Jane Hutt MS, Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip
On 26 May I published a written statement setting out our intention to work with local residents, community groups and partners to develop a Community Plan for Caerau and Ely. I provided a further update on 19 June; this statement confirms the actions that are now underway.
Work has begun to develop the community plan. The work will:
- Ensure the development of the Community Plan is led by the grassroots communities of Caerau and Ely.
- Develop an understanding of the underlying factors/conditions which resulted in disorder on 22 May, following the tragic deaths of Kyrees Sullivan and Harvey Evans.
- Understand and deliver on community aspirations and ambitions for Ely and Caerau, working collaboratively with the community to identify pragmatic actions that will improve outcomes and opportunities for residents.
The development of this community plan and the engagement work to underpin it will be overseen by a community steering group, facilitated by Action for Caerau and Ely (ACE). Membership of the steering group will be drawn from the community, including local organisations and residents. A full-time coordinator has been appointed for this work, and will be funded jointly by the Welsh Government, Cardiff Council and the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner.
I have been clear on the importance of ensuring that this work supports and benefits children and young people, over the summer months and beyond. Accordingly, on 23 June, we issued Cardiff Council with a grant offer letter of up to £100k one-off funding for targeted intervention towards activities to engage children and young people aged 0-25 in the Ely and Caerau area.
ACE is seeking five volunteers to make up the community grant panel who will work with the local authority’s child friendly team and the community steering group to assess applications. The council aims to issue grant awards to successful providers by 14 July, to enable activities to take place over the summer and October half-term.
Activities will be free or significantly subsidised and span the entire age range of 0-25; complement existing schemes operating in the area, such as the School Holiday Enrichment Programme, Food and Fun and the Playworks holiday project, and be inclusive, with opportunities for children of all abilities. Cultural inclusivity and the opportunity to participate in English and Welsh will also be a priority.
I attended a meeting of the Cardiff Public Service Board (PSB) on 28 June, where proposed governance arrangements for developing the community plan were discussed. All partners agreed that it must be led by the local communities and not be top-down or driven by public services. The proposals made this clear and were agreed.
I previously set out my intention to establish a community reference group as a resource for those developing the community plan, to be chaired by myself with Councillor Huw Thomas as vice chair. Our first meeting was held on 3 July, with partners invited including police, local schools, primary health care, faith groups, the voluntary sector and the Children’s Commissioner. Attendees expressed support for the approach being taken and agreed to work collaboratively in support of those developing the community plan. The next meeting will be held during the summer recess.
In developing this targeted and robust response to the tragic events in Ely, I am mindful of the needs of other communities. The work we do in Ely and Caerau will help inform wider programmes to engage with and support communities across Wales.