Archive for Current News

07 Mar 2011

Ethnic diversity and inequality: ethical and scientific rigour in social research

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An investigation into the desirability and feasibility of developing guidance to help decide when and how ethnicity should be included in social policy-relevant research projects.

Researchers Sarah Salway, Ruth Barley, Peter Allmark, Kate Gerrish, Gina Higginbottom and George Ellison, working on a report that has just been published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, have shed some light on the use of ethnic diversity in social research.

The paper addresses issues about the lack of the use of ethnic information when social research is conducted. It goes on to put forward challenges that have to be overcome when using ethnic information, The aims of the research were:

  • (i) synthesise key ethical and scientific issues relating to ethnicity in social research;
  • (ii) explore current concerns and practices among social researchers; and
  • (iii) identify factors that support or hinder the use and impact of guidance on research practice.”

The researchers have produced a very worthwhile set of guidance, for social researchers, in their conclusion to this research. You can find the full research report HERE or a summary of the report HERE.

05 Mar 2011

Welsh Referendum 2011

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On Friday, 4th March 2011, the Welsh electorate has given a resounding ‘Yes’ to a referendum which asked them whether the devolved Welsh Assembly Government should have primary law making powers in the 20 major areas of devolved responsibility. These policy areas, such as health, education, the environment and transport, are where currently any laws which affect Wales have to be rubber-stamped by the MPs in the House of Commons before it becomes law. Whilst the referendum took place on Thursday 3rd March 2011, the results were announced on Friday.

Supporters for a ‘Yes’ campaign, which included all the major political parties in Wales, have felt that the extra step of MPs’ approval has been an unnecessary burden. The ‘No’ campaigners have on the other hand felt that there was a need for a second house to verify any laws passed in Wales before they are applied to Wales. It has become apparent throughout the period of canvassing that the ‘No’ campaigners have sought to question the capability of the devolved government in respect of governing itself.

National Assembly for Wales was formed after a major referendum in 1997 which asked the people of Wales whether there should be a publicly elected body in Wales which should look after Welsh affairs exclusively under the guidance of central government in London. At the time 50.3% of the people of Wales narrowly voted ‘Yes’ and 49.7% voted ‘No’ to the proposal.The turnout for the 1997 referendum was 50.1%.

The 2011 referendum saw a dramatic drop in the turnout of voters, down to 35.4% of all voters. Political commentators are pointing to the fact that this low turnout is as a result of voter apathy and ought to be addressed by the politicians. A county-by-county analysis is given below for the 2011 referendum:


