Venue: remotely via Skype for Business
Contact: Democratic Services
Note: Note: Please note: Due to the current requirement for social distancing this meeting will not be held at its usual location. This will be a virtual meeting and Members and Officers will be attending remotely. The meeting will be recorded for subsequent transmission via the Council’s internet site which will be available as soon as practicable after the meeting. If you have any queries regarding this, please contact email@example.com or tel. 01656 643147 / 643148.
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.
Councillor N Burnett declared a personal interest in agenda item 6, due to the fact that her parents lived Picton Gardens, Bridgend.
to receive for approval the Minutes of 24/08/2020
RESOLVED: That the Minutes of a meeting of the Cabinet Committee Equalities dated the 24 August 2020, be approved as a true and accurate record.
The Group Manager – HR and Organisational Development, presented a report, the purpose of which, was to provide Cabinet Committee Equalities, with a summary of the equality profile of the Council’s workforce as at 31 March 2020 and information about the requirement for Welsh language skills for vacant posts.
She confirmed that, the provision of relevant and accurate workforce information enables the Council to meet its statutory duties and obligations in relation to the Equality Act 2010, the Public Sector Equality Duty and the Welsh Language Standards.
The Group Manager – HR and Organisational Development advised that, Appendix 1 to the report, provided an equality profile of the Council’s workforce as at 31 March 2020, with comparative data from previous years.
There was full data set available on gender and age, however, it was not mandatory for employees to disclose their sensitive personal information for equality monitoring purposes. She added, that work was ongoing and planned to encourage employees to provide and/or update such details, notwithstanding the fact that this was given voluntary by employees (and was not something that was obligatory.)
Referring to the report’s Appendix, the Group Manager – HR and Organisational Development advised that BCBC had a larger proportion of female employees when compared to other local authorities, although this could not strictly be compared on a like for like basis, given that different authorities outsourced different sized services.
She confirmed that that there were more people over 60 working within the authority and this had been the trend for the last 3 years. This was also consistent with other local authorities.
Data also confirmed that there had been an increase in residents of an ethnic minority within the BCB, of around 1.9% within the last few years.
In 2020, there had been a slight decrease in the percentage of workforce who had declared carer responsibilities. Although interestingly, 20% of staff who had responded to the survey (equating to 350 employees, had indicated that they had some level of caring responsibilities.
In terms of some queries raised at the last Committee regarding the Council’s recruitment processes and the need for the successful candidate to be a Welsh speaker for any particular post, the Group Manager – HR and Organisational Development confirmed, that when a vacancy arises, managers must undertake an assessment of the Welsh language skills required by considering the duties and responsibilities of the individual post as well as that of the team. In relation to the post, the criteria covers, contact with the public and the expectation to be able to communicate in both English and Welsh, the extent of contact with Welsh speakers and the need to undertake internal administration in English and Welsh. From a team perspective whether another officer is available who can provide a Welsh language service.
In order to increase the number of Welsh speaking employees and improve the Welsh language service provided by the council, the current Policy on Using Welsh Language in the Workplace, sets out that ... view the full minutes text for item 77.
The Head of Adult Social Care gave a brief introduction on the report, before passing onto the Group Manager – Prevention and Wellbeing, to expand upon this further.
The Group Manager – Prevention and Wellbeing, advised that the purpose of the report, was to provide information on the programmes of work of the prevention and wellbeing service and the related contribution to the BCBC strategic equalities plan.
He explained that the The Prevention and Wellbeing service had conducted an internal review of progress made during 2019-20 and collated the information in a format that can increase awareness of what is being achieved within the Directorate and broader Council, with a number of areas of this work being cross cutting.
A series of extracts from the larger report were included as appendices to the covering report, in order to further illustrate some of the work that has taken place during the year. There were 6 appendices providing examples of the work taking place within the service included as supporting information.
The Group Manager - Prevention and Wellbeing referred firstly, to the ‘Our Voice’ programme, which had been developed to capture the views of young people on wellbeing and to work in partnership with schools and communities to develop action plans.
