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.
Spreading the word »Action on the ground to increase learning materials in the medium of Welsh.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
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 »
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.
Infrastructure Investment Case Studies »
Examples of infrastructure investment projects funded by the Welsh Government across Wales.Learn more »
Written - Update on Community and Town Councils
I recently introduced the proposed legislative competence order for local government before the National Assembly. One of the key purposes is to enable the National Assembly for
This is a notable milestone in Assembly Government policy for the development of community and town councils. Depending on the successful progress of the LCO, the role, functions and scope of activity of community councils could potentially be enhanced and so I feel that this is an opportune time to provide an update to Members on our grassroots tier of local government.
For the sake of brevity, references in this statement to community councils should be taken to mean both community and town councils.
When the Aberystwyth research study was published in August 2003, the preface to the publication mentioned that community councils have for too long been the silent partners of local government. The study, funded by the Assembly Government was the first comprehensive review of the work of community councils in
This year I have agreed to fund bursaries to be administered by One Voice Wales and the Society for Local Council Clerks. These bursaries are designed to encourage smaller councils to participate in training.
The focus and commitment that the Assembly Government and One Voice Wales have given to the sector over the past six years has increased its capability and confidence. Community councils are no longer the “little known about” tier of local government mentioned in the research study. Many of them are now keen to get engaged and represent their communities on Local Service Boards and other partnerships.
The representational role of community councils has recently been strengthened through another piece of legislation. The Local Government (
Our commitment to extend the Power of Wellbeing to community councils, which we are pursuing through the local government legislative competence order, will enhance their ability to collaborate with their unitary authorities to promote quality of life in their communities.
Relationship with unitary authorities
The most important external relationship for most community councils is that with their local county or county borough council. In July 2008, we issued guidance - “A Shared Community” – on relationship building and charters, to all our partners in local government. I am pleased to note that there has been a positive response to the guidance from both unitary authorities and community councils. In September this year I attended a very successful event for the re-launch of the Torfaen charter, one of the first based on the new guidance, and I know that progress is being made throughout
A few weeks ago I delivered the keynote address on “Developing your Community” at the One Voice Wales annual conference at Pontrhydfendigaid. It is less than six years since this organisation was formed, so I was very pleased to witness such a professional and well attended conference with over two hundred delegates present.
Many community councils are playing an active role in community development. The Penllyn project in Gwynedd which was presented at the conference is a good example of community engagement in the shaping of local government service delivery.
There is also scope for community councils to be represented on Communities First Partnerships. Due to factors such as the challenging economic climate and increased social migration, we are developing a community cohesion strategy. Community councils are ideally placed to be aware of local issues and help with tension monitoring.
One Voice Wales is now well-established as the national representative body for community and town councils and has been instrumental in re-vitalising the sector. It has raised the profile of community councils as a result of being acknowledged as a valuable partner organisation for government as well as for the voluntary and community sector. The association is regularly invited to represent the interests of community councils by the Assembly Government and local government and a variety of other bodies. As a membership organisation, it offers a wide range of services tailored to the different needs of a very diverse sector. In these difficult economic times, One Voice Wales has an invaluable part to play in supporting community councils to be innovative and resourceful for the benefit of their communities.
I look forward to the continued success of One Voice Wales and to the further development of community councils in their efforts to raise the quality of life for their communities.