County to target racial equality issues

RACE equality measures are to be the subject of an action plan by various Suffolk services.Fire service, libraries, some education sectors and parts of social services will be the first Suffolk County Council Departments to be targetted by the scheme.

RACE equality measures are to be the subject of an action plan by various Suffolk services.

Fire service, libraries, some education sectors and parts of social services will be the first Suffolk County Council Departments to be targetted by the scheme.

An action plan for the next three years is due to be discussed by the county's Scrutiny Committee for Access and Community Involvement today .

A report to the committee reveals that the black and minority ethnic people make up just 1.67 per cent of county employees, although according to the 1991 census figures 2.2pc of the county's population are from black and minority ethnic communities.


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The report acknowledges that a high proportion of those employees are in low salary occupations, particularly in caretaking and cleaning, and there are no senior managers.

A particular problem has been noted in the fire service, which has just one full time and two retained firefighters from the black/minority ethnic community.

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The action plan has been devised to comply with new Government legislation following the Stephen Lawrence inquiry report.

The Race Relations Amendment Act 2000 required local authorities to look again at their approaches to race relations in all areas of activity from recruitment to providing services for the community.

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