Renfrewshire Council

Council Plan EQIA

Overview

The Council Plan is a key strategic document, which sets out for Council employees, local people, businesses, partner organisations and voluntary organisations, what the Council is aiming to achieve over a period of time.

Along with Renfrewshire's Community Plan the Council Plan provides a "golden thread", ensuring that the key strategic priorities of the Council translate into specific actions within service improvement plans, in order that there is clarity on the role that all Council services play in terms of delivering on these objectives.

The new Council Plan 2017-2022 has been developed during summer 2017 in tandem with the development of the Renfrewshire Community Plan 2017-2027. Developing these plans in parallel, provides a real opportunity for the Council, with key community planning partners, to agree the outcomes which all will focus on achieving going forward.

The plan itself is high level in nature and sets out how the Council will work with partners, communities and businesses to progress 5 key outcomes:

  • Reshaping our place, our economy and our future
  • Building strong, safe and resilient communities
  • Tackling inequality, ensuring opportunities for all
  • Creating a sustainable Renfrewshire for all to enjoy
  • Working together to improve outcomes.

Detailed actions and performance measures relating to these outcomes will be driven forward through Service Improvement Plans.

The Plan recognizes a large number of potential and actual equality impacts and has, in large part, turned these into priorities that will meet our three general duties. Some of our key areas of activity under each strategic outcome area explicitly recognize and are designed to tackle a specific issue affecting one or more equality groups. For example, under our economy priority, we have an area of activity related to youth employment; also under this priority we have promoting tourism, while in itself, not appearing equality related, behind it is an embedded equalities approach, particularly in relation to disabled people, for example working for accessible tourism and accessible job opportunities related to tourism. This reflects our area profile showing a higher than average population of disabled people. This approach is reflected in all five strategic outcome areas. Other examples would be in 'building strong, safe and resilient communities,' where embedding community justice arrangements will have specific actions recognizing the needs of women, as their experiences of the criminal justice system are quite different to those of men. In this priority area, there is also activity around private landlords, where we can use our knowledge of the diversity profile and qualitative research of private sector tenants, with particular relation to race and age, to ensure specific needs are met. The strategic outcome area of 'tackling inequality, ensuring opportunities for all' embodies our equalities approach in a more explicit way, identifying specific areas for action. As explained there are activity areas related to specific equality groups, but this does not mean that those without specific activity areas have not been thought about. For example, we recognize that we do not have good data or established support organizations with LGB&T communities. As part of our equality outcomes which sit below our council plan, we have put in place actions to support and develop such organizations and to foster the creation of self organized staff groups. Our equalities outcomes approach and our Council Plan are both being progressed in part through Service Improvement Plans, which are regularly reported on. It should also be noted that a large number of individual areas of work and projects sit behind the priorities, each of which will have a specific EQIA undertaken.

No changes recommended at this stage. The performance actions will be developed and monitored with equality in mind and public involvement to ensure that every opportunity to embody our general duties is taken advantage of.

Evidence of assessment

A strategic needs assessment was undertaken in 2017 to establish a full picture of the current and future residents of Renfrewshire. Renfrewshire Council staff equalities profiling data was also used as part of developing the plan. The data profiles were useful to understand the demography of the area and identify where specific needs may lie. As part of developing our equalities outcomes and other equalities related work, we engaged with local equalities led community groups to better understand needs and aspirations. We have identified that for some protected characteristics, there are very few if any equalities led community groups. In these cases we have drawn on national research and included support for emerging groups as part of our equalities work. This combination of quantitative and qualitative information has been used to both develop the Council Plan and this accompanying impact assessment.

The highlights from the evidence include:

  • Our population is ageing and it is projected that the number of people aged over 65 is expected to rise significantly in the next twenty years, particularly in the over 75 age group.
  • Renfrewshire is less ethnically diverse than Scotland as a whole, with almost 95% of Renfrewshire citizens identifying as White Scottish or White British. Almost half of Renfrewshire citizens born outside of the UK have been here for over 10 years. However, Renfrewshire's Black and Minority Ethnic population is rising gradually, particularly with economic migrants from other European countries such as Poland. Our schools data gives us an indication that Renfrewshire is becoming more ethnically diverse.
  • There is some evidence to suggest there are more disabled people in Renfrewshire than in Scotland as a whole. 20.5% of economically inactive people between16-74 are long-term sick or disabled. The profile of different disabilities is similar to Scotland, and of those whose day to day life is limited a lot by health or disability, and 31% of people have more than one condition. We find that our highest rates of disability are also in our most deprived wards, as measured by the Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD). Our approach to tackling poverty, promoting equality and readiness for the socio economic duty implementation put us in a good position to understand and respond to this picture.
  • Reliable statistics on sexual orientation remain an issue. Household surveys indicate that 2% of people identify as lesbian, gay or bisexual (LGB) in Scotland, with younger people much more likely to identify as LGB. It should be noted that the Stonewall estimate of lesbian, gay and bisexual people is between 5-7%, and this estimate is widely used within public authorities. Demographic information on gender re-assignment is even less reliable.
  • We have also gathered our own monitoring data in specific Council service areas to understand better who our citizens are and how we can best meet their needs. These data sets have also been taken into account.
  • The Diversity and Equality Alliance in Renfrewshire (DEAR) Group, facilitated by our Community Planning Partnership were able to feed into developments. This group has been really helpful in articulating aspirations for equality in Renfrewshire and developing the community plan which is the complementary plan to this one. We also recognise that many people will choose not to be involved in a community group and so we have tried to reflect individual voices by using our Public Services Panel.

This refreshed council plan has given us the opportunity to reflect on the most recent equalities data and involvement with equalities led community groups. The plan reflects those themes identified by our local groups and includes specific areas of activity to reflect the needs of our demographics, for example work related to carers.

No actions are required to remove or mitigate negative impacts, but it will be kept under review during performance monitoring, review and further public involvement. Opportunities to maximize positive impacts have been taken in the drafting of the plan and will continue to be taken as the key areas of activity are developed.

To be published with Board report

Conclusion

The quantitative and qualitative data gathered shows that the Council Plan will reflect the priorities and meets the needs of the diverse communities in Renfrewshire. Our continuing general public involvement and involvement with our equalities led community groups has shown that we have kept in mind and addressed the needs of those with protected characteristics. As the Council Plan covers such a wide range of priorities, further EQIAs are required to be undertaken on specific projects.

The monitoring and review arrangements will take place via a number of coordinated channels, including:

  • Public Services Panel
  • Report back via DEAR group engagement and link to community plan
  • Through Service Improvement Plans where the equality outcomes are embedded

Through regular review and publicly available

Date prepared

28 September 2017

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