November 2009    Issue 34


Welcome to the November edition of ROTA's newsletter!

Welcome to the November edition of the ROTA E-newsletter. ROTA has completed a number of consultation responses and briefings over the past month, making submissions to the Department of Health, Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Compact amongst others.

ROTA also held an event to celebrate Ten Years of work in London to address hate crime in and launched our new publication Policy and Race. See below for more details.

The Female Voice in Violence (FVV) programme continues to engage holding closed meetings with Pan-London representatives and local stakeholders over the past month. FVV has also been invited to sit on the Women's National Commission (WNC) Violence Against Women Working Group.

The work of the Winning the Race Coalition continues with the coalition submitting a response to the Trade Union Congress position paper on Union Equality representatives to the Government Equalities Office. See for full details on the Coalition work.

ROTA would like to welcome our new Communications Officer Liz Carr to our organisation.

In this issue:
National Policy News
01 Equality and Human Rights Policy
02 Criminal Justice Policy
03 Health Inequalities
04 Education and Young People
05 Other National Policy News
London Policy News
01 MiNet updates
02 Other London Policy News


ROTA launches its new Policy & Race Journal

Last month ROTA launched Policy & Race, our new interdisciplinary journal for policy makers, scholars, practitioners and activists with an interest in race equality, equality and policy making. Each issue of Policy & Race focuses on a specific area that is important for current policy making and practice and aims to inform, influence and challenge those working within the field of equality. The first two issues explored transformative justice and the Single Equality Bill.

This new journal was published alongside the latest issue of Agenda, ROTA’s bi-annual magazine, which covers a range of current issues affecting Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities. Sections of Agenda and Policy & Race are available on the publications pages of ROTA’s website. For more information contact Liz Carr on or contact ROTA on 020 7902 1177.

National Policy News

1. Equality and Human Rights Policy

Wining the Race Coalition Update

ROTA responds to TUC Equality Representatives position paper

ROTA have submitted a position paper to the Government Equalities Office on the Trade Union Congress (TUC) proposed amendment to the Single Equality Bill. The amendment is to give union equality representatives in Great Britain the same rights to paid time off for training and to carry out their duties as those enjoyed by shop stewards and other union representatives.

Equality and Human Rights Commission publishes guidance on equality and cohesion

The EHRC have published guidance on cohesion and single group funding. This is intended to help clarify the issue after the Commission on Integration and Cohesion (COIC) and the Southall Black Sisters case. ROTA has been following the impact on the BAME third sector after the publication of the Cohesion Guidance For Funders from the Dept Communities and Local Government and will be responding to the publication of the EHRC guidance. This report can be accessed at  

BNP to change constitution and membership criteria

The BNP has agreed to change its constitution and membership criteria to end the restriction that only those from ‘indigenous Caucasian’ ethnic origin could be members.  The EHRC had started County Court Proceedings on the 24th August 2009 following BNP refusals to change their constitution in response to written requests from the EHRC that their membership criterion was illegal.

At Central London Count Court on the 15th October the BNP has agreed to use all reasonable endeavours to revise its constitution so that it does not discriminate, either directly or indirectly on any 'protected characteristic' - for example on the grounds of race, ethnic or religious status - as defined in clause 4 of the Equality Bill.  The EHRC agreed to adjourn the case. Nick Griffin the Party Chairman has also agreed to close the membership until the new constitution takes effect.  The case will be reheard on the 28th January 2010.  The EHRC has stated that it will be monitoring the BNP to ensure compliance with this court order.

Celebrating two years of the Equality and Human Rights Commission

In October the Equality and Human Rights Commission celebrated its second anniversary with a report on its work so far, 'Two Years Making Changes'. The report illustrates the work that the EHRC has done over the past two years and also contains facts and figures about their outputs including the number of enforcement actions taken and the number of people who have contacted them through their helpline. To download the full report please visit



2. Criminal Justice Policy

Funding for offender mental health projects

The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation is concerned that many prisoners and ex-offenders in the criminal justice system have mental health needs which need to be addressed to reduce re-offending.  As a result, the Foundation is accepting applications to fund small projects working specifically with prisoners and ex-offenders to improve their mental health and to help their integration into the community. Given the disproportionate number of BAME male and female offenders with mental health needs in the criminal justice system, ROTA would encourage BAME organisations that specialise in this field to apply. Grants given under the programme may be one-off payments towards a capital project, or given over one to three years for running costs for established projects and over four years for new projects. The next deadline for applications is 27th November, for further information please visit:

New Director of Confidence at OCJR

Jon Booth has been appointed as a Director of Confidence at the Office for Criminal Justice Reform (OCJR). His responsibilities will be: confidence in criminal justice; race issues; community engagement and victims & witnesses. For more information on the role of the OCJR please visit

