Wales' communities are increasingly diverse and face challenges due to economic migration, deprivation and poverty, intergenerational differences, the rise of hate crime and the threat of extremism. Wales' councillors and councils play a key community leadership role in encouraging integration and community cohesion.
Councils have a range of statutory equalities duties, most notably those included in the Equality Act 2010. Councils therefore work to eliminate discrimination, harassment and victimisation of people with protected characteristics; advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between persons who share a relevant protected characteristic and persons who do not share it. Wales' councils are key partners in delivering national strategies locally, through community engagement or the design and delivery of services; for example, working with the Welsh Government on its community cohesion national delivery plan and the 'Travelling to a better future' gypsies and travellers framework.
The WLGA's Equalities Unit operated between 2002 and 2015, and supported authorities in the advancement of equalities in Wales' communities and improving access to public services. The Equalities Unit developed a wide range of resources, many of which remain relevant today.
Although the WLGA's Equalities Unit no longer operates following withdrawal of Welsh Government funding in 2015, the WLGA continues to seek to champion and promote equalities, through schemes such as Diversity in Democracy and liaises with national equalities bodies, including representative bodies and the Equalities and Human Rights Commission.
The WLGA also represents local government and participates on various Welsh Government equalities working groups or Ministerial Advisory Groups such as the Wales Race Forum, Strategic Equality Plan Board and the Hate Crime Independent Advisory Group. The WLGA also continues to work with partners to produce guidance or national resources, including the NHS Centre for Equality and Human Rights on the EIA in Wales Practice Hub.
For more information contact: Daniel Hurford