Torbay Council is supporting the national Race Equality Week (7 – 13 February 2022) and has a range of initiatives to support equality and diversity.
Race Equality Week is an annual UK-wide movement uniting thousands of organisations and individuals to address the barriers to race equality in the workplace.
The Council recently published its new Equality Objectives for the next four years, following a public consultation, and the Council’s annual Equalities Information will be published in the near future’.
In addition, the Torbay Racism Review was started in response to the protests which started around the world in May 2020 after George Floyd died at the hands of a police officer in Minneapolis, USA, including mass demonstrations in London and Bristol. The aim is to engage with the local community and allow them the space and time to voice their experiences and views to civic leaders and local and national decision makers.
After 18 months of undertaking the review to explore the issue of racism in Torbay, the Torbay Racism Review Panel are putting together a report with their initial findings and recommendations which will be presented to Cabinet at a later date. During the course of the review, the panel has undertaken a series of virtual meetings to seek answers to their key questions including:
· Senior Torbay Council Officers
· Devon and Cornwall Police
· Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service
· South Devon Healthcare NHS Trust
· Devon County Council’s Equality and Diversity Officer
· Westward Housing and Live West
· Devon Clinical Commissioning Group
· Devon BAME NHS Staff Network
· South Devon College
· The National Black Police Association (NBPA)
· Devon Partnership NHS Trust
In addition to the information gathered at the meetings the panel has received and considered many written submissions from a range of interested parties as well as nationally published reports and articles. This information will also be used by the panel in determining their findings and recommendations.
As well as these ongoing initiatives, the Council will be engaging with staff during the Race Equality Week and enabling them to share experiences.
The new Equality Objectives (2021 – 2025) are:
-Ensure a wide range of voices are reached and heard in decision making and designing and delivering services.
-Reduce inequalities so Torbay and its residents thrive.
-Consider and if approved implement the recommendations from the Torbay Racism Review Panel.
-Support the diverse needs of our workforce.
-You can find out more about the Equality Objectives on the council website https://www.torbay.gov.uk/council/policies/corporate/equalities/
Councillor Jermaine Atiya-Alla who is leading the local Torbay Racism Review said: “We are pleased to support Race Equality Week and to reaffirm our commitment to respecting equality and diversity and doing all we can to improve our services for all our residents.”
Leader of Torbay Council Steve Darling said: “Race Equality Week is an important opportunity for us all to reflect and take stock of the issues relating to equality and think about how we can enhance opportunities for minority groups within our communities.
“We would like to thank all those residents and groups who took the time to respond and help us shape our new Equality Objectives, and will continue to strive to support all of our communities here in Torbay.”
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