Equalities issues affecting residents and workers in Caerphilly county borough continue to be addressed by Caerphilly County Borough Council.
The progress of the council’s equalities work has been detailed in its Strategic Equality Plan (SEP), which shows the council’s good progress against the seven strategic equality objectives. The report provides an overview of the equalities work undertaken by the council over the course of 2013/14.
The council has worked closely with partners including Gwent Police, the Crown Prosecution Service, local colleges and the Youth Offending Service as part of a multi-agency Community Cohesion Forum tackling identity-based hate crime in the county borough. In its efforts to tackle the issue, the council has provided awareness-raising courses and training to staff, schools, governors and a range of partners in order to increase understanding of what hate crime is in all its different forms.
A range of policies have been assessed and adapted to address the gender pay gap, including the Passport scheme, the Living Wage scheme and the council’s the Pay and Grading structure.
Physical access issues are monitored by the council on an annual basis, and 2013/14 saw a number of improvement works carried out to ensure access for all. In the last financial year around £410,000 of funding was made available to carry out improvements to 55 properties including schools, community centres, libraries and offices across the county borough. Access at five schools was improved significantly thanks to the installation of flexi steps – a unique lift system enabling safe access for mobility impaired people and wheelchair users.
Work to improve communication access, including access to services in other languages and formats, continues to improve, while hearing loop systems, supporting those who are hard of hearing, have been made available in all schools.
Further work assessing engagement and participation, diversity in the workplace and corporate compliance has also been conducted over the year.
Cllr James Pritchard, Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Equalities Champion, said: “The council continues to proactively work with partners from the public, health, voluntary and private sectors to take a creative and innovative approach to handling equalities issues.
“There’s a lot more to be done, but we are committed to making our county borough a more equal society, regardless of people’s individual characteristics and backgrounds, and I am positive that the council will continue to build on the positive work that has already been carried out to address these important issues.”
The council’s SEP is due to be published on Monday 30th June.
More information can be found at www.caerphilly.gov.uk.