Agenda item

Strategic Equality Plan Annual Report


The Leader presented the report to Cabinet.  This was the Council’s Annual Report on the progress against its Strategic Equality Plan 2020-24.

Under the Equality Act (2010) the Council was required to report annually on the progress it made against the strategic equality objectives contained within its Strategic Equality Plan.

Newport Council’s Equality Objectives were developed in partnership with key internal and external stakeholders and were subject to extensive community engagement. The involvement of grassroots communities ensured that whilst our Plan delivered a strategic vision for equality in Newport, it also ensured tangible outcomes for communities on the ground.

The Strategic Equalities Plan Annual Report 21/22 was reviewed by the Council’s Overview and Scrutiny Management Committee in September and their comments were included in the Cabinet Report.


The impact of the pandemic continued to present challenges in delivering against some areas of work in 2021/22, however Newport’s equalities work continued to be flexible, responding to emerging challenges, particularly around access to information, education and addressing hate crime week.


The Leader thanked the Police for their fantastic support in relation to Hate Crime.


The Leader was appointed as WLGA Spokesperson for Equalities, Migration and Anti-Poverty.

Significant dates, including LGBT+ History Month, Ramadan, Holocaust Memorial Day, Pride Month, Refugee Week, Windrush Day, Gypsy Roma Traveller History Month, Black History Month and Hate Crime Awareness Week, were recognised and promoted across the city. As well as lighting the Civic Tower to celebrate this.

Fairness and Equality Impact Assessments including the Socio-economic Duty against policy/decision making were ongoing and this was demonstrated against a range of decisions.  Our good practice here was recently cited in a national Audit Wales report.

£415,000 of funding was distributed to 79 community projects, overseen by a representative community steering group, working closely with Newport’s Fairness Commission.


Staff networks for disabled, LGBTQ+ and ethnic minority staff continued to provide a platform for staff from under-represented groups to influence our workplace policy, service delivery and strategic decision making


Significant support provided to EU citizens in Newport ensured eligible residents could submit late applications to the EU Settlement Scheme post deadline.


Equality, Hate Crime and EUSS awareness sessions delivered to senior customer service staff.

During the year over 2,665 people were supported by all floating support schemes to access and maintain their accommodation, including adults with learning disabilities and refugees


In terms of workforce data, the council’s ethnic minority representation remained similar this year despite a slight increase in staff numbers, and our gender pay gap reduced for this period.


The council still had work to do to improve the representation of minority ethnic staff at all levels of the organisation, and this will be a focus for our work during 2022/23.


Pride in the Port was an inclusive occasion.


The Leader paid former thank to former Cabinet Member Mark Whitcutt and Malpas Ward colleague Councillor David Mayer for their tremendous efforts.


The Leader invited the Cabinet Member for Organisational Transformation to comment.


Councillor Batrouni added that this report was a summary of the work that was undertaken during the second year of our Strategic Equality Plan. It set out the Council’s commitment to a workplace culture and approach to service delivery that valued inclusion and diversity.


We would continue to progress this work over the next 12 months. The Annual Report set clear priorities for the next period based on a review of our workforce data and progress against our Equality Objectives.

The Council’s Strategic Equalities member and officer Group would continue to support the delivery of our Strategic Equality Plan and ensured that we are innovative in our approach and effectively involve key stakeholders.


The Scrutiny Committee comments were noted around the collection of data and in-depth information and the Committee was praised on their hard work in relation to this report.


Councillor Batrouni referred to Complaints, Compliments and Comments where captured data would be improved going forward. 


The Leader thanked Councillor Batrouni for the work undertaken in his role as Cabinet Member.


Comments of Cabinet Members:


§  Councillor Forsey highlighted objective four; everyone in Newport was made to feel welcome and integration supported by local communities.  Hate speech was on the rise and this was tackled by providing training on hate crime to ensure that people were aware of the consequences of their comments.


§  Councillor Hughes there was a strong commitment to the Equality Act which united the city and made it a safer place for all residents and not just some of the residents.  This crossed the whole spectrum and the Cabinet for Social Services was proud that we were working with community and officers.  Cabinet was wholly committed to supporting this and the hard work was reflected in community groups. Councillor Hughes shared his thanks with Councillor Lacey and referred to her contribution at the Pride in the ‘Port event, which provided a safe environment.


§  Councillor Harvey had attended the Strategic Equality Group earlier today, which was really refreshing.  Councillor Harvey praised the work of Dan Harvey, the Connected Communities Manager.


§  Cllr Lacey welcomed the thanks of colleagues and wanted to pass on her thanks to the Pride in the ‘Port Group as well as those officers taking in refugees and volunteering at vaccine centres.




Cabinet approved the attached final monitoring report and published it on the Council’s website, in accordance with statutory deadlines

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