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Written - The Local Government Partnership Scheme Annual Report 2008-2009

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Brian Gibbons , Minister for Social Justice and Local Government

Section 73 of the Government of Wales Act 2006 requires Welsh Ministers to make a scheme setting out how they propose, in the exercise of their functions, to sustain and promote local government in Wales. Welsh Ministers are also required to prepare a report after each financial year of how the proposals set out in the scheme were implemented in the previous financial year.

I am pleased to present the report to the National Assembly today. 

The 'One Wales' agreement sets out a progressive agenda for improving the quality of life of people in all of Wales' communities, based upon a set of shared values, common goals and joint aspirations.  The Assembly Government's ambition is to transform Wales into a self-confident, prosperous, healthy nation and society, which is fair to all.  The Assembly Government welcomes local government's shared commitment to deliver this challenging programme.

The Partnership Council for Wales has continued to provide an effective forum for direct discussion and joint working between Welsh Ministers and local government representatives in furthering the aims of the Partnership Scheme and our shared policy agenda.  The Partnership Scheme has also provided a framework for frequent and timely consultation and collaboration between the Assembly Government and local government at all levels in taking forward our shared agendas. This has been particularly important in the light of the economic downturn and many examples are given in the report.

The Partnership Scheme has promoted appropriate co-operation and closer understanding between the Assembly Government and the wider local government family.  It is imperative that we continue to work closely together as it is the best way of getting things right and learning from our experience to make further improvement. Only by doing so can we hope to deliver real improvements to the lives of the people of Wales.