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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

There are five objectives for the Council for 2020-2025, which are:

Be a more welcoming and inclusive council

  • We will engage with and welcome the contributions of residents, community groups and businesses; working collaboratively with local people.

Build thriving and resilient communities

  • We will work on frequent and regular opportunities to improve the partnership and relationship that the Council has with local citizens. Some of this will be achieved by change in culture, tone and communications but more will be done through direct measurable activity, intervention and consultation.
  • We will develop a range of innovative ways in which local communities, from small groups to whole towns and communities of interest can be encouraged to become more involved in supporting, planning, improving and maintaining local environments.
  • This work stream will focus particularly on engaging with young residents and those who are disadvantaged or in any way socially excluded, to ensure such innovations are fit for the future and imaginative in concept and delivery.

Respond to challenges to the environment

  • We will seek to provide a clean and safe environment, in consultation and partnership with local people.
  • We will engage local people and organisations as we progress towards our target of net zero carbon emissions by 2030, whilst taking action to enable and encourage residents to minimise their own carbon impact.
  • We will protect the natural and built environment through our planning policies and an effective green spaces strategy.
  • We will take action against environmental crime and ensure that our approach to waste and recycling promotes the hierarchy of reduce, re-use, recycle.
  • We will complete the elimination of single use plastics from the council and support reductions in their use across the district.
  • We will work to improve the monitoring and management of air quality across the district, prioritising those areas where air quality is most in need of improvement.

Enable an enterprising and co-operative economy

  • We will aim to become an increasingly innovative and inclusive Council, committed to generating community wealth, by seeking commercial and investment opportunities and through proactive engagement with a wider range of small and medium sized businesses to build a sustainable local economy.
  • We will continue to engage with residents, staff and Councillors to continue to embrace modern working practices through the use of IT and a commitment to working towards a paperless Council whilst increasing the efficiency of services and access to them by residents.

Support the delivery of good quality and affordable homes

  • We will enable and support the delivery of good quality and affordable housing in the district, ensuring both new and existing housing is fit for purpose, including a commitment to consultation and ensuring communities have the infrastructure they need.
  • We will build more effective relationships with local housing associations and recognise our role in the fight against homelessness.
  • We will continue to support Parishes with Neighbourhood plans

The Council Plan 2020-2025 document explains what each objective means and details specific projects that will help deliver each one. The Overview and Scrutiny Committee will review the progress of these projects midway through and after the end of each financial year.  All objectives seek to advance the eqaulity of opportunity in the district. 

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).