Aims of the strategy

The purpose of the Consultation and Communications plans for the Main Modifications consultation is to identify how the council will consult stakeholders on the Main Modifications to the draft Purbeck Local Plan.

Context to the proposal

The council is preparing a Purbeck Local Plan. As part of this process, the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act 2004 sets out the requirements and process for producing a local plan. The Main Modifications, part of that statutory process, are suggested changes to a draft Local Plan which has undergone consideration through various round of consultation prior to submission for Examination by the Planning Inspectorate including public hearings.

The Council and Inspector have agreed modifications to make the plan sound and legally compliant in planning terms. Due to current situation, the consultation period has been extended from 6 to 8 weeks, and people will be allowed to loan a copy of the document from Wareham and Dorchester library. In addition, copies will also be available on loan from Swanage and Lytchett Minster and Upton Town Councils’ offices. Planning officers will take phone calls if anyone has any queries and a hard copy will be sent to individuals if requested. People on the planning consultation database will be contacted directly. The vast majority of interested participants have provided emails.

Intelligence and communication

Data, information, evidence and research and how it has been used to influence the decision making process

Dorset Insight - statistics and census information 

Age

With 27.6% of the Purbeck area population over 65 years of age, we have a considerably higher population of older people than England and Wales at 18.3%. 56.2% of our population are of working age and 16.2% are aged 15 or below. This is similar to Dorset as a whole.

age table
  Total Percentage Dorset Council England and Wales
All persons

47,140

n/a

376,480

59,115,810

All males

23,380

49.6%

48.9%

49.4%

All females

23,760

50.4%

51.1%

50.6%

0-15 yrs

7,640

16.2%

15.9%

19.1%

16-64 yrs

26,510

56.2%

55.4%

62.5%

65+ yrs

12,990

27.6%

28.6%

18.3%

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 Purbeck 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 (Source: Census 2011, ONS). This reflects the pattern across Dorset as a whole.

Ethnicity

The current population statistics for the Purbeck area indicate that the population is predominantly White British (96.2%). However, the overall statistic for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) is of 3.8% with 1.3% of the population not having English as their first language. However it is unclear whether this is representative of the entire Purbeck area and how much variation there is across Purbeck. This reflects a similar pattern across Dorset.

race table
Race and Ethnicity

%

%

 Area Purbeck Dorset
White British & Northern Irish

96.2

95.6

BME (Black and Minority Ethnic population)

3.8

4.4

Mail language not English 

1.3

1.7

98.7% of Purbeck’s residents aged 3 and over have recorded English as their main language in the 2011 Census, compared to 98.3% across Dorset. This contrasts with a figure of 92% for England and Wales. Polish is the top language spoken in Purbeck at 0.3%, followed by German, French, Spanish and Turkish all at 0.1% each.

Religion

25.9% of Purbeck residents identify as having no religion and 65% of residents are Christian. The five major non–Christian world religions Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism and Sikhism constitute 1% of Purbeck’s residents’ religious beliefs.

Religion table
Religion % %
Area Purbeck Dorset
Christian

65

65.1

Non-Christian

1

1.5

No religion

25.9

25.4

Religion not stated

8.1

8

Deprivation and accessibility

Rural and social isolation creates barriers for communities to access services. Ensuring people can access planning online would help alleviate this.

12% of households do not have a car or van, compared to 15.2% in Dorset and 26% in England and Wales. 

Notification of people on the council’s database will mainly be by email. Where the council only has postal addresses these will be notified by post.

General publicity will go out to a wider audience using the council’s usual media: newsletter, magazine, press release and social media outlets. In addition we will be providing parishes with posters for their parish noticeboards informing local residents of the process and timetable for responses.

Where libraries and town council offices in the area are open, they have agreed to take a stock of local plans and main modifications documents and loan them out following COVID guidelines.

People will be advised that if they don’t have access to the internet, planning officers will be available to discuss ways of enabling them to engage with the consultation. The council has extended the consultation process by 2 weeks to mitigate the additional barriers resulting from COVID restrictions.

What engagement or consultation has taken place as part of this EqIA?

None to date. This is an EqIA of the consultation and communications plan(s) for the Main Modifications stage of Purbeck Local Plan. It follows the principles set out in the Statement of Community Involvement which was adopted in October 2018.

To get to this stage Purbeck Local Plan underwent several rounds of consultation – Issues and Options, Options, New Homes for Purbeck, Pre-submission and Submission which were all subject to EqIA. During the examination of the plan, the council have held public hearings where issues were debated. Attendees included the council, the general public, statutory consultees and stakeholders, e.g. planning agents. As a result of the submissions and discussions during the public hearings a final set of main modifications to the Purbeck Local Plan has been developed. It is these modifications that the council will be consulting on.

Feedback

Those who respond will be informed of any subsequent changes made, if appropriate, and the adoption of the Purbeck Local Plan. The consultation summary report will be made available via our Consultation Tracker. The council will send out paper copies of the consultation report to those people or organisations who are unable to access documents digitally.

