Select Committee report on localism and Government response

The House of Commons logo.

On 9 June 2011, the parliamentary Select Committe on Communities and Local Government published its report on localism, including measures in the Localism Bill.

The report states:

  • The Government has not produced a compelling vision of what its imagined localist future will look like and the functions and responsibilities of the players within it. Greater clarity and certainty is needed.
  • Localism should not be adopted purely as a way to achieve reductions in public sector costs, for it is unclear whether it will be able to deliver this in the short term.
  • There is not universal support for the idea that central government should retreat entirely from local affairs, allowing accountability to local people to replace performance monitoring from the centre. In particular, organisations representing vulnerable, marginalised or minority groups argue that these sections of the community need protection that cannot be provided by the current mechanisms of local democratic accountability.

Click here for link to report

On 23 September, the Government published its formal response to the recommendations and conclusions set out in the House of Commons Communities and Local Government Select Committee report on localism.

Click here for link to Government response

Scottish Government Equality Statement

The Scottish Government logo

In September 2011, the Scottish Government published the ‘Equality Statement: Scottish Spending Review 2011 and Draft Budget 2012-13’.

The document provides information on how spending contributes to improving equality outcomes and how the Scottish Government has considered the potential impacts of its spending plans on those groups of people whose lives are affected by discrimination and inequality.

Click here for Equality Statement (pdf)

Click here for Scottish Government website

Anti Racism Commission launches guidelines for governments to combat anti-Gypsyism

On 19 September 2011, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) issued guidelines to the Council of Europe’s 47 member countries to fight a rising tide of anti-Gypsyism and discrimination against Roma.

The guidelines – contained in the its thirteenth General Policy Recommendation – call for action to stop the segregation of Roma children at schools and integrate them with pupils from the majority population, to provide access to decent housing that is not segregated, to ensure that Roma are not evicted without notice or opportunity for rehousing, and for steps to be taken to legalise long-standing Roma sites built in breach of town planning regulations

It calls for Roma to have secure access to quality health care and for segregation in hospitals to end, and says discrimination in the health sector must be prosecuted and punished. There should be no obstacles to Roma exercising traditional trades, and Roma should be consulted to find alternatives, for instance through micro-loans or tax breaks. All Roma children should be registered at birth and given identity documents.

Governments should encourage Roma victims of violence and crime – including misconduct by the police – to lodge complaints, and the media should avoid inflammatory reporting.

The guidelines also urge equal provision in public services such as water, sanitation, electricity, refuse removal and transport for Roma communities concentrated in certain neighbourhoods. It asks governments to ensure freedom of movement legislation does not discriminate against the Roma and that their culture is protected and promoted amongst the majority population.

Click here for further information

Click here for guidelines (pdf)

DWP report on employers’ recruitment behaviour

In September 2011, the Department for Work and Pensions published ‘A qualitative study exploring employers’ recruitment behaviour and decisions: small and medium enterprises’ by Jacqueline Davidson. 

The overall aim of the study on which the report is based was to explore the factors which influence the decision-making processes in SMEs’ employment recruitment decisions, and relate these to the recruitment of disabled workers.

Click here for report (pdf)