Single Equality Bill Published
On April 27th the government published the much anticipated Equality Bill which aims to simplify and extend current discrimination legislation. The Bill contained a number of proposed measures including: a new public sector duty to consider reducing socio-economic inequalities; public bodies will use procurement processes to promote equality; expansion of the way positive action and allowing employment tribunals to make recommendations in discrimination cases which could benefit the whole workforce and not just the individual who won the claim, as happens at present. However, representative actions on behalf of a number of staff are not included in the Bill The second reading of the Bill will take place in May and it will enter the House of Commons in May and the House of Lords by the new parliamentary session in the autumn. Subject to approval the Bill is expected to receive Royal assent in spring 2010 and most legislation come into force in the autumn of next year. The socio-economic duty and the new single equality duty are due to come into force in 2011.
ROTA will be further scrutinising the Bill and producing a policy briefing, for more information contact Pavan Dhaliwal on firstname.lastname@example.org
EHRC Roundtable to Discuss Bill
On June 3rd the EHRC have called for a meeting with the Winning the Race Coalition and Race organisations to discuss the new Equality Bill with Trevor phillps. ROTA will be attending along with other members of the coalition.
‘Winning the Race’ Coalition Update
With the Equality Bill now published, members of the ROTA led ‘Winning the Race’ Coalition, comprising of Third Sector organisations supporting ROTA’s concerns with the Bill will be meeting to discuss next steps. In a roundtable discussion chaired by Baroness Howells on May 6th the Coalition will be inviting key stakeholders to discuss concerns around awareness raising and engagement in relation to BAME communities and the Bill. To find out more about the coalition click HERE.
Government consultation on tackling race inequality in the UK
ROTA is collecting evidence for the Communities and Local Government (CLG) consultation Tackling race inequalities: A discussion document. The consultation seeks views on a new government-wide approach for race equality. The consultation aims to answer three broad questions; What should a government race equality strategy look like; how does tackling race inequality fit with a broader equality and fairness agenda and how do we strengthen our society to tackle race inequalities? This is a salient consultation for the BAME third sector. It provides an opportunity to influence Government’s race equality strategy and any associated funding, wider policies and engagement mechanisms. It is also an opportunity to ensure that the valuable role of the BAME third sector is recognised. ROTA using evidence recently collected to inform two reports and calling for evidence from members to formulate a response which is informed by the BAME Third Sector and communities themselves. Please assist us by answering the three following questions:
What do you think should be the key policy priority areas for government in relation to race equality?
How best can the government encourage the Public Sector (i.e local councils/criminal justice agencies/NHS Trusts) to prioritise their work on race equality?
What are the key barriers to civic participation and representation that need to be addressed by government?
Please send responses to Pavan Dhaliwal at email@example.com by May 10th or alternatively if you would prefer to give oral evidence then please ring Pavan on 0207 921 0049.. The discussion document can be accessed HERE.
2. Criminal Justice Policy
Transition to Adulthood Alliance
ROTA will be represented on the Transition to Adulthood (T2A) Alliance which is organising a policy panel on the issues faced by young Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) offenders in the criminal justice system. This leads on from the work ROTA is undertaking from the recommendations of the Race For Justice Report which highlights the disproportional representation of BAME communities across the criminal justice system. The meeting is taking place on 18th May at the Barrow Cadbury Trust office in London. Further details from Nathan Dick on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Safeguarding Children and Young People who may be affected by Gang Activity
Department for Children, School’s and Families is running a consultation on their guidance for safeguarding children and young people affected by gang activity. ROTA welcomes this guidance given its focus on gang activity as being an issue of child protection – something that our Building Bridges project advocated. Given the disproportionate number of BAME homicide victims of gang violence in London ROTA will be responding to this consultation using evidence from Building Bridges and the Female Voice in Violence project, and would encourage other third sector organisations to do the same. The full consultation can be downloaded at http://www.dcsf.gov.uk/consultations/index.cfm?action=consultationDetails&consultationId=1576&external=no&menu=1 and the deadline for responses is 19th June.
Together we can end violence against women – A cross-government approach
The Home Office has launched a cross government consultation on tackling violence against women. The third sector plays a crucial role in tackling violence against women, especially specialist and BAME womens’ organisations. This consultation provides a means by which to advocate for these services and demonstrate the importance of the role that they play. ROTA will be responding to this document using evidence from its Female Voice in Violence project – the deadline for responses is 29th May and details can be downloaded at http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/documents/cons-2009-vaw/vaw-consultation.pdf?view=Binary.
