This page contains information about the Council's approach to equality and diversity.We want to deliver high quality services in a fair and equal way to all sections of the community. We are committed to reflecting the full diversity of the community we serve and promoting our role as an employer, service provider, purchaser of goods/services and community leader without discrimination in terms of:
- gender reassignment
- pregnancy or maternity
- sexual orientation
- religion or belief
- marital status or civil partnership status.
The above are known as 'protected characteristics' which means that they are protected from discrimination under equality law.
As a Council we will shape all services and employment practices to make sure that we are fully supporting the right to live free from discrimination, victimisation and harassment. We want to make Reigate & Banstead an area which gives all people the best possible environment in which to live and work.
The Equality Act 2010
The core provisions of the Equality Act 2010 came into force on 1 October 2010 and the Public Sector Equality Duty came into force in April 2011. The Act provides a much clearer picture of existing discrimination law and creates a stronger set of duties on public authorities to promote equality under a new Equality Duty.
The Equality Act requires Councils to publish information annually to show their compliance with the Equality Duty. This means that the information published must show that the Council has had 'due regard' to the need to:
- eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation
- advance equality of opportunity between people who share a relevant protected characteristic and those who do not share it
- foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it.
You can navigate the links to the left to view information about our equality policies and procedures, about actions we have taken and about decisions we have made relating to equality across a range of Council services. You can also find out more about the profile of the local area. Together, these pages contain information which demonstrate how we are meeting the Public Sector Equality Duty.
To request any of our equality documents in hard copy or another format, please contact our Help Line on 01737 276000 or use the contact us form on the report it page.
It may be possible to provide information in other languages, large print, braille or on audio tape – please contact our Help Line 01737 276000 if you would like this service. See the Access to council services and Translations pages for more information.
Improving our evidence
We recognise that we need to improve the equality information we hold. For some of the 'protected characteristics' the information we currently have is incomplete; this is because we have not historically collected data on all equalities issues and in the past we have had limited engagement with some groups.
Without a full evidence base, we cannot create an accurate picture about how our policies and practices have affected employees, service users and others from protected groups and we cannot be sure what their needs are. If we do not have effective two-way communication with all our residents and customers, we cannot identify patterns of disadvantage and how to overcome them. Furthermore we cannot identify opportunities to promote equality and improve relations between different community groups.
We are committed to improving the information we hold on equality issues because this will enable us to make decisions and improve services in the interests of all our customers and residents. We have acquired tools which will allow us to collect and map data about our local area to help us in this and we will continue to consider equality issues in decisions we make about our services by carrying out Equality Impact Assessments on the proposals.
The Council strives to incorporate consideration of equalities issues and themes in all services we provide, through the provision of 'Great Customer Service'.
Our Equality Objectives
The Public Sector Equality Duty requires local authorities to set Equality Objectives by 6 April 2012 and every four years after that. Our Equality Objectives are:
- To improve the Council's equality evidence base
- To communicate effectively, especially with regard to accessibility
- Actively encourage resident/customer involvement in service development/delivery, especially with regard to accessibility
- Fairness in employment
For more information see the Equality Objectives page.
The information we are publishing shows the steps we have taken so far to improve our evidence base, communicate effectively, encourage involvement in service development and delivery of services and fairness in employment. We recognise that this is an area where improvements can always be made and our equality objectives will demonstrate our commitment to compliance with the Equality Duty and to ensuring that we take equality issues into account in all our activities.
Visit the Government Equalities Office website
The Runnymede Trust campaigns for race equality (visit the Runnymede Trust website)
Stonewall represents lesbian, gay and bisexual people (visit the Stonewall website)
The Fawcett Society campaigns for equal rights for women (visit the Fawcett Society website)
Press for Change represents transgender and transsexual people (visit the Press for Change website)
Age UK provides information, advice and support to older people (visit the Age UK website)
RADAR is the Royal Association for Disability Rights (visit the RADAR website)
Last updated : 28/10/2013