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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 »
Living Longer: Ageing Well
The third phase of the Welsh Government’s pioneering Strategy for Older People in Wales has been launched.
- ‘Enterprise Troopers’ set to storm Wales’ primary schools
- “Wales is leading the way on Sustainable Procurement” – Jane Hutt
- Living Longer: Ageing Well
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- Business and economy
- Children and young people
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- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
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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 »
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- The future of agricultural statistical data collection methods in Wales
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
26 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 - One Wales Commitments relating to the Arts
Chapter 9 of 'One Wales’ sets out the Government’s agenda for promoting a rich and diverse culture. It envisages high quality cultural experiences being available to all, regardless of domicile or background. By 'experiences’, we mean participation in, and attendance at, arts events.
The establishment of a national English-language theatre for Wales was, I remind Members, a 'One Wales’ commitment. The company has put the spotlight on Wales in a way that can only enhance our reputation as a place where culture matters.
I am delighted with this promising beginning. Some Assembly Members would have liked the new company to have a theatre building in their constituency. The decision has been that National Theatre Wales will exist without a production house. Instead, it will collaborate with existing theatre companies. In the first year, that includes the Welsh National Opera and the Sherman, Torch and Riverfront theatres. I am pleased with this collaborative spirit. We already had a successful national theatre, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru, as well as the much-praised Clwyd Theatr Cymru.
The Sherman theatre has begun to modernise its premises. As with the Chapter Arts Centre, the Sherman is vigorously fund raising for this project, although the Arts Council of Wales has been able to provide support. It is good news that, notwithstanding the diversion of lottery resources to the Olympic Games, capital investment in key strategic projects continues. I recently visited the Glynn Vivian Art Gallery to hear about its redevelopment that will make use of an allocation from the strategic capital investment fund.
Investment in the arts helps underpin the remarkable transformation that is taking place in the field in Wales. One could cite here the redevelopment of Chapter Arts in Cardiff, of Galeri in Caernarfon, the striking Ruthin craft centre building and Oriel Mostyn in Llandudno, not to mention smaller venues such as Theatr Twm o’r Nant in Denbigh. I continue to steer the implementation of Elan Closs Stephens’ Wales arts review. The arts strategy board will meet this June to discuss the creative industries and the arts on the world stage. Supporting opportunities for artistic producers on the world stage is, of course, a 'One Wales’ commitment and one that we considered during a Plenary debate last autumn.
In line with our 'One Wales’ commitment, I have recently considered the question of enshrining the concept of artistic freedom in Welsh law. I have taken the view that we should not, at this stage, pursue the development of Welsh legislation, which would be superfluous in the context of an existing comprehensive legal framework. The Stephens review called on the Welsh Assembly Government to make public its commitment to artistic freedom. I am happy to do that today.
I continue to oversee the work of the Arts Council of Wales on the development and delivery of policy for the arts. I have asked it to conduct a root-and-branch review of its current revenue funding model and the board of the arts council will be taking decisions shortly about the organisations that will receive revenue funding in 2011-12. The review has been a major piece of work for the council and is intended to lead to a portfolio of grant-aided, financially sustainable organisations that will produce high-quality arts for both local and international audiences.
The challenge for me, as Minister for Heritage, is to make the case for the arts during the recession in a way that convinces others that the arts matter. My job is to seek the best possible settlement for the arts, so that, regardless of ability to pay, the arts are available, close to home, to the widest possible audience. It is great news that there was a 7.6 per cent increase in ticket sales last year. Arts council research confirms that almost 90 per cent of the people of Wales agree that it is right that there is public funding of the arts.
The Stephens review looked at the role the arts could play in the development of cross-cutting policies. It recommended that the Arts Council of Wales should become a more effective arts development agency. The council has been successful in securing £5 million in European funding for the Reach the Heights programme, which tackles the issue of young people lacking the necessary skills to find work or education and training opportunities.
We are also working with local government, and not only via the statutory duty. With the arts council, we are part of the Arts Connect partnership in south-east Wales. That body is preparing an innovative partnership crossing local authority boundaries. Local communities matter and it is essential that we provide arts for the people of Wales to watch or participate in, wherever they live.
By laying excellent foundations here in Wales, we also ensure that we have high-quality arts to take abroad as part of our work to promote our reputation overseas.
I am exceptionally proud, therefore, to be playing my own part in achieving the Government’s 'One Wales’ commitments on the arts, as well as acknowledging the role of my predecessors. This respect for the arts has been nurtured by successive culture Ministers and goes back to the earliest months and years of the Welsh Assembly. My predecessors and I have done this in part because the arts—as Professor Hargreaves has recently stated—are at the heart of the economy. At present, over 6,500 people are employed by the current portfolio of revenue-funded organisations. It is estimated that the creative industries in Wales account for up to 30,000 jobs. Capital investment is resulting in new jobs being created across Wales, for example in Aberystwyth, where the arts centre’s expansion has generated 80 new posts.
Our artists and artistic premises are award winners. They are also levering in funding from elsewhere; for example, the Welsh National Opera receives support from the Arts Council of England. Our arts are bringing in audiences: over the past 3 years, attendances have increased year on year to record levels. The Wales Millennium Centre, for example, in 2009—its fifth anniversary year—generated a total audience of over 370,000. It was its most successful year ever. The birthday celebrations in November were highly successful and included a memorable concert of Karl Jenkins’s music, conducted by the composer himself. I had the privilege of attending.
I am grateful to have had this opportunity to update Assembly Members on the Government’s progress against its 'One Wales’ commitments for the arts.