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Equality and diversity

Summary of Equality Scheme

Approved on 11 March 2021


Section 75

Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 (the Act) requires Belfast City Council to comply with two statutory duties:

Section 75 (1)
In carrying out our functions relating to Northern Ireland we are required to have due regard to the need to promote equality of opportunity between:

  • persons of different religious belief, political opinion, racial group, age, marital status or sexual orientation
  • men and women generally
  • persons with a disability and persons without
  • persons with dependants and persons without

Section 75 (2)

In addition, without prejudice to the obligations above, in carrying out our functions in relation to Northern Ireland we are required to have regard to the desirability of promoting good relations between persons of different religious belief, political opinion or racial group.

Our Equality Scheme, approved by the Equality Commission in March 2015 sets out how we propose to fulfil the duties imposed by Section 75 and Schedule 9 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998. Belfast City Council is committed to the fulfilment of Equality Legislation and Section 75 Obligations. Our Equality Scheme includes these undertakings:

Ensuring compliance with section 75 duties

These arrangements will include:

  • regular monitoring of progress in implementing the scheme
  • integration of objectives and targets relating to statutory duties into corporate and operational planning
  • training all staff and elected members on the implementation of the scheme
  • preparation and submission of annual report to the Equality Commission

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How we consult

We will consult on our equality scheme, action measures, equality impact assessments and other matters relevant to the Section 75 statutory duties.

We are committed to carrying out consultation in accordance with the following principles (as contained in the Equality Commission’s guidance “Section 75 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 – A Guide for Public Authorities (April 2010)".

We will carry out our consultation in a timely, open and inclusive way. Consideration will be given to such issues as accessibility, timing, location, and special requirements for example alternative formats and interpreters.

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How we assess, monitor and publish the impact of our policies

We will screen all policies in accordance with the Equality Commission guidance. The purpose of screening is to identify those policies that are likely to have an impact on equality of opportunity or good relations.

If screening has identified that an equality impact assessment is necessary, we will carry out the EQIA in accordance with Equality Commission guidance. 

All screening reports and EQIA are available. You can contact us by email to ask for our screening reports and EQIAs.

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Staff training

We will ensure that all elected councillors and staff are made aware of and understands the content of the Equality Scheme. This summary will be disseminated to all staff.

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Public access to information and services

We are committed to effective communication with the public and will ensure everyone has full access to and understanding of council information in a format that is appropriate to them.

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Timetable for measures we propose in this equality scheme

The full version of the Equality Scheme outlines our timetable for all measures proposed to meet our equality obligations. The measures outlined in this timetable will be incorporated into our business planning processes.

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If you think we have not followed our approved equality scheme and want to complain, you should contact:

Equality and Diversity Officer
Legal and Civic Services
Belfast City Council
City Hall


Telephone:028 9027 0511
Freephone: 0800 0855 412
Textphone: 18001 028 9027 0405

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Equality scheme in other formats

Our equality scheme is available in alternative formats such as Easy Read, Braille, large print, audio formats (CD, mp3, DAISY) and in other languages to meet the needs of those not fluent in English.

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Review of our equality scheme

We will review how effective the scheme has been in meeting our equality obligations. A report of this review is available to the public.

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