Local Government Finance: Can Equality Impact Assessments Make a Difference?

Event Date: Friday 30th April 2021

Local Government Finance – Can Equality Impact Assessments Make a Difference?

Local government is responsible for most of the public services we use day to day. Over the last ten years local authorities have lost 50% of their funding from central government. These cuts have hit women hardest as they are more likely to work for local government, more likely to need local services, and more likely to have to increase their unpaid work when services are cut.

In this webinar we discuss a new briefing by Dr Olumide Adisa and Fiona Costello (University of Suffolk), which looks at the role and importance of Equality Impact Assessments in local government budgeting and policy making.

Speakers: Dr Olumide Adisa (University of Suffolk) Fiona Costello (University of Suffolk) Councillor Kalwinder Sandhu (Coventry City Council) Emily Bell (UK Women’s Budget Group)

Chair: Heather Wakefield (Visiting Fellow at Greenwich University and previously Head of Local Government at UNISON)

The briefing shows that:

 The majority of local authorities are not routinely undertaking equality impact assessments in assessing the policy impacts of budgeting processes

 There is a lack of conformity across England in terms of how equality impact assessments of budgetary decisions are made, which has implications for achieving equality objectives

 EIAs can be a useful measure of how public bodies, including local authorities are meeting their obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty contained in the 2010 Equality Act

 The tendency to approach equality impact assessments as ‘tick-box’ exercises means that opportunities for promoting equality are missed

 When done well, equality impact assessments have the potential to bring equality to the forefront of the debate and can enable action approaches for identifying and tackling multiple sources of inequalities

 Cultural change is required to ensure that local authorities understand the value of equality impact assessments and implement these in a meaningful and robust way

You can watch a recording of the event here.