Equality statement 2024

Our service equality priorities in 2023

In our 2023 equalities statement we identified service equality priorities which are detailed below.

This page sets out what we said we would do and what we did.

What we said and what we did
What we said What we did
Our procurement team will continue to review our policies and procedures to ensure they consider our equality duty.

Our supplier code of conduct was reviewed and updated.

Suppliers are required to consider the requirements of the Equality Act 2010 in their supply of goods or services to customers and service users.
We will continue to maximise take up of discretionary housing payments (DHP) to support vulnerable people and helping to prevent homelessness.

For 2023/24 we received £73,830 funding from the Department for Works and Pensions, 100% of this was spent helping 99 customers.

The funding aims to prevent homelessness by clearing rent arrears for families who have been severely impacted by the increases in cost of living and who could face eviction without additional support. We continue to raise awareness of the fund through our housing team, front line staff, local Job Centre, private landlords and other registered providers in the hope of reaching those who are most in need of our support.  
We will review the way we monitor the protected characteristics of our service users and those who complete our customer surveys. We did not progress this during the year and will be building this into digital and customer access strategy which is due to launch in 2024.
When services are reviewed, changed, or developed, we will carry out equality impact assessments to ensure the full impact of changes is understood before final decisions are made

We completed equality impact assessments for:

  • Meet the leader events
  • Lichfield city centre trial pedestrianisation
  • VCSE funding prospectus and application
  • Birmingham Road multi-storey car park demolition and associated works
  • Housing assistance policy 2023 – 2028
  • Local council tax support scheme
  • Introduction of Elections Act 2022
  • Updated pay policy statement
We will update our equality impact assessment questionnaires to ensure more information is captured to explain our decisions. We made changes to our equality impact assessment questionnaire to make it easier to complete and encourage authors to provide more detail. We plan to update this again during 2024.
We will ensure new projects, services and strategies, implemented because of our local plan or through community infrastructure levy projects, will be subject to equality impact assessments. We withdrew our draft emerging local plan from examination and began work on a new local plan which we believe will better meet the needs of the district in future. We will liaise with interest groups and representative bodies to ensure our policies protect and safeguard our important centres, allowing access to services and facilities. We will prepare executive summaries to help people understand detailed documents and we make all documents available in alternative formats when requested.
We will continue to work to ensure all elected members have completed recent training in equalities as well as safeguarding and child sexual exploitation. We welcomed a new set of councillors following the local elections in May 2023 and programmed in a range of mandatory training sessions including equalities, safeguarding and child sexual exploitation, which will continue throughout their four-year term in office.
We will continue to embed equalities and our corporate value of having respect for everyone. We continued with our monthly All Hands call with staff that encourage staff to own and deliver the council’s values in their day-to-day work. We delivered a cohesive programme of activities around equalities, including presentations on Autism, different religions including Islam, being a Jehovah's Witness and Sikhism, and a presentation from Stonewall on gender identity in the workplace. We also celebrated PRIDE, International Women’s Day and Diwali, with the aim of understanding, celebrating and encouraging a positive approach to differences in the workplace.
We will continue to ensure equality and accessibility are key outcomes from our digitisation programme in ensuring the delivery of consistent customer journeys and easy to use online services. We worked with local people to test and enhance new website developments to ensure they are easy to use and accessible. We will continue to do this, and customer testing will be at the heart of our digital and customer access strategy which is due to launch in 2024.
We will reprocure our website software and accessibility will be at the heart of the procurement. We worked with residents, staff and elected members to create a set of design principles for our new website which is due to launch in mid-2024. The design principles had accessibility at their heart. Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/designprinciples.
We will establish a community focus group to discuss different topics which will include equality,
diversity and inclusion issues locally, including digital and assistive technologies.
We did not progress the development of a community focus group, and instead worked closely with local people to test and enhance new website developments to ensure they are easy to use and accessible. We will continue to do this, and customer testing will be at the heart of our digital and customer access strategy which is due to launch in 2024.
We will support more technologies and initiatives that provide a more welcoming environment to
customers visiting us, including Sign Live and the Sunflower scheme.
We launched British Sign Language translation through the Sign Live app, allowing customers who are deaf or have hearing loss to use BSL to communicate with us easily over the phone and face to face. Find out more at www.lichfielddc.gov.uk/signlive. We did not manage to launch Sunflower lanyards as the national website has been down for much of the year but we will continue to pursue this.
the Lichfield District Youth Council who meet regularly.

We continued to develop the Lichfield District Youth Council to engage, consult and empower local young people, hosting regular meetings and workshops.