Equality and diversity
Equality is about creating a fairer society where everyone can participate and have the opportunity to fulfil their potential.
Legislation backs up unfair discrimination.
Equality is not about doing people favours, lowering standards, tokenism or a numbers game.
It’s about ensuring people are treated equally. This does not mean treating everyone the same, but recognising differences in life situation or in experience and ensuring there is equality of opportunity for all people, considering their needs.
This definition recognises that:
- equality is an issue for all
- we don’t all start from the same position
Therefore, in order to create a fairer society we must recognise different needs.
Diversity is about recognising and valuing differences between individuals, groups and communities to create a positive and inclusive culture for the benefit of all our residents.
Society is increasingly diverse, and everyone experiences life in different ways, for many different reasons.
Differences in identity affect the prosperity and cohesion of all communities. Social mobility, migration and other socio-economic factors affect all councils.
Diversity is also about creating a culture of working practices that recognise, respect, value and harness differences for the benefit of the organisation and individual.
Our Equality and Diversity Strategy (PDF 337.6KB) demonstrates our commitment as community leaders, service providers and as an employer to ensure that equality and diversity is at the heart of all that we do, for local people, our employees, our partners, and the community at large.
It sets out our overall approach, audits our progress and includes the objectives and plan of action on which we are currently working.
It demonstrates how we will ensure our services reflect fairness and equality.
The action plan focuses on key themes, which form the foundation of all our service areas. We consulted with key stakeholders to develop this plan. It reflects our statutory duties, and commitment to improving our services and work place practices.
We monitor and review our performance annually, to meet the objectives set out in this scheme
Tackling inequalities is critical if Central Bedfordshire is to be successful in delivering services in such a way that people whose circumstances make them vulnerable are not disadvantaged.
Narrowing the equality gap requires an awareness of the needs and interests of people who are at greater risk of lower quality of life outcomes. This includes assessing how well matched services are to needs and the means available to people to influence decision-making and service delivery.
Tackling inequality is also about promoting the welfare of employees by keeping the workplace free from harassment, bullying and all other forms of discrimination.
The Equality and Diversity Scheme sets out how we work to achieve these objectives.
We work with community groups and the voluntary sector through our Equalities Forum and with contractors and those working on behalf of us, to promote equality and tackle discrimination.
We undertake equality impact assessments, engage and consult with the community on how well we are performing and what we can do to improve.
Prior to the development of the strategy, we approved the Single Equality and Diversity Scheme. This provides more detail about the equality issues we are trying to address: