Venue: Council Chamber, Civic Offices Angel Street Bridgend CF31 4WB. View directions
Contact: Michael Pitman
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 26/03/2019 and 04/07/2019
RESOLVED: That the minutes of the meeting of 26/03/2019 and 04/07/2019 be approved as a true and accurate record.
The Partnership Co-ordinator presented a report which updated the Cabinet Committee Equalities on the Community Cohesion Survey and the role of the Community Cohesion Officer within Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC).
She explained that in December 2018 the Welsh Government issues their ‘intention to fund’ email to all Regional Community Cohesion Co-coordinators in Wales. They indicated that each region would be allocated £140,000 with the aim to:
• Identify and mitigate community tensions (hate crime, extremism, anxiety, anti-social behaviour) relating to Brexit;
• Improve community cohesion communications;
• Organise events/activities to promote social inclusion; and
• Deliver non Brexit activities as outlined in the National Community Cohesion Plan (2019).
The Partnership Co-ordinator advised that a Brexit Community Cohesion Delivery Plan was developed as part of the funding application. Details of this were at Appendix 1 of the report.
She advised that one of the key objectives of the plan was the development of a mapping exercise to better understand the impacts of Brexit on communities. A total of 183 people responded to the survey and a copy of the report can be found at appendix 2. A summary of the responses are listed at section 4.7 of the report. She added that most of the responses were from non EU nationals, with a participation percentage from non EU nationals of 2%, which was disappointing, as they had hoped to gain more responses from EU Nationals. She added that a tension monitoring system was undertaken which provided the hate crime figures
The Partnership Co-ordinator explained that a tension monitoring system was undertaken, which provided the hate crime figures for April to June and June to August 2019 and compared them with 2018. Details were listed below:
Hate crime figures April to June 2019 are as follows:-
• BCBC = 23 hate crimes
• Racial – 10
• Disability – 4
• Sex orientation – 10
• Transgender – 0
Compared to the same period last year (April to June 2018)
• BCBC = 18 hate crimes
• Racial – 13
• Religion - 1
• Disability – 2
• Sex orientation – 2
Hate crime figures June to August 2019-
• TOTAL = 34 hate crimes
• Racial – 26
• Religion – 2
• Disability – 5
• Sex orientation – 3
• Transgender – 0
Compared to the same period last year (June to August 2019)
• TOTAL = 34 hate crimes
• Racial – 19
• Religion - 2
• Disability – 5
• Sex orientation – 7
• Transgender – 1
The Partnership Co-ordinator advised that while there had not been a surge in figures, there had been a small increase in figures compared to the same time last year.
The Cabinet Member Education and Regeneration believed that the increase in hate crime may well be attributed to Brexit and the tensions surrounding this and that it could be largely underreported in Bridgend.
The Cabinet Member Wellbeing and Future Generations expressed her concern over the lack of ... view the full minutes text for item 61.
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager presented a report which updated the Cabinet Committee Equalities on the implementation of the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 and the Welsh Language Standards.
She explained that the Welsh in the workplace policy had been updated and was available to staff via the Intranet. This included information on the 5 year strategy and what this meant for customers and employees.
She added that they had met with the Welsh Language Commissioner on 30 October in which they were provided information which related to their performance. Overall the feedback was positive in relation to correspondence, social media content, policies and the BCBC website. In relation to phone calls automatic language options were available for all three calls, however were unable answer any of these calls fully using the Welsh language. She added that they were still awaiting the Welsh Language Commissioner code of practice to give additional guidance on the interpretation of the Welsh Language standards which they hope to provide at the next Equalities Committee.
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager provided details relating to the complaint received in July 2019 where there was an allegation that an English only letter was received from Bro Ogwr Primary School in relation to cycle lessons. The Welsh Language Commissioner discontinued the complaint as it was not an ‘education course’ and was satisfied that the mistake was human error.
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager provided details relating to a complaint in March 2019. The complainant claimed they did not receive a full response to Welsh medium correspondence sent to the Talktous email address. The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager advised that complaints had already been received regarding this and therefore the Welsh language Commissioner decided not to pursue this particular one as the previous complaints were under investigation.
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager provided details relating to a complaint in October 2019. The complainant had received an automatic response email which acknowledged receipt of a Council Tax payment to which they claimed there were welsh language errors.
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager advised that they have provided evidence to the Welsh Language Commissioner of this as this was the second complaint received of a similar nature.
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager updated the Equalities committee on the previous complaints received. Details of these and the progress made was listed in section 4.1.6 of the report.
A Member asked how far we have developed in terms of overall compliance on implementing the Welsh Language.
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager explained that the only areas that we have not achieved full compliance were self-service machines, for example parking machines were not yet giving the option to view in Welsh.
A Member asked with regards to the complaint about the email sent out, was this problem rectified or where do we currently stand with this.
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager explained that we could not find the error in question so they have asked ... view the full minutes text for item 62.
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager presented a report which updated the cabinet committee equalities on the work undertaken to meet the objectives within the Welsh Language Standards Five Year Strategy (2016-2021) during the third year since its introduction.
She explained that the Councils final compliance notice from the Welsh language commissioner includes two standards (145 and146) that required the Council to have produced and published a Five Year Strategy by 30 September 2016. The strategy was attached at Appendix 1 of the report.
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager explained that the strategy was spilt into two sections, one being for employees and one for the public. Details of these and the progress made since 2018 were listed below:
Identify the capacity in service areas to deliver services in Welsh
Provide appropriate learning and development solutions at various levels to meet identified need within budget allocation
Establish arrangements in recruiting to positions where Welsh language skills are essential
Raise the profile of the Welsh language, culture and local activities and events organised by the council and our partners in a structured way
There is a rolling calendar of welsh language activities and events and details are shared across internal and external communication channels such as press, social media and Bridgenders. Events and activities promoted during the period include:
Increase promotion and awareness of the councils WESP
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager presented a report which updated the Cabinet Committee Equalities on the work of the Bridgend Community Cohesion and Equality Forum.
She explained that in 2017, discussions took place between South Wales Police and BCBC on a proposed merger of the Bridgend Equality Forum and the Community Cohesion Group. The first meeting of the Bridgend Community Cohesion and Equality Forum (BCCEF) took place on 27th April 2018. She advised that the group had met quarterly since the first meeting. She advised that this was the second time the report had been presented to the Cabinet Committee Equalities on the progress of BCCEF.
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager provided details on the topics that the BCCEF had received, including presentations on:
• Promoting apprenticeships to under-represented groups including BAME, people with additional learning needs, more girls studying Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) subjects
• EU Exit community tensions
• Update on accessible transport and taxis
• Update on “scores on the doors” in Bridgend, which encourages local businesses to promote whether they have disabled facility access in their premises
• The Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board Strategic Equality Plan consultation
• BCBC Budget Consultation 2019
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager advised that SWP also provide an update to every meeting which provides the BCCEF information on a number of key areas, such as hate crime, use of force, community tensions, violence against women and girls, and complaints raised against the police.
She added that the group actively encourage new members to join which has been successful in doing so, with a number of new memberships from the following organisations:
• Cwm Taf Substance misuse services;
• Citizens Advice Bureau;
• Show Racism the Red Card ;
• Bridgend Neath Port Talbot Community Cohesion coordinator.
A Member asked who was on the group in total
The Consultation Engagement and Equalities Manager explained that there were a range of organisations, including the Community Safety Partnership, Mental Health Matters Wales (MHMW), Vine Christian centre, St Mary’s Church, South Wales Police, Fire and Rescue and Refuge Centre for Wales.
RESOLVED: That the Cabinet Committee Equalities received and considered the report.
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.