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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"
- 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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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
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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 Welsh Assembly Government’s response to the Report of the Rail Infrastructure and Improved Passenger Service Committee.
In the first instance, I pay tribute to the work of the Committee on Rail Infrastructure and Improved Passenger Service. I have provided a detailed response to the committee’s suggestions in my written Cabinet statement dated 3 October. I welcome the committee’s work and recognise the value of the suggestions contained in its final report. I am committed to improving the punctuality and quality of train services in Wales, and I will consider the committee’s suggestions in the Assembly Government’s forward investment plan for rail.
In June last year, I had great pleasure in opening the vale of Glamorgan passenger railway between Cardiff and Bridgend, via Rhoose and Llantwit Major, which has a dedicated bus link to Cardiff international airport. The project was funded by £17 million of investment from the Assembly Government and, in addition, I invested £2.5 million in the new interchanges at the new stations at Rhoose Cardiff international airport and Llantwit Major. Patronage on the line has grown significantly and there are now 23,000 individual journeys every month.
In September this year, I was pleased to launch the start of construction work on the new Ebbw valley rail passenger service project, which is an excellent example of the public sector working in partnership to deliver physical improvements to the communities in the Heads of the Valleys and the Ebbw valley. The total investment of public money in the scheme is £30 million. By the summer of 2007, six new railway stations will have been built and an hourly train service will operate between Ebbw Vale Parkway and Cardiff, with a dedicated bus link at Rogerstone station for Newport shopping centre. I have asked Network Rail to provide me with detailed costs for the infrastructure modifications required for running a direct rail link into Newport, and I will consider those in due course.
I am also investing in building a new railway station at Llanharan and in lengthening 41 station platforms in the Cardiff Valleys at a combined cost of £9 million. A further £18 million is being invested in enhancing the infrastructure on the line between Abercynon and Merthyr Tydfil, for the purpose of doubling the frequency of trains and building a new railway station at Abercynon with a park-and-ride facility, and work will commence in February 2007.
Significant progress has been made in improving security for rail passengers through a joint venture between us as a Government, Arriva Trains Wales and the British Transport Police. Three organisations have invested in employing 21 BTP community support officers, as well as in a £2 million project to install closed-circuit television cameras on all trains in the current Arriva Trains Wales fleet. In addition, the station improvements programme, in which I invested £1.5 million, is now well on the way towards completion. That will provide computerised information and help points, CCTV coverage and improved lighting.
Network Rail is also investing £400 million in a project to re-signal the south Wales main line between Port Talbot and the Severn tunnel junction, and I am pleased to advise that my officials are closely involved in specifying the desired outputs of this project.
The Railways Act 2005 gave the Assembly important new powers and responsibilities for rail services. The Assembly Government now manages the Wales and borders railway franchise operated by Arriva Trains Wales. Since the introduction of the standard pattern timetable in December 2005, the punctuality of the service has improved and Arriva Trains Wales is now performing ahead of its contractual performance targets. However, I recognise that further improvements are necessary in terms of reliability, seating capacity at peak times and the overall quality of the journey experience. I am in dialogue, through regular meetings, with the managing director of Arriva Trains Wales, as well as with the consumer watchdog organisation, Passenger Focus, which I am meeting this evening and tomorrow to agree a forward action plan for improving journey experiences across the whole of Wales.
In December this year, 12 modern class 175 trains will join the Arriva Trains Wales fleet as direct replacements for the older class 158 rolling stock, and the incoming trains will be deployed on the long-distance routes between Holyhead and Cardiff, and west Wales and Manchester. At the same time, I am investing in the deployment of class 150 trains on the Wrexham to Bidston line for the purpose of increasing seating capacity and improving train reliability.
Looking further ahead, I can advise that the Assembly Government is leading an activity known as the Wales rail planning assessment, which is an evidence-based study that forecasts various scenarios of demand growth. The output of the rail planning assessment will influence the Assembly Government’s regional transport strategies and also Network Rail’s route utilisation strategy for Wales. The evidence contained within the Wales rail planning assessment will also contribute towards the formulation of the Department for Transport’s high-level output statement for the entire railway network in England and Wales. I will make clear to the Secretary of State for Transport, when I meet him later this month, the importance of Wales receiving a significant allocation of funding through the high-level output statement process.
To conclude, the written Cabinet statement that I published last week is clear about how I will deal with the suggestions contained in the final report of the Committee on Rail Infrastructure and Improved Passenger Service. I will seriously consider the committee’s suggestions in the context of my ongoing programme of investment in the railway network. I therefore commend to Members the Government’s response to the committee’s report and I look forward to hearing my colleagues’ comments.