Northumberland National Park Authority strives to be a good employer, to advance equality of opportunity, and aims in its provision of services and its enabling role to be inclusive of all members of society.
The 2010 Equality Act
The Equality Act places a general equality duty to those who it applies, in the exercise of their functions to have due regard to the need to:
- Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act;
- Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and
- Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
Having due regard for advancing equality involves:
- Removing or minimising disadvantages suffered by people due to their protected characteristics;
- Taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these are different from the needs of other people; and
- Encouraging people from protected groups to participate in public life or in other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.
This duty came into force on the 1st of April 2011.
National Park Authorities are required to comply with the public sector equality duty and with regulations covering the publication of information to demonstrate compliance with the equality duty and to develop specific equality objectives.
The equalities work of the Authority - including our Equality Objectives
National Park Management Plan
Northumberland National Park Authority is committed to the delivery of the public sector equality duty. Equality is a cross cutting theme within the National Park Management Plan and the Authority, along with its partners, have identified a number of actions to advance equality of opportunity for:
- residents of both the National Park and the wider action areas;
- businesses operating both within the National Park and the wider action areas; and
- visitors to the National Park, as well as non visitors.
These actions are identified within the Management Plan Annual Action Plan. Progress on the delivery of the actions within the Action Plan is monitored every six months and information is published on our website.
National Park Authority Business Plan and Corporate Plan - The Equality Objectives
In addition to the specific actions identified in the Management Plan Annual Action Plan equality is embedded within the Culture and Values of the Authority. The Authority’s three year Business Plan sets out the priorities and approach of the Authority for the three years from 1st of April 2010. It explains how the Authority will respond to the challenged set out within the Management Plan; it also identifies how the Authority will use its core resources. The Business Plan includes an outcome which states the Authority will:
‘Ensure our services are available to all people in our diverse society by:
- Continuing to embed equality of opportunity in employment and in delivery of our services and by seeking to promote equality in all we do; and
- Supporting members of under-represented groups to enjoy and contribute to the National Park and its governance’.
These have been agreed by the Leadership Team of the Authority as its Equality Objectives.
Detailed actions to deliver the Business Plan are identified within the Authority’s annual Corporate Plan, both the Business Plan and the Corporate Plan are monitored every 6 months. The Corporate Plan highlights where there is a need to both to prepare Equality Analysis (foremerly known as Equality Impact Assessments) and undertake actions identified within completed assessments
The Authority has established an equalities forum which meets regularly to monitor, scrutinise and contribute to the Authority’s equality work. New members are always welcome, and an application form can be found on the equalities forum web page.
The Equality Standard
As a matter of good practice the Authority has measured itself against the Equality Standard for Local Government. As of March 2010 the Authority is at level 3 of the Standard, for which it had to demonstrate:
- That it has implemented a strategy for participation of designated community, staff and stakeholder groups in setting objectives of employment and service delivery
- That it has set equality objectives across the Authority for age, disability, gender , race, religion or belief and sexual orientation for employment, pay and service delivery based on impact assessments and participation strategy
- That equality objectives have been translated into action plans with specific targets
- That it is developing information and monitoring systems that allow it to assess progress in achieving targets
- That action on achieving targets has started
- Progress has been verified through self-assessment and scrutiny and has been validated externally through an accredited assessor
Equality and Diversity Policies
The Authority has developed a number of policies relating to Equality and Diversity, which can be viewed on the Equalities and Diversity Policies section of this website. The main statement of intent is provided in the Comprehensive Equality Policy. – this is currently under review following the new provisions within the 2010 Equality Act. In addition, the Comprehensive Equality Scheme which was published in February 2008 – a requirement of previous legislation, illustrates the action the Authority has taken to make progress using the Equality Standard. The Authority does not propose to revise the Comprehensive Equalities Scheme but it will continue to embed the principles of this into the development of equalities objectives which are currently embedded within the Business Plan and annual Corporate Plans.
Engagement and Evidence
The ethos of the Authority is to work with and through local communities to maintain and enhance the National Park’s natural and cultural qualities and to expand opportunities for their wider understanding and enjoyment – this approach is known as ‘Action Area’ working. Our adopted Statement of Community Involvement sets out how the Authority seeks to engage as many stakeholders as possible in the work of the Authority to seek to improve the design and delivery of services.
As part of the preparation of the annual State of the National Park report we assess equalities and other information and identify whether we need to update our evidence base in order to fully inform future work.
For more information please email firstname.lastname@example.org