Venue: Committee Rooms 2/3, Civic Offices Angel Street Bridgend CF31 4WB. View directions
Contact: Mr Mark Anthony Galvin Senior Democratic Services Officer - Committees
Declarations of Interest
To receive declarations of personal and prejudicial interest (if any) from Members/Officers in accordance with the provisions of the Members’ Code of Conduct adopted by Council from 1 September 2008
To receive for approval the Minutes of a meeting of the Cabinet Equalities Committee dated 13 July 2017.
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of a meeting of the Cabinet Committee Equalities dated 13 July 2017 be approved as a true and accurate record.
The Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager presented a report, the purpose of which was to outline the council’s approach to consultation and engagement, which Committee Members can use to help mobilise residents to get their voices heard, including through the Citizens’ Panel.
The report advised that effective consultation and engagement involves seeking out the views and opinions of individuals, groups and organisations, including hard to reach and/or seldom heard groups advised the above officer. Consultation and engagement has become an integral part of decision-making across the council in the last few years and has been supporting MTFS proposals.
The Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager explained that consultation and engagement was a process involving citizens, service users and other groups and individuals who contribute their views and suggestions. For consultation this might be as part of a review of policy, strategy and proposed budget reductions. The officer explained that the engagement side of things was a less formal and more participative process.
The council previously signed up to Participation Cymru’s national principles of best practise. The Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager then advised Members that a ‘toolkit’ based on these principles had previously been developed by the team in her department, in order to help staff understand when it is appropriate to engage and/or consult residents, and to understand the range of methods and techniques available. This also ensures that consultation and engagement projects are consistent, robust and effective.
She further added, all consultation processes were made available live on the council’s website, as well as being supported by promotional campaigns.
The officer explained that the council’s Citizens’ Panel currently has 1584 residents and that work has been done over the last couple of years to build membership and target under-represented groups e.g. under represented wards, younger people. Panel members have up to three surveys per year which generally focus on a range of council services, activities and policy. Panel members receive regular newsletters which feedback on how we have used the information they have given us.
The report was supported by a breakdown of the Citizens’ Panel membership and associated data at Appendix 1.
Members then asked a number of questions which were responded to by Officers, following which, it was
RESOLVED: That the report be received and noted.
The Corporate Director Operational and Partnership Services submitted a report which updated the Cabinet Committee Equalities on the implementation of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011, and the Welsh Language Standards.
By way of background information, the Customer Services, Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager confirmed that the council received its final compliance notice from the Welsh Language Commissioner on 30 September 2015, and has since been working to determine the implications involved in implementing the 171 assigned standards.
She continued by confirming that meetings had taken place with the Welsh Language Commissioner, and the council had continued to work towards compliance with the standards, and key progress/updates since July 2017, were summarised in paragraph 4. of the report.
The Customer Services, Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager, advised Members that significant progress had been made recently and at a meeting with the Commissioner on 19 May 2017, it was agreed that the council could have an extension of time in order to comply with 11 of the 20 standards appealed against, and a reasonable timetable has been agreed between both parties for the implementation of these remaining standards. She added that the Authority’s Social Media accounts would all be bilingual by 31 December 2017 and that no formal complaints had been made since the last report in July 2017.
The Customer Services, Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager then concluded her submission, by outlining for the benefit of Members, the report’s financial implications.
RESOLVED: That the Cabinet Equalities Committee received and considered the report.
The Customer Services, Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager presented a report, that updated Members on the work undertaken to meet the objectives within the Welsh Language Five Year Strategy (2016 to 2021), during year one of its introduction.
She explained that the council’s final compliance notice from the Welsh Language Commissioner includes two standards (145 and 146), that require the council to have produced and published the above Strategy by 30 September 2016. In order to track progress effectively, build on lessons learned and identify best practice, the council took the decision to report on this on an annual basis. The Strategy attached at Appendix 1 to the report, set out how the Council will promote the Welsh language, and facilitate its use in the County Borough for the period covered by the Strategy. This section of the report outlined what the Strategy included, whilst the next paragraph of the report, confirmed what was incumbent upon the Council, following a five year period after publishing the Strategy.
The Customer Services, Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager bringing Members up to speed, stated that Section 1 of the Five Year Strategy, focussed internally on maintaining the number of Welsh speaking employees in the council, with the section outlining:
· A linguistic profile of the council’s workforce;
· How the council can support its employees to improve their Welsh language skills and raise awareness of this in the workplace;
· Recruitment and selection.
Within this she explained there were three Objectives as follows:-
Further information as to what these Objectives comprised of, was detailed in this part of the report.
She then explained that Section 2 of the Strategy focussed externally on maintaining the number of Welsh speakers in the wider county borough, and this Section also comprised of three Objectives as follows:-
a) Objective 1: Raise the profile of the Welsh language, culture and local activities and events organised by the Council and its partners in a structured way;
b) Objective 2: Increase promotion and awareness of the Council’s Welsh in Education Strategic Plan (WESP);
c) Objective 3: To explore (and implement where possible), any new activities which will support the use of the Welsh language more widely within the County Borough, promoting these accordingly.
Further details in respect of each of these Objectives were detailed in the report.
Finally, the Customer Services, Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager, confirmed that the Council had worked with Menter Bro Ogwr (MBO) to explore opportunities for joint working, and these are identified as follows:-
· BCBC to work with MBO to advertise Welsh-essential jobs on their website and Facebook page;
· MBO to continue working with Halo and Awen Trust, to provide recreational courses through the medium of Welsh for adults in Bridgend;
· BCBC to ... view the full minutes text for item 15.
To consider any other item(s) of business in respect of which notice has been given in accordance with Rule 4 of the Council Procedure Rules and which the person presiding at the meeting is of the opinion should by reason of special circumstances be transacted at the meeting as a matter of urgency