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Action f or Equality Celebrating

diversity and creating opportunity for all in the North West of England

A consultation paper A short version of this document is available in large print and alternative formats, including other languages, from www.nwra.gov.uk/equality or 01942 737 916


Did y ou k now ‌ ? Ther e w er e mor e than 5,400 r ecor ded r eligiousl y or raciall y motivated hate crimes in the Nor th West in 2003/4. By 2010 onl y 20% of the w orkf orce will be white , male , non-disab led and under 45. The British Crime Sur ve y shows that each year ther e ar e betw een 25,000 - 100,000 incidents of domestic violence in the r egion. The Nor th West e xperiences mor e Excess Winter Deaths than an y other r egion in England - ther e w er e mor e than 3200 in 2003/4 accounting f or 18% of the total. Some 23% of households in the r egion ar e living in pover ty and 18% ar e 'w orkless'. Within some BME groups 20% of the population is activ el y seeking w ork but unemployed. 12% of people in the r egion ar e consider ed to be at serious risk of developing mental health prob lems at some point in their liv es. Nationall y and r egionall y w omen w orking full time earn 20% less than their male counterpar ts. This incr eases to 40% f or w omen w orking full time . Ov er 14% of 16 year olds in the Nor th West ar e not in education, training or employment. 11% of 18-24 year olds ar e unemployed. By 2021 over 40% of the population will be a g ed 50 and ov er. If w e w er e ab le to r emove discrimination in the Labour Market, the Nor th West economy could be functioning up to 25% mor e eff ectiv el y. 2


Pr ef ace

Equality underpins our vision of a modern, fair and more prosperous North West. As the Prime Minister recently stated: "Discrimination has no place in our society". Effectively delivering equality of opportunity for all is, therefore, critical to the long term success of the region. However, extending opportunities to all, means not only removing barriers - in the workplace and in wider society - but also creating a shift in culture: to one which celebrates the diversity of the North West's people as an asset. We, therefore, welcome this consultative strategy. It sets out clearly why equality and diversity matter in the North West, what we are doing well and where we need to do much better. It also contains important sections on how we can move forward. The Strategy represents good practice, both in terms of partnership working between the three regional organisations we represent, and also in terms of stakeholder engagement, with more than thirty agencies and numerous individuals making a significant contribution. The Strategy recognises that when it comes to equality of opportunity it is never enough to just say the right things - there must be action too. We are, therefore, pleased to highlight that 'Action for Equality' contains ten priority objectives and sixty one specific actions. A key challenge for all of us will be to work towards the mainstreaming of these objectives within our current and future work programmes. Equality is not a minority concern. It should concern us all because not only is equality right, but without it we will not have a prosperous or tolerant North West. Through this document the region, together, is committing itself to make steady progress towards its overall goal - celebrating diversity and creating opportunity for all in the North West.

Keith Barnes Director Government Office for the North West

Derek Boden Leader North West Regional Assembly

Steven Broomhead Chief Executive North West Development Agency

January 2005

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Foreword

The development of this - the first Equality and Diversity Strategy for the North West - has been a tremendous achievement. The document has been written by the people and organisations who want to see equality taken more seriously in the region. However, we are absolutely certain that after this Strategy has been read by regional partners, local authorities, and individuals, it will become more widely accepted that equality is in everyone's interest and certainly is not a minority concern. We all - whether young, old, gay, straight, male, female, disabled or not, member of a black or minority ethnic community, of one particular faith or none - have an interest in equality. Not only because we want fairness for all, but also because we will only have the prosperous and tolerant society we all desire if there is greater respect for equality and more celebration of our diversity. The North West Regional Assembly has brought together the Equality and Diversity Leadership Group - a network of people who have worked tirelessly throughout 2004 towards the publication of this document. That effort has been supplemented by the commissioning of expert research where it has been necessary. This additional evidence gathered in the development of this strategy - and published on the NWRA website - has sought to: â?? â?? â??

Map good practice on equality and diversity across the region. Gain a better understanding of the experiences of BME communities in the North West. Inform mainstream economic and social strategy and planning.

The end result is not only a document that has scoped this extensive issue, but also clearly sets out the overall direction the North West must take if we are to reduce inequality over the coming years. We must prioritise, ensuring that all communities share economic prosperity and are fully empowered to participate in the economic, social and political life of the region. This Strategy highlights the very high cost we pay for a society that excludes and discriminates. But it also offers some very important, and practical conclusions about how economic inequality could be addressed through the Regional Economic Strategy. Many of its other objectives will require futher action by other institutions - such as the Police, NHS, Government Office, Regional Development Agency and Local Authorities - on a partnership basis. No Strategy can be delivered by one organisation alone, least of all when the sole objective is seeking to enable the full potential of such a diverse region The North 4


West Equality and Diversity Leadership Group can act as advocate and facilitator, through the production of an Implementation Plan and identification of the relevant organisations to take forward the key points within this document. Ultimately it is the whole region - its people and organisations - that will make a difference, not any one organisation. The spirit of stakeholder involvement and public engagement has been at the heart of this document. But it is a consultation document - we now want your comments. Please read it carefully, consider its recommendations and send back a consultation response. We look forward to receiving your views on this very important subject.

Joel O'Loughlin Chair, North West Equality and Diversity Leadership Group

Cllr Anne Burns Chair, Economy and Society Key Priority Group, NWRA

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Contents

Page 3

Preface Foreword

4

Contents

6

Executive Summary

8

1. Introduction

16

1.1 1.2 1.3

17 18 19

Purpose of the Strategy The North West Equality and Diversity Leadership Group How to Respond to the Consultation

2.Why do Equality and Diversity Matter? 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5

The Diverse North West Realising our Economic Potential Ensuring Greater Social Inclusion and Community Cohesion Guaranteeing Human Rights National and European Policy Themes

3. Best Practice on Equality and Diversity in the North West 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4

Public Sector Private Sector Voluntary Sector Developing Equality and Diversity Practice

4. Equalities Communities: "Strand by Strand"

6

20 21 24 28 33 36 43 44 48 51 53 54

4.1

Introduction

55

4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 4.8

Race and Ethnicity Gender Disability Sexual Orientation and Transgender Age - Young People Age - Older People Faith and Belief

56 67 72 77 82 87 92


4.9 4.10

Inequalities in Health Income Inequity

5. Achieving an Inclusive and Prosperous Region 5.1 5.2

Mainstreaming Equalities Influencing the Regional Economic Strategy

6. Conclusions and Next Steps 6.1 6.2

Objectives and Priorities Summary of the Consultation Questions

Footnotes

Appendix A

96 99 102 103 105 113 114 118 119

NWEDLG: Membership and Terms of Reference

Acknowledgements

121

123

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Ex ecuti ve Summar y

Aims of the Strateg y We all - whether young, old, gay, straight, male, female, disabled or not, member of a black or minority ethnic community, of one particular faith or none - have an interest in equality. Not only because we want fairness for all, but also because we will only have the prosperous and peaceful society we all desire if there is greater respect for equality and more celebration of our diversity.

Action for Equality is the first comprehensive statement on Equality and Diversity in the North West. It has been produced by the North West Regional Assembly (NWRA), co-funded by the North West Development Agency (NWDA) and led by the North West Equality and Diversity Leadership Group (NWEDLG) - which is made up of over thirty stakeholder organisations and agencies. It sets out the North West's successes, challenges and priorities for action on equality issues.The Strategy has five key aims: ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

To raise awareness of the issues faced by equalities communities, and promote diversity as a key asset. To set clear objectives, and determine priorities for our region on equality and diversity issues. To gain and consolidate commitment from regional agencies and stakeholders in delivering equality objectives. Promote the mainstreaming of equality and diversity concerns into all programmes and regional policy-making. To provide a single coherent plan of action on equality, based on the experiences of people living in the North West, existing research and new evidence.

Why do Equality and Div ersity Matter? It is estimated that by 2010 only 20% of the workforces will fit the stereotype of being white, male, non-disabled and under 45.The Government believes that fairness for all is the basis for a healthy democracy, economic prosperity and the effective delivery of our public services. Equality and human rights, therefore, matter to all of us, not just those who experience discrimination and unfair treatment. Equality matters because the North West region must:

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a) b) c)

Realise its economic potential Work towards social inclusion and community cohesion Guarantee human rights and comply with national and European legislation


However, there is currently no single organisation in the region charged specifically with taking forward the equality and diversity agenda.

a)

Realising the Nor th West’s Economic Potential

The North West is the largest contributor (at 10%) to the UK economy outside London and South East and contains some of the most prosperous parts of the UK GDP per capita in Cheshire is 14% above the UK average. However, the existence of entrenched poverty, discrimination and disadvantage inhibits the region's potential growth and means not everyone shares in its success. Some 23% of households are living in poverty (less than 60% median income), with some 18% of households considered ‘workless’ in spring 2003. This disadvantage is disproportionately felt among equality communities. Up to 25% of women pensioners are living in poverty, disabled people are much more likely to be out of work, and among some minority ethnic groups 20% of the population are activity seeking work, but unemployed. Women still earn 20% less than men, and this doubles to 40% for women working part time1. An increasingly competitive North West economy requires economic inclusion not only on the grounds of equity and compassion but also to promote economic growth. A report commissioned by the NWRA, from SQW, to inform the development of this strategy found the following; ❏

If the same proportion of women to men worked in higher-level occupations with higher-level skills and equivalent earnings (i.e. the glass ceiling and pay gap were removed) the gross income that women might additionally earn could be as high as £16 billion annually. Measured against a total regional GVA of approximately £90 billion this is very significant indeed.

If the region's non-white BME population benefited from an increase in employment rates to match the regional average it would generate between £890 million and £944 million of additional earnings per year into the regional economy.

If employment rates of women were to increase to match those of men, regional income would increase by £1.7 billion annually - without necessarily changing the proportion of part-time and full-time employment, nor assuming changes to earnings or skill levels. 9


If barriers to work for disabled people were reduced in the region and a community of people that represents one fifth of the whole working age population enjoyed an employment rate equal to the average, it would mean an extra 197,000 people in the labour market - with an extra £3.3 billion annually earned.

If the relatively low numbers of disabled people already in the labour market simply saw their earnings rise to match the average this would generate about £16 million annually in increased earning in our region.

Although there is insufficient information about the wages earned by Lesbian Gay and Bisexual (LGB) people, estimates suggest that new laws offering legal protection against discrimination in employment for LGB people, will benefit the North West by up to £2.2 million per year - mainly in the form of retained earnings that would otherwise be lost through foregone promotion and unfair dismissal.

These potential gains should be seen in the context that the entire workforce earnings in the region is currently £47 billion per year and the NW economy is in total worth £90 billion.

In summary, if the economy of the North West delivered equal employment opportunities (participation and pay) for the black and minority ethnic population, for women, for the disabled and for the lesbian, gay and bisexual community the economy of the North West could perform more than 25% more effectively. Instead of being 10% below the UK average the NW would be more than 10% above it!

b) Working Towar ds Social Inclusion & Comm unity Cohesion Social exclusion is the shorthand term for what can happen when people or areas face a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, discrimination, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime, bad health and family breakdown. Despite relative economic success, the North West contains many of the communities most at risk from social exclusion. It has the second highest concentration of 10


deprivation of any English region. 15 of the 50 most deprived local authority districts are located in the North West, with Liverpool, Manchester and Knowsley ranking 1, 2 and 3 respectively. Whether judged by concentrations of worklessness, low economic activity rates or health inequalities, too many communities in our region are socially and economically excluded. Those most at risk from social exclusion include many of the groups who suffer because of inequality and discrimination. For example: ❏

30% of children and 20% of pensioners are still living in poverty. The North West has more Excess Winter Deaths of older people than any other region.

Women fleeing domestic violence account for 40% of homeless women. There are between 25,000 - 100, 000 reported incidents each year.

70% of the Black and Minority Ethnic population live in the 88 most deprived wards in the country - a trend that is repeated in the North West.

The research undertaken for the NWRA suggests that progress towards community cohesion and race equality are not consistent across the North West - some parts of the region are very inclusive and cohesive but many pockets of segregation still exist. Homeless people, refugees, asylum seekers, people for whom English is a second language, people with mental health problems, ex-offenders, young people leaving the 'looked after' system, travellers and gypsies are all among the most deprived communities in the region - often suffering multiple deprivation and social and economic exclusion. This Strategy highlights the high cost the North West pays for a society that excludes and discriminates.

c)

Guaranteeing Human Rights f or All and Compl ying with National and European Legislation

Action for Equality recognises the need to safeguard and promote human rights for all of the citizens of the North West. The European Convention for the protection of Human Rights (ECHR) is a binding international agreement that the UK helped to draft and is something the UK has 11


sought to comply with since 1950 when it was drawn up.The 1998 Human Rights Act provides a clear legal statement of basic rights and freedoms. The UK Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) recommended, in March 2003, that there was an intrinsic link between equalities and human rights, and that the functions should be integrated within one Government Organisation. In May 2004, the Government published its White Paper, Fairness for All: a new commission for equality and human rights, following two years of consultation. The announcement of the intention to create a single equalities body represents the culmination of the most significant review of equality institutions in Britain in a quarter of a century. At the same time there has been new anti-discrimination legislation which requires compliance from UK organisations and companies, including: ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

The Disability Discrimination Act 1995. The Race Relations Amendment Act 2000. The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003. The Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003. Regulations outlawing age discrimination are likely to come into effect in 2006.

The Government has made a commitment that CEHR should have a regional presence and a role in enforcing and developing new equality legislation. At present it is not known exactly what functions will be delivered at a regional level, but there is an intention to take account of regional priorities and delivery mechanisms whenever and wherever appropriate. The consultation on this Regional Equality and Diversity Strategy will add value to this agenda by identifying regional priorities.

Towar ds an Inclusiv e Region: Good Practice in the Nor th West Research commissioned for the NWRA, from the Centre for Local Policy Studies, recognises the importance of good practice as a tool for improving equality outcomes across the region. The study found that equality practice is developing at different speeds in the public, voluntary and private sectors of the region, but that there is clearly a large pool of good practice in each sector. However, the region still has some way to travel to measure up to other regions such as London and the West Midlands. 12


It will be essential that methods for exchanging and developing exemplary practice are embedded within a wider framework for managing and mainstreaming equality and diversity in the North West. The report found a significant unevenness in progress and intention across the public sector in the region. Despite some exemplary practice and significant high levels of activity - especially in the metropolitan areas - the conclusions find the North West's local authorities lagging behind the London region. In the wider public sector, again an unevenness of outcomes was found with Crime Reduction Partnerships and Hate Crime Forums representing good practice engaging with equalities communities across the region with some success. In the private sector - given the increasing prevalence of equal opportunities policies among larger private sector organisations, the challenge now lies in ensuring that policy is backed up with significant changes in practice. Among smaller companies, and in the voluntary sector, priorities should focus on the need to develop effective support mechanisms to disseminate and implement good practice, especially recognising the value of voluntary sector expertise across the equality 'strands'. The research shows that trade unions, and the TUC have often been at the forefront of developing equalities practice and have a number of strong, self-organised equalities networks representing women, black workers, disabled employees and lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) workers.

Strand-by-Strand: Equalities Comm unities In producing this Strategy, stakeholders felt it was very important to recognise, and raise awareness of the different needs and priorities within each of the equalities communities identified in this strategy document. These 'strands' include Race and Ethnicity, Gender, Disability, Sexual Orientation & Transgender, Age (Young and Older People) and Faith and Belief. Each of the 'strand' sections consider the following: ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

The role of that community in the North West. Contribution to the region. Challenges for the region to tackle. Suggested actions.

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Mainstr eaming Equality Mainstreaming equality requires that the effects of policies and projects on disadvantaged groups are systematically considered by those planning, implementing and evaluating strategies. In this way equality considerations are 'built in' to the beginning of policy and project development not 'bolted-on' at the end. This will be essential in order to further equality of opportunity in the region. For example, the Equality and Diversity Strategy makes many recommendations for policy initiatives that could improve the participation of all of the North West's communities in the economic prosperity of the region. Some are listed below: ❏

Introducing performance measures into the Regional Economic Strategy for BME, young and disabled people's employment rates as well as female earnings

Develop a stronger supply of affordable childcare

Develop transport routes that more clearly connect areas with low employment populations to high growth areas

Encourage inward investment and new businesses to develop closer to areas of low employment

Ensure new business sites are DDA compliant and promote more explicit disability friendly public transport modes and interchanges

Develop LGBT and BME strengths in growing cultural and tourism industries

Action f or Equality: Priority Objectiv es This Equality and Diversity Strategy represents the beginning of a developmental process, which will enable the region to embrace the equality and diversity agenda, unlock hidden assets, and subsequently reach its economic and social potential. The Strategy recommends the following objectives (in no particular order) as the priorities for the North West in the next three years:

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1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Promote diversity and guarantee human rights for all Show leadership on equality and diversity Build the region's capacity on equality and diversity Reduce hate crime and violence Ensure the diverse North West is better represented in public life Deliver economic participation for all Promote equality in law Work towards equal access to services Deliver joined up action for social inclusion Develop the region's evidence and intelligence base

For each of these objectives a number of associated tasks are included in the Strategy. When the final Strategy is published in the Summer of 2005 a detailed business plan, showing how it will be implemented, will also be made public. The NWRA welcomes comments on any aspect of this document, but are especially interested in your answers to the ten specific consultation questions, which can be found in Section 6.3. The deadline for responses is 29th April 2005 and can be sent by letter to: Action for Equality North West Regional Assembly Wigan Investment Centre, Waterside Drive Wigan WN3 5BA email: action4equality@nwra.gov.uk

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P ar t One: Intr oduction

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1.1

Pur pose of the Str a te g y

This, the first ever Equality and Diversity Strategy for the North West of England, has been prepared by the North West Regional Assembly - under the leadership of the North West Equality and Diversity Leadership Group - and co-funded by the North West Development Agency. It has been designed to fulfil several functions. Primarily it is a single, coherent regional statement on Equality and Diversity, in response to the growing significance of this agenda. It sets out our successes, our challenges and our priorities for action on equality issues. The document has five key aims: ❏

To raise awareness of the issues faced by equalities communities, and promote diversity as a key asset

To set clear objectives, and determine priorities for our region on equality and diversity issues

To gain and consolidate commitment from regional agencies and stakeholders in delivering equality objectives

Promote the mainstreaming of equality and diversity concerns into all programmes and regional policy-making

To provide a single coherent plan of action on equality, based on the experiences of people living in the North West, existing research and new evidence.

This Strategy is designed to inspire and inform as well as to challenge and stimulate debate. It contains significant new analysis and presents priorities for the region. This Strategy is a consultation paper. The views of the people of the North West are needed if it is to become - as it intends to be - the region's own equality and diversity Strategy.

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1.2

T he Nor th West Equality and Di ver sity Leader ship Gr oup

From the outset it has been clear that a regional equality Strategy could only be developed with full participation from stakeholders. Throughout 2004, colleagues have committed significant time and resources to produce a document that contains contributions from the communities it effects. The development of this Strategy has been led by the North West Equality and Diversity Leadership Group (NWEDLG) - which is made up of over thirty stakeholder organisations and agencies with an interest in equality and diversity. NWEDLG was established by the North West Regional Assembly (NWRA) and includes representatives of equalities communities across the following strands: Race and Ethnicity Gender Disability Sexual Orientation & Transgender Age (Young and Older people) Faith and Belief The NWEDLG has also benefited from the detailed input of the following agencies and groups: ❏

North West Development Agency

Government Office of the North West

North West TUC

ACAS

The Voluntary Sector

The Business Sector

Equality Consultants

Experts in Health and Social Inclusion

These partners have agreed this consultation document.

