Agenda and minutes

Cabinet Committee Equalities
Monday, 16th July, 2018 10:00

Venue: Committee Rooms 2/3, Civic Offices Angel Street Bridgend CF31 4WB. View directions

Contact: Andrew Rees  Senior Democratic Services Officer - Committees

Items
No. Item

26.

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.

 

 

Minutes:

None

27.

Approval of Minutes pdf icon PDF 84 KB

To receive for approval the Minutes of 22/03/2018

Minutes:

RESOLVED:         That the Minutes of a meeting of the Cabinet Committee

                              Equalities dated 22nd March 2018, be approved as a true

                              and accurate record.          

28.

Update Report on Carers Services within Bridgend County Borough pdf icon PDF 73 KB

Minutes:

The Head of Adult Social Care and the Carers Development Officer provided an update on the developments in services for carers (including young carers) in the county borough.

 

The Head of Adult Social Care explained that the 2011 Census identified 17,919 carers however only between 2000 and 3000 were known to services. This meant that at least 15,919 unidentified carers were within the County Borough. She explained that in September 2017 a visioning event was held for stakeholders in Bridgend. This was an opportunity for carers, representatives of the local authority and providers to come together to look at how services were provided and where they would like them to be. The report listed the main findings of the day. The Head of Adult Social Care explained that following a stakeholder mapping exercise, three subsequent focus group workshops were also held to help co-produce a service model for carers. She added that targeted invitations ensured equality of representation from social work professionals, care providers, third sector organisations and from unpaid carers. The Head of Adult Social Care explained that planning had commenced to procure a “Bridgend Carers Wellbeing Service” which would include an increased level of Carers Assessments and access to information, advice and assistance. Significant work was also being carried out to deliver a flexible short break framework for carers.  

 

The Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help referred to a Carers Forum that he had recently attended where ways of identifying those that had not come forward, were considered. Stories coming forward were very positive and Members were encouraged to let people know what services were available.       

 

A Member asked if there would be the same support available for carers following the change to Cwm Taff. The Head of Adult Services explained that they were in the process of making links with Cwm Taff and other local authorities regarding future support.

 

A Member stated that he was pleased that respite care was being looked at. The results from a recent Carers Survey indicated that 62% of carers had not had a day off in years. The main barrier to this was difficulty trusting someone else and letting go. The Head of Adult Services explained that it was recognised that respite needs varied from one hour to a full week with different solutions such as couples and families on different packages and there was not a “one size fits all” solution. 

 

The Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help asked if carers were asked for feedback on respite care. The Carers Development Officer explained that there was regular engagement with carers and she would drop in on the Bridgend Carers Forum to get feedback on what was and wasn’t working. It was difficult for carers to hand over care and initially all they could do was to explain the options available. When they had tried it once, they were usually happy going forward.

 

The Cabinet Member for Communities referred to the passport scheme which had been running  ...  view the full minutes text for item 28.

29.

Update Report on Implementation of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 and Welsh Language Standards pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager updated the Cabinet Equalities Committee on the implementation of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 and the Welsh Language Standards. She explained that since the council received its compliance notice in 2015, progress towards implementing the 171 assigned standards had continued. Updates on compliance had been provided at every Cabinet Equalities Committee meeting since April 2016.

 

The Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager outlined key progress and updates with compliance since March 2018. A consultation response was drafted on the Welsh Language Commissioner’s draft code of practice and submitted by the April 2018 deadline. To date, no response had been received regarding an update on next steps. The Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager explained the background to the two complaints received in 2018. The Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help asked why complaints had been made direct to the Commissioner and not to BCBC. The Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager explained that it would be easier if the complaint came direct to BCBC to give the opportunity to resolve the issue. When the Commissioner liaised with the individual, they would be encouraged to contact the authority but it would depend on the individual.

 

A Member asked if BCBC could liaise with other authorities to see if there was an off the shelf system that could be used to provide some of the challenging technical information requested. The Communications, Marketing and Engagement Manager explained that it depended on the nature of the query. There were generic stats available but there were also requests for information specific to BCBC such as specific actions relating to the Welsh Medium Education Strategic Plan and information that would have to be gathered internally.

 

RESOLVED:        The Cabinet Equalities Committee noted the report.

 

30.

Welsh Language Standards Annual Report 2017/18 pdf icon PDF 69 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager informed the Cabinet Equalities Committee of the content and approach taken with the council’s third Welsh Language Standards Annual Report for 2017/18.

 

The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager explained that the Council’s Welsh Language Standards Annual Report 2017/18 covered the period 1 April 2017 to 31 March 2018 and was published by 30 June 2018. She added that the report outlined how the council had complied with the standards it was under a duty to comply with during the period and also documented any progress and new developments with compliance. It also included specific information regarding the number of complaints received, the number of employees who disclosed Welsh Language Skills, the number of employees attending training courses offered in Welsh, the number of new and vacant posts advertised where Welsh language skills were essential or desirable and updates on EIAs, customer contact and promotional activities.

