Council and partners respond to the Race Equality Taskforce

An ambitious and wide-ranging programme of actions designed to address racial discrimination and promote race equality in Cardiff is due to be considered by Cardiff Council as it monitors progress made since the Race Equality Taskforce was set up in the city.

The Taskforce was established in July 2020 following the death in America of George Floyd and the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Council leader Cllr Huw Thomas invited Butetown Councillor Saeed Ebrahim to be the Taskforce Chair, and appointed – via a public appointment process – 14 other members with insight and interest in race, ethnicity and human rights. Together, they brought skills, experience and opportunity to bring about change in their fields, which include the public sector, industry, and other areas.

The Taskforce’s first meeting was held in December 2020 and, following in-depth consultations with Cardiff residents, particularly those with lived experiences, led to a commitment to investigate five key priorities:

  • Employment and Representative Workforce
  • Education and Young People
  • Citizens’ Voice
  • Health, and
  • Criminal justice

In March 2022, the Council’s Cabinet received the final report of the Taskforce which included 28 recommendations across the five priority areas to address racial inequality in Cardiff.

Cardiff Council leader Cllr Huw Thomas said: “The Taskforce has worked extremely hard since it was established to make real progress on ensuring the Council and other key organisations across Cardiff do all they can to bring equality into all aspects of our lives.

“But delivering the recommendations of the Taskforce will require long-term, sustained action.

“The Council and our partners at the University Health Board and South Wales Police have taken the work seriously and there have already been significant milestones achieved in implementing the recommendations over the course of the programme.”

Cllr Saeed Ebrahim added: “Cardiff has always been a proudly diverse city and holds one of the oldest settled ethnic minority communities in the UK with people from across the world making it their home.

"The work led by Cardiff's Race Equality Taskforce, since its inception in July 2020, has gone beyond just making recommendations – we have got things done. By consulting with insightful individuals across a range of industries and organisations and with the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic community to gather views on what the Taskforce's priorities should be, we have ensured some real change.”

The chair of Cardiff and Vale University Health Board, Charles Janczewski, said: “Cardiff is a vibrant and exciting city which is home to many cultures. As a Health Board we are committed to reducing health inequalities and improving access to services across all of our communities. Building on the success of earlier campaigns, we continue to implement a range of public health-related initiatives that are designed to improve the overall health of our population.

“With an incredibly diverse and talented workforce, we are also committed to working with our colleagues to ensure we are able to learn from any exposure to racism they have experienced. We aim to improve the workplace experience for all of our staff.

“Being part of this taskforce is not just about understanding the issues but working together to tackle them and make a real difference to our communities.”

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael added: “Councillor Thomas and Councillor Ebrahim are to be congratulated on a major achievement in promoting equality and challenging racism across the city.

“By involving people with lived experience and communities that are most affected, they have started a truly transformative initiative. These things are never easy, and we have a responsibility to be impatient for change while being realistic about the fact that that changing the culture in every part of a major city like Cardiff is enormously challenging. It is clear that the taskforce members possessed both the passion and the patience to bring about real change.

“I’m pleased that my own deputy commissioner, Emma Wools, who has shown real leadership in tackling racism both within policing and wider criminal justice in Wales, was a member of the Taskforce which helps to bind us together in serving the public and promoting effective action through partnership between policing, local government and all our many other partners, particularly the local Cardiff & Vale Health Board and with Welsh Government.

“It’s important that the council’s own commitment is matched by those of us who sit on the Public Services Board for Cardiff and by our respective teams so I am happy to give that commitment as Police and Crime Commissioner.”

The full report is available to read here: Cardiff Race Equality Taskforce (

Improving Race Equality in Cardiff will be the focus of the forthcoming Policy Review and Performance Scrutiny Committee as elected members receive a full update and consider Cabinet’s proposals to implement the recommendations of the Taskforce.

This public scrutiny committee meeting takes place on Wednesday, December 14 at 4.30pm in Committee Room 4, County Hall.  The meeting can also be viewed on a live stream here:

All scrutiny published papers on the Race Equality Taskforce are available to view here:

Cardiff Council Cabinet will consider the recommendations at its public meeting in County Hall from 2pm on Thursday, December 15. The meeting’s agenda, reports and papers will be available to view closer to the date here where you will also be able to view a live stream of the meeting on the day.

