The Community Planning Partnership is keen to ensure that services provided are meeting the needs of the community. Feedback is received via the Citizens' Panel, Local Area Forums and Community Councils, amongst other methods.
The Moray Equalities Forum has been formed so that minority opinions and issues can be heard. It is hoped that the Forum will eventually include local representatives from each of the equalities strands to ensure that the whole community is being involved. The Forum is intended to be a dynamic, innovative, proactive resource, positively reflecting the diversity of Moray.
In 2012 the Equalities Forum decided to focus on a strand of three themes within all activities rather than meeting as a separate group. The three themes that the Equalities Forum focuses on are: access to streets, bullying, and domestic violence.
The Equalities Forum is working with Elgin Community Council, Kinloss and Findhorn Community Council, Keith Community Council, Lossiemouth Community Council, the Moray Federation of Community Halls Association (MFCHA) and the Living it Up group to gain valuable input from the community care perspective and improve access to streets. Currently, the Forum is engaged in activities with a view to improving access to streets by those with mobility difficulties. In 2014 Living Streets Scotland delivered training in carrying out community street audits to a variety of community councils and area forums as well as Moray Women’s Aid, tsiMORAY, Moray Disability Forum, North East Sensory Services, Community Wardens and Moray Council Traffic Engineers. Post-training, a street audit was conducted to highlight areas of terrain that are of concern to users with mobility difficulties.
One of the aims of the project is to provide information about the accessibility of our streets in order to enable people with additional mobility to plan their journeys. In partnership with Professor Grant Cumming of the University of the Highlands and Islands, an expression of interest was submitted to the Digital Health Institute (DHI) Call for Innovation Proposal. The application seeks the assistance of the DHI in developing a digital map and app of accessible streets in Moray. The proposal has successfully passed the first stage of the evaluation process and will now be taken by the Approval Panel on 03 September 2014.
An electronic survey on bullying was carried out in September 2015 by the Equalities Officer and responses were received from over 2,000 pupils – the largest ever response rate to any Council survey. Results are currently being tabulated and will be available in due course.
The role of the Moray Equalities Forum can be viewed here.
The Membership of the Moray Equalities Forum is currently under review to ensure that it has local representatives from each of the equalities strands (including Age, Disability, Gender, Race, Religion/Belief, and Sexual Orientation.) Some of the groups involved are based nationally, making it difficult for them to provide input on a local, Moray-specific level. Membership lists can be viewed here.