  1. Authority

  2. Blaenau Gwent
  1. Yes votes

  2. 11,869
  1. % Yes

  2. 68.9
  1. No votes

  2. 5,366
  1. % No

  2. 31.1
  1. Turnout

  2. 32%
  1. Bridgend
  1. 25,063
  1. 68.1
  1. 11,736
  1. 31.9
  1. 35.4%
  1. Caerphilly
  1. 28,431
  1. 64.3
  1. 15,751
  1. 35.7
  1. 34.5%
  1. Cardiff
  1. 53,427
  1. 61.4
  1. 33,606
  1. 38.6
  1. 34.9%
  1. Carmarthenshire
  1. 42,979
  1. 70.8
  1. 17,712
  1. 29.2
  1. 44%
  1. Ceredigion
  1. 16,505
  1. 66.2
  1. 8,412
  1. 33.8
  1. 43.8%
  1. Conwy
  1. 18,368
  1. 59.7
  1. 12,390
  1. 40.3
  1. 33.5%
  1. Denbighshire
  1. 15,793
  1. 61.8
  1. 9,742
  1. 38.2
  1. 34.1%
  1. Flintshire
  1. 21,119
  1. 62.1
  1. 12,913
  1. 37.9
  1. 29.2%
  1. Gwynedd
  1. 28,200
  1. 76
  1. 8,891
  1. 24
  1. 43.1%
  1. Merthyr Tydfil
  1. 9,136
  1. 68.9
  1. 4,132
  1. 31.1
  1. 30.2%
  1. Monmouthshire
  1. 12,381
  1. 49.4
  1. 12,701
  1. 50.6
  1. 35.4%
  1. Neath Port Talbot
  1. 29,957
  1. 73
  1. 11,079
  1. 27
  1. 37.6%
  1. Newport
  1. 15,983
  1. 54.8
  1. 13,204
  1. 45.2
  1. 27.8%
  1. Pembrokeshire
  1. 19,600
  1. 55
  1. 16,050
  1. 45
  1. 38.3%
  1. Powys
  1. 21,072
  1. 51.6
  1. 19,730
  1. 48.4
  1. 39.7%
  1. Rhondda Cynon Taf
  1. 43,051
  1. 70.7
  1. 17,834
  1. 29.3
  1. 34.4%
  1. Swansea
  1. 38,496
  1. 63.2
  1. 22,409
  1. 36.8
  1. 32.8%
  1. Torfaen
  1. 14,655
  1. 62.8
  1. 8,688
  1. 37.2
  1. 33.4%
  1. Vale of Glamorgan
  1. 19,430
  1. 52.5
  1. 17,551
  1. 47.5
  1. 39.7%
  1. Wrexham
  1. 17,606
  1. 64.1
  1. 9,863
  1. 35.9
  1. 26.8%
  1. Isle of Anglesey
  1. 14,011
  1. 64.8
  1. 7,620
  1. 35.2
  1. 43.5%



26 Feb 2011

Men/Women in Management

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It has been 36 years since the introduction of the first major piece of legislation, in the UK, to promote gender equality (Sex Discrimination Act 1975). However a recent research conducted by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) has found that women are still finding an unbreakable ‘glass ceiling’ which is hampering their efforts to succeed at the Board level.

The ILM research has found that women have tended to set their sights lower than men and limit their ambitions when seeking promotions into the higher ranks. This relates to the low level of self-confidence and expectations. 73% of women felt that there are barriers preventing their success in the management ranks.  70% of men had high levels of self confidence compared with 50% of women.

When it comes to caring for the family, women have shown a preference to family life. Indeed even after the advent of statutory paternity leave provisions, 42% of women had taken statutory maternity leave, and 21% had left work to care for children; only 9% of men had taken paternity leave, and just 2% of the men had left work to care for children.

These are extremely worrying findings for a society consisting of 50% men and 50% women. Whilst legislation exists in many shapes and forms including the provisions of Equality Act 2010, it is only time before additional measures are needed to ensure that gender equality becomes a reality for us in the United Kingdom.

You will find an Executive Summary of the research here

25 Feb 2011

New Zealand Earthquake

No Comments Current News, World News

On Tuesday 22nd February 2011, Christchurch in New Zealand suffered a massive earthquake measuring over 6 Richter scale. This is New Zealand’s deadliest earthquake for 80 years. Current reports suggest that the death toll is confirmed to be 113 people so far with many trapped in buildings that have been demolished from the tremors. There are currently around 200 people unaccounted for.

New Zealand is about the size of Wales in terms of population and physical geography. Wales has had very good ties with the country. Our thoughts are with the people of New Zealand on a tragic occasion. The current Welsh rugby national coach, Warren Gatland, hails from New Zealand where he was part of the All Blacks team for many years.

20 Feb 2011

Obituary to a Founding Vice Chair of SBREC

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Sadly on Wednesday 16th February 2011, Mr David Holmes (aged 81) passed away, peacefully in his sleep at his home in Swansea. Mr Holmes was a founding Vice Chair of Swansea Bay REC’s predecessor organisation, the West Glamorgan Community Relations Council. The organisation started life in 1983 with Mr Holmes alongside Judge Ray Singh and the late Councillor Mehar Verma as the three founding Vice Chairs. Mr Holmes served on the Executive Committee of the organisation until 1988. Seen in the picture with Carwyn Jones, AM the First Minister of Wales, Mr Holmes leaves behind his wife, a daughter and three grandchildren.

