Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion for all

We aim to be fair and accessible when we deliver, design and evaluate services, buy services from others, develop policies, and when we consider the needs of our employees.

We are committed to adhering to equality legislation requirements. Us, and any organisations that have been contracted to carry out public functions on our behalf, must have ‘due regard’ to the three aims of the Public Sector Equality Duty, as set out in the Equality Act 2010:

  • eliminate unlawful discrimination and harassment
  • advance equality of opportunity between people with protected characteristics (age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race and ethnicity, religion and belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage and civil partnership)
  • foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not

Our Equality Policy Statement sets out our commitment to equality and diversity.

It incorporates our Equality Objectives – every four years we publish one or more equality objectives we want to achieve in relation to the Public Sector Equality Duty.

To demonstrate that we, as an employer and as a service provider, have considered the three aims of the equality duty as part of our decision making processes, we publish Equality Impact Assessments.

These impact assessments are undertaken when policies and services are being introduced or reviewed.

An Equality Impact Assessment (EIA) is a tool for ensuring that we do not discriminate and that we promote equality and take action to address inequality. EIAs enable us to thoroughly and systematically analyse our policies, services, functions and strategies, so that we can understand and minimise any negative consequences, and maximise opportunities for promoting fairness. EIAs also help MVDC meet the requirements of the PSED.

Member Equality Champions represent our commitment to celebrating diversity and inclusion for individuals and groups with the ‘protected characteristics’ they represent.

Councillor Paul Kennedy, Cabinet Member for Internal Services and Security, which includes responsibility for equalities and community relations, said: “I am delighted that the recent elections have delivered such a diverse and talented set of Councillors to represent Mole Valley, and that one of our newer Councillors has agreed to join our team of Member Equality Champions. These roles confirm our collective commitment to being diverse and inclusive as a Council and to securing equality for all.”

Member Equality Champions for ethnic minorities

Councillor Magesh came to Britain as a child in 2001. He studied both Law and Medicine, and in both professions, equality plays a role in ensuring a diverse range of thought and a level of dynamism that ensures innovation. By working on the systemic issues that can often disadvantage people, he states “we can hope to build a more meritocratic society. One where, as the great Reverend King envisions, people may be judged not by the colour of their skin, their background, the colour, caste or creed, but solely on their achievements and the content of their character.”

Councillor Jehangir – or Raj – Haque, moved to England in 1971. He has been a councillor since 2010 and was Chairman of the Council from 2018 – 19.

Councillor Haque said of his appointment: “It is an honour to have been chosen as MVDC’s champion for ethnic minorities, a role I will perform to the best of my ability. I look forward to representing and promoting the interests of all ethnic minorities on this council, which has been so welcoming to me during my time as a councillor.”

Member Equality Champions for Disabled People

Councillor Jo Farrar-Astrop said of her appointment: “I am honoured to be offered a role as one of the Members Equality Champions.

My particular interest is in physical disability of all types. I am a fulltime wheelchair user so can appreciate the challenges involved in everyday life when the world is not designed for you and what can be done to overcome this. I look forward to promoting and representing those with all types of disability in accordance with the aims of MVDC.”

Councillor Elsie Rosam trained as a psychodynamic counsellor and has volunteered for both MyTime, which supports young carers, and Dorking Minds, a charity which aims to help young people take control of their mental health.

Councillor Rosam said: “I am honoured to have been appointed to this important role which reflects the commitment of the whole Council to support and include people with every kind of disability, both mental and physical. I look forward to working with community groups and the council to put that commitment into practice”

The links below take you to defined datasets on the Office for National Statistics website, showing data for Mole Valley residents.  These datasets provide 2021 Census estimates.

To download a dataset, click on a link below, scroll down to ‘Get the data’, select the format you desire and click ‘Download’.

As part of our ongoing commitment to celebrating diversity and promoting inclusion for all and in accordance with our statutory obligations under the Public Sector Equality Duty a Workforce diversity profile snapshot was taken on 8th January 2024*.

This snapshot reviews the diversity profile of our workforce and is included on our website along with the Gender Pay Gap Report.

All public sector employers, including local authorities, have a statutory duty under the Equality Act (2010) to publish the equality profile data it holds for its direct employee workforce on an annual basis.

This data forms part of the evidence base that the council can use to ensure its employment practices and services are free from discrimination and prejudice, and fulfil the core statutory duty placed on all public sector employers, including local authorities, to:

  • Monitor the profile of their workforce by the protected characteristics
  • Publish the relevant data on a regular basis (annually)
  • Identify any negative trends or issues and take any necessary action to address these.

The workforce profile also compares the make-up of the workforce in 2023 to Mole Valley District population (taken from the 2021 Census).  This data feeds into the internal Equality Action Plan which is delivering the 2022-2026 Equality Objectives agreed by Cabinet in 2021.

As a major local employer, it is important we work towards a situation where our workforce, as a minimum, broadly reflects the makeup of the local community it serves.

From the data that the Council holds and has been able to gather, the workforce is generally representative of the Mole Valley population with the exception of those with the protected characteristics of disability, age and gender.

In respect of the disability characteristic, we will be considering what further measures we can put in place to encourage disabled people to seek employment opportunities and reduce barriers to employment with ourselves.

In the case of age, where the profile of the organisation does not match that of the district, this is largely due to a high proportion of the population being of retirement age.

In respect of gender, where the profile of the organisation does not match that of the district, this is largely due to a national prevalence of females working in local government.

* Whilst we encourage staff to share their protected characteristics so that we can more accurately report on our workforce diversity profile, by their very nature it is not mandatory for staff to do so. As such, the data on which the report is based represents just shy of 20% of our workforce, at the time that the snapshot was taken.