Equality Objectives

The annual Night Run organised by Bolton Council as part of the Supersapiens Iron Man weekend saw hundreds of fun runners take the 5 kilometre course around the town. Picture by Paul Heyes, Friday July 02, 2021.

Bolton Council’s organisational philosophy reflects entirely the duties under the Act, of preventing discrimination; fostering good relations; and advancing equality of opportunity. This is best evidenced in the strategic Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs) which are produced annually to support budget setting. The following guiding principles set out how we would make very difficult decisions to deliver fundamental efficiency savings and profoundly re-shape our organisation and priorities:

  • Minimise the impact on our ability to achieve our main aims of ensuring greater economic prosperity for all and narrowing the gap in outcomes, particularly for those in our most deprived communities.
  • Ensure we meet our statutory obligations, in particular around safeguarding the welfare of vulnerable children and adults.
  • Ensure that wider issues around vulnerability, disadvantage and poverty are at the heart of our decisions and that any negative impact is minimised.
  • Ensure that within this very difficult context we maintain our focus on local political priorities.
  • Ensure that we listen to, understand and where possible respond to the views of local people and stakeholders.

Specifically, we have articulated the following equality objectives according to the organisation’s two defining roles as a community leader and employer.  These objectives will be reviewed annually in line with our Corporate, Vision and Inequalities strategies and updated where appropriate.

Objective One: Embed equalities training and awareness at all levels of the organisation

Understanding our equality, diversity and inclusion duties are everyone’s responsibility.  As a leading employer in the town, we have a duty to nurture our workforce, councillors and wider partners, ensuring they are fully aware of and can comply with our legislative obligations. Equally, we want to provide an

environment where people feel included and supported and are treated fairly. As well as providing formal training for staff, councillors and partners, our aspiration is to build a culture for professional development that encourages people to learn more about Bolton’s diverse and vibrant communities, as well as how to respond to and invest in the aspirations of our local people.

Objective Two: Review and improve our processes around equalities and diversity demonstrating due regard to the Public Sector Equalities Duty and transparency in our decision making.

In order to best support our staff, residents and stakeholders, the council will review its current processes and practices for supporting equalities, diversity and inclusion. The pandemic has shone a light on inequalities in our communities and has highlighted the challenges and barriers faced by particular groups. To improve our services, we will carry out a review of our equalities processes, including Equality Impact Assessments. Equality Impact Assessments are a legal requirement, which enable the organisation to carry out a systematic review of the likely impacts our work may have on different groups of people. The review is an opportunity to update our systems for monitoring the annual cumulative impacts experienced by particular groups and will offer greater transparency for reporting. It will also strengthen our understanding of the support needs of our communities, so that we can respond to these more effectively.

Objective Three: Ensure that our collection of equalities data is robust and sufficient to provide the required information for our decision-making processes.

To support this objective an Equality, Diversity and Improvement Group will be established, made up of key personnel from across the organisation, with responsibility for equalities. Representation will reflect a broad cross-section of experience, knowledge and interest in equalities. This group will review the current methodologies and delivery models for administering our statutory obligations around equalities, as well as the infrastructure for gathering data that helps to inform decision making.