MALVERN Hills District Council has said it is committed to supporting and promoting equality, diversity, and inclusion, despite a motion being rejected by the executive committee to sign up to the Stonewall UK Workplace Equality Index.
Members decided to turn down the proposal because full membership would cost £6,000-per-year which they felt would divert resources away from the substantial agenda set out in the council’s current action plan.
Coun Sarah Rouse, Malvern Hills District Council leader, said: “It was agreed by all councillors that MHDC has excellent equality, diversity and inclusion policies.
“I fully support equality for all in our community, including our staff, but this proposal was an unnecessary use of taxpayers’ money.
“Stonewall has recently seen the equality and human rights commission, DVLA, and Ministry of Local Government and Ofgem leave their membership due to costs.
“What we will do at MHDC is to continue to focus on inclusion for all, something we all agreed we all do well.”
In autumn last year the council set up a working group to ensure equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) policies and practices were updated and to take action with others to ensure that it is was fully embedded in its services.
As part of this, EDI champions have been established to provide support to council staff to help implement awareness raising campaigns to residents.
The council is also adopting a name-blind recruitment process as a commitment to workplace equality, has refreshed its Equality Impact Assessments and is now formally assessing the LGA’s Equality Framework for Local Government.
It is also committed to memberships with Disability Confident, Time to Change and Investors in People.