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This publication is available at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/independent-faith-engagement-review-call-for-evidence/independent-faith-engagement-review-call-for-evidence
1. Topic of call for evidence
This call for evidence seeks views from the public, and from experts in the field, on the government’s engagement with faith organisations; these views will help underpin this review’s findings and recommendations.
2. Scope of call for evidence
This call for evidence relates to England only.
Colin Bloom has been appointed as the Faith Engagement Adviser at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) to lead a review into how best the government should engage with faith groups in England.
The last few months have been very challenging for places of worship and people of faith. The significant restrictions that have been put in place to control the spread of the virus have limited people’s ability to worship, practice and celebrate their faith as they normally would.
This review began before the COVID-19 pandemic, but it is timely as the recommendations may well come to strengthen how government engages with faith groups during the COVID-19 recovery phase and beyond.
The call for evidence will pose a series of questions around how those of all faiths, or none, perceive the government’s engagement with faith organisations. Because the review is specifically about faith and religion, priority will be given to responses that fit within those parameters. However, space is given for respondents to share their views in a way that they feel is appropriate.
Colin Bloom will make recommendations to the Communities Secretary as part of his review.
3. Introduction and background
On 10 October 2019, the government announced that Colin Bloom had been appointed as the Faith Engagement Adviser at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
As Faith Engagement Adviser, Colin is leading a review into how best the government should engage with faith groups in England. He will make recommendations to the Communities Secretary about how the government can best celebrate and support the contribution of faith groups, break down barriers and promote acceptance between faiths, and promote shared values while tackling cultures and practices that are harmful.
Colin Bloom’s initial proposal is to structure the review around 4 main sections:
- the first section asks the question, “Are faith groups, places of worship and people of faith a force for good in society?”
- the second section explores the extent to which government and its agencies have sufficient faith literacy and considers the partnership between faith groups and the State
- the third section looks at some aspects where harm might be caused through religious or faith-based practices and a review of the government’s role in tackling them
- the fourth and final section will be a set of recommendations for the government to consider and respond to
The call for evidence will pose a series of questions around how those of all faiths, or none, perceive the government’s engagement with faith groups. Because the review is specifically about faith and religion, priority will be given to responses that fit within those parameters. However, space is given for respondents to share their views in a way that they feel is appropriate.
Respondents should feel free to make use of a range of sources, reports, case studies, surveys or even personal anecdotes to underpin their points where a general response is requested.
If you require any support, or find any questions within the call for evidence upsetting please consider contacting a support helpline:
- Samaritans: 116 123
- CALM for men 5pm to midnight: 0800 58 58 58
- Papyrus 9am to midnight: 0800 068 41 41 or text 07860 039967
- Childline: 0800 1111
- Forced Marriage Unit: 020 7008 0151
4. How to respond
We will only accept responses to this call for evidence via the link provided. Please respond to this call for evidence via the online form.
5. About this consultation
This consultation document and consultation process have been planned to adhere to the Consultation Principles issued by the Cabinet Office.
Representative groups are asked to give a summary of the people and organisations they represent, and where relevant who else they have consulted in reaching their conclusions when they respond.
Information provided in response to this consultation, including personal data, may be published or disclosed in accordance with the access to information regimes (these are primarily the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA), the Data Protection Act 2018, the UK General Data Protection Regulation, and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004).
If you want the information that you provide to be treated as confidential, please be aware that, as a public authority, the Department is bound by the Freedom of Information Act and may therefore be obliged to disclose all or some of the information you provide. In view of this it would be helpful if you could explain to us why you regard the information you have provided as confidential. If we receive a request for disclosure of the information we will take full account of your explanation, but we cannot give an assurance that confidentiality can be maintained in all circumstances. An automatic confidentiality disclaimer generated by your IT system will not, of itself, be regarded as binding on the Department.
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government will process your personal data in accordance with the law. A full privacy notice is included below.
Individual responses will not be acknowledged unless specifically requested.
Your opinions are valuable to us. Thank you for taking the time to read this document and respond. Are you satisfied that this consultation has followed the Consultation Principles? If not or you have any other observations about how we can improve the process please contact us via the complaints procedure.
This call for evidence relates to England
Body/bodies responsible for the consultation
The Faith Team within the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG)
This consultation will last for 4 weeks from 13 November until 11 December 2020.
