Venue: Zoom Meeting - Virtual (meeting joining details can be found on the agenda frontsheet or agenda reports pack). View directions
Contact: Melissa Nicholson
None as full panel was in attendance.
Notes of meeting held by the panel on 17 September 2020 were agreed as a correct record.
How do we make Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic lives matter at Torbay Council?
To question the Interim Chief Executive, Head of HR and Assistant Director of Community and Customer Services of Torbay Council on the key question.
The Chair welcomed Anne-Marie Bond (Interim Chief Executive, Torbay Council), Tara Harris (Assistant Director Customer and Community, Torbay Council) and Sue Wiltshire (Head of Human Resources, Torbay Council) to the meeting and the panel then directed a number of questions to them based around the key question of how do we make Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) lives matter at Torbay Council?
The key responses from the council officers are detailed below:
· It was agreed that the council needed to ensure that its foster care provision was ethnically diverse
· It was stated that the council has not historically had a targeted campaign to address diversity in its workforce but that this was now being addressed via the development of a revised workforce or people strategy that would make diversity a focus with support from the Local Government Association (LGA)
· That the council’s workforce was most ethnically diverse in social care roles and in agency staff
· That the council’s approach to adoption of children was that the process was primarily about the child’s needs
· That in developing its workforce plan the council would consider implementing a target for the employment of BAME staff but would take advice from the LGA on this approach
· That whilst Torbay Council has a low BAME workforce of 1.3% in comparison to other councils it does aspire to be representative of the community it serves and the council acknowledges that it needs to do better on this moving forward. To date its approach has been ‘one size fits all’ rather than targeted but that it needs to make improvements on this issue
· That austerity has made addressing ethnic diversity in the council workforce more difficult as the council has had to focus on a range of issues with less money
· The interim Chief Executive is committed to the council reaching out and engaging with all sectors in its community and is currently consulting the community on the council’s consultation strategy
· That the council’s approach to BAME staff has to be more than targets but a wider set of initiatives, campaigns and polices to encourage BAME staff to work and stay with the council
· Council is clear that it does not tolerate racism and that it needs to work with the community more to address racism in Torbay
· Council admitted that some of its BAME data was old and dating back to the 2011 census but that the 2021 census data would provide the council with a much better picture of its community and how the council can provide support to the BAME community
· At times the council found it hard to collect data on ethnicity as respondents were not required to answer this question on forms
· The council was clear that its approach to addressing ethnic diversity in its workforce also had to happen in its arms-length companies of SWISCo and TDA
· That the council had not historically marked Black History Month but that it would consider doing in the future
· That the council works ... view the full minutes text for item 12.
No other business was raised.
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