Equality & Human Rights Impact Assessments: Guidance for Local Authorities
Bridgend County Borough Council proposed to relocate Bridgend’s central library to a newly refurbished life centre that is being operated in partnership with social enterprise Halo Leisure. The EIA identified the potential impact of the proposal on both younger and older people. A series of consultation events were held together with online and paper versions of the consultation document. Although it was found that the proposal positively impacted on people of all ages due to better facilities and opportunities, feedback also suggested that some older people would find it difficult to visit the new location. Ensuring that existing users were not disadvantaged was identified as a priority, and a range of options were therefore explored, including a shop-mobility extension to the new library location, awareness raising of bus routes and increased service provision. The result is a more accessible central library, an additional bus stop for library and life centre users, and parking concessions for users of the library car park. Older people can access a range of services through the co-location, including the free swimming initiative, exercise referral, indoor bowling and a cafeteria to support social participation5.