For any enquiries about this consultation please contact FIC.Engagement@communities.gov.uk
Please do not include any accusations or allegations of illegal activity against individuals, this is not a platform to report crime. Should you need to report a crime please do so through the appropriate channels.
6. Privacy notice
The following is to explain your rights and give you the information you are entitled to under the UK General Data Protection Regulation 2016 and the Data Protection Act 2018.
6.1 The identity and contact details of the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) and our Data Protection Officer
The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is the data controller. The Data Protection Officer can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
6.2 Why we are collecting the data
Your personal data will be collected (where provided) as part of the call for evidence for the Faith Engagement Review, which is being undertaken to understand how government should engage with Faith groups in England.
The review will look into how the government should engage with faith groups in England. It will make recommendations to the Communities Secretary about how the government can support the contribution of faith groups, promote acceptance between faiths, and promote shared values while tackling cultures and practices that are harmful. Collecting views from the public, and from experts in the subject, will help to achieve the review to meet these aims.
Your personal data is being collected (where provided) as part of this call for evidence, so that we can contact you regarding matters covered in your responses, and for statistical purposes.
The University of Birmingham will be acting as a data processor to support the analysis and interpretation of the dataset emerging from the call for evidence on behalf of the review.
Subject to permission from MHCLG, the University of Birmingham may keep copies of their analytical reports (which will be aggregate reports without personally identifiable data) and may use the reports for research and teaching purposes once the Faith Engagement Review has been published.
6.3 Legal basis for processing the data
Data protection legislation sets out when we are lawfully allowed to process your data.
The lawful basis that applies to this processing is:
a) Article 6(1)(e) of the UK GDPR: the processing is necessary for the performance of a task carried out in the public interest or in the exercise of official authority vested in the controller.
b) Chapter 2 Section 8(d) of the DPA 2018: processing is necessary for the exercise of a function of the Crown, a Minister of the Crown or a government department.
c) Article 9(2)(g) of the UK GDPR: the processing of special categories of data (e.g data that reveals racial or ethnic origin, religious or philosophical beliefs) is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest on the basis of UK law.
d) Section 10(3) and paragraph 6, part 2 of Schedule 1 to the DPA 2018: the processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest and its purpose is the exercise of a function of the Crown, a Minister of the Crown or a government department.
e) MHCLG is relying on its common law powers to process your personal data.
6.4 With whom we will be sharing the data
Personal data will be shared with the University of Birmingham under a data processing arrangement. The University of Birmingham will be processing the data on behalf of MHCLG by analysing the data set in line with the themes identified within the call for evidence and creating a series of reports synthesising the data for MHCLG.
If you would like to request that your data entry be removed from the data set to be sent to the University of Birmingham for processing please email FaithEngagementReview@communities.gov.uk or email@example.com.
To make a complaint, see section 6.10 below.
6.5 For how long we will keep the personal data, or criteria used to determine the retention period.
Your personal data be deleted by both MHCLG and University of Birmingham (the processor) when the review is concluded, and before 30 September 2021.
6.6 Your rights, e.g. access, rectification, erasure
The data we are collecting is your personal data, and you have rights that affect what happens to it. You have the right to:
a. know that we are using your personal data
b. see what data we have about you
c. ask to have your data corrected, and to ask how we check the information we hold is accurate
d. ask to have your data deleted
e. complain to the ICO (see below).
In some circumstances you may also have the right to withdraw your consent to us having or using your data, to have all data about you deleted, or to object to particularly types of use of your data. We will tell you when these rights apply.
6.7 Your personal data will not be shared outside of the EU.
6.8 We will not use your data for any automated decision making.
6.9 Storage, security and data management
Your data was collected via Microsoft Forms and MHCLG will store your personal data in a secure government IT system. This data will be securely transferred to the University of Birmingham, who will store your personal data on a secure IT system using servers based in the UK.
6.10 Complaints and more information
When we ask you for information, we will keep to the law, including the Data Protection Act 2018 and UK General Data Protection Regulation.
If you are unhappy with the way the department has acted, you can make a complaint.
If you are not happy with how we are using your personal data, you should first contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are still not happy, or for independent advice about data protection, privacy and data sharing, you can contact:
The Information Commissioner’s Office
Telephone: 0303 123 1113 or 01625 545 745
Information Commissioner’s Office website