In this section
Section highlightHouses into homes This report details findings to emerge from the evaluation during the first six months of delivery (April to September 2012).
Written Statement - The Draft Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill »We are committed to ensuring that out-of-control and dangerous dogs are dealt with effectively.Learn more »
Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has given a clear message to NHS managers to take action in response to the recent NHS Wales staff survey
- Minister supports International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
- Porth Eirias set to be major North Wales attraction
- Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
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- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
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.
National minimum standards for regulated child care »These standards determine whether child minding and day care settings are providing adequate care for children under the age of 8.Learn more »
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Repealing air quality ‘Further Assessments’ from Part IV of the Environment Act 1995
- Equality Impact Assessment of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Plan for Wales
- Consultation on the Equality Impact Assessments for the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes in Wales
- Development of a national standards and outcomes framework for Children and Young People's advocacy services in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
29 days left
In this section
Section highlightFurther and Higher Education (Governance and Information) (Wales) Bill 2013
Removes a number of technical restrictions and controls on colleges without changing the principal powers of colleges to provide further, higher and secondary education.
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.
2nd Supplementary Budget 2012-13 »
Proposes a number of changes to the 1st Supplementary Budget for 2012-13, which was published on 26 June 2012.Learn more »
The New Assembly Building
The Finance Minister (Sue Essex):
I hope that, like me, you are happy to be here today.
I am proud and delighted to be here today, because today is the culmination of several years of hard work. There have been ups and downs along the road to its delivery; indeed there have been times when it might have been felt that today would never become a reality. However, we are here now, and I believe that this is a fitting home for the National Assembly. It will be seen as the home for Wales. There is no doubt that what has been delivered meets the aspiration for an iconic building of exceptional quality.
We are all aware of the constraints of the old Chamber and the facilities in the other Assembly building, not only as a working environment, but in terms of the facilities for members of public. Our new home provides an open and welcoming environment for the public to visit and to experience and observe the Assembly at work. I hope that members of the public are enjoying it today. At least two thirds of the building comprises public space, and, indeed, Lord Rogers has been heard to call it ‘the living room of Wales’. I hope that the people of Wales will come to feel that they are at home here.
Not only is the building a triumph architecturally, it is a feat of design and engineering that is a showcase for the Assembly’s commitment to sustainability. The design maximises the use of natural daylight, natural ventilation to cool the building, earth heat exchangers, waste timber to heat the building and rain water to flush the toilets. Nothing has been forgotten.
Over £14 million of the contract sum has been spent on Welsh materials and labour, including slate from north Wales and fixed furniture manufactured by a firm in Bridgend using Welsh-grown oak. I was absolutely delighted when the building was recently awarded a BREEAM rating of ‘excellent’, which is the highest rating possible for sustainable design.
The state-of-the-art ICT systems that we are using today are integral to the accessible and progressive design of the building, and put the Assembly at the cutting edge of the use of technology in parliamentary buildings. Siemens and its subcontractors, as part of the Merlin alliance, have worked closely with users to establish requirements and to deliver a solution to meet our needs. I also want to pay tribute to Taylor Woodrow, which has shown considerable commitment and energy in taking this challenging project through to a successful conclusion.
I believe that this building makes a real contribution to the regeneration of Cardiff. Nearly £5 million has been spent on external landscaping works and the completion of the boardwalk to ensure that this building sits within a quality environment.
In terms of the total cost, I reported in November that the estimated outturn was £67 million. I am pleased to be able to report that the current estimated outturn is in line with that. It may end up just over or just under that figure; we will know in a few weeks’ time. The total cost includes the capital costs of ICT to date, loose furniture, preliminary costs, professional fees, contingency and VAT, and, obviously, the construction.
It was a difficult and brave decision for my predecessor, Edwina Hart, to put this project on hold and to review the procurement route, but it was the right one, and we should remember that. The end result is a building which we can all be proud of, as well as a successful outcome that demonstrates that the public sector can deliver a high-profile project. The quality of this building has already been recognised internationally. It is a unique building that I hope will become a model not only in terms of design and construction, but in terms of the partnership approach that has been adopted, the spirit of co-operation in which everyone has worked, and the method of procurement. It is an exemplar building, and we should seek to share our lessons with others.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have played a part in delivering the building, including my colleagues on the policy steering group, including Elin Jones, yourself, Llywydd, and Mike German. Thank you for your unwavering support. I would like to extend my thanks to the new build team for its commitment and determination; the official project board, which has steered the project; to the Assembly Parliamentary Service for its contribution; to Taylor Woodrow and its construction and design team for making it possible; to Siemens and its subcontractors for delivering a state-of-the-art IT system; to the members of the access advisory group and the arts advisory group for their advice and guidance, which was important in delivering this building; to TPS and Northcroft, our project managers and cost consultants, for helping to keep us on track; and to everyone else who has played a part for their help and co-operation. This has been a team effort. However, I would like to mention one person in particular, namely Richard Wilson, who has done a superb job in delivering this. I thank him very much.
We now have a home befitting of a seat of Government that will become instantly recognisable around the world. I hope that it will engender high-quality debate and leadership from us, and that it will encourage and enthuse the public to be involved. When the Assembly voted for this building contract to go ahead—and I remember that debate well—I said that this was a difficult decision and that I believed that it was the right one. I believe that future generations will judge that we made the right decision. I believe that most people, having seen this special building, now believe that this was the right decision, and it will engender a genuine pride in Wales and confidence for the future.