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 »
National Library base for US Radio Travel programme
On Saturday 25 May, The National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth will be host to US radio star, Peter Greenberg.
- Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
- Historic garden is a breakfast TV star
- National Library base for US Radio Travel programme
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.
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
- Amendments to the Motor Vehicle (Competitions and Trials) Regulations 1969 and the Motor Vehicles (Off Road Events) Regulations 1995
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Consultation - Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2006 (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- Draft action plan for pollinators
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
23 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 »
Written Statement - Consultation On Proposals For Discretionary Powers To Increase Council Tax On Long-Term Empty Properties
On 21 May the Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage published the Housing White Paper: A White Paper for Better Lives and Communities. It outlines the Welsh Government’s long-term strategy to meet the Welsh Government’s commitment to ensure the provision of good quality affordable homes for everyone in Wales, including a commitment to modernise the private-rented sector by introducing measures to improve standards of management and property condition.
One of the many areas addressed in the White Paper is the issue of empty properties. A 2010 study by Cambridge University indicated that an additional 284,000 new homes will be needed across Wales by 2026. The Welsh Local Government Association also undertook a study in 2010 that estimated that 22,000 properties in Wales had been vacant for a period of more than six months.
Bringing such empty properties back into use would not only make a significant contribution to meeting the forecast demand for housing, but could also have benefits in terms of improving the local economy, environment and community within which these properties are located. Empty properties can be a blight on local communities, often becoming unsightly if disrepair or vandalism occurs.
One of the tools proposed in the White Paper therefore is to extend local government powers to apply varying levels of council tax to empty properties in Wales. It is proposed that Welsh Ministers grant local authorities the power to levy council tax beyond the full standard council tax on homes that are deemed to have been empty for a long period of time. The proposal would give authorities more freedom to implement policies that are best suited to local circumstances and which could assist most with local housing problems.
Having responsibility for Local Government and Communities, I am very aware of the detrimental affect that a lack of housing can have – on the people involved, on communities and also on local government. As such I am launching this consultation to invite the views of the Welsh public on the use of the council tax system as a possible incentive to bring properties that have been empty for a long period of time back into use, and provide additional housing that is greatly needed. The consultation document also asks for suggestions on the technical aspects that providing this additional power to local authorities might involve, including defining the period when a property is empty before an additional charge can be levied.
The consultation period will run for a period of three months and responses are requested by 20 October 2012. The consultation paper is being issued to local authorities, housing associations, social landlords, advice agencies and other relevant organisations with an interest in local taxation, housing and citizen welfare.
This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep members informed. Should members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.