Policy and procedure on the Flying of the Union Flag at Council Buildings - RNA

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Policy and procedure on the Flying of the Union Flag at Council Buildings - Rural Needs Impact Assessment

 

SECTION 1 -
Defining the activity subject to Section 1(1) of the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016
 
1A. Name of Public Authority.
Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council.
 
 
1B. Please provide a short title which describes the activity being undertaken by the Public Authority that is subject to Section 1(1) of the Rural Needs Act (NI) 2016.
Revision of current practices to develop a new policy and procedure to fly the Union Flag at selected Council Buildings 365 days per year.
 
 
1C. Please indicate which category the activity specified in Section 1B above relates to.

Developing a            Policy   ☒          Strategy   ☐           Plan   ☐ 

Adopting a                Policy   ☐          Strategy   ☐           Plan   ☐

Implementing a         Policy   ☐          Strategy   ☐           Plan   ☐ 

Revising a                 Policy   ☐          Strategy   ☐           Plan   ☐ 

Designing a Public Service   ☐ 

Delivering a Public Service   ☐ 

 
 
1D. Please provide the official title (if any) of the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service document or initiative relating to the category indicated in Section 1C above.
Policy and procedure on the Flying of the Union Flag at Council Buildings.
 
 
1E. Please provide details of the aims and/or objectives of the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service.

The Notice of Motion aimed to align Council with “the new guidance published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to have the Union flag flown on Council and Civic buildings every day (365 days)” . With the outcome of: 
  • embodying “the emblems of the constituent nations united under one Sovereign – the Kingdoms of England and Wales, of Scotland and of Northern Ireland”;
  • providing clarity and enabling decisions on the flying of flags at the designated buildings and 
  • defining a process for designating other buildings.
 
 
1F. What definition of ‘rural’ is the Public Authority using in respect of the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service?
Population Settlements of less than 5,000 (Default definition).      ☒
Other Definition (Provide details and the rationale below).            ☐
A definition of ‘rural’ is not applicable.                                            ☐
 
Details of alternative definition of ‘rural’ used.
N/A
 
Rationale for using alternative definition of ‘rural’.
N/A
 
Reasons why a definition of ‘rural’ is not applicable.
N/A
 
 
 
SECTION 2 -
Understanding the impact of the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service
 
 
2A. Is the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service likely to impact on people in rural areas?
Yes   ☒        No    ☐        If the response is NO GO TO Section 2E.
 
 
2B. Please explain how the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service is likely to impact on people in rural areas.

The policy and relating procedure will impact on individuals from both rural and urban areas who are colleagues, visitors or customers to the Council buildings as they will see the flag on display. Some of the areas identified to fly the Union flag are smaller settlements which would also be considered rural under the definition.  However the viewpoints of individuals living in both rural and urban areas will be considered as part of the overall consultation process. 

 
 
2C. If the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service is likely to impact on people in rural areas differently from people in urban areas, please explain how it is likely to impact on people in rural areas differently.

The policy and relating procedure will impact on individuals from both rural and urban areas the same, however the viewpoints of individuals living in both rural and urban areas will be considered as part of the overall consultation process which will allow for the identification of additional impacts currently unidentified.

 
 
2D. Please indicate which of the following rural policy areas the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service is likely to primarily impact on.
Rural Businesses                   ☐
Rural Tourism                 ☐
Rural Housing                 ☐
Jobs or Employment in Rural Areas                 ☐
Education or Training in Rural Areas                 ☐
Broadband or Mobile Communications in Rural Areas                 ☐
Transport Services or Infrastructure in Rural Areas                 ☐
Health or Social Care Services in Rural Areas                 ☐
Poverty in Rural Areas Deprivation in Rural Areas                 ☐
Rural Crime or Community Safety                 ☐
Rural Development                 ☐
Agri-Environment                 ☐
Other (Please state): Use of Council Buildings and access to services therein  
If the response to Section 2A was YES GO TO Section 3A.
 
 
2E. Please explain why the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service is NOT likely to impact on people in rural areas.
 
 
 
 

SECTION 3 -
Identifying the Social and Economic Needs of Persons in Rural Areas

 
 
3A. Has the Public Authority taken steps to identify the social and economic needs of people in rural areas that are relevant to the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service?
Yes   ☒        No    ☐        If the response is NO GO TO Section 3E.
 
 
3B. Please indicate which of the following methods or information sources were used by the Public Authority to identify the social and economic needs of people in rural areas.

