Welsh Councils to Employ Brexit Staff

Jobs will will help identify extremism, hate crime and activism

Councils in Wales are recruiting staff to help ease any Brexit-related tensions.

Swansea Council is currently on the lookout for such an employee, although the community cohesion officer job is part-time.

The successful candidate will help identify and address extremism, hate crime and activism, and liaise with other agencies and community groups.

There will be a particular focus on developing strong links with European Union citizens and other minority groups which might feel susceptible to Brexit tensions.

The 20-hour per week job involves being part of a team operating in Neath Port Talbot and Bridgend as well as Swansea.

The cohesion officer will also help with a mapping exercise to better understand the impacts of Brexit on communities.

A spokesman for Swansea Council said: “The Welsh Government is funding the recruitment of officers in all 22 local authority areas to undertake this proactive, preventative role to support our communities.”

Swansea has long been a designated City of Sanctuary but is not immune to hate crime – an umbrella term covering race and religion, among others.

Hate crime has been rising accross England in Wales and, according to the Home Office, spiked after the 2016 EU referendum.

Last month Neath Port Talbot Council launched a public consultation to help it and partner organisations understand the impact Brexit might have.

It asked questions including whether people felt confident or nervous about their future with the UK set to leave the EU on October 31, whether residents felt they belonged to their community, and if they had ever been the victim of a hate crime.

The new post in Swansea, which voted to leave the EU in 2016, will run until March 31, 2021, and pay £21,166 to £23,836 pro rata.
It has come in for some flak on social media.

Writing on Facebook, John Evans said: “Oh Lordy Lord – you just cannot make it up!!”

A Welsh Government spokeswoman said:  “There are currently eight regional community cohesion coordinators established.

“Recruitment has begun for additional staff for this programme, funded through the Welsh Government’s EU transition fund, who will work regionally to cover all of Wales.”

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