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1.3

Ho w to Respond to the Consulta tion

We welcome comments on any aspect of this document. We are especially interested in your answers to the specific consultation questions which are summarised in 6.3, and the objectives and priorities outlined in 6.1. Please include your reasoning (and any evidence) with your response wherever possible. We are keen to hear the views of all sections of the North West community. Additional copies of the document can be downloaded from the NWRA website, or are available from the NWRA upon request. A short version of the Strategy is also available in additional languages and large print. The deadline for responses is 29th April 2005. A response can be submitted by return of the enclosed questionnaire by letter or email to:

Action f or Equality NWRA Wigan Inv estment Centre Waterside Driv e Wigan WN3 5BA

T: 01942 737 916 E: action4equality@nwra.g ov.uk W: www.nwra.g ov.uk/equality

Consultation results will be analysed and made available in early Summer 2005. We may make parts of your responses public. If you do not wish all or part of your response or your name made public please state this clearly in your response.

Confidentiality Any confidentiality disclaimer that may be automatically generated by our organisation's IT system or included as a general statement in your fax cover sheet will be taken to apply only to information in your response for which confidentiality has been requested. Any personal data provided will be handled appropriately in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998.

The final Nor th West Equality and Div ersity Strateg y will be pub lished in earl y Summer 2005. 2005

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P ar t T w o: W h y Do Equality and Di ver sity Ma tter?

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2.1

T he Di ver se Nor th West

"The Government believes that fairness for all is the basis for a healthy democracy, economic prosperity and the effective delivery of our public services. Equality and human rights therefore matter to all of us, not just those who experience discrimination and unfair treatment" (Fairness for All , May 2004)

2.1.1

Some facts about the Nor th West

The North West region of England comprises Cumbria, Cheshire, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside. ❏

The North West is the largest region outside London and the South East, and bigger in population than Scotland and Wales combined

It has an economy of £90 billion per annum, bigger than 5 of the 15 pre-expansion EU member states : Finland, Luxembourg, Greece, Ireland and Portugal - and nine of the new accession states

The region is the third largest contributor to the UK economy but two of its five subregions are at Objective One levels of economic output - Mersyside at 73% GVA and Cumbria and 74%

Cultural Diversity The North West is also one of the most culturally diverse regions in England. In the urban centres of the region in particular, cultural diversity is increasingly cited as a matter of pride and has become an emerging strength of the region’s cities as they re-invent themselves as major growth magnets, places of culture, learning and enterprise. ❏

The region is rich with beautiful countryside and national parks

It is home to the largest and oldest Chinatown in Europe and the oldest

It is one of the biggest centres for lesbian, gay and bisexual populations in the UK

The diversity of Liverpool has been celebrated by it being awarded Capital of Culture in 2008 21


The region has more premiership football teams than any other UK region

Manchester has the largest concentration of creative industries outside of London

2.1.2 Div ersity in the Nor th West Given the cultural diversity of the region, it is not surprising that the North West is also socially and ethnically diverse: Of the region’s 6.8 million people: ❏

Over half a million (5.6%) are of Asian, Black, Chinese, Mixed or other non-white heritage - representing as much as 20% of the population in City of Manchester and between 10%-15% of many Lancashire towns. 1.2% are Irish and a number will also be gypsies and travellers.

About 15% are young people aged 14-25, and 34% are older people over 50

Around 20% are disabled (have a limiting long term illness)

Estimates suggest around 5-7% are Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual (LGB)

82% consider themselves to have a faith.The majority are Christians but the region is home to many practising members of minority faiths including Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Sikhs and Buddhists2

The Region in Figures If the region’s population were represented by just 100 people: 13 8 20 36 21 40 2 19 20 22

would would would would would would would would would

be be be be be be be be be

from Cheshire from Cumbria from Lancashire from Greater Manchester from Merseyside in work unemployed pensioners children or young people under 16


18 5 20 52 6 97

would be 'economically inactive adults' of which many would be carrying out important functions such as childcare (approximately) would be from Black or Minority Ethnic communities would be disabled would be women (approximately) would be Lesbian, Gay or Bisexual Would identify with the North West Region

Equality is Not a Minority Concern The North West has an ageing population, increasing numbers of women in the workforce and BME groups are accounting for a larger proportion of population growth. Equality can no longer be seen as the concern of the few. It is estimated that by 2010 only 20% of the workforces will fit the stereotype of being white, male, non-disabled and under 45 .

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2.2

Realising our Economic Potential

"An increasingly competitive North West economy requires economic inclusion in addition to economic growth - not only on the grounds of equity and compassion" (SQW, 2004).3 The changing nature of our society presents complex and significant challenges. Consequently it is no longer the case that arguments for equality are only made on the grounds of civil rights, morality or compassion.There are strong economic arguments as to why inclusion is the only option. A region where all citizens are not able to fully participate represents a serious waste of economic potential and a strain on the region’s social infrastructure in addition to the cost to the individuals themselves.

2.2.1 The Economics of the Nor th West The North West is the largest contributor (at 10%) to the UK economy outside London and South East and contains some of the most prosperous parts of the UK GDP per capita in Cheshire is 14% above the UK average. Some 25% of all UK motor vehicle industry employees are based in the North West, and a quarter of the national aerospace output comes from the region. In addition, the North West has a stronger representation of universities than most other regions, and these play a vital role in supporting high-tech centres of excellence to encourage enterprise. Manchester is the UK's largest financial and business services centres after London, and has the largest regional concentration of creative industries (design, broadcast media, music, new media). However, the existence of entrenched poverty, discrimination and disadvantage inhibits the region's potential growth and means that not everyone shares in its success.

2.2.2 Exclusion A significant proportion of the region's communities are excluded from participating in the labour market and, therefore, adding to the region's wealth. The North West has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the country and one in seven of all 16 year olds is not in education, employment, or training. A significant part (almost 12%) of the working age population are not employed but want to work. Among some minority ethnic groups 20% of the population are activity seeking work, but unemployed. Such supply side failures in the labour market inhibit economic growth. Equality of opportunity is becoming a more clearly understood feature of the region's competitiveness alongside innovation and productivity. As the region rebuilds its 24


economy and looks outwards to global markets, it becomes increasingly necessary to promote harmonious community relations and more fully use the potential of the region's people.

2.2.3 Contribution of Equalities Comm unities Many of the region's equalities communities make a substantial economic contribution as consumers and producers alike. Some of these areas are better documented than others and more detailed information on each of the communities can be found in Section 4. However: ❏

Estimates show that the 104,000 people in the NW Labour market who are 'non-white' (excluding Irish and other white minority ethnic communities), genrate £1.66 billion per year for the region's economy. In addition, the contribution of BME communities in specific areas and sectors - such as Rusholme, Manchester - continue to be very significant

Women contribute to the region in every way through local communities, in employment, education, public life, democratic participation, business and the voluntary sector. They make a huge contribution by undertaking the vast majority of childcare, eldercare, housework and other caring responsibilities

The Employers Forum on Disability has estimated that the combined annual purchasing power of disabled people might be as much as £50 billion nationally. In the North West, this means the 'disabled pound' might be worth up to £7 billion per year

Estimates suggest that the working age LGB population of the NW might amount to over 250,000 people with a combined spending power of just over £4billion annually. Manchester EuroPride 2003 injected £22 million into the regional economy

Older citizens contribute significantly to the regional economy in terms of grandparent care, and the 'grey pound'. Over 50s contribute 23% of the region's GVA (£20bn per annum). Meanwhile, young people are the future of the region

Faith communities contribute significantly to the region in terms of stimulating unprecedented levels of volunteering and community based activity, participating in regeneration initiatives and often accessing 'hard to reach' 25


groups. Faith groups tend to be largely self-funding and are often providers of support services as well as important custodians of cultural and architectural heritage .

2.2.4

The Benefits of Enab ling all our Citiz ens Reach Their Potential

Women, BME people, disabled people, LGBT people, older and young people, faith communities and other groups - have a valuable contribution to make to the region, which is being restricted by discriminatory practices, barriers to participation and exclusion from the labour market. Research has been commissioned to consider what the benefits of intervention to reverse these barriers might be. Although there is a distinct lack of demographic data and evidence to enable analysis on the basis of faith, sexual orientation, and some minority ethnic communities, it has been possible to draw some conclusions for gender, disability and 'non-white' groups more generally, as well as estimate the cost of homophobia in the workplace. ❏

If the region’s non-white BME population benefited from an increase in employment rates to match the regional average it would generate between £890 million and £944 million of additional earnings per year into the regional economy

If the same proportion of women to men worked in higher-level occupations with higher-level skills and equivalent earnings (i.e. the glass ceiling and pay gap were removed) the gross income that women might additionally earn could be as high as £16 billion annually. Measured against a total regional GVA of approximately £90 billion this is very significant indeed If employment rates of women were to increase to match those of men, regional income would increase by £1.7 billion annually - without necessarily changing the proportion of part-time and full-time employment, nor assuming changes to earnings or skill levels

26

If barriers to work for disabled people were reduced in the region and a community of people that represents one fifth of the whole working age population enjoyed an employment rate equal to the average, it would mean an extra 197,000 people in the labour market - with an extra £3.3 billion annually earned


If the relatively low numbers of disabled people in the labour market already simply saw their earnings rise to match the average this would generate about £16 million annually in increased earning in our region. ❏

Although there is no information about the wages earned by Lesbian Gay and Bisexual (LGB) or Trans people, estimates suggest that new laws offering legal protection against discrimination in employment for LGB people, will benefit the North West by up to £2.2 million per year - mainly in the form of retained earnings that would otherwise be lost through foregone promotion and unfair dismissal.

These potential gains should be seen in the context that the entire workforce earnings in the region is currently £47 billion per year and the NW economy is in total worth £90 billion. In summary, if the economy of the North West delivered equal employment opportunities (participation and pay) for the black and minority ethnic population, for women for the disabled and for the gay and lesbian community the economy of the North West could perform more than 25% more effectively. Instead of being 10% below the UK average the NW would be more than 10% above it!

Of course these estimates are based on a set of assumptions4 and on the basis of everything else being equaly, but they do serve to highlight how lack of access to the labour market, including discrimination, contribute very significantly to under performance of the regional economy.

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2.3

Ensuring Gr ea ter Social Inclusion and Comm unity Cohesion

In addition to the economic and business case for improving equality and reducing discrimination in the region, there is also a very important social and community context within which inequity should be tackled and diversity promoted. The North West's economic make up is significantly different from the England or British average. Some 23% of households are living in poverty (less than 60% median income), with some 18% of households considered workless in spring 20035.Although rural poverty is an important exception, most poverty in the region is concentrated among a small number of urban areas. Evidence of inequality and disadvantage in the region runs throughout the life-cycle of some communities. In the North West as a whole, 30% of children live in low-income households and 20% of pensioners live on very low incomes. A third of our region's homes are not of a decent standard. Despite relative economic success, the North West contains many of the most deprived areas in the country. Whether judged by concentrations of worklessness, low economic activity rates, or health inequalities, many communities in the region are socially and economically excluded.

Indices of Multiple Deprivation The North West has the second highest concentration of deprivation of any English region and the greatest number of areas in the most deprived 20% as reported by the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2004. Severe deprivation is evident in most of the districts across the North West. The Merseyside districts of Liverpool, Sefton, Knowsley and St Helens, and Manchester and some of the areas around including Wigan, Bolton, Salford and Oldham stand out as containing high levels of deprivation. 15 of the 50 most deprived districts in 2004 are located in the North West, with Liverpool, Manchester and Knowsley ranking 1, 2 and 3 respectively.

2.3.2 Ending Social Exclusion Social exclusion is a shorthand term for what can happen when people or areas face a combination of linked problems such as unemployment, discrimination, poor skills, low incomes, poor housing, high crime, bad health, and family breakdown6. (Social Exclusion Unit, 2004)

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We know that the groups most at risk from social exclusion include many of the groups who suffer because of inequality and discrimination. Indeed the Government has identified discrimination as a major causal factor in social exclusion7. The North


West Social Inclusion Commitment8 states that discrimination is a contributory cause of exclusion. A recent Economic Study for the NWRA9 found that: "Demographic change and population transience mean that there are specific geographical communities facing economic disadvantage, whilst there are also population groups and communities of interest who are equally being left behind. In some cases, these two different types of disadvantage coincide and become self-reinforcing" (SQW, October 2004). Those who are typically socially excluded - for example those on very low incomes, at risk of homelessness, with poor physical or mental health, lacking access to public services and having lower levels of economic activity - tend to be from equalities communities. ❏

70% of the Black and Minority Ethnic population live in the 88 most deprived wards in the country - a trend that is repeated regionally

People with physical and mental health problems are much more likely to be out of work than the average. (12% of people in the North West are considered at serious risk of developing mental health problems in their lifetime and around 20% have a life limiting long term illness

Women fleeing domestic violence account for 40% of homeless women. There are between 25,000-100,000 reported cases of domestic violence a year in the region

Refugees, asylum seekers, travellers and gypsies are among the most deprived communities in the region - often suffering multiple deprivation and social and economic exclusion

The six strands of equalities communities promoted in this Strategy are not the only groups at risk from social exclusion and suffering discrimination. Prison-leavers and ex-offenders have been identified as one of the groups most at risk along with people in workless households, people who don't speak good English, in addition to Irish, Scottish or Welsh travellers, Romany gypsies and so called 'occupational travellers', asylum seekers, people with mental health problems and people suffering family break up or abuse.

2.3.3 Sharing Practice on Social Inclusion The European Union requires each Member State to produce an Action Plan on Social 29


Exclusion. Across the EU, the likelihood of migrant families, along with Romany people (the largest minority ethnic group in the EU) being at risk from social exclusion is considered to be high - member states are encouraged to address these issues in their National Action Plans. Analysis of National Action Plans in 2003 showed that only a minority of member states made explicit the links between measures to combat social exclusion and measures to tackle more general economic concerns. Although it is one of the wealthiest countries in the EU the UK has not had as much success as some of its European partners in terms of social inclusion. The NWRA, along with a range of European partners, has commissioned a piece of work, entitled Preventing Poverty and Promoting Social Inclusion - what can the UK learn from Europe. The research will look at how successes can be transferred and practice shared10. Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 9) Use evidence from EU Social Inclusion study to provide an evidence base and g ood practice e xamples f or use in the Nor th West. Re-estab lish the Nor th West Social Inclusion Commitment

2.3.1 Comm unity Cohesion In addition to high levels of Social Exclusion the North West unfortunately has a history of tension between communities and lack of cohesion. The Cantle Report into the riots in Bradford, Oldham and Burnley in 2001 highlighted the problems of polarisation and segregation between communities in the East Lancashire towns. The rise of far right politics and the role of the media in reinforcing negative stereotypes have also proved cause for concern. The value of cohesive, strong communities, where diversity is valued and discrimination is challenged, has been recognised nationally, as well as regionally, and this Strategy endorses and builds on this agenda. The Home Office defines a cohesive community as one where:

30

â??

There is a common vision and sense of belonging for all communities

â??

The diversity of people's different backgrounds and circumstances are appreciated and positively valued


â??

Those from different backgrounds have similar life opportunities

â??

Strong and positive relationships are developed between people from different backgrounds in the workplace, in schools and within neighbourhoods.

Common Ground North West, the regional community cohesion network, has further argued that community cohesion arises (or not) out of everything that is undertaken and resourced within the region - including planning, transport, regeneration, housing, health, education, taxation, culture and all other sectors. All require positive action to promote the pre-requisite of community cohesion11 and initiatives cannot just be 'added on' to unchanged mainstream policy making. This analysis complements a mainstreaming approach to equality and diversity. Research undertaken for the NWRA looking at BME communities in the region suggests that community cohesion and race equality approaches are not being consistently applied across the North West. On the one hand some places are very inclusive and cohesive, whilst on the other hand pockets of segregations still exist12. Feedback from BME stakeholders suggests that rural areas are further behind the urban areas in terms of promoting diversity and social integration. Tackling racism, promoting cohesive communities and fighting the rise of racist politics is still a real challenge that should not be taken lightly.

Str ength in Div ersity The Home Office undertook a consultation exercise over summer 2004 looking at race equality and community cohesion. Entitled Strength in Diversity this document will recommend the following activities when it is launched in 2005: 1) Promoting inclusive notions of citizenship, identity and belonging and facilitating cohesion within communities Creating a society in which people share a common sense of citizenship, respect each other's cultures and tackle common challenges together. In which neighbourhoods are free from racial or religious tensions, and people are united in improving their locality. 2)Tackling inequalities and opening opportunities for all Ensuring that people's life chances are not dependent on race or religion, whether in education, employment, housing, health or other vital areas; 31


3) Eradicating racism and extremism Tackling the prejudice, discrimination and hate which cause enormous harm and have the potential to divide communities by spreading fear. Ensuring that whether through thoughtlessness or prejudice, our public services do not discriminate. The Strategy will bring together existing initiatives and announce new ones. The North West welcomes these efforts and will continue to develop partnerships to promote positive, cohesive communities through the implementation of this Strategy. Joined-up working, and reorganisation of the need for regional-sensitive implementation, will enable Strength in Diversity, and the Regional Equality and Diversity Strategy to collectively provide a road map to a better North West for all.

Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 9) Pr omote r egional lev el comm unity cohesion par tnerships and linka g es betw een equality, div ersity and cohesion pro grammes and strategies.

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2.4

Human Rights

It is important to acknowledge the context of human rights legislation when considering the Equality and Diversity agenda. As the Government’s White Paper on Equality states: "Human rights are based on an idea of fairness for all, establishing basic principles of dignity, respect and protection for everyone, regardless of our differences. Human rights are not just for those who experience discrimination - they are inclusive and affect everyone" (Fairness for All, White Paper, May 2004)

2.4.1

European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

The European Convention for the protection of Human Rights (ECHR) is a binding international agreement that the UK helped to draft and is something the UK has sought to comply with since 1950 when it was drawn up. The basic civil, political and personal rights include the following: ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

The right to life (Article 2) Prohibition of torture or inhuman or degrading treatment of punishment (Article 3) Prohibition of slavery and forced labour (Article 4) Liberty and security of person (Article 5) The right to a fair trial (Article 6) Prohibition of retrospective criminal laws (Article 7) Respect for private and family live, home and correspondence (Article 8) Freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Article 9) Freedom of expression (Article 10) Freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, including the right to join a trades union (Article 11) The right to marry and found a family (Article 12) Non-discrimination in the enjoyment of these rights and freedoms (Article 13)

The first protocol of the ECHR guarantees further: ❏ ❏ ❏

Protection of property The right to education The right to free elections

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Human Rights Act The 1998 Human Rights Act aimed to create a situation where domestic law could be used to provide a simpler and easier means of redress for those seeking protection under the ECHR. As it is enforceable under the UK's courts and tribunals the Human Rights Act - which came into force in October 2000 - prevents the need for citizens to take their cases to Strasbourg. It also provides a clear legal statement of basic rights and freedoms. The Human Rights Act requires all public bodies to ensure that everything they do is compatible with the rights afforded by the Convention unless there is a specific Act of Parliament, which makes this impossible. It also puts an onus on interpreting UK legislation in a way which is compatible with Human Rights.

2.4.2

Univ ersal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)

In December 1948, the United National adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR). The UN called upon all member countries to disseminate, display, read and publicise it. The General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed the UDHR as a "common standard of achievement for all people and all nations….every individual and organ of society… shall… strive to promote respect for these rights and freedoms…and ensure their universal and effective recognition and observance"13. A full text of the UDHR contains 30 clauses and includes many of the rights found in the ECHR. Of particular note are the following Articles:

34

Article 14: Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution

Article 23: Everyone, without any discrimination, has the right to equal pay for equal work

Article 25: Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for health and well being of himself (sic) and his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood


â??

Article 26: Higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit

â??

Article 29: in the exercise of rights and freedoms, everyone shall be subject only to such limitations as are determined by law solely for the purpose of securing due recognition and respect for the rights and freedoms of others, morality, public order and general welfare of a democratic society

2.4.3

Equality and Human Rights

The UK Joint Committee on Human Rights (JCHR) recommended, in March 2003, that there was an intrinsic link between equalities and human rights, and that the functions should be integrated within one body - the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights. The JCHR noted that there was much in common between the work required for the promotion of equality and the work required for the promotion of human rights. This is further emphasised by the gains for equality won through human rights cases, and in particular the European Convention. Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 1 ) Promote human rights as par t of a wider pro gramme to promote div ersity and non-discrimination in the r egion.

