Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC)

Activities of the BHA local development volunteers.

Moderator: Andrew Edmondson

Mid Sussex District Council (MSDC)

Postby aedwests_human » Wed 12 Mar, 2008 3:24 pm

Here is a reply from MSDC to an introductory email I sent in November 2007. As you can see, it is very positive.

Dear Mr. Edmonson,

I am extremely sorry for the long delay in replying to you. The reason for this is that we are currently reviewing several aspects of our equalities policies and practices and I was unsure how to approach this. As we are planning considerable change in our approach to equality, diversity and cohesion, I feel that it may be more useful to meet at a later stage, when I can be clearer about the work that we're undertaking. As yet, we have not undertaken consultation with any formal religious or faith groups. In addition, our policies and assessments are very clear in placing equal importance on addressing the needs and concerns of non-religious residents.

I am very aware of the principles of humanism and read with great interest the guidance from the BHA on ensuring that humanists and non-religious people are not excluded from our consideration of issues of religion or belief.

I am hoping that over the coming months we will be undertaking wider consultation to progress our work on several aspects of equality and diversity and will ensure that you are contacted as part of this. I believe that your input could be extremely helpful in progressing our work in these areas and so will hope to be in touch soon.

In the meantime, please contact me with any specific concerns or suggestions that you have and I will endeavour to address these.

Thank you,


Sarah Feltham-Chesshire
Democratic Services Officer
Corporate Improvement Division
(0)1444 477111

Meeting with MSDC on 20th June 2008

Postby aedwests_human » Tue 24 Jun, 2008 3:24 pm

I had a brief meeting with Lynne Standing and Neal Barton. They were most helpful and have supplied me with further information about the Council's policy for procurement of services (see email that follows).

MSDC said that they do not have any contracts with faith-based organisations. They are obliged to follow the Equality Standard 2007 requirements. Here is a link: http://www.midsussexfreethinkers.org.uk ... rd2007.pdf

I mentioned the need to replace references to "religion" with "religion and belief", in accordance with the Human Rights Act. They agreed to check existing literature and online material.

They have added Mid Sussex Freethinkers to the list of religion and belief organsations, for future consultation.



Interesting to meet with you today.
Here are some links to our website which hopefully will provide you with additional relevant information.

The link on procurement is

Which takes you to the Selling to the Council page.
Click on "Mid Sussex District Council Contract Areas" to take you to the list of our main contracts and "Small Business Friendly (SME) Concordat" which includes our policy on dealing with small businesses and includes some equalities references.

The new Procurement Strategy for Mid Sussex, Crawley and Horsham is going to our Performance and Scrutiny Committee on 25 June. The link is
http://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=t&source ... Fna_5iIOgA

We also mentioned the Council's criteria for awarding grants to voluntary organisations. The link is
This states that the council will not fund activities promoting religious beliefs.

Let me know if you need any more information.

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