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 »
Oral - Community Asset Transfer Programme
In November 2008, during Plenary, I indicated that work was progressing on developing a community asset transfer programme with the Big Lottery Fund. In my written statement on 5 August, I informed Members that I had announced an official partnership between the Welsh Assembly Government and the Big Lottery Fund to take forward this programme. It is an exciting approach: a joint investment of funds to strengthen the enterprising communities of Wales. The total fund value of £13 million has now been agreed between the parties. This will include the capital and revenue element.
The aim of the community asset transfer programme will be to build enterprising communities to take on and develop community assets that can provide solutions to the challenges they face; to contribute to the regeneration and economic sustainability of communities; to promote and strengthen the independence of third sector organisations by enabling social enterprise; and to improve partnership working between the public sector, the third sector and others.
The evidence for a programme on community asset transfer is compelling. The Quirk review, undertaken at a UK level in 2007, made the point that there are no substantive barriers to the transfer of public assets to communities. I fully agree with that. The review went on to state that we require political will, managerial imagination, and a more business-focused approach from the public and community sectors to help these transfers to happen. Already across Wales, many transfers of assets have taken place—some very successfully: Galeri in Caenarfon, for instance. We know that there are risks with all transfers but we also know that they can be minimised and managed by the creative will of communities and their aspirations to move beyond a cycle of poverty to prosperity.
A lot of work has gone into the development of the community asset transfer programme. In 2008, the Welsh Assembly Government commissioned the Development Trust Association to put forward proposals on how we can promote asset transfer and community development in Wales. Its study highlighted the importance of the provision of finance for investment in community asset transfer and development. Further to that, the Big Lottery Fund undertook a 16-week consultation exercise, which included a specific community asset focus for Wales. The Big Lottery Fund’s consultation on community assets indicated an opportunity to develop that partnership with us and gave a strong steer from stakeholders on how the community asset transfer programme should be developed.
As some of you will be aware, a complementary Welsh Assembly Government fund to this is the community facilities and activities programme, which has recently been reviewed to strengthen its regeneration focus. I am keen to ensure that the community facilities and activities programme and the community asset transfer programme complement each other. Therefore, I have ensured that the community asset transfer fund will provide capital and revenue grants, which will be awarded from one source, and will fund applications involving the transfer of ownership from public sector bodies. Meanwhile, the community facilities and activities programme will fund the transfer of ownership, or lease, of an asset from private sector bodies, with capital-only grants awarded being up to £300,000 over three financial years. Therefore, I see the community asset transfer fund as complementing the outstanding work already taking place across Wales. I hope that Community First partnerships will encourage asset transfer and support community-owned facilities as part of our shared agenda to empower communities and see a closer integration of services, agencies and funders.
Through this programme, we hope to align the aspirations of communities with those who have the ability to turn them into a reality. The task, though, will be to engender meaningful partnerships. The public sector may have land or buildings, and the third sector will know the immediate needs and will have the commitment to resolve them. I hope that this programme will support the public and third sectors in achieving greater sustainability and community benefit. The community asset transfer programme will run for three years, commencing October 2009. My officials are currently working alongside the Big Lottery Fund on finalising the guidance and application materials for applicants. I would urge any potential applicants to the community asset transfer programme to contact the Big Lottery Fund to talk through their ideas.