Equality Reference Group newsletter December 2019

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Equality Reference Group newsletter

Round up of our November meeting

Issue 10, December 2019

Quick reminder...

Community Insight Survey

Don't forget to take part in the Community Insight Survey which is open until 22nd December.

DCC would like to hear the views and experiences of diverse groups of people from across Devon.

Available in: standard online, Easy Read online, print and post Large Print or Easy Read (assisted). 

Items discussed

Market Position Statement and Practice Model - Adult Social Care and Health


The Equality Reference Group is a group of people from different voluntary sector organisations in Devon covering the Protected Characteristics of the Equality Act 2010. The group acts as a 'critical friend' to Devon County Council.

At our November meeting we were given an overview of the Market Position Statement (MPS) for Adult Social Care and Health Services. The MPS is being updated and our views were sought on how to ensure equality and diversity issues were fully embedded.

The MPS looks at the supply and demand of the social care market. For example, if there are sufficient care homes to meet the needs of the population.

The Practice Model guides practitioners' thinking and decision making. It is built on the 'Three Conversations Approach':
• Supporting people to support themselves
• Short term support to progress independence
• Proportionate outcome focused commissioned support.

Our recommendations were:

  • To publish outcomes of contract monitoring/share with the Equality Reference Group (which would include equality and diversity measures).
  • To not focus too heavily on short-term interventions. Take account of people's needs at every point in their 'journey', particularly if they have a progressive illness, because they may not reach a point where they become independent again, or their moment of independence may be temporary. Re-assessment is needed.  
  •  To take a 'human rights based approach' - this means respecting the 'right to private and family life' in its broadest sense, focussing on what matters most to that person in terms of how they wish to live, even if that provides challenges for practitioners in terms of what they view as appropriate and in line with 'social norms'. For example, if someone wants to live 'off-grid' this should be respected even if it is a harder way to live.
  •  Ensure sufficient weighting to equality and diversity requirements within the tendering process.
  •  Ensure full diversity monitoring is carried out and ensure staff are trained in how to ask questions.
  •  Need to ask people to what extent do they feel integrated with their 'community of interest'. For example, does a gay man feel isolated from other gay men?
  •  The Practice Model should state "treat people with equal respect, dignity and confidentiality" but not "treat people equally".

It was agreed to have future meetings looking at:

  •  Social Prescribing (with the CCG, Public Health and Adult Social Care and Health)
  •  Quality Assurance and Improvement Team, to discuss contract management and monitoring.

Other information

Pavement Parking - an update

Pavement Parking

The Council recognises the need for new legislation to meet residents’ expectations for pavement parking issues to be addressed.

DCC's pavement parking report function is one of its most frequently used web forms.

The level of concern from communities remains consistently high, showing this issue remains high priority for residents.

The vast majority of instances being reported are at locations without existing restrictions meaning that traditional civil parking enforcement powers cannot be used to address the issue. Nevertheless, it remains clear that public perception is that there is a significant issue and the Council continues to seek influence at national level to allow new powers for local Authorities to deal with the issue.

DCC continue to issue the educational leaflets introduced in 2015/2016 to assist in delivering our message to drivers to think about how they park, and an online form for the public to report their parking concerns. The form can be used to tell DCC about pavement parking and other enforcement requests as well:


1,000 reports of pavement parking were received in 2017/18. An increase from 473 when the reporting system was launched in 2015.

Number of reports by area for 2017/18:

  • Exeter - 317
  • Newton Abbot - 91
  • Exmouth - 75
  • Barnstaple - 31
  • Tiverton - 29
  • Dawlish - 21
  • Ottery St Mary - 18
  • Bideford - 17
  • Cullompton - 16
  • Crediton - 13
  • Ilfracombe - 13
  • Honiton - 11
  • Kingsteignton - 11
  • Axminster - 10
  • Tavistock - 10
  • Teignmouth - 10
  • Exminster - 8
  • Bere Alston - 7

Employer Support Service

Ready Devon


Details have been unveiled of the new employer support service which is due to be launched by Devon County Council next year.

Plans for the new “Be Ready” Employer Service Hub were announced on Tuesday 12 November in support of Purple Tuesday, an international call to action aiming to change the customer experience for disabled people.


The County Council is working in collaboration with Jobcentre Plus on this initiative as part of Devon’s commitment to improving employment and customer experience opportunities for disabled people.

The free service, which is due to start in February 2020, will provide:

– a call-back service to answer specific questions;
– an employer network to share knowledge and practical experience;
– an online resource about all aspects of disability and employment to help employers attract, recruit and retain people with a disability or long-term health condition;
– training, either delivered on-site (for larger organisations), or as a group bringing together smaller businesses;
– and an opportunity to join the Disability Confident scheme to improve business reputation.

Coming up

Budget Consultation Meeting - 14th January 2020. This meeting will be webcast.

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