Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Centre, Silver Street, Enfield, EN1 3XA. View directions
Contact: Email: Democracy@enfield.gov.uk
WELCOME & APOLOGIES
Cllr Ergin Erbil (Chair) welcomed everyone to the meeting.
Apologies for absence were received from Cllr Ayfer Orhan, Cllr Clare De Silva, Cllr Dino Lemonides, Cllr Jim Steven, Ben Ingber (Age UK Enfield), Ginnie Landon (Enfield Women’s Centre), Chandra Bhatia (Enfield Racial Equality Council).
DECLARATIONS OF INTEREST
Members of the Council are invited to identify any disclosable pecuniary, other pecuniary or non-pecuniary interests relevant to items on the agenda.
There were no declarations of interest registered in respect of any items on the agenda.
To agree the minutes of the Equalities Board meeting held on the 16th February 2021.
The Board agreed the minutes of the last meeting held on the 16th February 2021.
Cllr Achilleas Georgiou requested that the item on Inclusive Transport, minute number 22.4 be changed from “been delivered” to “been piloted”.
To receive an update on the 27 recommendations.
Harriet Potemkin (Head of Strategy and Policy) provided an update on Enfield’s Poverty and Inequality Commission (EPIC) one year on.
EPIC was set up to understand the causes of poverty and inequality in Enfield and to find local solutions. The independent commission was chaired by Baroness Tyler of Enfield with a panel of 12 commissioners. Their final report was published in January 2020 and contained 27 recommendations.
The update given highlighted progress against a number of the 27 recommendations, noting that a summary in relation to all 27 is contained in the Update circulated in the reports pack.
Recommendation 3: The Council should work with partners to reform the private rented sector so that it works for all residents. Additional licensing scheme went live 2020 and selective licensing being phased in following government approval in May 2021. A new Housing Advisory Service has been introduced to focus on homelessness prevention. 18 more homes have been secured through Housing Gateway.
Recommendation 7: The voluntary and community sector, supported by the Council, should create a Food Action Plan for Enfield, to ensure all families have access to healthy food. This is being done through school holiday schemes, small grants for community food projects provided, four food pantries established through the Food Alliance and over 79K food/essential item parcels delivered to isolated people across the Borough.
Recommendation 11: The Council should revitalise youth services in the Borough. Prioritise investment in universal youth services and targeted outreach youth workers.
Recommendation 12: The Council, education providers and the voluntary and community sector should work together to ensure that all Enfield’s Children are “school-ready”. This is being done with an additional £150K investment to enhance speech, language and communication services to focus on prevention and early intervention and encouraging take up of free early years places for 2 to 3-year olds.
Recommendation 15: The Council should work with schools to set a target to reduce the use of fixed-term and permanent exclusions. With the help of workshops, training and mentoring programmes, supporting young people’s mental health and wellbeing have shown a reduction of 23% of permanent exclusions compared to last year.
Recommendation 18: Poverty reduction should be at the heart of the Council’s new economic development strategy, which should set a target to reduce low pay within the Borough. Much work is being undertaken with the Living Wage Foundation to assist in establishing Meridian Water as a Living Wage Zone. 176 employees have now benefited from the London Living Wage now that services for housing repairs, cleaning and grounds maintenance for cemeteries have been brought back “in-house”.
Recommendation 24: The Council should help free the poorest residents from the burden of problem debts by extending access to benefits advice, support around debt and good credit. In 2020-2021 over 3,100 residents were supported with advice from new Council team in partnership with Citizens Advice Bureau.
The following comments and questions were received:
1. Tim Fellows noted that the recommendations relate to other organisations ... view the full minutes text for item 4.
To receive an update on how Enfield Council is working towards its equalities objective to overcome racism in Enfield.
1. Celebrate and promote the rich diversity of the borough by supporting an annual programme of educational, challenging and inspiring events celebrating ethnic minority communities.
2. Support Enfield’s schools in their work to deliver a diverse and inclusive curriculum that educates children and young people on systemic racism and our local diverse history.
3. Work with our partners to reduce discrimination experienced by Gypsy, Traveller and Roma communities in accessing education, healthcare and service provision.
4. Increase the representation of Black and ethnic minorities in leadership positions across the Council’s workforce, so that it is proportionately representative of Enfield’s ethnic minority population by 2030.
The Board received an update on how Enfield Council is working towards its equalities objective to overcome racism in Enfield.