New Members join CPS London Community Involvement Panel

Two new community members, Debbie Brenner and Sahara Dean DeVille, have been appointed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in London’s Community Involvement Panel in a bid, by the CPS, to have the public voice heard. ROTA Chief Executive Dr Theo Gavrielides has been a member since the Panel’s creation. Community Involvement Panels provide a means of bringing community members into the CPS on a regular co-ordinated basis, to discuss and comment on all aspects of CPS business. The panel considers a range of subjects including victim and witness issues, area priorities and equality and diversity issues. The London panel was formed in July 2008 and their annual report of its findings has just been published. To download the report please visit:
20Involvement%20 Panel%20Annual%20Report%202008-09.pdf
. For further information, please call Vicky O’Leary on 0207 796 8041 or email vicky.o’


3. Health Inequalities

ROTA’s response to ‘New Horizons: Towards a shared vision for mental health’

This month ROTA responded to 'New Horizons', Government’s new 10 year strategy that aims to promote good mental health and well-being, whilst improving services for people who have mental health problems. In our response we welcomed New Horizons’ promotion of a cross-governmental, multi-agency approach and it’s focus, not only on developing mental health services, but also on tackling the root causes of poor mental health. We expressed concern that the strategy in this draft form is too vague to adequately address the continued inequalities BAME communities face in accessing suitable mental health services. In our response we urged the Department of Health to seriously consider the findings of the review of ‘Delivering race equality in mental health care: An action plan for reform inside and outside services’ which is due to end next year and to update this plan rather than assimilate it into New Horizons.

Green Paper on Care Systems

The Department for Health has launched its Green Paper to improve National care and support systems. The document highlights challenges faced by current system and proposes the development of a ‘National Care Service that is fair, simple and affordable for everyone’. The department is consulting on its plans until the 13th November 2009 and full details can be found at:


4. Education and Young People

ROTA Response – Funding to services for BAME Children and Young People

ROTA has submitted its final response to the Department for Children Schools and Families (DCSF) Children and Young People’s Grants Programme consultation. ROTA’s response focuses on the funding of BAME services for Children and Young People, and is informed by BAME organisations who took part in ROTA’s Call for Evidence.

BTEG Community Engagement Programme

BTEG are seeking third sector groups to participate, as local partners, in its Community Engagement Programme (CEP). The CEP will enable BTEG to deploy approximately 40 Black male individuals who have volunteered to serve as regional role models. Local programmes of events deemed to be satisfactory to BTEG shall be offered a financial contribution of around £500 towards the direct delivery cost. In addition, all selected local groups will gain access to BTEG's capacity building service. Events must be held by 31st March 2010. For more information please visit

New Education Publications

The Runnymede Trust has recently produced two new education publications. One is a briefing paper entitled: School Governors and Race Equality in 21st Century Schools. The other publication is called 'Them and Us': Race Equality Interventions in Predominantly White Schools - A Runnymede Perspective. For information on either of these please visit


5. Other National Policy News

ROTA produces briefing paper on Commissioning and grants

ROTA has produced a simple briefing that explains the use of contracts and grants by public sector organisations for the BAME third Sector.  It explains what commissioning is, what it is used for and how that effects third sector organisations.  It outlines the benefits of different contracts and grants and gives a description of issues and effects that must be considered by the BAME third sector organisations when receiving a grant or agreeing a contract.

ROTA’s response to the ‘Refreshing the Compact: A framework for partnership working’

ROTA responded to the consultation on ‘Refreshing the Compact: A framework for partnership working’. Established in 1998, the Compact is an agreement between Government and the voluntary and community sector, which recognises shared values, principles and commitments and sets out guidelines for how both parties should work together. Unlike the existing Compact which is accompanied by Code of Good Practice specifically for the BAME third sector, the draft Refreshed Compact is a single document with an equalities chapter subdivided into sections covering each equalities sector in turn. ROTA welcomed the single Compact because it reflects recent developments in the equalities and human rights landscape, including the establishment of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Single Equality Bill and the emergence of pan-equalities organisations at local, sub-regional, regional and national levels. However, ROTA expressed concern about the loss of many of the commitments made in the BME Compact Code. The response argued for more extensive equalities sectors and stronger commitments mirroring the wording of those used in the BAME Compact Code. ROTA’s response also recommended that the Refreshed Compact include more ‘teeth’. While recognising that the Compact is not a legally binding document, as a way of giving the Compact more teeth, ROTA suggested more explicit references to other relevant documents (e.g. public law, EU procurement law, equalities law.

