Integrated Sustainability Appraisal (ISA) Scoping Report
5. Equality, diversity and inclusion
5.1 This theme focuses on the demographics and households of the population in Vale of Glamorgan, as well as deprivation, access to services and facilities.
5.2 Table 5.1 presents the most relevant documents identified in the policy review for the purposes of the RLDP and ISA.
Table 5.1 Plans, policies and strategies reviewed in relation to equality, diversity, and inclusion
Year of publication
5.3 Key messages emerging from the review are summarised below:
- Future Wales sets out the 20-year spatial framework for land use in Wales, providing a context for the provision of new infrastructure/ growth. Future Wales identifies the Vale of Glamorgan as having one of the most distinctive urban settlement patterns in the UK, with nuanced social and economic needs, and as such the RLDP should set out policies and proposals reflecting the structural economic and social issues that impact upon residents' prosperity and well-being. The emerging SDP for the South East Wales also seeks to address regional factors such as housing, employment, and transport across the region. Supporting Vale of Glamorgan as an area with essential services and facilities alongside digital infrastructure will have a beneficial impact on the local community.
- The Equality Act legally protects people from discrimination or unfair treatment based on certain personal characteristics. The Act defines 'protected characteristics' for which is it unlawful to indirectly or directly discriminate against, harass, or victimise. The Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED) is set out in Section 149 of the Act, under which public bodies must try to eliminate unlawful discrimination, advance equality of opportunity, and foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not. The Act explains that 'due regard' for advancing equality involves; removing or minimising disadvantages experienced by people due to their protected characteristic, taking steps to meet the needs of people from protected groups where these differ from the needs of other people, and encouraging protected groups to participate in public life and other activities where their participation is disproportionately low.
- National planning policy is set out in PPW, a primary objective of which is to ensure that the planning system contributes positively towards improving the social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being of Wales. This is as required by the Planning (Wales) Act 2015, the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and other key legislation and resultant duties such as the Socio-economic Duty. PPW places the concept of placemaking at the centre of national planning policy to ensure that planning decisions consider all aspects of well-being and deliver new development which is sustainable and provides for the needs of all people.
- PPW is supplemented by TANs, which further detail the Welsh Government's commitment to planning for the Welsh Language (TAN20), among other national equality, diversity, and inclusion objectives.
- The Welsh Language Standards place a requirement on Local authorities in Wales to produce a local Welsh Language Strategy that sets out how they will promote the use of the Welsh language and increase the number of Welsh speakers in their area. The Vale of Glamorgan Welsh Language Promotion Strategy includes a five-year action plan focused on growing the number of people able to speak Welsh, on increasing its use in all aspects of community and public life and raising awareness of its importance as an essential part of the cultural identity and character of the area.
- The Cardiff Capital Region and City Deal seeks to promote strong, sustainable, and balanced growth throughout the region, committing to a partnership approach to housing and regeneration. The deal aims to encourage investment and create an equal opportunity environment within the ten local authorities and other key partners in its boundaries. The replacement LDP should set out policies and proposals for the promotion of sustainable growth within the area for the benefit of its resident population.
- Under the Equality Act (2010), local authorities in Wales must publish a Strategic Equality Plan that sets out the objectives and priorities it wants to achieve over a four-year period. These priorities are called "Equality Objectives". The Vale of Glamorgan strategic equality plan describes what the Council is doing to fulfil its duties in respect of the Equality Act 2010 and the specific duties for Wales.
- The Placemaking Wales Charter builds on the strengthening focus on Placemaking in policy and practice in Wales and aims to provide a common understanding of the range of considerations that go into placemaking. The charter outlines the following six placemaking principles that cover the range of considerations that contribute to establishing and maintaining good places:
- People and community.
- Public realm.
- Mix of uses; and
- Briefing on Gender Identity in Wales, produced by the LGBT Excellence Centre, provides clear recommendations for supporting the LGBT community and their access to housing in line with the Equality Act (2020).
- The cross-government LGBTQ+ Action Plan for Wales seeks to tackle the existing structural inequalities experienced by LGBTQ+ communities, to challenge discrimination and to create a society where LGBTQ+ people are safe to live and love authentically, openly and freely as themselves. The plan focuses on responding to the specific needs, diversity and vulnerabilities of our LGBTQ+ communities.
- Overall, the Vale of Glamorgan is comparatively wealthy, and residents have a high standard of living. However, there are significant differences in life expectancy between some areas in the Vale of Glamorgan, and some significant health inequalities. The Vale of Glamorgan has the largest difference in healthy life expectancy for females between the least and most deprived areas in Wales. Areas with high levels of deprivation are generally in the southeast of the authority , in particular Barry.
