The Equality and Community Cohesion Group, consisting of senior officers of the Council, the police and representatives of local equality groups, organisations and communities has been instrumental in the development of the draft equality objectives and proposed actions.
In drafting the equality objectives we have considered various national and local research findings; latest data available to the Council and issues raised by local equality groups during meetings of the Equality and Community Cohesion Group.
Local research was carried out with members of the Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community, people with experiences of low income, disabled people, members of the Gypsy and Traveller community and communities in general. A number of common threads were identified such as hate crime/incidents, poverty and barriers when accessing services.
In developing the proposed actions (which are not exhaustive) we considered the work that we are already undertaking both as an individual organisation and as part of regional partnership working. This includes the revision of the Healthy Relationships for Stronger Communities Strategy; Smart and Connected - A Revised Digital Strategy; and the Chwarae Teg Fair Employer Scheme.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission’s ‘Is Wales Fairer?’ Report has been a key source of data to inform the development of the draft equality objectives. It is the most comprehensive review of how Wales is performing on equality and human rights. The Report focuses on six themes: Education, Health, Personal Safety, Living Standards, Employment and Participation and these appear to reflect those areas which have been highlighted locally. As a result we have adopted these themes for our draft equality objectives.
Although our draft equality objectives have been developed based on a range of evidence and feedback from our various communities, we need to be doubly sure they will reduce inequality and tackle the causes of inequality in the Neath Port Talbot.
Please take some time to give us your views.
Equality Act 2010
Under this Act, the Council is required to have due regard to the need to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations amongst and between people of different protected groups (known as the Public Sector Equality Duty).
The protected groups, or characteristics, are:
- gender reassignment
- pregnancy and maternity
- sexual orientation
- religion and belief
- marriage and civil partnership (but only in respect of the need to eliminate discrimination
Equality Act 2010 (Statutory Duties) (Wales) Regulations 2011
In Wales specific duties have been introduced to help us carry out the public sector duty and these include the production of a Strategic Equality Plan (SEP) and the development and publication of equality objectives.
Welsh Language Measure 2011
The Measure reinforced the official status of the Welsh language in Wales; established the Office of Welsh Language Commissioner; established the promotion and facilitation of the use of the Welsh language and the promotion of equality between the Welsh and English languages.
The Measure also introduced standards which under further legislation (Welsh Language Standards (No.1) Regulations 2015) which requires us to comply with a set of standards relating to service delivery, policy making, internal operations, record keeping and promotion of the Welsh language.
We have taken a holistic approach to the development and delivery of our policies and services by considering the Welsh language alongside protected characteristics.