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Section highlightThe People’s NHS Part of an initiative to engage the public in creating a safe and sustainable health service for the future.
Spreading the word »Action on the ground to increase learning materials in the medium of Welsh.Learn more »
First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
People from across Wales with an interest in the Welsh language are being asked to take action on its future in a national online conversation.
- Local Government Democracy Bill approved
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- First Minister’s call for action on the Welsh language
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The action plan sets out our commitment to drive developments in the field of Welsh-language technology and digital media.Learn more »
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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.
The Strategy for Older People in Wales 2013-2023 »The 3rd phase focuses on ensuring that older people in Wales have the resources to deal with the challenges and opportunities they face.Learn more »
- A new vision for a National Youth Work Strategy
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Section highlightIndex of Planning Policy Guidance for Wales
Our land use planning policy guidance is set out in two core documents, "Planning Policy Wales" and "Minerals Planning Policy Wales".
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.
Infrastructure Investment Case Studies »
Examples of infrastructure investment projects funded by the Welsh Government across Wales.Learn more »
Written - Proposed Waste (Wales) Measure 2010
I am delighted to introduce the Proposed Waste (Wales) Measure 2010 for consideration by the National Assembly.
Members will be aware that, yesterday, I laid the Proposed Waste (Wales) Measure together with the explanatory memorandum and circulated a Cabinet written statement. This is the first proposed Measure to be brought forward using the legislative competence that has been conferred on the National Assembly by the National Assembly for Wales (Legislative Competence) (Environment) Order 2010, made by Her Majesty in Council on 10 February.
The Assembly Government’s new waste strategy, ‘Towards Zero Waste’, which has recently been the subject of public consultation, provides the general policy context for the various provisions in the proposed Measure. The strategy sets a long-term aim that Wales becomes a high-recycling country by 2025 and a zero-waste country by 2050. The provisions in the proposed Measure will help to support the development of more sustainable waste management practices, in line with the ambitions in the strategy. The adoption of more sustainable waste management practices can play an important part in reducing Wales’s ecological and carbon footprints, in line with the Assembly Government’s sustainable development scheme. If we are to achieve the scheme’s aim of ensuring that, within a generation, Wales uses only its fair share of resources, we need waste management arrangements that enable us to live within our environmental means and that are less wasteful of our finite material resources.
It is also important to emphasise that changing how we deal with waste will also lead to significant opportunities to save money as well as to create high-quality jobs in the environmental industry sector, in line with the Assembly Government’s green jobs strategy, by using the valuable material resources contained in waste. The proposed Measure will help us to meet EC obligations and other key legislative requirements, including the waste framework directive and the landfill directive. In summary, the proposed Measure will help to secure the more effective and sustainable management of our resources and improve local environmental quality. It covers four main policy areas, which I will now briefly describe in turn.
The first area of the proposed Measure relates to single-use carrier bags. An estimated 480 million plastic bags are used in Wales each year, taking between 500 and 1,000 years to degrade. The proposal for placing a charge on single-use carrier bags, which will be introduced using powers contained in the Climate Change Act 2008, aims to reduce that significant number of bags and address their environmental impact. In conjunction with that, I have already informed Assembly Members, as part of a statement in November 2009, of my intention to work with retailers to develop a voluntary agreement on the use to which the net receipts from the charge will be put. The proposed Measure provides a power to enable the Welsh Ministers to make regulations requiring retailers to apply the net proceeds of revenues raised from the sale of single-use carrier bags to specified environmental purposes or specified bodies, which would need to apply the net proceeds of the charge to specified environmental purposes. The power contained in the proposed Measure will be used only if voluntary arrangements with retailers do not deliver satisfactory outcomes.
The second area relates to the setting of waste targets. The proposed Measure establishes statutory targets for the percentage of a local authority’s municipal waste to be recycled, prepared for re-use, and composted. The waste targets culminate in a target of 70 per cent by 2024-25. That is the trajectory that we need to adopt if we are to transform our approach to waste management in line with the ambitions of ‘Towards Zero Waste’. The proposed Measure also provides the Welsh Ministers with the power to establish other waste targets to be met by local authorities, and to establish financial penalties that could be imposed on local authorities in the event of their failing to meet the targets set under the proposed Measure.
The third area of the proposed Measure will provide the Welsh Ministers with a power to ban or restrict the deposit of specified kinds of waste in landfill in Wales. Landfilling is the least environmentally desirable option for dealing with waste. That provision is another tool to ensure that we adopt increasingly sustainable practices for managing our waste, again in line with ‘Towards Zero Waste’. The Assembly Government and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs will shortly be conducting a joint consultation on the options surrounding possible landfill bans or restrictions. The detailed proposals for any such ban or restriction will be considered in light of the outcomes of that consultation. The power contained in the proposed Measure will, therefore, provide flexibility for the Welsh Ministers to decide on the best way forward.
Finally, the Proposed Waste (Wales) Measure provides the Welsh Ministers with the powers to make regulations about fees and charging schemes in relation to site waste management plans for the construction and demolition sector in Wales. Introducing a fees and charging scheme could help to make site waste management plans effective by ensuring that the relevant enforcement authority has appropriate resources to monitor and enforce the plans. The proposed Measure also restates the existing powers of the Welsh Ministers under section 54 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 to make regulations requiring site waste management plans.
The policy areas contained in the proposed Measure will help us to move towards the long-term goal of becoming a zero-waste nation through the adoption of more sustainable waste management practices. I commend this proposed Measure to Members and look forward to working with you through the Assembly’s legislative scrutiny process.