5.4 The Vale of Glamorgan is regarded as an affluent and attractive area to live and work (see Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 above), however pockets of poverty and deprivation do exist. These are reflected through the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation Wales (WIMD) 2019. The WIMD is a national statistic designed to identify the small areas of Wales that are the most deprived.
5.5 IMD ranks all small areas in Wales from 1 (most deprived) to 1,909 (least deprived). The small areas are otherwise known as Lower Layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs). This geography is built from census data and represents small locations, each with a population of around 1,600 people. As there are 1,909 LSOAs in Wales, 190 LSOAs fall within the 10% most deprived in Wales.
5.6 There are 79 LSOAs in the Vale, as shown in Figure 5.1 below, which maps the latest WIMD headline data (2019). A considerable proportion of the Vale falls within the 20% least deprived LSOAs in Wales, with Cowbridge and east of Penarth notably falling with the 10% least deprived LSOAs.
5.7 Deprivation varies across the authority, with the most deprived areas located within and to the north/ east of Barry. The three most deprived LSOAs within the Vale are within/ surrounding Barry, falling within the 10% most deprived LSOAs in Wales. These are:
- Gibbonsdown 2 (ranked 105 of 1909 LSOAs in Wales).
- Court 3 (ranked 142 of 1909 LSOAs in Wales); and
- Buttrills 2 (ranked 186 of 1909 LSOAs in Wales).
5.8 There are also several LSOAs within/ surrounding Barry that fall within the 20% - 40% most deprived LSOAs in Wales. Away from Barry and the southeast of the RDLP area, there are otherwise only four LSOAs across the Vale that fall within the 50% most deprived LSOAs.
5.9 Table 5.2 below provides a summary analysis of deprivation levels across the Vale of Glamorgan from 2008 to 2019. As shown in Table 5.2, the Vale has had three LSOAs in Barry ranked within the top 10% most deprived LSOAs in Wales since 2008. The number of Vale LSOAs ranked within the 20% and 30% most deprived in Wales have increased since 2018, however the number of LSOAs ranked within the most deprived 50% has decreased.
Table 5.2 Vale of Glamorgan WIMD analysis 2008 - 2019
Most deprived 10% LSOAs in Wales (rank 1-191)
Most deprived 20% LSOAs in Wales (rank 1-382)
Most deprived 30% LSOAs in Wales (rank 1-573)
Most deprived 50% LSOAs in Wales (rank 1-955)
5.10 The WIMD 2019 report identifies that the Vale of Glamorgan is one of twelve local Authorities in Wales with no small areas of deep-rooted deprivation. It is important to note that an area itself is not deprived: it is the circumstances and lifestyles of the people living there that affect its deprivation ranking and it is important to remember that not everyone living in a deprived area is deprived -and that not all deprived people live in deprived areas.
5.11 Deprivation across the Vale has been explored through the Vale of Glamorgan Corporate Plan (2020). Notably:
- 13% of people (17,181) are estimated to be living in income deprivation – below the Welsh average.
- Real differences can be observed between areas, in some more deprived areas it is estimated that 38% of people are living in income deprivation.
- For some more deprived areas it is estimated that 53% of children are living in poverty.
- The Vale has a lower-than-average percentage of households that are overcrowded, however areas in the east of Barry show the highest rates of overcrowded households and are more than double the Welsh average in some LSOAs.
5.12 Protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010 are disability, gender reassignment, marriage or civil partnership status, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, sex (gender), and age.
5.13 In relation to pregnancy and maternity, recent national data indicates that of the 29,728 births in Wales (2019), 4% were to mothers under the age of 20, which is the lowest rate on record. 30% were to mothers aged 30-34, while 0.2% were to mothers over 45 years.
Marriage and civil partnership
5.14 Reflecting Living Arrangements data, in 2011 49.1% of people living in Vale of Glamorgan recorded that they were married. This is a growth on the 46.4% recorded in 2001. 30.8% of people in 2011 recorded that they were single, never married or never registered in a same-sex civil partnership compared to 25.3% who registered that they were single (never married) in 2001.
5.15 Annual Population Survey data from 2018-2020 is available at the regional scale, which shows that 47.3% of people living in South East Wales recorded that they were married. This compares to 50% for North Wales, and 48% for Mid and South West Wales.
5.16 Age characteristic data taken from the Census illustrates an ageing population across Wales. Between the 2001 and 2011 Census all Local Authority areas across Wales have recorded a growth population in older age categories. The Vale of Glamorgan follows this national trend, with a significant growth in the 60 to 64, 65 to 74, 75 to 84 and 90 and over age groups between 2001 and 2011.
