Equality for all DRAFT PAGE

Equality for all

Waltham Forest Council has been recognised once again as one of the UK’s top 100 best employers of gay staff. Only four London councils make the grade.

 

wfcwWhite Man, Think Again
Is the white race fated to be overwhelmed by the non- white races, or is it destined to triumph over them?
Are we going to retain our racial identity, or are we going to allow ourselves to become an admixture with a 'world people'?
Is White submergence inevitable or are we being merely per- suaded and manoeuvred into handing over our power?
"South Africa has analysed the falsehood and sickness that lie at the core of Liberalism, and has denounced them "
read document. - pdf
wfcwEducation for Barbarism
Discrimination,  against anyone,  encourages intolerance and exclusion of whole communities within our increasingly diverse and very complex society.
In any society, ancient or modern, it is the duty of the older generation to prepare the young to take their place in the economic, intellectual and social life of the community. In modern times this duty falls largely to the State. It provides a system of education in keeping with the highly complex activities of man in an industrial age. The paramount importance of systematized education has long been recognized.
read document - pdf
wfcwLondon Borough of Waltham Forest, Local Economic Assessment
November 2010, Navigant Consulting
A low-skilled borough... Skills levels in Waltham Forest are very low, as in most of East London. Waltham Forest ranks 377th out of 408 local areas in Great Britain on overall skills and qualifications scores.There are more Asian/Asian British unemployed in Waltham Forest than any other ethnic grouping. Asian/Asian British residents are nearly three times as likely to be unemployed as White residents, and twice as likely as Black/Black British residents.
 
wfcwWaltham Forest Council told to adopt integration plans
wfcwConnecting Communities workshop and lunch
3 August 2018
Please click here for more information on the event.
Community Waltham Forest is offering a workshop and lunch, inviting local people involved in the community sector to a half day workshop on 3rd August to find out about the new ‘Connecting Communities’ programme. 
At the end of the workshop they will be providing lunch and the opportunity for networking and further conversation. 
Driven by Community Waltham Forest’s new corporate strategy, Creating Futures, and the Integrated Communities funding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Connecting Communities represents a new way of thinking about the borough’s priorities, how they can be addressed, and the role everyone can play in:
  • Improving life chances
  • Creating a better sense of community
  • Increasing integration across the whole borough
  • Responding more effectively to the evolving needs of a growing and changing borough
wfcwGovernment tells Waltham Forest to tackle segregation
14 March 2018
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Waltham Forest Council in London has been told it must adopt new integration plans to deal with problems of segregation. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, launching a consultation paper on the plan, said Britain "cannot ignore the fact that in too many parts of our country, communities are divided".
New measures will include the provision of more English-speaking classes, running conversation clubs, promoting British values in school curriculums and creating more opportunities, particularly for women.
wfcwGovernment launch plan to tackle racial inequality in 'hotspot' borough Waltham Forest
11 October 2017
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Waltham Forest is one of 20 areas across the UK where measures will be taken to tackle racial inequalities under new government plans.
Mentoring schemes and traineeships for people from ethnic minority backgrounds aged 16 to 24 could be introduced in the borough under measures announced by Prime Minister Theresa May.
wfcwBorough given cash to boost social integration
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Around half of the people living in Waltham Forest are from ethnic minorities and thousands of local people were born overseas.
More than 14,000 people in the borough speak either poor English or no English at all.
Dr Shaukat Khan, vice-chair of the Waltham Forest Race Equality Council, told the Echo he thought the extra money was “great news” and argued it could be used to expand the number of community spaces available in the local area.
The scheme could fund “a whole range of things which could inter-relate, through which we could build up a stronger community,” added Dr Khan.
This sentiment was echoed by Helen Taylor, who is involved with both Waltham Forest Migrant Action Group and Stories and Supper, which brings together volunteers, migrants and refugees to talk and eat together.
   

stonewall cohesion equality family skills
Top stonewall
 
Waltham Forest: Investors in People, an Equal Opportunity Employer
wfcwWaltham Forest Council:
one of the best places to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.
5th February 2013
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wfcwMartin Esom, Chief Executive
Annual salary: £180,000
2013
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nutshell Council one of the best LGBT employers - comment !
Cllr Sweden5th February 2013
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Waltham Forest Council has been named one of the best places to work for lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender people.
The authority was placed 63rd on gay rights charity Stonewall’s 2013 list of the 100 best employers of gay staff.
The ranking beats last year’s placing of 92 and means the council is one of just four London local authorities to feature in the top 100, which Stonewall defines as a list of employers working to create a safe and inclusive environment for employees, customers and stakeholders.
Councillor Mark Rusling, cabinet member for economic development and corporate resources, said: “I am extremely pleased with the result this year, especially as it is the highest we have ever been ranked in the seven years that the council has entered the index.
TPA: The rocketing cost of council pensions. Mar 13
Council has employed some staff on effectively zero contracts with an average part time wage of about £10 per day with no pension offered when first employed.   This led directly to future poverty for some council staff.

Also, it seems, staff pension payments were used to fund other staff salaries.  Chief Executive Martin Esom knows what happened, has refused to explain and is set to destroy the evidence of council’s culpability.

He has taken legal advice to stop details from being made public, saying: “It would not be in accordance with the data principles under the the Data Protection Act and the Freedom of Information Act to disclose this information.”

EduAction, and Oxford County Council

From 2001
EduAction, a joint venture between Nord Anglia, Amey and Waltham Forest Council, was managing education and teachers' pensions in the borough. Oxfordshire Local Education Authority provided advice to the partnership.
2001 BBC report ...


May 2001, Citywire reported shares in Amey were up 4p at 426p, while Nord Anglia surged 21p to 256p. A jump in underlying profits and news of a contract win boosted shares in Nord Anglia Education.
Citywire report ...

2005, Cabinet Member for Lifelong Learning, Cllr Chris Robbins, said: 'In two years Waltham Forest has moved from being an education authority judged by OfSTED as 'unsatisfactory' to one that in early 2005 was found to be highly satisfactory. EduAction has played a vital role in this rapid and sustainable improvement.'
NordAnglia Education news ...
2005 results ...

On 3 December 2009, an Independent External Panel censured Waltham Forest Council for serious widespread financial mismanagement. The report consisted of 10 sections and protects the anonymity of councillors, officers and others by deleting (redacting) those parts of the report which identified individuals. The contents of the EduAction audit report are strictly confidential and were circulated only to Cabinet members and other key officers.
2009 Waltham Forest Council report...

On 31 March 2011, Settlement reached over Youth At Risk dispute.
EduAction agreed to pay council an undisclosed sum. The figure has been withheld on the grounds of commercial confidentiality. Both parties will pay their own legal costs. The agreement means that neither EduAction or the council accepts liability or wrongdoing. They have also agreed to “co-operate, consult and work with each other” in a defence against a claim being made by an undisclosed person.
June 2011, Waltham Forest Guardian report
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Problem? What problem?
Waltham Forest CouncilCouncil staff took half the number of stress-related days off than they did in 2009
2nd April 2013
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Council staff in Waltham Forest are less stressed than their city-wide counter parts, an investigation has found.
The council seems to have bucked the trend which has appeared across the rest of the city as most London councils are seeing a rise in staff shortage due to stress.
In 2009 staff at Waltham Forest Council took 4,098 days off due to stress, a number which fell in 2012 to 2,489.
LondonlovesBusiness -
llbLondon loves Business
2 April 2013
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London councils hit by staggering staff stress levels amid job cuts
Waltham Forest Council saw the level of days off taken due to stress decrease from 4,098 in 2012 to 2,489 in 2009.

nutshellWaltham Forest Pay Policy Statement 2013/14
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This pay policy statement applies to directly employed Waltham Forest Council staff only. It sets out the Council’s position in relation to pay for its senior managers in compliance with the Localism Act 2011. The policy also outlines the Council’s approach to how it manages pay for its senior managers and all other posts in the Council.
This pay policy does not cover those employed in schools.

Chief Officers
Remuneration Strategy and Principles
The principles of the Chief Officer Remuneration Strategy are:
  • Fair, equitable and transparent arrangements to support excellent service delivery to our residents in accordance with the Council’s values and priorities
  • A reward package that represents value for money for the Council while being competitive within the relevant market for the employee
  • Pay arrangements that differentiate rewards to employees based on the achievement of organisational, team and individual targets
  • Pay increases for employees, including any incremental progression, will be subject to an assessment of performance through an appropriate appraisal scheme as agreed by the Council and performance levels being sustained
  • The Council will facilitate the provision of benefits for its employees by third party providers and support the use of schemes approved by the government which provide discounts or savings to employees (e.g. salary sacrifice, corporate discount schemes)
  • The Council will be open and transparent about its remuneration strategy and publish statements on chief officer remuneration by 31 March of each year.

Factors Determining Remuneration
The Council will take a number of factors into consideration in determining the
level and process of remuneration for chief officers and all staff. These factors are:

  • The Council’s financial position.
  • The Government’s stated policy on public sector pay and any assumptions built into financial settlements for local government.
  • The level of pay awards agreed by the National Joint Council of Local

Government Service and other relevant national negotiating bodies.

  • The level of inflation.
  • The Council’s analysis of trends in recruitment and retention of employees including comparison with our neighbouring boroughs and partners.
  • The Council’s workforce requirements and plans.
  • Any other relevant factors.

Grading and Remuneration Scheme
Waltham Forest will use the Hay job evaluation method to evaluate Chief Officer roles.

Remuneration of Chief Officers on Recruitment
New staff will be placed on the bottom point of the grade. However if the Council is matching a salary this will be taken into account in the offer.

Remuneration Principles Linked to Performance
All chief officers will have their level of reward linked to sustaining high performance. This is to ensure that the Council gets maximum value for money and that reward levels are inextricably linked to providing good services to our residents or to internal customers to enable them to provide these high-quality services. The principles to be followed in this approach are:

  • In order to progress a scale point, a chief officer will have to achieve a ‘1’ (exceptional) marking in appraisal
  • An appraisal marking of ‘2’ will maintain the position they are in at the end of the year
  • Any subsequent appraisal marking of ‘2’ will again maintain that position
  • Any chief officer achieving a marking of ‘3’ will be supported to improve their performance and although this will not automatically result in a salary reduction, a salary reduction could be an outcome of the performance improvement process.

There are no bonuses applicable to chief officer posts.

Ending of Employment of Chief Officer Posts
The Council will make contractual payments to any chief officers whose employment ends during the year.

Payment to Chief Officers Undertaking Additional Duties
When elections occur a fee is payable for returning officer duties. The will be included in the annual publication of payments to chief officer where applicable.

Management Board
The following roles for the Council’s Management Board:

Chief Executive
Deputy Chief Executive: Families
Deputy Chief Executive: Environment and Regeneration
Corporate Director: Finance and Procurement
Corporate Director: Human Resources and Transformation
Corporate Director: Residents First

Non Chief Officer Posts
The method by which non-chief officer posts are evaluated is by the Greater London Provincial Council Job Evaluation Scheme 2000 for posts upto and including PO7. For posts PO8 and above the Council will use the Hay job evaluation method to evaluate Chief Officer roles.

Subject to satisfactory service and any Council decision made as part of its annual budget setting process to the contrary, salaries will rise by annual increments up to the maximum of the scale for the grade.

For the financial years 2012/13 and 2013/14 only, the Council has agreed that no increments will be paid to staff at scale 5 and over, including chief officers, after which the situation will be reviewed. This means that the next date upon which increments may be payable for these staff is 1st April 2014. Subject to the provision of this clause, notwithstanding the above, a member of staff will be eligible for increments on 1st April each year until the maximum of the scale is reached subject to the following qualifications:
The Council may in any year decide on financial grounds not to pay an increase of increment payments for all employees in the following financial year.  This will be stated as part of the budget planning process.

London Living Wage
The Council has since May 2011 paid the London Living Wage to its directly employed staff. From November 2012 the Mayor of London set this at £8.55 an hour and an annual full time equivalent salary of £16,048. Therefore for staff on Grade 1, salary spinal points 4 to 9 a top up to this salary will be made. Should the Mayor increase the rate of the London Living Wage then the top up will be amended as necessary.

Tax and Bonus Payments
No bonus payments are made to any employee of the Council.
All employees are paid via the Council’s payroll and have income tax and National Insurance deducted at source in line with their personal taxable position.

Pay Multiple
As at March 2013 the pay multiple between the highest and lowest paid officers of the Council is 11.21

Lowest Paid Employees
The lowest paid employee in the Council will be paid the London Living Wage of £16,048 for a full time employee.

Pay Transparency
The Council wishes to be transparent in its application of this pay policy. In order to do so it will publish the position as at 31st March 2013:

  • The salary grades and ranges including those for senior managers
  • Names, job titles, actual salaries for all chief officers
  • Job titles and grades of all posts graded PO10 or equivalent and above,
  • The job descriptions for each chief officer

 

wfcwChildren referred to NHS with transgender feelings quadruples – with kids as young as 3 receiving treatment
7 April 2015
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The number of children under 11 who have been referred to NHS with transgender feelings has more than quadrupled in the last six years Number referred to gender issues unit rose from 19 in 2009 to 77 in 2014.
47 were aged five or younger and two of the children were three years old.
According to the NHS the first signs of gender dysphoria can appear at a very young age.

Mark ThompsonBBC told to put more gay presenters on children's TV to 'familiarise' youngsters with different sexualities
14 December 2012
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Study said gay presenters would 'validate' the feelings of gay children. It said this was important for young people in their ' formative years.' Report said BBC News gave too much time to 'homophobic' viewpoints. It also recommended having more gay characters in dramas and soaps.
wfcwKurt Barling, one of the BBC’s most prominent black journalists has found himself ‘surplus to requirements’ under new director-general Tony Hall
1 April 2014
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Barling’s sacking came on the eve of a newspaper interview with BBC strategy chief James Purnell, in which he said: ‘We are still too white.’ Sir Trevor McDonald has warned the media to be vigilant against the risk of an ‘apartheid’ system that does not properly represent Britain’s ethnically diverse population.
wfcw Radio Four presenter Evan Davis is to replace Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
22 July 2014
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He is a figure who claims with barely a hint of irony that he’s more famous for being ‘openly gay’ than for his broadcasting journalism.
BC director-general Tony Hall praised him as an 'outstanding journalist' and an 'extraordinarily clever and intelligent interviewer'
After Oxford, the brilliant student born in Ashtead, Surrey, and educated initially at what was then Dorking Grammar School, went on the familiar trail to Harvard to complete his education. It was only in America that he had the confidence to come out. ‘At university some people knew I was gay and I think a lot of people suspected, however I wasn’t out at all,’ he said. ‘It wasn’t until I went to college in America that I came out and told everybody.’
wfcwLenny Henry told he should emigrate to a black country
27 April 2014
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William Henwood of Enfield, north London tells the comic he 'does not have to live with whites' in response to comments on lack of ethnic minorities on television
wfcwDiversity in the civil service: it's a sorry state of affairs
28 April 2014
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The workers of Whitehall are still mostly white and male. Reports that there are more ethnic minority civil servants now is undercut by the realisation that their chance of promotion is on the slide.
Comment
In October, at the service's diversity and equality awards, Bob Kerslake, the head of the civil service, sounded upbeat. There is a way to go, he said, but "many things we have got right". Many more women, a less London-centric approach. Earlier this year, he talked of plaudits from Stonewall and the proportion of disabled civil servants at a record high. But talking to Civil Service World in March, Sir Paul Jenkins, who held the diversity champion brief from 2010 to his retirement, said the record on improving ethnic diversity in the senior ranks of the civil service was "disgraceful". He added that deadlines for imposing "a clear, strategic approach" to diversity, had been missed. read ..
nutshell What did Lenny Henry say?
Henry said earlier this month that he wanted the public to join his campaign to put more ethnic minorities on the screen.
He has been engaged in private discussions with Ed Vaizey, the Culture minister, and senior broadcasting figures, Lord Hall, the BBC Director General and Peter Fincham, the chief executive of ITV, to discuss his campaign to put more ethnic minorities on the screen.

