An Equality Impact Assessment was conducted on all 131 savings proposals of which 17 were considered as being ‘significant’ and ‘relevant’ to equality. Similar decisions have been brought together to produce 13 indepth assessments.
- In five (5) green areas, savings continue, as there is a potential to improve the advancement equality of opportunity.
- In seven (7) greenamber areas, adjustments have been/are made to remove barriers or better promote equality. Adjustments are identified below.
- In one (1) amber area, to continue despite having identified some potential for an adverse impact or a possible missed opportunity to promote equality. In this case, the justification is included in the EqIA and is in line with the duty to have ‘due regard’. Consideration has been made to whether there are sufficient plans to reduce the negative impact and to monitor the actual impact.
- There are no (0) red areas, it is recommended that savings not continue, as there is a potential for unlawful discrimination.
Impact and pressures
Budget pressures are the extra spending challenges, contained in the budget, many of which will ensure that the council meets the needs of vulnerable people. Of the 45 pressures, 27 pressures will advance equality of opportunity. These include:
- increases in reablement activity, which is designed to help a people restore their independence and do as much as they can for themselves, rather than someone doing things for them, in particular those affected by service changes to residential placements and homecare measures
- measures to meet increases in demand due to sizeable changes in demography, so that the Council has to ensure that services are based on statutory eligible needs and that people’s needs are regularly reviewed
- activities that meet the needs of the most vulnerable people with disabilities, children and older people
Overall, the impact in 2016/17 may seem to fall slightly more heavily on older people, however, in the last four years this group has been proportionately more protected and put together pressures and savings show a redirection in support for older people, based on eligible needs and reablement. Moreover, the Council is faced with challenging increases in demand in areas such as fostering and homelessness, which will make a focus on its primary duties essential.
Publisher: Milton Keynes Council
Date: February 2016