He then referred to the “Girls Network.”
This was an initiative operating in partnership with six secondary schools with a focus on improving health and wellbeing. The groups conduct research and analyse needs prior to developing supportive opportunities, he explained. Further information with regard to this programme, could be found at Appendix 1 to the report. This service worked in partnership with primary and secondary schools to use extra-curricular activity, to develop active and healthy lifestyles.
The Group Manager – Prevention and Wellbeing confirmed that there were other programmes that indicated a growing focus on looked after children and young carers also within the annual report. During the year, 19 school delegates were supported to attend a Teacher Disability Inclusive Training (DIT) course. The service supported schools, in order to develop their wellbeing plans. Further information on this, could be located at Appendix 2 to the report.
He then went on to refer to the Ageing Well Plan for Bridgend and the development of ‘age friendly’ communities and where there were appropriate intergenerational opportunities.
The Group Manager – Prevention and Wellbeing advised, that there is a growing focus on digital exclusion and those impacted. Work has commenced with Wales Cooperative Centre on developing a ‘care to cooperate’ programme that targets support for 200 vulnerable people and carers to build skills and connections. Aligned to this, the service was developing a “community information champions” programme with organisations and volunteers to support information sharing with those who are not digitally connected.
He then referred to developing dementia supportive communities, a strategic objective of the Ageing Well Plan for Wales and the ‘Feel Good for Life’ programme, that had been developed with certain key partners. Further details on this programme were outlined ... view the full minutes text for item 78.
The Chief Executive submitted a report, the purpose of which, was to provide Cabinet Committee Equalities with information on the use of the name Picton in street names and buildings across Bridgend County Borough.
An initial report was presented to Cabinet Committee Equalities on 24 August 2020, which recommended that further research be undertaken by a local historian. The report also recommended that Cabinet Committee Equalities await the outcome of the Welsh Government audit of Wales’ historic monuments and statues, and the names of streets and public buildings before further consideration is given to action needed within the county borough.
Paragraph 4.2 of the report, highlighted potential organisations who may be able to carry out further such research work, however, she was now able to update Members, that Past Lives Historical and Consultancy Services had been commissioned to do this work. In respect of this, a further outline report would be presented to the next scheduled meeting, with hopefully a more detailed outcome report then being presented before Committee at next March’s meeting.
The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager, reminded Members that the Welsh Government’s audit into the use of the name Picton for streets and buildings as a separate piece of research work as was referred to in the report, was progressing.
Carmarthen County Borough Council were doing a similar piece of research work in respect of this matter and the Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager referred to paragraph 4.4 of the report, which gave an example of what they had asked members of the public with regard to the General Thomas Picton monument that was situated in that particular county borough.
A Member noted that there was a street name of Picton Court in Nottage, that had not been allocated through BCBC in consultation with the Post Office and the Porthcawl Town Council and this street was not included in the ongoing work. He added that this was a private Hafod Housing Association Development
The Chairperson advised that she had spoken to Hafod Housing, who had confirmed their intention to change this name.
The Cabinet Member – Communities acknowledged that whilst some place and street names within the County Borough were associated with General Picton and therefore connected to the slave trade, some were named after Richard Picton Turbeville from Ewenny Priory, who had been a Magistrate and who had also committed significantly to voluntary work and services in the local community. It was therefore important to differentiate what streets and buildings had been named after these two individuals.
RESOLVED: That the Cabinet Committee considered the update report and awaits research from a local historian and the outcome of the Welsh Government audit before further consideration be given to actions that may require to be taken within the BCB.
The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager presented a report, in order to provide members with an annual update on the council’s requirement to undertake Equality Impact Assessments (EIAs), an overview of the council’s approach to EIAs and an outline of EIAs undertaken in Bridgend County Borough Council (BCBC) service areas in 2019/20.
