March 2009    Issue 26

In conjunction with Voice4Change England, ROTA have formed the ‘Winning the Race’ Coalition of third Sector organisations to influence the seminal Single Equality Bill. Within weeks the Coalition has gained great support from across the equalities sector and we are hopeful that we will get a meeting with Ministers to discuss our concerns with the Bill. The HEAR ‘Working For Equalities 2009’ event was a huge success with over 100 delegates attending and giving positive feedback.

February 24th marked the 10th Anniversary of the Macpherson Inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence. Mother of Stephen, Doreen Lawrence spoke at an event organised by the Nation Police Improvement Agency alongside the Home Secretary to assess how much progress has been made since the Inquiry, Mrs Lawrence in her opening address to the conference, Mrs Lawrence said she feared that the issue of racial equality in many walks of public life had become “watered down”. She added: “We are in danger of becoming complacent by lingering over the successes and forgetting the obstacles that we still must overcome.” ROTA will be publishing a special edition of Agenda on the Stephen Lawrence inquiry and will be holding events on policy in this area later in the year.

Last month ROTA responded to the BIG Lottery Fund Consultation on the strategic framework for 2009 onwards, the Mayor’s Equality Framework and the Equality and Human Rights Commission Grants Programme consultation, and the London Development Agency Investment Strategy, all of which can be found on ROTA delivered it’s Hate Crime Training which received hugely positive feedback and will be holding another session on March 4th. To book contact for details or see the ROTA website

In this issue:
01 Equality and Human Rights
02 Crime and Anti-social behaviour
03 Community Empowerment and Cohesion
04 MiNet and London Policy News
05 BAME Third Sector Policy News


1. Equality and Ruman Rights

‘Winning the Race’ Coalition to lobby over the Single Equalities Bill

ROTA is asking for your support in joining a Coalition to influence the Single Equality Bill, monitor developments relating to it and ensure the right support is made available to the Third Sector around it.

There are four main areas of the Bill that are of concern. These are enforcement, remedying discrimination in the private sector, positive action and the public sector duty While at this late stage it is not possible to amend the Bill, the Coalition is hoping to influence the wording. The Coalition’s request for a meeting with Rt. Hon. H. Harman about the Bill is currently being negotiated. To find out more see the relevant two attachments, visit or contact Dr Theo Gavrielides ( or Pavan Dhaliwal ( on 020 7729 1310.

Equality and Human Rights Commission Strategic Plan Consultation

The final phase of the EHRC’s consultation on its Strategic Plan has opened. Both ROTA and HEAR will be responding to the EHRC Phase 2 of its Strategic Plan consultation. ROTA and HEAR’s responses to the first phase can be viewed on In addition to a number of consultation events, EHRC are hosting a further period of online consultation. The online consultation can be found at and runs until 15th March 2009.

Comprehensive Area Assessment Guidelines

The National audit commission have released the CAA framework document which has now been published, and will be a must read for everyone responsible for delivering local public services. ROTA understood that the new joint Inspectorates’ flagship process would be based upon ensuring that agencies understand their local community needs. If properly implemented, this will have a profound impact on Councils and other public agencies such as the NHS, requiring them not just to raise their public engagement game but also to be able demonstrate the impact it has. Full details of the framework document can be found by clicking here

Inequalities: Research Publications by Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC)

The EHRC have published a number of key reports covering various areas illustrating concisely the inequalities faced by ethnic and other equality groups. The reports bring a focus onto areas of earnings, mobility and pensions for minority groups. Findings from the research into educational inequalities identify how education protects minority groups against disadvantage however they still fail to achieve the returns that would otherwise be expected from education. It was also made clear that men from some minority groups experience high rates of job refusals and promotion blockages whilst women report greater levels of unfavourable treatment. To access these reports visit

2. Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour

ROTA’s Free Hate Crime Training on Restorative Justice and Multi-Agency, Cross Sector Partnerships

ROTA is advertising training places for hate crime training sessions for March 4th. The training draws attention to the dynamics of hate crime, the role of mediation and the value of multi-agency cross-sector partnerships.

The training is aimed at those working with groups which are highly victimised in areas such as; Conflict resolution; Domestic Violence and Sex offenders; Housing disputes; Education; Work disputes; Criminal Justice agencies and Safer Neighbourhood Teams; and Hate Crime coordinators with little or no understanding of restorative justice/mediation.