Assessment 

impacts table
Impacts on who or what Effect   Details 
Age  Positive

All ages should be able to give opinions as planning can affect everyone.

The Consultation Plan follows the SCI which states that we will use online and hard copy methods for communicating. For instance, to communicate with those who use internet, we need to provide online access to material in an easy to use format. We should also publicise this via social media.

The SCI also states that all communication will be written in plain English. 

For those without access to the internet or without the skills to access the internet we will advertise the use of Digital Champions.

To communicate effectively we should make use of both hard and soft copies of our material. As we are trying to move towards a paperless system which is better for the environment, we can provide hard copies upon request.

Due to the methods proposed for engaging with the public and stakeholders, it is unlikely that any particular age group will be omitted from responding.

 
 Disability Positive  To ensure they are able to engage we should make large print and audio versions of our material available upon request.
The use of on-line format reduces the need for travel but is limited to those with digital skills and access. Paper copies will be made available on request. 
 Disability  Negative For people with additional needs such as learning disabilities or those who are Neurodivergent as easy read and alternative formats haven't been used in the process so far and this may limit the scope of who responds to the consultation.
Gender reassignment and gender identity Neutral  The methods of communication are unlikely to impact on any particular gender identity or gender reassignment.  The process does not collect data on gender identity.
Pregnancy and maternity Positive  As planning will provide online materials and offer hard copies of the document on request it is unlikely to impact on pregnant individuals or anyone on parental leave.
Race and ethnicity Positive The Statement of Community Involvement, which the Consultation and Communications Plan(s) follows, states the Council will make material available in alternative languages upon request. The Council will engage with Dorset Race Equality Council and Kushti Bok a Gypsy and Traveller led organisation. Due to this there is unlikely to be an impact on any race or ethnicity.
Religion or belief  Neutral To ensure we communicate effectively with everyone we should avoid places of worship when hosting events. No events are required for this stage of the Examination in Public.
Sexual orientation / 
sex / marriage or civil partnership / single parent families / military families / veterans 
Neutral  The methods of communication used by planning are unlikely to impact in these areas 
 Carers Unclear The methods of communication used by planning are unlikely to impact on any particular sexual orientation. Information will be available online. The Council will work directly with those who don’t have internet access them to find a solution to enable them to engage in the consultation.
Rural isolation  Positive Due to providing material online it is unlikely to negatively impact on anyone experiencing rural isolation.
Notification of people on the Council’s database will mainly be by email. Where the Council only has postal addresses these will be notified by post.
General publicity will go out to a wider audience using the Council’s usual media: newsletter, magazine, press release and social media outlets. In addition we will be providing parishes with posters for their parish noticeboards informing local residents of the process and timetable for responses. People will be advised that if they don’t have access to the internet planning officers will be available to discuss ways of enabling them to engage with the consultation. The Council has extended the consultation process by 2 weeks to mitigate the additional barriers resulting from COVID restrictions.
Poverty (social and  economic deprivation) Unclear The methods of communication used by planning are unlikely to impact on poverty.
Notification of people on the Council’s database will mainly be by email. Where the Council only has postal addresses these will be notified by post.
General publicity will go out to a wider audience using the Council’s usual media: newsletter, magazine, press release and social media outlets.
In addition we will be providing parishes with posters for their parish noticeboards informing local residents of the process and timetable for responses.
Where libraries and town council offices in the area are open, they have agreed to take a stock of local plans and main modifications documents and loan them out following COVID guidelines.
People will be advised that if they don’t have access to the internet planning officers will be available to discuss ways of enabling them to engage with the consultation.
The Council has extended the consultation process by 2 weeks to mitigate the additional barriers resulting from COVID restrictions.


 
Key to impacts

Key to impacts
Type of impact Definition
Positive impact  
  • positive impact on a large proportion of protected characteristic groups 

  • significant positive impact on a small proportion of protected characteristics groups 

Negative impact 
  • disproportionate impact on a large proportion of protected characteristic groups 

  • significant disproportionate impact on a small proportion of protected characteristic groups

Neutral impact  

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

Unclear 

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

Action plan 

action plan table
Issue Action Person(s) responsible Deadline How will it be monitored?

Disability both positive and negative. Not using alternative formats such as Easy Reader

This is a council-wide issue. Communications team to look at developing guidance and getting a corporate steer when these will be required.

Mark Simmons

 n/a

 n/a

Carers - neutral

Unclear as to whether carers are unfairly impacted. Online availability may be easier for some but is assumption that carers may be older and/or struggle to afford digital access. The council is offering alternatives to digital only.

Spatial Planning

 n/a

 n/a

Poverty unclear

Emphasis on digital access may create an affordability barrier. The council is offering alternatives to digital only.

Spatial Planning

 n/a

 n/a

Who has agreed this EqIA?

Who has agreed this EqIA
Role Name Date
Officer completing this EqIA:

Sue Bellamy

17 July 2020

Equality Lead:

Susan Ward-Rice

13 August 2020

Equality & Diversity Action Group Chair

Dr David Bonner

13 August 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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