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To confirm the Minutes of the Meeting held on 15th July 2020 (copy attached).
The Minutes of the meeting held on 15th July, 2020 were approved and would be signed by the Chairman at a later date.
At the last meeting of the Board, it was agreed that a special meeting should be held to consider the scope and next steps to be followed by the Council in light of the Motion agreed by the Council on 25th June 2020. To assist the Board, a presentation will be made by the Head of Democracy and Community setting out the following:
· data and service information held by the Council on ethnic minorities;
· background to current policies; and
· suggested outcome measures and associated tasks.
The Board will be asked to consider the outcome measures and tasks and agree the next steps.
The Chairman reminded Members that this special Board meeting had been arranged to consider the scope and next steps to be followed by the Council in light of the Motion agreed by the Council at its meeting on 25th June, 2020 to support the establishment of an all-party review led by the Policy and Project Advisory Board to include black, Asian and minority ethnic members of the community, to review processes, policies and organisational attitudes regarding racism.
In accordance with the guidelines for public participation at meetings, the following three members of the public made representations which were duly considered by the Board:
· Ms Julia Longrigg, who highlighted the need for a ‘grass roots model’ which included a mechanism to capture feedback from Rushmoor residents on their experiences of Council services. The suggestion was that Ward Councillors would meet on an ongoing basis with members of black and ethnic minority communities to listen to and capture the specific issues being experienced by residents in their Wards and pass this ground-level evidence of the impact of the Council’s ways of working up to the decision makers within the Council.
· Revd Malcolm Cummins, Pastor at the New Testament Church of God in Aldershot, which had a significant Afro-Caribben community. He highlighted areas where direct racial abuse was being suffered by this community in Rushmoor and encouraged the Council to listen to these experiences and to confront the issues in order to build a better and fairer Rushmoor.
· Mr Jib Belbase, former Chair of the Greater Rushmoor Nepali Community organisation, spoke about the education and training the Nepali community had put in place, with the support of the Council, in order to better integrate with the communities they lived in. The Nepali community had developed a close working arrangement with the Council which was mutually beneficial but he recognised that there was still work to do.
In discussion, there was broad agreement to the principle of a proposed ‘grass roots model’ with wide engagement process.
Before asking the Head of Democracy and Community to give his presentation, the Chairman reminded the Board that the key items to be agreed were the outcome measures and actions that would set the direction of this work over the Municipal Year 2020/21.
Andrew Colver, Head of Democracy and Community, then gave his presentation which covered:
· Data relating to Rushmoor which included the 2011 census and other information, a 2020 school census of ethnic groups and information from Citizens’ Advice, Supporting Families and the Police / Community Safety Team;
· Rushmoor Council’s policies and guidance and how they dealt with ethnicity and diversity, and reported incidents. These included the equalities and diversity policies and dignity at work.
· Process to review Rushmoor’s policies and processes around Equality, Diversity and Inclusion were fit for purpose.
Mr Colver then presented four draft outcomes for consideration, which had been discussed with the Chairman. The outcomes included outline tasks as follows:
· Rushmoor’s policies and processes around equality, diversity and inclusion are ... view the full minutes text for item 16.