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2.5

Na tional and Eur opean Polic y T hemes

In addition to the fact that equality makes good business sense and is good for the regional economy, social inclusion and community cohesion are key regional priorities. The need to promote human rights is widely accepted, but there is also another reason why equality and diversity matter. Increasing amounts of UK legislation is dedicated to ensuring opportunity for all, and placing duties on public bodies to promote equality in addition to outlawing discrimination.

2.5.1

UK Legislation

Current and upcoming UK legislation makes a considerable input to the equality and diversity agenda and is outlined below.

Gender There are two main pieces of UK legislation - the Equal Pay Act (1970) and the Sex Discrimination Act (1975) - which prohibits discrimination in employment, education, housing, and the provision of goods, facilities and services14. The different types of discrimination covered by the Sex Discrimination Act are sex discrimination, victimisation, married person’s discrimination and gender reassignment discrimination (though the latter is only prohibited in relation to employment and vocational training)14. The purpose of the Equal Pay Act is to eliminate discrimination in pay and other terms and conditions between women and men doing equal work.

Race Race discrimination and harassment is made unlawful under the Race Relations Act (RRAA) 1976, as amended by the Race Relations Amendment Act (RRAA) 2000, and the Race Relations (Amendment) Regulations 2003. This legislation prohibits discrimination in relation to employment, education, housing and the provision of goods, facilities and services and in the exercise of other public functions (with some limited exceptions). The RRA also places a general statutory duty on race on some public authorities (including local councils) to promote equality of opportunity and good relations between people of different racial groups, and to work towards the elimination of discrimination on the grounds of race.Those public bodies required to produce a Race Equality Scheme, which should explain how they intend to meet their general and specific statutory duties including on: 36

â??

Assessing whether their functions and policies are relevant to race equality


Monitoring their policies to see how they affect race equality

Publishing results of their consultations, monitoring and assessments

Ensuring the public have access to the information and services they provide

Training their staff appropriately

Disability Disability discrimination is covered by the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995. The DDA does not follow the pattern of direct and indirect discrimination used in the Sex Discrimination Act and Race Relations Act, instead it prohibits 'unjustified, less favourable treatment for reasons relating to a persons disability'. The DDA also creates a duty to make 'reasonable adjustments' in certain circumstances, and makes failure to do this a form of discrimination. The DDA prohibits discrimination in relation to employment, education, the provision of goods, facilities and services and, to a limited extent, public transport. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (Amendment) Regulations 2003 make a number of amendments to DDA in order to implement aspects of the European Employment Directive. Since October 2004, when these new regulations came into force it will no longer be possible to justify less favourable treatment which amounts to direct discrimination in the field of employment and vocational training. Nor will there be a defence of justification for failure to make reasonable adjustments. The regulations also introduce a concept of harassment related to disability and, significantly, remove the exemption for small firms. The regulations also confer new powers on the Disability Rights Commission in relation to complaints about discriminatory advertisements/pressure and instructions to discriminate against disabled people. The Government is preparing a separate set of regulations which will amend DDA to implement the Employment Directive's requirements in relation to vocational training provided by FE and HE institutions. The Disability Discrimination Bill was published for pre-legislative scrutiny in the 2003/4 public session and proposes to extend the DDA provision. The intention is that this new legislation would: ❏

Extend DDA cover to functions carried out by public bodies 37


Introduce a new duty on public bodies to promote equality of opportunity for disabled people

Require those who let or manage rented premises to make reasonable adjustments in their policies and practices

Bring within the scope of the DDA large private members clubs

Bring within the scope of the DDA the use of transport vehicles by disabled people, and set an end date for inaccessibility of rail vehicles

Extend the definition of disability to cover more people living with HIV, cancer and multiple sclerosis

Se xual Orientation The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) regulations have prohibited, since 1st December 2003, direct and indirect discrimination, victimisation and harassment on the grounds of sexual orientation in the fields of employment and vocational training. The regulations follow the general pattern of the Sex Discrimination Act and Race Relations Act but do not cover discrimination in education (except vocational training) or the provision of goods, facilities and services.

Religion and Belief The Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003 prohibit direct and indirect discrimination and harassment on the grounds of religion or belief. This includes discrimination on the ground that an individual has no religion. They also (as with Sexual Orientation) prohibit victimisation where a person is treated less favourably because she has taken certain action in relation to the regulations. These regulations also came into force in December 2003 and also only cover employment and vocational training.

Ag e

38

The EC Employment Directive which gave rise to the legislation on sexual orientation and religion and belief, also requires Member States to prohibit age discrimination. It is anticipated that regulations similar to those for sexual orientation will come into force in October 2006.


Consultation Q uestion 1. W hat c hang g es, i f a ny, t o U K l aws o n e quality should t he N orth W est r eg g ion l obby f or? 2.5.2

Commission f or Equality and Human Rights

In May 2004, the Government published its White Paper, Fairness for All: a new commission for equality and human rights, following two years of consultation. The announcement of the intention to create a single equalities body represents the culmination of the most significant review of equality institutions in Britain in a quarter of a century. The new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR) will subsume the functions of the existing equality commissions - the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), Disability Rights Commission (DRC) and Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) - and take on competence in new areas of sexual orientation, age, faith and belief. In addition the new body with have responsibility for the promotion of human rights.

Role of the CEHR The CEHR is designed to be a single, strong and authoritative champion for equality and human rights, with the ability to take a cross-cutting approach and tackle discrimination on multiple grounds. The role of the CEHR is to: ❏

Promote equality and tackle the barriers that prevent people from making their full contribution

Promote the business case for diversity

Challenge discrimination and work towards its elimination

Promote a culture of respect for human rights

Promote citizenship and a cohesive society 39


At this stage it is unclear how the final functions of the CEHR will be carried out, but it is likely that they will include encouraging and promoting good practice, working towards eliminating unlawful discrimination and harassment, providing expertise and research, and reviewing equality legislation on a regular basis. UK equality legislation is not standardised, and no legislation has brought protection across each of the strands under a single umbrella - instead it is a mix of Acts of Parliament, European Regulations and Statutory Codes, which offer different protection to each of the equalities communities.

Impact on the Nor th West Government has made a commitment that CEHR should have a regional presence and has sought to gain input on what the regional aspect of CEHR should look like. At present it is not known exactly what functions will be delivered at a regional level, but there is an intention to take account of regional priorities and delivery mechanisms whenever and wherever appropriate. CEHR will explore the possibilities of partnership, contractual arrangements and co-location with existing partners to deliver strategic priorities at a local and regional level. This might involve co-location with other organisations that have a regional presence such as regional equalities bodies, Government Offices, Regional Assemblies or Regional Development Agencies. The timescale for CEHR is not yet set and it is not clear whether the Bill will be considered in this Parliament. This consultation on the Regional Equality and Diversity Strategy offers an opportunity to consider what the regional aspect of CEHR in the North West might look like more fully.

Consultation Q uestion 2. What a ctivv ities a re a p p ropp riate f or t he n ew Commission f or E quality a nd H uman R ig g hts t o c arry out a t a r eg g ional l evv el?

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2.5.2 European Union As the competencies of the European Union have evolved over its 47-year history the EU has developed a role in supporting Equality and Diversity in the UK. This has been done through European legislation, EU programmes and funding directly addressing the issues of discrimination and equality. The EU aims to incorporate equality and non-discrimination into its policy process and most recently has launched the Green Paper Equality and Non-Discrimination in an Enlarged European Union15, which assesses progress to date and sets out challenges for the new EU of 25 member states.

EU Legislation In 1997 two ground-breaking directives were unanimously adopted by the Council ensuring that 'everyone living in the EU can benefit from effective legal protection against discrimination'16. The European Union is an important source of UK legislation with a whole range of European directives written into UK law each year - the most recent being Employment Equality Regulations on Sexual Orientation, Religion and Belief and Age.

Trans-national Co-operation European programmes offer an important opportunity for inter-regional learning and a point of comparison with other regions of the EU for the North West. This region’s experience of Interreg, where regions in the EU work together and share practice, has shown the importance of trans-national working, as have some trans-national EQUAL projects.

The Lisbon Ag enda One of the aims of the 'Lisbon Agenda' is to raise the employment levels of groups that are currently under-represented in the labour market. Targets include raising the employment rate of older workers and women, as well as achieving a significant reduction in the unemployment gaps for people who are at a disadvantage such as disabled people, minority ethnic communities and migrants, by 2010.

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European Pro grammes In addition to legislation the EU funds several programmes to promote equality. It supports a range of positive measures necessary to challenge discriminatory behaviour and change attitudes over time.

Structural Funds The North West 2000 -2006 Structural Funds programme supports both physical and economic regeneration across the region. It is worth almost ÂŁ1.7 billion. The Structural Fund programme is delivered regionally in partnership between key regional stakeholders - although North West Objective 3 implements a nationally agreed programme. Structural Funds in the region support equality and diversity through funding specific equality projects and through mainstreaming equality and diversity objectives within the whole programme. In May 2004 the enlargement of the EU brought in 10 new members, many of which are poorer than the North West region.The next round of Structural Funds 2007-13 is currently under negotiation and although the exact level of funding is as yet unknown, it is clear that the North West will have a reduced allocation of Structural Funds. It is imperative, however, that some additional funding is provided. The region should develop a clear picture of how the current Structural Funds have addressed the needs of equalities communities in the North West, to ensure that future regeneration funding, whether National or European, benefits all citizens of our region.

Consultation Q uestion 3. H ow h avv e y ou o r y our o rg g anisation b een a ble t o further e quality a nd d ivv ersity t hroug g h E uropp ean p rog g rammes o r t rans-n n ational c oopp eration?

42


P ar t T hr ee: Best Pr actice in the Nor th West

43


3.1

T he Pub lic Sector

Evidence suggests that equality practice is developing within different contexts in the public, voluntary and private sectors of the region. Understanding these different contexts, and recognising the strengths that each sector contributes, is important in developing an effective North West Equality and Diversity Strategy. In order to provide an evidence base, the NWRA commissioned a report into Equality Practice in the region17. At a national level the public sector is taking a leading role in the development of equality and diversity practice. In a large part this is because of Race Relations (Amendment) Act18, which placed a general positive duty on many public bodies to promote race equality. The change from negative laws to a positive duty was significant in re-shaping the equalities agenda. The supporting requirement to monitor and implement a Race Equality Scheme is intended to systematise and generalise good equality practice in all the activities of public authorities. This obligation means that public authorities are on the whole more engaged with equality and diversity policy, practice and progress than private companies or voluntary sector organisations.

3.1.2

Local Authorities

Across the public sector, the most progress has been made in the areas of Local Government, and the NHS - where there have been concerted initiatives to develop equality and diversity throughout the employment and service structures. In the North West the situation is quite similar, although there is a great unevenness in commitment, capacity and achievement across Local Authorities in the region. Some authorities are developing a strong commitment to mainstreaming equality through their work with the Equality Standard for Local Government19 and Salford City Council is working with the online Equality Standard (ESAT) as part of a national pilot20. The Audit Commission report21 on local government performance indicators for 2002/3 shows that almost all of the 46 local authorities listed in the North West are engaged with the Equality Standard. Wirral MBC and Burnley MBC are the only authorities claiming level 3 of the Standard. Of the 16 authorities at level 2,Vale Royal has made significant progress towards equality achievement. Despite being a small district with a low level of ethnic diversity it has engaged in an innovative project to establish the best way to reach and improve service delivery for a dispersed BME population . The Equality Standard is only one measure of progress, and the research does identify 44

22


a whole range of specific practices which are good, innovative or excellent amongst local authorities in the North West - particularly in Greater Manchester. However despite significant progress - especially in the metropolitan areas - the research finds the North West's local authorities lagging behind the London region.

3.1.3

Fir e and Rescue Ser vices

The survey showed that Fire Services in the region were responding to the equalities agenda. Good practice is being develop in Cheshire the Fire and Rescue Authority have adopted the Equality Standard for Local Government and have developed a strong leadership role in promoting equality and diversity policy within the sub-region.

Cheshir e Fir e Ser vice Cheshire Fire (CFS) service is an important example of good equality practice because it has tried to integrate equality and social cohesion policy within an effective public sector management framework. The Cheshire Fire Service was awarded Beacon Council Status under the category of "Community Cohesion" for work that has gone beyond simply delivering an emergency service. Some examples of good practice include: ❏ The use of focus groups and meetings with staff to help in changing the culture of the service ❏ Working to adopt the Equality Standard for Local Government ❏ Embedding the new equality team within the whole policy and planning process ❏ Partnership with Age Concern to target those most at risk ❏ Deafness Support Network ❏ A youth scheme receiving national acclaim encouraging young people to support fire prevention.

3.1.4

Police Forces

It is clear that all five Police Forces in the North West have attempted to address equality issues, at least in their policy development process. Although forces have been critised for 'over-policing' certain BME groups, racist attitudes and not dealing with homophobic hate crime in a way that reassured the community, evidence of good and emerging practice in many services does exist. Lancashire Police Force provides evidence of good practice on a number of service issues including their hate crime policing23, and Merseyside Police have achieved their recruitment targets for minority ethnic communities24. Crime Reduction Partnerships, and hate crime forums represent good practice engaging with equalities communities across the region.

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3.1.5

NHS

In June 2004 the Department of Health published its latest diversity and equality policy documents setting out a series of national challenges aimed at securing a diverse workforce. This provides a strong framework for addressing employment related equality issues but there is no consistent practice for addressing equality impact and improvement in service provision. A report published by the Commission for Racial Equality found that whilst the overwhelming majority of NHS trusts have written equality policies there was a 'disturbing gap between equal opportunities policy and practice'25. Since the introduction of Race Equality Schemes, NHS Trusts have started to develop a more active approach to equalities and a number have started to implement the Equalities Standard. In identifying good practice in the NHS in the North West, Central Liverpool PCT is highlighted as a case study due to its well-developed Diversity Equality Scheme and Heath Inequalities Resource Centre. Central Manchester PCT was identified by the Audit Commission as having engaged in a number of good practice initiatives to develop equality and diversity.

Central Liverpool PCT Central Liverpool PCT delivers primary health care to an area of the city which is home to a large population of settled BME communities and has also received a considerable number of Asylum Seekers and Refugees in recent years. The PCT has created a model equality and diversity scheme, extending the Race Equality Scheme to embrace the other equality strands of disability and sexual orientation. It operates under the broad guidance for Race Equality Schemes set out under the CRE guidelines. The strength of the practice at Central Liverpool PCT is partly found in the fact it goes beyond compliance with legislation and extends the Race Equality Scheme, but it is also significant that impact assessment has been embedded with the action planning process. Another important development has been the emergence of the Health Inequalities Resource Centre - aiming at reducing health inequalities in the city. The centre has already established a patient profiling initiative that will help identify inequalities and should allow for better targeting or services and resources to address the problem. 46


3.1.6

Other Pub lic Organisations

Research for the NWRA has also noted good practice in the areas of education and training, through learning and skills councils, HE and FE institutions. It also found that the North West Regional Development Agency has a wide range of documentation and guidance on equalities, including a well-devised Race Equality Scheme.

Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 2) Dev elop a high-lev el inter v ention to encoura g e and promote a compr ehensiv e and systematic a pproach to the development of g ood practice in pub lic ser vice organisations with the aim of raising the Nor th West to the lev el of London region. Research the implementation and impact of the equality standard in the region and consider development of a g eneral r egional equality standar d f or all sections

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3.2

T he Pri v a te Sector

3.2.1

Larg er Companies

Evidence suggests that despite a difficult relationship with the existing equality commissions in the past, larger organisations are beginning to take on board the need to promote diversity and equality good practice. Some large national and international companies operating in the region are demonstrating an understanding of the commercial case for promoting equality - widening their client and recruitment base, and reflecting local communities. Given the increasing prevalence of equal opportunities policies among larger private sector organisations, the challenge now lies in ensuring that policy is backed up with significant changes in practice. A survey by the CRE demonstrates that there is little evidence to suggest that having a race equality policy indicates that a company has made systematic effort on equality improvement26. The North West has examples of companies that have a very positive record on equality and diversity including B&Q, Parks Cakes (a subsidiary of Northern Foods), Barclays Bank, the Co-operative group and Asda /Wallmart.

Asda, Hulme Asda Hulme Store has been the catalyst for change within the Asda Group nationally. From the beginning of its development the store developed policies and practices which supported diversity, and promoted the employment of people from the local surrounding area, which traditionally suffered from high levels of unemployment. The store worked closely with the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) in developing a local recruitment strategy. Some examples of good practice have included: ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

The Developing a strong business case for equality The Age positive employment practices including grandparent and 'Benidorm' leave. Unpaid time off which can be taken on the birth of a grandchild and between January and March each year The Positive and diverse images in promotional material The Setting up 'listening groups' for consultation with staff The A confidential helpline number to report discrimination

Nationally ASDA has 8.4% of its staff from BME backgrounds, and 4.2% at middle management level. 48


Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 2) Identify a strategic lead within the private sector to encoura g e larg e employers to accept and act on the business case , and bring all larg er companies up to the level of the best perf ormers in the sector.

3.2.2 Small and Medium-siz ed Enterprises Some small enterprises in the region have developed specific equality priorities, but the majority of SMEs have no such focus and have been largely inactive in the development of equality and diversity practices. Nationally the Federation of Small Businesses and Chambers of Commerce offer online information regarding equality legislation and seem well disposed to equality initiatives. Both supported the development of this Strategy regionally. With some notable exceptions, the focus in the North West is on compliance with legislation, specifically the Disability Discrimination Act27.

Oldham United The Oldham United campaign is an important example of private sector involvement in developing good equality practice. The campaign was conceived initially as a contribution to improved community cohesion in Oldham following the riots of 2001, but the involvement of cross sector agencies has had a lasting impact. The Oldham United campaign have demonstrated good practice including: ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

Social events that bring communities together A jobs fair which promotes and celebrates diversity A diversity best practice business forum Initiatives that link communities through education Developing the business case for investing in Oldham Initiatives to improve the employment prospects for young Asians, especially in

The organisations involved include local branches of large national companies, medium sized business, small local enterprises, the voluntary sector and the local press.

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The SME sector is a significant employer and provider of goods and services in the region, and is widely involved in delivery of public service contracts and, therefore, should be bound by requirements of public sector partners. There is a willingness to take action for equality, if a lack of resources. Increasingly many business leaders recognise that it is simply good business practice to consider the diverse needs of their staff and customers and, therefore, wish to take diversity into account within the management of their organisations. For others information - about new legislation and the business case for diversity - has simply not been accessible. In the North East region, a resource centre - Equality North East - has been established to support businesses in the development of equality and diversity practice. Similarly the Welsh Development Agency has led a project designed to improve the equality practice of SMEs in Wales. These developments are illustrative of the support needed by the sector in the North West.

Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 3) Dev elop a strategic equality scheme that will enab le SMEs (and small v oluntar y sector organisations) to standar dise practice and ensur e the y do not lose out in contracting to pub lic and private firms that r equir e equality compliance .

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3.3. T he Voluntar y Sector

3.3.1 VCS Organisations Many Voluntary and Community Sector (VCS) organisations have a specific interest in equality and diversity. From large charities, through to small community groups VCS organisations are pioneering and innovative in many areas of equality practice, especially where mainstream service fail to provide adequate support (such as in the Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual sector). The Good Practice survey shows that a wide range of organisations across the region are involved with work on specific equality strands and are significantly contributing to change. Domestic abuse support structures, young peoples’ advocacy projects, minority ethnic and faith groups, disabled peoples’ campaigns, and general support bodies such as local councils for voluntary service all play a role.

Sahara Sahara in Preston is a women-only voluntary organisation set up to preserve and protect the health and well being of women of ethnic minorities in general and of Asian and African Caribbean in particular in an area of Preston. From the beginning Sahara, initially with only two workers, sought to t deal with the entire reality of women's lives recognising that health , education, employability, parenting and family life, safety and visibility were all linked. The project has been unusually successful in inclusion of women of both African and Caribbean origin as well as women from the Indian subcontinent. All courses and activities are supported by childcare, and there have been many examples of success including: ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

Many women completing counselling courses going on to volunteer for the centre Partnership with Jobcentre Plus to give women the skills they need for he careers they want High demand for ESOL courses to the extent that there is now a demand for men's courses The opening of a second drop in centre in another area of Preston

In 2003, fourth-eight women gained employment through training at the centre. However, the sector is blighted by a lack of long term core funding, as well as limited project funding. Therefore, there is a lack of resources to ensure that diversity and equality objectives are mainstreamed and performance managed within organisations. A lack of infrastructure for support also means that good practice in certain 'specialist' areas is not easily transferred between organisations.

