Equality and diversity workstream

Membership of the workstream consists of equalities and diversity practitioners from the six SWFRSs. Details of the membership of the workstream can be found here [link].

The workstream works closely with all other workstreams on a coordinated programme of work to help FRSs meet the requirements of the National FRS E&D strategy www.communities.gov.uk/publications/fire/equalitydiversitystrategy. To this aim the workstream will have representation on each of the other workstreams

The National Strategy's vision is to create, by 2018, a Service which can demonstrate that it serves all communities equally to the highest standards, building on a closer and more effective relationship with the public and creating a more diverse workforce which better reflects the diversity of the local working population in each area. The National Strategy requires action by FRAs, supported by Communities and Local Government, the LGA, CFOA and other partners in five priority areas:

• Leadership;
• Accountability;
• Workforce Diversity;
• Service Delivery; and
• Evaluation and Dissemination of Good Practice.

The focus of the workstream's programme of work over the next three years will be to identify and implement a programme of cooperation to help each SWFRAs meet the requirements of the National FRS Equality and Diversity Strategy, including all SWFRAs being assessed as an "achieving authority" or above for the purpose of the FRS version of the Equalities Framework for Local Government by March 2010. Each FRA's progress in meeting the requirements of the Equalities Framework will be assessed by a programme of benchmarking using EJECT software (or in the format provided by EJECT), in project to be funded by SW RIEP. It is expected that new potential areas for cooperation will emerge as a result of the benchmarking programme. To this end the Workstream is developing a regional equality and diversity strategy.

Copies of Workstream papers can be found here.