In this section
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 »
Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has given a clear message to NHS managers to take action in response to the recent NHS Wales staff survey
- Minister supports International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
- Porth Eirias set to be major North Wales attraction
- Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
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- 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.
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 »
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Repealing air quality ‘Further Assessments’ from Part IV of the Environment Act 1995
- Equality Impact Assessment of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Plan for Wales
- Consultation on the Equality Impact Assessments for the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes 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
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
30 days left
In this section
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 - Launch of ‘Farming, Food & Countryside – Building a secure future’ strategy
My statement relates to the launch of a new comprehensive rural affairs strategy, ‘Farming, Food and Countryside: Building a Secure Future’. This strategy sets out a clear vision for Welsh farming. I want to see farming firmly at the heart of a sustainable countryside and a profitable rural economy. I want the industry to be able to meet future challenges and take advantage of the opportunities presented by an increasingly globalised economy.
I launched the strategy last Thursday at Penantigi Uchaf in Dinas Mawddwy. I saw an inspirational family farm that has converted to organic livestock farming, diversified into water bottling and has recently taken over the local pub, where they sell their farm produce. This diversification has already allowed two of their sons to return from college to work in the area. They have also leased the running of the water bottling plant to a local charity, thereby re-investing in their local community. This business model is not possible or desirable for all farms in Wales, but the aim of this strategy is to set a framework that supports the industry, enabling businesses to fully realise their potential in a variety of innovative and sustainable ways.
The strategy was developed following a public consultation and with the aid of a stakeholder group. The members of the stakeholder group were purposely selected to represent a wide range of expertise. This was important as the needs of farming, food and the land-based industries cannot be addressed in isolation. I am grateful to the members of the group for their hard work and contribution to this strategy. The vision laid out in the document for rural Wales is one that is supported by all members of the group That is key to the success of the strategy.
The objective of the strategy is to achieve a profitable future for farming families and rural businesses which produce and process farm and forestry products, and to support Wales’ role as a food-producing country. That future must be sustainable through safeguarding the environment and animal health and welfare, while adapting to climate change, and mitigating its impacts. The strategy outcomes will contribute to the vitality and prosperity of our rural communities.
The industry faces significant challenges in the future, including the volatility of food supply and demand and the difficulty of competing in global markets. With reduced duties to protect our markets and less support to farmers through the common agricultural policy, the industry is more volatile and it will need to adapt and change. Climate change is a challenge for us all and we rely heavily on land managers, not only to ensure that farming produces less greenhouse gasses, but also because they are the custodians of the vast carbon stores in our soils.
In response to these and other challenges, the document describes several actions that the Government and its partners will take.
In order to get the best out of the market there needs to be an increased emphasis on product differentiation, collaborative action and supply chain integration. That will lead to real benefits for producers and processors through adding value to primary produce.
There are a number of actions targeted directly at increasing farm profits, for example, business monitoring, planning and benchmarking, and effective information transfer to achieve technical improvements. In order to safeguard animal and plant health and animal welfare, we will tackle exotic diseases such as blue tongue and swine fever, and continue with the fight against endemic diseases such as bovine TB. Our plans to improve the environment are innovative and challenging. I have already announced the new land management scheme, Glastir, which proposes an integrated approach to sustaining the countryside environment through action on climate change, water, biodiversity and bioenergy. I have also established the land use climate change group to advise me on climate change adaptation and mitigation.
One of the challenges that I have set the group is to investigate the potential to achieve a carbon neutral Welsh agricultural industry. Every industry must be bold and innovative, and this strategy encourages innovation through research and effective knowledge transfer to the industry. Young people will be encouraged and supported to choose farming careers and I will soon be announcing details of a new scheme to assist young entrants. This innovation also includes energy conservation and renewable energy generation on farms.
The strategy explains the meaning of success by describing the desired outcomes and the indicators which success will be measured against. The action plan describes Government and industry responsibilities, and details milestones and timescales. The success of the strategy will not depend on the Government alone; it will depend on collaboration between Government, the farming, food and forestry industries, and rural interests. This strategy is not a static document. I will review its progress and update the actions on a regular basis. I will establish a monitoring group to assist me in this task. The strategy contributes to the delivery of several ‘One Wales’ commitments including: tackling climate change, support for young entrants to farming, bovine TB eradication, improved energy efficiency and the development of the Welsh brand.
It is my firm belief that rural Wales, its economy and its communities, have a profitable and sustainable future. However, ultimately, it is for the thousands of small to medium sized enterprises, which this strategy aims to support, to make the choices that best serve their commercial and individual interests. The sustainability and profitability of the family farm is at the centre of this strategy. Indeed, the strength of Welsh agriculture is the quilt of family farms throughout our countryside. Welsh farmers produce our food and manage our land— these are vital roles in our society. This strategy today recognises that contribution and supports the Welsh family farm in fulfilling these roles in the future.