Coalition for Racial Equality & Rights


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Amongst other so-called ‘red tape reduction’ activities, the UK Government is in the process of reviewing the Public Sector Equality Duty of the Equality Act 2010. The Steering Group undertaking this review is due to report its findings by June 2013, having taken approximately six months from the date of its first meeting to consider a range of largely desk-based research and views from primarily public sector contributors.

Concerns have been put forward by a number of organisations and individuals across Britain that the Review process is premature, rushed and lacking in objectivity. The Public Sector Equality Duties have been in place for a very short time (since October 2010 for the overarching General Duty, and since April 2011 for the English Specific Public Sector Equality Duties which are also being reviewed).

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The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights are delighted to confirm that we will be joined at our Glasgow 2014 event this Friday by Lorraine Deschamps MBE. 

A level 5 referee, Lorraine is a current FA Ambassador in their ‘Get into Football’ programme and an Ambassador at Sporting Equals Ltd which is committed to increasing the number of people from black and minority ethnic communities who participate in the world of sport and physical activity, as players and competitors, as volunteers and coaches and in management.

Last year Lorraine was awarded an MBE for her services to sport and diversity. She is an FA Female Referee Ambassador and has served on the FA’s Race Equality Advisory Group and as Chair of its Diversity Action Group having been on the Bid Team to bring the 2018 World Cup to England, when the plan was to build on football’s positive inclusion for all.

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banner image for inaugural symposium on race equality

The Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights will mark the UN International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination with an inaugural symposium which seeks to challenge the cosy consensus that Scotland has tackled racism more effectively than other parts of the UK. ‘Race Equality in Scotland – the next 10 years’ will provide a platform for experts in the field of anti-racist work. The three speakers at this initial event are: 

  • Professor Kay Hampton, Professor in Communities and Race Relations and former Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality. 
  • Dr. Colin Clark, Head of the Graduate School for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Strathclyde. 
  • Dr. Philomena de Lima, Director of the Centre for Remote and Rural Studies, University of the Highland and Islands. 

Professor Hampton will challenge the claim that race inequality is no longer a problem in Scotland stating that “although successive Scottish Governments might appear to engage positively with matters relating to inequality, evidence on the ground suggest that they have not succeeded in demonstrating a sustained, progressive realization of race equality.” 

With the Independence referendum next year, Dr. Clark will look ahead to where Scotland might be in 2023, arguing that “One thing is clear – we are long overdue a return to what has been termed the ‘liberal hour’, especially regarding issues of ethnicity, identity and migration.” 

Dr. de Lima’s presentation ‘Post Race or Coming back full circle?’ will address the feeling amongst anti-racist campaigners that the early hopes that Devolution would mean that ‘racism’ was taken seriously at the strategic level have been short lived. “..having ‘done race’ the policy emphasis shifted to ‘diversity’, difference, identities and so on. There appears to have been a deafening silence on race.” 

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Tagged in: CRER Equalities Racism

Last Friday saw the Herald newspaper run a story headlined “Claim universities swamped with non-Scottish staff” based upon an article in the Scottish Review by Professor Alf Baird from Edinburgh Napier University.

The use of this type of inflammatory language is usually consigned to right wing racists so it was worrying indeed to read a Scottish Academic talk so freely about ‘swamping’ by non-Scots and of Scottish Institutions being ‘overrun’.

Professor Baird asserts “Over the past few decades our universities have headhunted and recruited many academics from distant shores and this has obviously had an effect.” “In some departments/institutes within Scotland’s universities today it can be a challenge to find any senior Scots academics.”

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Tagged in: Education Equalities

banner image for Cultural Programme Open Fund


Glasgow 2014 Limited, Creative Scotland and Glasgow Life are now inviting individuals and organisations to apply to the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme Open Fund.


This fund is a major component in the development of the nationwide Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme and aims to enhance the Games experience for Scotland’s communities, spectators and visitors, as well as present the best of Scotland’s culture alongside that of the Commonwealth. A total of £4million is available and individual artists, community-led groups and arts organisations are invited to apply for awards ranging from £20,000 up to £300,000.

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On 15 May 2012, the Home Secretary announced a review of the public sector Equality Duty, as part of the outcome of the Red Tape Challenge spotlight on equalities. They are now combining it with a planned review of the general 'due regard' equality duty which would have been done in 2015.

The TUC believes this review is premature - the new equality duty only came into effect just under two years ago and the specific duties only a year ago. They have also expressed concerns about the review being overseen by a steering group that lacks any public service user or worker voice on it and has no representation from the devolved administrations.

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There is a lot of ‘noise’ coming from public sector organisations about equality outcomes at the moment. 

To give just three examples, the Scottish Government held a meeting with equality groups earlier this week to report on the progress they are making with setting their outcomes; a number of organisations are consulting on final draft outcomes and Caledonian University have brought in Simon Fanshawe to facilitate an equality outcomes summit. 

Under the Equality Act 2010 (Specific Duties) (Scotland) Regulations 2012, listed public bodies need to publish a set of equality outcomes no later than 30th April 2013. These outcomes set out the change that they want to see related to their General Equality Duty to eliminate discrimination, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between different groups of people. 

The regulations say ‘no later than 30th April 2013’, however most public bodies’ outcome setting processes are running very close to the deadline. They could have begun working on these from at least May 2012 when the regulations were first agreed. So it's worrying that so many of these listed bodies have agreed their strategic plans and budgets for the year ahead before even completing their consultations on their equality outcomes.

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Welcome to the new Blog from the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights. We hope that this new venuture by CRER into the world of the blogosphere will be a useful and informative addition to the functions of our website. And of course we look forward to reading your comments and suggestions on our blog.

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