By way of background, she advised that the Equality Act 2010 sets out a general duty that, as a public body in Wales, BCBC is required to have due regard in its decision making processes (including financial decisions) to three factors:
Ø To eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation;
Ø To advance equality of opportunity, and;
Ø To foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
She explained that the EIA is a tool to assess whether new (or changes to existing) policies/services/functions, or the removal of services, could impact on different sectors of society in different ways. If the Council were creating a policy or making a major change to a service or function, through a report for example, to Cabinet, then an EIA should accompany the report, or if not then an EIA Screening should have been completed.
EIAs helped the council make better decisions, identify how services can be more accessible or improved and consider the nine protected characteristics as well as the impact on the Welsh language.
The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager, added that the EIA toolkit will be revised in readiness for the implementation of the socio-economic duty in March 2021, to include guidance for officers on the socio-economic duty and when this needs to be considered.
The administration of the EIA processes will also be reviewed, and consideration given to an online assessment process to assist in the collation and publication of data. Currently full EIAs are linked to Cabinet reports and as such become public documents. All EIA screenings are retained by the service area.
In terms of training, the Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager confirmed that an e-learning module continued to be available for employees which provides an overview of EIAs, their role in improving services and a guide to conducting them. At the end of the module, staff have an opportunity to complete an EIA and compare this against an already completed version to assess how the module has assisted in terms of knowledge and understanding. The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager, added that to date, 225 council employees had completed the EIA e-learning module.
She added that bbetween February 2019 and March 2020, 8 full EIAs were undertaken and accompanied Cabinet reports and these, were listed in Appendix 1 to the repot.
68 EIA screenings were undertaken during this period and these were listed in Appendix 2. These screenings were referenced in the relevant Cabinet report/s and indicated that the policy/ies being assessed could either be “screened out” or would require a full EIA to be undertaken. This had compared favourably to last year, when there ... view the full minutes text for item 80.
The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager gave a report, which provided Cabinet Committee Equalities with an update on progress made in delivering the Strategic Equality Plan (SEP) 2016 - 2020 during 2019/2020. This is the fourth and final annual review for this plan, she added.
She explained that, following public consultation the Council’s SEP (2016-2020) was approved by Cabinet on 15 March 2016.
Further consultation with the public and local equality and diversity groups took place back during May and June 2016, in order to develop the action plan which would support achievement of the seven objectives in the SEP over the four year period. Key/ lead officers were consulted regarding the development of meaningful and achievable actions within their respective services. The final action plan was a live document and contained 47 actions. This was approved by Cabinet Committee Equalities in July 2016. The action plan was attached as a background document to the report (at appendix one).
The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager reminded Members, that the Committee had received three updates on progress. Progress during 2016/17 was presented in the meeting in July 2017, progress during 2017/18 was presented in July 2018 and progress during 2018/19 was presented to Members in July 2019.
Referring to the present time, she referred Members to appendix 1 of the report, which detailed progress on the SEP action plan for 2019/2020 and key points regarding this were shown in bullet point format at paragraph 4.1 of the report, in respect of the areas of:
A Member confirmed he was pleased with the progress being made over the last four years in the Strategic Equality Plan and the proposals of its supporting Action Plan for the last/current year. During his term as Mayor up until very recently, he had been involved in his role in a number of engagements as was reflected in the action plan, in the support of Hate Crime and other Awareness Campaigns the Council had been involved in promoting as a local authority.
He noted the support for Syrian refugees within the last four years of the SEP, but stated that he felt that this should now be rolled-out and extended to all refugees.
The Consultation, Engagement and Equalities Manager confirmed that she recognised the need for this to be taken on-board.
In terms of e:learning including on important issues such as raising Hate Crime Awareness, she added that this was also looking to be increased together with the expansion of other e:learning modules and to give e:learning a higher profile, so that staff could be encouraged to become involved in this, with the longer term view possible, of this being built into staff performance reviews.
A Member added that he felt that the Council should advocate First Aiders in mental health wellbeing and awareness, particularly in light of the Covid outbreak, which had placed a ... view the full minutes text for item 81.
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.