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Some voluntary sector agencies have undertaken to develop good employment policies and services that challenge discrimination across the board. The VCS is also increasing being viewed by Government and local authorities as a service provider, often developing innovative new projects and adding value to existing delivery mechanisms. Combined with funding streams this opens up the opportunity to encourage VCS organisations to meet equality standards but must be matched with appropriate resources. Due to the voluntary nature of the sector many organisations are managed by Trustee Boards, and employ as many, or more, volunteers than staff. This presents a specific set of challenges when considering equality management within the organisations themselves and additional capacity will be required, as well as a model of equality practice which 'fits' the voluntary sector. Often a simple transfer of public sector models is not the best fit.

3.3.2

Trade Unions

Trade Unions have also often been at the forefront of developing equalities practice and have various strong, self-organised equalities networks representing women, black workers, disabled employees and lesbian gay and bisexual (LGB) workers. The TUC itself has played an important role in national equality and diversity development and has been an important stakeholder regionally. In implementing the North West Equality and Diversity Strategy, it will be vital to work in partnership with the TUC, link into existing networks of workers facing discrimination, and work with Unions and utilise their capacity as a mechanism for the delivery of equality objectives (such as raising awareness of new legislation).

Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 3) Dev elop a r egional v oluntar y sector par tnership frame work that w ould provide compr ehensive and systematic suppor t to the VCS on equality and div ersity issue without stifling cr eativity.

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3.4. Developing Equality and Di ver sity Pr actice The report for the NWRA recognises the importance of good practice as a tool for improving equality practice across the board. There is a clearly a large pool of good practice from from which the region can draw - though there is still some way to go before the North West measures up to other regions such as London and the West Midlands. As a tool for managing improvement, best practice depends on the capacity of organisations to learn and transfer relevant ‘better’ practices and apply them in the context of a different organisation. It is, therefore, essential that methods for exchanging and developing exemplary practice be embedded within a wider framework for managing equality and diversity - a systematic approach to equality mainstreaming. Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 1 ) Estab lish a Div ersity and Equality Awar d scheme f or organisations in the Nor th West Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 2) Set r egional targ ets f or achiev ement f or local authorities, Fir e , Police and Transpor t authorities Set up systems to monitor the equality impact of all r egional funding Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objectiv e 6) Promote a higher r epr esentation of all equalities comm unities among higher grade positions across all sectors Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objectiv e 1 0) Develop an equality e xchang e to shar e and disseminate g ood practice

Consultation Q uestion 4. There i s c urrently n o s ing g le o rg g anisation b ody charg g ed w ith c o-oo rdinating g r eg g ional e quality activv ity. W ould a r eg g ional ' Equality U nit/Centre' b e beneficial? I f s o w hat s hould b e i ts m ain f unctions?

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P ar t Four : Equalities Comm unities ‘Str and-b yStr and’

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4.1

Intr oduction

In producing an Equality and Diversity Strategy for the North West, stakeholders felt it was very important to recognise, and raise awareness of, the different needs and priorities within each of the equalities communities identified. In the North West, following the precedent of the Government, we have identified 6 specific 'strands': Race and Ethnicity Gender Disability Sexual Orientation and Transgender28 Age Faith and Belief

Each of the strand sections in Chapter 4 considers the following: ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

Role of that community in the North West Contribution to the region Challenges for the region to tackle Suggested action

Organisations and individuals now have the opportunity to comment on these priorities through the consultation process. An implementation plan will be published along side the final Equality and Diversity strategy in Summer 2005.

Other Equalities Comm unities Raising awareness of the specific needs of the six strands was felt necessary because of the perceived low level of equality activity and understanding in the region at the present time. This strategy does not aim to exclude other equalities communities or excluded groups which are not identified in the six strands above, but rather seeks to take a mainstreaming approach to equality, ensuring that all communities are fully included, consulted and able to participate in the North West.

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4.2

R ace and Ethnicity

In order to add an evidence base in this under-funded and relatively under resourced area, the NWRA commissioned a Regional BME Study29. The BME Study considered the following: â?? â?? â??

The profile of BME communities in the North West Identification of key issues faced by BME groups in the region Conclusions and recommendations for change

4.2.1

BME Comm unities in the Nor th West

Black and Minority ethnic people have settled in the largest numbers in the industrial areas of the North West. Some 8% of the UK BME population live in the North West. The 2001 Census identified 374,000 people of 'non-white' minority ethnic heritage representing 5.6% of the population. This may hide additional minority ethnic communities because of the nature of census data collected30. Pakistani people are the largest minority ethnic group in the North West followed by people of Indian origin. People of mixed ethnic origin are the third largest minority group. The population profile by local authority varies widely - ranging from 22% in Blackburn with Darwen to 1% in Eden (in Cumbria). The great majority (60%) of the BME population are concentrated in Greater Manchester with much of the remainder in Merseyside and number of the Lancashire cities and towns.

Deprivation BME groups are concentrated in areas of relatively high deprivation with high unemployment, poorer health and, particularly among some BME groups, a reliance on poor quality housing. Generally BME communities do not live in more prosperous areas in any large numbers. Some 30% of BME people are in the 'Top 5' most deprived Districts in the North West, and 70% of BME communities are concentrated in the 88 most deprived local authority areas in the country - 21 of which are in the North West.

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BME households are more likely to live in rented accommodation than white households, and are less likely to have access to private transport. There are differences between BME groups - Bangladeshi and Black African people have the poorest housing conditions of any group in terms of a greater degree of overcrowding and a higher incidence of shared bathrooms.


Diff ering Demo gra phics Compared to white groups, BME communities are relatively youthful (just over a third are under 16 years old). There are proportionately fewer BME people over retirement age compared to the White population, although Caribbean, Chinese, Indian and Black African groups have an ageing population. Minority ethnic groups in the North West differ in terms of household and family composition. South Asians have much larger households on average, compared to White households. Bangladeshi-headed households are the largest on average. Co-habiting is a more common form of family organisation for BME groups than among White people. The prevalence of lone parent households is higher amongst the Mixed and Black ethnic groups than for White and South Asians households.

Irish Origin White Irish people were not directly considered within the BME study, because of a lack of readily available information. It was felt necessary to concentrate resources on 'non-white' BME groups in this instance. However, other research has shown that people of Irish origin - as measured by the 'White Irish' category of census data constitute 1.2% of the North West population.This figure represents 77,500 people a significant minority ethnic population mostly concentrated in Manchester, Trafford and Salford. Further breakdown of the available evidence displays the fact that of those that have indicated their ethnicity as 'white Irish', the majority (75%) were actually born in the Republic of Ireland. Given that we know the North West has traditionally been home to many communities of Irish descent it is perhaps likely that the census data is not an adequate measure, and certainly it is not currently possible to analyse the population of Irish origin to assess for example, whether income levels or economic activity differ from the whole population averages. Experiences of discrimination, exclusion and deprivation among Irish communities require further investigation. The white Irish category might, however, also hide Irish Traveller populations recognised as an ethnic groups by the Race Relations Act. A more detailed analysis of the issues faced by Gypsies and Travellers can be found in 3.2.5.

Asylum Seekers and Refug ees A recent Home Office study found that, far from being a burden on UK taxpayers, 57


migrants made a net contribution of approximately ÂŁ2.5 billion to income tax in 19992000. Throughout history, migrants (including refugees) have made invaluable contributions to our economic and cultural life31. There is a reliance on migrants to fill the present gaps in the UK labour market. Although there are currently not figures for the North West at present, the Greater London Authority found that 23% of doctors and 47% nurses working in the NHS in London were born outside the UK. National Asylum Support Service (NASS) figures show that the total number of asylum seekers supported in the North West totalled about eight thousand at the end of June 2004.

4.2.2

The Contribution of BME Comm unities to the Region

Research conducted for the NWRA estimates that there were approximately 103,000 BME people in the labour market on the date of the last census, accounting for combined earnings of ÂŁ1.66 billion per year. Over the next decade BME people are projected to account for over half the growth in the national working age population.

Economic Activity Amongst older adults (aged 25 and over) some BME groups have relatively high rates of economic activity and employment, but on the whole activity rates are lower than the average. The 'Mixed' ethnic and Chinese groups have the highest economic activity rate (66% for both groups). These groups also have relatively high employment rates (57% and 51% respectively). Although fewer proportions of the working age population across all minority ethnic groups are in employment compared to the regional average the data obscures a strong trend between male and female adults. The latter are much less likely to work often for a number of cultural and religious reasons and hence the average is pulled much lower than it would otherwise be. More BME residents aged over 25 are economically active in several rural Districts in Cumbria and Cheshire compared to the white population. Proportionally more adult residents are working/seeking work in these areas, therefore, contributing to the labour market, although the overall numbers are relatively low. Many BME people facing disadvantages have sought to improve their economic position, using the resources available to them, through exploiting the opportunities 58


within their social networks, including enterprise and self employment. Chinese and South Asian people have particularly high rates of self-employment. Despite marginalisation or social exclusion many groups have been able to overcome disadvantages and show considerable upward mobility.

Occupation and Industr y Minority Ethnic employees are disproportionately distributed in specific industries and trades. Chinese people are predominantly employed in hotels and catering (20%) which accounts for 3.2% of the North West Gross Value Added (GVA) per year. The black population tends to be most likely to be employed in Health and Social Work (13%), accounting for 7.7% regional GVA and Asian people are concentrated in wholesale and retail trades (12%) which account for 13% of GVA. The proportion of the working age population working in lower grade occupations is highest among white people (15%).

4.2.3

Challeng es f or the Region to Tackle

Rural ar eas Feedback from BME stakeholders suggests that rural areas are further behind the urban areas in the North West in terms of promoting diversity and social integration. It is felt that rural areas provide less opportunities generally for BME people which, combined with the decline in some Northern towns and outlying rural areas is leaving some BME communities increasing isolated. Research highlighted the need to develop strategies to overcome the issues of specific concern to rural BME communities.

Education and Skills Differing skill levels are very evident across the North West. Generally a higher proportion of people of minority ethnic descent (of all groups) hold higher-level qualifications than white people although these figures are significantly lower regionally than nationally. Compared to white students, fewer minority ethnic students take the traditional 'A' level route to University, more go into HE from FE colleges. Educational achievements among minority ethnic groups display glaring disparities. Chinese, 'Black Africans', Indians and 'Other' ethnic groups are among the best-qualified groups, whereas Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, 'Black Caribbean's' and the 'Other Black' category do least well in education. 59


African Caribbean young people, especially boys, have not shared equally in the increasing rates of GCSE/GNVQ achievement for school leavers. Among all Black students the number achieving five or more A*-C grades is only 58%. The gap is growing between the highest and lowest achieving ethnic groups in many LEAs. School exclusion rates of BME pupils are relatively high in the North West compared to white pupils. Pupils from Black British groups are twice as likely to be excluded from school as their white counterparts. Some groups are relatively poorly qualified, especially Bangladeshi and Pakistani adults, who have relatively high proportions with no formal qualifications. Much of the quantitative evidence reiterates the qualitative evidence that although minority ethnic communities may possess high qualifications and skills these do not provide them the opportunity to work and earn as well as their white counterparts. There are, therefore, poor returns to educational achievement resulting in low economic participation .

Labour Market Labour market experiences vary between BME groups, and generations, in terms of unemployment rates, occupational profiles and earnings. Chinese and Indian people tend to do better than white people in the labour market, but black people, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis do least well. Indian males are closest to the white average level of earnings. Bangladeshis are the least well paid, and Bangladeshi women are by far the worse off group. Men earn more than women across all ethnic groups.

Oppor tunities For eg one Estimates from the limited data available in the Labour Force Survey shows that Bangladeshi and Pakistani people earn roughly 25% less than their white counterparts. If that earnings gap were reduced to 10% through a mixture of skills and education interventions to help these population groups move into higher occupational groups it would increase the total net earnings in the North West by ÂŁ19 million per year. If barriers to work were removed and the employment rate amongst the North West's minority ethnic communities increased to the regional average this would bring an additional 55,000 people into work. If those people were paid according to the North West average an additional ÂŁ944 million per year could be gained. 60


Discrimination in Employment BME workers tend to be disproportionately affected by discrimination caused by plain prejudice, English as an additional language, access to social networks and labour market information, a lack of job related skills, caring responsibilities, or living in a deprived area with few jobs. Unemployment rates among BME people are much higher than the regional average. Overall about 20% of BME people are unemployed but want to work. This is compared to a North West unemployment rate of approximately 4% in October 2004. Unemployment as a proportion of the working age population is higher than the England average for all minority ethnic groups except the 'Chinese and Other Ethnic Groups' category. Whilst some ethnic minority workers are in managerial positions or business people, data on BME workers in the 'Top 100' companies nationally suggests that overall there is a 'glass ceiling' effect in terms of progression to senior management positions. Gender inequalities in employment are even wider than ethnic differences. BME women are less likely to be in work, and are concentrated in fewer occupations than men. The effect of discrimination, coupled with the influence of caring responsibilities and family structures, has narrowed the opportunities open to BME women. A major emerging issue is the problem of low aspirations amongst some young people, and relatively high levels of youth unemployment, especially amongst Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Caribbean and Other black ethnic origin.

Health and Caring Ethnic Minority groups are more likely to report poor or very poor health then white people, with many peoples’ home situation characterised by problems of low incomes, poor housing, and over-crowding. Some BME groups are disproportionately affected by specific illnesses, such as diabetes. BME people living in extended, multi-generational households, with some members in poor health and limiting long-term illnesses and other members in lower socioeconomic positions, are most likely to experience poverty and social deprivation. Despite, poorer general health, there is evidence of poorer diagnosis and access to health services. Possible factors include variations in seeking services, inaccessibility of health services, or lack of culturally appropriate services. Minority ethnic groups in the UK are considered to be particularly disadvantaged in their access to mental health 61


services. Mainstream drug agency services have also been highlighted as failing to meet the specific needs of BME groups. Access to elder care services is an increasingly important issue for some BME groups with increasing numbers of older people. Religious considerations, cultural norms, financial constraints and language barriers may prevent households from sending their ill family members into institutional residence.

Criminal J ustice System British Crime Survey figures show that there were about 5,400 recorded racially or religiously aggravated offences in 2003/4. This was a 23% increase across the North West Police forces as compared to the previous year. The England and Wales increse was 13%. Racially or religiously aggravated offences increased in some rural areas of the North West, and there are fewer support networks and resources in rural areas than in the cities. These, whilist disconserting, figures may represent an increase in recording of hate crime as initiatives to increase reporting have been successfully undertaken and should be applauded. 8% of ‘stop and searches’ by Police in the North West in 2002/03 were of people of minority ethnic appearance, (including 12% in Greater Manchester). Overall, black people more likely to be stopped and searched than white people. 7% of total arrests for notifiable offences in 2002/03 in Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester Police Force areas were of people of ethnic minority desent. 10% of people given custodial sentaces in 2002 from the Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside Police Force areas were BME (5% Black, 3% Asian, 2% Other). BME people are more likely than average to be convicted and imprisoned.

Repr esentation and Par ticipation Overall BME groups tend not to be well represented in National and Local Government. ODPM has highlighted that "the current pool of elected members remains unrepresentative of England's population" (ODPM 2003). Statistics show that in 2003 only 3.3% of the North West's Local Authority Councillors came from minority ethnic groups.

Pub lic Sector The research suggests that whilst there are many good examples of how the public 62


sector is trying to address diverse needs, including partnership with the voluntary and community sector, overall the picture is fragmented with little consistency across the region, plus a lot of short term initiatives. The research highlighted a degree of cynicism in many areas about the extent to which the public sector was making genuine progress towards diversity and inclusion. This view relates to perceptions on how the public sector consults and engages with BME communities, the lack of feedback on the results of consultation, and the limited involvement of community based organisations in service delivery. BME people are under represented in employment in the public sector. The proportion of BME employees is below the level of the population in all but a handful of authorities in the North West. Although there are some exceptions, the level of those earning in the top 5% from ethnic minorities is particularly low in many authorities.

4.2.4

Sugg ested Action

The issues faced by BME communities in the North West are complex. The policy context is also very dynamic and there are a plethora of national strategies and regional commitments to improving the economic and social life of the region. The following actions are suggested: Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 4) Under take r esearch into Stop and Search in the Nor th West Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 6) Prioritise r educing the rate of youth unemployment amongst BMEs a g ed 16-24 years Reduce the diff er ence between the overall employment rate f or adults (25+) and the employment rate of ethnic minorities to within 2 percenta g e points (at cur r ent lev els of employment, this equates to over 7,000 mor e BME people in jobs). Ensur e that this includes jobs across the spectrum and includes a g ood propor tion of higher level jobs. Reduce the propor tion of pupils from the lowest perf orming BME groups who leave compulsor y schooling with no qualifications to half the cur r ent level. 63


Incr ease the propor tion of Pakistani and Bangladeshi adults (25+) in the Nor th West with qualifications to 68% (this equates to ov er 16,000 mor e adults with qualifications). Ensur e that strategic decision making r egar ding childcar e provision, meets the needs of BME women removing bar riers to entr y into the labour market.

4.2.5

Gypsies and Travellers

Stakeholders felt it was essential, given the hidden nature of this community, to specifically highlight the issues surrounding Gypsies and Travellers in the North West. Very little is know about these communities, but Gypsies and Travellers are a significant minority of people of the UK, similar to the size of the Bangladeshi population - the Council of Europe suggests between 200,000 and 300,000. The European Union identifies Romany people as the largest minority ethnic group in the Union.

Race Equality The Race Relations Act 1976 makes it unlawful to treat someone less favourably on the grounds of her or his ethnicity. Romany Gypsies are by far the largest group of the Travellers and Gypsies in England and have been recognised as a racial group since 1988 (CRE v's Dutton). Irish travellers, who have been travelling in England as a distinct social group since the 1800's, received legal recognition as a racial group in 2000 (O'Leary v's Allied Domecq)33. This means that public bodies have a duty to prevent discrimination in the provision of good and services to these groups on the grounds of ethnicity, and that the Council for Racial Equality can support cases taken by Romany Gypsies or Irish Travellers. This protection is not afforded to 'New Travellers' or 'Occupational Travellers' people who live and work on fairgrounds or circuses, and waterway communities.

Discrimination Discrimination and prejudice against travellers and Gypsies is still observable in almost every area of life. The media perpetuates negative images of Gypsies and Travellers associated with crime environmental damage and living rent-free. The parading and burning of a gypsy caravan effigy in October 2003 in East Sussex serves as a reminder. A 2003 MORI poll undertaken for Stonewall - the gay rights organisation - found that 64


one third of adults asked admitted to being personally prejudiced against Gypsies and Travellers, a much higher number than those admitting to homophobia. 'No Travellers' signs are easily visible in many shops and pubs. Although the evidence base is very limited, we know that Gypsies and Travellers live shorter lives, have less access to healthcare, are more liable to arrest and imprisonment, are less well supported by unemployment services, and are more likely to experience discrimination in education and employment than almost any other population group in the UK. Studies suggest that despite the 'general duty' on race equality applying to Gypsies and Travellers, most local authorities do not actually take account of the needs of these groups - only 30% had a traveller accommodation policy, and only 40%34considered Gypsies and Travellers within Best Value reviews, Hardly any LAs included mention of these groups in their Race Equality Scheme. Accommodation is a huge problem for Gypsies and Travellers, it is estimated that an additional 3,000 - 4,500 pitches are needed. At present approximately a quarter of the traveller population are living in unauthorised sites which effectively makes them homeless under the Homelessness Act (2002) and Housing Act (1988) legislation. Local authorities often fear that setting up new sites will encourage more travellers into their areas with a negative outcome and hence new sites are rare and much needed. An investigation by ASCERT in 1997 found that while 80% of general planning applications were accepted, 90% of Gypsy and Traveller planning applications for private sites were turned down in the first stages. "Most Gypsies and Travellers in Britain live in houses. We know little about them, or about the reasons for their choice. It is believed, however, that many turn reluctantly to 'bricks and mortar' when they can no longer cope with the pressure of poor health, the hardship of insufficient site facilities, caravans that are not designed for disabilities or the frailties of age, or the ordeal of repeated evictions, or the demands of their children's education". (CRE, Gypsy and Irish Traveller Strategy 2004-2007) The CRE strategy also found that Gypsies and Travellers have to deal with many complex issues on a day-to-day basis, as a direct consequence of current arrangements for accommodation: â??