Henry - who wants the public to force politicians to make the change - has been campaigning on the issue for six years and is hopeful that change is imminent.

He said: ‘There will be a call to arms. Nothing happens without conflict and this is our time to stop moaning to ourselves and to take the argument public.

‘All of those people in the audience who watch those shows and complain that there aren’t enough black and Asian [people], and gay and women and people with disabilities and transgender… they need to start lobbying, to start writing letters, they need to start emailing.'
28 April 2014
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The workers of Whitehall are still mostly white and male. Reports that there are more ethnic minority civil servants now is undercut by the realisation that their chance of promotion is on the slide

Bob Kerslake, head of the civil service. Photograph: Graeme Robertson for the Guardian
Who didn't love the Machiavellian trio who ran the country in Yes Minister? They were very sharp-witted, very articulate, very learned, very male and very white. When dramatic threat was needed, an assertive woman was thrown into the mix, and as far as Sir Humphrey was concerned, she may as well have been a Visigoth. Things aren't that bad in today's civil service. But they are a long way from perfect.
Labour has been shining a light on the composition of the civil service, which is good, because in government its hands were far from clean. And what emerged last week is that the prospect of promotion for black, Asian and ethnic minority staff of other descriptions has fallen since 2010 in 10 of 15 departments that supplied data for a parliamentary answer. In the health, transport and communities departments, promotions for ethnic minority staff halved. There were none at all in the culture department in the years 2012 and 2013. The culture department is the department with a primary focus on equalities. Thus a sorry scenario contains elements of comedy.
All a bit confusing, because a Cabinet Office spokesperson recently told the Times that the proportion of ethnic minority staff has risen in the three years to March 2010. So there are more minorities, but fewer climbing the pole. Are they all without ambition? What's the betting that the increase is marked in the lowest grades?
And what's the betting that we're not getting the full picture? In October, at the service's diversity and equality awards, Bob Kerslake, the head of the civil service, sounded upbeat. There is a way to go, he said, but "many things we have got right". Many more women, a less London-centric approach. Earlier this year, he talked of plaudits from Stonewall and the proportion of disabled civil servants at a record high. But talking to Civil Service World in March, Sir Paul Jenkins, who held the diversity champion brief from 2010 to his retirement, said the record on improving ethnic diversity in the senior ranks of the civil service was "disgraceful". He added that deadlines for imposing "a clear, strategic approach" to diversity, had been missed.
So one can be hopeful when it is reported that some mandarins are being trained to address their unconscious bias but a word of caution. Sir Humphrey's gift was ensuring that nothing much changed at all.


 
 
wfcwAt last! A man who dares to tell the truth about race: Ex-race tsar says silencing of debate has done devastating harm to Britain
19 March 2015
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Britain is silencing debate on race issues by ‘intimidating’ those who dare to ask questions, according to the former equalities watchdog.
In a devastating critique of a culture of misguided political correctness, Trevor Phillips said far too many people felt unable to speak their minds because they feared being branded racist. 
The former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission said that people would have to become ‘more ready to offend each other’ as the price of free speech.
In a hard-hitting article ahead of a TV documentary on race issues to be aired later this week, Mr Phillips attacked the ‘racket’ of multiculturalism which took root under Tony Blair’s government. He said:
  • The inability to discuss racial issues contributed to child grooming scandals in cities such as Rotherham and Rochdale, because authorities ‘turned a blind eye’;
  • Silence on racial issues led to the failure to take action to save Victoria Climbie;
  • A film commissioned to warn young people of the dangers of grooming was suppressed because it featured an Asian perpetrator abusing white girls; 
  • He was accused of being ‘fatuous’ by senior New Labour figures when he warned of the dangers of multiculturalism;
  • Multiculturalism has become a ‘racket’ in many parts of the country, with self-styled community leaders battling for funds which prop up their authority and entrench segregation.
Mr Phillips was for a decade the chairman of the Commission for Racial Equality and its successor, the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

Things We Won't Say About Race That Are True. watch video
wfcwRadio 2 is too white, say BBC diversity chiefs
20 March 2015
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Radio 2 is too white, say BBC diversity chiefs: Trust demands station urgently improves in attracting non-white listeners. A review of the six stations by the BBC Trust has raised concerns that they are failing ethnic minority audiences.
Review of six stations found it was failing ethnic minority audiences
Only 34% of black, Asian and minority ethnic tune into any of stations
Problem also faced by BBC television at 74% compared to 86% of all adults
Radio 1 praised for its progress in reaching 23% of BAME aged 15-24

Radio 2 was highlighted as having particular difficulties in attracting non-white listeners and the Trust has demanded the station urgently improve and report on progress in six months.
The comments echo criticisms made in 2001 by then director-general Greg Dyke, who said the BBC was ‘hideously white’ and had race relations as poor as the Metropolitan Police.
A BBC spokesman said: ‘We aim to appeal to listeners from all backgrounds by offering a broad range of high-quality services and programming. 'Whilst listening to our music radio stations amongst BAME audiences has grown in recent years, we will continue work hard to make sure our stations represent and reach all audiences.’
wfcwBBC News boss James Harding says too many top presenters are white men
29 April 2014
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The BBC could have an 'unconscious bias' against ethnic minorities, women and disabled people, its news boss admitted yesterday.
James Harding said there is a lack of diversity among its top news presenters because managers tend to recruit those who look like them.
He said he plans to 'do something determined' to increase the number of ethnic minorities and women on screen, including stricter diversity targets and a 'sponsorship scheme' to help them progress to senior positions.
In a speech to BBC staff at New Broadcasting House, he said: 'Across News, we worry that we have a tendency to recruit in our own image, so all members of the News Group Board have taken a course in unconscious bias.' Mr Harding - who was previously editor of The Times newspaper - said he would 'stick to the principle that the best candidate gets the job'.
benBBC drama boss, Ben Stephenson says:  'There aren't enough gay characters on TV,' and promises to commission more homosexual storylines
27 February 2014
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Mr Stephenson, BBC drama controller since 2008, who is himself gay, called on writers to come forward with more stories which focus on homosexuality. He called on writers to come forward with more stories which focus on homosexuality.
Gay author Tom Rob Smith is writing a new drama about a gay spy for the BBC.
Comments
For goodness sake, give it a rest! The majority of people aren't gay and don't wish to have gay story lines thrust at them at every opportunity! The proportion of gay story lines on the BBC is far greater than anything most of us encounter in the real world
I'm part Swiss and an engineer. I don't think there are enough part Swiss engineers on BBC. I shall be complaining.
cbbcBBC under fire for gender stereotyping
24 January 2014
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Describes girls as:
manipulative, over emotional and having a keen interest in fashion and enjoy listening to popular music. They will chat enthusiastically, try to support the people they care about and form profound friendships and relationships. Girls are more socially adept and motivated than boys.
Describes boys as: enjoying confrontation and physical strength, activity and task focused.Boys tend to have a steady group of good friends that they knock about with rather than exclusive best friends.
Gender historian Garthine Walker said: at BBC Children's we believe it is important to provide all children with a range of strong role models irrespective of gender. In our documentary series My Life we've had Ballet Boys and Boxing Girls. 'We want all children to reach their full potential and make sure we avoid gender stereotyping in all our programmes.'
BBC say guide is 'years out of date' and has been removed
 
wfcw Max Price's parents Lisa and Martin are raising their son as a boy and a girl so he does not 'grow up aggressive.' ‘We’re planning on home educating Max,’ says Lisa, who was herself home-schooled. ‘However, if he does eventually choose to go to school, and wants to wear a girl’s uniform, I certainly won’t stop him.’
She adds: ‘It doesn’t matter if he’s homosexual, bisexual, transsexual or asexual as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t give birth to him to say “I’m only going to love you if you’re this way”. I love him for who he is.’
nutshellParents raise their son as a boy AND a girl so he won't 'grow up aggressive'
14 February 2014
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Max Price's parents Lisa and Martin are raising their son according to the technique known as 'gender-neutral parenting' The couple say they hope their decision will help boost Max's confidence

Max Price's parents Lisa and Martin are raising their son as a boy and a girl so he does not 'grow up aggressive'
Max Price is a happy, healthy one-year-old boy who spent yesterday morning playing with his vast collection of toy cars, planes, tractors, and dinosaurs.
Dressed in a red checked lumberjack shirt and rust-coloured jeans, he shouted ‘beep beep!’ and giggled with delight while pushing a plastic motorbike around the living room of his family home.
Then, after lunch, a strange transformation occurred.
Max scampered upstairs to his bedroom with his 23-year-old mother, Lisa, and re-emerged several minutes later wearing a dark blue, knee-length dress decorated with pink flamingos.
He swiftly grabbed a blonde-haired doll, sat her in a pink plastic pram, and took her on a short walk, stopping only when it was time to pretend to breastfeed her.
Later in the afternoon, the child collected several more dolls, found a selection of pink toy cups and saucers, and staged an impromptu tea party.
Max, who turns two later this month and lives in Walsall, is being raised according to a radical technique known as ‘gender-neutral parenting’.
It means Lisa and her husband, Martin, 34, encourage him to wear both boys’ and girls’ clothes, and to play with conventionally female – as well as male – toys.
Rather than being worried if he decides not to play football, and asks instead for someone to paint his fingernails with glittery polish,  they instead see it as a form of cute self-expression.
‘If Max wants to wear a pink tutu and fairy wings, then he can wear it,’ says Lisa. ‘He’s just expressing himself. I don’t want to put him in a certain box and treat him that way. I want to teach him to be whatever he wants to be. He can pick his own clothes and, as long as they’re warm enough for the winter, I’ll get him whatever he wants.’

Lisa and Martin live with two elder children – Brandon, ten, and Mia, seven – from Martin’s previous relationship, who are raised along more traditional lines. They also share the terraced home with a hamster called Simon, two cats, Tigger and Pixie, and a German Shepherd called Roxy.
Visitors to the bustling home tend to be surprised, but ‘mostly supportive’, of their decision to pursue gender-neutral parenting.
‘You get the odd funny look, and a bit of hostility, but once we explain how we are bringing our son up, and why, people tend to understand,’ says Lisa.

The couple from Walsall said they love their son for who he is. They are raising Max, who turns two later this month, according to a radical technique known as 'gender-neutral parenting'

‘I hope that Max won’t get teased when he’s older. But part of what we are trying to do with Max is to instil such a sense of confidence, and a sense of who he is, that he won’t care what anyone else thinks.’
Lisa, a full-time housewife, took the decision to allow Max to identify as either a girl or a boy 12 months ago, after seeing high-profile rape cases being discussed on parenting websites. ‘Gender stereotypes can be so damaging.

'Gender stereotypes can be so damaging. They teach little boys to be aggressive and dominant over women... It's detrimental for them and for females' - Lisa Price

‘They teach little boys to be aggressive and dominant over women,’ she argues. ‘There’s research out there saying that the whole “boys will be boys” thing basically teaches lads that it’s OK to be a certain way, because it’s in their nature to be aggressive. It’s detrimental for them and for females.’
The decision was fully supported by Martin, an unemployed courier. ‘I think my husband is more of a feminist than I am,’ she says. ‘His biggest concern about the whole thing is usually “does Max have the right shoes to go with that dress!”’
Martin, for his part, adds: ‘My parents told me that I played with my sister’s dolls as a child and it doesn’t bother me. I can’t see why it would bother anyone.’
They are adamant that Max has thrived under the gender-neutral regime, pointing out that he is able to string three or four-word sentences together, and is ‘almost’ potty-trained.
The concept of gender-neutral parenting first became popular among feminists in America during the 1970s, when it inspired the actress Marlo Thomas to write a best-selling children’s book called Free To Be… You and Me. Recently, it has experienced a small revival.
In 2011, a Canadian couple made headlines after refusing to reveal the gender of their new-born child Storm in what they called ‘a tribute to freedom and choice’.
The following year, a Cambridgeshire couple, Beck Laxton and Kieran Cooper, revealed they were raising their child Sasha as gender neutral to allow his or her ‘real personality’ to shine through.
In normal circumstances, Max would be required to start wearing gender-specific clothes when he starts at school. However Lisa and Martin have a contingency plan that will allow him to continue dressing as he pleases.
‘We’re planning on home educating Max,’ says Lisa, who was herself home-schooled. ‘However, if he does eventually choose to go to school, and wants to wear a girl’s uniform, I certainly won’t stop him.’
She adds: ‘It doesn’t matter if he’s homosexual, bisexual, transsexual or asexual as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t give birth to him to say “I’m only going to love you if you’re this way”. I love him for who he is.’

 
2015 Floods
The unelectable in full pursuit of the delectable
wfcwThis flood was not only foretold – it was publicly subsidised
29 December 2015
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The government pays grouse moor owners to drain their glorified outdoor chicken runs. Meanwhile it’s the proles downstream who get a soaking
There were clear and specific warnings that the management of land upstream of the towns now featuring in the news would lead to disaster
Fight the floods with diverted foreign aid!
wfcw"Fight the floods with diverted foreign aid"
27 December 2015
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Money doesn't solve problems - skilled and trained people do.
Will the engineers, planners and environmentalists we so desperately need come from the very countries to which we give foreign aid?
wfcw£100k-a-year Environment Agency boss promised to put wellies on and lead floods crisis. Instead he's in Barbados
29 December 2015
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Sir Philip Dilley, head of the Environment Agency, has apparently been sunning himself on a Barbados beach while the north of England floods.
wfcwEnvironment Agency boss Sir Philip Dilley resigns
11 January 2016
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Environment Agency chairman Sir Philip Dilley, who faced criticism during the recent floods, has resigned.
He had come under pressure for holidaying in Barbados during the floods in December, the wettest month on record in the UK. He said the role now required him to be available at short notice and this was "inappropriate in a part-time non-executive position".
2014 Floods
wfcwEnvironment Agency, headed by Lord Chris Smith, spend hundreds on 'equali-tea' gay awareness mugs...
and £30,000 on gay pride marches? As Britain counts cost of shoddy defences, we reveal bizarre spending by quango bosses
nutshell Bizarre spending by Environment Agency as Britain counts cost of shoddy defences
gay15 February 2014
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Investigation shows the Environment Agency, headed by Lord Chris Smith - Britain's first openly gay Cabinet Minister - spent £639 on gay rights mugs. EA also spent £30,000 sponsoring Birmingham's Gay Pride festival in 2009. Comes as EA faces growing criticism of its handling of the flooding crisis
The government agency responsible for dealing with floods was last night under pressure to explain why it had spent thousands of pounds on what appeared to be ‘pet projects’  of its chairman Lord Smith.
A Mail on Sunday investigation has established that the Environment Agency, headed by Lord Chris Smith – Britain’s first openly gay Cabinet Minister – spent £639 on mugs promoting gay rights.
The mugs, emblazoned with the slogan ‘Some people are gay. Get over it!’, are thought to have been handed out to staff at the organisation’s headquarters in London and Bristol. The cost of the mugs is enough to buy more than 250 sandbags to protect flood victims’ homes.

