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Public sector equality duty

We set out an equality and diversity vision and strategy in April 2010, which enabled us to respond to the initial implementation of the Equality Act 2010.

Since then, changes to the council – particularly responses to the financial climate and organisational restructure designed to enable the council to work differently with the people we serve - have prompted a review of the strategic equality objectives and supporting action plan.

Our equality and diversity vision remains as follows:

  • Swindon will be a place which protects and promotes equality and diversity through opportunity, access and fair treatment, whilst understanding and reducing the costs of inequality for the borough’s diverse population
  • Swindon will be an equal society which recognises and respects people’s different needs, situations and goals, establishing real freedom by removing the barriers that limit what people can do and can be

The Equality Act 2010 established a general duty that we are obliged to demonstrate. This duty means that, in the exercise of our functions, we must have due regard to the need to:

  • eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act
  • advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not
  • foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not

We are also required to identify equality objectives and publish the equality information which we use to form the basis of decision making and show how we are meeting the duty.

The areas or groups where we are required to apply these duties include: 

  • age (young or old)
  • race (including nationality and ethnicity)
  • sex
  • disability
  • gender identity
  • religion or belief (or not having a religion)
  • sexual orientation (including lesbian, gay, bisexual or heterosexual identity)
  • marital or civil partnership status
  • pregnancy or maternity.

Our objectives

The objectives we have set to deliver the council’s vision and the public sector equality duty are:

  • Equality data - our policy, strategy, plans, commissioning and service delivery are informed by and take account of appropriate evidence based equality data and information
  • Workforce - we ensure our employment and recruitment processes promote fairness and equality for all
  • Community engagement - we work with local people to ensure that diverse communities within Swindon are included in a fair and equitable way in all of our work, services and development
  • Analysing the equality impact - we robustly analyse the equality impact of our decisions and service developments to ensure that all new strategic developments will support the delivery of our equality vision and statutory duties

Equality information

You can find background information about the Equality Act 2010 on the GOV.UK website, including a useful summary:

Our equality and diversity publications: 

The Equality and Human Rights Commission website offers a useful glossary of equality and diversity terms. You can find it in the appendix of their guide to the public sector equality duty:

The following websites also offer useful information:

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