Aims of the strategy

To undertake a fair and robust review of historical funding to voluntary and community sector organisations (VCSO) inherited by Dorset Council from the sovereign councils  to ensure that a future funding offer gives equal funding opportunity to all geographic and thematic communities helping deliver the Dorset Council corporate priorities for 2021-26 and to offer longer term stability to the support sector (infrastructure) organisations of the VCS.

Background to the proposal

In September 2018, the Shadow Dorset Executive Committee agreed to commence a robust and fair review of funding to voluntary and community sector organisations (VCSO) as part of the convergence work to the new Dorset Council’s priorities for 2020-21.   

The committee agreed to maintain current levels of funding and support for 2019-20 This one-year extension gave some certainty to the sector and provided Dorset Council with the opportunity to conduct a full commissioning review and agree future levels of support to ensure all VCSO’s operating in the Dorset Council area received the same level of support services or infrastructure and the same opportunity to apply for discretionary funds to deliver services and projects that helped Dorset Council meet our council priorities which the historical arrangements did not. In November 2019 cabinet then granted an extension for a further year to allow a full consultation to take place. 

Cabinet meeting of November 2019

  • appendix 1 - full list of historical grant arrangements (do we turn this into a pdf?

  • appendix 2 - map depicting the level of sovereign council funding - is there a link to this?

Intelligence and communication

Data, information, evidence and research used and how it has influenced the decision-making process:

Age

Dorset’s higher than national average population over 65 means that changes to funding for supporting organisations support would affect this age group. 

In the Dorset Council area 16% of the population is under 25 and funding was specifically given to youth centres in North and West Dorset that specifically target disadvantaged young people eg Sherborne the Rendezvous is the last dedicated Youth Advice Centre in Dorset.  Youth organisations were also funded through open grant schemes such as social inclusion and leisure development and this will impact residents aged 24 and under.   

Comparators

Dorset population 375,075 and England and Wales population 58,744,600 (source Office of National Statistics).

Population

Person Dorset total Dorset %  England and Wales %
All males

183,390

48.9%

49.4%

All females

191,660

51.1%

50.6%

0-15 years

59,850

16%

19.1%

16-64 years

209,150

55.8%

62.8%

65+ years

N/A

N/A

N/A

Disability

Disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on the ability to carry out normal day to day activities.  Across the Dorset Council area 8% of the population has day to day activities that are limited a lot and 11% have day to day limited activities a little.  Currently disability groups are regularly supported through the different grant schemes of the sovereign councils. These are:

  • WDDC Social Inclusion Open Grant Scheme – Age UK

  • Dementia friendly groups

  • Dorset Blind Association

  • Bridport Deaf Club

  • The Living Tree

  • The Horse Course

A significant number of Citizens Advice (CA) clients are disabled people:

  • Dorchester, Sherborne and Districts CA client base for 2018-19 comprised 8% who had a disability and 35% with a long-term health condition

  • North Dorset, 6% and 31% with a long-term health condition

  • Weymouth and Portland CA client base comprised of 18% who had a disability and 47% with a long-term health condition

  • East Dorset CA client base comprised of 5% who had a disability and 53% with a long-term health condition

  • Purbeck CA client base comprised of 9% who had a disability and 44% with a long-term health condition

Ethnicity

The current population statistics for the Dorset Council area indicate that the population is predominantly White British (95.6%). However, the overall statistic for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) of 4.4% with 1.7% of the population not having English as their mother tongue. However, this masks the significant regional variations in certain parts of the Dorset area.

Grants to groups or organisations providing support to diverse communities are of importance in the wards of Cranborne Chase, Dorchester East and West, Ferndown North and South, Melcombe Regis, Poundbury, Shaftesbury Town, Sherborne West, Sturminster, Swanage and Wimborne Minster. These are areas with a greater than Dorset average BAME population. The highest proportion of Dorset’s BAME population are classified as White Other who make up approximately 40% of Dorset’s BAME population. 