It has also emerged that the agency spent £30,000 sponsoring Birmingham’s Gay Pride festival in 2009 and that staff were provided with ‘proud to be at
The agency even took out a costly half-page advert in the Independent newspaper’s Diversity section to boast about its sponsorship of the Birmingham Gay Pride event in 2009. Lord Smith became EA chairman in 2008.
The revelations come as the agency faces growing criticism of its handling of the flooding crisis. An analysis of the Environment Agency’s spending has uncovered that it spent more than £250,000 from 2011 to mid-2012 on meetings at private venues, despite having more than two dozen offices around the country.
The agency paid £5,439 to Aston Villa Football Club in 2012 for the use of meeting rooms, even though its Villa Park ground is only ten miles away from the organisation’s regional Midlands office.
The Environment Agency would not reveal details of what rooms it hired but Villa Park offers a host of luxurious meeting places including the Holte Suite, which costs £4,500 for a full day, and boasts an ‘elegant ground-floor suite’ which can cater for conference events and ‘sumptuous black-tie dinners’.

Support: Manchester's 2009 Gay Pride march, when Environment Agency staff displayed banners and T-shirts

Meanwhile, the 1874 suite costs £3,000 for a day and offers views across the pitch as well as two bars and is said to be ideal for ‘stylish receptions, gala dinners and company meetings’.
The EA paid another £4,320 to Fulham Football Club in the same year for meeting rooms, even though the agency’s London offices are based only five miles away from Fulham’s Craven Cottage ground, which boasts a number of upmarket meeting rooms including the Marathonbet Lounge, which overlooks the Thames and is described as ‘ideal for small gatherings and  business events’.
Another £3,892 was paid to Sheffield United FC – recorded under the heading ‘restaurant and bars’ on a list of spending – for meeting rooms at the club’s Bramall Lane ground, despite the Environment Agency having offices little more than three miles away.
An EA spokeswoman said the organisation tried to hold meetings at its own premises, or in other government offices, and used commercial premises only ‘if absolutely necessary’. Referring specifically to the football ground venues, she added: ‘We will have used these premises as they were the best value for money available.’
Last night, Tory MP Ian Liddell-Grainger, whose Bridgwater and West Somerset constituency has been devastated by the floods, reacted with fury to the spending and called for Lord Smith to stand down. He said: ‘It seems like Chris Smith is spending taxpayers’ money on his own pet projects. He has been proven to be wanting at every level dealing with these floods.

Partners: Environment Agency officials Shel Thompson and Adrian Grundy pose with Lawrence Barton, director of Birmingham Pride 2009, which the agency sponsored to the tune of £30,000

‘It was crass stupidity to tell people who are living on flood plains that they’ve got it wrong. Now this shows that he’s actually made silly choices himself to spend hundreds of pounds on mugs and thousands sponsoring a Gay Pride event.
 ‘It gives no help to people in my constituency. He should go now and not hang around and spend more money on mugs which are not helping any flood victims. The only mug I can think of is Lord Smith. What are people going to think who work on the ground in flooded areas when they find out money is being spent on expensive meetings at football grounds?
‘Sadly, nothing surprises me any more – this agency has a history of excess and a lack of integrity.’
Other spending included a £3,600 sponsorship of Lord Smith’s Royal Society of Arts reception and speech, entitled ‘Are Green And Growth Compatible?’ on May 8, 2012, in which he called for better flood defences.
In the speech, Lord Smith said floods were ‘top of the list’, adding: ‘We need to build in better resilience – whether it’s building flood defences, or preparing individual properties for  better protection . . .’
Lord Smith is a keen follower of the arts, having been a former Minister for culture, media and sport and chairman of the Donmar Warehouse theatre in London since 2003. He has also been a board  member for Phonographic Performance Ltd (PPL), an organisation which manages the rights of performers, since 2007.
The Environment Agency has even wasted thousands of pounds paying for meeting rooms that had to be cancelled because staff had to be called away to deal with flooding. From 2011 to mid-2012, the agency has spent £6,621 on cancelled meetings. Of that, £3,276 was because of floods.

As much as £1,188 was spent on one of the cancelled meetings, which was to be hosted at the four-star Royal York hotel but was called off due to flooding. Another £750 was spent on a meeting at Nottingham’s four-star Park Plaza hotel, despite it being cancelled due to flooding. And more than £700 was spent on cancelling a meeting at the four-star  Mercure Hotel in Manchester. 
The Environment Agency also spent more than £1,200 on two chairs for employees with ‘health issues to avoid time taken off sick’, £1,056 on 500 pin badges for staff while working on an Olympics project and £900 on free fishing rods to hand out to participants in angling events.
Another £1,134 was spent on a plush dinner at Hotel Du Vin in Bristol for board members of the Environment Agency and Natural England to discuss ‘joint working and collaboration’.
Menus at the hotel’s restaurant offer diners £11.95 pan-roasted scallops for starters, £29 fillet steaks for main, and £7.95 raspberry soufflés. An EA spokeswoman said it no longer provided financial support for Gay Pride events but would not say why, adding: ‘As an employer, the Environment Agency is committed to diversity, and we support this in a number of ways.

‘We continue to support Pride,  but we no longer provide financial sponsorship.

‘The Environment Agency has an important role to play in raising awareness of flood risk.
‘We undertake a number of activities to ensure people know they are at risk of flooding, and understand the actions they can take get warnings, and prepare and protect themselves when the worst does happen.'
 

gayEnvironment Agency - Our committment to equality and diversity
About us

We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all our policies, practices and procedures and to valuing the diversity of our workforce and the customers and communities we work with. We believe that the more successful we are at embedding diversity into how we do things, the more people and the environment will benefit.
NutshellBreathtaking incompetence: The people who run Britain have never been so out of touch - or inept
wfcw11 February 2014
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Since stoicism in the face of adversity is supposed to be a British trademark, it is odd, as well as rather depressing, that bad weather brings out the very worst in us.
A light dusting of snow falls on the capital and life grinds to a halt. Six months later, the  temperatures soar and the trains stubbornly stay at home. I dread to think what foreign visitors must make of it.
For sheer national humiliation, however, the debacle in the flooded Somerset Levels and now the Thames is in a league of its own.

For sheer national humiliation, the debacle in the flooded Somerset Levels and now the Thames is in a league of its own

It is as though some hostile deity had decided to bring out  all the most depressing aspects of political life —  short-sighted local authorities, self-interested quangos, embarrassingly petty politicians and obsessively metropolitan ministers — in conditions guaranteed to show them at their absolute worst.
Of course, we can hardly hold our politicians responsible for freakishly wet weather. But we should, I think, expect them to react to a crisis with dignity, competence and decorum.
Unfortunately, these three qualities were entirely lacking during yesterday’s extraordinary catfight.
We saw the beleaguered head  of the Environment Agency, Lord Smith, lashing out at the grandstanding Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, who in turn found himself fighting off a blistering attack from the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson.
In many ways, the affair has shown us the worst of Quango Britain. It is surely no coincidence that Lord Smith is a veteran Labour quangocrat who holds 11 different posts on public bodies.
Stricken
The Environment Agency concedes it ought to have dredged the Somerset Levels much sooner, as local people had long urged.
Lord Smith insists it would have done so, were it not for government rules limiting its spending to just £400,000.
To put that into context, no fewer than 14 Environment Agency officials earn more than £100,000 a year.

Lord Smith insists the levels would have been dredged sooner, were it not for government rules limiting its spending to just £400,000

What is more, the quango spent a staggering £2.4 million last year on public relations, which is at least a million pounds more than it would have needed to dredge the  crucial River Tone and River Parrett.
With exquisite timing, yesterday also saw the release of a report by the Taxpayers’ Alliance, claiming that the Government contrives to waste £1 in every £6.
It will come as little consolation to the people of Somerset to ponder how different their circumstances might be if that money had been better spent. Incidentally, I cannot help thinking that if the waterways in question had been, say, the  Brent and the Lee in Greater London, then the cash  might have been found from somewhere.
Indeed, can you imagine the  difference if the floods had  struck not Somerset, but  the trendier boroughs of the capital?
In minutes, half of Westminster would be on the scene, their Hunter wellies proudly on show.
The BBC would probably suspend their schedules for a rolling news special, while the Government would surely announce bottomless funds for relief and reconstruction.
Alas, the stricken area is not Notting Hill, but Somerset, and the affected families are just ordinary people — ‘little people’, as the politicians doubtless see them. And so the water continues to rise.
As for the ministers at the centre of the drama, their conduct has been frankly risible.
As a former grammar schoolboy from Yorkshire, Eric Pickles is often hailed as one of the few Conservative ministers in touch with the common man.

As a former grammar schoolboy from Yorkshire, Eric Pickles is often hailed as one of the few Conservative ministers in touch with the common man Mr Pickles claims to have a canny grasp of ordinary voters’ everyday concerns, once remarking that it was ‘a basic right for every English man and woman to be able to put the remnants of their chicken tikka masala in their bin without having to wait a fortnight for it to be collected’.
It is surely an even more basic right, though, for householders to be able to reach their bins without having to swim through the living room to get there.
Indeed, Mr Pickles has been on very high-handed form during the past few days. Rejecting appeals from stricken Somerset residents for some of Britain’s £11 billion foreign aid budget, he insisted that ‘what we’re offering in other parts of the world could well have an effect’ on conditions in the Somerset Levels.
This was presumably a reference to global warming. Yet as another Tory MP, Philip Davies, cuttingly remarked, even if the floods were caused by climate change, ‘the biggest contributors to global warming are China and America and we don’t give them aid money. It’s just utter nonsense’.
I suspect that when he sees the results of a petition launched by the Mail today to divert foreign aid for relief at home, Mr Pickles may be inclined to change his mind.
In the meantime, he has been sucked into a preposterously demeaning row with the Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, who was mocked for visiting the flooded Somerset Levels, but leaving his wellingtons in his car.
Hapless
After Mr Paterson complained to Number 10 about his colleague’s attacks on the Environment Agency, an unnamed Cabinet minister promptly told the Mail that Mr Paterson ‘just isn’t very bright … he’s climate stupid’.
You have to remind yourself that these characters, who have been aptly described as ‘fighting like rats in a sinking sack’, are actually running the country, or at least pretending to.
Meanwhile, David Cameron insists that everyone is doing a  fine job and everything is for  the best. I doubt he even believes it himself. Sadly, the  entire business is British  politics in microcosm, complete with a cast of handsomely paid  but utterly hapless local government executives; inept, remote and unaccountable bureaucrats; and puerile, squabbling and self-interested politicians.

Owen Paterson, was mocked for visiting the flooded Somerset Levels, but leaving his wellingtons in his car

As so often, though, the one thing that is missing is a basic level of competence.
It would be the stuff of farce were it not for the fact that the victims are thousands of  families whose homes, possessions and lives have been almost totally destroyed.
The ministers responsible ought to be crawling (or at least paddling) before them on their hands and knees. Instead they are seeking to deflect blame onto one another. I leave you to judge what that says about their moral character.
In many ways the crisis reminds me of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans, which exposed the utter profligacy, ineptitude and arrogance of George W. Bush’s administration.
But older readers may also be reminded of the dreadful floods that struck Britain in the spring of 1947, and contributed to the downfall of Clement Attlee’s Labour government a few years later.
On that occasion, the floods were preceded by a terrible winter, with deep snowfalls and temperatures of minus 21. With the Government floundering, the Thames, Trent, Aire and Ouse all burst their banks.
Disaster
Hundreds of miles of countryside were flooded, there were  shortages of food and fuel, and a run on the pound led to the eventual devaluation of sterling.
If there is one thing that voters will not forgive, it is rank  incompetence, and many political historians believe that the Attlee government’s failure to deal with the crisis of 1947 cost it crucial seats in the desperately tight election three years later.
Little wonder, then, that some experts think the disaster in the Somerset Levels could deal a heavy blow to Conservative hopes in the coming General Election, now barely a year away.
At the very least, the crisis has exposed a profound rottenness at the heart of our political system.
It is not just that yet another quango has been found desperately wanting. At issue is the basic competence of the men and women who lead us, and their accountability when they fall short.
The people of Somerset believed that if they found themselves the victims of nature, then Her Majesty’s Government would step in with brisk, compassionate efficiency. Alas, those hopes have been cruelly dispelled.
It is a grim lesson, I suppose, for us all.


wfcwSo why wasn't Thames dredged? In case a rare mollusc was disturbed - despite the region being described as one of the most 'undefended flood plains in England'
12 February 2014
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The endangered mollusc halted calls to dredge strife-hit stretch of water. Environment Agency put welfare of 'aquatic species' before residents
 
wfcwFlybe, proud to be an equal opportunities employer
14 August 2014 
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One-armed pilot lost control of plane as it came in to land because his false arm fell off
Flybe flight from Birmingham had 47 passengers on board It was approaching Belfast City Airport in gusty conditions But as it was coming into land the pilot's arm came off.
Captain Ian Baston, Flybe director of flight operations and safety, said the company was proud to be an equal opportunities employer.
wfcwHow do amputees fly planes?
14 August 2014
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When amputees first get their licence they must fly with a chief instructor to check they have complete control. All commercial plane pilots have medical checks every six months.
wfcwAerobility
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Aerobility has worked extremely hard to make sure that everybody can fly, whatever their disability.
 
