On 1 April 2019 Forest Heath District Council and St Edmundsbury Borough Council will be replaced by a single district council called West Suffolk Council. It will entirely replace the borough and district councils but will continue to deliver the same services while finding improved ways of supporting communities, businesses and the local economy. Over the next few weeks you may notice changes to the website, forms, letters and emails, and there will be limited access to some of our online systems as we prepare for the creation of the new council.
West Suffolk Council is committed to taking effective action to eliminate discrimination and to advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations in all that we do as an employer, a service provider and as a community leader. We believe that all people are entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. We are determined to ensure that both our employees and everyone entitled to use our services receive fair and equitable treatment. We are committed to working with our partners and communities to promote good relations and to combat prejudice, discrimination and harassment.
Our Strategic Framework 2018-20 is the key document which outlines our priorities and actions for 2018-20. The plan clearly highlights the importance of equality and diversity in the delivery of our work. The plan also includes details of our equality objectives.
The purpose of this scheme is to clearly define how we will meet our obligations under the Equality Act 2010 across West Suffolk. Additional information outlining our approach to Equality Impact Assessments and supporting information relating to the Family Test is also available:
We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all aspects of employment and are committed to a policy of equal opportunity for all staff. Assessment for recruitment, selection, and appraisal, training and career progression purposes is based entirely on the individual's ability and suitability for the work.
We participate in the Double Tick Scheme whereby all applicants with a disability who meet the essential criteria for a vacancy are guaranteed an interview. We also provide adaptations and aids for staff when required.
We first received recognition of our approach to supporting and employing disabled people through the double tick award in 2005. We submit evidence of how we continue to meet the criteria annually in order to keep our accreditation up to date. This recognises our commitment to supporting those with a disability in their employment.
We have a number of policies in place to encourage a modern and efficient workforce. We are committed to monitoring employment and recruitment to ensure equal opportunity of employment.
We carry out Equality Impact Assessments (EqIAs) where appropriate. The purpose of an EqIA is to help us ensure that we do not discriminate and, where possible we promote equality. EqIAs prompt a series of questions to make sure that we think carefully about the likely impact of our work on people and take action to improve our services where possible.
EqIA findings are reported to staff and councillors so that they can understand the consequences of making decisions and/or changes to the way services are delivered. We carry out EqIAs on service and policy decisions which impact on our communities and customers. All our EqIA summaries can be found on our Summaries of equality impact assessments page.