Country of birth

Within the Dorset Council area, the statistics are as follows-

  • 94.4% born in UK

  • 5.6% born outside of UK

  • 0.4% born in Ireland

  • 1.3% born in EU (Member Countries in March 2001)

  • 0.7% born in EU (Accession Countries April 2001 - March 2011)

  • 3.1% born elsewhere

Source 2011 Census Office of national Statistics

Religion and belief

The five major non–Christian world religions Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism constitute 1% of Dorset’s residents’ religious beliefs.  Dorset’s main non-Christian religious groups are concentrated in Dorset’s towns. Weymouth has just over 300 residents of Muslim faith. There are also concentrations around military establishments such as Blandford Camp where the Gurkhas and their families live who are predominantly Hindu in their religious belief. 

Any grants awarded to churches and religious organisations are for purposes other than religion such as youth groups, older people’s activities, arts and culture, sports and leisure. Grants to organisations on the grounds of race or ethnicity could therefore be impacted by any changes to the level of funding to organisations that provide any services and activities in support of people who have this protected characteristic.

Health and wellbeing

In Dorset, there is a difference of 17 years between healthy life expectancy and overall life expectancy for men, and 19 years for women.  62% of adults in Dorset are classified as overweight or obese.  Residents in Dorset are more likely to be unpaid carers, there are now around 3,000 registered carers in Dorset alone.  12% of Dorset residents compared to 10% across England. By 2025, we expect to see more than 10,000 people aged 65+ living with dementia.  With these figures It is likely that an additional 3,000 carers will be needed to cope with this increase.  Domestic abuse, mental ill-health and substance misuse have been termed a Toxic Trio commonly found in families where harm to children has occurred. 1,831 domestic abuse incidents were reported in Dorset last year. 

It is well documented that arts and culture can have a positive impact on specific health conditions such as:

Overall 77% of people surveyed agree that access to cultural activities helps to make Dorset a better place to live and that engagement in cultural activities contributes to an improved quality of life.  The value of sport for savings to health is £147.8 million per annum in Dorset.

Deprivation in Dorset

Eleven areas in Dorset are in the top 20% most deprived nationally, ten of those are within the former borough of Weymouth and Portland, the other is in West Dorset Bridport Court Orchard.  Six of the Weymouth and Portland areas are in the top 10% most deprived nationally: Melcombe Regis Town Centre (which is now the most deprived area in Dorset), Littlemoor West, Melcombe Regis Park District, Fortuneswell North, Westham North Westhaven, and Rodwell and Chapelhay.  The county provides real contrasts as 80% of Dorset’s least deprived LSOAs are in the east of the council area and none of the areas in the former districts of Purbeck or North Dorset are in the top 30% most deprived nationally. 

Deprivation appears to create a greater dependency upon information, advice and guidance services particularly in relation to benefits and debt. Citizens Advice statistics for clients by ward evidence this with the following wards that feature in the 2015 English Index of Multiple Deprivation having significantly more clients:

  • Dorchester North and East
  • Cerne Valley
  • Gillingham Town

In Dorset, about 15,400 people aged 16-64, plus 2,800 children live in 12,900 workless households. 12% of Dorset households were workless, slightly below the national figure.  Child Poverty statistics also illustrate the issues of deprivation as after housing costs are paid for 24% of children are living in child poverty in West Dorset, 23 % in North Dorset, Purbeck it is 24%, East Dorset 19% and Weymouth and Portland 30%.  Rural and social isolation creates barriers for communities to access services especially within rural areas.  In Dorset 46% of households are in the top 20% nationally of areas most deprived in accessing services with 4.6% overall not having access to a car. 

Engagement or consultation that has taken place as part of this EqIA

Initial consultation has been undertaken with Dorset Transition Group, a collective of key 3rd sector partners with links to the wider sector networks with whom they are communicating. At this stage the review had not started, and its direction and scope had not been decided because Dorset Council had not yet been formed.

