7 ways we can improve equalities in Swansea

A finding of a panel of scrutiny councils was ‘Swansea Council treats people fairly but this could be improved’. The Inquiry looked at ‘how the Council can improve how it is meeting and embedding the requirements under the Equality Act 2010 (Public Sect Equality Duty for Wales 2011)’.

The Convener of the Equalities Scrutiny Inquiry Panel, Councillor Louise Gibbard, said ‘We chose to look at this issue because it features highly in the list of issues that Councillors and the general public are concerned about. It has provided scrutiny councillors with the opportunity, ten years on from the passing of the Equality Act, to reflect on how far we have come as a city and a local authority to embed the principles of equality and diversity in all we do.’

The Panel of Scrutiny Councillors concluded that there are seven ways in which Swansea Council can improve how it meets its equalities duties. They believe this can be done by:

  1. Keeping a close eye on the national picture and how that impacts us locally
  2. Continuing to build upon the commitment to equality and diversity already evident within the Council
  3. Ensuring effective policy, practice and processes are in place that meet and help embed the Equalities Duty
  4. Improving the accessibility of Council services
  5. Improving how we work with and learn from others
  6. Continuing to improve how we consult and engage
  7. Protecting future generations.

The full scrutiny inquiry report was recently agreed by the Scrutiny Programme Committee. It will now go to the Councils Cabinet on the 19 September. They will consider the recommendations in the report and give their response, agreeing or rejecting each individual recommendation. Those recommendations that are agreed by Cabinet will then form an action plan for improvement. The Equalities Scrutiny Inquiry Panel will then follow up on progress with these recommendations in 9 to 12 months time.

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