Cardiff Council Update: 14 May 2024

Here is your Tuesday update, covering:

  • Action plan designed by the local community for Ely and Caerau revealed
  • A new education investment strategy for Cardiff schools
  • Joint Inspectorate Review of Child Protection Arrangements (JICPA) acknowledge strengths in Cardiff
  • Council helps city cricket club bounce back from vandalism and racism


Action plan designed by the local community for Ely and Caerau revealed

A package of measures - designed to improve the lives of young people and the local community in the Cardiff estates of Ely and Caerau - has been agreed by Welsh Government and Cardiff's Public Services Board.

The Plan - aimed at addressing the concerns and improving the lives of residents in the area - was created by the local community, working with the Public Services Board (PSB), which includes Cardiff Council, South Wales Police, and Cardiff and Vale Health Board.

Action for Caerau and Ely (ACE) - a local organisation with a long record of supporting the local community - undertook a lead role, working closely with the PSB while engaging widely with residents of all ages. This approach was designed to ensure that the community plan is deeply rooted in the needs and aspirations of the people of Caerau and Ely and was driven from the grassroots up.

Published on Tuesday, May 14, the agreed plan has set out 40 objectives which focus on six key themes:

1. Children and young people

2. Community safety and safeguarding

3. Spaces and the environment

4. Health and wellbeing

5. Employment, living standards and cost of living

6. Communications and community building

Read more here


New education investment strategy for Cardiff schools revealed

A new education investment strategy aimed at ensuring more young people across Cardiff will have opportunities to learn in high quality school settings now and in the future, has been published by Cardiff Council.

The strategy - which covers the next nine years up until 2033 - provides a framework for future decision making and supports Cardiff's Child Friendly City status which prioritises the rights and needs of children and young people, putting them at the heart of everything we do. It builds on the good work already carried out across the city as part of Cardiff's Sustainable Communities for Learning programme (previously known as the 21st Century Schools Programme).

Over the past ten years, more than £460m has been invested in completing construction of three new secondary schools, with two more underway, nine new primary schools, hundreds of additional specialist places for children and young people with complex Additional Learning Needs and upgrading works to many other schools across the city.

Cllr Sarah Merry, Cardiff's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, said: "The education investment which this administration has driven since 2014 has seen real progress made in Cardiff. The number of Cardiff schools which offer a high-quality educational experience to their pupils, as evidenced by Estyn reports, has grown significantly. This has been driven by strong leadership, our governors, our head teachers, our teachers, and our teaching support staff, alongside our hard-working pupils. We have always sought to do our best, within available budgets, to improve the environment for teaching and learning in the city, and this work, and this investment, has also played its part helping Cardiff leap up the education ranks in Wales to produce some of the best exam results in the country for A-Levels and GCSEs in recent years."

Read more here


Joint Inspectorate Review of Child Protection Arrangements (JICPA) acknowledge strengths in Cardiff's Education and Children's Services

The findings of a Joint Inspection of Child Protection Arrangements (JICPA) by Cardiff Council, South Wales Police and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board have been published.

The extensive review focused on evaluating the city's multi-agency response to abuse and neglect allegations, assessment and decision-making quality, protection of children aged 11 and under at risk of harm, leadership, and management effectiveness in child protection efforts and the robustness of multi-agency safeguarding partner arrangements.

Conducted by Care Inspectorate Wales (CIW), His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) and His Majesty's Chief Inspector of Education and Training in Wales (Estyn), key findings include:

High Demand and Complexity

Cardiff is facing persistently high levels of demand and increasing complexity in children's safeguarding. Despite challenges such as budget constraints and workforce deficits, there is a positive focus on safeguarding across agencies.

Positive Partnership Working

Professional relationships across agencies are robust, with a culture of safeguarding promoted as a collective responsibility. Recent changes in governance arrangements aim to strengthen monitoring, accountability, and coordination across the partnership.

