Huw Lewis, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty
As the newly appointed Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty I am pleased to publish this report, the Welsh Government’s thirteenth Annual Report on Equality.
2011–12 has been an important year for equality and inclusion in Wales. It saw the introduction of the Welsh Specific Equality Duties under the Equality Act 2010. 2011-12 was also a year of extensive engagement with people across Wales as part of the development of the first Welsh Government Strategic Equality Plan. We have worked to ensure that the Strategic Equality Plan clearly dovetails and is aligned with the Tackling Poverty Action Plan. Taken together the Plans provide a framework for prioritising the needs of those who face the greatest disadvantage and protecting those who are most vulnerable to poverty and marginalisation within our communities.
We have made some important changes to meet our reporting requirements, and for the first time, the Annual Equality Report also contains a report on our Strategic Equality Plan. This brings together our reporting duties under both the Government of Wales Act and under the Welsh Specific Equality Duties. The result is a report which provides a rounded picture of where we are, of what we are doing, and where we will be going, to continue to not only promote equality, but also to ensure that equality, inclusion and human rights are at the forefront of our thinking in Wales.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.