Engaging the BAME Third Sector in Flexible New Deal Scheme

Figures released recently suggest that the third sector will be responsible for approximately £100 million worth of contracts won by Serco under the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) Flexible New Deal Scheme. Similar messages were also released by Working Links, a voluntary sector partnership, who have said they will be setting up 85 agreements, under which voluntary groups would be involved in providing services.  The Flexible New Deal is being introduced to try and ensure there is a stronger framework of rights and responsibilities to move benefit customers from being passive recipients to active jobseekers and devolving and empowering communities for future sustainable employment. There are however many concerns surrounding the introduction of the scheme particularly for BAME communities who may not be prepared or skilled to be pushed immediately into the labour market.  MiNet supports the Advocacy Project presently being run by Off the Streets and into Work (OSW) who have a dedicated officer to influence the flexible New Deal contract delivery, to ensure that smaller and specialist organisations have a role in supporting the hardest to help.  For more information please contact:

Racism in Recruitment

A report published by the Department for Work and Pensions states that racial discrimination against ethnic minority applicants persists in the workplace. According to the DWP the study illustrated that ‘discrimination occurred for those applying for jobs with a name suggesting they were from an ethnic minority, rather than white British. For every nine applications sent by a white applicant, an equally good applicant with an ethnic minority name had to send sixteen to obtain a positive response’. Jim Knight, Minister for Employment at Welfare Reform said: "This research clearly shows that some employers are discriminating when it comes to choosing staff.  This has no place in a modern society and racial discrimination cannot be allowed to continue”. For further information on the report please visit

Irish Traveller Movement in Britain: National Conference

The Irish Traveller Movement in Britain are holding, ‘A Time for Change’, a national conference that will assess progress and gaps in tackling the social exclusion that Travellers face and will develop goals and strategies that can be adopted at a local and national level to increase the inclusion and human rights of Travellers. For more information and how to book follow the link or email

Take action for women with no recourse to public funds

The No Recourse to Public Funds rule that leaves women destitute and trapped in violent relationships. On Wednesday 4 November, Amnesty International UK will bring activists together for a lobby of parliament to urge the UK government to protect all women from violence and abuse in the UK. To find out more please visit,283H,BQJPC,

Communities Empowerment Network Training

Communities Empowerment Network (CEN) is repeating their successful school exclusion advocacy training.  Training covers: the nature and extent of school exclusions; the discriminatory nature of school exclusions; the relationship between school exclusions; special educational needs; and school admissions and much more including case studies. ROTA and MiNet support this work due to the disproportionate number of BAME young people excluded from school. For more information or to book contact Mr German 0208 715 7092 or by email

‘No Recourse’ Report

Saheli, an Asian Women’s organisation, has launched report on the experiences of South Asian women who experience domestic violence with no recourse to public funds. The report, ‘Forgotten Women’, details the experiences of women who face deportation following a marriage breakdown, due to domestic violence, with the ‘two year probationary period’. To download the full report please visit

Community Cohesion Report

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has published a a study providing lessons for policy-makers from research and community development projects in Bradford.  The study suggests the idea of a 'narrative in common' as a more natural and progressive idea of 'cohesion' than that promoted through current national policy.  To view the report please visit


London Policy News

1. MiNet updates

Eight investment programmes for social enterprise

The recent announcement that there will be grants and loans available from the Department of Health through Social Investment Business could be a welcome development for many BAME organisations. Social Investment Business and the Department of Health have unveiled eight investment programmes aimed at helping social enterprises develop services in health and social care which have been designed to cater for different types of services. The BAME third sector play a role in developing new products and services for those who are socially and geographically excluded, and have also played a key role in the establishment and running of services designed around the user. Therefore, the involvement and support for the BAME third sector from the outset is integral to ensure the most vulnerable communities benefit equally. MiNet will soon be producing a policy briefing on issues surrounding the BAME third sector and user-led services. To receive a copy of this briefing email:   

Rethinking Council Procurement

MiNet supports a recent statement made by Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, John Denham who has called for more innovative and smarter council procurement, stating; “Council’s need to recognise that creative purchasing is not simply ‘buying for less’ it is also about being innovative and shaping markets – these must become the new principles of public procurement…by thinking creatively councils can deliver real social, environmental and economic benefits – helping create jobs, boost skills and support small businesses.” This statement recognises the holistic role of the third sector as opposed to a focus aimed at just hitting outputs.  More recently, the West London BME&R have been carrying out important work identifying inconsistencies in commissioning by local authorities and the difficulties BAME organisations are facing with due to such ambiguity around new systems.  For more information on the work going on in west London, email

