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Written Statement - Eleventh Annual Report on Equality 2009-2010

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Carl Sargeant, Minister for Social Justice and Local Government

This is our eleventh annual report on equality.  I am pleased to be able to demonstrate that although we are all operating in a difficult economic climate, we are fully committed as a government to ensuring that equality remains at the heart of what we are seeking to achieve.

This report highlights just some of the arrangements we have in place, and the work of our departments in making a positive difference towards people’s lives across Wales.

Much progress has already been made, however, I believe that we can do more.  This report highlights some of the key preparatory work we have undertaken for one of the biggest changes to the equality landscape - the Equality Act 2010. 

The Act introduces a new general public sector equality duty that will come into force in April 2011.  It also makes provision for Welsh Ministers to be able to make regulations that impose specific public sector equality duties on relevant Welsh public authorities.

We have just completed the consultation on the Equality Act 2010 (Statutory Duties) (Wales) Regulations 2011.  The equality duties for Wales will enable better performance by public authorities in Wales to meet the requirements of the general public sector equality duty.

The proposed duties for Wales have been developed to be proportionate in design, relevant to need, transparent in approach and tailored to guide relevant Welsh public authorities towards better performance of the general duty. The ambition is to better meet the needs of the citizens of Wales relying on the services provided to them by the public sector.

That is what we are all seeking to achieve.  This report demonstrates our continuing commitment to meeting these needs and of the diverse communities of Wales.

Copies of the Eleventh Annual Report on Equality have been sent to all Assembly Members.