

     ☐     No, already taken place 

     ☐     No, scheduled to take place at a later date 

     ☐     Not applicable 

Please provide any details:

An equality toolkit was developed to support information provision (available to all on the staff portal) and there are plans to further improve information systems in 2021/22.



In analysing monitoring information gathered, was any action taken to change/review any policies? (tick one box only)

     ☒     Yes             ☐        No               ☐     Not applicable 

Please provide any details and examples:

To facilitate working from home an agile working policy has been devised to support individuals to work from home.  In addition the Council offered 5 days paid leave for employees with caring responsibilities at the onset of the pandemic.



Please provide any details or examples of where the monitoring of policies, during the 2020-21 reporting period, has shown changes to differential/adverse impacts previously assessed:

The Council reviewed previous requests for caring responsibilities and offered 5 days paid leave for employees with caring responsibilities at the onset of the pandemic. Of those 55 who availed of the policy change, 44 were Female and 11 were Male.  
As a result of reviews an Agile working policy was also developed and it will be monitored to identify its overall impact in future reporting periods. 



Please provide any details or examples of monitoring that has contributed to the availability of  equality and good relations information/data for service delivery planning or policy development:

Monitoring of participants at “Quiet Events” organised by Council has helped Council officers plan relevant service delivery.
Monitoring of screenings undertaken has resulted in a Council-wide drive to improve data collection and sourcing.  This has been linked to an improved screening training programme provided in April 2021.
Last year’s equality data was used to develop online services, courses and events specific to and covering all equality groups such as u-tube training, pre-recorded videos for nursing homes and virtual events; in addition this data also shaped the museums service to provide history book bags.


Staff Training (Model Equality Scheme Chapter 5)

Please report on the activities from the training plan/programme (section 5.4 of the Model Equality Scheme) undertaken during 2020-21, and the extent to which they met the training objectives in the Equality Scheme.

Equality Screening  61 Attendees

Rural Proofing 46 Attendees

Awareness raising emails/staff news articles containing various equality themes, to both staff and elected members All staff and elected members

Induction training sessions all include a section on the provision of S75, general Equality and Diversity issues and Good Relations.

Provision of information and guidance on S75 Screening assessments has also been provided on a one-to-one basis.

These training sessions have met the following training objectives contained in the Council’s Equality Scheme:

  • to raise awareness of the provisions of Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998, our equality scheme commitments and the particular issues likely to affect people across the range of Section 75 categories, to ensure that our staff and elected members fully understand their role in implementing the scheme.
  • to provide those staff involved in the assessment of policies (screening and EQIA) with the necessary skills and knowledge to do this work effectively.
  • to provide those staff involved in consultation processes with the necessary skills and knowledge to do this work effectively.
  • to provide those staff involved in the implementation and monitoring of the effective implementation of the Council’s equality scheme with the necessary skills and knowledge to do this work effectively.



Please provide any examples of relevant training shown to have worked well, in that participants have achieved the necessary skills and knowledge to achieve the stated objectives:

The awareness raising emails and staff news articles have ensured timely staff awareness of equality impacts resulting from the pandemic.  This included accessible communication methods, impacts on specific groups and how to support individuals ensuring information could be accessed by all and supported the mainstreaming of equality and good relations in a relevant and meaningful way.



Public Access to Information and Services (Model Equality Scheme Chapter 6)

Please list any examples of where monitoring during 2020-21, across all functions, has resulted in action and improvement in relation to access to information and services:

During the reporting period Council moved to virtual provision of many services and noted there was a lack of equal access for older people, children, women and individuals with disabilities, it partnered with local community groups, sourced funding for and provided training for the community on how to use digital media platforms.  We worked with a local newspaper to reduce isolation resulting from the lack of digital accessibility by providing weekly historical features.  Those who could not access services were offered virtual alternatives such as sports, events, historical information, online meetings to support service delivery and encourage communication to reach across the Council area.  We promoted the SignVideo provision and worked with local disability groups to support their needs this resulted in equipment loans and grant provision where relevant.  Council staff were diverted to ensure essential services were provided to those in need such as delivery of food and medicines.  This service covered all the 9 equality groupings.  Virtual multisport camps were provided to children and on-site inclusive cycling was made available when appropriate in-line with government guidelines.



Complaints (Model Equality Scheme Chapter 8)

How many complaints in relation to the Equality Scheme have been received during 2020-21?

Insert number here: 2

Please provide any details of each complaint raised and outcome:​

  • The first complaint related to the reinstatement of a religious verse painted on the sea wall at Portstewart.  Councillors gave permission at a Council meeting for this script to be reinstated by an individual who had requested permission to do so. 
    Another individual then complained following completion of the work that this “graffiti was not compatible with Council’s statutory duty under S75”, particularly with regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group.  
    The complaint was considered under Council’s complaint policy and went to Stage 3 of the policy process, ie consideration by the Chief Executive.  In his response to the complainant, the Chief Executive indicated that the Council would undertake a full Equality Impact Assessment.
  • The second complaint was regarding a NI 100 Centenary commemoration and its impact on staff.  Council has introduced measures to support staff to raise concerns at an early stage.  It was also decided that all activities/events will be individually screened to identify risks/impacts and support pro-active mitigation as necessary.