In this section
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
In this section
- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Housing and community
- Improving public services
In this section
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
24 days left
In this section
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 - Latest Progress on the Countryside Access Programme
The Welsh Assembly Government’s One Wales agenda includes important commitments on improving public access to Wales’ wonderful countryside and in encouraging more healthy recreation through walking and cycling. This Statement provides Assembly Members with an update on progress over the last year in taking forward these commitments.
Our countryside access programme has five main elements and latest progress on each is as follows :
1. Coastal access - underlining our commitment to deliver the All Wales Coast Path by 2012, we boosted funding for the Coastal Access Improvement Programme by 33% in 2008/9 – ie to £2 million. This was fully utilised by the coastal local authorities and a range of coastal access improvements have been put in place right around the Welsh coast. This includes the Penarth to Cardiff Bay Link Path which I formally opened last summer and which is now being used by an average of 4,000 people each week. Very importantly, a good number of the improvements cater specifically for the needs of those with mobility problems – for example the new access path at Aberporth in Ceredigion and the installation of 80 gates replacing stiles on the Anglesey Coast Path.
In addition, we have been successful in securing for Wales new framework powers on coastal access within the Marine and Coastal Access Bill, currently before Parliament.
2. Investment in rights of way - rights of way or public footpaths are very important to our local communities providing easy access to the local countryside. Last year all the local highway authorities produced new statutory Rights of Way Improvement Plans for their areas (under the CROW Act 2000). To ensure these plans were taken forward the Assembly Government provided £1.7 million in 2008/9 for implementation of plan priorities. This was fully utilised, with the majority being allocated to those counties with the largest proportion of the path network – ie Powys, Gwynedd, and Carmarthenshire. Across Wales some 5,000 kilometres of the path network was improved, including some 2,000 kilometres of bridleways and 120 kilometres of cycle paths. In addition, we made it a condition of funding that all the local authorities undertook at least one scheme to improve access for disadvantaged groups – and over 35 schemes were completed. These include improved access for wheelchair users to the mountain viewpoint at Foel Ispri, Llanelltyd, Gwynedd and a new section of wheelchair suitable footpath between Newtown and Aberbechan in Powys.
3. Access to water - Wales’ extensive rivers, lakes and reservoirs have exciting potential for greater utilisation for healthy recreation. This was underlined in the Water-related Recreation Strategy for Wales which the Environment Agency published last summer. To help secure more opportunities for such recreation across Wales, I launched in July 2008 a new fund – Splash - with an initial budget of £410,000 in 2008/9. Some 20 projects across Wales are now being funded under Splash, ranging from facilities for disabled anglers at Waun Pond, Blaenau Gwent to the creation of a new lake at Llandysul, Ceredigion for watersports activities. More such schemes will be funded this year.
4. Promotion of walking and cycling - I and my Cabinet colleagues are keen to secure a strong walking and cycling culture in Wales – as part of our action in addressing climate change, in promoting sustainability, and in improving the general health and fitness in our communities. To help us make progress on this agenda in a co-ordinated way, the Deputy First Minister and I established a Steering Group on Walking and Cycling in May 2008. As one of its first actions the Steering Group helped us draft and publish in February this year a new Walking and Cycling Action Plan. The Action Plan is closely linked to the new Physical Activity Plan for Wales which Alun Ffred Jones AM launched for public consultation last week and has as a key objective supporting behavioural change, particularly encouraging less car use in favour of trips on foot or by bike. The Plan also includes a number of key targets to help us monitor progress.
We have also taken a number of initiatives over the last year in support of cycling. For example we are backing the introduction of the Cycle Training National Standards into Welsh schools; and we are funding Sustrans’ Bike It scheme in two pilot areas in Wales encouraging school children to cycle to school. We are also taking action as a responsible employer and have recently introduced for Welsh Assembly Government staff a Bicycle Purchase Scheme, as have the Assembly Commission. We are also piloting a bike pool scheme for staff in Aberystwyth.
5. Supporting access for all – the Assembly Government also wants to help people with disabilities and disadvantaged groups to enjoy their local countryside in line with our social inclusion agenda. I have already mentioned useful schemes undertaken under our Coastal Access and Rights of Way Programmes. In addition, the Big Lottery’s Mentro Allan initiative is supporting 15 projects across Wales targeted at ‘hard to reach’ groups; and CCW’s Come Outside project is working with socially disadvantaged communities to encourage outdoor activities.
We are supporting this wide-ranging access agenda with significant financial resources – up from £1.5 million in 2007/8 to £4 million in 2008/9 and with a similar sum allocated for the current year. We have more to do, especially in terms of creating a walking and cycling culture in Wales. But we have made significant progress in the last year and will build further on this in 2009/10.