Tuesday, December 14, 2010

""EqIAs are at the heart of policy and decision making"

Well, Councillor Vidhi Mohan clearly states that Equality Impact Assessments are not going to be an 'afterthought' but at the centre of evidence based decision making. Its time to hold our collective breath.

I followed up with a supplementary question at the full council meeting on December 6th from the public gallery. I asked him about youth clubs given closing Timebridge is hardly going to enhance equality:

"Does the Council think its fair that young persons, youth workers, and support staff will be affected by the £1.5m in cuts in youth services given they had absolutely nothing to do with the financial deficit?"

He answered by saying firstly my supplementary had nothing to do with the original question. To which I shouted back "Yes it does." Then he mumbled something in audible amongst the low level noise. I asked local democracy guru, John Cartwright, via email if he heard the content of Councillor Mohan's reply:

"Unfortunately the acoustics in the council chamber are fairly bad most of the time, so its easy to lose track of what people are saying (especially if lots of councillors are shouting over each other at the same time) if one is not concentrating hard."

It does give the councillors an easy get out if they can hide behind the normal humdrum of a full council meeting. I did ask the council officers if his response was recorded but they replied, "No."
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