Mr Holmes had been seriously ill for a number of months. He leaves behind memories of a joyous and happy life. He was always eager to help anyone in difficulty. Indeed, in his role at the time, as Manager of Monmouthshire Building Society’s Swansea branch, many people will remember him with fondness and gratitude for his endeavours to ensure that they had their first homes without any fuss, even in the financially troubled times of the 1980s.

Swansea Bay REC offers its heartfelt condolences to his widow, Mrs Audrey Holmes.

15 Feb 2011

'Teacher targets Bangladeshi youngsters with airspray'

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A primary school teacher is appearing before a General Teaching Council, in Cardiff accused of having sprayed pupils with air freshener usually targeting pupils from the Bangladeshi community, reports South Wales Evening Post


The matter was brought to light in April 2009, following which primary school teacher Mrs Elizabeth Davies was sacked. Mrs Davies had been a school teacher for 20 years.

Appearing before the General Teaching Council, a witness described how Mrs Davies would primarily, but not exclusively target Bangaldeshi pupils who make up almost 50% of the school population.

The Council was informed, during the hearing, how the school regime had dramatically changed after  a new Headteacher, Mrs Rachel Webb was appointed and that the school is now a beacon of good practice now.

13 Feb 2011

Dedicated Equality Training at SBREC

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Please check out our pages for dedicated equality training services that SBREC provides. You will find details at:

There are two levels of training services on offer. We have developed a demand-driven series of training for our individual clients. These are delivered internally either at our premises in Grove House or at one of the community locations such as local primary schools. We also offer custom-designed training for organisations, on equality matters, that encompass all mandates of equality.

We are confident that, in the current economic climate, organisations will find it much more cost effective and efficient to have us deliver training to their employees rather than employ an in-house trainer themselves.

Currently you have to email ( or telephone us to find further details, but we intend to update our pages in the course of the next few days that will provide you with on-line information. Please keep tuned to details that will be published on our website very soon.

11 Feb 2011

The Lord Mayor’s training skills

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Clients of Swansea Bay REC saw the Lord Mayor of Swansea, Cllr Richard Lewis using his skills as an adviser on matters relating to acquiring a job. On a routine visit to the SBREC offices in Grove House, the Lord Mayor became interested in the Jobs, Employment Training Services (JETS) project which is being run at SBREC premises. He felt compelled to pass on years of experience that he had acquired whilst working for ICI, an international conglomerate. He spent a period of time giving advice, through the use of a slick training package that the Lord Mayor had used in his past employment as an employment consultant. His presentation was enthusiastically received by members of communities who became clients of SBREC services in order to secure employment. JETS is an Assembly funded jobs project that SBREC is delivering, in partnership with Ethnic Youth Support Team (EYST).

The Lord Mayor complimented the Chief Executive of SBREC on what he described as “a wonderful range of services on offer at SBREC including the JETS initiative”.

He went on to add that the range of services that SBREC provided were “the best kept secret in Swansea”. “I feel that the public ought to know that SBREC are delivering some vital services in the area often in very innovative ways with value for money as their main concern in these financially unstable times.

Had it not been for SBREC staff striving to provide these services, the communities would not have any other source to turn to”, he said.

10 Feb 2011

Swansea Bay REC Full Council Meeting

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Swansea Bay RegionalEquality Council (SBREC) is governed, at a top level, by its registered members, both individual and affiliated. In order to facilitate this, there are two annual meetings, one of these, of course, is the Annual General Meeting, held sometime in July of every year. The second of the annual meetings is the half yearly Full Council meeting.

This year, the Full Council Meeting is due to be held in the Lord Mayor’s Reception Room in Guildhall Swansea on Tuesday 15th February 2011. The meeting will be preceded by an informal get-together of all partner agencies who work with SBREC. The partners will have an opportunity to network and to learn about SBREC’s operations. Briefings will be given by the Chair, the Chief Executive and officers of SBREC. This event commences at 5:30pm. Invitations have been sent out to partner agencies already. This will be followed by the formal Full Council Meeting for which invitations have been issued to all registered individual and affiliated members.