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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 »
Internet short cut for Welsh village with the longest name
The Welsh village with the longest name in the UK has succeeded in at least making one thing a whole lot shorter – the time it takes to surf the internet.
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- Consultation on proposals for ground-breaking legislation to reform arrangements for renting homes
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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.
National minimum standards for regulated child care »These standards determine whether child minding and day care settings are providing adequate care for children under the age of 8.Learn more »
- Higher Education (Wales) Bill: Technical consultation
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- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
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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 »
Oral - Ryder Cup 2008
On 1, 2 and 3 October 2010, the thirty-eighth contest for the Ryder Cup will take place at the Celtic Manor Resort hotel in Newport. At the closing ceremony of the thirty-seventh Ryder Cup on Sunday last at Valhalla, Louisville, Kentucky, I accepted the handover of responsibility from Kentucky to Wales for the Ryder Cup. This year was the first time in nine years for the American golf team to win it.
Although my visit meant that I had to miss the triumphant return of our exceptionally successful team of athletes from the Paralympic Games in Beijing, the trip was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to look and learn about how the state of Kentucky, the Louisville metropolitan area and the Professional Golf Association of America, as course owners, had managed to organise such a welcoming and friendly event that was also so professional. The preparations had been planned meticulously to the very last detail, despite Hurricane Ike disrupting power supplies and blowing trees down on and near the course just a few days beforehand.
The Deputy First Minister, who attended the opening ceremony, and I both undertook intensive business programmes while in the USA and capitalised on the superb opportunity provided by the Ryder Cup to host key guests and hold key meetings in and around Valhalla. Team Wales had the best chance in a generation to promote not just golf tourism in Wales but also to develop inward investment opportunities, to promote trade, and to forge relationships between Wales and significant stakeholders in the United States. We believe that these relationships will deliver valuable dividends in due course.
We hosted guests from the business and tourism sectors and had formal, face-to-face and one-on-one meetings with a large number of these vital leads. We made important contacts with other guests at wider events around the Ryder Cup, including visiting the United States distributor for Penderyn whisky. We held meetings with the governors of Kentucky and Oklahoma and met officials from UK Trade and Investment in Washington DC. In all, we undertook about 40 formal engagements, each one promoting Wales to a wide and varied audience of key decision makers and influencers. Major events that sold Wales to large audiences included receptions at the Muhammad Ali Centre in downtown Louisville, and at Churchill Downs, the home of the Kentucky Derby.
The Ryder Cup was a massive magnet for the American business community. We hosted almost 40 inward investment guests from the United States and Europe, some of them existing inward investors to Wales and considering further investment here, and others considering Wales as an investment location for the first time. Without exception, existing investors were very positive about their experiences in Wales and were confident of making further investments here despite current credit market conditions. I am confident of positive announcements in the near future in at least some cases. Other announcements may be for the medium term, and, as with all marketing opportunities, some leads look promising but do not in the end turn into successful decisions in our favour.
As with the Ryder Cup two years ago in Ireland, our discussions with clients are confidential, but I am sure that in the months ahead, as we experienced in Ireland, we will see significant outputs in the form of new inward investments and new jobs for Wales.
The promotion of Wales as a tourism destination for golf and for general tourism was an integral objective for us. Our travel operator guests, one-on-one meetings with travel operators, involvement in the travel writers’ event and media interviews with the likes of Forbes and Reuters all combined to present Wales in the best possible light in a vast market that offers Wales considerable tourism opportunity. That message was pressed home during a meeting with the Deputy Secretary for Tourism, Arts and Heritage and with the Secretary of Commerce of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
The most visible benefit, although it would be classed as being intangible, is the massive increase in the awareness of Wales—from a business, tourism and general perspective—that hosting Ryder Cup No. 38 is enabling us to achieve. Wales’s presence in Kentucky, with the Welsh flag proudly flying, lit a light bulb in the consciousness of everyone we met. The 150,000 spectators, the businesspeople, the travel writers, the politicians, the media generally and at least some of the hundreds of millions in the global television audience now know what and where Wales is in a way that they did not before, and they are interested enough to find out more about our country.
Of the key lessons learned, one is that Kentuckians generally enjoy hosting visitors, and the welcoming attitude shown by everyone—nothing was too much trouble—is one that is partly ingrained and then reinforced by welcome-host type training. Volunteering to be at the Ryder Cup and even paying for the privilege of being a volunteer is popular in the USA. They turned away 2,000 would-be volunteers, who were willing to pay, but there was no room for them. That is a pretty staggering statistic, and that is how they cleared away the debris of hurricane Ike so quickly. The Valhalla course is a single course facility, extending over 450 acres, only 180 acres of which is the golf course. The other 270 acres were for the back-up area, for catering, the media centre, corporate hospitality and the huge shuttle bus operation and so on, which was mind-boggling.
The closing ceremony event had a strong Welsh flavour, with the massive stage presence of Bryn Terfel—to whom I am enormously grateful—very much to the fore. That event was viewed by a global audience, and, while it is impossible to put a value on that once-in-a-lifetime exposure, the results of it will come through in the months and years ahead, culminating in Wales’s successful hosting, I am sure, of Ryder Cup No. 38 in 2010, in 737 days’ time.