3. MiNet and London Specific Policy News
London’s Racial Equality Councils
As many people working in the BAME third sector will be aware there is a changing landscape when considering the state of the BAME third sector and also the availability of specialist BAME services. There have certainly been moves to cross equality work, and any changes have not been helped by the damaging release and then withdrawal of guidance on single group funding. These transformations are no more apparent than when considering the changes taking place amongst London’s Racial Equality Councils (REC’s). Surviving on the same budget a number of REC’s will be carrying out cross-equality work, whilst there have been notable REC closures in Kensington and Chelsea and Racial Equality Partnership Merton in the last month, with Bromley REC closing previously. A shortage of funding in some REC’s means previously paid staff members are now volunteering. MiNet will be working hard to raise awareness of the loss of valuable BAME services and is keen to hear about any loss of BAME service provision in your locality. Also, on May 1st MiNet will be carrying out a focus group with a number of Racial Equality Council’s (REC’s) to explore some of the key support needs of REC’s and how MiNet can better engage with them and represent their needs around their key priority areas. For more information on this work contact Anthony@rota.org.uk.
Impact of the Recession on the BAME Third Sector
MiNet have recently received funding from NAVCA to ensure the findings from MiNet’s Impact of the Recession project are used to inform and influence London’s BAME infrastructure organisations and other third sector organisations, London funders, policy makers and decisions makers. MiNet will take the lead in using its established networks and infrastructure to deliver an event at the end of June and networking opportunity to raise awareness of the recession on London’s BAME organisations. For more information on MiNet’s work contact Anthony@rota.org.uk.
NAVCA have also launched dedicated web pages to assist local infrastructure organisations to be better prepared to support their local third sector to avoid the worst aspects of the recession. The pages allow visitors to see how NAVCA is providing recession support, find out how other organisations can help them, get data about how the recession is impacting on the third sector and provides a selection of the best available resources all in one place, making it easy for visitors. The site directs people to the support NAVCA is providing, such as Support Grants and assistance to produce Local Resilience Action Plans. The webpages can be viewed at http://www.navca.org.uk/recession.
Report Launched into how London Boroughs are responding to the Gypsy and Traveller Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTANA)
ROTA who sit on the London Interagency Forum for Travelers were pleased to support the Irish Traveller Movement in Britain and Planning Aid London research into how each London borough is responding or intending to respond to the London Gypsy and Traveler Accommodation Needs Assessment (GTANA). This event held at the GLA presented research on how London boroughs are integrating the findings of the GTANA into their Local Development Framework, and how the Gypsy and Traveler community have been/will be consulted on site identification and provision. The GTANA report accurately reflected the accommodation and service needs of Gypsies, Irish Travellers and Roma in London and involved community members in the assessment exercise. For more information contact Phil Regan at Phil@irishtraveller.org.uk.
Targeted Support Fund – Barking and Dagenham and Greenwich
Within the coming weeks, the Office of the Third Sector will be launching a £15 million Targeted Support fund that will be available to small, local third sector service providers. Barking and Dagenham, alongside Greenwich have been selected as two local authority priority areas to receive the funding. The Targeted Fund is available to organisations who have experienced increased demand for their services as a result of the recession, an area that is explored in the forthcoming MiNet and ROTA recession report examining the impact of the recession on the BAME Third Sector. Organisations eligible will be those providing recession focused services under one of the themes below:
For more information or updates, visit: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/third_sector/news/news_stories/090415_funding.aspx.
Mayor’s Strategy to Tackle Violence Against Women
On 21st April the Mayor of London launched his strategy to tackle violence against women entitled ‘The Way Forward’. Last year the number of reported rapes in London increased by 14.5 percent and domestic violence incidents rose by 4.4 per cent. The report covers a number of issues including domestic violence, trafficking, prostitution, rape and sexual violence, including the sexual violence amongst young people.
ROTA has been feeding into this strategy via its Female Voice in Violence research programme – looking at the impact of gangs and serious group offending on women. We will be submitting a full consultation response and would encourage other organisations to do the same. Recommendations in the report include working closely with boroughs to enhance the provision of front line services such as rape crisis centres across London, and for the Mayor to use his position as chair of the Metropolitan Police Association to push for better training of police officers to deal with violence against women and to improve front desk services at police stations. Given the current risks being faced by specialist organisations, BAME women’s organisations are finding it increasingly difficult to secure funding, and this plan is one way to raise concerns about whether the needs of BAME women are being met. Full details on the consultation can be found at http://www.london.gov.uk/view_press_release.jsp?releaseid=21757 and the deadline for responses is July 20th.
