Equality Reference Group


Our Equality Reference Group supports the County Council’s work on equality and diversity by providing advice, feedback, ideas and scrutiny. It symbolises the partnership of Devon County Council with the local community in its commitment to equality, and includes members from various local organisations pressing for change. Although acknowledged and supported by the Council, the Equality Reference Group members are independent of the County Council. Service Level Agreements are in place.


Membership (April 2017):

  1. Racial equality representative: Plymouth and Devon Racial Equality Council.
  2. LGB&T+ representative: Intercom Trust (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans people).
  3. Disability representative: Living Options Devon/Fusion Partnership (Disabled people and carers).
  4. Gender equality representative: Fawcett Devon.
  5. Older person’s representative: Age UK Devon.
  6. Young person’s representative: Young Devon.
  7. Religion and belief representative: Devon Faith and Belief Forum.


How to get involved:

The group meet at least six times a year. Officers or Members are welcome to come along to an Equality Surgery. The group can also give insight and advice to Scrutiny Committees.

County Council Officers and Members wishing to consult the ERG on proposed changes to policy, strategy, or service delivery should contact the Corporate Equality Officer. Please discuss proposals at the earliest opportunity – a conversation with Equality Reference Group can help inform an Equality Impact Assessment which should shape and influence your policy/strategy. Please do not use the sessions to ‘sign off’ assessments or to just to give an update. Please provide any pre-reading at least two weeks in advance.

Community organisations can request agenda items or raise questions by discussing this with one of the members (for example, if you are a disability organisation then contact the disability representative which is Living Options Devon). If you are not sure who to contact please email the Corporate Equality Officer. Please note, the group focus on strategic policy and planning matters and do not represent individual complainants. If you have a complaint please use the Council’s feedback process.

See what has been discussed through our Equality Reference Group Newsletters.


Meeting Schedule 2017:

22nd February

Agenda: Communities, Public Health, Environment and Prosperity (2.30 to 4.oopm, 1.30 pre-meeting)

Venue: Room 270 and Room 142

28th March

Agenda: Promoting Independence Policy

Venue: Annexe Board Room (NB 1.00pm finish)

25th April

Agenda: Organisational Development and Purposeful Systems

Venue: Annexe Board Room (NB 1.00pm finish)

18th July


  • Promoting Independence follow-on conversation about Mental Health (DPT Deputy Chief Operating Officer, and DCC Senior Commissioning Manager – Disabilities & Mental Health).
  • Development of a new Strategic Plan.
  • Members’ Induction.

Venue: Annexe Board Room

20th September


  • Promoting Independence follow-on conversation about how needs are assessed under Accommodation with Care (looking at the range of tools/assessments and how diversity considerations are taken into account alongside physical/mental care).
  • Communities Strategy.

Venue: Annexe Board Room

14th November


  • Promoting Independence follow-on conversation about Edge of Care – community development and engagement (Senior Commissioning Manager – Market Management & Quality Assurance, and Head of Communities).
  • Annual performance, budget and direction of travel for the Council (with Chief Executive, Phil Norrey and lead Member for Organisational Development (incl. equality), Cllr Barry Parsons).
  • HR Strategy.

Venue: AB2 Board Room, Lucombe House


Unless otherwise stated the format of meetings is as follows:

9.30am Arrival (County Hall Reception).

9.45 to 10.45am Equality Reference Group pre-meeting (no officer attendance).

11.00 to 1.30pm ‘Equality Surgery’ (officer attendance).

County Council Officers can contact the Corporate Equality Officer to consult with the Equality Reference Group.