If you have any queries or if you would like to book a place, please contact Pavan Dhaliwal on 020 7729 1310 or email

Effective Commissioning to Reduce Reoffending

ROTA contributed to the 'What Works in Local Commissioning - a 360º perspective ' which is the latest Clinks publication featuring a collection of case studies of services for offenders covering homelessness, unemployment (specific focus on BAME services), substance misuse, and dual diagnosis. Each service is examined from a commissioner, provider, and user perspective. Key issues and recommendations are identified in the report, which can be downloaded at For details on the ROTA case study report please contact

BAME & Foreign National Offenders & Mental Health

The Department of Health and the Health and Social Care in the Criminal Justice programme are hosting their 3rd standing conference on BME and Foreign National offenders and mental health. The conference will explore who these groups are, where they and their needs. Speakers on the day to include Beverly Thompson, Head of the Race and Equality Action Group. For further details contact

Runnymede Review- The Stephen Lawrence Inquiry 10 Years On

The Runnymede Trust has published a report charting the progress of key agencies in meeting the recommendations of the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry. The report argues that while there have been developments in some areas of the criminal justice system, Black and minority ethnic communities continue to experience disadvantage both within and at the hands of the police service. To see the report visit ROTA will also be doing work on the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry report and the progress that has been made over the past ten years and areas which still need to be addressed. We will be producing a special edition of Agenda and also holding events looking at particular areas such as hate crime.

3. Community Empowerment and Cohesion

Runnymede Forgotten Communities – Below the Radar

On the 10th February Runnymede Trust presented their latest reports on what they consider to be five ‘hidden’ communities in Britain: Nepalese, Moroccan, Thai, South African and Romanian and South African. The reports which discuss the communities’ integration and specific relation with civil society into the UK have also allowed for community organisations to learn from the successes of one another. The reports highlight how the needs of less visible communities should be responded with particular relation to racism, domestic violence, discrimination and exploitation. For more information on thee reports visit

Department for Communities and Local Government Announces New plans for tackling Race Inequality

The Department for Communities and Local Government have announced national consultation on improving opportunities for BAME communities. The third and final report on the Government's race equality strategy, Improving Opportunity, Strengthening Society shows that further progress depends on recognising that different ethnic groups are experiencing disadvantage in different ways. ROTA will provide an analysis of the document in the near future. The Government is consulting on how best to move away from a 'one size fits all' approach to targeted help addressing the different needs of particular groups. The consultation states that it will also take account of the additional challenge posed by the economic downturn. ROTA will provide further information on the national consultations once details have been released. For the full reports click on

4. MiNet and London Policy News

Mayor’s Equality for All Framework: Equal Life Chances for All

ROTA responded to the Mayor’s equality framework which was for public consultation until the 20th February. ROTA encouraged other equalities organisations to also take part in the process. The framework is set to influence all the ‘key policies and processes that the GLA has for delivering equal life chances for all’ and will be significant for cross equalities issues. To see the ROTA response visit the website or contact

London Development Agency Consultation Investment Strategy 2009-13

ROTA provided a response to the LDA consultation on their Investment Strategy running from 2009 to 2013, which will be considered as part of the redrafting process of the Investment Strategy. The final strategy document will be published by April 2009. See ROTA website for our response or contact

Call For Evidence - The Impact of the Recession on London’s BAME Third Sector

ROTA and Minet are conducting a survey to document the impact of the current recession on the BAME voluntary and community (VCS) organisations. As localised community groups and organisations that serve the most disadvantaged members of the community, BAME VCS could be feeling the impact of the present recession in different ways that need to be documented and shared with the relevant strategic partners. Solutions and appropriate help need to be identified.

This is your chance to make your voice heard as to how the recession is impacting on your service provisions or on your ability to deliver services to your respective BAME groups. These could include cutting down on your staff, problems with premises, increased demand on your services etc. Visit to partake in the questionnaire or contact

BAME Sub-Regional Networks Update

Over the next month MiNet will be carrying out a short policy briefing to bring information on the current position of the BAME sub-regional networks up to date. The briefing will look at the current structures of the networks in each sub-region, how they have managed their interaction with mainstream networks and the difficulties they have and continue to face. If you have an involvement with the BAME sub-regional networks and would like to offer your opinion which may form a role in devising the outcomes for the next two years of MiNet, please contact

Recruitment of new Advisory Group and Chair for MiNet

Current funding arrangements are coming to an end and MiNet is now in the process of recruiting a new Advisory Group and Chair. This is a good opportunity for individuals who are committed to voicing the interests and concerns of the communities they are in place to represent. Therefore MiNet is inviting applications from individuals, organisations and networks specialising in London focused BAME second tier services. Forum members will be expected to commit to attend quarterly meetings and comply with conditions of the job description. For further information please contact