Gypsies and Travellers are often obliged to use unauthorised encampments in unsuitable locations, and run the risk of being vilified for any damage (perceived or real) they cause to the environment. 65


Encampments may lack basic services, including portable toilets, domestic rubbish collection, water supply, renovation, maintenance and pest control

Public sites are often located in polluted and hazardous environments, on land that would never be developed for housing, and are entirely unsuitable for children.

Public sites may lack facilities such as work space or play facilities for children, and the costs of utilities are high.

There is no security of tenure and the threat of eviction from a public site is real and constant - Gypsies and Travellers are not tenants but licensees and can be evicted from a site that has been a home for 20 years, at one month's notice.

Gypsies and Travellers are rarely consulted or involved in any discussions or decisions about the provision, location, design, or management of sites, or even the use of any refurbishment grant (in England).

Rents vary from one authority to another, and there can be a mismatch between rent and housing benefit.

Nor th West We know very little about the Romany Gypsy and Irish and Scottish Traveller population in the North West.The Scottish Parliament has begun to gather additional information regarding the communities, and the CRE has begun to work with Gypsy and Traveller organisations and Gypsies and Travellers themselves. Through the North West Equality and Diversity Strategy, it is necessary to promote a better understanding of Gypsy and Traveller populations, encourage additional resources to support their community organisations, and work with agencies such as the CRE in undertaking strategic action to improve outcomes for all Gypsy and Traveller people. Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 1) Promote the issues sur rounding Gypsy and Traveller comm unities as par t of the Equality Strateg y, including under taking ad ditional r esearch into the e xistence and needs of these comm unities in the Nor th West. 66


4.3 Gender

"The pay gap is not narrowing, women are poorer, men dominate public life, women often experience powerlessness and violence in their private lives - thirty years of Sex Discrimination legislation has failed to eliminate inequalities between women and men "35 (Fawcett Society)

4.3.1 Women in the Nor th West Almost thirty years since the Sex Discrimination Act36 the situation faced by women in the North West is still not equal to that of men. In almost every area of society the differences are evident. Whether political representation, business, employment, the family, community, personal safety or education are considered, women are still experiencing life very differently from men. ❏

One in every four women will suffer domestic abuse in her lifetime

The average pension for a single women is £153 per week, for men it is £194.

Only 6 of the of the NW's Local Authorities have a female Chief Executive Officer, and there are only 22 women MPs.

The employment rate for women in the North West is 66%, only slightly less than for men, and women still undertake the vast majority of housework and childcare.

Women in full time employment earn 20% less than men, for women working part-time the gap increases to 40%. This national figure is repeated in the North West.

In order to change some of these statistics, we need to understand that the way society is organised revolves around a number of assumptions about the roles that women and men should take.This is the result of systematic, historical discrimination, exclusion and a political settlement where women's and men's roles are defined very differently. In order to redress the balance, and ensure women are able to play an equal role in all aspects of our region - work, family and society - a commitment should be made to a new way of doing things. There must be recognition of the important contribution both women and men make to the North West to enable each person to fulfil her or his potential. This is not just in the interests of the individual - but in the interests of the region as well. 67


4.3.2

The Contribution of Women to the Nor th West

Women make up 52% of the population in the North West and contribute to the region in every way through local communities, in employment, education, public life, democratic participation, business and the voluntary sector. However, the contributions of women often go un-recognised or are under-valued. Women make a huge contribution to the region by providing the vast majority of childcare, eldercare and other caring responsibilities - though the contribution of men in this area is increasing.The majority of housework is also undertaken by women.

Equal Pay In October 2004, the Treasury hosted a conference concerned with Closing the Gender Pay and Productivity Gap38. In the same month it was announced that despite a belief that the gender pay gap was closing, actually women working full time earned 20% less than men. For women working part time, the difference was 40%39. This difference is the same as it was 25 years ago! Within the national economy skills shortages are damaging productivity - in 2003 one fifth of top vacancies, 135,000 jobs, went unfilled and women are seen as key to unlocking Britain's economic potential. In the North West it has been estimated that the pay gap is about the same as the national average. National research shows that over three quarters of this difference is accounted for by direct discrimination, and the differing patterns of work, which women and men choose, such as taking a break to care for children. If discrimination in the labour market could be overcome the region’s economy would be stronger. A recent study, which provided evidence for this Strategy, found that if action is taken to reverse the effect of discrimination in the labour market, the North West will benefit from enabling all its citizens to fully participate and contribute economically, socially and to the environment of the region.

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It was estimated that if employment rates of women were to increase to match those of men, regional income would increase by £1.7 billion annually

Similarly if the same proportion of women to men worked in higher-level occupations with higher level skills and equivalent earnings, the gross income that women might earn could be a s high as £16 billion annually.


4.3.3 Challeng es f or the Region to tackle Domestic Abuse and Violence According to the Home Office41, Domestic Violence: ❏

Accounts for 16% of all violent crime

Has more repeat victims than any other crime (on average there will be 35 assaults before a victim calls the police)

Claims the lives of two women each week and costs in excess of £23 billion a year.

Estimates suggest that there are between 25,000-100,000 domestic incidents of per year

Domestic abuse accounts for a quarter of all recorded violent crime in the UK. Every minute a case of domestic abuse is reported to the police42. 42% of all female homicide is the result of domestic abuse43(as compared to 4% of men) and EU statistics show that one woman in four will experience domestic violence in her lifetime44. Most shockingly, a recent survey showed that 20% young men and 10% young women thought domestic violence against women was acceptable. Estimates show that in about 80% of domestic abuse cases, women are the victims. Although men do suffer domestic abuse, studies show that those men who report incidents are less likely to be fearful in their own homes, less likely to sustain serious injuries, and a majority were also perpetrators of violence against their partners46. It is estimated that only about 35% of domestic abuse cases are reported to the police, and this might be a huge underestimate since Women's Aid statistics indicate that the average women suffers 35 assaults before seeking help. It is expected that women from some BME backgrounds and women who are new to the UK are even less likely to report violence and domestic abuse. Recent research commissioned by the Women and Equality Unit has indicated that domestic violence costs the economy £23 billion per year47, which is still likely to under-represent the full effects of this often hidden crime. Regionally, the North West should promote cross-sector, multi-agency working to develop clear strategies to tackle domestic abuse and violence against women. 69


The Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Bill is the biggest overhaul of legislation regarding domestic abuse since the 1970s. It is anticipated the Bill will pass through Parliament before the next election. It is anticipated the Bill will: ❏

Strengthen Civil Law to protect same sex couples

Introduce a statutory Code of Practice and an Ombudsman

Modernise the law on Domestic Violence and create a Commissioner to represent the victims interest at a national level

Employment and Education Research by the TUC shows that even among teenage young women and men, job segregation and unequal pay are commonplace. Despite the new minimum wage for young people, evidence from the EOC suggests that the opt-out for apprenticships means that in industries where young men start working, such as engineering, technology and aerospace, wages are considerably higher (around £150 per week) than for young women, who tend to be concentrated in low paid areas such as hairdressing and service industries (where wages can be as little as £40 per week). Evidence shows that women and men continue to be segregated into specific career paths. Women tend to go into caring professions, and service sector jobs, while men tend to go into engineering and manufacturing. This is a pattern which is developed right from school where girls and boys are encouraged to choose different subjects and although girls perform better than boys at school the traditional curriculum does not do enough to challenge gender stereotypes. Evidence suggests that there are a much higher proportion of girls taking subjects that are traditionally perceived as suitable for women such as art and psychology48. 70% of English A Level candidates are female, while 37% of Maths graduates are women. Three quarters of all computer science and physics students at all levels are male. As a region we should promote strategies to challenge stereotyping in education and employment, and promote equality of opportunity and equal pay.49

Women in Business

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Women are playing an increasingly important role in enterprise within the North West, though support is often inadequate and barriers are often high. Networks such as the Womens’ Business Forum offers vital support and networking opportunities but lack mainstream funding. In order to fully release the economic potential of the region resources should be dedicated to overcoming descrimination and promoting equality of opportunity in the area.


Div ersity among Women Women have diverse backgrounds and faiths - they have differing sexualities, abilities, beliefs and experiences. The discrimination faced by some women can be exacerbated by additional exclusion due to their age or race, because they are disabled, or because they are isolated in a rural area. Of the 118 women MPs elected in 2001, only two are BME women. Similarly, only 3% of Bangladeshi and Pakistani women have any sort of occupational pension . It is vital that we also seek to overturn the additional barriers faced by women experiencing double discrimination, and work with the other 'strands' or 'equality communities' in doing so.

4.3.4

Sugg ested Action

Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 4) Dev elop strategies to eradicate violence m ulti-a g ency par tnerships.

a gainst w omen through

Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objectiv e 6) Pr omote financial independence f or w omen thr ough w orking towar ds equal pay, an end to g ender segr egation and discrimination in employment and an equal living pension f or older w omen. Dev elop r egional best practice around fle xib le working, childcar e provision, and w ork-lif e balance . Suppor t w omen in business and encoura g e mor e w omen into enterprise .

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4.4 Disa bility

4.4.1 Disab led People in the Nor th West Disability has been dubbed "the last civil rights movement". Traditionally disabled people have been seen as people to be cured, or cared for, and the systematic exclusion that disabled people have faced has been regarded as a "natural" result of their condition. The traditional structures set up to "care for" disabled people - sheltered housing, residential institutions, special schools, sheltered workshops - lead to a level of institutionalisation which both impacts on the mental health of disabled people and ensures that they do not have the skills and ability to be active members of society. In the last 20 years, however, this approach has been challenged by disabled people themselves. The development of a new analysis - the social model of disability - is a tool for accurately describing the roots of the discrimination that disabled people face.

The Social Model of Disability The social model of disability suggests that the impairment (ie, the physical, sensory or mental "condition") is simply another aspect of being human and does not, of itself, lead to exclusion. The barriers placed in the way of people with impairments amount to discrimination and lead to exclusion and segregation. The indiscriminate placing of street furniture, for example, can be a real barrier to blind people, and the public transport system is largely inaccessible to wheelchair users. It is essential that all people - including disabled people - are supported to manage and live with the reality of their day-to-day life. However, this must not divert attention from the fact that barriers exist in society and must be tackled if people are to be independent and contributing members In 2000 the NWRA launched "Committed to Inclusion; accepting the challenge" which focused on the barriers faced by disabled people50- perhaps its major achievement has being to raise activity and awareness and to build up some excellent ongoing networks and foundations.

Mental Health Mental health is a positive sense of well-being that affects everyone and individuals, communities and organisations can all take action to improve mental health and recognise signs of mental distress in ourselves and others. 72


Stigma and discrimination against people with mental health problems is pervasive throughout society, affecting people's employment, relationships and role in society. Mental health problems are estimated to cost the country over £77 billion a year through the costs of care, economic losses and premature death.51 ❏

Up to 1 in 6 is affected by common mental health problems

The highest rates are found in deprived neighbourhoods

Up to 1 in 200 people experience severe mental health problems, with wider impact on family and friends

Someone with schizophrenia can expect to live for ten years less

Adults with mental health problems are less likely to be in work than other groups with limiting long term illness or impairment52

4.4.2

The Contribution of Disab led People to the Region

It is estimated that about 20% of the working age population in the NW are disabled people, just some of the nearly ten million people nationally, who are disabled. The 'disabled pound' is a growing force:The annual spending power of disabled people in the UK has been estimated at £45 billion by the Disability Rights Commission53. Disabled people have jobs, partners, dependent children and older relatives; they are lone parents and can be black, gay or lesbian, live in urban and rural communities. In short, all of our communities have disabled members. With one in six of the population experiencing a mental health problem, most people with mental health problems are leading everyday working and family lives and making economic and social contributions in the region. The North West has a rich and diverse arts and creative movement to which the varied experiences of distress contribute. Experiences of distress, whilst causing difficult and problematic situations, can also lead to a range of positive outcomes and skills - self awareness, problem solving, leadership, inner strength, empathy, interpersonal skills, citizenship, resilience and spirituality - all contributing to social capital and the cultural diversity of our region. 73


A recent study undertaken in support of this Strategy found that if barriers to work for disabled people were reduced in the region and a community of people that represents one fifth of the whole working age population enjoyed an employment rate equal to the average, it would mean an extra 197,000 people in the labour market - with an extra £3.3 billion annually earned54. If the relatively low numbers of disabled people already in the labour market simply saw their earnings rise to match the average this would generate about £16 million annually in increased earning in our region.

4.4.3

Challeng es f or the Region to Tackle

The challenge, in addressing the situation faced by disabled people in the North West, and removing the barriers is multi-faceted. There is a need to update our environmental and social systems to fully take account of the day-to-day reality and requirements of people with impairments, preventing the exclusion of disabled people, and their subsequent dependency.

Tackling Discrimination It is essential to tackle unhelpful attitudes, still informed by the traditional ‘cure or care for’ approach, through education and awareness-raising. The North West should work towards a reduction of stigma and discrimination and support for integration and acceptance of all disabled people and as equal citizens. As well as acknowledging the importance of social capital to the well being of our region, and recognising the central role that family members and friends can play in promoting inclusion. It is now a legal requirement of the Disability Discrimination Act55 that all organisations who make their services available to the public must make reasonable adjustment to ensure disabled people can also access those services. This included small employers with one or more staff since the 1st October 2004. Full compliance with the legislation will be a large step towards removing some of the barriers disabled people face in our region.

Physical Access Access to the rural and urban environment, public and private buildings, society's structures and processes. This is a huge task which needs a targeted and systematic approach. 74


Ca pacity-Building Decades of exclusion and non-involvement of disabled people cannot be reversed quickly. A sustained and on-going programme of capacity building which could imaginatively be linked to increased participation in ‘public life’ - would help build and strengthen the community of disabled people

Education and Training Improving access and support within education and training from nursery to degree level, ensuring curricula promote inclusion and anti-discrimination and admission and assessment processes enable equal access.

Housing Private housing stock in the region remains largely inaccessible to people with physical impairments. This impacts negatively on family life, on career moves, and on size of the potential client base for home builders. The adoption of lifetime homes56 standards by private builders would reverse this over time.

Employment Many large private companies, and public sector employers in the region now have equality policies and strategies. Research57 has shown that the North West has some exemplary employment practice in this field particularly with regard to disabled people, which should be extended across the region to ensure that smaller companies, and larger organisations alike put good policy into action.

Transpor t Inaccessible public transport systems and infrastructure remain a major barrier to disabled people and are one of the most-cited reasons for people not being able to work. Although Government has a long term plan to address this, regional activity could enhance accessible transport provision through a continuing relationship with regional planning strategies, and sub-regional transport initiatives such as Manchester Metrolink.

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4.4.4 Sugg ested Actions The following strategic actions show potential to encourage the full participation of all disabled people in the social, economic, cultural and political life of the North West and to have their own voice in regional strategy and policy-making. Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 7) Activ el y promote the implementation of the DDA and subsequent disability equality legislation including the Disability Bill outlined in the Queen's Speech Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objectiv e 8) Promote the implementation of DoH fiv e year strategic plan From Here to Equality with each ke y stakeholder identifying a lead person and r esources f or implementation Dev elop a sta g ed, 3 year pro gramme to build in a contract compliance a pproach to all r egional funding r egimes including g ood practice access to buildings and structur es and ser vice deliv er y and improv ed r ecruitment processes Encoura g e adoption of the ‘lif etimes homes’ standar ds by major house builders f or ne w build houses and a par tments across the price rang e .

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4.5

Sexual Orienta tion and Tr ansg ender

Lesbian, Gay, Bise xual and Trans (LGBT) people in the Nor th West Demo gra phics It is hard to make an definitive statement on the size of the LGBT communities in the North West as census data does not record an individual’s sexuality, but estimates suggest that it is likely to be between 5-7%58 of the population. Taking an average of this figure would indicate that approximately 400,000 people in the North West are lesbian, gay or bisexual. We do know there is a relatively large LGBT community in the region. Excluding Brighton and a dozen inner London boroughs, the City of Manchester and Blackpool are shown to have the highest proportions of same-sex couple households of all local authority districts in England and Wales59. The LGBT community itself is very diverse and is made up of people from every race, religion and background.

Legislation As a relatively new addition to mainstream equality and diversity activity, Sexual Orientation is lagging someway behind the more established strands of gender, race and disability in terms of policies, practice and legislative change Over the last five to ten years, the Government has recognised the need to repeal homophobic, discriminatory legislation such as Section 28, and has equalised the Age of Consent. In response to the European Equality Directive, government also outlawed discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation in employment in December 2003. It is estimated that this directive will save the North West £2.2 million each year in lost earnings for those who would have otherwise been dismissed because of their sexuality60. Since 1997… ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

Demise of Section 28 Equal Age of Consent for Gay Men Lifting of the ban on serving in the Armed Forces Changes to the Sexual Offences Legislation Changes to the Adoption Act Discrimination in the Workplace Legislation Civil Partnership Rights?

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Homophobia There is still some way to go before full equality in law is achieved for LGBT people. It is still legal to discriminate in the provision of goods, facilities and services, and there is no duty on public sector organisations to promote LGBT equality at present. National Surveys suggest show that discrimination is experienced by up to 20% of gay men and lesbians, though the British Social Attitudes Survey suggests that two thirds of the population think that employers discriminate in their recruitment. In the North West, as elsewhere, heterosexuality is perceived as the norm and the correct life choice. LGBT relationships are not legally recognised or valued. Living in a society in which homophobia exists and is tolerated is a feature of LGBT peoples’ lives (including bullying in schools, rejection by families, discrimination at work and when using services, violence and hate crime, intimidation and cruelty). This can lead to isolation, low self-esteem, unassertiveness, poor access to services and contributes to poor quality of life. LGBT people are at risk of social exclusion. We know that too many LGBT people do not have access to the information and services that they need and that mainstream services often do not understand or know how to respond to their needs. LGBT people are often invisible (or not 'out') within their families, communities, schools and work places, making them vulnerable, isolated and unable to participate in many of the community-based programmes, and more formal forums and networks.

Trans-phobia Transgender is a blanket term for any person whose internal gender identity differs from their physiological gender. A Transsexual is a person who wants to change his or her physiological gender and live permanently in a new gender role. Transvestite refers to someone who 'cross-dresses' or takes on another gender role for periods at a time. All of these groups of people may experience trans-phobia, and are commonly often called the Trans Community and can, and often do, experience discrimination and prejudice on the grounds of their trans status, or appearance. This discrimination can be found in many social settings, and can often take a similar form to homophobia - a reason which may suggest why the LGB and T communities have often found common solace in 'queer' pubs, clubs and venues.

Comm unity Cohesion Being part of a cohesive community whether at home, in education, at work or 78


socially is an important contributor to improving quality of life. For many LGBT people, finding a community in which they are accepted and welcomed is a difficult process, and many LGBT peoples’ live their lives under the stress of when and where it is safe to be themselves and when and where they have to conceal their sexuality, their relationships and other important aspects of their lives For LGBT people to embrace improved quality of life they must have the same basic rights as others: ❏

Freedom from prejudice and discrimination

Freedom from violence and fear of violence

Access to appropriate information and services

Opportunities for social, education, employment, housing, welfare, and community activities or services that are positive and affirming

Positive examples of celebrating diversity of the North West's communities, and the successes of LGBT people

4.5.2

The Contribution of LGBT Comm unities to the Region.

