Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council wants everyone who lives, works or visits Newcastle to have a fair chance to participate in society. We see the Borough as a place where everyone matters and is treated fairly.
As a council we are committed to putting people first and delivering services that meet the needs of our communities, businesses and visitors.
Since the Equality Act 2010 came into force we have been committed to ensuring we provide services that meet the different needs of our communities, as well as making sure we are an organisation that is sensitive to the needs of individuals within our workforce.
We want to make the Borough a better place to live, work and invest. Our Corporate Plan explains how the Council will deliver our priorities and make sure that we offer fair and inclusive services that improve the lives of our residents.
Equality Act 2010
The Equality Act became law in October 2010. For the first time it brought together all of the legal requirements for equality that private, public and voluntary organisations must follow when they work with their employees and the public.
More information about the Act, and who is protected by it, can be found on the Equality and Human Rights Commission website (External Link).
Public Sector Equality Duty
As part of the Equality Act 2010 (Section 149), the Borough Council must pay due regard to the general duty to:
- eliminate unlawful discrimination (harassment, victimisation and any other prohibited conduct)
- advance equality of opportunity between those who share a protected characteristic and people who do not
- foster good relations between those who share a protected characteristic and people who do not
The Public Sector Equality Duty also puts in place some other things that the Council must do to show that it is working fairly.
We must publish information about the people who share a protected characteristic and who are our employees or people who are affected by our policies and the services we provide.
The Council collects information about its residents, employees and services in different ways.
Equal Opportunities - the Council collects data relating to protected characteristics from our employees and from people who apply for jobs with us.
Service Impact Assessments - we use these assessments to make sure that our services are fair and accessible to everyone.
Reports to Council meetings - when a report is considered by a committee, it should include any issues that relate to equality and should say how these issues have been addressed.
Consultation - the Council will often ask residents and other organisations we work with what they think of our services. This can help us find out if things are working well, or not so well, and how we can make them better.
Staffordshire Observatory - the research team at Staffordshire County Council has a local information system called the Staffordshire Observatory. The Observatory provides lots of information about Newcastle's communities that we use to help develop and improve services to meet the needs of our residents, businesses and visitors.
Locality Working - the Council supports 9 Locality Action Partnerships (LAPs). LAPs are made up of local councillors, community representatives, council officers and people from other organisations like the police and local businesses. They work together to improve the quality of life for people who live in their local area and help people get involved in making the important decisions that affect them.
We must also prepare and publish at least one objective that we hope to achieve so that we meet the aims of the Public Sector Equality Duty. The four objectives below support our corporate priorities and values and also meet our legal duties as set out in the Equality Act.
Protecting vulnerable people from crime, anti-social behaviour and domestic violence. This work will be supported by our Safer and Stronger Strategy.
Reducing health inequalities and deprivation across Newcastle, promoting healthy lifestyle choices and encouraging participation in sport and physical activity. This work will be supported by our Health and Wellbeing Strategy.
Work with partners to reduce levels of worklessness through educational achievement and skills development, particularly amongst young people. This work will be supported by our Economic Development Strategy.
To develop staff and members, ensuring that we support the different needs of our workforce.
We will monitor our progress in meeting these objectives by regular monitoring of our Corporate Plan and the three supporting strategies.