Following the agreement from Cabinet in November 2019, a full consultation of the proposed new criteria and support services was conducted in January-March 2020. The consultation was available both online and in paper form from local libraries. The consultation was promoted widely through both the local press and social media. Several sessions were held with officers in attendance. 1,619 responses were received, the size is good for a consultation of this type, 9% responded as an official representative of an VCS organisation, 20% as someone involved in a VCS organisation (volunteer or service user) and 63% as Dorset residents. A further 8% were Other, which included organisations like parish councils and elected members. The results of the consultation can be found on Dorset Council website, consultations page

The consultation report that was conducted between January and March 2020 (appendix 3) and also the consultation criteria prioritising the promotion of applications from diverse and inclusive communities from both the national protected and our local protected characteristics.

Feedback

Through regular communication using existing networks in formats suitable to those stakeholders.

Assessment

Impacts of the strategy

impacts
Impacts on who or what? Effect Details
Age

Positive

Dorset’s higher than national average population over 65 means that changes to funding for supporting organisations support would detrimentally affect this age group.  Following the consultation, the political steer is not to reduce any funding and to secure longer term arrangements for support service organisations such as the provision for information advice and guidance (currently provided by CA), this would have a positive impact

Impacts on the age protected characteristic have been identified as follows:

  • changes to funding for Citizens Advice (CA) would impact all people and specifically older people. This is because the over 50s age group represent:
  • 52% of clients in Dorchester & Sherborne
  • 49% of clients in North Dorset
  • 52% of clients in Bridport
  • 26% of clients East are over 60
  • 34% of clients in Purbeck are over 60
  • young people support organisations will be able to apply for funding at a level they feel they need, not just the historical agreement and it may be set for a number of years to allow the organisation to develop strategy. Organisations in North, Purbeck and East who previously received no funding will also be able to apply
What age bracket does this affect?

n/a

Older people 50+ and young people

Disability

Positive

One in five of all residents in Dorset have a health condition that limits their day to day activities (census 2011). Disability residents benefit claimants vary across the Dorset Council area. The highest percentage of resident claimants are:

  • Weymouth and Portland at 6.1%
  • Purbeck at 3.9%
  • Dorset average at 4.6%

Citizens Advice experience high percentages of disabled clients:

  • Bridport & Districts at 44%
  • Weymouth & Portland at 53% disabled or with a long-term health condition of which 26% have a mental health condition
  • Dorchester, Sherborne & Districts and North Dorset at 47% disabled or with a long-term health condition
  • East Dorset at 52% disabled or with a long-term health condition, 20% of which have a mental health condition
  • Purbeck at 49% disabled and 28% have a mental health problem

This group is likely to be impacted if levels of funding to supporting organisations are reduced especially to Citizens Advice specifically people with a disability or long-term health condition who represent on average around 40% of the CA client base.

Cultural organisation run projects specifically to engage people who are disabled both physically and learning. Activate Performing Arts coordinates projects such as the Remix which is a group for disabled and non-disabled young people aged 7 – 19 years.

Dorchester Arts runs a weekly drama session for people with long term mental health management issues. Artsreach also offers an inclusive children and young people’s summer arts programme and additional support is sourced to assist children who wish to access the scheme who have a disability.  These projects would be significantly affected or stopped if funding was reduced.

East Dorset has a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to support the delivery of activities to children with special needs across Dorset, this is a partnership arrangement but reduction of funding to such initiatives has a direct and immediate affect by reducing activities that most children have access to as a norm. Support to these projects enables respite for parents, teaches new skills and gives disabled children opportunity to socialise and engage with arts, sports, adventure and play.

Access to community centres, museums and arts organisations funded by SLA all have volunteer policies, have disabled access and run activities within their buildings for those with disabilities. Reduced funding would have an impact on users of these facilities.

East Dorset Heritage Trust run tractor rides for wheelchair users at Moors Valley with support and specialist equipment to enable disabled to access the country which has positive impact on their health and wellbeing.

Organisations in North, Purbeck and East who previously received no funding will now be eligible.