Equality in the Judiciary  
wfcwDirector of public prosecutions Alison Saunders to stand down
2 April 2018
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The director of public prosecutions is to stand down at the end of her five-year contract, the government has said.
Alison Saunders will no longer be the head of the Crown Prosecution Service from October.
While at the CPS she oversaw justice finally being served in the case of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence.
But in recent months she has faced criticism after several rape trials collapsed due to evidence not being disclosed.
Attorney General Jeremy Wright announced her resignation on Sunday evening and said recruitment for Ms Saunders' successor will begin later this month.
wfcwAlison Saunders, the Director of Public Prosecutions, is pursuing the wrong cases
07 Feb 2015
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There is growing concern that Mrs Saunders is more interested in pursuing particular campaign agendas rather serving the interests of the public at large. The Crown Prosecution Service seems to be making statements, rather than upholding the rule of law
The appointment of Mrs Saunders just over a year ago followed a recent trend towards activist – even political – DPPs. Her predecessor, Sir Keir Starmer, who effectively changed the law on assisted suicide, is about to stand for Labour. His predecessor, Lord Macdonald, is a Lib Dem peer.
The post of DPP is meant to be independent and impartial. It was set up in the Victorian era and took on its current form in 1986 with the creation of the Crown Prosecution Service.
wfcwGender abortion case shows CPS run by ‘secular extremists’ – MP
11 Apr 2015
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Douglas Carswell says case exposes how prosecutors ‘masquerade’ as objective in situations inevitably requiring subjective decisions.  The Crown Prosecution Service’s decision to block an attempt to put two doctors accused of agreeing to abortions on the basis of the sex of the child on trial shows it is being run by “secular extremists.
He  said the CPS’s intervention to scupper a private prosecution on “public interest” grounds highlighted a divide between the assumptions of officialdom and the concerns of many in wider society.   The case raised serious questions about accountability in a group of public servants entrusted with making decisions in highly sensitive situations.
‘Door wide open’ to gender abortion as CPS blocks prosecution of doctors, campaigners claim
wfcwChristian JP suspended for saying adopted child needed mum and dad
January 2015
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Richard Page, a  Christian magistrate, has been Suspended and sent for 'equality training' for expressing the belief that children should be raised by both a mother and a father.
Christian magistrate said: 'Adopted child needs mum and dad - not gay parents.'
wfcwI can't just sit and watch the misery of divorce, says judge as he quits
18 April 2014
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Sir Paul Coleridge retired from the High Court’s Family Division on Thursday after he was formally warned over campaigning for marriage. He said he could not ‘sit here day after day’ seeing the effect of family breakdown without speaking out against it. In December he was reprimanded by heads of the judiciary after setting up the Marriage Foundation think tank and airing views in a newspaper article.
Nutshell ‘We should not be afraid to speak out ...'
18 April 2014
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Sir Paul Coleridge has retired from the High Court's Family Division calling for action to 'stem the tide' of family breakdown in the UK
A senior judge has called for action to ‘stem the tide’ of family breakdown – as it was revealed Britain has more failed marriages than almost any other country.
Sir Paul Coleridge retired from the High Court’s Family Division on Thursday after he was formally warned over campaigning for marriage.
He said he could not ‘sit here day after day’ seeing the effect of family breakdown without speaking out against it.
In December he was reprimanded by heads of the judiciary after setting up the Marriage Foundation think tank and airing views in a newspaper article.
At a retirement ceremony yesterday, Sir Paul said: ‘I know how consoling and good a good marriage can be and how it gets better over the years and also how ghastly family breakdown can be. Something can and should be done to stem the tide of family breakdown.
‘Family judges have a unique experience of this and therefore a unique contribution to make.
‘We should not be afraid to speak out … I cannot sit here day after day watching misery and doing nothing.’
Sir Paul’s comments came as an international report found barely half of UK adults are married – and almost one in ten are divorced or separated. Only four countries in the West have a higher proportion of divorcees who have not remarried.
Last night Norman Wells, of campaigners Family and Youth Concern, said the rise in unmarried cohabitation, outlined in the report, was a ‘disaster for children’ as it meant their parents were more likely to separate.

Tory backbenchers blamed the high number of divorcees on the fact Britain does not recognise marriage in the tax system.
Sir Paul, writing in the Mail in December, also said tax breaks for married couples would send a ‘positive message’ and that marriage should be put ‘at the heart of our social structure’.
In January, the Marriage Foundation called for the Government to encourage marriage and persuade couples with young children to stay together.
The report, by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, found Britain’s marriage rate has halved since 1970, when it was one of the highest in the industrialised world.
It is one of the sharpest drops among Western nations – to 22nd out of 34 ranked by the OECD study.
A report, by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, has found Britain¿s marriage rate has halved since 1970, when it was one of the highest in the industrialised world
And the divorce rate has doubled over the same period. Just 50.6 per cent of adults in the UK are married and still living with their spouse – below the average for similar countries.
Last night, Tory MP David Burrowes said: ‘These figures are depressing and should be a wake-up call to get alongside the institution of marriage and do more to prevent the £45billion cost of family breakdown.’
He added: ‘Britain is out of step with the rest of the OECD in not recognising marriage in the tax system … We need to do more to support couples before, during and throughout their marriage – and the Church could take a lead in that.’
The OECD report shows 10.5 per cent of British adults live with a partner, and almost a quarter are single and have never married. A further 7.2 per cent are widowed.
The rest – 9.4 per cent – is made up of divorcees and those who have separated – the fifth highest proportion in the world, behind the Czech Republic, the US, Finland and Estonia.
While the OECD figures showed that Britain’s marriage rate fell from 8.47 per 1,000 people in 1970  to just 4.43 per 1,000 in 2010, there has been a small increase in recent years, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Mr Black, Bedfordshire,
The high number if divorcees is due to the fact people have no intention of actually honouring their vows. They get married because they FEEL like the can/should/could and as soon as the FEELING subsides they look to ditch the whole thing and give up. It's not valuable anymore- and often doesn't reflect it's original intention. Its nothing to do with the tax system and everything to do with us.

Mississauga Dad, Toronto, Canada,
Now if we could get the courts to rule that children have a fundamental right to a father, to a father's love, and to a father's full and ongoing participation in their upbringing and their life we would REALLY be making progress. As it stands the courts, the government, social agencies, the media, and the entire cadre of socialist feminazi propagandists and lobbies have reduced divorced and separated fathers to being simply a sperm donor and a bank machine.

Mississauga Dad, Toronto, Canada,
The VERY WORST thing from a financial viewpoint for any man is to get married. Over 50% of marriages today end in divorce. Over 75% of divorces are initiated by women. Men can be sure that the feminist controlled court will do everything it can (legal or otherwise) to ensure men will be left financially destitute. Women are given the children so that outrageous child & spousal support awards can be made, in many instances amounting to more than the father's total income. Women do not have to justify or account for any of the money they receive & spend - fathers have to report every cent to the courts (assuming they have one cent left over). Splitting of family assets means everything she has or ever had is hers & everything you have or ever had (even from before marriage) is hers. I have done volunteer work with many divorced husbands & dads and I have not yet found a single one who wasn't totally destroyed financially, emotionally, & psychologically by the Divorce Industry.


 
Cllr PyeCllr Marie Pye, Waltham Forest’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing:
“Getting into the Stonewall Top 100 is great news for Waltham Forest and a real testament to our commitment towards making the organisation as open and inclusive as possible."
NutshellWaltham Forest wants to attract and retain the best talent.
Cllr Marie Pye, Waltham Forest’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Housing, said: “Getting into the Stonewall Top 100 is great news for Waltham Forest and a real testament to our commitment towards making the organisation as open and inclusive as possible, especially considering the qualifying criteria were far stricter this year and the competition is fiercer now than it has ever been.
“Waltham Forest wants to attract and retain the best talent regardless of background or sexual orientation, and it’s achievements like this that put us on the map as a prospective employer – here’s hoping that with all the hard work we’re putting in we can place even higher next year and give our colleagues across London an even bigger run for their money.”
Stonewall received 352 submissions to the Workplace Equality Index 2010, the sixth annual increase in participants and more than double the number received in 2006. Competition to be featured as a Top 100 Employer has also intensified, with 23 new entries in the Stonewall Top 100 Employers 2010. The entry point has also increased by 10 per cent, from 56 per cent in 2009 to 66 per cent in 2010.

   
wfcwAs Government Refuses To Commit To Targets For Ethnic Minority Judges
The UK Supreme Court does not have a single black or minority ethnic member among its 12 justices
19/12/2017
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The government announced on Tuesday it would implement most recommendations of the David Lammy review, but would not include targets for the recruitment of non-white judges.
Labour MP Lammy said he was pleased so many recommendations were being acted upon but was “disappointed” with the lack of quotas to help push ethnic diversity within the judiciary.
Bar StandardsBar Standards Board Equality & Diversity Committee
Regulates barristers called to the Bar in England and Wales in the public interest.

Qualifying as a barrister

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Welcome to our "Qualifying as a barrister" section. Here you can find out about the three stages that must be completed to qualify as a barrister and the process of transferring to the Bar from practice overseas, or as a solicitor in practice in England and Wales.
Professional Conduct Committee membership
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The Professional Conduct Committee comprises a mix of barrister and lay members, though we actively seek to ensure a lay majority (non barristers). It meets once every three weeks to consider relevant complaints.
wfcwEquality and Human Rights Commission
29 March 2012
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In recent months Home Secretary Theresa May has published a highly critical report about the Equality and Human Rights Commission, stripped it of its right to make its own grants of state money, and made severe cuts to its funding.
Mr Phillips will step down to make way for a full-scale reshaping of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. He warned that the country was 'sleepwalking towards segregation.'
 
Cllr PyeCllr Pye appointments
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National Autistic Society City Road, EC1
Transport for London Independent Disability Advisory Group (public appointment, 6 meetings per year)
 Bar Standards Board Equality & Diversity Advisory Group (public appointment, 4 meetings per year)
Defra Diversity & Equality Scrutiny Advisory Group (public appointment, 4 meetings per year)
London Councils Lead Member for Equality
 
Rainbow flag Following from a Management Development Programme (MDP) project report in 2005, Waltham Forest Council supported staff to set up a steering group to help remove the barriers faced by LGBT staff.
nutshellKaleidoscope (Waltham Forest Council LGBT staff network)
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Background

Following from a Management Development Programme (MDP) project report in 2005, the Council supported staff to set up a steering group to help remove the barriers faced by LGBT staff.

The steering group then developed a LGBT staff network which was launched on IDAHO on 17 May 2007.

LBWF Management board LGBT champion

Senior management have a clear commitment to doing more to support LGBT equality in the workplace.

Michelle Moloney, Director of Residents First is the Council's LGBT Champion. Michelle will be working with the LGBT Steering Group and other stakeholders and leading on Council-side communications with all staff on LGBT issues to raise their profile and ensure that all staff have access to LGBT information and support. Michelle will be working closely with the Chairs of the Council's LGBT Steering Group and meeting with Daniel Danso of Stonewall, the lesbian gay and bisexual charity as well as linking into the valuable work done by the LGBT Champion at Ernst and Young who has offered support.

The Council is committed to treating all its staff with respect and dignity and creating a working environment that is safe, harmonious and free from harassment and victimisation. The Council values its diverse workforce. By reflecting the diversity of the communities we serve we can improve the quality of our services and send out a positive message about inclusion and equality of access. For example the Council was recently named by Stonewall as the highest achiever in the capital and third nationally for work in youth involvement projects supporting young people to speak out against homophobia. This achievement was made possible by the work of our LGBT colleagues.

Kaleidoscope (LGBT staff network)

The original staff network was launched on 17 May 2007. The group was refreshed with a new name on our 5th birthday on 17 May 2012 at the event to mark IDAHO – International Day to end Homophobia On this day Kaleidoscope extended its membership to NHS colleagues in North East London Foundation Trust

Who can attend the group

Kaleidoscope is open to any LGBT member of staff working for Waltham Forest Council in schools in Waltham Forest or in NELFT.

Benefits to Waltham Forest Council of having Kaleidoscope (LGBT staff network)

Advocacy and promotion
Provides point of contact for staff and voice for LGBT staff within LBWF and schools
Development of LGBT awareness raising course

Recruitment and retention
Shows visible commitment to diversity internally and externally
Stonewall kite mark = Employer of choice

Community cohesion and engagement
The present of the network and the borough’s engagement in LGBT events such as marking IDAHO  helps the borough reach the community of LBWF and demonstrates the boroughs commitment to equality and diversity and that the borough is a  service provider of choice

Staff engagement
The network is of benefit to individual LGBT members of staff and can also be a resource for non LGBT staff, in relation to consultation on strategies etc, also a  management and  staff support resource

Benefits for staff of having and being part of Kaleidoscope (LGBT staff network)

Point of support
A named point of contact for the authority and for schools which is anonymous and confidential and can provide advice and sign posting.
Mentoring available from named contacts.

Self-development
Opportunity to learn and enhance personal skills around

  • Event organisation
  • Negotiation skills through links with senior management and HR

As well as opportunities to networking across the borough and  with external partners

Representing your borough
Opportunity to represent  Waltham Forest externally at events such as Pride etc.

Kaleidoscope meeting dates 2012/13
3 July 2012 Pre Pride meet up at Walthamstow Town Hall
7 July 2012 – taking part in WorldPride parade with the other 3 London Boroughs who are part of Stonewall top 100 (let us know if you want to take part)
18 October 2012 Meet up in Town Hall
6 December 2012 winter social event venue and date to be confirmed
February 2013 marking LGBT history month – date and venue to be confirmed depending on events taking place

Stonewall annual workplace questionnaire

Stonewall, an organisation that works to achieve equality and justice for lesbians, gay men and bisexual people, is conducting their annual survey to identify Britain’s top employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) staff. All LGB staff are encouraged to participate in this survey. More on the questionnaire

About these pages

This site aims to:
  • Keep you updated with the work of the Steering Group
  • Keep you informed of the LGBT Staff Network Events
  • Inform staff of their rights under the Framework for Personal Practice and Managing People, as well as the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 and the forthcoming Equality Act 2006.
  • Help the Council progress, we have recently signed up to Stonewall’s Diversity Champions Programme in 2006. This programme is the leading good practice forum on sexual orientation. Over 300 organisations have signed up to the programme.
Contacts
For further information on the Staff Network or Steering Group see the links on the right or contact the Steering Group Chairs:

Suzanne Elwick
WFSCB business manager
Phone: 020 8496 3683
Email:suzanne.elwick@walthamforest.gov.uk
Duncan Pike
Assistant Director - Finance
Phone: 020 496 3502
Email:duncan.pike@walthamforest.gov.uk
John Harold
Jenny Hammond School
Phone: 020 8519 3977
Email: john.harold@jennyhammond.waltham.sch.uk
Wendy Anderson
Walthamstow School for Girls
Phone: 020 8509 9446
Email: wendy.anderson@wsfg.waltham.sch.uk
Email lgbt@walthamforest.gov.uk

 
elopELOP honoured by gay rights group Stonewall in national awards. Cheque for £5,000 given as part of its prize.
nutshellWaltham Forest Council LGBT staff and residents
ELOP honoured by gay rights group Stonewall in national awards. Cheque for £5,000 given as part of its prize.
7th November 2012
ELOP, which is based in Grove Green Road, Walthamstow, picked up the gong for 'Community Group of the Year' at the annual awards of gay rights group Stonewall.
The organisation was praised for its work offering advice, counselling and other support to gay and lesbian people across east London.
ELOP’s chair Sarah Humphreys said: “We are absolutely delighted to have received this award, and it is fantastic to have the value and impact of our work recognised in this way by the community.
more ...
 
