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Consultation into Public Service Staff Commission opens
Public Service Minister Leighton Andrews AM is putting workforce matters at the centre of the public service reform agenda
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Section highlightHousing (Wales) Act 2014The Act introduces significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
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Bills that the Welsh Government will bring forward in 2014/2015.Learn more »
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Written Statement - Vibrant and Viable Places, New Regeneration Framework –Outcome of Stage One Assessment Process
I am writing to provide Members with an update on the process underway to allocate up to £90m capital of targeted regeneration investment for 2014/15 to 2016/17 inclusive. This funding is being made available under the ‘Vibrant and Viable Places’ regeneration framework.
In May, all local authorities were invited to submit Strategic Outline Programmes (SOPs), on behalf of local partnerships comprising the public, private and third sectors, for regeneration schemes seeking a share of up to £90m of Welsh Government capital investment over the next three financial years.
The deadline for Stage 1 of this process was 12 July. We received 22 applications (one from each local authority) requesting over £250m grant for SOPs worth total of over £1bn. I am very pleased and impressed with the way that local authorities and their partners have engaged with this opportunity.
Following a rigorous assessment process, I have now determined that 11 local authorities will be invited to proceed to Stage 2. They are (in alphabetical order):
Local authority Settlement area
Conwy Colwyn Bay
Isle of Anglesey Holyhead
Merthyr Tydfil Merthyr Tydfil
Neath Port Talbot Port Talbot
Newport Newport Central
Rhondda Cynon Taf Pontypridd
Swansea Swansea city centre
Wrexham Wrexham/Caia Park/Hightown
These local authorities will now be invited to develop their SOPs further and re-submit them for Stage 2 of the application process. The deadline for this is 25th November. I will then announce the final outcome in the New Year.
It is important to note that, even with only 11 SOPs remaining, the funding available is still significantly oversubscribed. This remains a competitive process, and local authorities will need to put forward strong cases for securing investment. Moving to Stage 2 by no means guarantees VVP funding.
Meanwhile, my officials will continue to work with the other 11 local authorities to refine and explore other potential funding streams for their regeneration proposals.
Although I want to see my budget being used where it can make the most impact, I am determined that the most deprived areas should not be left behind. Therefore I have decided to ring-fence £5m over the next three years to invest in key projects which are aimed at tackling poverty in settlement areas which have not been successful at Stage 1 but which contain wards which are within the top ten per cent of deprived areas as measured by the 2011 Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation. I intend to apply the same approach to similarly deprived areas at Stage 2. At Stage 1, these are:
Local authority Settlement area
Blaenau Gwent Tredegar
Vale of Glamorgan Barry
I will make a statement in the Chamber in the New Year to announce the outcome of Stage 2 of this process.
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.