Environment and Sustainable Development Minister, John Griffiths has set out proposals for new legislation that would put sustainable development right at the heart of the public service in Wales.
The Minister was in Blaenavon Heritage Primary School in Torfaen to launch the Sustainable Development White Paper.
The White Paper makes the case for a Sustainable Development Bill that would legally require devolved public services in Wales to consider the economic, social, environmental and long term implications of their decisions.
The Minister addressed public service representatives and others to explain how the proposals would affect them and ultimately how they would result in a better future for Wales.
The Minister said:
“We are committed to bringing forward legislation to put sustainable development right at the heart of the public service in Wales.
“Our approach is very much rooted in Welsh values, with a focus on fairness, pride in our communities and our heritage. It places great importance on taking the best decisions for Wales, and thinking about our children’s future and our all round quality of life.”
“The proposals set out in this White Paper are about focussing on the social, economic and environmental well being for Welsh people and Welsh communities over the long term. I am confident that they will help us make better choices for a better future.”
The White Paper focuses on four core aspects. These are:
- A duty to make sustainable development the central organising principle of public service organisations in Wales
- A new independent body for sustainable development to support this change
- Transitional arrangements to ensure organisations are ready for the new duty
- Improvements to the accountability arrangements for sustainable development in Wales.
Organisations that would be bound by the proposed duty include the Welsh Government, NHS Trusts, Local Health Boards, Natural Resources Wales, National Library of Wales, National Museum of Wales, Arts Council of Wales, Local Authorities, Fire and rescue, Further and Higher Education institutions and others.