NHS Healthcare for London Patient and Public Advisory Group

The NHS’s Healthcare for London is currently recruiting members to its Patient and Public Advisory Group. Healthcare for London is a ten year plan aimed at ‘making better health and healthcare a reality for everyone’ in London and the role of the group is to advise on priorities and issues for London. Individuals have already been recruited to the group and they are now recruiting organisations. They are particularly interested in receiving applications from organisations working on behalf of children and young people; homeless people; disabled people; refugees and asylum seekers; single parents; travelers’; immigrant populations; carers; substance misuses’; prisoners and young offenders; and maternity organisations. For further information on requirements and applications please visit

The Department for Children Schools and Families is running a consultation on Young People and Alcohol Guidance and is seeking responses from organisations who currently work with young people or health, children’s services and education. Given the focus the government has placed on alcohol related crimes and work already completed by the Department for Health and the Home Office on alcohol consumption it is significant that the DCSF are putting concerns within an educational setting and can potentially take a preventative approach. Health inequalities are a continuing concern for BAME communities and it is crucial for specialists perspectives on alcohol use are fed into the consultation process. For more details on the consultation please visit click HERE. Deadline for submissions is 23rd April.

5. BAME Third Sector Policy News

Lobby your MP to get recognition of the BAME Third Sector’s contribution

Voice4Change England has launched a campaign to increase the recognition of the positive contribution made by the BAME Third Sector in bonding communities and promoting equality. The “Valuing the BAME Third Sector campaign” aims to increase political support amongst MPs for adequate and equitable resourcing of the Sector to bring better outcomes for BAME communities.

V4CE needs the support of frontline groups in educating MPs about the issues facing the Sector, and is urging individuals and organisations to contact their local MP to ask them to sign the early day motion. In addition, V4CE is encouraging frontline groups to invite their MP to visit and meet with staff and beneficiaries of the service. Further information about how you can participate in the campaign is available form Martin Ball on 020-7843 6131 or

Grassroots Grants Scheme

More organisations will be able to apply for funding from the Government's £130m Grassroots Grants scheme as voluntary organisations with annual incomes of up to £30,000 would now be eligible to bid for grants of between £250 and £5,000 to fund community activities. Only charities with annual incomes of up to £20,000 could apply before now. Grassroots Grants is a three-year programme funded by the Office of the Third Sector and delivered by the Community Development Foundation.

£1m funding package for third sector recession proofing measures

Further to the Government’s announcement of its £42.5m action plan, ‘Real Help for Communities: Volunteers, Charities and Social Enterprises’, Capacitybuilders has announced details of £1m of investment to be distributed to local support organisations as an immediate response to address the impacts of the recession. This cash injection will enable organisations to gear up to support frontline organisations to build resilience, ensure the third sector is represented in local partnerships responding to recession and up-skill development workers and advisors so that they can respond to the changing needs of frontline organisations. In addition, £300k has also been allocated to additional national projects put forward by the national support service workstreams. To find out about more this announcements and the work that will be funded, please visit

Voice4Change Paper on the BAME Code and future of the Compact

Voice4Change England’s final paper on the BME Code and future of the Compact has been submitted to the Commission for the Compact and Compact Voice. To find out more about this paper please go to

Big Lottery Consultation

ROTA have responding to the Big Lottery Fund (BIG)'s consultation on its future funding priorities. We encouraged all London's voluntary and community sector (VCS) groups to respond to the consultation to ensure that BIG continues to guarantee at least 60-70% of its funding goes to the VCS after 2012. For more details. The ROTA consultation response can be found on the website

The London Regional Consortium Responds to Big Lottery Fund’s Consultation

According to the Consortium's response "the LRC believes that BIG should at the minimum extend its undertaking to the voluntary and community sector beyond 2012. Furthermore, it believes that at a time when the sector faces great uncertainty within the overall global financial crisis, BIG should consider increasing the percentage allocated". ROTA is a core member of the LRC and the accountable body of one of its sub-groups, HEAR. We are very pleased with this statement which we have also included in our own consultation to BIG. For more information contact

Youth Event on Community Empowerment in London

The London Empowerment Partnership (LEP) with Independent Academic Research Studies and other partners delivered a successful regional event on youth empowerment and youth engagement particularly in relation to structures such as Local Strategic Partnerships and Local Area Agreements. The event held youth led workshops and was chaired by Carlene Firmin of ROTA. The event concluded with 5 key recommendations that will be taken up by the LEP which has a 3 year life span.