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"
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
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
29 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 Statement - Community Counts Tour
The response from meetings and visits that I have undertaken in my pre-budget tour made it clear to me how strongly people feel in Wales about their communities. During the tour, I had the opportunity to listen to the many dedicated people who provide essential public services, as well as the people who most rely on them. I also met with third sector and private sector organisations and our own Assembly Government staff, and visited some excellent examples of efficiency and innovation, where organisations have worked together to put the citizen at the heart of service delivery.
I have witnessed huge pride among those working on the frontline and praise for the services provided from people who use them. However, as we know, there is also considerable fear and apprehension as news speculation about cuts increases ahead of tomorrow’s UK government spending review. Our communities are only too aware of the threat to public services, particularly for the most vulnerable in society. I heard many personal stories and strong factual evidence of how community-based, local intervention can change lives in dramatic ways, with far-ranging benefits, often in some of the most deprived communities.I heard time and again how it is now more than everthat many support services will be needed, as reduced funding from the UK Government impacts on people’s ability to find employment, meet their housing costs and maintain good mental health.
The peopleI met particularly raised concerns about services being hit from several directions, with the prospects of reduced direct or indirect funding.They feared that tighter budgets would mean a retrenchment of statutory services and that communities would lose the support that is essential in helping people to maintain independence, including early intervention and preventative measures. They particularly valued their entitlements to free bus passes, free prescriptions and support such as free childcare for adult education services. I heard what a difference those can make in helping women who have experienced domestic abuse, homelessness, substance misuse and unemployment back into housing, training and work. That is why I am wholly committed to undertaking an equality impact assessment of our budget and ensuring that the decisions that we take do not impact unduly on our communities.
My discussions also provided compelling evidence of how services deliver positive outcomes for people of all ages. At Ynysawdre leisure centre and Rhyl leisure centre, I saw how exercise referral schemes are providing valuable fitness instruction for people with mild to moderate medical conditions such as arthritis or high blood pressure. With the support of local GP surgeries, as well as that of a number of hospital departments, thousands of people are benefiting every year. At Treharris Community College in Merthyr Tydfil, I met service users who have benefited hugely from Mentro Allan, a green-exercise project that aims primarily to support people with poor mental health.
I also saw examples of larger-scale initiatives that have received invest-to-save funding to pump-prime new ways of working. In Llandeilo, I heard how Carmarthenshire County Council is collaborating with the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust, the City and County of Swansea Council and Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council to save 10 per centof the annual operating costs for their customer care centre and Careline service. While in Newcastle Emlyn, I visited Maes Llewellyn, one of two residential convalescent-care facilities that have been created as a result of £200,000 of Welsh Assembly Government invest-to-save funding andlearnt of the innovative collaboration between Carmarthenshire County Council’s social services and Hywel Dda Local Health Board, which has resulted in £1.7 million of efficiency savings.
In St Asaph, I learnt how invest-to-save funds are supporting a single state-of-the-art closed circuit television control room, which will replace six separate centres and cover the whole of north Wales. I visited new capital projects that have been made possible through Welsh Assembly Government funding, such as the community-focused Trefonnen primary school in Powys. The new facility is maximising every opportunity to meet wider familyand community needs as it is being developed, and a multipurpose room has been incorporated to host activities such as parent and toddler groups, health visitor clinics and supervised family contact sessions.
At the end of my tour, the First Minister, Deputy First Minister and I also met with private sector representatives in a meeting that centred on how we maximise the opportunities for the private sector and further develop the economic renewal programme. The clear message was that we in the Assembly Government must do all that we can to remove barriers, in particular in planning, procurement and regulation. We are committed to supporting Welsh businesses and will carry out a private sector impact assessment when preparing our budget.
Other activity complements the tour, too, including the First Minister’s ongoing discussions with the workforce partnership council, which held a very positive meeting last month. Cabinet colleagues are also engaging with the third sector through a series of meetings with the Wales Council for Voluntary Action and its member organisations.
All of this activity, coupled with tours undertaken by the First Minister and the Minister for Social Justice and Local Government, has provided extensive feedback that will help shape our approach to forthcoming budgetary decisions. In particular, the feedback underlines the importance of doing everything in our power to maximise resource for the frontline by reducing administrative costs across the system. Collaboration is key to making that happen. There has to be collaboration between the Assembly Government and our public sector and social partners, across geographical and sectoral boundaries. We are already seeing the benefits of that in health and social care, and we must take it further.
Third sector organisations, too, have a crucial role in providing high-quality services for the most vulnerable people in our society and in fulfilling the needs of specific groups and individuals. In particular, our third sector colleagues support vital prevention and early intervention services, and we must find ways to continue to support these highly valued and much-needed services.
I will be pursuing opportunities to simplify Government and reduce process costs through the efficiency and innovation board, and I know that colleagues are leading a number of key initiatives with the same goal. We can link those to develop a strong message about how the Assembly Government is working with partners to reduce the Government’s overhead and to target preventative and support services.