The LGBT community has made important contributions within specific sectors such as travel, tourism, hospitality and leisure, creative industries, churches and armed forces. LGBT people contribute to all aspects of the private, statutory and voluntary sector, and LGBT services often form a very important part of the voluntary and community sector infrastructure, uniquely placed to reach more marginalized and excluded people than mainstream services. LGBT groups can be supported to engage in local decision-making, community programmes and strategic partnerships.

Economic input - Tourism, Culture and Pink £'s The economic benefits of the LGBT communities in the region are particularly reflected in the clusters of businesses that serve them. Manchester's Gay Village (around Canal St) is a thriving entertainment and leisure quarter that has transformed a once derelict area - the success of which is showcased annually at Pride Events. Blackpool, too has a growing gay leisure industry based on travel and tourism, and it is suspected that the Lesbian bed and breakfast industry brings significant economic 79


benefit in Cumbria's Lake District. Business leaders in Liverpool are looking to replicate these successful models in the context of the Cities 2008 Capital of Culture preparations, starting with a gay arts festival Homotopia. Manchester Europride 2003 was the most successful event ever and brought £22 million and 250,000 tourists into the region.

Higher Incomes? It has been suggested that, in part due to lack of propensity to have children61, Lesbians and gay men are more likely to have a higher degree of disposable income. The Gay Business Association found that gay men earned an average of £32,000 and Lesbians an average of £26,000 per annum, above the national average at £18,000. The Gay Times found that 80% of its readers are categorised as A/B/C1 compared with 43% of the general population. However, it is likely that these figures are unrepresentative of the whole LGBT communities as a whole as those that read the Gay Times, and frequent 'gay' bars and clubs on 'the scene' do not represent the whole community. In fact the gay scene is white dominated, generally inaccessible to disabled people and promotes an image of the way LGBT people should look, dress and act. Many people are excluded from this and, therefore, suggestions of higher income should be treated with caution until it is possible to correlate sexuality by income through reliable census results. Even on an estimate of average incomes for LGBT people in the North West, it is suggested that their combined earning power is just over £4 billion per year.62

4.5.3

Challeng es f or the Region to Tackle

As it is a new and developing strand of equalities work there is currently a lack of LGBT infrastructure in the region and nationally there is no Commission (like the Equal Opportunities Commission or Disability Rights Commission) which is responsible for promoting good practice and ensuring that employers are supported in complying with the new guidelines which prevent discrimination in employment63. If the Commission for Equality and Human Rights64 is in place post 2006 it would have an obligations to fulfil these functions and could also suggest additional equalities legislation.

Ca pacity-Building Across the region we need to develop the skills base within LGBT sector to build strong, cohesive, self-determining communities. Building capacity among the sector will 80


enable strong leadership and the development of good practice and exchange mechanisms. This must be support by new sources of long term funding. Through partnership working it is important that the LGBT community is recognised as a key regional stakeholder.There is a need to empower more LGBT people to get involved, and to improve LGBT participation on strategic planning groups. As a region we need to develop a robust evidence base for LGBT sector and develop real targets on how we will measure improving quality of life, and reducing inequality for LGBTs Challenging prejudice and discrimination wherever it arises is still a key issue, and we must take steps to raise awareness of the need to promote LGBT equality wherever possible.

4.5.4

Sugg ested Action

Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 1) Suppor t f or LGBT Pride ev ents across the NW Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objectiv e 3) Dev elop a NW LGBT Strateg y and implementation plan and NW LGBT strategic par tnership Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 7) Suppor t civil par tnerships legislation and the development of the CEHR with its ne w role on LGBT equality Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objectiv e 8) Influence div ersity training pro grammes to include LGBT awareness Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 1 0) Suppor t the collection of ad ditional baseline data about LGBT comm unities in the r egion and nationall y; including an activity ma pping e xercise of LGBT g oals and provision across the Nor th West 81


4.6 Ag e - Young People

4.6.1

Young People in the Nor th West

Demo gra phics There are just under a million people aged 14-25 years in the North West65, accounting for almost 15% of the population - within some black and minority ethnic groups the proportion is much higher. As diverse as any age group within society, young people include: roughly equal numbers of young women and young men, both disabled and non-disabled people, and are from all backgrounds, communities and faiths. The importance of specific issues will vary according to the different communities within which young people live - teenagers living in rural locations in the region might have quite different concerns from those living in the centres of Manchester, Liverpool or Preston, for example - but there are common issues that young people face living and working in the North West which should be tackled collectively.

Legislation In 1991 the UK ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.The Convention is the first legally binding international instrument to incorporate the full range of human rights - civil and political rights as well as economic, social and cultural rights that applies to everyone up to the age of 1866. In recent years there have been two significant pieces of legislation developed that effect young people. The Crime and Disorder Act 1998 resulted in the introduction of Anti-Social Behaviour Orders (ASBOs) in April 1999. A civil order can now be imposed, on anybody over the age of 10 years old, to protect the public from a person or individuals engaged in behaviour that causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm, or distress to one or more people. Another significant piece of legislation is the Children Act 2004, which will lead to the creation of Children's Trusts, encouraging every local authority to work together with police and social services to ensure the welfare of all children and young people. A Children's Commissioner for England will also be created to champion the rights of people under 18. The impact on the North West remains to be seen.

4.6.2

The Contribution of Young People

Young people make a significant contribution to the North West's economy, with 15.5% (2001)67 of the regional workforce aged between 16-24. Young people contribute 82


greatly to the cultural identity of the region through music, the arts and sport, and to the weekend and nightime economy. There are increasing numbers of students choosing to study in the North West each with an estimated total average expenditure per student of almost ÂŁ7,00068. The numbers in 2003 represented an increase of 28 % from four years earlier, with living costs accounting for around two thirds of all expenditure in both periods.

4.6.3

Challeng es f or the Region to Tackle Employment and Skills

A recent report into the economic contribution of equalities communities in the North West found that younger people are disproportionately working in lower skilled occupations and in industries lower in the value chain69. It also concluded, as did a study specifically looking at the BME community in the North West70, that youth unemployment - disproportionately effecting minority ethnic young people - is above the national average and having a negative effect on individuals and the regional economy. One in seven 16 year olds is not in education, training or employment, with 11% of 18-24 year olds being unemployed. The national minimum wage for 16 and 17 year olds is expected to reduce low pay and poverty among some young people (a TUC survey found young workers earned a little as ÂŁ1.25 per hour before its introduction), but those within the modern apprenticeships scheme will still be paid below the new ÂŁ3 minimum. Campaigners argue that the minimum wage should be set equally for all workers and not discriminate according to age as at present71. Discrimination in employment on the grounds of age is still legal in Britain until 2006, and it is vital that employers and young people are made aware of their rights and responsibilities under this legislation. A TUC study published in October 200472 highlights the continuing problem of unequal pay between young women and young men, and gender segregation in employment. It finds that British teenagers are mirroring the wider workforce in their choice of career with gender segregation just as apparent among young people as their older workmates. Teenage women still earn 16% less than their male counterparts. This is partly because the industries that employ mainly young men (engineering, aerospace and pharmaceuticals) typically pay better than those employing young women (hairdressing, service sector).

Education and Training 15%73 of all 16-19 year olds are in work yet have received no formal training and in some areas of the North West this problem is further compounded. There are

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increasing incentives for employers to recruit young people into more value enhancing work, including jobs with training, particularly in Merseyside, Cumbria and East Lancashire where the number of young people with higher-level qualifications is half the national average. Without a significant improvement in this situation the out-migration of younger people in the region will continue to lead to an imbalanced population - Cumbria has 20% fewer people aged 20-25 than the national average. The situation in Cumbria is possibly compounded by the fact that there is no HE institution in the county. In particular, the North West has a net outflow of higher qualified young people to London and the South East of England, a cause for serious long-term concern.

Health and Well-Being Europe has seen a rise in psychosocial disorders among young people, including eating disorders, depression, self harm and suicide, drug and alcohol misuse, and criminal behaviour in the past 50 years. Studies show that almost 25.8% of people aged 16-24 have used cannabis in the last year.74 Suicide now accounts for 20% of all deaths of people aged 15-24, the second most common cause after accidental death. Young women, particularly from some minority ethnic groups, are more likely to attempt suicide than men, young men are more likely to succeed in taking their own lives. Although numbers of suicide attempts have increased by 118% in the last 10 years, and actual suicides have increased by 110% in the last 20 years, there is still a lack of recognition of the importance and prevalence of mental health problems among young people. Statistics75 show that 15% of pre-school children will have mild mental health problems and 7% will have severe mental health problems. 6% of boys and 16% of girls aged 16-19 are thought to have some form of mental health problem. Physical and mental ill-health, and reliance on drugs or alcohol are all adversely affected when young people are living in poverty.

Democratic Par ticipation Less than 40% of 18-25s voted in the 2001 General Election. Given the decreasing turnout from the 18-25 age group in national and local elections and the groundswell of opinion from those under 18 who are as yet ineligible to vote, a major challenge is to engage with young people in a meaningful and constructive way which will tackle the apathy and powerlessness felt by many. This will involve enabling young people to 84


define their own priorities and focus on issues that are relevant to them. It will mean moving to a stage where young people are able to have real influence on policy development and implementation, especially at local and regional levels. Every local authority in the region now supports some form of youth participation, involving young people in their decision-making processes. This contribution is becoming an integral factor in organisational development and good practice points towards the need for issue-focused and targeted work defined by young people, rather than trying to mirror adult structures of democracy. The North West Regional Assembly Youth Participation Team is piloting a project to further democratise participation by young people. This project involves video-conferencing links with young peoples centres with organisations supporting their involvement across the region in order to facilitate debate and provide a platform for young peoples views. Making links with the European, local and national politicians the project will further help to develop dialogue between young people and politicians and policy makers.

Youth Now The NWRA's Youth Participation Team, through the Youth NoW website and related projects, engages with a wide range of young people on a variety of key topics and issues. Forums for Disabled Young People, Rural Young People and the Environment have already been set up to begin the work of engaging young people in regional, national and local policy making. Additional action is however required, in order to ensure that young people are able to fully participate and contribute to the region.

4.6.4

Sugg ested Action

Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 5 ) Support NWRA youth participation projects and develop initiatives to promote the engagement of young people in democracy and decisionmaking Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 5 ) Encourage more opportunities for training and employment, and reduce the numbers of young people not engaged in some form of education or employment.

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Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 9 ) Investigate the extent of poverty among young people in the NW, and, recognising the impact of multiple deprivation, taking action to reduce the numbers of young people on low incomes. Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 5 ) Campaign for the right of young people to vote at 16 in local and general elections Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 9 ) Support the raising of the lower rates of the national minimum wage, and the introduction of a higher wage level for modern apprenticeships

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4.7

Ag e - Older People

4.7.1

Older People in the Nor th West

An Ag eing Population The North West has an ageing population. In 2001 the population aged over 50 was 33% and is expected to rise to over 40% (2.75 million) by 2021. Over the same timescale the numbers of people under 30 is set to decrease by a similar amount. Older people are also living longer. At the time of the 2001 census 1.9% of the population (131,000) were over 85, by 2021 this is likely to be 2.3% (154,000). The region must recognise that older people are not just defined by their age but by their gender, race, beliefs, sexuality and other characterises. Older people are working in every sector of the region and living in every geographical location.

5050vision 5050vision is the region's forum on ageing - a multi-agency partnership of organisations and individuals from across the North West - formed to champion the role of older people, identify the impact of population change and promote the interests of older people. 5050vision seeks a North West society where everyone is treated equally, with dignity and respect; where individual differences are welcomed and where people feel secure and belonging.

Race and Faith The North West is a racially and religiously diverse society and the region’s minority ethnic and faith groups have differing demographic structures, are ageing at different rates, and may adopt distinctive approaches to ageing and age issues. The region needs to recognised this diversity and secure a better understanding of the diverse needs of older people in minority ethnic and faith groups, and facilitate their participation in decision-making.

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4.7.2

The Contribution of Older People to the Nor th West

Older people play a key role as carers - 25% of families rely on grandparent care each week.The value of childcare provided by grandparents in the North West is valued at £590 million per annum. Older people also provide care to elderly, sick or disabled people. Almost 4% of older women and men (over 100,000 people) provide care equivalent to residential care, valued at £1,418 million per year. More older people, about 13% of older women (166,300) and 10% of men (112,700), provide care equivalent to non-residential care valued at £776 million per year. Carers forfeit careers and financial opportunities that affect their immediate income and wealth in later life. The region should recognise the contribution of older people as carers in society and provide adequate support services and rewards.

Volunteering Older people are also particularly significant to volunteering in the region. In the North West 20% of older people volunteer, netting £447 million equivalent value to the region’s economy.This is slightly lower than the all-England average of 28% and action could be taken to encourage more older people to volunteer and add additional value to the region.

Contribution to Regional Economy Older people in the North West, aged 50-69 contribute 23% of the regions Gross Value Added (GVA) - approximately £20 billion per annum. This is 1% point less than the national figure of England, where older people contribute £200 billion annually to GVA.76 This is a highly significant contribution that will need to be built upon by removing barriers to employment for older people, given the ageing population in the region.

4.7.3 Challeng es f or the Region to Tackle

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Unemployment rates for older people in the region are roughly the same as the national average but employment rates are much lower. For 45-64 year olds the employment rate is 61%, as opposed to 65.4% nationally, and for 65-75 year olds it is 6.6%, as compared with 8.4% nationally. These figures are even lower for Halton, Merseyside and Greater Manchester.


In 2003 nearly 43% of all income support claimants were 60 and over, this proportion is noticeably higher in the rural districts of Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria. Given the ageing population it is essential that the productivity of older people is raised substantially and those who can work but are economically inactive are offered incentives to come back into the workforce.A recent report on Productive Ageing by 5050vision profiles these issues and challenges the region into action.

Discrimination in the Labour Market Encouraging more older people into employment requires action to break down barriers to work for older people - not least direct discrimination in employment. A person made redundant after aged 50 is eight times less likely to return to work than a person made redundant at a younger age. Although many firms are introducing age positive policies, discrimination is still legal. The Government aims to implement the European Equality (Age) Regulations by 2006, which will offer both older and younger people protection from harassment, victimisation and discrimination similar to that enjoyed by lesbian, gay and bisexual people since December 2003. It will be necessary to ensure this legislation meets the needs of older people in the North West and that employers are made aware of their responsibilities under the new legislation.

Skills and Training Older people are lagging behind other groups in terms of qualifications. Nearly 75% of 65-74 year olds and 55% 45-64 year olds had no qualifications at all, which is slightly higher than the national average. Evidence suggests that, perhaps surprisingly, the oldest people in the workforce do not earn the most and tend to be lower skilled. A recent report found that there are not enough initiatives evidenced, which give substantial opportunities for older people to increase their skill levels and training while at work to increase their employability and get additional incentives to stay or re-enter the labour market.

Pensions It is also essential to take account of the needs of older people who do not wish to work, or who are unable to work.Women suffer a lifetime of disadvantage in the labour market and this is compounded by the time they are of pensionable age. One

89


quarter of single women pensioners live in poverty and two times as many women as men have to rely on means tested benefits in their older years. For every £1 received by a male pensioner a women pensioner receives just 32.

Disability and Poor Health The health of the North West is not as good as England as a whole: ❏ 24% men and 21% women aged 65 of over report restricted activity due to acute illness ❏ The general health of people aged over 65 and living alone is not as good as those living with other people ❏ Compared to white older people, those from ethnic minorities are more likely to report acute illness ❏ 29% of people above pension age in the region are classified as sick and or disabled compared with 23% in Great Britain as a whole. More or less all heath indicators show that the health of the North West is below the national average. Using the measure of life expectancy at birth, women are still likely to live much longer than men, but depending on where in the region they live there are significant variations. For men, life expectancy at birth is 76 in South Cheshire but only 71 in Manchester (the regional average is 74, and the national figure 75). For women in South Cheshire life expectancy is 81 but only 78 in Manchester (regional average 79, national figure 80). Health inequalities blight our region and reinforce deprivation and must be tackled. Over half of all disabled people are over 50. One third of people aged 50 to state pension age is disabled and two thirds of these people are without work.This is in part because access to services, goods and transport are restricted for all disabled people. It is vital to recognise the importance of mainstreaming equalities across the strands, and take a collective approach to multiple discrimination such as that experienced by disabled older people.

4.7.4 Sugg ested Actions Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objectiv e 5 ) Support 5050vision, the North West forum on ageing, in promoting the needs and issues of older people 90


Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 7 ) Ensure that the incoming Age equality legislation reflects the needs of people in the North West and is well promoted. Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 6 ) Remove the barriers to work for more older people and promote the benefit of age diversity to employers Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 9 ) Research and reduce the numbers of older people living in poverty and facing social exclusion Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 1 ) Promote and encourage the important contribution made to the region by older people - especially in volunteering and caring

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4.8 Faith and Belief

4.8.1

Faith Comm unities in the Nor th West

In the North West, 82% people identify with a recognised religion, which is higher than the national average. The large majority (78%) are Christians, but there are also a significant minority of Muslims (3%), Jews (0.4%), Hindus (0.4%), Sikhs (0.1%) Buddhists (0.2%). There is growing faith diversity in Britain as the minority faiths are increasing in membership. Discrimination on the grounds of religion is becoming an important part of the equality and diversity agenda. New legislation in the UK, which prevents unfair treatment at work on the grounds of a person's religion or belief, coupled with a promise to introduce a duty on public bodies to promote good relations between people of different religions or beliefs, is the legislative underpinning for this.

Religion, Belief or F aith? 'Faith communities' usually refers to groups with a coherent set of religious beliefs who meet regularly for worship. Some might go to the Mosque,Temple or Church every day or week, others might only go rarely but still look to the their faith community to celebrate key life moments such as weddings or funerals. Many of these people would see their membership of a particular faith group as a significant part of their social or ethnic identity. A case can be made for recognising Humanism as a 'faith 'in so far as its members could be said to embrace ‘non-belief’ as a 'belief' in its own right. Other more generic definitions of 'faith', however, such as supporting a particular football team might be harder to justify. From an equality and diversity perspective it is also just as important to recognise the rights of those who do not follow an organised religion or feel they have a faith. Those who are 'non-believers', atheists, or simply choose to have no faith should be equally able to participate in the North West, and have their views respected. Good equality practice would respect everyone's right to their beliefs, so long as those beliefs do not harm anyone else, or infringe upon their human rights. Local authorities and other statutory bodies have begun to recognise that faith or religious groups often have strong connections with local communities and should be included in decision-making. Government has issued guidance to ensure that faith communities are involved in Neighbourhood Renewal Initiatives and Local Strategic Partnerships. 92


A recently published report77 drawn up by the Local Government Association in consultation with representatives of the major faith communities encourages councils to take faith groups seriously as they may be the best way to reach out to those in need of support or at risk of social exclusion. In 2003 a survey was done of every place of worship in the region. The response rate was high and there was an impressive return from minority faith groups. The report used the definition of the Inter Network for the United Kingdom and adopts the following as the major faiths: Baha'i, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism, and Zoroastrianism. In addition it divides the Christian group into nine subgroups including:- Church of England (Anglican), Roman Catholics, Quakers, Methodists and Baptists.The full report is available on Religion/ Belief Christians

Hindus Jews Muslims No religion

4.8.2

Highest LA area Wigan (261,781) & St Helens (153,636) Preston (3,355) Bury (8924) Blackburn with Darwen (26,674) Manchester (62,744)

%

Lowest LA area

%

86.9

Manchester (245,203)

62.4

2.6 4.9 19.4

Eden (4) Copeland (13) South Lakeland (67) Knowsley (8,791)

0.0 0.0 0.1

16.0

5.0

The Contribution of F aith Comm unities to the Nor th West

Faith communities make a large contribution to our region providing guidance and support, encouraging people to get involved in their local communities, campaigning for social justice, and as bringing people together from very different economic and social backgrounds, differing political views, or different cultures. In this way faith communities also support community cohesion.

Volunteering Perhaps the greatest added value of the faith sector, is the large numbers of volunteers who are motivated by their religion or belief. Some of the typical resources which faith 93


communities and local inter-faith groups can offer as part of the voluntary and community sector include local networks, leadership and management capacity, buildings with potential community use, as well as volunteers themselves78.

