Agenda item

Equality Forum Refresh and Equality Forum Event - November 2017

This item will be presented by Chris Sinnott, Director of Policy and Governance and Victoria Willett, Performance and Partnerships Manager.


What it the purpose of the item?

The purpose of the item is to inform members of proposed changes to the Equality Forum.  The proposal is to have one or two larger half day conference or celebration events each year, supplemented by a number of more focussed task and finish groups to look at specific issues or areas of consultation.  It is proposed that the first conference be held in November and focus on community cohesion.


What do you want from the Forum?

-                To inform members of the proposals and gather feedback

-                To identify any specific topics for future task and finish groups


What will you do with the feedback received?

The feedback will be used to develop the forward plan for the Equality Forum.  Agenda item 5 will start to plan the half day conference in more detail.


For further information please contact Victoria Willett, Performance and Partnership Manager on email


The Chair took the Equality Forum refresh item and the Equality Forum event item together.


Members of the Forum were advised that a new format was being proposed to improve the existing Forum by trying to make it more effective and relevant.  The new format would include:

·         Half day celebration events to be held twice a year

·         Smaller, more focused task and finish groups held 2 to 3 times a year to consider specific issues or areas of consultation

·         The first celebration event to be held in November 2017


The first of the celebration events (which will take place twice per year) would focus on community cohesion and would look to bring community groups across the borough together to celebrate diversity and raise awareness of specific issues within the community.


The Forum were asked to consider the broad proposals above and provide their views and feedback in relation to the following questions:

  • How could things be done differently?
  • Are there any suggestions for improvement?
  • Suggestions for task and finish group topics
  • Suggestions for  the focus of celebration events


When the meeting was called to order, the Forum was invited to provide feedback which included potential topics for the celebration event. 


Written feedback from the Forum included suggestions around widening the scope and accessibility of the current forum, making sure it has higher levels of community engagement. A number of suggestions for improvement were also put forward including proposals around the Forum having a common purpose, higher levels of integration and more timely communications before the meeting and awareness of who is attending the event. More detail regarding the suggestions made can be found at Appendix A below.


The Forum also raised a number of suggestions for both Task and Finish Group topics and themes for future equality celebration events (More detail can be found at Appendix A below).


Response to suggestions:

·         The proposed changes to the Forum will include the delivery of equality celebration events which will provide a much wider remit for attendance. The events will be widely advertised (press/social media) with the aim of getting as many to attend as possible.


·         The proposed changes to the Forum will include the development of task and finish groups. The groups will come together to discuss particular topics, with a representative from relevant groups invited to attend. It is anticipated that papers will be circulated before each group, giving invitees the chance to prepare and feed back any particular questions before the meetings.


·         It was agreed at the meeting that the first celebration event to be held in November 2017 will have a focus on community cohesion. With a future event being suggested around disability awareness. The first task and finish group is likely to be held early in 2018 and topics raised by the Forum will be considered in the planning of this meeting.


The Forum was thanked for its contributions which would be considered as part of the planning process for the celebration event and future Equality Forum activity.

Supporting documents: