September 2009    Issue 32

Welcome to September edition of ROTA's newsletter!

The ROTA team are busy working on key consultation documents, having put out calls for evidence for the Government Equalities Office, consultation on the specific duties relating to the Single Equality Bill and also the Department for Children, Schools and Families consultation on their Children, Young People and Families Grants Programme. See the ROTA's website for further details of how to respond.

With the Winning the Race Coalition preparing for the Single Equalities Bill’s next phase- passing through the House of Lords, the newly formed Equalities Action Group will be meeting in September to plan the next stages of work. Coalition members will also be meeting with Trevor Phillips, Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission along with other key race organisations in early September to discuss the Bill.

ROTA would like to congratulate and welcome both Anwara Ali, the newly appointed Executive Secretary to the ROTA team and Barbara Nea, the new Senior Policy Officer.

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

There is still time to apply if you are interested in the Head of Networks and Communications: To manage and develop the ROTA national campaigns, coalitions and regional networks. To oversee and manage the networks team. To provide information on social policy issues to BAME networks and groups and statutory organisations. ROTA is offering the post at £34,605 - £42,602 (PO3 - PO5 point 38-47), 5% non-contributory pension. 37.5 hrs p/w, 26 days annual leave on a 1 year renewable contract. To download an application pack, click here. Deadline for Applications is 10am, 9th September 2009.


National Policy News

1. Equality and Human Rights

ROTA CALL FOR EVIDENCE: Government Equalities Office specific public sector equalities duties consultation

ROTA has put out a Call for Evidence on the Government Equalities Office proposals for specific public sector equality duties published on the 11th June 2009. The ROTA led Winning the Race Coalition will be submitting a response. Under the proposals public authorities will no longer be required to publish a three yearly Race Equality Scheme that outlines how each policy is assessed for its impact on equality, including monitoring data and informed through consultation. Instead the new duties allow public authorities to select equality objectives and requirements to publish monitoring data will be limited to employment, while the need for consultation is kept in place. There will also be additional specific duties around ensuring equality objectives are met by and through the procurement processes. You can read the Call for Evidence which outlines the changes here. ROTA is interested in hearing from groups affected by the changes and will be gathering views to inform the response submitted by the Winning the Race Coalition. If you would like to be involved or provide feedback please see our website at, or contact Ewan Kennedy at

Single Equality Bill Event

The Government Equalities Office is organising a series of public events, Tuesday 1st September in Cardiff, Wednesday 2nd September in Birmingham, Thursday 3rd September in Edinburgh and Friday 4th September in London on the Single Equality Bill. The events aim to explain the Bill in more detail and will feature consultation discussions on age discrimination and the public sector equality duty. To find out more about the events and to book a place visit

ROTA-led Winning the Race Coalition on the Single Equality Bill

As the Bill will be progressing to Report stage, the Coalition has formed a small action group made up of members of the Coalition that will take some of the Coalition's recommendations forward. This will include: lobbying peers, continuing to provide evidence from the BAME and equalities third sector, and continue to provide policy, voice and other capacity building services to the BAME and equality third sector. ROTA is discussing the new training programme for the Bill with members, and have formed the Equalities Action Group who will be having their first meeting in September. To find out more about the Coalition or to join, visit ROTA’s website at or contact Pavan Dhaliwal at

Equality and Human Rights Commission starts legal proceedings against the BNP

On the 24th August 2009 the Equality and Human Rights Commission issued County Court proceedings against the British National Party in respect of its constitution and membership criteria. The BNP membership criteria restrict membership to individuals from particular ‘ethnic groups’ and whose skin colour is white. The EHRC believes that these criteria are discriminatory and continued publication on their website is unlawful. The EHRC sent a letter on the 22nd June to the BNP setting out its concerns with their constitution and membership criteria. The BNP responded by saying it intended to clarify the word ‘white’ on its website but EHRC state they were not willing to amend their membership criteria. The EHRC has a statutory duty to enforce equalities legislation and has taken the proceedings against Party leader Nick Griffin and two other officials. The case will be heard on the 2nd September 2009.

EHRC Public Bodies and Marginalised Groups

The EHRC has commissioned Urban Forum to produce case studies on good examples of involvement by public bodies, particularly with marginalised/traditionally excluded groups. The EHRC are currently producing guidance and these case studies will inform this. Urban Forum are requesting examples of ongoing engagement leading to outcomes; primarily policy change. If you can help, please email

EHRC launches three-year strategic plan

EHRC has recently published a three-year strategic plan setting out priorities and work programmes to March 2012. The strategic plan sets out how they will work over the next three years towards their vision of a better Britain: a society built on principles of fairness and respect, in which everyone has an equal chance to fulfil their potential. The plan also sets out how the Commission will prepare as an organisation to deliver the ambitious objectives they have set. The Commission also aim to show that they are an organisation that provides value for money for the public funds they receive and that they make a real difference to people’s lives.

EHRC publishes Equality Measurement Framework (EMF)

The new Equality Measurement Framework (EMF) developed for the EHRC by the London School of Economics has been published. This partnership working has produced a set of 48 'indicators' covering issues such as being healthy, engagement in lifelong learning and an adequate standard of living, and will allow the EMF to monitor progress in tackling inequality in these key areas. As the EMF develops, it will provide information for Government and public bodies to inform policy, public services and campaigning priorities. For further information and to access the full EMF report please go to:

Commissioners for the Equality and Human Rights Commission

The Government Equalities Office has commissioned a recruitment of up to 8 Commissioners for the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Carole Carlton from the Central Government Team is seeking your assistance in identifying suitable candidates for these posts. She would be grateful if you could bring it to the attention of anyone within your organisation who may wish to be considered for these important posts. Anyone who may be interested should obtain an information pack and an application form by telephoning 0870 240 3802 or by emailing, quoting reference GEO9069. Please note that the closing date for receipt of completed applications is 7th September 2009.


2. Criminal Justice

Impetus Trust – Reducing Re-Offending Fund

The Impetus Trust has launched its Reducing Reoffending Fund. The Fund is a collaboration between Impetus Trust, Indigo Trust, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Henry Smith Charity, and aims to make a significant impact on the high level of re-offending in the UK. £1.3m of funding that will be made available to 3-6 charities over a three-to-four year period. Applications are welcomed from organisations within the criminal justice sector that tackle re-offending and that have ambitions to transform their impact. Selected organisations will receive a combined package of unrestricted funding and tailored capacity-building support from the Impetus Investment Team and network of consultants and advisors. The deadline for applications is 15 September 2009. For Full details please visit

Combating Domestic Violence in Asian Communities

On the 30th September a one day seminar is being held which will focus on the provision of domestic violence services to women from Asian communities. The seminar will consider how to work with victims who have No Recourse to Public Funds, the issue of Forced Marriage Prevention Orders and consider other options for intervention. For full details and to book a place please visit

Gangs Injunction – Equality Impact Assessment

The government is currently legislating to provide police and local authorities with a new tool to tackle gang-related violence. Gang Injunctions, under Part 4 of the Policing and Crime Bill would allow the police or a local authority to apply to a county court (or the High Court) for an injunction against an individual to prevent gang-related violence with the aim of Preventing acts of serious violence from occurring, breaking down gang culture and preventing younger gang members’ behaviour from escalating and/or providing an opportunity for local agencies to engage with gang-members and develop effective strategies for them to exit the gang. The Home Office currently wants to hear stakeholders’ views on how they consider Gang Injunctions may impact either positively or negatively on all equalities groups. ROTA will be submitting comments relating to BAME groups and BAME women who may be impacted by this tool and would encourage others to do the same. The deadline for comments is 15th September 2009. For full details please visit


3. Health Inequalities

New Horizons – Mental Health Consultation

The Department for Health is consulting on the future of mental health services and provision across England. Focusing on the root causes of mental illness, the consultation aims to seek out preventative and locally based solutions and support. The consultation also looks at the roles of different service providers and how partnership working between services and communities can reduce stigmas associated with Mental Health. Given the continued disproportionate number of BAME individuals who experience mental health issues and access services, ROTA is urging BAME third sector engagement in this consultation. The closing date for responses is 15th October 2009 and full details can be found at

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 Call for Evidence – Funding to services for BAME Children and Young People

ROTA is currently collecting evidence from organisations that offer services to, or represent the interest of, BAME children, young people and their families. The Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) is running a consultation on their Children, Young People and Families (CYPF) Grants Programme and ROTA will be using the evidence submitted to us, along with our in-house knowledge, to create a template response for others to use, as well as a BAME specific response. For more information on this process please visit or contact . The deadline for submissions to ROTA is Friday 4th September 2009. For more information on the full DCSF consultation please visit


5. Other Policy News

Consultation on the Compact on relations between the Government and the Third Sector

The Commission for Compact has opened a consultation on a refreshed Compact between Government and the Third Sector. The document is a draft and outlines the commitments that would be made under the Compact by both Government and the third sector. These commitments are to ensure fairness and accountability in involvement in policy development; allocating resources and commissioning, and achieving equality. The consultation asks whether this new simplified structure ensures the independence and accountability of the third sector; properly informs relationships between the national and Local Compacts; deals with contracting relationships, personal budgets and European funding; and, most importantly, how much the new Compact will impact on individual equality strands. The Consultation closes on the 12th October and you can see the draft document here. ROTA will be gathering the views of the BAME third sector inform a response. If you are interested in being involved please contact Ewan Kennedy on

Department for Communities and Local Government consultation on Strengthening Local Government

The Department for Communities and Local Government published its Strengthening local democracy consultation outlining proposals for civic renewal on the 21st July 2009. The consultations focus is on asking whether Local Councils have the powers necessary to ensure they fully serve their citizens. New powers include increasing the power and role of Local Councils to scrutinise other statutory partners such as Primary Caret Trusts or the Police in meeting their Local Area Agreement targets. Additional to this are proposals about developing the role of Local Council to address climate change, questions on the different approaches to sub-regional working, such as across local authority boundaries, and how to better explain the role of central government and local government to local people. If you would like further information you can find it here. The deadline for groups to respond is the 2nd October 2009. ROTA will be coordinating with regional networks and partners to inform their submission. If you would like to be involved please contact Ewan Kennedy on

Recession action plan update: Government urged to keep on funding collaboration

As plans to help the third sector through the recession will end March 2010, some organisations including NAVCA and BASAAC have been vocal in urging the government to continue funding collaboration and mergers beyond the end of its Modernisation Fund programme. MiNet agrees at one level that funding should certainly be available for organisations to coalesce around various activities and objectives. However, this should not be at the expense or limit organisations that may need or be able to form partnerships. Providing too much of an emphasis on collaboration and merger could prove to be the detriment of a number of small BAME organisations who have little option but to work in isolation, whether this be due to the nature of their client group or location of work. MiNet’s recent research on the recession placed a spotlight on the difficulties associated with partnership work, and stressed the benefits and need for more standardised funding practices across London. For more information on MiNet’s recession work, please contact


London Policy News

1. MiNet updates

Capacitybuilders Single Equality Scheme

ROTA and MiNet are responding to Capacitybuilders current consultation on its’ equality scheme. This offers the third sector an opportunity to tell them what work that should be doing on equalities. Key issues in the consultation include; targeted funding, funding equality groups and the use of equality impact assessments. The deadline for responses is Friday 25th September 2009. For more details visit

Free Training and £700 bursary for BAME groups - Community Leaders Development Programme

There are a few remaining places for individuals to take part in the Community Leaders Development Programme. The Programme aims to provide individuals from Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee communities who live in London, with a flexible and tailored range of leadership development opportunities. This project has two elements: a programme of outreach, taster sessions and entry level training; and a range of longer support options to provide more intensive structured personal and professional development. The programme is funded by the LDA Opportunities Fund Round 2 and is run by London Voluntary Service Council in partnership with the School for Social. It also supports the development of newly formed organisations with a £700 bursary for another training course. For more information and contact details please visit the MiNet webpage

Free Training for BAME groups in Islington

BAME organisations based in Islington are being invited to attend free training workshops around commissioning and partnership work. As funding for the voluntary, community and faith sector is moving more towards commissioning, these two workshops will cover the basics of the commissioning and procurement process & what you need for successful contracting & bidding. The workshops will take place over two days, Introduction to Commissioning & Procurement 9.30am till 3.30pm Wednesday 23rd September and Partnerships for Contracting & Bidding 9.30am till 3.30pm Friday 25th September. The training will take place at London Voluntary Resource Centre, 356 Holloway Road, London N7 6PA. For further information and/or to book, please contact Suj Ahmed on 020 7354 6361 or Duncan McLaggan on 020 7354 6373 e-mail:

BAME groups invited to sit on Public Panel

The Identity and Passport Service (IPS) is an agency of the Home Office and is responsible for issuing UK passports and identity cards. Over the next few years as people are issued with the new biometric passports their details will become part of the national register. The government states that it is committed to ensuring that the operation of the National Identity Service (NIS) is transparent, ensuring people, business and government are fully aware of their rights and responsibilities. The IPS is setting up a Public Panel to allow members of the public the opportunity to help ensure identity rights are protected. The London regional Public Panel will be expected to meet up to three times per year. Further information on how members can apply to join the London group can be found at:

The Development Awareness Fund – Mini Grants Scheme

The Department for International Development (DFID) has announced that it is accepting applications for funding through its Development Awareness Fund - Mini Grants Scheme. This may be useful for small BAME (UK based) organisations whose work involves an interest in international development issues, such as child labour, HIV/AIDS, migrations issues. The programme provides grants of up to £10,000 per year for up to three years for projects that raise awareness and understanding of: international development issues within the UK, of global interdependence and highlights the progress that has been made. Project proposals must be submitted by 31st October 2009

Funding for a Pilot Project to Promote Roma Integration

The European Commission has announced a call for proposals for a pan European pilot project for the integration and inclusion of Roma People. The Commission seeks to support a pilot project under one of the following: early childhood education and care, self-employment, and microcredit, information and awareness raising. The pilot project will support innovative and integrated approaches to tackling the multidimensional problems facing Roma communities. It will explore ways to promote Roma inclusion through educational, social, and economic activities, cross-border cooperation and exchange of good practices while building on existing experiences. It will be primarily implemented in Member States and candidate countries with high proportion of disadvantaged Roma communities. Eligible applicants can be either a non governmental organisation or network or a public body. Applications must be sent to the Commission no later than the 25th September 2009

The Impact of the Recession on the Youth-Led sector

MiNet welcomes the recent report published by Independent Academic Research Studies (IARS) which details the impact of the recession on the youth-led sector. MiNet is particularly pleased to see this report as it brings attention to the lack of awareness and understanding of the youth-led sector amongst funders and infrastructure organisations, which resonates with MiNet’s research into the engagement of BAME organisations in the Every Child Matters Agenda. The IARS report documents the fears surrounding the general reduction in funding for the third sector and how this could disproportionately affect the youth-led sector with their being no targeted support services for youth-led organisations. Therefore many similarities and difficulties associated with youth-led work as with specialist BAME work due to their unique position and specialist services. To obtain a copy of the IARS report email


2. Other London Policy News

London Councils Future Commissioning Priorities Consultations

London Councils Future Commissioning Priorities Consultations London Councils are expected to run two consultations regarding their future commissioning priorities. The first of these will be a scoping consultation, expected in the latter part of this year and will inform the formal consultation to be held at the appropriate time next year. Both will comply with the Compact and last for 12 weeks. London Councils will also be sending out information about how to get involved and get your voice heard and ROTA, along with other third sector bodies, will be monitoring this process and keep members updated.

ROTA and Race Equality Foundation respond to the London Housing Strategy

ROTA in conjunction with the Race Equality foundation submitted a response to the Mayors of London’s Housing Strategy 2009-2011. The strategy will remove the requirement that 50% of new housing be affordable and sets a target of 50,000 affordable homes to be built. Alongside this it outlines initiatives to promote more communities of mixed tenancies and improving the management and condition of the privately rented sector. It also wants to improve the quality of house design and tie physical regeneration initiatives to social and economic regeneration activity. In doing this the Mayor wants to develop new methods for disseminating advice, delivery and promoting investment, including facilitating housing support through a variety of different community locations and sources. ROTA and the Race Equality Foundation welcome the recognition afforded to Gypsy and Traveller and BAME communities within the strategy. But we believe that some of the initiatives have been developed without considering the prominence of economic and social deprivation among BAME communities and subsequently these will be inaccessible to those groups. You can see the response at

London Child Poverty Awards 2009

Minister Stephen Timms has announced the launch of the London Child Poverty Awards 2009. The aim of these awards is to celebrate and promote the great work being done by individuals and organisations across the capital in tackling child poverty. London Councils is sponsoring the 'Corporate Commitment' Award. There are five other awards - superb service and exemplary employer for organisations and outstanding practitioner, inspirational parent and child poverty champion for individuals. Deadline for applications/nominations is the 5th October 2009. Please nominate organisations and individuals that you feel deserve to be recognised, you can also nominate your own organisation. Detailed information on what the awards themselves are and how to enter can be downloaded via:

LVSC Strategic Plan consultation 2009

London Voluntary Services Council is currently consulting on their strategic direction, to ensure it is meeting the needs of, and appropriately supporting, London’s Voluntary and Community Sector. Consultation responses will inform LVSC’s five year plan and are running an online survey for responses. Please visit