Social Inclusion 'Faith in England's Northwest' maps the location of each place of worship against the Index of Multiple Deprivation79. The findings indicate that faith communities are strongest in areas of highest social need. Faith communities are largely self-financing and provide a valuable resource to the region.Work is currently being undertaken on an economic impact assessment of the contribution made by faith communities to the life of the region. Faith communities are part of an important stock of social capital (networks and support structures) which enable the people of the North West to live more fulfilling lives.

4.8.1

Challeng es f or the Region to Tackle

Respect f or Minority F aiths and Those with No F aith The dominant religious values (i.e. Christian) are reflected in employment practices, public holidays, and service delivery (e.g. burial and cremation services) in Britain. These practices may not always take enough account of the needs of those of different faith of who do not have religious beliefs. Good practice has been developed in the region with regard to this aspect of equality activity.

Islamophobia Islamophobia is an increasing phenomenon, particularly in the aftermath of 9/11. Ignorance about Islam (including from within the Christian community), and prejudice among the wider population must be tackled as a priority. Proposals to make it illegal to discriminate on the grounds of religion are to be welcomed.

Interfaith Netw orks One function of interfaith bodies (which bring all faith groups together) must be for leaders of all faiths to collaboratively challenge religious stereotyping in the media and 94


to promote a better understanding of all religions. At the same time, people making inflammatory and bigoted statements, including politicians, must be challenged. Government initiatives to engage faith communities in consultation and partnership provide valuable opportunities for people of different faith traditions to work alongside each other for the common good.

Celebrate the Div ersity of F aith Comm unities The region should celebrate the diversity of its faith communities. It should ensure that strategic partners recognise the contribution made by faith communities and invite them to participate in consultation and decision-making.

4.8.1

Sugg ested Action

Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 1 ) Promote faith diversity and the positive contribution of minority faiths to the region. Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 3 ) Support the establishment of a regional Interfaith Forum and strengthen the network of sub regional and local interfaith bodies. Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective ) Ensure that the new legislation to prevent discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief is implemented in the North West

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4.9

4.9.1

Inequalities in Health

Health in the Nor th West

The health of people in the North West is poor, relative to other regions and national averages. The legacy of the Industrial Revolution means that there is concentration of the North West population in older, urban areas with high levels of poverty and deprivation, and a relatively poor environment, infrastructure, and housing stock. These conditions impact on everyone, but often effect those already experiencing discrimination or deprivation the most.80 ❏

A well as having higher mortality rates than the national average there are higher levels of illness. 45% of the region's population aged 65 or over have a limiting long-term illness, which restricts their ability to lead a full and active life.

The North West has higher premature mortality and levels of illness in people of working age than the national average. 16% of 16-44 year olds, and 29% of 45-64 years old have a limiting long-term illness. This contributes to the North West having an employment rate for people of working age of 70.9%, one of the lowest regional rates in the country.

Children in the North West are more likely than nationals to grow up in lone parent households, and those with no one in full time employment than nationally. This is reflected in their relatively poor health. The infant mortality rate is 6.5 per 1000 live births, compared with a UK rate of 5.8.

There are inequalities in male life expectancy at birth within the region. The lowest life expectancy is found in the conurbations and Lancashire towns. Manchester's rate of just under 70 years is the lowest of any local authority in England. Blackpool and Liverpool, with a life expectancy of 72, have the second lowest figure nationally.There is a similar pattern for female life expectancy at birth. Manchester has the lowest life expectancy in the country at 76.5 years, and Liverpool the second lowest at 77.3 years.

Coronary heart disease is the largest cause of reduced life expectancy, with almost four months lost for both men and women. The second largest cause for men is injury and poisoning, while for women it is "other causes", which includes breast cancer. Chest disease and lung cancer are the next most significant causes for both men and women.

National Action 96

The national strategy ‘Tackling Health Inequalities - Summary of the Cross-Cutting


Review’ sets out priorities for action running across all sectors of Government over the next three years to meet the ambitious national health inequalities target. The aim of the Government's health inequalities strategy is to narrow the gap in health between different social and economic groups and areas. By 2010, it aims to reduce by at least 10% the gap in mortality between routine and manual groups and the population as a whole, and starting with local authorities, to reduce by at least 10% the gap between the fifth of areas with the lowest life expectancy at birth and the population as a whole.

4.9.2 Nor th West Inv estment f or Health Plan The Investment for Health Plan for the North West was published in 2003 and recognised that good health is central to the well-being of people and communities. Through its vision it seeks to achieve significant reductions in health inequalities between groups and areas in the North West, within a framework of sustainable development which supports economic, social and environmental regeneration. The priority groups for the Investment for Health plan are: ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

Children and young people Older people Black and minority ethnic groups Disabled people

As part of implementing the equality and diversity strategy it could be productive to commission additional research on the negative health outcomes and health inequalities experience by other equalities communities, and continue to make the linkages between health inequality, discrimination, deprivation and social exclusion. Plans to tackle health inequalities and promote access to health care services should ensure they meet the needs of equalities communities (in addition to geographical deprived communities) from strategic through to delivery level.

4.9.3 Choosing Health Key lifestyle factors contribute to health inequalities and the negative effects of smoking, poor diet, and lack of physical activity are often concentrated in poorer areas, where we also see concentrations of equalities communities. ❏

Tobacco - Smoking more than any other identifiable risk factor contributes to the gap in health life expectancy between those most in need and those most advantaged. 97


â??

Food and Nutrition - The relationship between food and health is widely recognised. Food quality, composition, availability and cost have a direct effect upon the health profile of many communities in the region. Food and health is an inequalities issue. Food poverty is closely linked to poverty and as the inequalities gap widens more people find it difficult to follow a healthy diet.The prevalence of obesity and overweight in children is higher among children living in areas of deprivation.

â??

Physical Activity, Exercise and Sport - Physical activity is one of the key determinants of good health

Choosing Health White Pa per The Government's White Paper Choosing Health aims to make it easier for people to change their lifestyle so they eat more healthily, exercise more and smoke less. It also sets out moves to improve sexual health, encourage sensible drinking and improve mental well-being (for more on mental health see Disability Strand 3.4). Choosing Health sets out a new approach to the health of the public, reflecting the rapid and radical transformation of English society in the latter half of the twentieth century, responding to the needs and wishes of its citizens as individuals and harnessing the new opportunities open to it. The White Paper finds that there are unacceptable differences in people's experience of health between different areas and between different groups of people (such as equalities communities) within the same area. Action at the local level working with local communities, business and voluntary groups to tackle local health issues is needed and could make a difference to the opportunities for everyone to choose healthier lifestyles. The White Paper advocates an approach that respects the freedom of individual choice but also recognizes the realities of the impact of a consumer society on those choices. It begins to address the fact that too many people and equality groups have been left behind or ignored in the past; and supports changes to lifestyle at the pace which the people of England want and will support. The Government looks towards engaging everyone in choosing health and tackling health inequalities and seeks to build health into Government policy and ensure that health is everybody's business. Government has set ambitious targets for health and is keen to ensure that these commitments are met in order to get sustained and focused action to improve people's health. By working together across society this should be achievable. 98


4.10

Income Inequality

Given the high levels of poverty in the North West and the significant effects of income inequalities it was considered important to include this as a cross cutting theme.

4.10.1 Why Pover ty Matters Children who grew up in poverty in the 1970's did consistently worst at school, were six times less likely to enter higher education, and one and a half times more likely to be unemployed during their lifetimes than those who did not experience poverty as children81. As well as appearing to reduce longer-term life chances, poverty has an immediate impact on children's health and well-being. The list of disadvantages which are correlated with poverty is long, but to give just a few examples: in 2003 children of fathers in the lowest social class were twice as likely to die within one year of birth (ONS 2001), five times more likely to die in a traffic accident, and 15 times more likely to die in a house fire than those from the highest social class (DoH 2003).

4.10.2 Regional Inequalities In 2002/3 22% of North West individuals were living in poverty - in households where income was below 60% median income. This is compared to only about 16% in the South East. In Spring 2003 18% North West households were ‘workless’ compared to just over 10% in the South East of England. Gross Value Added (a measure of output used by Economists) shows that regional inequalities seem to have widened between 1990 and 2002, currently the North West is at 90 and London measures 131 against the UK average of 100.

4.10.3 Growing Inequalities? Before tax income inequality worsened up until 1993 and then levelled off but has not started to decline. Inequality in disposable income (after taxes and benefits) appears to have slightly increased since 1997. The richest have continued to get richer - the richest 1% have increased their share of income from 6.7% in 1981 to 13% in 199982. Wealth exclusion (people with no savings or investments at all) also grew in the 1990's. Between 1979-1996 it rose from 5% to 10%. More recently the number of young and low-income people with no savings has not changed dramatically. Between 1996/72000/1 the proportion of 16-24 year olds with no savings remained constant at 56%83

99


It is necessary to reduce the costs of debt and other expenses such as energy, food, transport, insurance, and financial services which all tend to cost the poor more than the better-off84 in order to reduce the negative effects of poverty.

Making Work Pay Since 1997, the Government has been pursuing a policy agenda to promote paid work, to make work possible and to make work pay. Wages play a major part, but are not the only factor, in lifting working households out of poverty85. Nationally about 23% of workers have gross hourly pay below two-thirds of the median. The National Minimum Wage is set below the low pay threshold86. Almost 30% of female employees are hourly low paid compared with about 18 % of male employees. However, since the late 1960s, the risk of low pay has been falling for women and rising for men. Those most at risk of hourly low pay are young and single people. But half of low-paid people are aged between 21 and 49, half are married or living with a partner, and a third have dependent children.87 Evidence suggests that although the Government is make progress towards it target of lifting children out of poverty, among unfavoured groups - such as single adults - the trend of inequalities and poverty is not reversing .

4.10.4 Taking Action Through policies on taxes, benefits, employment, education, economic management, and many other areas of activity, government and regional policy has an impact on the distribution of income. The World Health Organisation has argued that the indisputable evidence of the effects of such policies on rates of death imposes a public duty to eliminate absolute poverty and reduce material inequalities. It suggests:

100

â??

All citizens should be protected by minimum income guarantees, minimum wage legislation and access to services

â??

Interventions to reduce poverty and social exclusion are needed at both the individual and the neighbourhood levels


â??

Legislation can help protect minority and vulnerable groups from discrimination and social exclusion

â??

Labour market education and family welfare policies should aim to reduce social stratification

Consultation Q uestions 5. Should t he r eg g ion c ommit t o a n a im o f r educing g income i nequalities? 6. Should m easures t o r educe p ovv erty b e t arg g eted a t equality c ommunities?

101


P ar t Fi ve: Ac hieving an Inclusi ve and Pr osper ous Re gion

102


5.1

Mainstr eaming Equalities

The need to mainstream equality and diversity objectives within all regional strategies and policy making is obvious if we are to make a significant impact on outcomes and improve prosperity and quality of life for all in our region. Turning a commitment to mainstreaming equality into practice requires resources, and a good understanding of what the term means and what is required to achieve mainstreaming in the North West.

5.1.1

What does Mainstr eaming Mean?

Mainstreaming equalities means that the particular effects on disadvantaged groups of all policies and projects are systematically considered within the planning, implementation and evaluation of all activities. Mainstreaming ensures that equality considerations are 'built into’ the beginning of policy and project development not 'bolted-on' at the end. Mainstreaming is the process by which to achieve the goal of equality. It brings issues of concern to equality communities right into the core of policy work and makes it the responsibility of the project team, rather than solely 'equality professionals' or excluded communities themselves. Mainstreaming ensures that all projects and policy's extend opportunity to all groups of people, and that current initiatives do not have a negative impact on disadvantaged groups or re-enforce discrimination. The benefits of a mainstreaming approach88: ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

It is a long term process through which it is possible to ensure that policy responds to the diversity of people’s experiences of the region It should lead to improved policy making through better information and greater transparency It involves groups and individuals who experience discrimination and inequality through effective consultation mechanisms It encourages wider participation more generally It tackles the structures, behaviours and attitudes that contribute to discrimination and avoids policies with a negative impact on equality It complements lawful positive action to address the long tem historic disadvantage experienced by specific groups

The Challeng es Mainstreaming is a relatively new addition to the Equalities field, although it increasingly being nominated as the preferred method to combat exclusion. A

103


mainstreaming approach is not a 'quick fix' and still requires sensitivity to and understanding of the needs of specific equalities communities. It is not enough to make a half-hearted commitment to mainstreaming equalities instead of resourcing equalities activity effectively and properly.

5.1.2

Implementing a Mainstr eaming Approach

In the Scotland Equality Strategy89, the Scottish Executive has recognised that in order to meet its aim of changing organisational culture, so that an equalities perspective become integrated, certain commitments and activities are required: ❏

Leadership, and political commitment to mainstreaming equalities

Integration of equality concerns into all departmental and project plans, work programmes and policy objectives. Provide appropriate training for all staff.

Appropriate data, information and research to inform the development of policies and programmes

Policy appraisal and impact assessment with ongoing monitoring, evaluation, audit and review

Networking, consultation and a partnerhip approach

5.1.3

Sugg ested Actions

Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objectiv e 3 ) Develop tools to measur e equality impact assessment Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objectiv e 3 ) Monitor the impact of all funding on equality comm unities

Consultation Q uestion 7 104

Are t hese t he c orrect c ommitments t he N orth W est should m ake t owards m ainstreaming g e quality?


5.2

Inf luencing the Re gional Economic Str a te g y

Mainstreaming equality and diversity requires a fundamental shift in thinking within public agencies. As discussed in section 5.1, the mainstreaming process describes the integration of equalities into all policy development, service delivery, evaluation and review. Each department or organisations must accept responsibility for promoting equality of opportunity and implementing services that counter and challenge discrimination. There are a range of regional strategies and programmes including the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) in the North West, which influence resource allocation, strategic planning and service delivery. All have stated objectives to promote equality of opportunity, promote inclusion and tackle discrimination. These commitments must be analysed, evidenced and monitored if we are to affect real change. Research on the Economic Contribution of Equalities Communities identified the Regional Economic Strategy (RES) as a case study. The full report outlines how the RES, which is currently being reviewed, could maximise the ability for traditionally excluded groups to contribute to the regions prosperity and the benefits of doing so. The full report is available on the NWRA website90.

5.2.1

Regional Economic Strateg y

The RES identifies challenges for the North West based on the region's economic performance and a number of social factors including poor health, housing and deprivation.

Positiv e Reco gnition of Social Inclusion The RES stresses that social equity and economic competitiveness are desired outcomes from the strategy and that 'opportunities available to the region through its diverse population must be encouraged and developed to the full'. Moreover, the RES commits the region's agencies to working with disadvantaged communities and individuals and identifies social inclusion as one of the three sustainability principles central to the development and delivery of the economic strategy - alongside economic growth and environmental protection. The strategy specifically identifies Equality and Diversity as a cross cutting theme, and argues that removing barriers and encouraging individuals from all communities to achieve their potential is vital to equity and competitiveness of the region.

105


The RES contains ten objectiv es, which ar e grouped within fiv e main Priorities: Business Development Priority ❏ 1. Exploit the growth potential of business clusters ❏ 2. Improve the competitiveness and productivity of business ❏ 3. Develop the region's knowledge base Regeneration Priority ❏ 4. Urban renaissance ❏ 5. Rural renaissance ❏ 6. Secure economic inclusion Skills and Employment Priority ❏ 7. Develop and maintain a healthy labour market Infrastructure Priority ❏ 8. Develop the strategic transport, communications and economic infra structure ❏ 9. Ensure the availability of a balanced portfolio of employment sites Image Priority ❏ 10. Develop and market the region's image

Reg eneration Equality and Diversity activity is primarily confined to a section within the Regeneration Priority. The key activities in the Regeneration Objectives (4, 5 and 6), are designed to support regeneration of highly deprived areas and to strengthen local economies and housing markets. However, whilst the indicators for each objective identify overall IMD rankings, employment rates and skills levels, none of the Objectives specifically identify any indicators of structural inequality - such as male/female wage rates, occupational position or the wide differentials in employment rates between different population groups. The Urban Renaissance objective does set out a series of actions to promote business start-ups and encourage social enterprises in disadvantaged communities and encourage recruitment and higher skill levels of disadvantaged populations through 'positive action'.

Business Dev elopment

106

The Business Development Priority shows no evidence of having a substantive commitment to inclusion despite the fact that elsewhere the RES identifies low employment rates and economic inactivity as a significant feature of underperformance and stresses the need to raise economic activity rates.


Skills and Employment The Skills and Employment Objective in the RES correctly identifies labour market failures, low aspirations, shortage of basic and key skills and low activity rates as key economic inclusion determinants. However, more could be made of the workforce development needs of cluster sectors that have disproportionate numbers of lower paid women and BME employees - such as the food and drink industry, tourism and textiles.

Ima g e The assessment of the RES Infrastructure and Regional Image Objectives show very little contribution to promoting social inclusion. However, there could be valuable contributions made through planning for good transportation links between work and low employment communities The RES objective to ensure a balanced portfolio of employment sites - which are essential to deliver much of the Strategy's business growth ambitions - has clear potential benefit for impacting positively on equalities communities. However, if care is not taken, impact could worsen existing barriers to work for BME population groups or disabled people unless sites are developed within reasonable proximity or public transport distance from areas with concentrations of disadvantaged people.

Economic Inclusion Whilst RES Objective 6 (Economic Inclusion) is presented as a separate Objective in order to 'highlight its importance', the RES argues that inclusion is essentially a cross-cutting theme that has links to all other priorities. However, the majority of the Objectives at present do not have clearly identifiable actions that pursue economic inclusion and the cross-cutting nature of the Economic Inclusion Objective is not fully demonstrated through the Key Actions in the RES Action Plan.

5.2.2

Str engthening Policy through Ne w Action

The impact on the potential economic contributions of the region's equalities communities have been tested against the priorities in the RES in the research commissioned by the NWRA. 107


Table 15 describes the actions which the research found might be implemented to secure a greater share of economic benefits amongst the region's equalities communities and their greater contribution to the regional economy raising prosperity. These actions, some of which are outlined below can be incorporated and mainstreamed into the new Regional Economic Strategy in 2005.The recommended policy actions include:

108

Using the public sector employment base to increase employment rates amongst equalities communities (Business Growth)

Concentrating business start up services on equalities communities (Business Growth)

Introducing performance measures within the Regeneration priority for BME, age-related and disabled people's employment rates and female earnings (Regeneration)

Develop a stronger supply of affordable childcare (Regeneration)

Enhance Jobcentre plus interventions in disadvantaged areas (Employment and Skills)

Concentrating workforce development services into sectors with high proportions of BME workers and low paid women workers (Employment and Skills)

Developing transport routes that more clearly connect areas with low employment populations to high growth areas

Encourage inward investment and new businesses to develop closer to areas of low employment (Infrastructure)

Ensuring new business sites are DDA compliant and promote more explicit disability -friendly public transport modes and interchanges (Infrastructure)

Emphasising multi-cultural arts and heritage and assets in the region (Region's Image)

Develop LGBT and BME strengths in growing cultural and tourism industries (Region's Image)


The Need f or Quality Indicators There is some advice, information and research that can provide indicators of the region's equality and diversity achievements across some of the strands. However, the challenge is to select meaningful indicators and to present them as useable information that can inform Equality and Diversity monitoring as well as a review of key strategic documents such as the Regional Economic strategy. The purpose of the baseline description is to identify changes in local conditions and the extent to which these have (or have not) been influenced by either market conditions or by policy interventions. However baseline information is not available for all equality communities. The full SQW report, available on the NWRA website, sets out the proposed set of select meaningful indicators that might measure the impact of actions that are described in "table 15".This is a series of measurable indicators for the region relating to equality, social inequality and health. Each indicator can be compared to sub regional, regional or national averages and can be measured on a recurrent basis. In most cases, they show outcomes rather than the outputs of particular interventions and can show conditions in relevant small geographies - an important qualification as many of the region's inequality characteristics are geographically concentrated. Regional Equality Priorities (Within Objective 10 )

Gather, anal yse , and update a central r esource of intellig ence and data on equalities comm unities, and equality and div ersity activity in the r egion.

