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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 - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
Internet short cut for Welsh village with the longest name
The Welsh village with the longest name in the UK has succeeded in at least making one thing a whole lot shorter – the time it takes to surf the internet.
- Cardiff Airport key to Wales’ position in global market – First Minister
- Consultation on proposals for ground-breaking legislation to reform arrangements for renting homes
- Internet short cut for Welsh village with the longest name
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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 »
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector 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
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
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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 »
Oral - One Wales Transport Commitments and Review of Rail Programme and Forward Trunk Road Programme
In 'One Wales’, we firmly committed to creating better transport links, both road and rail, between the north, the west and south Wales, and to establish integrated and cross-cutting initiatives aimed at promoting economic development and regeneration in areas such as the Heads of the Valleys and Môn a Menai. On 2 October 2007, I set out my vision of how we intended to deliver on these 'One Wales’ commitments, and I said that I would set out the details at a later date. Today, I am honouring that pledge, and I do so in the context of presenting them as part of my review of our road and rail programmes.
I am also very conscious of the commitment that we made in 'One Wales’ in respect of reducing carbon emissions and of the part that transport must play in meeting that pledge. That is why I am today, for the first time, setting out our forward rail programme, which will give firm evidence of our intention to create an integrated transport system and to promote a shift in modes of transport. In due course, I will also be making a statement on how we intend to take forward our sustainable towns initiative.
Our road and rail plans will be subject to further refinement as we bring forward the national transport plan and its regional spin-offs through the four transport consortia. Of course, such plans are subject to the completion of statutory consent procedures, to the availability of finance, and to the impact of the recent pre-budget report announced in the House of Commons last week. I hope that Members will have received their copies of the maps that accompany this statement. There is one each for rail and road, and they set out the underlying detail. The maps show that we are planning not just for next year or even for the next three years, but for Wales in 2014 and beyond.
I begin with the rail programme. Until recently, rail infrastructure projects were delivered through local authorities using our transport grant arrangements. Now, we are making greater use of the powers provided by the Railways Act 2005. With the move to regional transport plans, we propose that rail projects should be sponsored by the Assembly Government and delivered according to the priorities of 'One Wales’.
This month will see the start of the Holyhead to Cardiff express service in line with the 'One Wales’ pledge to improve north-south rail links. This is listed on the map as an approved commitment, as is, for example, the half-hourly Merthyr to Cardiff service in the south Wales Valleys, which is due to start in May next year. I will be looking at what enhancements I can make to the Cambrian coastline services when the infrastructure improvements have been completed around the autumn of 2009.
I am committed to providing extra carriages and services on the Valleys lines, where demand continues to grow. The forward programme is therefore good news for people in Rhymney, Maesteg, Caerphilly and Pontypridd who are waiting for additional frequencies and for those in Energlyn who need a new station. I can confirm that I regard the addition of Ebbw Vale services to Newport as a priority.
To provide extra rail services in many areas, I need to programme investment in infrastructure in partnership with Network Rail. In addition to the programme already committed to, I am keen to see a start on improvements to the capacity of the railway line between Wrexham and Chester. I await Network Rail’s feasibility study with interest.
Given the success of the re-opening of the line between Ebbw Vale and Cardiff, I will actively examine options for re-opening disused lines for new passenger services.
Turning to roads, the existing trunk road forward programme has been re-focused to produce a revised list of schemes in three timed phases. They are ranked in priority, reflecting 'One Wales’ commitments. The full list of re-prioritised trunk road schemes appears on the maps that you have, and you will see that the phase 1 group includes a number of projects that will help improve communications between north and south. Those include vital improvements to the strategic A470 at Cwmbach, Alltmawr and Gelligemlyn, and to the A487 at Porthmadog.
My aim is to provide better links between strategic centres of population, improving the distribution of economic development opportunities. Phases 2 and 3, when implemented, will mean the completion of the Heads of the Valleys road improvement as planned. The improvements contained in phases 1, 2 and 3—linking north and west Wales with the south—should be completed by 2020, subject to finance and statutory consent procedures.
This aim of spreading prosperity is reflected in our investment in other crucial links as set out in the maps accompanying this statement. Today’s programme sets out to recognise the importance of connections between the north and south of our country and the Heads of the Valleys, as well as securing improvements that increase prosperity and connectivity in all parts of our country. I am also determined to improve rail links, which will help us to meet our climate change targets and the demand from passengers for more services.
My aim is to ensure a progressive reduction in travelling times between north and south by accelerating the provision of new bypasses, relieving communities of heavy traffic, and providing further overtaking opportunities on roads hitherto clogged by slow-moving vehicles.
Investing in road and rail links is not cheap. However, for once, rail is getting a good deal. I can announce that the bids to the strategic capital investment fund for the proposed rail infrastructure improvements between Wrexham to Chester and Gowerton to Lougher have been approved in principle. Those projects amount to around £47 million of extra investment in rail between now and 2011. We are also actively pursuing input from European structural funds for eligible projects.
Devolution has made it possible for us to decide our own priorities. Our priorities as a Government are set out in 'One Wales’. I am proud that we are delivering on one of our key pledges, which will help to turn Wales into a strong and confident nation.
I commend these proposals to the Assembly.