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Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Diversity Champion - Cllr Foreman

Following on from Hornets last post, she has received some information about a Councillors efforts to get the borough recognised by Stonewall as a diversity champion.

Hornet cannot express how pleased she is for this action.

For the benefit of the unenlightened, Stonewall is one of the leading Charitable organisations in Britain that promote Gay, Lesbianm Bi-Sexual and Transgender rights. (LGBT). Now before any of you hard right wingers start weeping into your CWF brochures and Section 28 Remembered Leaflets, its 2011, get over it.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with anything other than helping men and women who consider themselves to be LGBT in having a responsive and inclusive workplace that enables them to work without prejudice and to provide the quality service the people of the borough deserve.

So hats off to Cllr Todd Foreman, who at a recent cabinet meeting circulated a paper encouraging the council to sign up to Stonewalls Diversity Champion Programme. He rightly points out that being a council recognised for its dedication to minority rights will help develop existing staff and so deliver better services, and will also attract other staff who, if the council has a good reputation will want to come and work here.

Section 149 of the Equalities Act 2010 makes it a requirement from April of this year that the council engage with employees to eliminate discrimination and harassment, to advance equality and foster good relations. What better way to show this in respect of LGBT workers by becoming a Stonewall Diversity Champion?

The cost? Less than £2000, and thats less than the cost of DHL-ing papers out to Moylan in Thailand, and of course substantially less than the cost of Cockle's soirees out to Uncle Sam.

After all, we have a good representation of LGBT councillors, so why not do something for the workers?

1 comment:

  1. The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea Council’s Cabinet and Corporate Services Scrutiny Committee voted that the Council would not meet with Stonewall, Britain’s leading LGB charity, to discuss the possibility of becoming a Stonewall Diversity Champion. The proposal had been made by Cllr Todd Foreman (Labour, Notting Barns ward) after he discovered that the Council had not made any meaningful efforts to engage with its LGB staff. The vote against even meeting with Stonewall was along strict party lines, with all Labour Councillors voting in favour, all Conservative Councillors voting against, and with the single Lib-Dem Councillor abstaining.

    Cllr Tim Ahern (Conservative, Campden ward), Cabinet Member for Civil Society, initially refused to meet with Stonewall in December 2010 following a request by Cllr Foreman. Cllr Ahern gave his apologies for tonight’s meeting earlier today, and thus was not available to be questioned by the Committee on his refusal to meet with Stonewall.

    The Committee voted unanimously to accept two further recommendations by Cllr Foreman regarding a review of practice with respect to monitoring of diversity information of staff, and the Council’s preparation for compliance with the public sector Equality Duty under the Equality Act 2010.

    Commenting on the Committee’s vote, Cllr Foreman said, “I am disappointed that on a strict party line vote, the Committee voted not to even meet with Stonewall to discuss becoming a Diversity Champion. Kensington and Chelsea Council has not made any meaningful efforts to engage with its LGB staff, and is falling behind its peer employers in the public and private sector with respect to best practice. There is a real risk that the Council will be in breach of its legal obligations under the public sector Equality Duty when it comes into force in April.”

    The Committee voted unanimously to accept two further recommendations by Cllr Foreman regarding a review of practice with respect to monitoring of diversity information of staff, and the Council’s preparation for compliance with the public sector Equality Duty.

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