Consultation with Rural Stakeholders      ☐            Published Statistics  ☒ 

Consultation with Other Organisations    ☐            Research Papers       ☐

Surveys or Questionnaires                      ☐            Other Publications      ☐  

Other Methods or Information Sources (include details in Question 3C below).  ☒     

 
 
3C. Please provide details of the methods and information sources used to identify the social and economic needs of people in rural areas including relevant dates, names of organisations, titles of publications, website references, details of surveys or consultations undertaken etc.

The social and economic needs of people in rural areas have been identified using published statistics from the Northern Ireland Census and the most recent Life and Times Survey.  In addition the needs identified in Council strategies such as the economic and community development strategies were taken into account.   Impacts will be further supported through consultation with staff representative groups, the local equality forum and consultation with local representatives. 
In addition the final policy will be developed in light of research, good practice guidelines and information from:
  • Other Councils policy and processes;
  • Good Relations Strategy;
  • “Together building a United Community” Strategy May 2013
  • Consultation with individuals from both rural and urban areas who are colleagues, visitors or customers to the Council buildings.
 
 
3D. Please provide details of the social and economic needs of people in rural areas which have been identified by the Public Authority?

Socially individuals from rural areas tend to have to travel longer distances to work, to socialize with friends/work colleagues.  This may mean that they chose a workplace nearer to their home address to meet their economic needs.  In turn as a result of the proposed policy change their place of work may now fly a flag which does not reflect the community background to which they belong and the acceptance of diversity and equality.  There have been no complaints relating to the current provision by rural individuals although due to increased migration to rural areas the composition may have changed over time.

In addition the town halls provide a social function and changes to rural demographics and the impact of this must be determined through consultation.

Therefore it is important that the viewpoints of individuals living in both rural and urban areas will be considered as part of the overall consultation process.

If the response to Section 3A was YES GO TO Section 4A.
 
 
3E. Please explain why no steps were taken by the Public Authority to identify the social and economic needs of people in rural areas?
 
 
 
 
SECTION 4 -
Considering the Social and Economic Needs of Persons in Rural Areas
 
 
4A. Please provide details of the issues considered in relation to the social and economic needs of people in rural areas.

Research by the Economic Development section for its strategy; highlighted that socially individuals in rural areas my feel more isolated, therefore individuals may socialize in their locality or with work colleagues in central locations which in turn may reduce this isolation.  The impact of the proposed change to fly the Union flag at new areas is presently undetermined via direct consultation.  However the viewpoints of individuals living in both rural and urban areas will be considered as part of the overall consultation process. 

There have been no complaints relating to the current provision by rural individuals, however increased migration to rural areas the composition of residents may have changed since the initial policy was introduced. This may be of particular relevance to the additional social function provided by town halls and the possibility of a ‘chill factor’ for rural individuals based on their beliefs.  Therefore ways to mitigate any factors should be identified.

 
 
 
 
SECTION 5 -
Influencing the Policy, Strategy, Plan or Public Service
 
 
5A. Has the development, adoption, implementation or revising of the Policy, Strategy or Plan, or the design or delivery of the Public Service, been influenced by the rural needs identified?
Yes   ☒        No    ☐        If the response is NO GO TO Section 5C.
 
 
5B. Please explain how the development, adoption, implementation or revising of the Policy, Strategy or Plan, or the design or delivery of the Public Service, has been influenced by the rural needs identified.

The changing policy’s impact on individuals will be further considered via a consultation process.  
In addition the final policy will be developed in light of research, good practice guidelines and information from:

  • Other Councils policy and processes;
  • Good Relations Strategy;
  • “Together building a United Community” Strategy May 2013
  • Consultation with individuals from both rural and urban areas who are colleagues, visitors or customers to the Council buildings.
     
If the response to Section 5A was YES GO TO Section 6A.
 
 
5C. Please explain why the development, adoption, implementation or revising of the Policy, Strategy or Plan, or the design or the delivery of the Public Service, has NOT been influenced by the rural needs identified.
 
 
 
SECTION 6 -
Documenting and Recording
 
 
6A. Please tick below to confirm that the RNIA Template will be retained by the Public Authority and relevant information on the Section 1 activity compiled in accordance with paragraph 6.7 of the guidance.
I confirm that the RNIA Template will be retained and relevant information compiled.    ☒  
 
 
Rural Needs Impact Assessment undertaken by: Policy Officer
Division/Branch Corporate Policy
Date: 26 October 2021
 
 
Rural Needs Impact Assessment approved by: Head of Policy and Community Planning
Division/Branch Corporate Policy
Date: 5 November 2021