The Minister kicks off this leg of the Wales-wide ‘Your Services Your Say’ tour at Swansea Council to hear how several local authorities are working together to pool their resources and make efficiency savings by establishing a shared legal service.
Next stop is the Selwyn Samuel Centre in Llanelli to meet Communities First staff who are leading the way on an innovative translation service for ethnic minority communities in the area.
The Minister will also visit the Powerhouse Community and Arts Centre in Pont Tyweli that provides a variety of activities for people living in rural Carmarthenshire.
“It is no secret that the public sector is facing funding cuts over the coming years” said the Minister. “Protecting and improving our services, across the board and locally, with a reduced budget will be challenging.
“There are already some good examples of how service providers are looking at ways of joining together to make efficiency savings, such as the Legal Services Project in Swansea.
“Yet there is still more to do. We need to understand what challenges are facing our services locally and find out what our local communities want to see delivered as a priority. Local people and service providers are in a prime position to suggestions how to overcome the challenges in their community so I want to direct hear from them.
“Only by working together and talking to people on the ground can we meet the challenges that lie ahead.”
The tour is part of a wider Assembly Government strategy to improve efficiency across the whole of the public sector and follows on from First Minister Carwyn Jones’ tour of public services. Business Minister Jane Hutt will also be visiting public service providers across the country over the coming weeks.
Carl Sargeant added
“We need to plan ahead and be prepared to take tough decisions so that we can continue to deliver high quality and valued services. We must recognise that we cannot continue as we are and that we need to do things differently.
“Working together will be the key to making this work. This is not something that the Assembly Government can do alone.
“We need service providers, at every level of the workforce, service users and the public to get involved and tell us what they think needs to be done. These are the people with first hand experience of our services, so it is important they take part in the discussions.
“I look forward to hearing from many people throughout this tour. Only by working together can we meet the challenges that lie ahead.”