Councils told to improve record on race quality


Local authorities still have a long way to go in terms of race
equality and must start showing improvements within the next year,
according to the Commission for Racial Equality, writes
Sally Gillen.

The warning was issued by Brian Colman, the CRE’s health and
social care strategy adviser, who told the Community Care Live
conference despite slight improvement within social care it was
fragmented and needed to become more consistent.

He said that despite the introduction of the Race Relations
Amendment Act 2000 in May 2002, which places a duty on public
sector organisations to promote equality, there was so far little
evidence of its impact.

Under the act, every public sector body was required to produce
a race equality scheme outlining how it would eliminate
institutionalised racism in its policies.

But he added that, although it was reasonable to expect that in
the first year councils put together their schemes they would be
concerned with establishing structures to achieve the aims, but
within the next year or two there should be evidence of some

“They now need to be moving to bring about tangible
improvements, which show they have moved from paper compliance to
showing evidence of real outcomes,” said Colman.

Next month the CRE will publish a survey showing how far
councils have come in implementing the Race Equality Scheme. A
bi-annual report by the Social Services Inspectorate recently
released showed that 91 per cent of authorities had produced a

“That might sound good, but we need to ask why the other 9 per
cent haven’t done the work,” said Colman, adding that the
commission would use its legal powers to take action against
organisations that were not meeting their duties under the act.

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