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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 »
Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
Farmers and Welsh Government will come together today to plan for a healthy and vibrant agricultural industry.
- Statement from First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, on the Woolwich attack
- Historic garden is a breakfast TV star
- Industry and government plan for a healthy future for farming in Wales
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- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
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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
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
- Renting Homes White Paper
- The draft School Governors’ Annual Reports (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2013
- The future of agricultural statistical data collection methods in Wales
- Consultation - Local Authorities (Standing Orders) (Wales) Regulations 2006 (Amendment) Regulations 2013
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
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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 - Isle of Anglesey County Council
Yesterday, I addressed an extraordinary meeting of the Isle of Anglesey Council. I outlined to the Members the range of actions that need to be taken if I am to be convinced that they are serious about rectifying the problems identified in the highly critical Wales Audit Office (WAO) Corporate Governance Inspection published last July.
For the last five months the Recovery Board has been gathering and analysing evidence further to the WAO report. Using that, the latest report of the Board makes a series of recommendations to me outlining the action it believes is required to drive the recovery process forward. There is no more time for analysis. I expect action and my address to the Council set out in unequivocal terms the steps that I expect to be taken - and the deadlines by which they are to be completed.
I acknowledged that some progress had been made by the Council, for example the new practices of group leaders meeting together to manage council business and to consider issues of member conduct. Nonetheless, this is just a start and much more needs to be done. I expect action.
The Council must focus on the real needs of the island and its citizens. Instead of debate concentrating on personal and parochial conflicts and rivalries, it must begin to focus on the strategic priorities for the island in a time of financial challenge and economic hardship. To do otherwise is a betrayal of Anglesey’s citizens and communities. They expect and deserve action and leadership, not petty bickering.
I set out in clear terms the action that the Council needs to take to demonstrate that it is willing and able to take the necessary action. Firstly, the continuing misbehaviour of a limited number of members needs to be addressed properly. Anyone who obstructs recovery must be dealt with. Those in positions of authority, like the group leaders, need to take appropriate action and I am pleased that some already have.
Ensuring that members behave properly is vital and key to this is the Standards Committee. I recognise that the current members carry out a difficult job and show an admirable commitment to public service. But, to deal with the task at hand, I want to see the committee overhauled as soon as possible. It must be given a very clear remit to grasp the issues of poor conduct and to work proactively to raise standards as well as meeting more frequently. In addition, to demonstrate they are willing and able to regulate behaviour themselves, councillors must serve as members of the committee from the start of the next municipal year. It is essential that they can show themselves capable of maintaining standards in a way that is normal practice in all other local authorities in Wales.
Ensuring that the council provides good quality services to citizens that are continually improving requires an effective scrutiny function. The overview and scrutiny systems in Anglesey Council need serious re-examination as they are current severely lacking. The current three committees met on fewer than twenty occasions in total last year. This is considerably less than one would expect and well out of line with practice in other authorities in Wales. And when the committees do meet, they concentrate too much on internal issues rather than on testing the quality of the services the Council provides. Therefore by the start of the next municipal year, I expect the Council to make positive and radical reforms to its scrutiny system which should significantly increase its capacity and engage non-executive members in scrutinising policies and services fully.
In addition, I also want to see the chair of the Council become a depoliticised post, as happens elsewhere. The Chair of the Principal Scrutiny Committee, must be relinquished to the Opposition as must the Chair of the Audit Committee. All other internal and external appointments must be made in ways which fairly reflect all groups within the Council.
I have asked the Recovery Board to monitor developments in these areas closely over the next few months and I expect to see clear and rapid progress. I do not want to be involved in the affairs of a council that should be entirely capable of running itself. Neither do I not want to issue more stringent and detailed directions but, if that is necessary to ensure a quicker and more sustainable recovery, I will.
The Isle of Anglesey faces some pressing problems. It is within the power of the Council to transform itself and make it better able to address the needs of this island and its citizens. I, and my Recovery Board will continue provide whatever support we can in this process.