Equality and Diversity

Corporate Equality Strategy

Through our role as community leader, service provider and employer, the Council has made a promise to promote equality, create a harmonious community and do our best to prevent discrimination.

This strategy aligns with current legislation and reflects the commitment of the Council to ensure that its services, facilities and resources are accessible to residents and visitors to North Hertfordshire. The strategy also presents an updated demographic profile of North Hertfordshire (Appendix B - ' Knowing Our Communities').

Public Sector Equality Duty

The Public Sector Equality Duty came into force across the United Kingdom on 5 April 2011. It requires public bodies to consider all individuals when carrying out their day to day work – in shaping policy, in delivering services and in relation to their own employees.

The Equality Duty is Section 149 of the Equality Act. It is a duty of public bodies to have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations between different people carrying out their activities.

Equality objectives

The Council has identified the following three objectives for 2016 onwards:

  • To work with our partners to provide an attractive and safe environment for our residents, where diversity is welcomed and the disadvantaged are supported
  • To promote sustainable growth within our district to ensure economic and social opportunities exist for our communities, whilst remaining mindful of our cultural and physical heritage
  • To ensure that the Council delivers cost effective and necessary services to our residents that are responsive to developing need and financial constraints

All priorities embraces the work that we do with our local communities, parishes, town councils and charities. The corporate plan outlines the development of closer links with local groups to support service provision.

The Annual plan is supported by Service plans which reflect the wide ranging work of the Council. Each Service plan is a key component of NHDC’s Corporate Business Planning Process. Each plan sets out how the Service will support the three main priorities.

Equality Analysis

Equality analysis provides a way for the Council to consider the effect of decisions on different groups protected from discrimination by the Equality Act 2010.

We must demonstrate that any analysis:

  • contains sufficient information to enable a public authority to show it has given due regard to the equality duty in its decision making
  • identifies methods for mitigating or avoiding adverse impact (either disproportionate disadvantage and unlawful discrimination)
  • considers if there are any unintended consequences for some groups
  • considers if the policy / decision will be fully effective for all target groups.

We are committed to complete equality analysis for policy decisions made by the authority. (i.e. key decisions that have an impact on equality issues, major budget implications and any major service revisions.)

Completed equality analyses are published together with council meeting agendas and reports.

An annual cumulative equality assesment is also produced, assessing relevant council decisions in the civic year (available below).