Effective Multi-Agency Response

The multi-agency response to safeguarding referrals is generally proportionate and thorough, with a focus on the needs of the child and timely action to reduce risks of harm.

Strengths-Based Approach

Cardiff adopts a strengths-based and solution-led approach, ensuring families are involved in the design and delivery of care and support protection plans. Evidence-based approaches are utilised to reduce risks and meet children's needs.

Education Excellence

Cardiff schools prioritise safeguarding, ensuring learners are safe and supported. Strong partnerships between education and children's services facilitate continuous improvement and targeted support for vulnerable pupils.

Promotion of Cultural Sensitivity

Practitioners demonstrate a good understanding of cultural needs and prioritise culturally sensitive practices, ensuring effective engagement with diverse communities.

The report highlights several significant achievements specifically across Cardiff Council's Children's Services and Education.

Cllr Ash Lister, Cardiff's Cabinet Member for Children's Social Services said: "Safeguarding children and young people is a collective effort, and this report highlights the importance of multi-agency working between the Local Authority, schools, police, and health board. The report recognises the continued challenges being experienced across the UK and the rise in demand and complexity of cases. However, inspectors have found Cardiff Council to have a positive focus on safeguarding where our front-line staff, managers and leadership have a good understanding of the experiences of children and families that need help and protection. Practitioners understand their roles, information is shared efficiently, and children's voices are heard."

Cardiff's Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Education, Cllr Sarah Merry added: "This report underscores Cardiff's commitment to support, safeguarding and continuous improvement in education and children's services and it reflects the significant work that has been carried out to establish a culture of safeguarding across the Local Authority, which is promoted as everyone's collective responsibility."

Read more here


Council helps city cricket club bounce back from vandalism and racism

Two years ago, at the end of a successful season, Llandaff Cricket Club was looking forward to a bright future, introducing the sport to women, boys and girls, in addition to continuing its senior teams' rise up the local league tables.

Then, in October 2022, the club was attacked by mindless vandals who broke into its pavilion at Llandaff Fields, damaged its equipment and sprayed far-right graffiti on the walls, horrifying the club members, many of whom had spent years developing it into a mainstay of the local community.

Undaunted, the club resolved to bounce back stronger and embarked on a crowd-funding campaign to replace the equipment and, with the help of Cardiff Council which owns Llandaff Playing Fields, negotiate a 25-year lease, putting it on a secure footing for ongoing development.

Now, the future for Llandaff Cricket Club looks bright once more

A key part of its recovery has been the creation of a new practice nets facility that overlooks its ground at Llandaff Fields.

Situated on land once taken up by unused tennis courts, and developed with the help of England and Wales Cricket Board, Sport Wales and Street Games Wales, it is as good as any of the artificial surface nets at the nearby headquarters of Glamorgan Cricket Club and was unveiled in a ceremony at the weekend attended by Cardiff Council leader Cllr Huw Thomas and Cllr Jennifer Burke, the Cabinet member for Culture, Parks, Events and Venues, along with the area's Assembly Member, Mark Drakeford, and the Cardiff West MP Kevin Brennan.

"We've been delighted to help the club after the awful events of 2022," said Cllr Burke. "Llandaff Cricket Club has long been a beacon of diversity in Cardiff and is bringing cricket to the wider community through its juniors, girls and women's teams. We hope that with the new 25-year lease in place, the club now has a solid platform to grow and introduce even more people to the sport."

In a speech at the event, Cllr Thomas praised the efforts of the council team which had repaired and decorated the pavilion to remove the offending graffiti, bringing it back into use for this season. The team also helped the club organise the lease of the land, which includes a parcel earmarked for a new pavilion.

Cllr Thomas also praised the club members who had worked hard to ensure it has emerged from the trauma stronger than ever.

He said the council wholeheartedly backed sport right across the city, hailing it as a 'silver bullet' which can bring communities and generations together, enhance social cohesion and embody the authority's 'Stronger, Fairer, Greener' ethos.

Read more here