Gender reassignment and gender identity

Unclear/positive

Robust statistical data at a Local Authority level on Gender Identity and reassignment does not currently exist, however, the community is likely to be impacted if levels of funding to supporting organisations is reduced.

The discretionary criteria gives a priority to those organisations addressing disadvantage within characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 and our Dorset Council protected characteristics.

Pregnancy and maternity

Positive

Currently no negative impact identified based on historic funding information. No specific activities receive funding for this group, however community facilities may provide room hire for services that deliver either social or health services to such groups.  

The discretionary criteria gives a priority to those organisations addressing disadvantage within characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 and our Dorset Council protected characteristics

Race and ethnicity

Positive

The highest proportion of Dorset’s BAME population are classified as ’White Other’ who make up approximately 41% of Dorset’s BME population. This classification includes people who identify as white but who do not have UK national identity (English, Welsh Scottish, Northern Irish and British). An example would be Polish. 

CA’s support a range of clients and show the variations by area in Melcombe Regis 16% of CAB clients are BAME.  In Bridport & District it is 4%. North Dorset sees Sturminster Newton CA BAME clients being the highest at 15% and the lowest is Sherborne West at 3%.  Purbeck sees 6.5% clients that identify as BAME.

The cultural sector provide an eclectic programme of performances and workshops promoting the diversity of modern-day Britain. These less commercial productions would be reduced if funding was to be reduced or cease.

Dorset Race Equality Council (DREC) is being categorised as an infrastructure organisation so they will be able to bid as part of the community partnership infrastructure contract to ensure equality is supported through the entire sector

The discretionary criteria gives a priority to those organisations addressing disadvantage within characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 and our Dorset Council protected characteristics

Religion or belief

Neutral

Dorset Council does not support the practice of religion, or any activities that actively promote religion or particular belief systems, however we do support religious groups to support community cohesion and local community activities

The discretionary criteria gives a priority to those organisations addressing disadvantage within characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 and our Dorset Council protected characteristics

Sexual orientation

Unclear/positive

Previously specific support to groups based on the sexual orientation characteristic has been adhoc and based around discretionary funding opportunities. 

The discretionary criteria gives a priority to those organisations addressing disadvantage within characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 and our Dorset Council protected characteristics

Sex

Positive

Limited support to groups based on the sex characteristic; previously the Social Inclusion Award and Leisure Development Fund has awarded funding to sex specific groups of which these have been female only groups e.g. West Dorset – Women’s Action Network (WAND) and Bridport, Dorchester and Portland Men’s Sheds

The discretionary criteria give a priority to those organisations addressing disadvantage within characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 and our Dorset Council protected characteristics

Marriage or civil partnership

Neutral

We have no statistical information on this group, Dorset Council will not directly fund marriages or civil partnerships. CA will offer relationship and partnership advice. The discretionary criteria gives a priority to those organisations addressing disadvantage within characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 and our Dorset Council protected characteristics

Carers

Neutral/positive

12% of the population of Dorset provide unpaid care. The figure is similar across the districts/boroughs with the highest of 13% in Purbeck. 87% of carers live with the person they care for and more women over the age of 50 provide unpaid care than any other demographic.  In Dorset 2% (830) of unpaid carers are under the age of 16. Over 120 Dorset children provide more than 20 hours per week of unpaid carers.  Dorset has an aging population, with a projected increase in the over 85s of almost 20% in the next 10 years. 61% of those being cared for in Dorset are aged 75+, this compares with 53% nationally. 

Current grant levels ensure support is provided and they will receive an opportunity to apply for greater length and for additional funding no matter where they are in the Dorset Council area.

Rural isolation

Positive

41% of Dorset’s population lives in rural areas. Barriers to housing and essential services are significant in Dorset reflecting rurality and distance from services.  67 Dorset neighbourhoods fall in the 20% most deprived nationally for this measure: 21 are in West Dorset and 20 in North Dorset. 72,869 rural households across Dorset fall within the top 20% of areas most deprived nationally, 37,956 households have one car or less 45.9% of households that fall within the top 20% of areas most deprived nationally for access to services.

