Equality & Diversity

West Somerset Council values diversity and is committed to promoting equality of opportunity and improving the quality of life for everyone, regardless of their background or personal circumstances.

The Equalities Act 2010:  What is it?

The Equality Act seeks to ensure that people are not discriminated against because of certain characteristics. These are known as protected characteristics and there are nine of these in total:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Sex
  • Gender reassignment
  • Marriage and civil partnership
  • Pregnancy and maternity
  • Race
  • Religion or Belief
  • Sexual Orientation

Further information about the Equality Act can be found on the Equality and Human Rights Commission and Home Office external websites.

The Equalities Act 2010:  What does it mean for the Council?

The Equality Act introduced a new Public Sector Equality Duty. This new Duty places two specific requirements on the Council:

  • To publish information annually to show that it complies with the new Equality Duty
  • To prepare and publish equality objectives every four years
Publishing Equalities Information
  1. We publish our Equality Impact Assessments. These demonstrate that we consider the impact that changes to our services may have on our customers or employees, including those with protected characteristics.
  2. We publish a Workforce Equalities Report which includes information about the make - up of our workforce. We also have internal procedures for addressing equalities issues, such as our Employment Equality policy. This shows that we consider how our activities affect employees with different protected characteristics.
  3. We have provided a link to Somerset Intelligence (external website).  This site provides further information for West Somerset residents and informs us of the impact that our services have on different sections of the community.
Corporate Equality Objectives 2016-2019

The Corporate Equality Objectives 2016 - 2019 sets the council’s aims on how to meet its statutory duties with regard to the Equality Act 2010 and the public sector equality duty 2011 toward its service users, members and employees; and to promote equality and eliminate all forms of direct and indirect discrimination.  We are required to update our equality objectives every four years.  The following four objectives were agreed by Cabinet:

Objective 1: Councillors will fully consider the equality implications of all
decisions they make.
Objective 2: Those with protected characteristics feel empowered to
contribute to the democratic process that affects them; their input will be used
in the planning and delivery of services.
Objective 3: Those with protected characteristics are able to access services
in a cost effective and appropriate way.
Objective 4: Actions are taken to identify and reduce any inequalities faced
by employees.

For further information:

West Somerset Council
West Somerset House
Killick Way

Email: community@westsomerset.gov.uk