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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 »
Consultation on proposals for ground-breaking legislation to reform arrangements for renting homes
Minister for Housing and Regeneration Carl Sargeant has launched a White Paper for consultation on the Welsh Government’s legislative proposals to improve arrangements for renting homes.
- Cardiff Airport key to Wales’ position in global market – First Minister
- Culture Minister pledges support to Welsh broadcast industry
- Consultation on proposals for ground-breaking legislation to reform arrangements for renting homes
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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
27 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 »
Oral - Isle of Anglesey County Council – Recovery Board
On 15 July, the Auditor General for Wales published a highly critical report on the corporate governance of the Isle of Anglesey County Council and recommended that the Welsh Assembly Government intervene to secure recovery. I agreed with the recommendation in an oral statement to Plenary on the same day. I then issued the council with a formal direction, the terms of which I outlined in my written statement of 12 August.
In that statement, I also announced the appointment of Mr David Bowles as the council’s interim managing director. I am pleased to have been able to secure David’s services, and it would be fair to say that the leadership of the council was equally enthusiastic about it. David is an experienced chief executive with substantial experience, and he is well equipped to help secure a rapid and sustainable resolution of Anglesey’s problems.
My direction also required the council to co-operate with a recovery board. It, in turn, will advise me on the progress that the council is making, as well as advising the council on possible courses of action that it might take to support recovery. I informed Members of the composition of the board in my written statement of 16 September.
The recovery board met for the first time at the beginning of October. Its first meeting focused upon how the board would operate, and considered evidence about the scale and nature of the challenge that the council faces. The recovery board’s terms of reference requires the Chair, Elan Closs Stephens, to provide me with a report after each meeting.
Her first report sets out the board’s decision to focus its work initially on the issues of political behaviour, discipline and relationships between members and officers. I fully support that decision. Those issues featured prominently in the auditor general’s report, and resolving them is fundamental to any sustainable recovery and to restoring the council’s reputation. I expect that members and officers of the council will give the board their full co-operation, as my direction requires them to do.
The board has also identified that a few members continue to exhibit some of the sort of behaviour that the auditor general criticised, despite some months having passed since his report and my direction. This is a matter of considerable concern as Anglesey’s recovery will fail unless all members and officers of the council accept a shared responsibility for the current problems and contribute fully to the action required to resolve them.
At the same time, there is still a tendency for some to ascribe the council’s problems to the actions and behaviour of a few named councillors. However unacceptable such behaviour may be, blaming individuals for what is undoubtedly a deep-rooted corporate failure is not only misguided, but it is no recipe for a sustainable recovery. It allows those not named, or those doing the naming, to avoid responsibility for what has become a shared solution.
In the coming weeks, I expect to see rapid improvement in members’ behaviour and in the contribution of all members and officers to the recovery. If matters do not improve, I will not hesitate to use my powers again to strengthen the terms of direction. I would, of course, take the advice of the board on this, but such a direction could, for instance, restructure the council’s committee system or remove from members any functions that they have proved themselves unwilling to exercise responsibly.
This early emphasis on political issues in no way detracts from the importance of reforming the council’s administrative structure. I am pleased that David Bowles has that in hand. It is essential that he is fully able and empowered to pursue that work. Again, the board will be taking a close interest in that and will report to me accordingly. The council will need to produce a detailed and credible plan for addressing the auditor general’s recommendations as soon as possible. It needs to resolve its problems sustainably and should not consider adopting a tick-box approach to responding to the auditor general’s recommendations. It is abundantly clear that solving the council’s problems will be a long-term and, at times, difficult process.
Despite the severe problems of leadership and governance, many of the council’s services remain at least adequate. That reflects the effort and commitment of many council officers in the face of poor political and strategic leadership. It is important that those standards are maintained and that service areas play a full role in securing recovery. The recovery board will aim to hold discussions with representatives from one service area at each meeting. The second recovery board meeting is due to take place next week. The board will meet the executive member and director of education and leisure and the vice chair of the standards committee and a monitoring officer. It will consider the role of the standards committee and how its practical effect may be increased. In future, I hope that the committee will be able to take a proactive role in setting out and enforcing acceptable standards of conduct. I am sure that support and advice from other local authorities in this regard would also help the council.
I last met the leader of the council in Anglesey only a couple of weeks ago, and we had a useful and frank discussion. I am pleased that he and his colleagues continue to co-operate wholeheartedly with the arrangements we have put in place and are taking action to address some of the problems. Acceptance and ownership of problems such as these by the leadership of the authority is the critical first step in solving them. The task for all in the council will be to maintain that level of commitment now the interim managing director and the recovery board have begun their work. I will be monitoring the council’s recovery closely over the coming months, as advised by the board, and I will continue to meet the leadership of the council regularly. I will also keep Members informed of progress as appropriate.