17 Overall Reflections
This section of the Consultation Paper provided an opportunity for respondents to provide further and general reflections on the proposals outlined by the Scottish Government.
17.2 Question 14.1 - Reflections
Overall, what are your reflections on the proposals set out by the Scottish Government and the further areas explored?
Over two-thirds of respondents provided a response to Question 14.1 (69%).
17.2.1 Respondents who support the proposals
A majority of the responses provided by listed authorities and equality advocacy groups are supportive of the Scottish Government proposals.
Theme 1: Proposals will strengthen equality and diversity in Scotland
A prevalent view among listed authorities is a belief that the proposals set out by the Scottish Government would help to strengthen equality and diversity in Scotland and help listed authorities to undertake the duties required of them by the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED).
Common words or phrases used across consultation responses includes "I agree with the document", "proposals seek to strengthen equality and diversity", "agree with the majority of the proposals", "broadly supportive", or "welcome the review".
17.2.2 Respondents who identify issues or concerns
Theme 1: Improved guidance and resources required
Some respondents (e.g. including listed authorities), while positive about the proposals note that there would require to be sufficient lead in time for any changes to be implemented, and the provision of comprehensive guidance, training, and resources to support listed authorities with implementation and compliance.
Theme 2: Additional detail on the proposals may be required
Some respondents (e.g. including listed authorities) feel that additional information and detail on the proposals set out by the Scottish Government would be welcome/required. Some feel that many of the proposals are "vague" and could "benefit from greater clarity". The consultation submissions note that this issue has made assessing the impact of the proposals on their own organisations more difficult.
17.2.3 Respondents who do not support the proposals
A very small number of respondents are critical of the proposals and note that they do support the detail of the proposals set out by the Scottish Government.
Theme 1: Disproportionate administrative burden
A small number of listed authorities and other public bodies believe that the proposals set out by the Scottish Government may not achieve its ambition to reduce bureaucracy associated with the PSED. Rather, these respondents feel that the proposals may increase bureaucracy and increase the administrative burden placed on listed authorities.
Theme 2: Scottish Government proposals are perceived to lack ambition
A small number of equality advocacy groups believe that the proposals set out by the Scottish Government are not ambitious enough to create positive change for people with protected characteristics, and that a focus on reducing bureaucracy could undermine the extent to which PSED is embedded within listed authorities.
17.3 Question 14.2 – Further Information
Please use this box to provide any further information that you think would be useful, which is not already covered in your response.
One-third of respondents provided a response to Question 14.2 (36%).
Theme 1: Repetition of comments in previous question
Responses largely echo the comments received to Question 14.1, namely there is a need for updated and improved guidance, and many comments which express support or welcome the proposals set out by the Scottish Government.
Theme 2: Removing licensing bodies as listed authorities
A small number of listed authorities raise a concern that licensing bodies are treated as separate listed authorities. This is due to licensing bodies generally having a very small number of employees and all staff are employed by the local authority. These respondents feel that licensing bodies should not be treated as separate listed authorities and should be subsumed under their respective local authorities in order to reduce bureaucracy and duplication of effort.
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