LBWFCouncil's equality initiatives
Waltham Forest Council Equality Plan 2012 - 2015
Waltham Forest Council Equality Plan 2012 - 2015
The creation of a fair and equal society in Waltham Forest is a key priority for the Council and needs the commitment and contributions of all to make it a reality. Waltham Forest Council has a longstanding reputation for driving forward the equalities agenda, and is committed to ensuring it continues to do so. We are proud of our equality achievements as delivered through our previous statutory equality schemes.
more ..
Standing Advisory Council on religious education - SACRE
By law each Local Authority (LA) is required to establish a Standing Advisory Council on religious education (SACRE) The role of a SACRE is to advise the LA on matters connected with religious education (RE) in community schools and foundation schools which do not have a religious character and the RE taught in accordance with the local Agreed Syllabus and to advise the authority and its teachers on matters concerning collective worship.
more ...
Waltham Forest Equalities Review, 2007-2010
more ...
Community Safety Board
The Waltham Forest Community Safety Board’s (CSB) key purpose is to help make Waltham Forest safer by providing a unique forum for direct communication between all groups in the community.
The Board has direct access to the police service, the Council and partner agencies and meets to discuss significant local community safety issues. The Board is accessible to everyone in the Borough and the meetings, that are held at venues within the Borough and are open to the public.
more ...
Community engagement
The borough and its partners are committed to engaging with residents in the planning and delivery of its services. We know that if we engage with local people we will deliver higher quality services that are more responsive to your needs. By engaging with residents and stakeholders in an open and transparent way, we aim to ensure that the opinions and concerns of local residents are gathered in a timely manner to help inform decision making and improve local services.
more ...
Issues for LGBT Residents
General conclusions

Many LGBT people believed themselves to be an invisible minority in Waltham Forest, a perception exacerbated by an absence of LGBT people within promotional materials, publications, or websites produced by Waltham Forest Council and its partners. The lack of a commercial LGBT infrastructure was seen by some as disappointing, adding to a perception that the needs of LGBT people in the borough was often ignored by authorities. While the key to achieving a greater sense of community cohesion may lie in interaction between different ethic, faith, age, and sexuality populations within Waltham Forest, given their fears of the harassment that may ensue if they were to more openly display their identity, many LGBT people feel reluctant to initiate such interaction.
more ...
Waltham Forest Council Equalities Review, 2007 -2010
more ... 
LBWFWaltham Forest Council, equality for all (Stonewall Index 2012)
(deleted from council's website)
Waltham Forest Council has been recognised once again as one of the UK’s top 100 best employers of gay staff
Only four London councils make the grade.

The Top 100, compiled annually by leading lesbian, gay and bisexual rights charity Stonewall, is the definitive national benchmark for showcasing the country’s top employers for lesbian, gay and bisexual staff. Waltham Forest comes in at number 92, becoming one of only four London boroughs to be in the top 100. This is out of a total of 363 employers, collectively employing more than 1.9 million people that entered the index this year.
Stonewall’s Chief Executive Ben Summerskill commented that:
“Submissions to the Index have been tested against new and tougher criteria this year, which makes the accomplishments of the Top 100 Employers even more impressive. Participating in the Index is a signal to staff, customers and services users of your commitment to equality and we’re proud to showcase these achievements.”
The Workplace Equality Index is marked out of a total of 200 points. Each section of the Index is weighted for its impact on organisational culture. This year, scores ranged between 9 and 185 and a score of 130 was needed to reach the Top 100. The average score for employers in the Top 100 was 152 points and the average score of all submissions was 98 points.
The past year has seen the Council continue to improve its work with local schools and its influential LGBT steering group; up the ante with regards its equalities training and deliver the action plan that resulted from important research undertaken into the opinions and experiences of the local LGBT community.
Director of Residents First and the Council's LGBT Equalities champion Michele Moloney said:
"It is really important to Waltham Forest that people feel comfortable in their working environment so that they can deliver their best. We are delighted that Stonewall has recognised the efforts of the authority to create an inclusive and welcoming workforce for gay, lesbian and bisexual staff and we will do our best to continue to improve our working practices and our Stonewall rating in future years."
Cllr Afzal Akram, Waltham Forest’s Cabinet Member responsible for the Council’s corporate resources, said:
“This is great news for Waltham Forest in particular given the high numbers of employers that entered the index and the application of an even more stringent criteria than the previous year. It is recognition to our continued commitment towards making the organisation as open and inclusive as possible.”
“Waltham Forest wants to attract and retain the best talent regardless of background or sexual orientation, and it’s achievements like this that contribute to being a good employer.”
» To find out more about Waltham Forest Council’s equalities work, visit our social issues pages
» To find out more about Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index 2012 visit www.stonewall.org.uk
Useful addresses
East London Out Project (ELOP)
56-60 Grove Road
Walthamstow E17 9BN
Tel 020 8509 3898
Minicom 020 8521 4895
Fax 020 8521 4720
The creation of a fair and equal society in Waltham Forest is a key priority for the Council and needs the commitment and contributions of all to make it a reality Waltham Forest Council has been recognised once again as one of the UK’s top 100 best employers of gay staff
Only four London councils make the grade.

 
IGLCCThis year the top 5 most LGBT friendly corporations in the world are IBM, Google, BT Group, Morgan Stanley and Cisco Systems. Of these, three were on the top 5 in 2009 – Google and Morgan Stanley are both new to the Index.
nutshellStonewall, government and business
Stonewall Youtube Theresa May on YouTube Babcock education Stephen Twigg David Cameron Jeff Davis
Stonewall
on Youtube
Theresa May MP
Home Secretary
Lyndsey Buchanan
Cohesion Advisor, Babcock
Stephen Twigg MP
Shadow Education Secretary
David Cameron
on gay marriage
Jeff Davis
Barclays Bank
IGLCCThe International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (IGLCC) is pleased to unveil the results of the second edition of the International Business Equality Index.
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The International Index is a measurement of the performance of multinational corporations in relation to Diversity and Inclusion issues specifically focusing on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities in the countries where they have offices. It serves as an indicator of the diversity leadership taken by global corporations in the local communities in which they serve.

This year the top 5 most LGBT friendly corporations in the world are IBM, Google, BT Group, Morgan Stanley and Cisco Systems. Of these, three were on the top 5 in 2009 – Google and Morgan Stanley are both new to the Index.

According to IGLCC Founding President & Secretary General, Mr. Pascal Lépine, registration in this year’s International Index was more than double the 2009 inaugural year. Twenty five global corporations representing over USD 1 trillion global sales and employing more than 2.2 million people in 220 countries submitted the complete survey.

"IBM is extremely proud to receive this recognition from the International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce on behalf of all 400,000 IBMers and our LGBT communities worldwide", said Patricia Lewis, vice president, Diversity and Employee Experience. "IBM's heritage of diversity spans nearly 100 years and we remain focused on continually improving and evolving our innovative global workplace policy practices as we have done throughout our history."

The enthusiastic participation of so many firms in the 2010 Index is an indication of the increasing role global corporations are playing in introducing and championing diversity wherever they have a presence. “International business has an immeasurably important role to play in developing tolerance and diversity throughout the world”, said Mr. Lépine. “Not only do diversity programs such as those measured by the International Index contribute to the communities, but they are good for business and help ensure that every employee is as productive as he or she can be.”

“It is extremely encouraging”, said Mr. David Pollard, Chair of the International Business Equality Index Committee, “that 22 out of the twenty five largest participants in this year’s study had Diversity and Inclusion programs in all of the countries in which they operate, and even more impressive is that the same number included LGBT issues in their global diversity program. This is very exciting and demonstrates how business can contribute to the community globally.”

Again this year, the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA) and its European Region (ILGA-Europe) have played an instrumental role in its development. "The growth of the Index, and its reinforced global coverage is very good news", said Gloria Careaga and Renato Sabbadini, Co-Secretaries General of ILGA. "In the light of the fact that too many LGBTI people still experience rampant harassment and other forms of discrimination in employment in many workplaces around the world, leading by example is crucial, which is why rewarding the best LGBTI inclusion policies and practices through the 2010 International Index is the best way to indicate other companies the way to follow."

The International Index has been made possible thanks to an international committee that includes gays, lesbians and transgender professionals living and working in nine different countries from Europe and North America.

To download a copy of the Index report, go to: www.iglcc.org/index2010

About the IGLCC
The International Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (IGLCC) was founded in 2006 in Hamburg, Germany and is based in Montréal, Canada. IGLCC is the world’s leading international LGBT business network, operating in 15 countries through 18 chambers of commerce and business organizations. IGLCC represents the interests of over 55 million Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) employees, business owners and consumers worldwide.

For further information or for press inquiries:
North America
Pascal Lépine
Secretary General, IGLCC
(1) 514-808-9339

Europe
David Pollard
Chairman, International Business Equality Index Committee
+ 31 6 340 566 04

Top cohesion
wfcwThe moving finger writes and having writ moves on
wfcwMillicent Fawcett: Statue of suffragist unveiled
24 April 2018
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A statue commemorating the life of the suffragist, Millicent Fawcett, has been unveiled opposite Parliament.
She campaigned for women's right to vote during the early 20th Century and is seen as one of the most influential feminists of the past 100 years.
The bronze casting, by the artist Gillian Wearing, is the first statue of a woman erected in Parliament Square.
wfcwBlack people in UK 21 times more likely to have university applications investigated, figures show
23 April 2018
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This shocking practice highlights just how pervasive institutional racism is across the higher education sector,’
wfcwHome Office agencies at heart of Windrush scandal rife with discrimination and harassment, employees say
23 April 2018
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MPs demand independent review amid claims 'deeply alarming' findings cast doubts over organisations' ability to handle immigration case
wfcwCrossing Divides: Meet the British Army veteran turned pro-mosque campaigner
23 April 2018
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A Union flag and the cross of St George flutter 20ft (6.1m) high in his front garden.
Ian says they're there "because I'm a veteran and I'm proud to be English". But he admits the flags sometimes give off the wrong impression.
wfcwSocial Integration Commission
The Secretariat: Richard Bell, Rosie Evans, Afua Kudom, Mark Rusling, , Alexander Woolf, Jon Yates, Muna Yusuf
website ...
The UK is becoming more diverse. That much is incontestable.
Yet what is far less understood is what this means for our society. Increasing diversity along the lines of age, ethnicity and social grade raises many questions: how should people living in a diverse society relate to and interact with one another? Are highly diverse and highly integrated communities possible and even desirable? What is the economic impact of this diversity?
We will seek to answer some of these questions and ultimately explore whether any of this matters.
The Commission has three main aims:
1) Explore the nature and extent of social contact between people of different ages, ethnicities and social grades
2) Assess the impact of social division on the UK economy and society
3) Make practical and affordable recommendations across key policy areas
wfcwEthnic minorities face 'entrenched' racial inequality - watchdog
18 August 2016
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Black and ethnic minority people in Britain still face 'entrenched' race inequality in many areas, including education and health, a watchdog warns.
A review by the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which also looked at employment, housing, pay, and criminal justice, found an 'alarming picture'.
Black graduates earn on average 23.1% less than white ones, and more ethnic minorities are unemployed, it found.
The government said it was committed to 'delivering real social reform'.
David Isaac, the commission's chairman, said the report reveals a "very worrying combination of a post-Brexit rise in hate crime and long-term systemic unfairness and race inequality".
nutshellSocial Integration Commission Report
read the full report
Executive Summary

In this report, the Commission explores what can be done to promote social mixing between
people from different ethnic and age groups and income backgrounds and sets out thirteen
principles that we believe should underpin a healthy and well-integrated society:
  1. Every school should provide opportunities for their pupils to interact with children belonging to different ethnic groups and income backgrounds.
  2. Schools’ intakes should reflect the economic and ethnic diversity of their communities.
  3. School and college buildings should be places where the community comes together as well as being centres for learning.
  4. Business and public sector leaders should recognise the benefits of social mixing and look to recruit from diverse talent pools.
  5. Businesses and public sector agencies employing recent migrants should take active steps to enable these workers to meet and mix with different groups of people.
  6. Planning authorities should develop and preserve neighbourhoods which are not only diverse, but are organised to enable residents from different backgrounds to mix with one another.
  7. People living in diverse areas should be encouraged to get to know their neighbours.
  8. Public services should be designed and managed so as to bring together different groups of people.
  9. We should draw on the experience of parenthood to build understanding between people from different backgrounds.
  10. Publicly-funded moments of celebration should be open to people from all religions and none.
  11. Businesses should support their employees to volunteer in and to connect with the communities in which they work.
  12. Retired people should be supported to invest their time and the benefits of their life experience in their communities.
  13. It should be easy for charities to play their part in bringing together people from different ethnic and age groups and income backgrounds

wfcwToo many young people 'off the radar'
January 2015 
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Too many youngsters in England fall "off the radar" when they leave school, the Public Accounts Committee has said. The committee says local councils do not know what large numbers of 16- to 18-year-olds in their areas are doing and fail to give them adequate support.
The PAC is also critical of a lack of careers advice for young people.
In a report, it says 148,000 out of two million 16- to 18-year-olds in England are not in education, employment or training (Neet).
It warns tens of thousands of these "simply disappear from all the relevant public systems".
The committee says there is a duty on local authorities to track 16- to 18-year-olds in their area, but some local authorities do not know whether young people are participating in education or training or not.
wfcwCllr Robbins
Several of our councillors have close links with the young ethnic community which they represent.
What are they doing to counter the gang culture that is ruining many young lives, to include them within our mainstream society?
Several of our councillors have close links with the Muslim community, which they represent..
What are they doing to counter the radicalisation of our young Muslim youth, to include them within our mainstream society?
All our councillors represent and have links with young NEET residents.
What are they doing to encourage language and skills training to increase the chance of their finding work?
John Pitts Reluctant Gangsters, John Pitts 2007
"As far as they are concerned we don’t exist, and even if we do, we are just some kind of problem that won’t go away. I sometimes think the best thing we could do would be to go out and vote and demand that our politicians listen to what’s happening to us."

read ...
StonewallOur members know that people perform better when they can be themselves.
At £2,000 per annum, membership represents exceptional value for mone
Nutshell Council affiliations - the Stonewall connection
S tonewall LBWF
Black boy Islam
Top 100 Stonewall
Employers
Waltham Forest Council, 2011 Top 100 Minority
Employers
Our members know that people perform better when they can be themselves.
"At £2,000 per annum, membership represents exceptional value for money and a cost-effective way of implementing employers’ responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010."
Council comment:
"The heterosexism of wider society is the origin of discrimination against lesbian and gay men."
Getting into the Stonewall Top 100 is great news for Waltham Forest and a real testament to our commitment.
No known list of top employers to ensure cost-effective way of implementing employers’ responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010.
"Only 1% of senior managers employed by the UK's top 100 companies are drawn from ethnic minorities:
download report Kaleidoscope 'snowy peak syndrome'

wfcwImam condemns Alan Henning murder
Imam Qari Mahmood Raja left Eid celebrations on Sunday to take flowers for Alan Henning to a church in Walthamstow. Alan Henning was killed by terrorist group Isis
6 October 2014
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As Muslims across Waltham Forest celebrated Islam’s biggest holiday yesterday, one Imam made his way to a Christian church to speak out against the murder of Alan Henning.
Taxi driver Mr Henning, from Salford, was murdered by Isis after travelling to Syria to help with the aid effort.
Yesterday, despite the widespread celebrations, the Imam from Lea Bridge Road Mosque visited St Barnabas Vicarage in Walthamstow with flowers.
Speaking to Canon Steven Saxby, Qari Mahmood Raja said: “I condemn Alan’s murder in Syria. Our whole community condemns Alan’s murder.  “We are very sorry for this.”
Canon Saxby accepted the flowers, which were placed in the church.  He said: “We work together closely in this community and I am very touched that you have taken time on this holyday of Eid to come here to show an act of of solidarity.”
Eid al-Adha, or Feast of Sacrifice, commemorates what Muslims believe was Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son in accordance with God’s will, with God providing him with a sheep to sacrifice instead, according to to the Quran.
 
