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Equality and Human Rights Commission

Volume 473: debated on Thursday 13 March 2008

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what arrangements (a) have been and (b) are to be put in place by the Equality and Human Rights Commission to develop and consolidate relationships with (i) the Mayor's office and (ii) the Greater London Assembly. (192854)

[holding answer 10 March 2008]: In November 2007. the Equality and Human Rights Commission’s chief executive met the Mayor’s director of equalities and Policing and other key GLA staff to discuss how the new Commission could work with the Greater London Authority (GLA) on promoting equality and tackling discrimination across London. Since then, Commission staff have met GLA officers regularly to progress these issues.

The Commission is currently drawing up its business plan for 2008-09 and its stakeholder strategy to promote that work. This will include further arrangements to strengthen links between the Commission and the GLA. The Commission will also be engaging with the London Assembly to ensure that its members are informed and, where appropriate, involved in its work on behalf of Londoners.

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality how many staff are employed in London by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, broken down by (a) grade and (b) specialism; and what consultative stakeholder committees the Commission (i) has established and (ii) plans to establish. (192855)

[holding answer 10 March 2008]: On (a) and (b), the Commission has 79 permanent staff in London and is currently undergoing a job matching process which means staff who have come from the previous commissions (Commission for Racial Equality, Equal Opportunities Commission and Disability Rights Commission) are still on the same grading as they were before joining. Staff will be offered the opportunity to join the Commission’s new grading structure when the job matching process is completed. That exercise is still in progress.

On (i) and (ii), the Commission has statutory committees advising on issues relating to Scotland and Wales and also on matters related to disabled people. The Commission is currently developing a stakeholder strategy, including consideration of what further consultative stakeholder mechanisms it may require. As part of the development of this strategy, the Commission has held an initial scoping event with stakeholders on religion and belief issues and has further events on age and sexual orientation planned.