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Equality and diversity

Equality Scheme Easy Read summary

Published in February 2021

Contents

What do Belfast City Council do?
What is equality?
Why is there an equality scheme?
How does the Equality Scheme work? 
How Belfast City Council include different groups of people in their work
How Belfast City Council will know if a decision will affect different groups of people
How Belfast City Council make sure their staff are confident working with different groups of people
How Belfast City Council make sure different groups of people can access and understand information and services
Feedback
Complaint


This is an easy read summary of our Equality Scheme. This tells you what Belfast City Council are doing to help make life better for different groups of people who live and work in Belfast. For more information or to see the full report you can contact the Equality and Diversity Officer. Send a letter to:

Equality and Diversity Unit
Legal and Civic Services
Belfast City Council
Belfast City Hall
Belfast
BT1 5GS

Call: 028 9027 0511
Text phone: 18001 028 9027 0405
Email: equality@belfastcity.gov.uk


What do Belfast City Council do?

Alot of the work Belfast City Council do is about making Belfast a good place for people to live and work.

Belfast City Council have two main purposes:

  1. To represent the people of Belfast.

Belfast City Council is made up of councillors who are elected to speak up for people who live in Belfast when they make decisions that affect people's lives in Belfast.

      2.To provide services in Belfast.

Services help to keep Belfast a clean, safe and nice place to live and work. This includes things like:

  • emptying bins
  • looking after car parks, buildings and streets
  • running leisure centres
  • looking after parks, events and tourism

What is equality?

Equality means everyone has the same chances to do what they can. Some people may need extra help to get the same chances. Equality makes sure everyone is treated fairly.

This means not treating people differently based on, for example:

  • religion 
  • politics 
  • disability 
  • age 
  • race

There are lots of different groups of people and everyone deserves to be treated equally. 


Why is there an equality scheme? 

It is part of the law in Northern Ireland for organisations like Belfast City Council to treat everyone fairly. The law is called Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998.
Belfast City Council want to treat everyone fairly to make life better for everyone.

The Equality Scheme gives information on how Belfast City Council is making sure different groups of people are treated fairly. It says how Belfast City Council will include different groups of people when planning their work. It says how Belfast City Council will give different groups of people the chance to speak up about issues that might affect them. 


How does the Equality Scheme work?

There is a group of people who work in Belfast City Council to make sure all the work Belfast City Council do is focused on equality. When we are planning work and making decisions in Belfast City Council,this group of people tells us if we need to think about how the work we do affects different groups of people.

There is an Action Plan to promote equality in Belfast City Council. This Action Plan sets out how Belfast City Council will include different groups of people in the work that we do. 


How Belfast City Council include different groups of people in their work

If Belfast City Council have to make a decision that will affect a group of people, we will speak to them about it first. This is called a consultation.

For example, if a decision might affect older people, we will speak to older people and the groups and organisations who support them. This will help us make sure we make a decision that older people will be happy with.

Some of the ways we do consultations include:

  • meeting people face to face
  • using a questionnaire
  • writing a letter
  • holding a focus group meeting.

Belfast City Council will take care to include people in a way that helps them feel understood. This includes using different languages or communication systems.

We have forums made up of different groups of people who we can speak to as part of a consultation.
Some of these forums are made up of groups like children and young people, or older people.

If you want to be asked to be included when we are making decisions that might affect you, please let us know.

You can contact the Equality and Diversity Officer to talk about how you can be involved. Their contact information is at the top of this document.


How Belfast City Council will know if a decision will affect different groups of people

Belfast City Council ask questions about all of the work we are planning and decisions that we have to make.

These questions will help us understand if our work might affect different groups of people. These questions ask if the policy we are working on will have a good or bad impact on different groups of people. They also ask how much of a good or bad impact our work might have on different groups of people.

Anyone can access information about decisions that might impact different groups of people. This is on the Equality and diversity pages on Belfast City Council website or you can speak to the Equality and Diversity Officer about them. The contact information for the Equality and Diversity Officer is at the top of this document. 


How Belfast City Council make sure their staff are confident working with different groups of people

Belfast City Council organise training for their staff about equality.This makes sure our staff can work with different groups of people in a way that will help everyone feel understood and respected.

Training also makes sure staff know how and when to include different groups of people in the work that they do, and who to include. Training helps staff understand some of the challenges faced by different groups of people, for example, people with disabilities. 


How Belfast City Council make sure different groups of people can access and understand information and services

Belfast City Council will make information available to meet the different needs of different groups of people. For example, Easy Read documents can help people with a learning disability understand information. There is more information about this in our Language Strategy document.

If you need any information from Belfast City Council in a different format, like Braille, you can ask the Equality and Diversity Officer about this.

Feedback

Belfast City Council will listen to the feedback about our work to help us understand if there are any challenges for different groups of people using the information or services we provide.You can give feedback to Belfast City Council about the work they are doing and the decisions they make. Feedback can be good or bad.
Feedback will help Belfast City Council to make good decisions in the future.

Complaint

If you are not happy about how you have been treated by Belfast City Council or any of its services, you can make a complaint. If you want to make a complaint you should contact the Equality and Diversity Officer.


You can get more information about the Belfast City Council Equality Scheme by contacting the Equality and Diversity Officer. There is also more information about the Equality Scheme and our work on equality on this website. You can find this on the Equality and diversity pages.

Our website information includes a list of all the organisations and different groups of people that Belfast City Council speak to when they are making decisions that might impact these different groups of people.

All the contact information for the Equality and Diversity Officer is at the top of this document.

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