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Draft Pembrokeshire Strategic Equality Plan approved by cabinet

A STRATEGIC plan to improve equality for young people and its impact on education has received a positive response from senior councillors.

Cabinet member for education Cllr Guy Woodham said he had always been “quite vocal” about the strategic equality plan and a lack of attention given by the council to it so he was delighted it was now in his remit and he could “ensure concerns I have voiced are addressed.”

The draft Pembrokeshire Strategic Equality Plan 2020 – 24 has been drawn up with support from a working group and a panel with a “diverse mix if people representing protected characteristics,” said Cllr Woodham, with monitoring of delivery to also be carried out.

Following discussion by scrutiny committee Cllr Woodham added to the recommendation to cabinet on Monday (Nov 30) that the chairman of the policy and pre-decision overview and scrutiny committee be included in the working group and a future diversity and equality conference be held.

The strategy also came under the remit of cabinet members Cllrs Neil Prior and Michelle Bateman with the plan aiming to highlight the need for regard to eliminating discrimination, harassment, victimisation under the Equality Act when making decisions.

“I do believe that we can achieve far more together than working on our own,” added Cllr Woodham.

It seeks to limit discrimination on the grounds of age, disability, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, and other areas.

Schools, housing a community cohesion are key areas where the action plan can have an impact with recent research indicating the educational inequalities have widen with pupils from the poorest households not having access to the same level of support.

The report to cabinet adds “statistics from the Index of Multiple Deprivation 2019 indicate that children living in low-income households in Pembrokeshire’s main towns will have been placed at a particular disadvantage by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The draft plan will go to full council in December for final agreement.

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