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Equalities Objectives and Action Plan - Update

Meeting: 20/10/2021 - Policy and Resources Committee (Item 97)

97 Equalities Objectives and Action Plan - Update pdf icon PDF 164 KB

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The Senior Policy and Communities Officer introduced the report and noted that since significant progress had been made as outlined in Appendix 1 to the report.


The strengthened relationship between the Council and the community and voluntary sectors was highlighted, due to the co-operative work undertaken to provide support to residents during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Rough Sleeping initiative implemented by the housing team continued to support approximately 360 households and had been extended until March 2022.


To further understand the impacts of the pandemic and the requirements of the borough, extensive consultation exercises had been undertaken; 23 in 2020-2021 of which 14 were for the public and stakeholders. 15 consultations had taken place so far in 2021-2022.


The Access to Services review conducted by members of the Communities, Housing and Environment Committee, and the review of Maidstone Museums’ collections and creation of a community panel was noted.


The Heart of Kent Hospice (HOKH) Elmer Trail had taken place in the Summer of 2021, with a steering group created between officers of the former and the Council, to progress the work required on the Council’s ‘Compassionate Borough’ status, as agreed by the Committee in January 2020. 


The Learning and Development package provided to the Council’s staff was highlighted, which included regular sessions on maintaining mental health and wellbeing and the introduction of mental health first aiders. 


In response to questions, the Head of Policy, Communications and Governance confirmed that the Councillor training budget could be used to provide Mental Health First Aider training to Councillors.


The Committee expressed support for the work undertaken and reiterated the importance of being able to effectively engage and communicate with all residents, alongside the provision of widely accessible resources. The significance of the Compassionate Community Awards was noted.


RESOLVED: That the progress made on the Equalities Objectives and Action Plan as shown in Appendix 1 to the report, be noted.