Equality and Diversity

Corporate Equalities Strategy - Quality through Equality

Other Corporate Initiatives and Strategies

To help achieve the Corporate Strategy and its aims, a number of supporting strategies have been developed. These are identified below, together with specific equalities actions:

Strategy 1 - Communications

Strategy 2 - Personnel and training

Strategy 3 - Development and training

Strategy 4 - Performance development

Strategy 5 - Best Value

Strategy 6 - IT 2000 - Information technology

Strategy 1 - Communications

Corporate Strategy

To influence government and public opinion as well as inform staff and the public, effective communications are necessary. The Communications Strategy is designed to ensure good communication with every individual, group and organisation within the County.

The key aims of the Strategy are to have a consistent, coherent and effective voice for the County Council and to promote its corporate nature as well as provide information to the public to enable them to make best use of our services.

Equalities Implications

To promote equality it is necessary to:

  • make information available in a range of formats and target it in the most appropriate way to help under -represented groups get involved;

  • promote and highlight commitment to equality by the words and actions of the County Council and its elected members.

Strategy 2 - Personnel and training

Corporate Aims

The Personnel and Training strategy focuses on four key areas:

  1. Getting the right people

  2. Creating the right environment

  3. Developing the right skills and expertise

  4. Using our resources effectively

This strategy is also supported by the Development and Training Strategy, the Health and Safety Strategy, the Performance Development Strategy and is underpinned by the Equalities Strategy.

Equality Implications

The Equalities Strategy is an integral part of achieving the Personnel and Training strategy goals. Equalities policies and actions must ensure that employees are treated with fairness and equity and that the Council's workforce reflects the community it supports.

To promote equality it is necessary to:

  • ensure that an effective equalities monitoring mechanism is available;

  • promote flexibility in employment practice to help accommodate the needs of all individuals within the overall service aims of the County Council;

  • develop special initiatives to help personal and career development and to help the Council achieve a representative workforce;

  • achieve dignity at work.

Strategy 3 - Development and training

Corporate Aims

The Development & Training Strategy provides support mechanisms for each of the strategies to be delivered and developed.

Equality Implications

To promote equality it is necessary to:

  • make sure that individual and departmental plans address the practice and operation of equalities and through personal development;

  • make sure that opportunities are available to provide access to information about good equalities practice at all levels of the organisation.

  • make sure that training needs analysis includes all aspects of equality, such as disability awareness, race and anti-harassment.

Strategy 4 - Performance development

Corporate Aims

Performance development provides a framework which links individual and team action plans to organisational objectives through the clear specification of priorities and agreed targets, against which an assessment of progress is made. It is a key component of Hampshire County Council's management of services.

The County Council has also committed itself to Investors in People accreditation and the key principles of commitment, planning, action and evaluation.

Equality Implications

To promote equalities it is necessary to:

  • ensure that job descriptions and person specifications for new employees will include awareness of equalities issues in-line with corporate objectives;

  • ensure that departmental action plans are reviewed and agreed in line with the equalities agenda of the County Council.

Strategy 5 - Best Value

Corporate Aims

Best Value is one means by which central government plans to modernise and transform local government. Best Value requires us to deliver services to clear standards, covering both cost and quality by the most effective, economic and efficient means available. In doing this, it requires that we are accountable to local people and also have responsibility to central government in its role as representative of broader national interest.

In reviewing our services, it requires us to:

  1. Challenge,

  2. Compare,

  3. Consult,

  4. Compete.

Equality Implications

Best Value requires the County Council to plan and deliver services which are sensitive to the diverse needs of all service users. It makes clear that continuous improvement to service must take into account `access' to services as one of the key performance criteria.

To achieve Best Value, the County Council is required to consider equalities issues at every stage of the process.

Strategy 6 - IT 2000 - Information technology

Corporate Aims

The key elements of this Strategy and its aims are:

  • To build a Strategy around the business and service requirements of users, staff and the wider public in relation to our services.

  • To exploit and utilise existing systems and technologies within the County Council, maximising the benefit from existing levels of investment; to provide new hardware and software platforms so that the County Council may exploit opportunities as they emerge and as new technologies appear robust and relevant; and to create a financial framework which exploits potential sources of funding and makes the most of the existing budget.

Equality Implications

Take actions which incorporate the use of Information Technology to make it more accessible to users, staff and the public especially those who are disabled.

New purchases of software and hardware have to be justified in terms of their accessibility to these groups as well as on the grounds of cost, benefits and value for money.

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