The Safer London Foundation Volunteer Award
Do you know someone whose volunteering makes a significant contribution to community safety in you neighbourhood? Safer London Foundation(SLF) recognise that there are many individuals across London helping their local community to reduce or prevent crime or support victims of crime, and raise levels of safety and well-being within our local communities. The SLF Volunteer Award is designed to recognise their contribution and to highlight achievement, innovation, and best practice in this field. At a special Award-giving event on June 3rd, the overall winner will receive a trophy together with £1,000 for their project or activity. Two runners-up will receive £500 and £250 for their volunteering activities or projects, and certificates of recognition.Nominees must (a) give their time in a volunteer capacity; (b) make an outstanding contribution in the fields of reducing or preventing crime or fear of crime, or supporting victims of crime; (c) be over 18 years of age; volunteer within the M25. To nominate someone please click on http://www.saferlondonfoundation.org/index.php?p=volaward.
Consulting the BAME third sector – Interim Report Published
ROTA has published the interim report of its consultation into the policy priorities of London’s BAME third sector. The top five policy priorities identified were Community Cohesion, Education, Health and Social Services, Social Exclusion and Poverty/Deprivation. These priorities will guide the work that ROTA does over the next two years and contribute to our research programmes. The priorities are being explored in focus groups during May. For further information on the consultation please contact email@example.com and to download the report please visit www.rota.org.uk.
GLA Migrant and Refugee Advisory Panel
ROTA’s chief executive Theo Gavrielides will be sitting on the new Migrant and Refugee Advisory Panel to be chaired by the deputy mayor. This new panel replaces the Mayor's Board of Refugee Integration in London (BRIL). For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
London Councils Report Into Tackling Youth Crime
ROTA supports the new London Councils report on tackling youth crime. The report, ‘Funding the frontline; tackling youth crime in London’ highlights gaps and overlaps in the government’s current funding streams for initiatives to tackle youth crime, and makes recommendations on how government can best help the capital’s local authorities address the causes of youth crime at a local level. There are currently a number of funding streams in place that focus specifically on preventing youth crime. The report provides a snapshot of the 10 main grants currently channelled to London local authorities to tackle youth crime. The diversity of funding streams and overlapping of initiatives creates problems for London authorities on the frontline of youth crime prevention and leads to funding not being used efficiently to tackle youth crime where it is needed most. Click http://www.londoncouncils.gov.uk/crimeandpublicprotection/youthcrime/default.htm for the full report.
4. BAME Third Sector National Policy News
Find out more about accessing support from the Office of Third Sector
Following the publication of the £42.5 million action plan ‘Real Help for Communities: Volunteers, Charities and Social Enterprises’, the Office of the Third Sector is holding 9 free regional roadshows for small and medium frontline third sector organisations to provide a practical understanding of how to access the support available. The schemes included are the Real Help for Communities: Modernisation Fund, Real Help for Communities: Targeted Support Fund and Communitybuilders programme. The regional events will involve a combination of presentations, workshops, networking opportunities, a Q&A session and signposting to further support. The London event will be held at the Abbey Community Centre on Thursday 7th May. To Register for the roadshows click http://www.coievents.co.uk/realhelpforcommunities/.
Campaigning charities £750,000
MiNet is supportive of the recent announcement that has been made that Capacitybuilders will be administering and directing a new programme which will provide a package of grants and support services to campaigning charities. The programme which will run over two years will provide support for up to 30 groups, aimed at providing a voice for the most marginalised segments of society, through strengthening the ability of charities and over third sector organisations to continue to campaign for change. Speaking on the issue, Liam Byrne, Minister for the Cabinet Office:
"Our charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises have never had a stronger voice - and we want them speak up even more. This programme will help charities working with some of the most vulnerable people in society to make their voice heard. It will also help develop the most innovative approaches, and will benefit the whole sector!.
The Government set out its commitment to supporting the campaigning role in the Third Sector Review. For Further information please see: http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/third_sector/third_sector_review/Third_sector_review_final_report.aspx.
Guide to Working in Consortium Published
A summary guide has recently been published by the Office of the Third Sector for voluntary and community sector organisations who may be considering working in consortium. Working in consortium is viewed as one mechanism through which smaller organisations can get involved in the delivery of public sector contracts through partnership work. The guidance is welcome to some extent as admittedly partnership work can be effective when the environment is conducive and good working relations exist. Nevertheless, this should not come at the expense of any services which may be lost currently provided by specialist BAME groups, nor the time spent in deciding between partnership work or single ethnicity applications, through the fear of being discriminated when applying for the latter. To see the summary guide please visit http://www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/media/136178/consortium%20summary.pdf.
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