Progress made by Cardiff Council and partners on Race Equality Taskforce recommendations include:

Employment and Representative Workforce

What we’ve done:

  •  The Council has signed the Community Jobs Compact, we are guaranteeing interviews to local residents who meet the essential criteria and have partnered with the Community Jobs Compact team to support applicants with the process.
  • Provided more than 4,500 apprenticeship weeks, more than £2.1m to help Community Support initiatives, and almost 2,000 hours of equality, diversity, and inclusion training.
  • The Council has launched a ‘Cardiff Works Ready’ scheme, which mentors candidates in preparation for temporary roles available in the council.

Our commitments:

  • Establish an Equality Network for public services across the city, collaborating with our partners and working together to improve ethnic minority representation and progression in the local labour market.
  • Launch a new Leadership and Development programme for staff under-represented at management and senior levels within the Council, including a reverse mentoring programme between participants and the Council’s senior management.
  • Roll out unconscious bias and microaggression training, providing training for staff in community languages, where appropriate, while providing and promoting English lessons to support staff whose English is a potential barrier to career development.

 Education and Young People

What we’ve done:

  • The council has strengthened the local approach to bullying and prejudice-related incidents at school, embedding guidance and training for all teaching staff and governors and is monitoring its impact;
  • The council extended the work of Schools of Sanctuary and is supporting the participation of refugee and asylum-seeking communities, with 11 schools in Cardiff having received School of Sanctuary status, and a further 20 schools working towards gaining their status for accreditation next year;
  • The council is resourcing a pilot ‘anti-racism’ training programme in two Cardiff schools, the impact of which is being closely monitored.
  • The council sponsored the first annual Betty Campbell Monument Lecture, in partnership with Monumental Welsh Women and the Senedd, which was held in October and given by Professor Olivette Otele, Professor of Legacy and Memories of Slavery at University of London.

Our commitments:

  • The council is supporting the diversification of the teaching workforce through a teaching assistant ‘Step into Teaching’ programme, which will assess the barriers and needs of teaching assistants to progress in their career;
  • The Councilwill develop a recruitment plan for increasing diversity of School governors in partnership with schools and the Education Workforce Council.
  • Continue to expand our Schools of Sanctuary programme to support refugee and asylum-seeking children and their families.
  • Roll out anti-racism training and tool-kit learning in Cardiff schools, drawing on the pilot currently under way in Mount Stuart Primary School.

Citizens’ Voice

 What we’ve done:

  • The council has improved its equality monitoring data collection methods for elected members.
  • The council has developed its draft Diversity in Democracy action plan.
  • The council signed the Race Alliance Wales manifesto and plans to implement many of its recommendations into corporate delivery plans.

Our commitments:

  • The council will improve representation from Cardiff’s ethnic minority communities in key decision-making panels. Council representatives who participate in panels will endeavour to ensure they include under-represented groups and a diverse membership. All council-run events will also endeavour to ensure a diverse panel/line-up of speakers;
  • The council will broaden participation and accessibility in city planning and ensure there are appropriate platforms for engagement community voice in the design of the city


What has been done:

  • Cardiff and Vale University Health Board appointed an Engagement Officer to work to support black and ethnic minority communities in Cardiff to access health services. Over the past six months, the local health board has, for example, worked with local communities to improve bowel screening rates, and work has been completed on a survey to investigate barriers to the uptake of childhood immunisation among ethnic minority communities.

Our commitments:

  • Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is working to improve ethnicity recording with the healthcare system for both patients and staff
  • Cardiff and Vale University Health Board is completing an engagement exercise with UHB staff to understand the experiences and reflections of ethnic minority staff in relation to racism in the workplace

Criminal Justice

What has been done:

  • Sustaining and developing current efforts to diversify the workforce of South Wales Police. South Wales Police has moved from 1.7% of officers being from an Ethnic Minority background to a predicted 4% by March 2023.
  • Launched the Criminal Justice in Wales Anti-Racist Action Plan in September 2022 which will aim to deliver an Anti-Racist Criminal Justice system in Wales, aligning closely with the Welsh Government’s Anti-Racism Wales Action plan.

Our commitments:

  • To design future targeted engagement focusing on early contact with the justice system and any opportunities, particularly missed opportunities, for early intervention as well as diversionary measures.
  • Develop improved mental health service pathways and integrated training and support for police officers as first responders;
  • Commit to a delivery of a Cultural Competency training approach across local Criminal Justice Institutions. Develop an effective mechanism to ensure diverse community voices are heard in relation to crime and community safety.