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Equality screening outcome report: Belfast Zoo Charity Requests process

Published in October 2021


Contents

Overview of the screening template
Section A Details about the policy or decision to be screened
1. Title or policy or decision to be screened
2. Brief description of policy or decision to be screened
3. Aims and objectives of policy or decision to be screened
4. Who will the policy or decision impact?
5. Are there linkages to other agencies or departments?
Section B Information on the consultation process
6. Outline consultation process planned or achieved
7. Available evidence
8. What is the likely impact on equality of opportunity for those affected by this policy, for each of the Section 75 equality categories?
9. Are there opportunities to better promote equality of opportunity for people in Section 75 equality categories?
10. To what extent is the policy likely to impact good relations between people of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group?
11. Are there opportunities to better promote good relations between people of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group?
Section C Consideration of Disability Duties
12. Does this proposed policy or decision provide an opportunity for the council to better promote positive attitudes towards disabled people?
13.  Does this proposed policy or decision provide an opportunity to actively increase the participation by disabled people in public life?
14.  Provide details of data on the impact of the policy with multiple identities
15. Monitoring arrangements
Section D
Formal record of screening decision
Screening assessment completed
Screening decision approved
Footnotes


Overview of screening template

The council has a statutory duty to screen. This includes our strategies, plans, policies, legislative developments; and new ways of working such as the introduction, change or end of an existing service, grant funding arrangement or facility. This screening template is designed to help departments consider the likely equality impacts of their proposed decisions on different groups of customers, service users, staff and visitors.    

Before carrying out an equality screening exercise it is important that you have received the necessary training first. To find out about the training needed or any other queries on screening, contact the Equality and Diversity Officer Lorraine Dennis on extension 6027 or Lisa McKee on extension 6310 by email equality@belfastcity.gov.uk

The accompanying screening guidance note provides straightforward advice on how to carry out equality screening exercises. Detailed information about the Section 75 equality duties and what they mean in practice is available on the Equality Commission’s website.[1] 

The screening template has four sections to complete. These are:

  • Section A  provides details about the policy or decision that is being screened
  • Section B gives information on the consultation process, supporting evidence gathered and has four key questions outlining the likely impacts on all equality groups
  • Section C has four key questions in relation to obligations under the Disability Discrimination Order  
  • Section D is the formal record of the screening decision

Section A

Details about the policy or decision to be screened

1. Title of policy or decision to be screened

Belfast Zoo Charity Requests process

2. Brief description of policy or decision to be screened

(Explain is this a new, revised or existing policy?  Are there financial, legislative or procurement implications?)

Belfast Zoo receives requests from charities, individuals and other organisations regarding prizes, donations and discounted or free admission to the zoo. Written requests were recorded from July 2019 until February 2020 with these trends identified:

  • The zoo receives an average of seven requests per month.
  • Around one third of these requests are provided directly from a charity, around one half are provided by non-charity organisations (for example community groups, social groups or other groups that are either fundraising for themselves or for a selected charity), and around one quarter are from individuals who are fundraising for a selected charity.
  • eighty four per cent of requests are for prizes or donations for example raffle prizes.

The remaining requests are for discounted or free admission.

The zoo provides a standard decline response to individuals and organisations seeking prizes/donations. Some charity requests regarding free/discounted admission have been approved at the discretion of the Zoo Manager (for low footfall requests) or Operational Director (for requests with high footfall). Some requests are driven by councillors.

A formalised approach to reviewing and approving such requests is required to ensure fairness and transparency in the zoo’s charity requests process, and support the zoo’s ongoing improvement plan, commerciality, and customer focus.  

A business case for the new process has been approved by the Neighbourhood Services Manager (North) in City and Neighbourhood Services.

3. Aims and objectives of the policy or decision to be screened?
(What is the policy trying to achieve?)

The proposed process aims to:

  • improve public confidence by providing a transparent and fair policy
  • improve financial audit assessment by providing transparent records
  • improve commerciality and reduce potential loss of income by providing a limit on approved requests
  • improve community relations by setting criteria to focus on local organisations, charities and schools
  • improve the zoo’s financial and commercial position
  • ensure the zoo follows typical industry practice
  • improve the ability of the zoo to effectively compete in a competitive visitor attraction market
  • provide more opportunity for relevant groups and individuals to visit the zoo
  • ensure the zoo remains accessible to all sections of the community.

