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Draft Corporate Equality Scheme

Published Friday 9 February, 2024
Last updated on Tuesday 20 February, 2024

People are being asked their views on how Swale Borough Council (SBC) will tackle inequality within the borough for the next four years.

The policy and resources committee agreed on 7 February for the council’s draft Corporate Equality Scheme 2024 – 2028 to go out to consultation.

The scheme explains how the council will fulfil its moral, social and legal obligations to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations.

This is a legal requirement for the council, as set out in the Equality Act 2010’s Public Sector Equality Duty.

The Duty covers people with the following protected characteristics: age; race; disability; sexual orientation; religion or belief; sex; gender reassignment; pregnancy and maternity and marriage and civil partnership.

The four outlined objectives in the scheme are:

  • Supporting integration and cohesion in our local communities - designed to foster good relations between different groups
  • Supporting our vulnerable residents - is about supporting Swale’s more vulnerable residents, particularly those with a disability
  • Ensuring easy, clear and convenient access to our services - is about improving the council’s customer care and working with the community to make their services more responsive to the needs of Swale’s residents
  • Promoting equality as a local employer - is about ensuring that the policies and practices that affect our staff council staff are fair and promote equality of outcome

These objectives are designed to underpin the council’s overall aims laid out in their new draft Corporate Plan, with the proposed vision being: learning from the past, focusing on the future.

The scheme will be monitored, and regular progress reports will be made to track its success.

Cllr Tim Gibson, leader of the council, said:

“This equality scheme sets out how we aim to make Swale a fairer place for everyone.

“Our borough is becoming an increasingly diverse place, and as a council, we need to tailor our services to meet those changing needs, whilst providing value for money for local residents.

“We also need to take a leading role in making Swale a place where everyone has equal life chances – regardless of age, race, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief, gender, marital status, gender identity, pregnancy or maternity leave rights.

“We have tried through this scheme to focus more on what is important to Swale’s community than on internal Council processes, although these are still very important to us.

“Hearing from the public is integral to the success of this scheme and your feedback will enable us to better understand how we can provide a scheme to make a real impact and help Swale be an inclusive place for all.”

Read the draft scheme and have your say here: www.swale.gov.uk/dce

The consultation ends on 10 April.

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