WELCOME AND APOLOGIES
As the Chair, Cllr Ergin Erbil, was unwell and unable to attend the meeting, Cllr Margaret Greer (Vice Chair) chaired the meeting.
Cllr Greer wished Cllr Erbil well and welcomed everyone to the meeting.
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to the terms on the agenda.
No declarations of interest were received.
To receive and agree the minutes of the meeting held on 23 September 2020.
1) With reference to item 4i) of the minutes, background data would be shared with Board Members.
2) An amendment to item 4ii) was noted, to read ‘homelessness issues for young people’
With the above amendments, the minutes were agreed.
To note the terms of reference.
1) The use of the word ‘gender’ as opposed to ‘sex’ had been amended in the Terms of Reference, however, there was inconsistent use of the terms within the Equalities Annual Report. This would be addressed.
To receive a report from Harriet Potemkin, Head of Strategy and Policy.
Harriet Potemkin, Head of Strategy and Policy provided an overview of the draft Equality and Diversity Annual Report 2020.
1) The report is very detailed and provides an overview of activity during 2020.
2) Included within the report is the latest demographic data and analysis.
3) The report details how the Council are tackling inequality and provides information across the 3 themes of; Good Homes in Well Connected Neighbourhoods, Safe, Healthy and Confident Communities, An Economy that works for Everyone.
4) The have been many events that have been organised during 2020, to celebrate the diverse community in Enfield, including Black History Month, Inter Faith Week, LGBT History Month and World Mental Health Day
5) The Council now work with and support The Enfield Faith Forum, Covid-19 Resilience Board and Enfield Youth Parliament.
6) The report provides information on how the Council are creating a diverse workforce and the various forum available to support specific groups, including The Ethnic Minority Network, The Disability Working Group and Women in to Leadership.
Following the update, The Chair asked for comments and questions from Board Members.
7) It was agreed that the report should include detail of how the Council fund groups such as the LGBT Network and the Women’s Centre.
8) The date of the International Women’s day was amended.
9) The role of EREC in planning Black History Month will be acknowledged in the report.
10)In the section relating to older people, there is an emphasis on social isolation, but the report should contain details of some of the wider issues faced by older people.
11)The role of unpaid carer’s will be acknowledged and expanded upon.
12)It was agreed to review the content relating to mental health to ensure the Council reaches out to those suffering mental ill-health.
13)It was requested that on page 8 of the document, the title ‘Ethnic Diversity’ should incorporate the term ‘race’. In addition, there should be standardisation of the words ‘gender’ and ‘race’.
14)On page 13, there should be reference to pregnancy and maternity and deaths in childbirth within the BAME community.
15)In relation to Good Homes in Well Connected Neighbourhoods, it would be useful to include statistics on BAME rough-sleepers.
To receive a presentation from Stuart Lines, Director of Public Health.
Stuart Lines, Director of Public Health and Gayan Perera, Health Intelligence Manager gave a presentation and highlighted the following;
1) There is a disproportionate impact of Covid-19 upon BAME groups in Enfield. Covid-19 cases per 1,000 for the black and Asian ethnicity groups are in excess of those for the majority of other groups.
2) To mitigate the impact, a number of actions have been carried out.
· Education and awareness via the Enfield Faith Forum
· Working with BAME representatives on the Covid Resilience Board
· Video campaigns in community languages
· Providing Covid-19 training sessions in liaison with Health Champions
3) Currently, ethnicity is not recorded on death certificates. This will soon be a nation-wide requirement which will assist with detailed analysis of groups most at risk.
4) There are a lot of developing messages that resonate with different groups including, to fund, develop and implement culturally competent Covid-19 education and prevention campaigns. There have been several stakeholder engagement activities and the NHS Covid-19 app was introduced at the Community Resilience Board to encourage community groups to use it.
5) The Health and Wellbeing Strategy will be used in an attempt to accelerate appropriate health promotion and disease prevention programmes.
6) A key element of the Integrated Care Partnership is a workstream looking at strategies to address existing health inequalities faced by BAME communities, that have been exacerbated by Covid-19.
The Chair thanks Officers for the presentation and asked for comments and questions from Board Members.
7) It was confirmed that the highest risk age group is the over 65’s who may be suffering co-morbidities such as diabetes, hypertension or heart disease.
8) A question was asked in relation to getting messages across on the need to wear face masks and it was noted that while this is difficult to enforce, retailers are encouraged to promote this.
