Headlines: July 14th, 2000

More than nine months after a damning report into the lack of equality in the Fire Service, (see Publicnet, September 20,1999) a plan of action has been agreed which sets out a timetable for measurable and sustained improvement. A review then showed how black and ethnic minority and women officers each represented about only one per cent of the workforce, which was clearly not representative of the population.’Toward Diversity – Promoting Cultural Change’, has been developed by the Home Office in consultation with representatives of local government, chief fire officers and the Fire Brigades Union. It gives the service 12 months to provide evidence of change, such as:

-communication to all staff in the service of a clear statement of values and commitment to diversity, and an audit by each brigade of the strengths of its links with ethnic minority communities by October 2000

– promotion and active implementation of family friendly policies alongside a national recruitment campaign targeting under-represented groups, by December 2000

– brigades to appoint an Equality and Fairness Specialist Advisor by May 2001.

Find the report at www.homeoffice.gov.