All cultural organisations provide a platform for accessible social engagement through a variety of workshops, performances or volunteering opportunities.

The discretionary criteria gives a priority to those organisations addressing disadvantage within characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 and our Dorset Council protected characteristics

Single parent families

Neutral/positive

We have no statistical information on this group, Dorset Council will not directly fund single parent families. CA will continue to offer benefits and relationship advice. The discretionary criteria gives a priority to those organisations addressing disadvantage within characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 and our Dorset Council protected characteristics

Poverty (social and economic deprivation)

Positive

Many grant schemes support people living in poverty. Dorset residents living in poverty also experience impacts on other aspects of their day to day living such as health, housing, income, crime, educational attainment and employment.

10 areas of Dorset are in the most deprived nationally, 9 are in Weymouth and Portland and 1 in East Dorset

12.900 workless households

2,800 children live in workless households

All of the cultural organisations operate concession schemes often giving free access (or for a very low fee) to cultural activity for families on low incomes. They work in partnership with social housing providers to ensure there is opportunity for all to engage with cultural activity.

The discretionary criteria gives a priority to those organisations addressing disadvantage within characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 and our Dorset Council protected characteristics

Military families/veterans

Neutral

Dorset is a county with above average military presence, particularly veterans, and has strong existing relationships with its Armed Forces Community.  It has 3,150 serving personnel across 4 bases: Blandford Camp, Bovington Camp (Stanley Barracks, Allenby Barracks, Gunnery School Lulworth Camp), West Moors Fuel Depot and Royal Marines at Hamworthy. It is estimated there are around 1,575 spouses and 2,389 children related to those personnel.

Dorset has a large veteran population, being home to 2% of the UK’s veterans whilst having only 1.2% of the national population. Research suggests that the rate of Armed Forces veterans with mental health conditions could be as high as 10%, compared to around 3% for the general population. The prevalence of military families and veterans means that impacts could be felt from groups who provide support e.g. advice and guidance through CA. Dorset Council manages the Armed Forces Covenant programme which specifically aims to support this community so therefore any impact might be negated.

The discretionary criteria gives a priority to those organisations addressing disadvantage within characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010 and our Dorset Council protected characteristics

Key to impacts

key to impacts
Type of impact Explanation of impact
Positive impact

The proposal eliminates discrimination, advances equality of opportunity and/or fosters good relations with protected groups.

Negative impact

Protected characteristic group(s) could be disadvantaged or discriminated against.

Neutral impact

No change/ no assessed significant impact of protected characteristic groups.

Unclear

Not enough data/evidence has been collected to make an informed decision.

Action Plan

Action plan
Issue Action Person(s) responsible Deadline How will it be monitored?
Unclear Impacts Gender reassignment and Gender identity Sexual orientation

Need to ensure that grant funded programmes target the protected characteristic communities so that they can benefit directly from the projects funded.

Business Partner – Communities and Partnerships

Grants Monitoring Officer

Cultural Development Officer

Museums development Officer

Dec 2020

Analysis of applicants of new grant schemes

Unclear Impacts Gender reassignment and Gender identity Sexual orientation

Ensure delivery of grant funded programmes cut across the whole Dorset Council.

Business Partner – Communities and Partnerships

Grants Monitoring Officer

Cultural Development Officer

Museums development Officer

Dec 2020

Engagement with relevant networks and marketing of grant schemes

EqIA agreed by

who agreed this eqia
Role Name Date
Officer completing this EqIA

Laura Cornette

21 September 2020

Equality lead

Susan Ward-Rice

06 October 2020

Equality and Diversity Action Group Chair

Pete Bartlett

06 October 2020

Diversity and Inclusion Officer - Dorset Council

Name: Susan Ward-Rice
Email: susan.ward-rice@dorsetcouncil.gov.uk
Tel: 01305 224368
Full contact details

 

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