Recession Worries - Charities Relying on One Source Of Income

Recent research carried out by the Charity Finance Director’s Group (CFDG) and business consultancy PKF UK, has found that 74% of charities surveyed relied on a single income stream. The most common sources of funding for these charities are public sector contracts, public donations or appeals and legacies.  Although MiNet welcomes this research as a warning for some BAME organisations to diversify their income, it also stresses the need to highlight that many small BAME organisations actually have a diversity of income, which is made of very small amounts which inhibits their ability to grow and secure staff on a permanent basis.  The survey also mentioned that 37% of charities were confident their income would be maintained throughout a recession, which is worrying when viewed from the perspective that 63% of charities did not feel they would maintain their income during the recession.  MiNet is working with London Funders and will be holding a joint discussion meeting on 17th November to share concerns. If there are any points you would like MiNet to share with London Funders at this meeting please email

Raising Concerns over Short Term Migrants – London Councils

London Councils recently warned government that short-term migrants (people who move to an area for more than one month, but stay for less than 12 months) must be counted, as councils will continue to lose out on millions of pounds otherwise.  Presently the government does not include short-term migrants in their grant calculations, therefore even if migrants live in a local area and use public services in that area, the council will not receive funding to help provide those services.  London Councils estimates that each borough receives around £600 for every resident under the government's main source of funding, which is significant for London as figures show that over a third (480,000) of short term migrants entering England and Wales went to London boroughs (Westminster at the top, receiving 62,800 short-term migrants).  For more information, visit

Mayor of London’s Draft Economic Development Strategy

‘Rising to the challenge: The Mayor’s Economic Development Strategy for Greater London’ is a public consultation document that sets out the Mayor’s ambitions for the economic development of London for the next 20 years. The document proposes five economic objectives of which the fourth is ‘to give all Londoners the opportunity to take part in London’s economic success, access sustainable employment and progress in their careers. This objective supports efforts to address weaknesses in educational attainment, low skills and poor access to and retention of work. It seeks to improve opportunities particularly for those most in poverty and in need, and to provide the quality of workforce essential for London’s globally competitive economy’.  MiNet and its members responded to Proposals for the Mayor’s EDS and will also be feeding into the draft proposal.  To view MiNet’s first response, visit


2. Other London Policy News

Mayoral strategies launched

The Mayor of London has launched public consultations on three strategies which will play a key role in shaping London's future. Draft versions of the Mayor's London Plan, Transport Strategy and Economic Development Strategy were all published during October, and responses and comments are welcomed from stakeholders and the public until January 2010. ROTA will be engaging in this consultation process; for more information on the work of ROTA please contact . For further information on the GLA consultation and to download the draft documents please visit  

London Councils opens public consultation on future commissioning priorities for the grants programme

London Councils' current grants commissioning programme reflects priorities agreed for the period 2007-2011.  They are starting the process of developing priorities for the prospective 2011-2015 programme, the early stages of which involve consultation on scoping options for potential services. The consultation period runs from early November 2009 through to the end of January 2010 and more details of this will be published shortly on the grants website  ROTA will be submitting a response and will keep our members up to date on how they can inform our submission. For more information please contact

A number of meetings and events are planned which will enable London Councils to engage with as wide a range of stakeholders as possible.  As part of this exercise, London Councils have arranged a series of public meetings.

If you wish to book a place at one of these events, please follow the links below for details and online booking form. Please register your interest by 11 November:


Recession support from Consumer Direct London

London’s third sector is being offered help and support during the recession through specialist advice by London Council’s Consumer Direct London. The advice on offer explains what available resources there are for third sector groups from partner organisations. Using advice sessions and ongoing guidance, third sector groups across the London will be better equipped to offer consumer and debt-related advice. For more information please visit

London Councils new grants website

London Councils has launched a new website featuring real-life case studies from a range of the organisations it funds with its £28 million voluntary sector grants scheme. London Councils also has a directory of the work being funded, with contact details, events listings and the latest news from our funded groups. To visit their website visit and so use their directory please go to

A Manifesto for Londoners

London Councils have been engaging with key policy makers, thinkers, including voluntary sector leaders, throughout this summer and autumn to identify the most pressing challenges for Londoners and developing thinking about how they might most effectively be addressed. The result of this engagement and thinking will be a Manifesto for Londoners which London Councils hope to publish in early 2010. London Councils are also hosting discussions with key politicians at each of the major party conferences and have published a scene-setting collection of think-pieces, Developing a manifesto for Londoners, with contributions from a broad range of London's politicians and key thinkers. To find out more visit

Practicing Diversity – Case Studies Wanted

Kingston University has been commissioned by the London Development Agency (LDA) to undertake a study of Small to Medium Enterprises that are engaged in good workforce and supplier diversity practices.  This study will highlight case studies of good practice that will be posted on the website of the London Development Agency. Those who take part in the study will have their company profile promoted on the LDA website as a model employer. For more information please contact Dr Peter Garside / 07770 347272 / 0208 547 7505.