Top stonewall
Discrimination encourages intolerance
Discrimination,  against anyone,  encourages intolerance and exclusion of whole communities within our increasingly diverse and very complex society.
If one is anxious about one's own position in society,  feelings of being unsafe seem valid.  
South Africans had an expression for it, ‘soort soek soort,’ (like seeks like) to justify the policy of apartheid, euphemistically referred to as ‘separate development.’
Stonewall expresses it as: ‘people perform better when they can be themselves.’  
During the apartheid era, South African school children were taught: ‘people feel happier when surrounded by their own kind.’ Either way, this policy leads to social fragmentation, walls around communities and all the problems that go with it.
This well traversed road does not bear following - just watch the Syrian tragedy unfold.
 
Patriarchy paradox: how equality reinforces stereotypes
wfcwPatriarchy paradox: how equality reinforces stereotypes
15 September 2018
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We all know what is meant to happen when the genders become more equal. As women smash glass ceilings and open up education, other differences should disappear too.
Without the psychological shackles of being the second sex, women are free to think and behave as they want; to become physicists or chief executives, unfettered by outdated stereotypes.
Yet to the confusion of psychologists, we are seeing the reverse. The more gender equality in a country, the greater the difference in the way men and women think. It could be called the patriarchy paradox.
Two new studies have again demonstrated this counterintuitive result, meaning it is now one of the best-established findings in psychology, even if no one can properly explain it.
wfcwThe “patriarchy paradox”: why both complementarians and egalitarians may have got it wrong (and right)
15 September 2018
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Who you know’ is more important than ‘what you know
wfcwThe Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission has published a report on social mobility: Elitist Britain?
28 August 2014
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The study found that people who were educated privately and then went to Oxford or Cambridge university hold many of the top positions in public life. It found that half of the House of Lords, and a third of the cabinet attended private school.
'Who you know’ is more important than ‘what you know.’
Rt Hon Alan Milburn, Chair of the Commission: "We in the Commission hope this report prompts a re-think in the institutions that have such a critical role to play in making Britain a country where success relies on aptitude and ability more than background or birth.
To confront the challenges and seize the opportunities that Britain faces a broader range of experiences and talents need to be harnessed.
 
wfcwHuman Rights Act and Bill of Rights
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Human rights are about all of us, no matter who we are or where we are from. The UK, with our long-held legal protections for liberties and freedoms, led international work to champion human rights laws in the aftermath of World War II and the Holocaust.

A new UK Bill of Rights?
The current and former governments have both raised the issue of a new Bill of Rights for the UK. BIHR has been cautious about these political discussions because: There is little acknowledgment that our Human Rights Act is already a bill of rights for the UK – it sets out rules for how the state should treat people, providing a system of checks and balances so that government power is not unlimited
 
 
Equality issues
wfcw‘Diversity deficit’ threatens FTSE 100 companies’ competitiveness
10 February 2014
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Two-thirds of FTSE 100 companies still have an all-white executive leadership, according to research which warns that a “diversity deficit” puts their global competitiveness at risk. The research found that just 10 people from ethnic and cultural minorities hold the top posts of chairman, chief executive or finance director – equivalent to 3.5 per cent of the 289 jobs at that level.
The situation is no better for women in the FTSE 100: they occupy 12, or 4.2 per cent, of the most senior posts.
The findings come from a study by Trevor Phillips, who used to chair the Equalities and Human Rights Commission, and Professor Richard Webber of King’s College London, who developed the Mosaic consumer classification system.

wfcw 2007 - Waltham Forest Council senior management have a clear commitment to doing more to support LGBT equality in the workplace.
kaleidoscope ...
Starting out at LBWF ...

wfcw
wfcwChildren making their own porn videos
31 March 2015
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Dame Esther Rantzen, the founder of ChildLine, said children as young as 11 had contacted the service with concerns about pornography.   She said: 'Young people are turning to the internet to learn about sex and relationships. 
wfcwSuzanne Elwick Co-Chair of the LGBT network and Staff Steering Group.
"One of the good things about Waltham Forest is how open and accessible senior management is. When issues arise there is always an opportunity to discuss it. There is also excellent work in our schools and great liaision with between council and schools."
wfcwTeachers 'fear extremism debates in class'
6 April 2015
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Teachers are being forced to spy on their students over fears about Islamic extremism, a teachers' union conference has heard.
New counter-terror rules aimed at exposing radicalisation require schools to report suspicions about pupils to the police.
The National Union of Teachers says the rules are stifling debate in schools.   The NUT conference in Harrogate heard how teachers were becoming too nervous to discuss controversial issues such as Islamic fundamentalism.
One Wandsworth teacher, Jan Nielsen, said: "We are expected to be front-line stormtroopers who listen, spy and notify the authorities of students who we are suspicious of."
She told delegates of a Muslim pupil who had been questioned over comments he made after Friday prayers, even though he had made a strong argument against extremism.
wfcwFaith school fears as union says teachers must promote gay lifestyle
6 April 2015
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Schools should be forced to promote gay relationships in sex education lessons, union leaders say.
The National Union of Teachers has called for a ‘positive portrayal of same sex relationships’ in lessons to be made ‘compulsory’ under the next government.
wfcwSimon Calvert of the Christian Institute said: ‘This motion is itself an act of intolerance towards mainstream Christians and their beliefs. It would force Christian teachers to have to choose between their faith and their job. ‘I wonder whether Christian members of the NUT who have paid their dues can expect any help from the NUT when their jobs are on the line.’
wfcwProtect us from violent pupils, demand teachers as union officials urge schools to display posters asking for staff to be respected
4 April 2015
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The ‘hospital waiting-room-style’ signs are needed as rising numbers of staff are subjected to swearing and physical attacks from pupils and their families.
Research from the NASUWT union shows that the majority of teachers today are verbally abused by pupils.
Some 82 per cent of 3,500 NASUWT members polled were verbally abused by pupils in the last 12 months, up from 52 per cent in the union’s survey last year.
Some 23 per cent had received threats of physical assault from a pupil, up ten percentage points, and 16 per cent had actually been attacked. This was a rise of seven percentage points on last year.
The Christian Institute of Southern Africa was an ecumenical progressive organisation founded by English and Afrikaans clergy in December 1963 to unite South African Christians against apartheid. The CI became deeply involved with black activists such as Steve Biko, and was banned by the state in 1977.
Wikipedia ...
>> more on equality issues << >> more on childhood and youth issues <<
 
wfcwExploited interns pay £926 a month in London to work for nothing
12 November 2014
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Poorer graduates shut out from desirable London workplaces as interns pay £926 a month to work for nothing in the capital. Six month internship in the capital costs estimated £5,556
Research by Sutton Trust recommends all interns should receive £6.50 per hour31% of university graduates work as interns for no pay
  • 31% of university graduates working as interns are doing so for no pay. It estimates that there are at least 21,000 unpaid interns working in the UK at any one time.
  • A six month unpaid internship will cost a single person living in London a minimum of £5,556 (£926 a month), and £4,728 (£788 a month), in Manchester, excluding transport costs.
  • 70% of people aged 16-75 in England agree unpaid internships ‘are unfair because only people from wealthy families are likely to be able to work for a significant period without pay.’
  • sutton trust ...
wfcwThe Great Britain brain-drain: 70% of graduates set to move abroad
28 June 2014
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11% will go for more than five years
Potential economic impact on the UK could be hugeAs 350,000 students prepare to graduate this July, the UK could this year face a potential 'brain-drain' as graduates move abroad in search of better career opportunities.
 
wfcwSectarianism and exploitation.
62p an hour: ‘These politicians say that they support equality for all, but we are not equal.’
Nov 2nd 2014
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The £45 T-shirts carry the defiant slogan ‘This is what a feminist looks like’. But one of the thousands of machinists declared: ‘We do not see ourselves as feminists. We see ourselves as trapped.’
The Mail on Sunday has toured a factory producing the T-shirts, where workers earn just 6,000 rupees a month – equivalent to £120.
They were given a guided tour of CMT’s factory in La Tour Koenig, north Mauritius.
Managing director Francois Woo showed the reporters around the factories sleeping quarters.
He said: ‘All of our dormitories are identical. There are 16 beds in each room. They don’t need a lot of room because they only use them for sleep.’ He said that the plant is one of six across the island where living conditions and wages are identical.
Mr Woo instructed workers to smile as the photographer took pictures of them on the shop floor.
wfcw International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Union:
Nov 2nd 2014
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Fayzal Ally Beegun, president of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Union:
‘The workers in this factory are treated very poorly and the fact that politicians in England are making a statement using these sweatshop T-shirts is appalling. ‘It would take a woman working in the factory nearly two weeks just to buy one shirt. What is feminist about that? These women have nothing in this world. They are paid a pittance and any money they do receive they send back home.
nutshellSectarianism and exploitation.
Migrant worker 62p an hour: ‘These politicians say that they support equality for all, but we are not equal.’
Nov 2nd 2014
 read ...  
Feminist T-shirts  are made in ‘sweatshop’ conditions by migrant women paid just 62p an hour, a Mail on Sunday investigation has revealed.  
The women machinists on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius sleep 16 to a room – and earn much less than the average wage on the island.  
The £45 T-shirts carry the defiant slogan ‘This is what a feminist looks like’. But one of the thousands of machinists declared: ‘We do not see ourselves as feminists. We see ourselves as trapped.’ 
In this special investigation by the Mail On Sunday, Ben Ellery reveals exactly what is like for these women...  
They are the T-shirts designed to make a political statement about women’s rights – but the female workers making them are paid just 62p an hour in an Indian Ocean ‘sweatshop’.  
Between shifts women making garments emblazoned with the slogan ‘This is what a feminist looks like’ sleep in spartan dormitories, 16 to a room.  
At one factory visited by The Mail on Sunday, a female worker told us: ‘How can this T-shirt be a symbol of feminism when we do not see ourselves as feminists? We see ourselves as trapped.’ 
An official from factory owner Compagnie Mauricienne de Textile (CMT) told us he ‘would not be happy’ if the women left the work camp during the week in case they turned up for work ‘hungover’.  
Whistles, whose customers include the Duchess of Cambridge, is selling the T-shirts in aid of women’s activism group The Fawcett Society – which receives all profits. The campaign is backed by fashion magazine Elle.  
Fayzal Ally Beegun, president of the International Textile, Garment and Leather Workers Union said: ‘The workers in this factory are treated very poorly and the fact that politicians in England are making a statement using these sweatshop T-shirts is appalling.  
‘It would take a woman working in the factory nearly two weeks just to buy one shirt. What is feminist about that? These women have nothing in this world. They are paid a pittance and any money they do receive they send back home.
‘They work very long hours and have no lives other than their work. They are on four-year contracts that mean they don’t get to see their families in that time. What kind of existence is it when you are sharing your bedroom with 15 other women?
 30-year-old migrant worker: ‘It is awful but we have no choice. In my country, the rupees I earn here are worth three times as much as they are in Mauritius. ‘How can this T-shirt be a symbol of feminism? ‘These politicians say that they support equality for all, but we are not equal.

 
wfcwWorld billionaires double since crash while inequality worsens
30 October 2014
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Oxfam's chief executive Mark Goldring said: 'Inequality is one of the defining problems of our age. Mr Goldring said: 'Extreme inequality is far from being inevitable - it is the result of political choices and economic fashion, kept in place by a wealthy elite whose influence helps keep the rules rigged in their favour. Too often, the 'invisible hand of the market' is used as an excuse to pick the pockets of the poor.
The consequences of extreme inequality are harmful to everyone. It robs millions of people of better life chances and fuels crime, corruption and even violent conflict. Put simply, it is holding back efforts to end poverty.
Bank of England chief economist Andrew Haldane said: 'In highlighting the problem of inequality, Oxfam not only speaks to the interests of the poorest people but also the wider collective interest.
'There is rising evidence that extreme inequality harms, durably and significantly, the stability of the financial system and growth in the economy. It slows development of the human, social and physical capital necessary for raising living standards and improving well-being. That penny is starting to drop among policymakers and politicians.'
wfcwFury as bishops say cuts mean poor are cast aside
16 January 2015
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The Archbishops of Canterbury and York said Britain is caught in a 'cycle of decline'
Archbishops of Canterbury and York said that the Government was 'casting aside' the poor.  As a result, they said, Britain had become dominated by 'rampant' individualism, is 'ill at ease with itself' and was in many places 'trapped in apparently inevitable decline'.
The comments were made by the Archbishops of Canterbury and York in a campaigning book to be published next week. The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, and the Most Reverend Dr John Sentamu, put their names to a series of essays.
Their book, On Rock or Sand?, declared that many are 'left behind' by 'rampant consumerism' and individualism.
Last night David Cameron said he 'profoundly disagreed' with the two archbishops. And angry MPs said their comments were simply inaccurate and accused the primates of straying too far into the political arena.
wfcwSkills Funding Agency withdraws English language funding for speakers of other languages
31 July 2015
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Colleges will be forced to continue offering language courses for thousands of unemployed learners, despite millions of pounds’ worth of funding being cut, TES can reveal.
The sector was left reeling last week after the Skills Funding Agency (SFA) announced the complete withdrawal of funding for Esol Plus Mandation courses (English for speakers of other languages).
The £45 million programme is targeted at Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants identified as having poor spoken English skills, as this prevents them from being able to find work.
With the adult skills budget for 2015-16 already cut by 11 per cent, and a further 3.9 per cent reduction announced in a letter from the SFA last week, colleges told TES that they would be unable to meet the demand.
Several principals warned that widespread job losses across the sector would be “inevitable”, with vulnerable, ethnic minority learners likely to be hardest hit by the changes.
wfcwDavid Cameron's new line-up - Intereactive BBC guide to the cabinet following the reshuffle
14 July, 2014
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Trevor PhillipsEquality and Human Rights Commission
29 March 2012
In recent months Home Secretary Theresa May has published a highly critical report about the Equality and Human Rights Commission, stripped it of its right to make its own grants of state money, and made severe cuts to its funding.
Mr Phillips will step down to make way for a full-scale reshaping of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. He warned that the country was 'sleepwalking towards segregation.'
more ...
Lammy Dec 2012: Black and minority ethnic women face "catastrophic" levels of unemployment and are discriminated against at "every stage" of the recruitment process, a group of MPs has warned. Labour MP David Lammy, the committee's chairman, says the situation is "deeply worrying". more ...
Apartheid, by any other name  
wfcwLoyal customers leaving Barclays after being told they're TOO POOR: Some have been with the bank for 60 years but booted out because they don't earn £75,000
11 February 2015
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Barclays is facing an exodus from ­customers furious at being booted out of an account because they are not rich enough — despite decades of loyalty.
This week, Money Mail has been ­bombarded with letters and emails from angry customers who feel insulted at being shunted out of an account because they don’t earn £75,000 a year.
It comes after we revealed how Barclays was moving up to 270,000 people from its paid-for Premier Life deal into a basic ­current account because it had introduced new rules which meant they weren’t wealthy enough to qualify.
wfcwOne Tower Bridge social housing tenants denied access to garden
7 February 2015 
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Southwark council agrees to planning permission changes to reduce service charges in a move reminiscent of the row over ‘poor doors
Social housing tenants on a new development next to Tower bridge in London will not be able to access a communal garden, after the local council agreed changes to planning permission in a move reminiscent of the row over buildings that have different doors for tenants, depending on their income and status.
wfcwPoor doors: the segregation of London's inner-city flat dwellers
 25 July 2014
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Poorer residents in capital's developments forced to use different entrances and facilities
Left, the luxury lobby of One Commercial Street, marketed to wealthy City workers.
Right, the side-alley entrance reserved for affordable housing tenants.
Multimillion pound housing developments in London are segregating less well-off tenants from wealthy homebuyers by forcing them to use separate entrances.
A Guardian investigation has discovered a growing trend in the capital's upmarket apartment blocks – which are required to include affordable homes in order to win planning permission – for the poorer residents to be forced to use alternative access, a phenomenon being dubbed "poor doors". Even bicycle storage spaces, rubbish disposal facilities and postal deliveries are being separated.
The Green party accused developers of showing "contempt for ordinary people" by enforcing such two-tier policies.
wfcwCity Blinds building in Leytonstone to become gated flats 'for professionals'
20 January 2015
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A landmark building will be turned into a gated block of flats for “young professionals”, the architect behind the project has said.
Waltham Forest council approved the plan for the former City Blinds building near the Tesco superstore in Gainsborough Road, Leytonstone, this month. 
Melanie Clear of Clear Architects, said: “The flats have been designed with young professionals in mind.”
 
