NEWPORT council is set to become one of the first local authorities to achieve recognition for its work to combat violence against women and girls.

Earlier this year, members pledged support for the White Ribbon Campaign and a working group, including senior members and officers, was set up to work towards achieving the campaign’s aims of combatting female genital mutilation (FGM) in the UK.

It includes Councillor Gail Giles who introduced a motion against FGM which was backed by all members in July.

Cllr Deb Davies, cabinet member for skills and work has now approved an action plan and agreed meetings of the working group should continue, as well as holding an event in November to mark White Ribbon Day involving young people. Pupils at secondary schools will create posters or leaflets.

It is expected the city will be awarded White Ribbon status. A council spokeswoman said Newport is believed to be one of the first councils to achieve it.

Cllr Davies said: “We take this issue extremely seriously and want to send out a strong message that violence will not be tolerated in the city. I am proud of the lead Newport council has taken in combatting domestic abuse against both women and men. A specialist multi-agency domestic abuse unit based at the Information Station is doing amazing work supporting victims, improving services and providing training opportunities.

“We are not just paying lip service to the White Ribbon campaign but taking a series of measures to achieve the goal of ending such behaviour which damages victims, families and society. Education and raising awareness are key aspects as we need to mobilise the whole community behind this campaign.”

Newport Gwent Dragons have signed up to support the White Ribbon Campaign. The council will review its domestic abuse workplace policy.