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Public bodies release their plans for creating a more equal Wales

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A group of public service organisations from across Wales which make up the ‘Wales Public Body Equality Partnership’ (WPBEP) have confirmed their Strategic Equality Objectives for 2020 - 2024.

Launched by Deputy Minister Jane Hutt MS, the objectives spell out how members of the WPBEP will work to improve the outcomes for people who share protected characteristics and those who don’t across Wales.

The partnership has developed a range of equality objectives which each organisation can choose to incorporate into their individual strategic equality plans. They include:

  • increasing workforce diversity and inclusion
  • eliminating pay gaps
  • engaging with the community
  • ensuring equality is embedded into the procurement/commissioning process and is managed throughout delivery; and
  • ensuring service delivery reflects individual need.

To ensure the objectives truly reflect the picture in Wales, the Partnership undertook a robust consultation and engagement process during the autumn/winter of 2019, obtaining the views of both people with and without protected characteristics.

The launch was originally planned for the Spring of 2020, however, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this was postponed to March 2021.

The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, Jane Hutt, said “I want to thank all the members of the Wales Public Body Equality Partnership for your commitment to agreeing joint strategic equality objectives for 2020-2024. It is a huge achievement to unite eleven public bodies under shared equality objectives, and one which will help to accelerate progress towards a fairer, more equal Wales for the people we serve.

“I firmly believe that we can do more and achieve better results by working together to tackle inequalities. Together, we are stronger.”

This collective approach will allow members to share resources whilst also helping to impact against the challenges set out in the 'Is Wales Fairer report, 2018’, reflecting the principles of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act.

The objectives will also work to compliment the enactment of the Socio-economic Duty in working to reduce inequality of outcome and promote equality across Wales.

Chief Executive of HEIW, Alex Howells said: “We are proud to be a founding member of Wales’ first public body equality partnership and welcome the launch of our inaugural joint strategic equality plan.

This partnership not only allows us to make the most effective use of our joint resources, but also come together to collectively promote and work towards a more equal Wales.”

The WPBEP said “The Partnership was set up in a bid to take forward a collective approach to meeting the requirements of the Public Sector Equality Duty.

“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic delayed us in launching this approach which not only promotes smarter working, but also creates capacity for widening consistent stakeholder and community engagement.

“We are delighted to now unite behind these shared objectives, influence further collaborative working and share practice across the public sector and public services in Wales to significantly tackle inequalities.”