In this section
Section highlightThe People’s NHS Part of an initiative to engage the public in creating a safe and sustainable health service for the future.
Spreading the word »Action on the ground to increase learning materials in the medium of Welsh.Learn more »
First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
People from across Wales with an interest in the Welsh language are being asked to take action on its future in a national online conversation.
- Local Government Democracy Bill approved
- Minister welcomes report which could change shape and structure of education delivery in Wales for the better
- First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
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- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
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- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
Welsh languageWelsh-language technology and digital media action plan
The action plan sets out our commitment to drive developments in the field of Welsh-language technology and digital media.Learn more »
In this section
Section highlightAccess to information
The Welsh Government has followed the principles of openness in government for many years. Find out how you can make a freedom of information request or see requests that have already been made.
The Strategy for Older People in Wales 2013-2023 »The 3rd phase focuses on ensuring that older people in Wales have the resources to deal with the challenges and opportunities they face.Learn more »
- A new vision for a National Youth Work Strategy
- The future delivery of education services in Wales
- Consultation on Draft Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23 Economic Development
- Draft industrial and commercial sector plan
- Waste Prevention Programme
- Building Control system and Approved Document supporting regulation 7
In this section
Section highlightReview of the Planning Enforcement System
The research covers 18 recommendations for the future Welsh enforcement system.
Legislative programme 2012 - 2013 »
Addressing the Assembly in the Senedd today, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, detailed the eight bills in the Welsh Government’s 5-year Legislative Programme that will be brought forward during the second year of the Welsh Assembly.Learn more »
Section highlightCommunity Infrastructure Levy
Local authorities can charge a Community Infrastructure Levy on new developments to support the infrastructure needed.
WIIP Pipeline »
The June 2013 pipeline includes key infrastructure investment data for both the Welsh Government and Local Government schemes.Learn more »
The Location Review
I welcome this opportunity to make a short statement to update Members on the Cabinet’s review of its office locations. In a written statement last October, I announced that this location review would aim to increase the proportion of Assembly Government staff located outside Cardiff, while ensuring the effective and efficient delivery of Assembly business.
Members will be aware that, as new functions have been taken on, the Welsh Assembly Government has developed a more dispersed structure. By April this year, when the 8 regional and 2 local offices of the Care Standards Inspectorate for Wales open, over 1,000 Assembly Government staff will be based outside the Capital. This figure compares to fewer than 600 inherited from the Welsh Office in 1999.
It is only right that the direct benefits of having Assembly offices should be spread from Cardiff to other parts of Wales. These jobs can have an economic impact beyond the simple employee count - and there are areas of Wales where the need for that positive economic impact is much greater than in Cardiff. We also want our "made in Wales" policies to be made in the whole of Wales and not just in one corner. Parts of the Assembly provide services to the public to business and to voluntary and other bodies. Many of our service delivery functions are already located outside Cardiff, but there remains scope for bringing more of these services closer to customers.
As the review has progressed, all the Assembly’s staff have been given the opportunity to contribute at a series of 14 meetings held at all of our main offices throughout Wales. Over 400 attended these meetings which proved to be a productive source of views and ideas.
I wrote to all local authorities when the review was launched last October. Many responded positively and follow-up meetings have either been held or are scheduled with all those that did. There has been correspondence with many others. More information is being sent to all local authority chief executives this week.
There have also been discussions with several UK Government Departments, the devolved administrations in Scotland and Northern Ireland and with Assembly Sponsored Public Bodies.
We are encouraging our sponsored bodies to reflect the Cabinet’s aim of greater decentralisation in their own accommodation plans. The on-going discussions with UK Government Offices in Wales and local authorities are seeking to identify ways in which we can co-operate in delivering better public services in all regions of Wales.
We are not at the point where we need to identify precise locations, but an all-Wales property search has been commissioned to identify the availability of appropriate offices or development opportunities throughout the country. The indications are that there will be a good spread of options available to us in all regions.
I am confident that within the next 5 years at least 400 of the jobs currently done in Cardiff can be relocated elsewhere. We expect all regions of Wales to benefit from our policy of decentralisation.
I also expect that there will be an assumption that all new work that comes to the Assembly in the future should be based outside Cardiff, unless there are clear operational reasons otherwise.
The relocation of work out of Cardiff should also result in lower accommodation costs in the longer term. Office rents are typically half as much again in Cardiff as elsewhere in Wales. Taken over a period of years these savings should mount up to help off set the one-off costs of the initial relocations.
Some may feel that 400 jobs is too modest a target - others that it will cause too much disruption to the Assembly's business and its staff. I believe it represents a very practical aim that will allow for the necessary change to be implemented while the effective development, implementation and delivery of our policies and programmes is maintained. Through careful planning we will also ensure that compulsory moves of staff and redundancies are minimised and that the wishes of the Assembly's staff can be accommodated wherever possible. The review is being carried out in consultation with staff and with the close involvement of the Trades Unions throughout.
Some small but important steps towards greater decentralisation are already in hand. I am pleased to announce today, within my own areas of responsibility, plans to establish the new Assembly Welsh procurement initiative team at a location near Swansea involving 9 posts. We will also be establishing three small regional teams to implement the Communities First Programme. These are to be located in Caernarfon, Carmarthen and in the Valleys.
These early moves are a clear signal of the Cabinet’s intent to decentralise the administration of Assembly functions as quickly as possible.
The plans emerging from this review will not be the end of the process. As we continue to develop our use of up-to-date information and communication technologies, the scope for much greater flexibility in work patterns – including where the jobs can be located - will increase further.