As part of the transitional arrangements for the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), the Government have set up a transition team to prepare options for the incoming board. As part of the ongoing consultation process, this team has organised a series of events in England, Scotland and Wales to hear the views of stakeholders on the ground. The events have involved representatives of all communities of interest that will covered by the CEHR. In many instances, the events were co-hosted by regional equality bodies.
This year the events took place at these locations across England: Birmingham (Midlands); York (Yorkshire); Salford (north west); Cornwall (south-west); Bristol (south-west); London; Gatwick (south-east); Peterborough (east of England); and Durham (north-east).
Scotland: Dundee; Inverness; and Glasgow.
Wales: Cardiff; Llandrindod Wells; and Llandudno.
In addition to these events around the country, the CEHR team also engage regularly with stakeholder bodies, such as the existing equality commissions (Disability Rights Commission, Equal Opportunities Commission and Commission for Racial Equality), voluntary and campaigning groups, trade unions, business representations and focus groups made up of members of the public.
A series of stakeholder events took place between April and July 2006 and form part of a wide range of activities being taken forward by the team responsible for putting in place transitional arrangements for the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights.
The plan was to engage with a wide range of stakeholders and hear views on how the new commission can have most impact on a national/regional and local level. The events were seen as an opportunity for stakeholders from all strands to meet and understand each other’s views and to begin to share ideas.
We invited individuals or organisations that work in, or across, the following areas: age; race, religion and belief, disability, sexual orientation, gender, and human rights.
We also invited individuals or organisations working in the equality area that cover: trade unions, health, education, transport, public and private employers.
The events were co-ordinated in consultation with the government offices, regional development agencies or their nominated delivery unit as these events were seen as a follow up to the Green and White Paper events originally developed by the DTI Equality Bill team.
The total budget for setting up the Commission for Equality and Human Rights is £24.1 million, spread over four financial years from 2005 to 2009. The budget for 2005-06 is £0.8 million; 2006-07 is £7.1 million; 2007-08 is £11.4 million; and 2008-09 is £4.8 million.
The budget for setting up the Commission for Equality and Human Rights does not include any European Union funding intended to help celebrate the 2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All.
The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) is the lead department for setting up the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights, which will have responsibility for combating discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender, religion or belief, race and sexual orientation as well as promoting human rights.
DCLG will also co-ordinate the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All. The two initiatives are distinct, but the department will seek to ensure that, given the CEHR will be launched in 2007, the European year celebrations are closely aligned with promotion of the new commission. The year will also be an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the Commission for Racial Equality, the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Disability Rights Commission, all of which will be dissolved in 2007 when the CEHR will take over their responsibilities and functions.