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.
Community Support Officers at work »Action on the ground to provide reassurance and tackle anti-social behaviour.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
In this section
- 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.
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 »
Written - Local Transport Act 2008
The Local Transport Bill has completed its passage through both Houses of Parliament and received Royal Assent, so that it is now the Local Transport Act 2008.
The new Act contains a range of provisions on local bus and community transport services, road pricing and the traffic commissioners. It also deals with local transport governance in England. We have worked closely with the UK Government to ensure that the Act, which builds on the Transport (Wales) Act 2006, gives the Assembly Government and Welsh local authorities the right tools to improve public transport and reduce congestion.
The Act contains a balanced package of measures to improve bus services. It will facilitate more effective partnership working between local authorities and bus operators, as well as making bus franchising – or Quality Contracts – a realistic option. The Act also sets out a new regime to deliver better punctuality, for the first time holding local authorities as well as bus operators to account for their contribution to punctuality performance.
The Act clarifies the basis on which local authorities and the Welsh Ministers can support bus services. It makes it clear that support can be provided to ensure not just that services are provided, but that they are provided to a certain standard, for example, in relation to frequency or the vehicles used. This is particularly important in relation to the development of the TrawsCambria service, where I am keen to raise service standards to provide a cohesive, high quality network.
There are also important deregulatory measures in the Act to support the development of the community transport sector, which plays such an important role in filling the gaps in our conventional public transport network. These will remove unnecessary restrictions on their operations; for example, where local services are provided for the general public, the Act will allow the drivers to be paid, as well as allowing larger vehicles to be used.
On road pricing, the Act contains a Measure power that provides the National Assembly with legislative competence in relation to pricing schemes on the strategic road network. The Assembly Government has yet to decide what role, if any, road pricing may play in addressing current and future transport challenges. This power will however enable us to adopt a coherent approach towards any road pricing proposals that may come forward within Wales or any future UK scheme. We have made it clear that, if we were to introduce road pricing, it would be in the context of new road developments in the areas with the worst congestion problems.
Our approach is entirely consistent with the further development of the devolution settlement. The Act simply devolves the issue to Wales, as has already been done in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
On local road pricing, the Act broadly maintains the status quo in Wales, but with some updating of the statutory framework to ensure that any local schemes that are developed are consistent and interoperable. The Welsh Ministers will retain an approval role for local schemes, as well as a power to hold or cause an inquiry to be held in relation to a charging scheme.
The Act also reforms the management arrangements for the traffic commissioners, who regulate the bus and goods vehicle industries. There are provisions to ensure that the commissioners operate with consistent standards and procedures across Great Britain. A senior traffic commissioner will be appointed on a statutory basis, with the power to issue general directions and guidance to the other commissioners. Where appropriate, the Welsh Ministers will be consulted on any such guidance.
The Act removes the restriction that there must always be one, and only one, traffic commissioner in each traffic area. However, there are no proposals to change the existing statutory arrangement whereby there is a separate traffic area for Wales and the UK Government has made it clear that there will continue to be a traffic commissioner appointed to each traffic area. So there will continue to be a traffic commissioner for Wales, who may, as now, have other responsibilities.
The Act also reforms the arrangements for local transport governance in major English cities outside London. These changes do not affect Wales, given the existing powers in relation to Joint Transport Authorities under the Transport (Wales) Act 2006.
The Local Transport Act 2008 will enhance the legislative competence of the National Assembly, as well as improving bus and community transport and tackling congestion. It will enable us to continue to develop the transport network in a way that strikes the right balance between our economic, social and environmental objectives and helps to deliver our transport priorities. Over the coming months, the relevant provisions will be commenced and we will be working to put in place the associated regulations and guidance.