27 April 2011

Northamptonshire County Council is asking residents to have their say on a proposed new equality strategy which aims to promote equality and tackle discrimination.

The county council has a legal duty to promote equality and tackle discrimination in the county and needs to make sure that services and information can be accessed by all, to ensure there is a fairer and more equal society for anyone living or working in Northamptonshire.

A new equality strategy has been drafted which sets out the council’s primary equality objectives as well as a list of actions that need to be taken to achieve these objectives.

This includes looking at how the council delivers its services and operates as an organisation, for example by ensuring that equality considerations are taken into account when designing and delivering any service, whether delivered by the council or on the council’s behalf.

It also includes improving systems to help the council collect vital information about communities in Northamptonshire to gain a deeper understanding of people’s needs and any barriers to accessing services.

Councillor Joan Kirkbride, county council cabinet member for policy, partnerships and performance said: “Missing out on vital services and information could have serious consequences for people’s health, wellbeing and life chances. We recognise the barriers and inequalities that some communities still face which is why we have drafted this new equality strategy to ensure we play our part in addressing these.

“Make sure you take this opportunity to have your say and tell us what you think about the proposed strategy; your comments will help shape the actions that we will take to achieve our objectives and to fulfil the legal requirements placed upon us.”

The new draft equality strategy for 2011 to 2014 and online survey is available at www.northamptonshire.gov.uk/equalitystrategy Anyone requiring a copy of the strategy or survey in a different format, should contact the council on 01604 236236 and ask for equalities or email equalities@northamptonshire.gov.uk

The strategy is open for comment until 6th July 2011.