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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 science star for Wales announced
A world-leading neurobiologist will take up a post at Cardiff University as the first appointment under the Welsh Government’s £50M flagship science initiative.
- Minister launches All Wales Continence Bundle
- People turning to emergency help due to welfare changes Minister warns London
- First science star for Wales announced
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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 »
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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.
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 »
- Consultation on Draft Technical Advice Note (TAN) 23 Economic Development
- Amendments to the Motor Vehicle (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969 and the Motor Vehicles (Off Road Events) Regulations 1995
- Local government (Wales) Measure 2011 - Part 7: Communities and community councils
- Draft industrial and commercial sector plan
- Waste Prevention Programme
- Building Control system and Approved Document supporting regulation 7
Featured consultation »Improving access to substance misuse treatment for veterans
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Section highlightIndex of Planning Policy Guidance for Wales
Our land use planning policy guidance is set out in two core documents, "Planning Policy Wales" and "Minerals Planning Policy Wales".
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.
Infrastructure Investment Case Studies »
Examples of infrastructure investment projects funded by the Welsh Government across Wales.Learn more »
Oral - The Welsh Assembly Government’s Legislative Programme 2008-09
A year ago, we set out our vision in the 'One Wales' agreement with Wales being based on the principles of fair play, where everyone can live free from the fear of poverty and other disadvantages. We gave a pledge to tackle the causes, not just the symptoms, of poverty and other disadvantages.
We made a commitment to develop specific solutions for Wales to tackle child poverty. This afternoon, you will be asked to support a legislative competence Order on disadvantaged children, which includes elements of counteracting child poverty. Subject to the Assembly's support, the legislative competence Order will then go before the Parliament in Westminster. This represents a significant step in gaining the powers that we need to tackle these issues in Wales.
The next rational step would be to develop a Measure-an Act in all but name-to provide greater support to children and families experiencing poverty. Under that Measure, each agency or public body will be required to show how they work to eradicate child poverty, for example, by providing free childcare and other services to assist children in the early years.
Some of our most vulnerable people are children and young people. In the last legislative programme, we promised, and have now delivered, an LCO on additional learning needs. We now intend to develop a Measure to utilise these powers to extend the range of individuals who may appeal to the special educational needs Welsh tribunal. This will respond to a proposal by the late Children's Commissioner for Wales, Peter Clarke, and also gives practical expression to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child by increasing the participation of young people in decisions that affect their education.
On older persons and other more dependent persons, 'One Wales' made clear our commitment to help people to be independent and to improve the care provided to vulnerable people by public, private and voluntary organisations. A key element of that agenda is to establish a fairer and more consistent approach to charging for non-residential social care. We therefore intend to develop proposals for an Assembly Measure to use the powers we have successfully gained through the domiciliary care legislative competence Order to establish a level playing field for charges for specified services levied by local authorities.
In the wake of the Beecham report, we have made a lot of progress in encouraging local authorities and other public bodies to work together. Our aim is to have effective and joined-up community planning to deliver high-quality, citizen-centred local services for Wales. Early in the autumn, we expect to introduce a Measure for local government that will link wellbeing and community planning with service improvement.
A stock of good-quality affordable homes is the foundation stone of thriving local communities and family life in all parts of Wales. The affordable housing LCO is currently in its final stages of pre-legislative scrutiny and the formal draft is expected to be ready in the autumn. Subject to that legislative competence Order being approved, we intend to develop a Measure within this legislative programme to give local authorities the power to apply to Welsh Ministers to designate areas of housing pressure where the right to buy may be suspended for a limited period of time.
In the programme that I am outlining today, we are also seeking further powers for the Assembly, so that, as a Government, we will be able to bring forward future legislation to respond to the needs of the people of Wales. The legislative competence Orders in this programme are about acquiring the legislative powers that then give the Assembly the flexibility to decide how best to legislate to tackle those issues in Wales. We will bring forward to the Assembly legislative proposals that underpin that agenda.
The Government of Wales Act 2006 sets out new routes for backbench Members, as well as the frontbench, to bring forward legislative proposals. Where these contribute to the Government's agenda, we have been keen to work closely with Assembly Members to take their ideas forward. The discussions that have been held between the Deputy First Minister's office and Huw Lewis over provision of bus and coach services is a good example of this approach, as is Helen Mary Jones's legislative competence Order on carers, which will provide a platform for a full Government proposal in this field. Those are good examples of how Assembly Members can make a real difference in developing legislation that meets our specific needs. Wales has a higher proportion of people caring for others than any part of England, so we want to recognise and support the contribution made by Wales's unpaid carers. We intend to seek the powers, through a legislative competence Order, to legislate to provide support for carers by placing appropriate duties on public sector organisations.
The 'One Wales' programme gave prominence to celebrating Wales as a community of rich and diverse cultures. To support this, we intend to seek legislative powers for the Assembly in this area to develop Measures that place a statutory obligation on local authorities to promote culture and encourage partnership to deliver high-quality cultural experiences for their communities. This will put cultural services on a similar footing to other local authority statutory services. We hope that that will lead to improvements in provision across Wales. I think that it was the Reverend Eli Jenkins who once said, 'Praise the Lord! We are a musical nation'. We will be able to make that promise real in a way that I am sure you would have supported in your previous role in Newport, Deputy Presiding Officer, wanting the back-up for the cultural services that you made a reality, but without the statutory backing that we hope to provide.
We continue to provide support to make Wales a prosperous society through enterprise and business growth, backed by enhanced skills for jobs. The success of our programmes in creating new jobs across Wales has also identified a shortage of skills at technical and paraprofessional levels. We therefore intend to seek legislative competence to enable the Assembly to legislate to provide for our further education institutions to have the power to award foundation degrees.
In agriculture, in order to be better able to promote and develop a specific sector, we will seek legislative powers over the red meat industry. This will give us a better ability to influence the future direction of the industry, increase efficiency, improve marketing and the ways in which it contributes to the sustainable development of Wales.
I hesitate to say that the Assembly is getting used to the red meat of legislation, knowing that there are vegetarians among us who would not approve of that. However, they might approve of the idea that we are gradually obtaining our foundation degree as an Assembly, and as a law-making body representing a caring and cultural nation.
I believe that this announcement demonstrates that we are using the powers that the Assembly acquired as a legislature under the Government of Wales Act 2006. We are moving from the first legislative programme, for 2007-08, to the second, for 2008-09, and we are doing so in a way that reflects our wish to deliver practical benefits for the people of Wales. We have these two pipelines filling up with legislation-that is, the legislative competence Order pipeline on one side, which transfers powers from Westminster, with its permission, to enable us to legislate; and on the other side, having acquired that power, using that and other routes, we use it to make Measures, which are laws in all but name. We do not do that for the sake of making Measures, but for the sake of making a practical difference to the people of Wales.
Today, we are showing how those pipelines are filling up with legislative competence Orders and Measures. This has been a learning curve for the Assembly as a scrutiny and legislative body, for us as Ministers and for our civil servants and lawyers as well. However, in following that steep learning curve, Wales is growing up as a nation, and this institution, which represents Wales, is growing up as a democratic, legislative body. Diolch yn.