CRE says a single equality body is way forward

The
Commission for Racial Equality (CRE) says a single equality body needs to be
developed properly and be flexible if it is work effectively.

Responding
to the Government’s consultation document, Equality and Diversity: Making it
happen, the CRE called for a flexible and dynamic approach to any new equality
arrangements.

Trevor
Phillips, CRE chair said: "We do not favour a ‘big bang’ process in which
all strands are forced into a rigid framework. We believe that flexible
progression towards an SEB will allow each of the six strands to move at a pace
and to a place that is appropriate to their mission. Properly guided this will
allow for the rapid growth of a common institutional culture.

"We
believe that whatever the precise end form of the SEB, it has to allow an
element of ‘variable geometry’. There must be a common platform of principles
and organisation for all six strands.

"This
is an exciting prospect for the future. There is no doubt that we can vastly
increase the degree of equality, and reduce inequality in our society; but our
approach needs to be properly resourced and the proposals for change must be
comprehensive and coherent to be truly effective."

The
CRE also called for the resources for any single equality body to be increased
to take account of the new strands, afford at least existing levels of
protection and resources to existing strands and cover transition costs.

By Quentin Reade

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