5.17 According to 2020 estimates, 20.6% of the population of the Vale of Glamorgan are aged 0 to 17 years, 58.1% are aged 18 to 64 years, and 21.3% are aged 65 and older. The figure for the latter age group is higher than the UK average of 18.6%, but similar to the Welsh average of 21.1%, indicating that Wales, including the Vale of Glamorgan, has a large population of older people.
Sexual orientation and gender identity
5.18 As set out above in Chapter 3, in 2020 there were slightly more females 51% than males (49%) living in the Vale, which is in line with Wales as a whole.
5.19 Reflecting national trends, for the 0-15 and 16-64 age groups, the split between genders in the Vale of Glamorgan is almost 50:50.
5.20 As of 2019, 4% of South East Wales identify with the LGBT community (Gay, lesbian, bisexual or other). This is greater than Mid and South West Wales (2.7%), north Wales (1.8%), and Wales overall (3.1%).
5.21 Since the publication of the Trans Data Position Paper (2009), nuances surrounding gender identity have been recognised at a national level. The 2021 Census is anticipated to include voluntary questions that depict a more nuanced understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity. These groups are more vulnerable to discrimination due to their minority status.
5.22 Key findings from Stonewall's research into LGBT hate crime and discrimination in Wales (2017) include the following:
- Almost one in four LGBT people have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation and/or gender identity in the last 12 months.
- Half of trans people have experienced a hate crime or incident because of their gender identity in the last 12 months, and one in ﬁve LGB people who aren't trans have experienced a hate crime or incident due to their sexual orientation in the same period.
- The number of lesbian, gay and bi people in Wales who have experienced hate crime has increased by 82% in ﬁve years, from 11 per cent in 2013 to 20 per cent in 2017.
- Four in ﬁve LGBT people who experienced a hate crime or incident didn't report the incident to the police.
- Three in ten LGBT people avoid certain streets because they don't feel safe as an LGBT person there.
- Two in ﬁve LGBT people would not feel comfortable walking down the street while holding their partner's hand. For gay men, this rises to three in ﬁve (57 per cent).
- One in ten LGBT people have experienced homophobic, biphobic or transphobic abuse or behaviour online directed towards them personally in the last month. This number increases to one in four trans people have experienced transphobic abuse or behaviour.
- Wider research into discrimination in Wales indicates that a large proportion of residents in Wales who have suffered from discrimination cite that the main reason for their discrimination is where they live (15.7%), followed by their nationality (11.4%), age (10.6%) and health problem/disability (9.7%).
Ethnicity and race
5.24 As measured by the Annual Population Survey, the percentage of people recording that they are Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic in the Vale of Glamorgan has been between 2 and 3% since 2005. In the Year ending December 2020 it was estimated that 2.1% of the Vale of Glamorgan's population were from a Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic background, this compares to 5.5% for Wales as a whole. This differs from the picture at the Welsh national level where the percentage of people recording that they are Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic has been increasing steadily.
5.25 Data from the Pupil Level Annual School Census has shown that in 2019/2020 the majority (17,055 pupils within Vale of Glamorgan aged five and over) identified as 'White British', the second largest ethnic background was 'Any Other White Background', 10,385 pupils, followed by 'Any other mixed background', 4,950 pupils and 'Any other ethnic background', 4,620 pupils. 
5.26 As shown in Table 5.3 below, many residents in the Vale identify as Christian (58.1%), followed by no religion (32.9%). This aligns with average figures for Wales. However, the Muslim population of Vale of Glamorgan notably smaller than average figures for Wales, while 'other religion', is slightly higher.
Table 5.3: Religious identification
Vale of Glamorgan
Religion not stated
5.27 The number of people aged 16-64 who identify as disabled in the Vale of Glamorgan in the year ending March 2021 is estimated to be 13,900. The gender split in the year ending March 2020 shows that there are more females estimated to identify as disabled (8,400) than those who identify as disabled males (5,500).
5.28 The Welsh language is part of the social and cultural fabric of Wales and the Welsh Government is committed to ensuring that the Welsh language is supported and encouraged throughout Wales.
5.29 In 2011, the Census revealed that within the Vale of Glamorgan, 8.2% of the population could speak, read, or write Welsh compared to the national average of 14.6%. 83.7% of the Vale's population or approximately 122,018 people possessed no Welsh language skills at all, compared with an all-Wales average of 73.4% of the population.
5.30 Table 5.4 shows that in 2020 18.8% of Vale of Glamorgan residents are Welsh speaking, which is less than the overall figure for Wales (29.2%), and less than neighbouring authorities to the east Cardiff (24.8%) and Newport (20.8%). Slightly more residents do however speak Welsh in Vale of Glamorgan than in neighbouring authority to the west, Bridgend (18.5%).
