Agenda item

Pre-decision Scrutiny

·        To select appropriate items from the Cabinet (Policy and Resources) Sub agenda for pre-decision scrutiny (cabinet reports enclosed for Scrutiny Members)


Strategic Equality Plan 2020-2024 - Annual Report 2021-2022


Members received the Strategic Equality Plan Annual Report for the period 2021-2022 for consideration prior to its publication in line with statutory requirements, as detailed within the circulated report.


The result of the three Internal Audits that were completed in relation to the Integrated Impacts assessments were queried by Members. It was asked what training was going to be provided, what were the previous issues with integrated impact assessments resulting in further training and would members require training. Officers explained that training had been developed and introduced to officers in the last few weeks and members would receive training in their specific role within integrated impact assessments. It was noted that the cause for concern was mainly around the completion of Integrated Impacts Assessments within a timely manner.


The Committee highlighted the information from Estyn in relation to Sexual Harassment in Schools. Members understood that the Curriculum for the Primary Schools was covering this topic within training sessions. However, members noted that the concern in terms of equalities and forward planning was within the Secondary Schools. The Committee therefore asked that the Chair of Education, Skills and Wellbeing ensures that the Committee considers how this issue were being tackled within Secondary Schools.


Following Scrutiny, the Committee was supportive of the proposals to be considered by the Cabinet Board


Welsh Language Promotion Strategy Annual Report 2021-2022


Members were presented with the Welsh Language Promotion Strategy Annual Report 2021-2022, as detailed within the circulated report.


It was discussed that within the strategy it was proposed to produce a list of words/phrases for use at meetings by non-Welsh speakers to encourage the use of Welsh at meetings/phrases. However, was felt that this had developed organically over time thereby reducing the immediate need for an ‘official’ list. It was noted that this would be useful for members and requested that a list be produced and detailed within Chair briefing notes.


Members suggested that within the review of the upcoming strategy that clear differentiation is provided between the roles and responsibilities within the authority and with the partners.


The reporting timeline of the Strategy was discussed. It was noted that there is nothing within the Welsh Language Standards on the reporting periods, it just states that a 5 year strategic plan is to be produced and published. However, Neath Port Talbot Council have prioritised to provide annual reports that fit in to other corporate deadlines.


Members queried point 1.2.3 ‘Consider the effects of new housing developments on the growth of Welsh-medium education or the impact on Welsh speaking communities.’ Within the strategy and queried the progress. Officers confirmed they would need to discuss with the relevant officer and have to provide a response outside the meeting.


Point 3.1.6 ‘Ensure that the fall in the percentage of Welsh speakers in the Swansea Valley is limited, with an action plan specifically designed for the area and working alongside Ty’r Gwrhyd to strategically impact on the area’ was queried. It was noted that little progress had been made on this and requested what the specific reasoning is that little progress had been made.  Officers confirmed that they would gather a response from the Language Forum which were responsible for that action. The response would be circulated to the Committee.


Officers confirmed that members would have an opportunity to re-look at the strategy as there would be a review period.


Following Scrutiny, the Committee was supportive of the proposals to be considered by the Cabinet Board