4. Who will the policy or decision impact?

Consider the internal and external impacts (both actual or potential) and explain.

People Actual or potential impact
Staff Yes
Staff will be required to effectively communicate the process to customers, process requests and deal with queries. These actions are part of normal staff duties.
Service users Yes
Some service users will be able to apply for non-monetary donations, free or discounted visits if they meet the relevant criteria.  
Other public sector organisations Yes
Some organisations will be able to apply for non-monetary donations, free or discounted visits if they meet the relevant criteria.  
Voluntary, community groups and trade unions Yes
Some voluntary and community groups will be able to apply for non-monetary donations, free or discounted visits if they meet the relevant criteria.  

Others, please specify
Corporate users, charities, schools

Yes
Some will be able to apply for non-monetary donations, free or discounted visits if they meet the relevant criteria. 

5. Are there linkages to other agencies or departments?

None were identified.

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Section B

Information on the consultation process, supporting evidence gathered and has four key questions outlining the likely impacts for equality and good relations

6.  Outline consultation process planned or achieved

  • Review of the City Growth and Regeneration Committee Report March 2017 states a long-term option for the zoo may:

involve a challenging transformation process that would have to extend to a change in the way central services support the operation of the Zoo. It would require flexibility and a move towards news ways of working.

  • Review of the zoo’s business plan which includes these objectives:
    • To manage the zoo finances so that the people of Belfast are provided with a world class zoo which delivers maximum value for the resources available
    • To ensure that our experience, products and services are of the highest standard and offer the best value for money. 
    • To provide facilities, resources and opportunities for people to learn, participate, experience and enjoy the unique environment of the zoo.
    • To develop the zoo’s services and resources to educate and engage with the broad community offering opportunities to allow people with diverse needs to experience and engage with the life of the zoo.
  • Completed internal analysis for Belfast Zoo’s charity requests received directly via email/mail and indirectly from Councillors or BCC Senior Officers.
  • Completed industry benchmarking of UK/ROI zoos and visitor attractions by:
    • Analysis of current charity process
    • Informal feedback through BIAZA (British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums) Commercial and Visitor Service working group (14 zoos from UK and Ireland participate in this group).
  • Plan to effectively communicate new process to visitors

7.  Available evidence

What evidence or information (both qualitative and quantitative) have you gathered to inform this policy? Set out all evidence to help inform your screening assessment.

It is important to record information gathered from a variety of sources such as:

  • monitoring information
  • complaints
  • research surveys
  • consultation exercises from other public authorities
Section 75 category Details of evidence, information and engagement
Religious belief

No impact is anticipated so no engagement work completed or planned.

Political opinion

No impact is anticipated so no engagement work completed or planned.

Racial group

No impact is anticipated so no engagement work completed or planned.

Age

No impact is anticipated so no engagement work completed or planned.

Marital status

No impact is anticipated so no engagement work completed or planned.

Sexual orientation

No impact is anticipated so no engagement work completed or planned.

Men and women generally

No impact is anticipated so no engagement work completed or planned.

Disability

No impact is anticipated so no engagement work completed or planned.

Dependants

No impact is anticipated so no engagement work completed or planned.


8. What is the likely impact (indicate if the policy impact is positive or negative) on equality of opportunity for those affected by this policy, for each of the Section 75 equality categories? What is the level of impact?

Section 75 category Details of impact Level of impact
Religious belief None None
Political opinion 

None

None
Racial group 

None

None

Age

None

None
Marital status

None

None
Sexual orientation None None
Men and women generally  None None
Disability

Positive impact. Groups and individuals meeting the criteria related to life-threatening or chronic illness can apply to receive a non-monetary donation, free or discounted visit to the zoo. 

None

 Dependants None None

9.  Are there opportunities to better promote equality of opportunity for people within the Section 75 equality categories?

Section 75 category If 'yes', provide details If 'no', provide reasons
Religious belief This is not applicable

This is not applicable

Political opinion  This is not applicable

This is not applicable

Racial group  This is not applicable

This is not applicable

Age This is not applicable

This is not applicable

Marital status This is not applicable

This is not applicable

Sexual orientation This is not applicable

This is not applicable

Men and women generally  This is not applicable

This is not applicable

Disability Free admission for carers remains in place. Zoo recently completed works on a Changing Places facility. Zoo will reinstate annual Dreamnight event when safe to do this.

