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 »
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
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
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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 »
Written Statement - Emergency Supply for Fruit and Vegetable Sector
The E-coli outbreak in Germany has had a profoundly disruptive effect on the EU fresh produce market. Premature statements in Germany blaming Spanish cucumbers damaged the confidence of EU consumers and caused the Russian Federation to ban imports of EU produce. Russia normally takes about 35% of EU exported production. Although UK consumption of home produce has held up, there has been an impact on wholesale markets as surplus EU produce has been diverted here at low prices. UK growers have experienced difficulty with surplus produce building up.
On 7 June the Commission announced proposals for emergency measures to support growers, to be funded from within existing CAP provision. A draft Regulation was put to the Management Committee that day, then almost immediately amended to increase the budget ceiling. The Regulation has since been agreed and came into force on 18 June. The application window is short with a deadline of 30 June. The scheme, worth €210 million across the EU, will compensate growers of tomatoes, lettuce, endives, cucumbers, sweet peppers or courgettes whose produce has been withdrawn from sale or has not been harvested. If the total aid applied for across the EU exceeds the budget, the EC will reduce the claims payable in proportion (in the same ratio across all Member States).
Withdrawals are to be implemented via Producer Organisations but in countries such as Wales without Producer Organisations, growers can apply directly to the scheme.
Any products notified for withdrawal by individual applicants will be subject to checks, which may be unannounced. Checks will include ensuring marketing standards are met, weighing and sampling, and will cover produce in the field as well as harvested produce. Produce will need to be retained for inspection until 6pm of the next working day following notification.
The Welsh Government has been engaged in discussions with Defra and with the industry sector which strongly backs the scheme as an essential response to the market disruption. This is the peak of the production season for UK salad crops and produce is being disposed of as surplus in significant volumes. We have been advised of £300k of UK cucumbers being wasted last week and the NFU estimate losses in the salad sector running at [around £1m a week]. The EC withdrawal measure offers the prospect of reducing the flows of surplus produce from other Member States to the UK market.
There are limitations; growers are disappointed that there will be no support for market losses they have suffered through the reduced prices they have been achieving up until the launch of the scheme. Others in the supply chain such as importers represented by the Fresh Produce Consortium, are angry that there is no financial help for them.
This scheme is essential to address immediate serious financial problems and to avoid the risk of competitors in other member States gaining aid not available here. Rapid implementation was essential if our growers are not to be further disadvantaged. The scheme will have practicable helpful impact in clearing stocks and should help to restore normality to the market.
Due to the tight timescales involved in the compensation scheme, I have given the UK Minister permission to implement the scheme in Wales through the Rural Payments Agency. I urge all producers of salad vegetables who have been affected by the E-coli outbreak to consider the compensation scheme as quickly as possible by visiting the RPA website. As this is an emergency measure, the scheme is only open until the end of June, so swift action is essential.