Report from the Assistant Chief Executive.
Consideration was given to the report which explained that the Council Plan 2022/2025 had set out that the Council’s ambition was to create an inclusive Borough for people to live, work and enjoy; a Borough where nobody was left behind and where all were welcome and treated fairly. The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy set out the commitments that the Council was making to support those outcomes. It would ensure that equality objectives truly underpinned the themes of the Council Plan to ensure that achieving equality outcomes was embedded in everything that the Council did. It would also commit to achieving the highest national standards as set out in the Equalities Framework for Local Government.
The Strategy was built on 4 key equality objectives: understanding, listening to and working with Rotherham’s communities; delivering accessible and responsive services that meet diverse needs; provide leadership and organisational commitment to actively promote equalities; and ensuring a diverse and engaged workforce.
The Council had set out its commitment to achieving and demonstrating the highest standards in equality, diversity and inclusion through aspiring to reach “Excellent” in the Equalities Framework for Local Government (EFLG), which was the national standard. The New EDI Strategy and objectives supported the achievement and then the maintenance of the “Excellent” standard. Appendix 2 set out the action plan to support this.
The Equalities Annual report provided an overview of equalities activity and achievement over the last year and commitments going forward in relation to the priorities of the new EDI strategy. Each year, the looking ahead section of the Annual report would form a cycle of review and forward planning over the lifetime of the EDI Strategy ensuring that actions were always informed and current.
An extensive consultation process has been undertaken seeking views on 3 initial, draft objectives along with key actions and the approach to taking forward the EDI Strategy. The consultation responses helped to shape the final 4 objectives and this was described in section 4 of the report and Appendix 3.
This report was considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board as part of the pre-decision scrutiny process. The Board fully supported the recommendations and asked that consideration be given as to how equalities were presented in Council reports going forward.