Table 5.4 Percentage of people aged 3 or older who can speak Welsh, by Welsh local authority
Isle of Anglesey
Neath Port Talbot
Vale of Glamorgan
Rhondda Cynon Taf
5.31 The findings of the Well-being Assessment demonstrate the wide range of factors that contribute towards creating the inequalities that exist in the Vale and the complex and inter-related factors that all contribute towards poorer well-being in deprived areas. It will be important for the RLDP to take a holistic approach to improving well-being within the authority's more deprived communities, promoting, strengthening and enhancing cultural identity in line with national objectives.
5.32 Economic regeneration, alongside community regeneration, are key factors that can transform local neighbourhoods and the lives of local people. New development throughout the Vale should therefore focus on narrowing the gap between the least and most affluent areas, by addressing areas of everyday activity including employment, health, housing, education, community safety and the environment. Furthermore, it is recognised that the Vale has an ageing population, and it will therefore be important to ensure that services can meet the changing needs of the population as they grow older.
5.33 Community cohesion is likely to be most directly influenced through detailed policies which have the granularity to deliver focused responses at specific locations. In the absence of the RLDP, it is possible that opportunities might be missed to address issues both at the local scale, and strategically throughout the county borough.
5.34 The context review and baseline information informed the identification of several key issues (problems and opportunities):
- The Vale of Glamorgan exhibits considerable socio-economic diversity containing some of the most affluent and the most deprived communities in Wales. Three of the most deprived areas in Wales are within/ surrounding Barry, as shown in the latest 2019 Welsh IMD. 2019 data shows that inequalities exist in the Vale, not only linked to healthy lifestyles but across a wide range of indicators that impact upon an individual's well-being. Our built and natural environment can play a huge part in contributing towards well-being and evidence shows that many of the Vale's deprived areas have a poor-quality environment with less access to green spaces.
- The areas of the Vale which observed the lowest household incomes are also those with the lowest employment rates, and those with the lowest levels of educational attainment. The influence of socio-economic factors in the early years can be crucial in determining the life chances and opportunities of the future generations.
- Only a small proportion of residents are within minority ethnic, racial, and religious groups; however, the reliability of this data is arguably uncertain.
- Compared with the figure for Wales (29.2%), in 2020, a lower proportion of the population in the Vale (18.8%) are Welsh speakers. This may indicate a higher level of Anglicisation than other Welsh regions.
- The Vale has an ageing population, and it will therefore be important to ensure that future development proposals within the RLDP and service provision can meet the changing needs of the population as they grow older.
5.35 Considering the key issues discussed above, it is proposed that the ISA should include the following objective and assessment questions:
Assessment questions – will the option/proposal help to:
To reduce poverty and inequality; tackle social exclusion and promote community cohesion.
- Reduce inequalities and deprivation across the Vale of Glamorgan, particularly in the most deprived wards and hidden areas of deprivation?
- Improve equality of opportunities amongst those social groups most in need?
- Contribute to a reduction in crime and social disorder and the fear of crime, promoting safer neighbourhoods?
- Promote, strengthen, and enhance placemaking principles?
- Protect and provide improved local, social, recreational and leisure facilities and access to the natural environment for all sectors of the community, and improve access to them to maximise opportunities for community development and social welfare?
- Ensure an appropriate mix of dwelling sizes, types, and tenures to meet the needs of all sectors of the community?
- Provide housing in sustainable locations that allow easy access to a range of local services and facilities?
- Promote the Vale's bilingual public services and increase the development and use of the Welsh language in Vale of Glamorgan?
- Support the aging population to ensure they do not become socially excluded?
 WIMD 2008 - 2019
 Vale of Glamorgan Council (2020); 'Corporate Plan'
 Vale of Glamorgan Council (2021): 'Well-being Assessment 2021 – Demographic Report'
 StatsWales (2020) Marital Status By Region [online] available at: https://statswales.gov.wales/Catalogue/Equality-and-Diversity/Marital-status/maritalstatus-by-region
 The Civil Partnership Act came into effect in 2005, in 2011, 0.2% of respondents (185 people) recorded that they were in a registered same-sex civil partnership in the Vale of Glamorgan.
 Vale of Glamorgan Council (2021):' Well-being Assessment 2021 – Demographic Report'
 Vale of Glamorgan Council (2021): 'Well-being Assessment 2021 – Demographic Report'
 ONS, 2011. Census 2011 (KS209EW) data. This data will be updated when more current data is available.
 ONS, 2011. Census 2011.