wfcwOfsted reports on 21 Birmingham schools - full list (bbc)
9 June 2014
Ofsted has carried out inspections of 21 schools, following claims in an anonymous letter that hardline Muslims were trying to impose their view on a group of schools in Birmingham.
wfcwMichael Gove apologises over 'Trojan Horse' row with Theresa May
8 June 2014
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Education Secretary Michael Gove has apologised to David Cameron over his row with Home Secretary Theresa May.
A report on the row - about claims of a hardline Muslim plot in some Birmingham schools - by Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood has been handed to the prime minister.
A special adviser to Mrs May has also resigned over comments made to the Times.
Mr Gove will address MPs over the alleged "Trojan Horse" plot on Monday.
Education watchdog Ofsted is inspecting 21 schools in Birmingham as a result of the allegations of a plot. These reports are due to be published on Monday.
wfcwTrojan Horse: Ofsted says schools were targeted
9 June 2014
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"A culture of fear and intimidation has taken grip" in Birmingham schools caught up in the Trojan Horse claims, says Ofsted chief Sir Michael Wilshaw. Head teachers have been "marginalised or forced out of their jobs", said Sir Michael, as he delivered his findings on claims of hardline Muslim takeovers. He said there was evidence of an "organised campaign to target certain schools".
Leaders of one of the schools, Park View, firmly rejected the claims. Ofsted has carried out inspections of 21 schools, following claims in an anonymous letter that hardline Muslims were trying to impose their view on a group of schools in Birmingham. Sir Michael's conclusion is that there had been deliberate attempts to change the ethos of schools - and he has made recommendations, including the use of "professional governors", to the Education Secretary Michael Gove, who will respond later on Monday.
 
wfcw26 Jan 2014: Sir Michael Wilshaw says Michael Gove risks damaging standards by attacking Ofsted ideology
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Ofsted chief said to be 'spitting blood' over attacks on schools watchdog.
wfcw26 Jan 2014: Gove denies attack on Ofsted chief
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Education Secretary Michael Gove says his team has not briefed against England's chief inspector of schools - who says he is "pleased to be assured" of that. Sir Michael Wilshaw: I have talked to the secretary of state today and I know that he is 100% supportive of my leadership”
nutshellThinktank Civitas urged the government to create a new body to inspect free schools and academies
26 January 2014
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Ofsted boss Sir Michael says Michael Gove risks damaging standards by undermining his authority and attacking Ofsted ideology.
Think tank Civitas urged the government to create a new body to inspect free schools, while Policy Exchange called for evidence on whether Ofsted was 'fit for purpose.'
Sir Michael Wilshaw told the Sunday Times that the education secretary, Michael Gove, risked damaging school standards by undermining his authority and attacking Ofsted's ideology. It comes after reports that a rightwing thinktank, Civitas, has urged the government to create a new body to inspect free schools and academies.
Meanwhile the Policy Exchange thinktank, which Gove set up in 2002, is calling for evidence from schools about whether the school inspection body is "fit for purpose".
Asked if he wanted Gove to call off the attack, Wilshaw said: "Absolutely. It does nothing for his drive or our drive to raise standards in schools. "I am spitting blood over this and I want it to stop. I was never intimidated as a headteacher and I do not intend to be intimidated as a chief inspector." He added that he had received "unjust" criticism from both the left and the right since Gove appointed him to the post in 2011. He also insisted that Ofsted would not be frightened into softening its inspections on free schools, the government's flagship education policy.
Recent inspections on free schools have led to the closure of Discovery new school in West Sussex, while the troubled Al-Madinah school in Derby was labelled inadequate. "If I see things going wrong in an academy chain I will say so," Wilshaw told the newspaper. "If people tied to the free-school movement think I will not do that they have another think coming. "As long as we exist and have the job of raising standards we will do the job fairly without fear or favour."

 
wfcw The denigration of men: Ridiculed, abused, exploited - the triumph of feminism has made today's men second class citizens
18 April 2015
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Men invented philosophy, medicine, architecture, cars, trains, helicopters, submarines and the internet. Not to mention the jet engine, IVF, electricity and modern medicine.
We’ve led all the industrial revolutions and sent rockets into Space. We’ve fought wars with tin hats and bayonets and won them. The world we live in would be nothing without Alexander Graham Bell, Sigmund Freud, Horatio Nelson, Winston Churchill, William Shakespeare and Albert Einstein. The geniuses Leonardo da Vinci, Stephen Hawking, Michelangelo, Beethoven, Charles Darwin and Michael Faraday have all contributed immeasurably to our modern lives.
So why is it that, today, there has there never been a worse time to be a man? Rubbishing the male of the species and everything he stands for is a disturbing — and growing — 21st century phenomenon. It is the fashionable fascism of millions of women — and many, many men, too. Instead of feeling proud of our achievements, we men are forced to spend our time apologising for them. When people chide us for not being able to multi-task or use a washing machine we join in the mocking laughter — even though we invented the damned thing in the first place.
Rubbishing the male of the species and everything he stands for is a disturbing 21st century phenomenon
Diane Abbott May 2013: Shadow health minister Diane Abbott:
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In a speech Ms Abbott will warn a generation of men are in transit and unclear of their social role.  There is a "crisis of masculinity in Britain" because of the pressures rapid economic and social change have placed on masculine identity.
Lammy Dec 2012: Black and minority ethnic women face "catastrophic" levels of unemployment and are discriminated against at "every stage" of the recruitment process, a group of MPs has warned. Labour MP David Lammy, the committee's chairman, says the situation is "deeply worrying".
nutshellBritish 'masculinity crisis' warning
Diane Abbott 15 May 2013
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In a speech on Thursday, Ms Abbott will warn a generation of men are in transit and unclear of their social role.  There is a "crisis of masculinity in Britain" because of the pressures rapid economic and social change have placed on masculine identity, shadow health minister Diane Abbott is to claim.
Speaking at the think tank Demos in London, Ms Abbott will set out how she thinks changing social attitudes and movements in the labour market have left men "isolated and misdirected."  But she will stress that the problems men and boys face are not receiving sufficient attention because - "like the film Fight Club - the first rule of being a man in modern Britain is that you're not allowed to talk about it".
Human society, like all other species societies, is one in which females are dominant and men fit in around women”   Prof Geoff Dench Social anthopologist
'Hyper-masculinity'
During the talk, Ms Abbott will highlight research by the Men's Health Forum, a charity which aims to tackle male health inequalities, which suggests that: men are:

more likely to take their own lives than women,
have lower educational attainment at all levels of the education system,
are more likely to be homeless, and are
less likely to access NHS services. 

This is because there are structural and cultural issues which prevent men from seeking help, the research concludes.
The speech follows concerns Ms Abbott expressed in January that British culture was becoming "increasingly pornified" and was having a damaging effect on young people.
The rise of a "Viagra and Jack Daniels culture" - with men buying the drug as a performance enhancer rather than for medical reasons - is an indication of the pressure young men are under to live up to "pornified ideals", she will say in her speech.
To tackle this "masculinity crisis" she will call for a strengthened role for fathers in family life, with father-friendly parenting classes, meaningful parental leave for men and more conversations between fathers and sons about manhood.
Ms Abbott will also call for schools and parents to do more to encourage boys to talk about the issues they face and she wants more male teachers in schools to act as role models.
Such actions should help establish a more "multi-faceted notion of what makes a man", the Labour MP will say.

nutshellEthnic women face jobs 'catastrophe'
Lammy2 December 2012
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The BBC has seen a report from the all-party parliamentary group on race and community which says racial bias holds some women back from getting a job.
Labour MP David Lammy, the committee's chairman, says the situation is "deeply worrying". The report will be published on Friday.
The inquiry examined written and verbal evidence through the summer. Despite latest official figures showing, nationally, unemployment has continued to fall, the report says racial bias is holding some women back from getting a job.
One woman said she changed her Muslim-sounding name after using a different one secured her more job interviews.
And a black African woman said she was overlooked for a law-based job in favour of two less qualified white women, but then offered the job when the women were sacked for incompetence.
Mr Lammy said: "There have been a lot of cuts to the public sector. Black and minority ethnic women have been traditionally employed in the public sector and are losing their jobs in droves at this time. "They complain of struggling with no support around child care and around helping them to stay in work. Many are doing just casual employment, so the picture is bleak and depressing."

 
Ofsted chair Sally Morgan Ofsted chair Sally Morgan accuses No 10 of ousting non-Tories from posts
1 February 2014
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The government is ousting non-Conservative supporters from key public body posts, according to the outgoing chair of schools inspectorate Ofsted.
Baroness Sally Morgan told the BBC she was the victim of a "determined effort from Number 10" to appoint more Tories.
The Labour peer has not had her term of office renewed and will step down in the autumn.
Education Secretary Michael Gove has not commented on allegations she was dismissed but praised her contribution.
She told Radio 4's Today programme: "I really do think it's just I am the latest of a fairly long list of people now who are non-Conservative supporters who are not being re-appointed." Baroness Morgan, a former close aide to Tony Blair, said there was "absolutely a pattern", adding: "I think it's extremely worrying."
Comment: People should be recruited according to their ability, not in order to meet political, ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or any other such targets
   
Trevor PhillipsHome Secretary Theresa May has published a highly critical report about the Equality and Human Rights Commission, stripped it of its right to make its own grants of state money, and made severe cuts to its funding. Mr Phillips will step down to make way for a full-scale reshaping of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. After the 2005 London bombings he warned that the country was 'sleepwalking towards segregation.'
nutshellTrevor Phillips on equality
Trevor PhillipsTrevor Phillips on the need to actively seek equality
YouTube video
Trevor PhillipsMailOnline
29 March 2012
In recent months Home Secretary Theresa May has published a highly critical report about the Equality and Human Rights Commission, stripped it of its right to make its own grants of state money, and made severe cuts to its funding.
Mr Phillips will step down
to make way for a full-scale reshaping of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. After the 2005 London bombings he warned that the country was 'sleepwalking towards segregation.' more ...
EHRC Triennial Review 2010How fair is Britain? - The first Triennial Review, 2010
Black, Pakistani/Bangladeshi and Other Asian groups generally have significantly worse outcomes in terms of employment and earnings, compared to White British people. This difference is particularly stark at the degree level, where earnings of Black male graduates are 24% lower than those of White British male graduates, even when holding occupation and industry constant.
EHRC Triennial Review 2010

 
home office"We lead on issues relating to women, sexual orientation and transgender equality matters; we have responsibility across government for equality strategy and legislation." (Equalities, Feb 2013)
nutshellGovernance and corporate equality
home officeEquality and Human Rights Commission: New Board and Budget Mark a New Era
14 January 2013
Policy: Creating a fairer and more equal society
Minister:The Rt Hon Maria Miller MP
A new board for the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) has been announced today by the Maria Miller.
The EHRC has been going through a significant period of reform and the new board, appointed in collaboration with the new Chair Baroness Onora O’Neill, will mark the next important step for the EHRC’s transition to a more effective and efficient body.
The EHRC is the UK’s designated equality body and ‘A-rated’ National Human Rights Institution. As the country’s expert body on equality and human rights issues, and guardian of legal rights, it has an important role to fulfil.
Following a very competitive recruitment process, which attracted a large and strong field of candidates, Mrs Miller has today announced the following appointments:
Deputy Chair: Caroline Waters OBE
Disability Commissioner: Chris Holmes MBE
Commissioners:
Evelyn Asante-Mensah OBE
Laura Carstensen
Professor Swaran Singh
Sarah Veale CBE
The Minister for Women and Equalities, Maria Miller said: “The EHRC has an important role to play in tackling discrimination and promoting equality and human rights in this country. Today’s new board appointments, along with the recent appointment of Baroness O’Neill as chair, marks the start of a new era for the EHRC.
more ...
CrownEquality Act 2010
The Equality Act came into force from October 2010 providing a modern, single legal framework with clear, streamlined law to more effectively tackle disadvantage and discrimination.
read ...
Equality Act GuidanceEquality Act guidance downloads
View or download updated guidance for employers, workers, service users & providers and education providers.
read ...
parliamentWomen in public life, the professions and the boardroom - Commons Library
The House of Commons Library provides research, analysis and information services for MPs and their staff.
parliament Ethnic Minorities in Politics and Government - Commons Library Standard Note
Ethnic minorities make up over 10% of the population in England and Wales but are generally under-represented in politics and government. Following the 2010 General Election there were 27 black and minority ethnic MPs, 12 more than before the election, but less than 5% of all MPs.
home officeEqualities: Women at the heart of plans for economic growth (Feb 2013)
"We lead on issues relating to women, sexual orientation and transgender equality matters; we have responsibility across government for equality strategy and legislation."
more ...
Theresa May on YouTubeTheresa May on Stonewall,
Member of Parliament for Maidenhead, Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities
ENEIEmployers Network for Equality & Inclusion
We recognise that equality and inclusion issues often cut across the ‘protected characteristics’ as defined under the Equality Act 2010. ENEI helps employers think about equality and inclusion in a broader sense.
more ...
eneiNews & Advice - Race
Race is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act. Within the Act, race means colour, nationality, citizenship, ethnic origin and national origin.
read .
   