Consultation Q uestion 8.Which o f t he p olicy a ctions i ndicated d o y ou t hink should b e i ncorpp orated i nto t he R eg g ional E conomic Strateg g y?

109


110


111


112


P ar t Six: Conclusions and Next Ste ps

113


6.1 Objecti ves and Priorities

Through evidence-based research, and working with excluded groups, equalities communities and stakeholders, this strategy highlights the following, in no particular order, as the key Equality and Diversity objectives for the North West

6.1.1

Equality Objectiv es

1.

Promote diversity and ensure respect for human rights

2.

Show leadership on equality and diversity

3.

Build the region's capacity on equality and diversity

4.

Reduce hate crime and violence

5.

Ensure the diverse North West is better represented in public life

6.

Deliver economic participation for all

7.

Promote equality in law

8.

Work towards equal access to services

9.

Take joined up action on social inclusion

10.

Develop the evidence and intelligence base

This strategy represents the beginning of a developmental process, which will enable the region to embrace the equality and diversity agenda, unlock hidden assets, and subsequently reach its potential. Given the immaturity of equality and diversity intelligence and analysis in the region, and the lack of infrastructure to support it, it has not been possible to develop performance-managed targets at this stage - though this should be a desirable aim as additional capacity is developed.

6.1.2

NW Equality and Div ersity Objectiv es and Priorities

Each of the objectives relates to a series of priorities for action which are highlighted throughout the document. A table of the equality objectives and priority tasks is presented below. 114


Priorities

Objectives

1. Promote Diversity and Ensure Respect for Human Rights

❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

2. Show ❏ Leadershi p on ❏ Equality and Diversity ❏ ❏ ❏ 3. Build the Region's Capacity on Equality and Diversity

❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

Promote human rights as part of a wider programme to promote diversity and non-discrimination in the region Establish a Diversity and Equality Award Scheme for organisations in the North West Promote and celebrate the positive achievements and contributions of equalities communities in the North West Promote and encourage the important contribution made to the region by older people in volunteering and caring Support LGBT Pride events Work with Trade Unions to promote equality and raise awareness of issues Promote faith diversity and the positive contribution of minority faiths Promote the issues surrounding Gypsy and Traveller communities as part of the Equality Strategy, including undertaking additional research into the existence and needs of these communities in the North West. Research the implementation and impact of the Equality Standard and consider the development of a more general regional equality standard Develop a high-level intervention to encourage and promote a comprehensive and systematic approach to the development of good practice in public service organisations with the aim of raising the North West to the level of London region Identify a strategic lead within the private sector to encourage large employers to accept and act on the business case and bring all larger companies up to the level of the best performers Set regional targets for achievement against the Equality Standard by LAs, Police and Transport Authorities Set up systems to monitor the equality impact of all regional funding Build capacity at a regional level to deliver on equality objectives Build capacity in all strands to enable equalities communities to engage in policy and support social inclusion (including supporting 5050vision) Develop a regional voluntary sector partnership framework that would provide comprehensive and systematic support to the VCS on equality and diversity issues Develop a strategic equality scheme that will enable SMEs to standardise practice and ensure they do not lose out in contracting to public and private firms that require equality compliance Monitor the impact of all funding on equality communities Support women in business and encourage more women into enterprise Develop an North West LGBT Strategy and implementation plan and North West LGBTstrategic partnership Develop tools to measure equality impact assessment Support the astablishment of a regional interfaith forum and strengthen the networks of sub-regional interfaith bodies

115


Priorities

Objectives

4. Reduce ❏ Hate Crime ❏ and Violence ❏ ❏

Work with police, hate crime partnerships and community organisations to reduce homophobic and race hate crime, Islamphobic attacks and rape. Develop strategies to reduce violence against women through multiagency partnerships and build capacity of organisations supporting women who have experienced such violence Undertake research into Stop and Search in the North West Promote additional research into the experiences of gypsy and traveller people of hate crime, violence and harassment

Ensure greater representation of all equalities communities on all regional bodies, networks, policy forums and political decision-making processes. Through a commitment to consultation with all equality communities on all key documents and policy / strategy proposals Support the NWRA youth democracy project and develop initiatives to promote the participation of young people in democracy and decsion-making Campaign for the rights of 16-17 year olds to vote in general elections Support the creation of a region inter-faith forum and strengthen the nework of sub regional and local interfaith bodies

5. Ensure the Diverse NW is Better represented in Public Life

❏ ❏ ❏ ❏

6. Deliver ❏ Economic Participation ❏ For All ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ ❏ 7. ❏ Promote Equality in ❏ Law ❏ 116

Reduce the difference between the overall employment rate for adults and the BME employment rate to within 2% Promote a higher representation of equalities communities among higher grade positions across all sectors Reduce the proportion of BME pupils from the lowest performing ethnic groups that leave compulsory schooling with no qualifications to half the current level Increase the proportion of Pakistani, and Bangladeshi adults (25+) in the NW with qualifications to over 68% Ensure that strategic decision making regarding childcare provision, meets the needs of BME women removing barriers to entry into the labour market. Develop regional best practice around flexible working, childcare provision, and work-life balance Promote financial independence for women through working towards equal pay, an end to gender segregation and discrimination in employment and promotion, and an equal living pension for older women Support women in business and encourage more women into enterprise Encourage more opportunities for training in employment and reduce the numbers of young people not engaged in some form of education or employment Remove the barriers to work for more older people and promote the benefit of age diversity to employers Promote the development of a single national equalities body (CEHR) with adequate resources and a strong and sensitive regional presence Promote the development of partnership registers by all local authorities in the North West, and the introduction of civil partnerships legislation Ensure that the incoming age equality legislation reflects the needs of people


Priorities

Objectives

❏ ❏ 8.Work ❏ Towards Equal ❏ Access to Services ❏ ❏

9.Take ❏ Joined up ❏ Action on Social ❏ Inclusion ❏ ❏ ❏ 10. ❏ Develop ❏ the Evidence ❏ Intelligence and Base ❏ ❏

in the North West and is promoted Actively promote the implementation of the DDA and subsequent legislation Ensure that the new legislation that prevents discrimination on the grounds of religion or belief is implemented in the North West Influence diversity training programmes to include LGBT (and all strand) awareness Encourage adoption of the lifetimes homes standards by major house builders for new build houses across the price range Promote the implementation of Department of Health five year strategic plan From Here to Equality with each key stakeholder identifying a lead person and resources for implementation. Develop a staged, 3 year programme to build in a ‘contract compliance’ approach to all regional funding regimes including good practice access to buildings and structures and service delivery and improved recruitment processes Re-establish the North West Social Inclusion Commitment Promote regional level community cohesion partnerships and linkages between equality, diversity and cohesion programmes and strategies Use evidence from the EU social inclusion study to provide an evidence base and good practice examples for use in the NW Support raising the lower rates of the minimum wage, and introducing a higher wage level for modern apprenticeships Investigate the extent of poverty among young people in the North West· Research and reduce the numbers of older people living in poverty and facing social exclusion Develop an equality exchange to share and disseminate good practice Gather, analyse and update a central resource of intelligence and data on equality communities and equality and diversity activity in the region. Support the collection of additional baseline data about LGBT communities in the region and nationally; including an activity mapping exercise of LGBT goals and provision across the North West Work with regional agencies to create a centrally updated, analysed evidence base for Equality with the aim of defining evaluated, manageable indicators for each equality community. Set regional targets for achievement by regional public bodies on Equality

117


6.2

Summar y of the Consulta tion Questions

1.

What c hanges, i f a ny, t o U K l aw o n E quality should t he N W l obb b y f or?

2.

What a ctivities a re a ppropriate f or t he n ew C ommission for E quality a nd H uman R ights t o c arry o ut a t a regional l evel? I s h e a pproach o f c o-ll ocation a nd partnerships t he c orrect a pproach?

3.

How h ave y ou, o r y our o rganisation, b een a b le t o further e quality a nd d iversity t hrough E uropean programmes o r t rans-n n ational c ooperation?

4.

There i s c urrently n o s ingle o rganisation b ody charged w ith c o-oo rdinating r egional e quality a ctivity, would a r egional ' Equality U nit/C C entre'' b e b eneficial? If s o w hat s hould b e i ts m ain f unctions?

5.

Should t he r egion c ommit t o a n a im o f r educing i ncome inequalities?

6.

Should m easures t o r educe p overty b e t argeted a t equality c ommunities?

7.

Are t hese t he c orrect c ommitments t he N orth W est should m ak k e t owards m ainstreaming e quality?

8.

Which o f t he p olicy a ctions i ndicated d o y ou think k s hould b e i ncorporated i nto t he R egional Economic S trategy?

9.

Are t he o b jectives a nd p riorities t he r ight o nes f or the N orth W est?

10. What a re t he t hree m ost i mportant e quality p riorities f or our r egion? 118


Footnotes

1 www.eoc.org.uk 2 Faith in the North West, NWDA, 2003 3 The Economic Contribution of Equalities Communities in North West England, SWQ, October 2004. 4 For more information see www.nwra.gov.uk/equality 5 The State of the Nation: an audit of injustice in the UK, IPPR, 2004 6 Breaking the Cycle, Social Exclusion Unit, September 2004 7 Other causes and consequences of social exclusion include; poverty and discrimination; poor mental or physical health; living in a disadvantaged area; low income and unemployment; poor educational attainment; family breakdown; poor housing and homelessness; and crime, Breaking the Cycle. 8 see www.nwra.gov.uk/equality 9 The Economic Contribution of Equalities Communities in North West England, SQW, October 2004 10 The full briefing for this project and the subsequent findings are available on the NWRA website. 11 Finding Common Ground, Conference Report, June 2003 12 BME Communities in the North West, Hoshin, September 2004. 13 www.un.org 14 Married persons discrimination is also prohibited in the field of employment. 15 Equality and non-discrimination in an enlarged European Union, Green Paper, European Commission, May 2004 16 Equality and non-discrimination in an enlarged European Union, Green Paper, European Commission, May 2004 17 Equality and Diversity: Best Practice in the North West, Centre for Local Policy Studies, Edgehill college, September 2004.The full report can be found on www.nwra.gov.uk 18 For more details on the Race Relations Act as amended see Part 1.1.4 of this strategy on UK legislation. 19 More information on the Equality Standard for Local Government can be obtained from the SCLPS 20 See www.salford.gov.uk. ESAT is a web-based tool for implementing the Equality Standard for Local Government developed by the Employers Organisation for Local Government. 21 See www.audit-commission.gov.uk/performance/ 22 For more see www.valeroyal.gov.uk 23 www.lancashire.police.uk 24 www.merseyside.police.uk 25 Race Equality and NHS Trusts, CRE 2000, p26 26 Large Companies and Racial Equality, CRE, 1995 27 For more information see section 1.4.2 on UK Legislation 28 Transgender issues have been considered as part of the Sexual Orientation strand because this is quite commonplace among voluntary sector organisations and campaign groups working with Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans (LGBT) people. 29 Regional BME study, Hoshin, September 2004 available at www.nwra.gov.uk 30 The 'White other' category represents 1.2% of the North West population and could well include minority ethnic populations such as from European countries or the Balkans, travellers, gypsies and people of Arab origin who felt this was the most appropriate category. As there is currently no breakdown of what this data included we have had to arbitrarily use a non-white definition. 31 www.cre.gov.uk/gdpract/refuge.html 33 CRE Gypsies and Irish Travellers Strategy 2004-2007 34 CRE Gypsies and Irish Travellers Strategy 2004-2007 35 www.fawcettsociety.org.uk 36 Sex Discrimination Act 1975 38 26th October 2004, see www.tuc.org.uk 39 Office of National Statistics, October 2004 40 SQW Mapping the Economic Contribution of Equalities Communities, October 2004 41 www.homeoffice.gov.uk/crime/domesticviolence 42 www.womensaid.org.uk 43 Welsh Assembly Government;Tackling Domestic Abuse, the all Wales National Strategy 44 Council of Europe 2002 45 Zero Tolerance Charitable Trust, 1998 46 Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, 2002 119


Footnotes

47 Women and Equality Unit, 2004 48 www.fawcettsociety.org.uk 'Many Women, Multiple Identities', 2003. 49 www.fawcettsociety.org.uk 'Many Women, Multiple Identities' 2003 50 "Disabled people" are those people with impairments who are experiencing barriers to their participation in society. Hence impairment belongs to the individual, whilst disability is imposed through the placing of barriers. 51 Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health 2003 52 ONS 2003 Labour Force Survey 53 Reference - Observer Sunday 26/09/04 or better, DRC reference. 54 The Economic Contribution of Equality Communities, SQW, October 2004 55 Disability Discrimination Act 1995 56 www.jrf.org.uk/housingandcare/lifetimehomes/market.asp 57 Best Practice Study, CLPS, September 2004 58 Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, Regulatory Impact Assessment, DTI. 59 Complex analysis of the census 2001 can produce a figure for the number of same-sex households - 8,400 in the North West - but this is wholly inaccurate as a statistic for measuring the size of the LGBT community. It does not recognise single LGBT people, or those not living with their partner, nor transsexuals who define their sexuality and heterosexual, or necessarily bisexuals if they are in a relationship with a person of the opposite sex. It also requires the LGBT person to be comfortable with the 'head of household' being made aware of their sexuality. Many LGBT people may have been concerned about putting their sexuality down in writing on an official form - though this is likely to reduce as prejudice and homophobia are reduced. 60 Measuring the economic contribution of Equalities Communities in the North West of England, SQW Limited, October 2004. 61 Estimates suggest 5% of gay men and 10% of lesbians have children. 62 Measuring the Economic Contribution of Equalities Communities in North West England, SQW limited, October 2004. 63 European Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 64 See Governments White Paper 'Fairness for All: a new commission for equality and human rights" Summer 2004. 65 Census 2001 66 (http://www.unicef.org/crc/crc.htm 67 For more information see the White Paper ‘Fairness for All’ May 2004 68 2002/3 Student Income and Expenditure Survey. DFES. Ref RR487 69 Measuring the economic contribution of equalities communities in the North West of England, October 2004. 70 The BME community in the North West, Hoshin, September 2004. 71 The national minimum wage currently stands at £3 for 16 and 17 year olds, £4.10 for 18-21 year olds, and £4.85 for those over 22. 72 Young at Heart,TUC, October 2004 73 Participation in Education and Employment by 16-18 year ols in England, 2002/3. DFES. Ref SFS18/2004 74 http://www.drugscope.org.uk/druginfo/drugsearch/ds_results.asp?file=\wip\11\1\1\cannabis_reclass.html 75 http://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/page.cfm?pagecode=PMMHST 76 The Economic Contribution of Older People, Regions for All Ages, 2004. 77 Faith and Community, LGA 2002 78 ibid 3.4 79 Indices of Multiple Deprivation 2000 80 Gregg, P, Harkness S and Machin S Poor Kids:Trends in Child Poverty in Britain 1968-98, Fiscal Studies 20.2 81 The State of the Nation, IPPR, 2004 82 IPPR The State of the Nation, 2004 83 IPPR The State of the Nation, 2004 84 Overcoming Disadvantage, Joseph Roundtree Foundation, February, 2004 85 From a study undertaken by the Joseph Roundtree Foundation, November 2005, for more information see www.jrf.org.uk 86 www.jrf.org.uk 87 IPPR, as above 88 See www.scotland.gov.uk, for more information on a consultation exercise conducted on Mainstreaming in Scotland. 89 www.scotland.gov.uk 90 The Economic Contribution of Equalities Communities, SWQ Limited, October 2004. Available from www.nwra.gov.uk/equality 120


A ppendix A: Nor th West Equality and Di ver sity Leader ship Gr oup

Membership Name Siddika Vicki Louise Steve Eddie Ann Sarah Jacqui Nick Faruk Tony Lorraine Maria Linda Peter Sue Robert Pat Ruth Sue Alan Margaret Pat John Youseff Mary Joel Vaz Mike Emile Geoffery Tim Jude Ann Sharon Akhtar

Name Ahmed Austin Barrie Barwick Burke Burns Carling Cross Davis Desai Durrant Gradwell Grant Harper Hart Henry Johnstone Kendall Livesy Women's Maddock Manning Mcleod Merrick Mortimer Motola Nicholson O'Loughlin Patel Pearson Pinell Piper Sigsmith Stansfield Wade Wilkinson Zaman

Organisation 1NW NWRA Merseyside Disability Federation NWRA NWRA Economy and Society KPG Chair NWRA Objective 2/3 CCT EO Manager The Lesbian and Gay Foundaation Chesire LGBT Alliance Preston and Western Lancashire REC Positive Action North West Breakthrough UK 5050 vision Diversity Action NWRA NWDA Access Matters Women's Business Network Business Network Manchester Business School TUC Voluntary Sector North West Cheshire County Council GONW Preston City Council, ABF Voluntary Sector North West Forward North West ACAS Federation of Small Businesses North West Network North West Business Leadership Team The Lesbian and Gay Foundation NIMHE NW Merseyside Objective 1 CCT EO Manager GONW NWDA 121


Terms of Ref er ence of NWEDLG The North West Equality and Diversity Leadership Group has agreed an aim of the development of an Equality and Diversity Strategy for the North West with an implementation and action plan. This would incorporate all Equality and Diversity issues, and work towards ensuring mainstreaming into all practices across all sectors within the region.The group will make recommendations and be a catalyst for activity, drawing together the wealth of experience that exists. a)

b) c) d)

e)

Advising the NWRA on all matters pertaining to Equality and Diversity which includes disability, age diversity, BME, gender, religion, belief and sexual orientation and transgender issues Directing the strategy papers prepared by the Social Inclusion, Equality and Diversity Co-ordinator Commissioning external consultants as required Influencing Legislation in light of the announced decision by Government to establish a task group and publish a White Paper on a new Single Equality and Human Rights Body Promoting excellence in Diversity Management including analysis of current and forthcoming employment legislation and scrutiny to ensure compliance with equal opportunities legislation

There were also three working groups set up to direct the research for the strategy. Membership was as follows: BME Study: Joel O'Loughlin (Forward NW) Siddika Ahmed (1NW) Vicki Austin (NWRA) Best Practice Study: Siddika Ahmed (1NW) Peter Hart (NWRA) Vicki Austin (NWRA) Economic Contribution Study: Peter Hart (NWRA) Steve Barwick (NWRA) Vicki Austin (NWRA) (With input from the NWDA) 122


Ac kno wledg ements

This Equality and Diversity Strategy has been produced by the North West Regional Assembly (NWRA), and co-funded by the North West Development Agency (NWDA). The North West Equality and Diversity Leadership Group (NWEDLG) has directed the Strategy's development. Regional partners, business leaders, and, particularly, under-resourced voluntary organisations and groups representing excluded communities have shown a considerable commitment, largely self-writing many sections and offering valuable input. The full membership of the North West Equality and Diversity Leadership can be found in Appendix A along with details of the steering groups for the research and the Terms of Reference of the group.

The Members of the NWEDLG Working Group w er e as f ollows: Siddika Ahmed Vicki Austin Steve Barwick Cllr Anne Burns Jacqui Cross Linda Harper Dominic Harrison Sue Henry Joel O'Loughlin Mary Nicholson

One North West North West Regional Assembly North West Regional Assembly Chair Economy & Society KPG Chair Lesbian and Gay Foundation Diversity Action Health Development Agency North West Development Agency Forward North West, Chair of NWEDLG Voluntary Sector North West

123


Action f or Equality Nor th West Regional Assemb l y Wigan Inv estment Centre , Waterside Driv e , Wigan WN3 5BA Telephone: 01942 737 916 Email: action4equality@nwra.g ov.uk Website: www.nwra.g ov.uk/equality This document has been printed on recycled paper

http://www.nwda.co.uk/pdf/Action_for_Equality-Northwest_Equality_and_Diversity_Strateg  

http://www.nwda.co.uk/pdf/Action_for_Equality-Northwest_Equality_and_Diversity_Strateg.pdf

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