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SCREENING

Community Recovery Grants (due to flooding in February 2020)

Last updated 3 March 2020

Contents

The assessment
Impact
Conclusion

 

A signed version of this EqIA is available to download; please note it may not be accessible for users of assistive technology.

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The assessment

Directorate

Chief Executive

New or existing service or policy?

New

Officer(s) completing the assessment

Ian Miller

What is the purpose? What are the outcomes?

Deployment of Government grant to promote recovery and resilience from the February 2020 floods.

Will there be any effect on other Council procedures or strategies e.g. Corporate Plan or the council’s workforce?

None

Are there any statutory requirements?

No specific legislative requirements. Regard should be had to relevant duties and powers of the council including preventing homelessness and providing welfare support for those in greatest need.

The Council is a Category 1 responder under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. The powers upon which the Council will rely in deploying the community recovery grant (which the Government will pay under section 31 of the Local Government Act 2003) include section 1 of the Localism Act 2011, the general power of competence, and sections 111 and 137 of the Local Government Act 1972.

Are there any other organisations/bodies involved?

None directly.

Who are the main customer groups / stakeholders?

Individual households and businesses that have been affected by flooding, communities affected by flooding (in particular Bewdley and Stourport).

What information are you using? What does the evidence show you?

Comprehensive information is not held on the protected characteristics of households that have been affected by flooding.

110 residential properties and about 35 businesses are known to have been flooded. Further information is still being gathered. Just over 200 residential properties that are considered to be primary residences - the vast majority of which are caravans - were rendered unliveable for a period because residents were required to evacuate.

The limited information that has been considered includes the following: among households which have had to leave their primary residence on caravan sites but did not suffer flooding of a habitable area, 25 (12.5%) are on low income as they receive support under the council tax reduction scheme: among this small group, 68% are of pension age and 32% are of working age. It is not known if this age profile reflects the typical position for people whose primary residence is on a caravan site.

What impact does the service/policy/project have on the nine protected characteristics as defined by the Equality Act 2010.

Prior to the Equality Act 2010, there were 3 separate public sector equality duties covering race, disability and gender. The Equality Act 2010 replaced these with a new single equality duty covering the protected characteristics listed below.

Characteristic and definition Impact and evidence

Age - where this is referred to, it refers to a person belonging to a particular age (e.g. 32 year olds) or range of ages (e.g. 18 - 30 year olds).

Neutral

Evidence: the age profile of all households affected by flooding is not known – there are limited data for households who claim council tax reduction support and who were required to evacuate their properties. The proposed approach does not treat people differently on the basis of their age.

Disability – a person has a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on that person's ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.

Neutral

Evidence: the number of disabled people among households affected by flooding is not known. The proposed approach does not treat people differently on the basis of that characteristic.

Gender

Neutral

Evidence: the number of people who have undergone gender reassignment among households affected by flooding is not known. The proposed approach does not treat people differently on the basis of that characteristic.

Gender reassignment – the process of transitioning from one gender to another.

Neutral

Evidence: the number of people who have undergone gender reassignment among households affected by flooding is not known. The proposed approach does not treat people differently on the basis of that characteristic.

Marriage and civil partnership – marriage is defined as a 'union between a man and a woman'. Same-sex couples can have their relationships legally recognised as 'civil partnerships'. Civil partners must be treated the same as married couples on a wide range of legal matters.

Neutral

Evidence: the number of people who are married or in civil partnerships among households affected by flooding is not known. The proposed approach does not treat people differently on the basis of that characteristic.

Pregnancy and maternity – pregnancy is the condition of being pregnant or expecting a baby. Maternity refers to the period after the birth, and is linked to maternity leave in the employment context. In the non-work context, protection against maternity discrimination is for 26 weeks after giving birth, and this includes treating a woman unfavourably because she is breastfeeding.

Neutral

Evidence: the number of people who are pregnant or on maternity leave among households affected by flooding is not known. The proposed approach does not treat people differently on the basis of that characteristic.

Race – it refers to a group of people defined by their race, colour, and nationality (including citizenship) ethnic or national origins.

Neutral

Evidence: the number of people of different racial groups among households affected by flooding is not known. The proposed approach does not treat people differently on the basis of that characteristic.

Religion and belief – religion has the meaning usually given to it but belief includes religious and philosophical beliefs including lack of belief (e.g. Atheism).

Neutral

Evidence: the number of people of different religions or beliefs among households affected by flooding is not known. The proposed approach does not treat people differently on the basis of that characteristic.

Sex – a man or a woman.

Neutral

Evidence: the sex of people among households affected by flooding is not known. The proposed approach does not treat people differently on the basis of that characteristic.

Sexual Orientation – whether a person's sexual attraction is towards their own sex, the opposite sex or to both sexes.

Neutral

Evidence: the sexual orientation of people among households affected by flooding is not known, although it has been reported that the flat of a gay married couple was flooded. The proposed approach does not treat people differently on the basis of that characteristic.

Other

e.g. Deprivation, health inequalities, urban/rural divide, community safety

Data are not held on the levels of deprivation etc among households affected by flooding. Households that have suffered water ingress in the habitable area have suffered much greater hardship and are likely to face much higher costs and inconvenience than others affected by the flooding: payments of £500 to households that have suffered flooding in the habitable area (i.e. not including gardens, sheds and garages) have begun to be made. In accordance with the MHCLG guidance, only primary residences are eligible and thus the Council will not grant a council tax discount or make a payment of £500 in the case of second homes or empty properties.

The Council will qualify for a community recovery grant of £500 where a primary residence has been rendered unliveable but was not actually flooded. This is relevant to the 200 or so residential properties, mostly caravans, which are considered to be primary residences and which were generally evacuated for two or three days in two successive weeks. In line with the Government guidance, the Council has discretion on how this funding should be used and it does not have to make payments to such households (over and above the 100% council tax relief that they will receive).

The hardship fund that is worth an estimated £15k and forms part of the Community Recovery Fund will allow support to be provided to any residents in this group that are facing severe financial difficulty as a consequence; the Council also has its extant Welfare Support Scheme to provide further assistance if necessary. It is the case that people whose primary residences were flooded are likely to include people whose disposable income is low and who have suffered greater proportionate losses and costs than people whose inconvenience and cost has been limited to having to find alternative accommodation for a number of days. The Community Recovery Fund allows greater support to be provided to that group of residents, with an allocation of an estimated £30k to provide resources to top up the £500 grant.

On balance, it is concluded that the proposals represent a proportionate response to the circumstances facing local residents and communities.

Conclusion

Is a full assessment required?

No

Signed: Ian Miller
Dated: 3 March 2020

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