1. Shaun Rogan (Head of Corporate Strategy) provided an update on how the Borough celebrates and promotes its rich diversity by supporting an annual programme of educational, challenging and inspiring events celebrating ethnic minority communities, as follows:
1a. The Council are committed to continuing with flagship events of significance, such as Black History Month, LGBT, Pride, Holocaust Memorial Day, International Women’s Day and carers week etc.
1b. The Council actively seek to create a Borough that is fair and has strong values against racism and discrimination, helping retain momentum against these ambitions, celebrating communities and helping make Enfield a diverse place to live.
1c. The pandemic has meant that we have run a number of events online this year, resulting in increased numbers participating in events.
Rebekah Polding (Head of Cultural Services Department) provided further information on the community events which took place during 2020 and 2021 and the ways in which the Council’s Culture Connects Strategy links with our Fairer Enfield Policy to celebrate diversity and inclusion.
In response, the following comments/questions were raised:
· Cllr Huseyin Akpinar asked if Refugee Week could be added to the calendar of events.
· The Chair noted that he would welcome Enfield doing more to celebrate Carnival to celebrate African and West Indian Heritage.
· Nick Chandra (Revival Christian Church of Enfield) commented that more needs to be done to encourage victims of racism to report incidents and get support.
In response the Chair agreed that a lot more work is needed on the front line, such as counselling and assistance when reporting crimes.
· Nevaeh West-Lawson (Young Mayor) sought clarity on the age group of youth work.
In response Shaun Rogan advised that 16-24-year olds begin to seek employment and set up a life for themselves, but more work is needed, especially involving the youth parliament and helping younger people in the Borough to talk to their youth parliament representatives to explore what their overall needs and requirements are.
· Cllr Ergin Erbil (Chair) asked what voluntary and community organisations should do if they wanted a council presence at one of their events.
Shaun Rogan responded he is happy for his contact details to be given as the contact point for organisations.
2. Peter Nathan (Director of Education) and Anna Vaughan (Head of Professional Learning) provided an update on the support given to Enfield schools in their work to deliver a diverse and inclusive curriculum that educates children and young people on systemic racism and our local diverse history.
2a. Following on from the murder of George Floyd, a response from the professional learning department was necessary which began with a bespoke 10 session programme on “unconscious Bias and Anti-Racism (September 2020-March 2021). By Spring 2021 a professional learning offer was launched on a newly created portal from the Hub with antiracism showing as the first menu. This will help to deliver a higher quality service ... view the full minutes text for item 5.
To discuss the Sustainable and Ethical Procurement Policy and Equalities Supplier Guide.
A presentation was received from Matt Bowmer (Director of Finance) and Claire Reilly (Head of Procurement) outlining the new Sustainable and Ethical Procurement Policy and Equalities Supplier Guide.
The following key points were highlighted:
6a. The new policy reflects refreshed Council priorities and good timing due to other recent policy initiatives.
6b. Key that procurement benefits local communities and the local economy, minimises damage to the environment and ensures human rights are upheld in the supply chains.
6c. Before implementation, research and benchmarking, engagement with internal services and external stakeholders/suppliers took place and is ongoing.
6d. Action plans, staff training and practical documentation in development are being put in place.
6e. Four priority areas were identified: Social value, ethical practices, supporting the local economy and climate action.
6f. Next steps will be as follows:
Second phase of external engagement - July 2021
Members’ Equality Board - July 2021
Analyse engagement results - August 2021
Finalise policy based on feedback - August 2021
Attend procurement boards to discuss toolkit and policy implementation - September 2021
Cabinet sign off - October 2021
Implementation of Policy - October 2021 onwards
In conclusion, the policy is realistic but challenging and has the benefit of protecting smaller suppliers in our Borough by having a range of standards in place – minimum, enhanced and preferred.
In response the following comments/questions were received:
1. Cllr Erbil (Chair) asked how we can secure the small local providers so that they are not excluded.
In response, Claire Reilly advised that a key aim of the policy is to encourage and support small and medium sized local providers, and to help us to support the local economy in the way we procure. The policy allows officers to tailor their approach, and for us to work with smaller local businesses and organisations to help them develop their sustainable and ethnical practices.
DATE OF NEXT MEETING
To note that the next Equalities Board is scheduled to take place on Tuesday 7th September 2021.
Noted and agreed that the next Equalities Board will take place on Tuesday 7th September 2021.