 
EHRCA wealth of evidence shows that education is a key determinant of life chances. As well as being a right in itself, education is an enabling right, allowing individuals to develop the skills, capacity and confidence to secure other rights and economic opportunities..
nutshellSkills, employment and equality
GlobeSupply teachers face racism from some schools - agency
13 March 2013
A supply teacher agency claims that some schools on the outskirts of London seem reluctant to hire ethnic minority temporary staff.
The London Teaching Pool is complaining about inquiries from schools appearing not to want non-white teachers. Managing director Darryl Mydat says such requests are received by his firm several times each term.
Head teachers' leader Brian Lightman said such discrimination by schools was "inconceivable". The owner of another supply teachers' agency said schools might have legitimate concerns about English language skills - and that this might be misinterpreted as racism. read ...
Muslim prisonerRise in proportion of young Muslims in jail
7 December 2012
The proportion of young offenders in England and Wales describing themselves as Muslim has risen. One in five males in young offender institutions (YOIs) identified themselves as Muslim in 2011/12, compared with 16% in 2010/11. The proportion of youths in custody from black and minority ethnic communities also rose from 39% to 42%. more .
.EHRCEHRC Education
A wealth of evidence shows that education is a key determinant of life chances. As well as being a right in itself, education is an enabling right, allowing individuals to develop the skills, capacity and confidence to secure other rights and economic opportunities... read ...
Theresa May on YouTubeTheresa May on Stonewall,
Member of Parliament for Maidenhead, Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equalities
Trevor PhillipsWhy Equality and Human Rights Are Essential To Economic Recovery
Trevor Phillips, Policy Exchange, 8 February 2011 read ...
Trevor PhillipsMailOnline
29 March 2012
In recent months Home Secretary Theresa May has published a highly critical report about the Equality and Human Rights Commission, stripped it of its right to make its own grants of state money, and made severe cuts to its funding.
Mr Phillips will step down
to make way for a full-scale reshaping of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. After the 2005 London bombings he warned that the country was 'sleepwalking towards segregation.' more ...
EHRCEquality and Human Rights Commission
We have a statutory remit to promote and monitor human rights; and to protect, enforce and promote equality across the nine "protected" grounds - age, disability, gender, race, religion and belief, pregnancy and maternity, marriage and civil partnership, sexual orientation and gender reassignment
EHRC
EHRC Triennial Review 2010How fair is Britain? - The first Triennial Review, 2010
Black, Pakistani/Bangladeshi and Other Asian groups generally have significantly worse outcomes in terms of employment and earnings, compared to White British people. This difference is particularly stark at the degree level, where earnings of Black male graduates are 24% lower than those of White British male graduates, even when holding occupation and industry constant.
EHRC Triennial Review 2010

 
ONESOCIETY One Society shows that large divides in income at the top and bottom of society – beyond ‘proportional rewards’ – are damaging to our economy and society, not just for those at the bottom, but right the way up.
nutshellTrusts, charities and campaigns
The Equality Trust The Equality Trust campaigns to reduce income inequality to improve the quality of life in the UK.
facebook | twitter
Talent not TokenismDownload a copy of the CBI, TUC and Equality and Human Rights Commission report, “Talent not Tokenism,”  the business benefits of workforce diversity
ONESOCIETY One Society draws on a wealth of research which shows that large divides in income at the top and bottom of society – beyond ‘proportional rewards’ – are damaging to our economy and society, not just for those at the bottom, but right the way up. Small increases in equality have the potential to yield significant benefits for society. Eastside Community HeritageEastside Community Heritage
Eastside Community Heritage seeks to build, service and enable partnerships which record, document and preserve the experiences of different communities, through the provision of social, cultural, educational and historical activities.
RAMFELRAMFEL is the Refugee and Migrant Forum of East London.
RAMFEL would like to see a society rid of discrimination and disadvantage, and with a positive attitude to the inclusion of asylum seekers, migrants, refugees and BAME (Black Asian Minority Ethnic) individuals and communities.
more ...
MRNMigrants' Rights Network
MRN is a young, dynamic national NGO working and campaigning in support of migrants in the UK. Our work brings together migrant activists and support organizations, think tanks, academics, faith groups and public sector representatives to advocate for a rights-based approach towards migration in the UK.
more ...
nmpNewham Monitoring Project believe that racism remains rooted in the very fabric of British society, as shown by recent anti-terrorism legislation and stop and search powers, disproportionately affecting working class black communities.
more ...
Guardian26th September 2012, Business-minded women with children are being invited to attend a new networking and support group in Waltham Forest.
It plans to hold a series of speaker-led sessions across the borough covering how to juggle a family and business, along with advice and tips for succeeding with a new company.
Group founder Colette Machado said: "There are many mums who would love to start their own business but feel they lack the support, know-how or confidence to do so.
more ...
Mums Business Directory Mums Business Directory
The place where Mums and Business connect via social networking!
A one stop directory for Business owners and Mums alike...
Join with a free basic listing!
wbcThe Women's Business Centre
the first purpose built Women's Business Centre in the UK. WBC is part of Newham College London and is an award-winning model for women’s business support, having received flagship status
Waltham Forest Women in BusinessWaltham Forest Women in Business
Business support and information, networking, access to local, regional and national business contacts
lsaLondon School of Academics
Women's Business Centre
London School of Academics offers a wide range of Continuing Professional Development training.
Domestic violenceMore than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, report reveals
5 September 2010
more ..
ParityParity - Equal Rights for UK Men and Women
Domestic violence, the male perspective.
read ...
   

 
Top awards
Domestic violenceAbout two in five of all victims of domestic violence are men, contradicting the widespread impression that it is almost always women who are left battered and bruised, a new report claims.
nutshellGender and ethnic equality
Domestic violenceMore than 40% of domestic violence victims are male, report reveals
5 September 2010
more ..
ParityParity - Equal Rights for UK Men and Women
read ...
parityCampaign group Parity claims assaults by wives and girlfriends are often ignored by police and media.
BBCWhich jobs have more women than men?
Mark Easton
Most journalists are women. Most authors are women. Most teachers, lab technicians, therapists, editors, librarians, public relations officers and insurance underwriters are women. In fact, it is arguable that women now hold a greater proportion of Britain's professional jobs than their representation in the workforce would lead one to expect. more ...
 
LammyEthnic minority women face jobs 'catastrophe'
2 December 2012
Black and minority ethnic women face "catastrophic" levels of unemployment and are discriminated against at "every stage" of the recruitment process, a group of MPs has warned. Labour MP David Lammy, the committee's chairman, says the situation is "deeply worrying".
more ...
   
 
 

Top skills
Jennette Arnold London assembly member, Jennette Arnold, to find out how residents are coping with rising costs of living. She is undertaking a survey in Waltham Forest to find out how people are coping with the squeeze on their finances. Rises in fares on public transport, private rents and utility bills are helping to push people into a cost of living crisis.
Alan Milburn said the public were concerned at levels of unfairness
Social mobility report:
Work 'may be no route out of poverty'
ageuk 08/01/2013 - Age UK - Index of Multiple Deprivations in Waltham Forest
WF continues to be one of the most deprived boroughs in England. In terms of the overall measure of multiple deprivation (IMD 2010) WF ranks 15th most deprived among the 326 local authorities in England.
Its position has declined from 47th in 2004. Out of 33 London boroughs,

(2011 data) - Profile: Deprivation in WF
Almost two-thirds of people believe "who you know" matters more than "what you know" when it comes to getting on in life, a survey for the government's social mobility commission suggests.

'Who you know' counts, survey says Work no longer pays enough to provide a route out of poverty for millions of families, the government's social mobility tsar is expected to warn
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Nutshell'Who you know' counts
17 October 2013
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Social mobility report: Work 'may be no route out of poverty'
Commuters The report will say in real-terms incomes have stagnated since 2003 while prices continue to rise

'Who you know' counts, survey says

Work no longer pays enough to provide a route out of poverty for millions of families, the government's social mobility tsar is expected to warn.
A report headed up by one-time Labour minister Alan Milburn will highlight stagnating incomes and rising prices. He is due to call on employers to do more to support low-paid families earning less than a living wage. He will also say middle-class children face being worse off than their parents for the first time in over a century.
Elsewhere, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg warned against asking pensioners to pay more to tackle the problem.

'Lack of progress'
In its first report, the government's Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission is expected to recommend using some of the funding set aside to help the poorest children in society to boost the life chances of middle-class families.
This could help parents who, although not wealthy, are still too well-off to benefit from significant state help, he will argue.
The commission will point out that real-terms incomes have stagnated since 2003 while prices continue to rise - meaning employment may not enable a low-income family to escape poverty.

These are the people frankly who do all the right things... and yet they're all too often the forgotten people of Britain and I think they desperately need a new deal”
Alan Milburn Social mobility tsar

The report is likely to suggest that, in the current economic climate, it is unrealistic to expect the government to continue topping up low pay using working tax credits.
It is thought the commission may argue that employers need to do more - paying higher minimum wages and offering better training and career development.
Mr Milburn told the BBC the problem of child poverty was now a "problem for working families".
Two thirds of children officially deemed as being poor now came from a family where at least one parent was working - and in three out of four of those cases, at least one of their parents was working full time, he pointed out.
Mr Milburn admitted that while work was "still very important", it was not a cure for poverty.
Around five million people in the country - mainly women - were earning less than the living wage, which is about £7.45 an hour outside of London, he said.
"These are the people frankly who do all the right things, they go out to work, they stand on their own two feet, they look after their families - they're the strivers not the shirkers - and yet they're all too often the forgotten people of Britain and I think they desperately need a new deal."

'Sharing the burden'
He urged employers and the government to do more to help those feeling a squeeze in living standards, but also suggested pensioners could provide part of the solution.
He said many pensioners felt "uncomfortable" that ordinary families were having their benefits cut back while their own benefits - including the winter fuel allowance and free bus passes - were safeguarded. "Many are asking 'is that fair and right, and shouldn't there be a fairer sharing of the burden?'"
Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Mr Clegg praised the findings, saying: "It is not every day that the government welcomes a report that criticises the way things are being done and draws attention to a lack of progress made."
But he described the report's questioning of whether cuts were falling fairly among different generations as "debateable".
"Punishing pensioners isn't going to help a single child achieve more in life," he said.
Mr Milburn, who stood down as an MP at the last election, will also advocate a scheme for pairing bright children and the best teachers in an effort to raise attainment.
The former health secretary, who has been asked by the government to produce a series of reports, has previously said social mobility - the idea that individuals can better themselves in terms of educational opportunity, job prospects and salaries from one generation to the next - is "flatlining".
The report comes after official figures showed the number of unemployed in the UK fell by 18,000 to 2.49 million in the June-August period.
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) also said the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance last month fell by 41,700 to 1.35 million.


Evening StandardWe need new skills to fight inequality
Hamish McRae
04 February 2013
A more efficient society requires different skills and behaviour if it is not to be associated with greater inequality. We have a world of declining inequality between countries but increasing inequality within them. There is a lot to be done. more ...
 
lbwfLondon Borough of Waltham Forest, Local Economic Assessment
November 2010, Navigant Consulting
A low-skilled borough... Skills levels in Waltham Forest are very low, as in most of East London. Waltham Forest ranks 377th out of 408 local areas in Great Britain on overall skills and qualifications scores.There are more Asian/Asian British unemployed in Waltham Forest than any other ethnic grouping. Asian/Asian British residents are nearly three times as likely to be unemployed as White residents, and twice as likely as Black/Black British residents.
NutshellA few main points from the report
LBWF, Local Economic Assessment, Nov 2010
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. read full report
Fig 7.5.3: Proportion of population living in Lone parent Households (2008)

In 2008, there were a significant number of people – 56,041 – living in Lone parent households in Waltham Forest. This means a quarter of the borough’s population live in Lone parent households, which is the highest proportion in London, and nearly twice the national average, and nearly 50% more than the London average. Within this, 40,476 live in households where all the children are dependent on the parent, which is potentially a significant issue for the borough as – nationally – an average of 4% of those households have a parent in employment.

Table 4.9.1: Business and Economy assessment summary 
Large firms (employing 200+) are usually the major drivers of productivity in a local area. While
Waltham Forest has a number of large regeneration sites, and strategic industrial locations that could locate new large businesses coming to the area, the potential for such inward investment is viewed by partners are unlikely.
The Inward Investment market – particularly for Foreign Direct Investment is risk adverse, and companies will not take a chance on locating to an area without a strong track record as a business location.  Ethnic minorities are less likely to run businesses in the borough. 
Despite a large and diverse ethnic minority population, there is a relative lack of entrepreneurialism – particularly among the Pakistani community. This analysis offers the opportunity to promote enterprise among certain communities – which could have community cohesion as well as economic benefits.

Summary: Key Issues, 2010
  • Skills levels in Waltham Forest are very low, as in most of East London. Waltham Forest ranks 377th out of 408 local areas in Great Britain on overall skills and qualifications scores.
  • Males are more likely to be unemployed, and females are more likely to be economically inactive. Ethnic minorities are more likely to be effected by worklessness.
  • Waltham Forest has a higher proportion of small businesses than London, the Host Boroughs and North East London. 2.6% of employers provide 50.1% of jobs in the borough.
  • Micro‐businesses (employing 10 or less people) are the most significant employer in Waltham Forest – providing 27.1% of jobs. This is unique to the borough among comparator areas.
  • Waltham Forest has the smallest overall production and is the least productive borough in London
  • The borough has low skills levels, which is critical to employment risk, and levels of unemployment and economic inactivity
  • The profile of those economically inactive ‘Seeking work but unavailable’ are very likely to be young and male in Waltham Forest.
  • Men are far more likely to be unemployed in Waltham Forest than women. The differential between rates of unemployment by gender in the borough is the highest is London.
  • There are more Asian/Asian British unemployed in Waltham Forest than any other ethnic grouping. Asian/Asian British residents are nearly three times as likely to be unemployed as White residents, and twice as likely as Black/Black British residents.
  • Economic inactivity is concentrated in the Asian/Asian British population of the borough, and predominantly amongst women.
  • Of those who are economically inactive, the proportion of Asian/Asian British who are “not seeking but want a job” is strikingly low.

 
Sunday TimesMany of the worst-performing pupils are now found in sink schools not in inner London or other city ghettoes, but in seaside towns and affluent villages
Nutshell Poor white children do worst at British schools
Children from wealthy families are nearly twice as likely as those from poor backgrounds to achieve good results
16 June 2013
read ...
POOR white British children have become the least likely of any ethnic group to succeed at school, according to an official report to be published this week.
Many of the worst-performing pupils are now found in sink schools not in inner London or other city ghettoes, but in seaside towns and affluent villages in east and southeast England. The surprising findings emerge in the first report for 10 years by the schools inspectorate into the academic gap between the poorest pupils and those from affluent families.
In the early 1990s, failing schools where poor children were often condemned to lives of unemployment and crime were in big cities such as London, Birmingham and Liverpool and ethnic minorities were the least likely to do well.

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Breathtaking incompetence: It's not just the floods debacle. The people who run Britain have never been so out of touch - or inept

WFCW editor:
If the environment agency was as committed to doing its job rather than pandering to diversity the whole community would have been better protected. LBWF take note.

New Zealand reader:
"We've seen in the NZ newspapers and on TV how people are having to cope with the floods on their own. The UK bureaucracy is excelling itself for incompetemcy, even by its own low standards. In the USA a few years ago when flood waters were coming down the Mississippi, the army was called out to sandbag the river and avoid a disaster. The UK approach appears to still be to sit back and hope for "Peace in our Time"! No-one in authority appears to be saying: "What is the problem? What is the solution? What needs to be done? When does it need to be done?"
We do frequently see our bureaucrats hopelessly out of their depths but I think that kiwis do well in London because they have a positive approach to getting things done and are not contented just shuffling papers around on a desk."