Implementation of our Equality Policy
Through the Equality Steering Group
The implementation of our Equality Policy will be driven by our Equality Steering Group. The purpose of the steering group is to:
- Lead by example – both within and outside of Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council.
- Promote the delivery of excellent services to meet the needs of our communities.
- Agree actions to deliver excellence.
- Ensure legal and statutory compliance.
- Encourage good practice and challenge bad practice.
- Develop realistic actions to mainstream equality and diversity beyond compliance in the council.
Through the effective implementation of related council policies and strategies
We recognise that we will only achieve our equality objectives when they are linked to all the activities which the council is involved in. Importantly, all corporate strategies must reflect and be cross-referenced to our Equality Policy. We have many corporate strategies and polices. They include:
Customer Services Strategy
Our Customer Services Strategy and three-year action plan will be launched in April 2018. The six principles of the Customer Services Strategy are:
- Customer focused: Using customer insight to get our service offer right.
- Clear: Be clear with customers and staff on what services we provide.
- Accessible: Offer a wide range of customer service/contact options.
- Efficient: Make best use of our resources and technology.
- Reliable: Get it right first time, serving customers consistently.
- Transparent: Be open about how we perform.
Workforce Development Strategy
We recognise the value of a diverse workforce for the benefit of our council, our people and the communities we provide services to. Our Workforce Development Strategy will ensure that the council has the right number and mix of skilled workers now and into the future. It ensures that there are opportunities for individuals employed by the council to develop their skills and knowledge and that these opportunities are open to everyone, regardless of their protected characteristics.
The council has clear policies on protecting children and vulnerable adults from abuse. Through our Safeguarding Policies we will ensure that:
- Staff, Members and other individuals or groups delivering services to the community understand their responsibilities and receive regular training and appropriate support.
- Clear procedures are in place to refer safeguarding concerns to Hertfordshire County Council and that records are maintained in an appropriate way.
- New and emerging government policy on safeguarding-related issues is adopted locally, including those relating to modern slavery, radicalisation and child sexual exploitation.
Our council has in place clear contract procedures rules. We will ensure that contracts that we enter into provide for services which are tailored to our community. Equality and diversity issues are reflected in our procurement procedures and tender evaluation model. We will:
- Provide more adaptable services to tackle social exclusion, support independent living and develop stronger and more cohesive communities.
- Improve the accessibility, quality and appropriateness of our services.
- Improve overall value-for-money in terms of goods, works and services.
Housing and Homeless Strategy
Our Housing and Homelessness Strategy (2013-18) is a five- year plan, which sets out the key issues, challenges and priorities for tackling homelessness and delivering housing and housing related services in our area. The Strategy identifies five key priority areas:
- Supply of Affordable Housing.
- Raising standards in the private sector, particularly Houses in Multiple Occupation. (HMOs)
- Making best use of housing in the borough.
- Prevention of homelessness.
- Meeting the needs of older people and other vulnerable groups.
Welwyn Hatfield Local Plan
Our draft Local Plan will shape future development and growth of the borough’s towns and villages. It identifies the future demand for specialised housing, supported housing and care places for people with different needs, including our older people over the next 20 years. It is expected to be adopted in 2018.