The Council is committed to furthering equal opportunities and values diversity. These pages provide information about how we demonstrate these commitments in our working practices.

The Equality Act 2010 replaced many separate anti-discrimination laws with a single Act. It also strengthened the law in important ways and extends protection against discrimination on the basis of: race, disability, sex, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, sexual orientation, age, religion or belief, and pregnancy and maternity. 

Public bodies and other organisations carrying out public functions have an Equality Duty. This Duty consists of a general duty and specific duties. The general duty has three aims which requires public bodies to have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
  • advance equality of opportunity between people from different groups; and
  • foster good relations between people from different groups. 

The specific duties are requirements designed to help public bodies meet the general duty. They require public bodies to:

  • publish information to show their compliance with the Equality Duty annually;
  • set and publish at least one measurable equality objective that furthers the three aims of the Equality Duty and then again at least every four years.

The Council has met these specific duties. The Council's overall approach to equality and diversity is set out in its Icon for word Statement of Commitment to Equality and Diversity [126.5KB].

EASS Helpline- advice available on equality & human rights issues 

The Equality Advisory Support Service (EASS) advises and assists individuals on issues relating to equality and human rights across the UK. It also accepts referrals from organisations which may not have the resources to provide in-depth advice to users of their services.

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, the helpline has also been advising on possible discrimination linked to the Covid-19 situation such as social distancing, priority times for shopping at supermarkets, safe working environments and home working and reasonable adjustments. 

The helpline is available Monday through Friday from 9am to 7pm and on Saurday from 10am to 2pm.

Telephone 0808 800 0082                         Textphone 0808 800 0084

Webchat is also available via  the EASS website here.


Holocaust Memorial Day 2020 Recognised

This is an internationally recognised day to remember the six million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of other people killed under Nazi Persecution and in more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.

Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) is a reminder for everyone that prejudice and hatred must be challenged by us all and has no place in a civilised society. Each year across the UK, thousands of people come together to learn more about the past and take action to create a safer future.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism states:

 "Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of antisemitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities."

The Government and local authorities have been urged to use this definition to demonstrate their commitment to raise awareness of and respond to manifestations of antisemitism.  The Council recognises this definition as a useful tool to increase awareness of antisemitism across its service areas and in its work with partners in the community to promote understanding and equality.   

This year HMD was especially poignant as it marked the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and the 25th anniversry of the genocide in Bosnia. This year's theme  "Stand Together" explored tactics used by regimes in history to marginalise certain groups and how these tactics can be challenged by standing together.

The Council is an important local employer and values the contributions of its workforce. Information is collected and monitored by Human Resources to ensure fairness at all stages of recruitment and employment. Information is also collected from regular staff surveys to help the Council understand and address any staff issues or concerns related to equality.

The Council had one corporate equality objective for 2018-19. This objective was identifed from local statistical data, feedback from partner organsiations, customers and staff. Progress toward acheiving this objective is regularly monitored. Background information and progress notes against for this objective are set out in the Icon for word Corporate Equality Objective 2018 Summary Report [16.44KB].

Two corporate equality objectives have been identified for 2019-21. One considers how the Council can further strengthen understanding of equality and diversitywithin our own workforce and in our service delivery and customer care. The second considers how we can work more closely with our partners to improve awareness and reporting of domestic abiuse and ensure our local services meet local needs. Learn more about how we aim to meet our Icon for word 2019-21 Corporate Equality Objectives [19.14KB].

Understanding Diversity

The Council works closely with many other service providers, both voluntary and public, across the Borough to understand the needs of service users from minority or marginalised groups. Sharing knowledge and experiences with partners improves understanding among local service providers of the needs of local people.  

The resources below provide additional sources of information for understanding the needs of people based on individual characteristics such as age, disability and race, and contact details for local support offered. 

Equality Impact Assessments

The Council tries to understand the diverse needs of its staff and customers when developing and implementing policies and strategies and when making key decisions.  To do this, equality impact assessments (EIAs) are valuable tools to help understand the affect these may have on different groups of people and to help us ensure no discrimination is taking place. The Council uses EIAs during the development stage of new policies and strategies, when considering significant changes to existing policies and strategies and when considering financial decisions. 

We are always interested in improving the information we provide on these pages and welcome any comments. If you have any enquires or comments you wish to make, please contact us on or ring the Corporate Policy and Community Safety Section on 023 9254 5695.