East Lothian Council has set out its continuing commitment to ensuring equality in its role as a local authority and education committee.

Cabinet Members agreed an East Lothian Equality Plan for 2017-2021 at their meeting on Tuesday 12th September, which also includes East Lothian Licensing Board.

The range of outcomes set out in the plan aim to ensure that the council and licensing board are meeting their duties under the Equality Act 2010 in reducing the impact of poverty and inequality across East Lothian – and that they are well placed to meet the potential requirements of the Socio Economic Duty later in 2017, which will ask public authorities to do more to tackle the inequalities caused by social and economic disadvantages.

The key purpose of these aims is to ensure that any individual is treated fairly at work and when using services in a targeted and consistent way across the council.

Depute Council Leader, Councillor Norman Hampshire, said:

“This is a hugely important plan for residents across East Lothian as it sets out our aims to improve people’s life chances, whether that’s in terms of career, learning, health and wellbeing, housing or reducing the impact of poverty. It clearly demonstrates that we put equality at the heart of everything we do and that this will be continuously assessed and monitored. People across the county can be assured they will be treated fairly irrespective of age, disability, race, religious beliefs, gender or sexual orientation, and that is crucial to building happy, thriving, inclusive communities.”

The outcomes set out in the plan include:

  • East Lothian Council will strive to be a workplace free of harassment and discrimination.
  • East Lothian will strive to develop and promote employment opportunities for young people of East Lothian both within the council and across the local business community.
  • East Lothian Council will have a range of opportunities for employees to develop successful career paths

In making sure all of East Lothian’s young people are successful learners, confident individuals, effective contributors and responsible citizens, we will:

  • Close the gap in educational outcomes for those children and young people impacted by socio-economic disadvantage
  • Close the gap in literacy rates between boys and girls in primary school
  • Improve the health and wellbeing of children and young people with protected characteristics (e.g. race, religion, gender, disability etc)

In making sure everyone in East Lothian has access to quality sustainable housing, we will:

  • Ensure that people with particular needs are able to get and sustain their choice of housing, including independent living
  • Increase housing supply and improve access to housing, including affordable housing

In striving to ensure that East Lothian has strong, vibrant communities where residents have a sense of belonging, we will:

  • Make sure that East Lothian equalities communities can meet to celebrate or raise awareness of cultural heritage or specific issues affecting them
  • East Lothian Communities are well informed and can influence decisions that matter in their local areas.
Published: Wednesday, 13th September 2017