Part A, Section 2 Annual Progress Report 2021-22
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 2021-22 reporting period? (tick one box only)
Yes, organisation wide
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 2021-22 reporting period? (tick one box only)
No, this is not an Equality Scheme commitment
In the 2021-22 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 organisation wide annual business planning
Yes, in some departments/jobs
Please provide any details and examples:
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 2021-22 reporting period, please indicate the number of:
Actions completed: 7
Actions ongoing: 20
Actions to commence: 8
Please provide any details and examples (in addition to question 2):
Examples of actions which are on-going include:
· Present information in alternative formats.
· Elected members equality training.
· Digital transformation including appropriate online and written communication materials.
· 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.
· Continuous equality and diversity communication programme for staff.
Please give details of changes or amendments made to the equality action plan/measures during the 2021-22 reporting period (points not identified in an appended plan):
In reviewing progress on the equality action plan/action measures during the 2021-22 reporting period, the following have been identified: (tick all that apply)
Continuing action(s), to progress the next stage addressing the known inequality
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)
Please provide any details and examples of good practice in consultation during the 2021-22 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 2 Consultation exercises.
· The Equality Forum continues to work as a consultation medium.
· Consultation training was provided to relevant staff.
· The Mayor and Diversity Champion raised the profile of various equality actions and campaigns and encouraged involvement through video messages.
· Many programmes and services continued 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 2021-22 reporting period, given the consultation methods offered, which consultation methods were most frequently used by consultees: (tick all that apply)
Written documents with the opportunity to comment in writing
Information/notification by email with an opportunity to opt in/out of the consultation
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 method uptake by particular S75 categories.
Were any awareness-raising activities for consultees undertaken, on the commitments in the Equality Scheme, during the 2021-22 reporting period? (tick one box only)
Please provide any details and examples:
Emails, tweets and Facebook messages were sent to equality consultees 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 2021-22 reporting period? (tick one box only)
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): 23
Please provide the number of assessments that were consulted upon during 2021-22:
22 Policy consultations conducted with screening assessment presented.
1 Policy consultations conducted with an equality impact assessment (EQIA) presented.
Please provide details of the main consultations conducted on an assessment (as described above) or other matters relevant to the Section 75 duties:
o EQIA and Consultation on the Policy and Procedure on the Flying of the Union Flag at Council Buildings
o Engagement with the elected members, staff, Council’s Equality Scheme consultees, public equality forum and youth voice.
o Direct consultation with members of the public, Elected Members and staff through a paper survey, on-line survey and written submissions.
o Consultation on Fear of Crime
o Engagement with elected members, disability groups, individuals with a disability and their family/carers/support workers.
o In partnership with disability representatives and groups, external stakeholders including local schools (e.g. MENCAP and Rossmar Special School, Limavady), Northern and Western area health trusts suitable questionnaires were
designed to ensure previously unrepresented groups could complete the questionnaire themselves or with supporters. These partners also provided advertisement and venues for focus groups.
o Consultation on the Anti-Poverty Action Plan
o An Anti-Poverty Stakeholder Steering Group led by Community Development held a series of focus groups and co-design meetings to help inform the development of the Action Plan. This was further supported via an online survey of
organisations which support people experiencing poverty in Causeway Coast and Glens.
o These stakeholders included Limavady Community Development Initiative (LCDI) Advice Centre, Community Advice Causeway, Vineyard Compassion (Causeway Foodbank & Reset Social Supermarket), Ballycastle Foodbank,
Ballymoney Foodbank, Roe Valley Foodbank, Jobs and Benefits Offices, Causeway and Limavady Volunteer Centres, Community Networks – Northern Area Community Network (NACN) Causeway Rural & Urban Network (CRUN),
Building Communities Resource Centre (BCRC), Northern Health & Social Care Trust, Western Health & Social Care Trust, PHA, Education Authority, DAERA
Were any screening decisions (or equivalent initial assessments of relevance) reviewed following concerns raised by consultees? (tick one box only)
No concerns were raised
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 2021-22 reporting period? (tick one box only)
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 2021-22 reporting period? (tick one box only)
Please provide any details:
An equality toolkit was extended to support information provision. The audit of information systems identified people with certain disabilities may have encountered inclusion barriers due to the usual format for written communication. As a result in partnership with Policing and Community Safety Partnership; Council purchased an Easy Read package and intends to increase the number of documents provided in this format over the next reporting period.
In analysing monitoring information gathered, was any action taken to change/review any policies? (tick one box only)
Please provide any details and examples:
As individuals continued working from home a supportive programme was developed which included the provision of training on personal resilience, safe place advocate / trusted colleague and managing work related stress. Following a review of Equality screenings and Rural Needs Assessments a training programme for equality screening and rural needs assessment was developed covering 71 people in total. There was specific equality and diversity training for the Estates section. To support the menopause policy introduced previously a nutrition in menopause course was also delivered. In addition there was training for front line staff to support the introduction of a Breastfeeding policy.
Please provide any details or examples of where the monitoring of policies, during the 2021-22 reporting period, has shown changes to differential/adverse impacts previously assessed:
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 by OD/HR has resulted in the development of a Family rights at work policy which is currently being finalised.
Last year’s community development data was used to develop support programmes relating to finance, inclusion, access and reconnection.
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 2021-22, and the extent to which they met the training objectives in the Equality Scheme.
No of Attendees
46 Equality Screening
31 Rural Proofing
23 Equality and Diversity Training (Estates)
132 Customer Services Charter Training
All staff and
elected members Awareness raising emails/staff news articles containing various equality themes, to both staff and elected members
1 APSE Inclusion and Diversity Seminar
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 virtually.
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 can 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 Equality Screening and Rural Needs Assessment training has worked well in practice as not only did the figures of completion improve by over 30% but the number of not applicable responses were greatly reduced as staff felt more confident in identifying potential barriers and mitigation options.
Customer service charter training used role play to place individuals in the position of various customers with multiple identities. Staff feedback stated that this empowered them to identify others needs and encouraged them to meet these needs.
The awareness raising emails and staff news articles have ensured timely staff awareness of current equality issues and available support. Staff commented on the benefits of these articles and how their understanding and acceptance of differences has improved. These aimed at improving skills, understanding and supporting the mainstreaming of equality and good relations information 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 2021-22, across all functions, has resulted in action and improvement in relation to access to information and services:
During the reporting period virtual provision continued to support the medically vulnerable, individuals who were still unsure about meeting in person and to reduce the cost of travel. This resulted in the continued provision of hybrid approaches to meetings and service provision. This also saw an increase in the provision of virtual information on both our services and events. There are plans for this to increase in the next reporting period for example the provision of introductory videos for our leisure centres to demonstrate what service users can expect. These changes supported all 9 equality groupings.
Complaints (Model Equality Scheme Chapter 8)
How many complaints in relation to the Equality Scheme have been received during 2021-22?
Insert number here: 2
Please provide any details of each complaint raised and outcome:
- November 2021 – Request to repaint biblical text at the Sea Wall, The Crescent, Portstewart
A request was received by Council from a member of the public for permission to repaint a biblical text on the Sea Wall at The Crescent, Portstewart (owned by Council. Following consideration of the request an EQIA was recommended by Council staff. However, the request was discussed by Council and a decision was made by Council not to carry out an EQIA and to permit the repainting of the biblical text as requested by the member of the public.
- February 2022 – Complaint re lack of disabled access at The Water Margin restaurant, Coleraine.
A member of the public complained to Council that they were unable to access The Water Margin restaurant in Coleraine due to its lack of disabled access for people using a wheelchair. The complaint was investigated by Council’s Environmental Health Department.