Equalities experts from a local government body representing over 400 councils in the UK, have handed us the highest possible award for equalities after a recent review.
After recent changes, officers from the Local Government Association (LGA) were invited by Brent Council to review its performance for equalities, which have been rated as 'Excellent' under the LGA's Equality Framework for Local Government.
Writing to Brent Council last week to inform them of the award rating which is valid for three years, Gill Elliott, Peer Support Adviser at the LGA, said:
"In order to be able to award the "Excellent" level, it was important for the Council to demonstrate that outstanding measures contained in several key equality related action plans were being implemented and that outcomes were starting to be realised.
"We also wanted to be assured that the new Equality Committee was effective in its role of monitoring the progress of these action plans.
"We can see that there is sufficient evidence to support a view that these requirements have been met."
The council's Diversity Reference Group, Departmental Equalities Groups and Members' Equality Committee were all praised by the LGA, as was the council's actions in implementing recommendations made in the 2014-15 Annual Workforce Equalities Report and its roll-out of the Aspire Leadership Development Programme. The accessibility of Brent Civic Centre was also praised.
Gill Elliott added:
"In summary, a great deal of energy and commitment is evident throughout what has clearly been a period of substantial change for the Council.
"We are therefore delighted to be able to award Brent Council the Excellent Level of the Equality Framework for Local Government."
Cllr Michael Pavey, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member responsible for equalities at Brent Council, said:
"We are so proud of Brent's diversity. We made some very challenging changes following my review and I'm delighted that these are paying off.
"We want Brent to be the most rewarding place to live and work and this award shows that we are really moving in the right direction. But there is no room for complacency and we'll keep working hard to improve."