9) It was confirmed that the Enfield specific data could be shared with the Board.
10)Following a question on what has been learned about why BAME groups are disproportionately represented it was noted that levels of deprivation, housing conditions and occupations such as taxi drivers and care workers (a reluctance to lose hours and wages to get tested), result in higher figures.
11)Patients with dementia accounted for 25% of all Covid-19 related deaths as the over 80s age group was the highest affected age range.
The Chair asked that further updates are provided to the Equalities Board and hoped that the potential vaccine would soon be available.
To receive a presentation from Peter George, Programme Director Meridian Water.
Peter George, Programme Director Meridian Water gave an update on Equality and Diversity within the development scheme.
1) Meridian Water will provide 10,000 new homes and 6,000 jobs over the next couple of decades.
2) The Meridian Water Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Action Plan was circulated to members and comments would be welcome.
3) It was noted that leadership is a vital element of an action plan such as this. In team meetings, discussions were held on the Black Lives Matter Movement following the death of George Floyd. It was important that team members were allowed to voice their opinions and from this an Equalities and Diversity Champion was established within the Meridian Water Team.
4) The Director has given an interview to a trade journal on the need to ensure contracts are given to companies who share the same ethos as the Council in this regard. This has led to a number of invitations to speak at events on the subject.
5) A staff group was formed to comment on the action plan and previous feedback from Councillors included the need to ensure local people from local wards benefit from the new homes, jobs and training opportunities.
6) Monitoring will be evident for all BAME issues within the Meridian Water development.
The Chair thanked Peter George for the update and asked Members of the Board for any comments or questions.
7) It was noted that the aims are very good as housing and employment is a major issue for the BAME community. The affordable housing will be a mixture of tenures, including housing associations which will have regard for ethnicity and diversity.
8) An enlarged copy of the action plan will be provided to Board Members as required.
ACTION: Andy Ellis
9) A comment was received that Edmonton is 60% BAME, therefore this should be reflected in Meridian Water, however, it is important to not allow a ghetto to be created. If was suggested that a housing points based scheme would be beneficial. The Local lettings Plan will be based on a priority points scheme with people in Edmonton with particular needs having the first opportunity to bid, before the rest of the Borough can bid.
10)It was noted that the 20 year plan will provide an area where people will be proud to live.
FAIRER ENFIELD POLICY CONSULTATION (10 Minutes)
To receive a verbal update from Harriet Potemkin, Head of Strategy and Policy
Harriet Potemkin, Head of Strategy and Policy provided an update and highlighted the following;
1) This version of the document follows on from the draft policy discussed at the last meeting of the Equalities Board. The contributions from Board Members have been included within the revised document.
2) There have been very useful meetings with representatives from the Voluntary Sector.
3) The actions taken and events attended were noted, with the aim of getting the policy embedded once approved.
4) A summary of the feedback received to date was given, along with detail on the 6 objectives that are included within the policy.
5) The next steps include to develop the action plan further before presenting the final draft policy to Full Council in February 2021.
The Chair thanked Harriet and asked for comments or questions from Board Members.
6) Consideration should be given within the policy to violence against women and girls (VAWG) issues.
7) A question was asked in relation to how the Council addresses hate crime. In response, Officers from the Community Safety Team could provide an update at a future meeting.
8) It was noted that mental health carries a wide brief but it was vital to identify meaningful support for all age groups and communities. The delivery of mental health objectives would be considered further within the document.
FUTURE AGENDA ITEMS (5 Minutes)
Members of the Equalities Board to discuss items for consideration at future meetings.
The following potential items were noted for discussion at future meetings:
· Hate Crime
· Mental Health and Wellbeing within the BAME community
· Sustainable and Ethical Procurement
· Covid-19 testing and take up of vaccines
· Affordability of Housing for BAME groups
· Fairtrade and the Co-operative Movement – how does this support local communities to take an active role in the economy. Invite the Co-operative to do a presentation.
It was agreed that some items would need to be prioritised, with some rolling over to the next municipal year. This would be discussed with the Chair.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS (5 Minutes)
With the approval of the Chair, any items of business, relevant to the Equalities Board.
There were no items of other business.
DATES OF FUTURE MEETINGS
To note the date of future meetings as follows:
Tuesday 16 February 2021
Wednesday 28 April 2021
The dates of future meetings were noted and Cllr Greer thanked everyone for attending and wished everyone a safe and reflective Christmas.