 

The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager explained that BCBC held a central citizen language preference database and a “My Account” platform which would feed into the central citizen language database. A new bilingual website was launched in May 2018. She outlined the employee skills and training numbers as at 31 March 2018 and the level of demand for Welsh services in the Customer Contact Centre between 1 April 2017 and 31 March 2018.

 

The Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations referred to the 21 new and vacant posts advertised during 2017/18 where Welsh language skills were essential and asked what roles these were. The Workforce Planning and Administration Manager did not have the information to hand but agreed to forward details to Members at a later date. He added that they tended to receive fewer applications for these roles and had problems recruiting to them.

 

RESOLVED:          The Cabinet Equalities Committee noted the content of

                               the report and the Welsh Language Standards Annual   

                               Report.

 

31.

Annual Report on Equality in the Workforce (2017/18) pdf icon PDF 66 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Workforce Planning and Administration Manager presented a report providing Cabinet Equalities Committee with data on the council’s workforce as at 31 March 2018 and an update on employment related developments.

 

He explained that workforce information was based on data provided by employees in relation to their protected characteristics and ability to speak, read and/or write in Welsh. The Workforce Planning and Administration Manager explained that whist it was not mandatory for employees to provide such data, every effort was being made to improve the level and accuracy of this information. This included promoting a self-service system that enabled employees who were desktop users to access and update their personal details. Further actions would be developed to reach other employees as part of this exercise.

 

A member asked why 53% of employees had not declared their sexual orientation as at 31/03/2018 and if this information was anonymous. The Workforce Planning and Administration Manager confirmed that equalities information was never reported alongside personal information. Members suggested that officers should be reassured in this respect.

 

Members discussed the sexual orientation categories and if they should be expanded. The Workforce Planning and Administration Manager explained that these were the categories originally identified as good practice by ONS and EHRC guidance.

 

Members discussed the benefits of holding more information regarding disabilities and sexual orientation against the risk of identifying individuals from the information held.

 

The Cabinet Member for Social Services and Early Help referred to the age profile of staff and the high percentage of staff aged between 45 and 60 despite the number of posts lost due to austerity. The Workforce Planning and Administration Manager explained that the council  was continuing to monitor the age profile alongside other workforce trends BCBC had a complex workforce but there were a number of positive stories such as the recent addition of business administration apprentices. 

 

A Member asked what had been done differently in the last year to try to get people to declare their sexual orientation or a disability. The Workforce Planning and Administration Manager explained that efforts were being made to demonstrate the importance of providing the information and how it was used. They were also looking at the demographics and where changes could be made to actively promote feedback. A Member asked if it tended to be the older profiles who failed to declare information. The Workforce Planning and Administration Manager said he would look at that in future and feedback to the Committee.

 

RESOLVED:               The Cabinet Equalities Committee noted the report.

  

32.

Annual Report on the Strategic Equality Plan 2016 - 2020 Action Plan pdf icon PDF 77 KB

Additional documents:

Minutes:

The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager presented an update on progress made in delivering the Strategic Equality Plan (SEP) 2016-2020 during 2017/18. She explained that this year the report was in a slightly different format to make it a more manageable document. Progress for 2017/18 was documented in appendix 1 to the report.

 

The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager highlighted the key points in the report relating to transportation, fostering good relations and awareness raising, our role as an employer, mental health, leisure, children and data.

 

A Member asked if new developers were responsible for dropped kerbs on new developments (as a condition attached to planning permission) to avoid the cost for these falling on the Council. The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager explained that all new developments would have to meet the requirements of the Disability Act but she would check and confirm to Members.

 

A Member asked if provisions were in place for children with a level of disability such as ADHD with regard to learner travel. The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager explained that a learner travel consultation was ongoing. She agreed to find information on what was in place for children unable to commute to school on their own and to forward that information to Members.

 

A Member asked if the contractors were obliged to follow these plans and referred to a complaint about one of the contactors regarding communication in a disability friendly way. The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager explained that the contractors were asked to comply as part of the procurement process. A Member asked if the contractor could be forced to attend Equalities training courses or if it was voluntary. The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager agreed to check the position and report back to Members.

 

A Member asked what steps had been taken to increase support for employees and what networks were in place. The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager stated that she would be looking at what was already in existence and what staff wanted in future.

 

The Cabinet Member for Wellbeing and Future Generations reminded Members that BCBC would, alongside other councils in Wales, have a stall at PRIDE Cymru and they were invited along with officers to take part in the march and to help on the Proud Councils engagement stand. More information regarding the event would be circulated in due course.   

 

RESOLVED:        The Cabinet Equalities Committee noted the report.

 

33.

Urgent Items

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.

Minutes:

None