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 - Update on tobacco policy »Standardised packaging of tobacco products and Sub Committees on The Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2012.Learn more »
Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
Farmers and Welsh Government will come together today to plan for a healthy and vibrant agricultural industry.
- Statement from First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, on the Woolwich attack
- Historic garden is a breakfast TV star
- Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
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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.
Sky lanterns: environmental and risk assessment »To establish an evidence base to help any future policy decisions on sky lanterns and helium balloons.Learn more »
- Future management of private water supply pipes
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- The future of agricultural statistical data collection methods in Wales
- Consultation - Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2006 (Amendment) Regulations 2013
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
24 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 - The Welsh Assembly Government`s Response to the Children`s Commissioner`s Annual Report
In my previous Plenary statement on 2 December 2008, I welcomed the seventh annual report from the Children’s Commissioner for Wales, the first from Keith Towler since he took up his post in March 2008.
The budget for the children’s commissioner has been set at £1.837 million each year from the period 2008-09. The commissioner has confirmed that he is content to operate within the budget parameters set and has been reviewing the structure of his office to improve future service delivery. My previous statement outlined the progress made and future planned activity on a number of the key issues that were highlighted in the report. A detailed response to each of the issues raised has since been agreed by the Welsh Assembly Government.
The children’s commissioner made a presentation to the Children and Young People Committee on 13 November 2008. I took the opportunity to share the Welsh Assembly Government’s response with the committee at its meeting on 27 November 2008 and followed that with clarification to the Chair on a number of the issues raised. The first key area identified by the commissioner was the gap between national policy intent and the reality that young people experience in their everyday lives. Many of our policies are new and designed to achieve long-term strategic change. Effective collaboration between the Welsh Assembly Government and local partners is essential to turn them into reality on the ground. I therefore welcome the commissioner’s proposal to develop stronger links with local children and young people’s partnerships.
Recently, along with the Deputy First Minister and Minister for the Economy and Transport, I was pleased to announce the award of the contract for the Reach the Heights European social funding to two projects: First Footholds; and Routes to the Summit. Working in partnership with joint sponsors, the Reach the Heights project will address many of the common issues identified through research and inspection and start us on the right path to addressing this gap. Sharing good practice and supporting the development of the participation agenda, coupled with models such as Demonstrating Success and the children and young people’s wellbeing monitor for Wales, will help us to demonstrate in future the positive change that we have achieved, not just in the statistics but in the everyday experiences of children and young people in Wales.
Recognising and celebrating the positive contributions that children and young people make to our communities across Wales is another area that we will take forward with our partners under the banner of the UNCRC. By celebrating their positive contributions, we will be moving away from the negative perceptions that the media portray of children and young people.
I recently addressed the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child 'Let’s Get it Right!’ conference, jointly organised by the Welsh Assembly Government and the NGO monitoring group for the UNCRC in Wales. The conference demonstrated a real commitment and enthusiasm to work together in Wales to raise awareness of the UNCRC and to develop an action plan for Wales over the next five years. I am pleased to announce that we intend to make the conference an annual event at which progress on the agenda can be shared.
We are also in the process of exploring the development of a high-level UK action plan, which will be subject to further discussions with Ministers of the devolved administrations.
Youth Justice is another issue raised by the commissioner. The all-Wales youth offending strategy provides a national framework for preventing offending and re-offending among children and young people. All its work is underpinned by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its requirements for consideration of the rights of the young person. In recent months, a new framework for delivery of the strategy has been developed that will see its objectives formulated in a more focused way. In recognition of the potential to achieve more and to make a real difference to the youth justice system in Wales, the profile of the strategy will be raised and its delivery will be better aligned with related strategies.
On the subject of child poverty, we have recently announced the proposed child poverty and vulnerable children Measure to improve the lives of some of the most disadvantaged children and families in Wales. The proposed Measure will place, for the first time, a statutory duty on Welsh Ministers to develop a child poverty strategy. This strategy will be laid before the National Assembly and will be subject to review. It also places a similar duty on other Welsh authorities, including local authorities, to identify and take actions in respect of their own child poverty objectives and strategies.
Work will continue on developing a method for providing transparency in the budget allocation for children at a national and local level.
The Welsh Assembly Government’s draft suicide prevention action plan went out to public consultation in November 2008 and closed on 30 January 2009. Responses to the consultation are being considered carefully and will inform decisions on what further action may be required.
The new child and adolescent mental health service targets in the annual operating framework for 2008-09 will help improve access times. The annual operating framework for 2008-09 requires that consultation, advice and training is provided to professionals, primarily universal and front-line services. It also requires that the numbers of primary mental health workers are increased, and that access times are tightened across the range of CAMHS, including those patients referred to specialist CAMHS who may be depressed and at risk of committing suicide. These targets have been repeated for 2009-10.
The report also highlights a number of areas upon which the children’s commissioner will focus in the forthcoming year. I am pleased that Keith Towler will continue to monitor the progress being made on implementing the UNCRC in Wales and by the UK state party in responding to the concluding observations of the committee on the rights of the child.
Working with young carers to identify the obstacles that they face is an important first step in setting in place the action required to help them realise their UNCRC rights. Similar considerations will apply for other vulnerable groups. Using the experiences of children and young people in their learning activities and reviewing complaints procedures in schools are two important areas that will help us to improve and build upon the foundation being set in place through the school effectiveness framework.
I value and welcome the continuing role of the children’s commissioner and his proposed work programme in continuing to listen to, and learn from, children and young people, representing them when their rights are being infringed. I extend my thanks to the commissioner and his team for the constructive and positive dialogue that we continue to have in Wales on these important issues. I continue to welcome the challenge presented by the children’s commissioner and welcome the contribution that he and his office make in helping to strengthen children’s rights through our policy and practice in Wales.