This not applicable

 Dependants This is not applicable

This is not applicable


10. To what extent is the policy likely to impact (positive or negatively) on good relations between people of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group? What is the level of impact? 

Good relations category Likely impact Level of impact
Religious belief

This is not applicable

None
Political opinion  This is not applicable None
Racial group This is not applicable None

11.  Are there opportunities to better promote good relations between people of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group?  

Good relations category If 'yes', provide details If 'no', provide details
Religious belief Belfast Zoo is considered a ‘safe place’ for people of all religious beliefs to visit.  This is not applicable
Political opinion 

Belfast Zoo is considered a ‘safe place’ for people of all political opinions to visit.

This is not applicable
Racial group 

Belfast Zoo is considered a ‘safe place’ for people from all racial groups to visit.

This is not applicable

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Section C

Belfast City Council also has legislative obligations to meet under the Disability Discrimination Order. Questions 12 and 13 relate to these areas.

Consideration of Disability Duties

12. Does this proposed policy or decision provide an opportunity for the council to better promote positive attitudes towards disabled people?

Explain your assessment in full

The introduction of a new policy provides a benefit to groups and individuals with life-threatening or chronic illness. The provision of this benefit can be seen as promoting a positive attitude towards disabled people.  


13. Does this proposed policy or decision provide an opportunity to actively increase the participation by disabled people in public life?

Explain your assessment in full

The introduction of a new policy provides a benefit to groups and individuals with life-threatening or chronic illness. The groups and individuals may be more encouraged to visit the zoo and therefore actively increase participation in public life.  


14. Multiple identities

Provide details of data on the impact of the policy with multiple identities

This is not applicable.


15. Monitoring arrangements

Section 75 places a requirement the council to have equality monitoring arrangements in place:

  • to assess the impact of policies and services
  • to help identify barriers to fair participation
  • to better promote equality of opportunity
Outline what data you will collect in the future to monitor the impact of this policy or decision on equality, good relations and disability duties.
Equality Good Relations Disability Duties

Analysis of charity requests statistics

Analysis of charity requests statistics Analysis of charity requests statistics
Customer feedback including complaints and comments cards Customer feedback including complaints and comments cards Customer feedback including complaints and comments cards
Annual customer survey Annual customer survey Annual customer survey
Visitor and income figures Visitor and income figures Visitor and income figures

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Section D

Formal record of screening decision

Title of proposed policy or decision being screened

Belfast Zoo Charity Requests process

I can confirm that the proposed policy or decision has been screened for:

  • equality of opportunity and good relations
  • disability duties
On the basis of the answers to the screening questions, I recommend that this policy or decision is
Screened in 
It is necessary to conduct an equality impact assessment
Not applicable

Screened out
It is not necessary to conduct an equality impact assessment (no impacts)

Yes
Provide a brief note to explain how this decision was reached.

Screened out
Mitigating actions (minor impacts)

  • Provide a brief note to explain how this decision was reached
  • Explain what mitigating actions or policy changes will now be introduced.

The proposed process will have a minor positive impact on a small amount of zoo visitors including groups and individuals with life-threatening or chronic illnesses. The process will be effectively communicated using the zoo’s communication methods.

The process will be monitored and reviewed. 


Screening assessment completed by

Name:     Ashleigh Fox

Date:      21 March 2021

Department : C&NS, Belfast Zoo


Screening decision approved by

Name: J Wilson

Date: 7 September 2021

Department:   

Please save the Word final version of the completed screening form and email to the Equality and Diversity Officer: equality@belfastcity.gov.uk  A link to this screening form will be provided to the council's Section 75 consultee.

For more information about equality screening, contact:

Lorraine Dennis or Lisa McKee
Equality and Diversity Unit
Belfast City Council
Belfast City Hall
Belfast
BT1 5GS
Telephone:  028 9027 0511
Email: equality@belfastcity.gov.uk

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Footnotes

(1) Equality Commission for Northern Ireland (link opens in new window)

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