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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 - The Draft Control of Dogs (Wales) Bill »We are committed to ensuring that out-of-control and dangerous dogs are dealt with effectively.Learn more »
Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
Health Minister Mark Drakeford has given a clear message to NHS managers to take action in response to the recent NHS Wales staff survey
- Minister supports International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia
- Porth Eirias set to be major North Wales attraction
- Minister tells NHS managers: "Listen to your staff and take action"
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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 »
- Continuity and Change - Refreshing the Relationship between Welsh Government and the Third Sector in Wales
- Repealing air quality ‘Further Assessments’ from Part IV of the Environment Act 1995
- Equality Impact Assessment of the 2014-2020 Rural Development Plan for Wales
- Consultation on the Equality Impact Assessments for the 2014-2020 Structural Funds Programmes in Wales
- Development of a national standards and outcomes framework for Children and Young People's advocacy services in Wales
- Strategic Environmental Assessment: Environmental Report, Rural Development Plan for Wales 2014-2020
Featured consultation »Implementing the Domestic Fire Safety (Wales) Measure 2011
30 days left
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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 - Recent Adverse Weather Conditions
We know that Wales, like other parts of the UK, is currently in the grip of the most sustained period of cold weather it has experienced for many years. More snow is expected to fall in south and mid Wales this afternoon, with weather warnings issued by the Met Office for many parts of Wales. Whilst the current forecast for north
This is a particularly difficult time for older people, and there is pressure on social services to ensure that care is provided for those who are vulnerable. The conditions have created transport difficulties for meals on wheels and domiciliary care services, but these services are continuing to be maintained. In supporting these services, it is incumbent on everyone to be neighbourly and check on elderly and vulnerable relatives and neighbours to see how they are coping during this cold spell. It is at times like these that communities need to come together to look after those people who need help.
Our annual Keep Well This Winter campaign aims to remind people, especially the elderly and people with long-term conditions, of some simple ways to reduce the risks of the cold. They need to keep the home warm and avoid going outside if possible. Those who are over 60 are entitled to a winter fuel payment to help with heating bills. Of course, if people go out they should wrap up warm and be careful when out in icy weather, as pavements and paths can be very slippery as we know from tragic events that have happened over the course of the past week or so.
The impact of the cold weather is being felt largely by our transport infrastructure, with the prolonged wintry conditions diminishing salt reserves. These exceptional circumstances are being experienced in spite of the widespread action taken last year by local government to increase salt reserves.
We as a Government are continuing to do whatever is necessary to keep Wales moving and are working closely with local authorities and the emergency services to ensure that roads remain open and essential services continue to operate. While we are managing to keep trunk roads clear, it is likely that local authorities will face increasing pressures on existing salt stocks to maintain local roads. It is vitally important, therefore, that the public in Wales appreciates that not all roads will be salted to normal levels and that people take great care when driving.
The Department for Transport is leading at the UK level to ensure that available salt supplies are prioritised and deliveries effectively co-ordinated. It has been agreed that an equitable system is introduced for distributing available salt supplies across England, Scotland and Wales, with each country being responsible for distributing supplies to their local authorities as appropriate. Officials, in conjunction with the Welsh Local Government Association, are working with the UK Government and the salt suppliers to secure deliveries of salt to the authorities most in need in Wales ahead of the heavy snow forecast for this afternoon. Mutual aid between local authorities is being maximised to ensure that stocks are shared across areas and the WLGA has urged authorities to share as much as they can. Additionally, we are assisting local authorities, as far as we can, from our own supplies of salt.
Headteachers and governors of schools are being urged to keep schools open as far as possible, but they will make prudent decisions based on local circumstances. Local authorities are putting in place arrangements to ensure that examinations scheduled for this week take place as timetabled. Some authorities are centralising their examinations in one location and making arrangements to transport candidates to the centre if required. All examination centres in Wales were open yesterday. The Minister for Children, Education and Lifelong Learning has issued a separate statement on the examinations.
NHS Wales is maintaining essential services. There is significant pressure on both accident and emergency departments, and on medical bed capacity as the impact of a prolonged phase of very cold weather has increased admissions of people with trauma, heart and respiratory conditions and strokes. There has also been a significant increase in diarrhoea and vomiting cases across Wales. Elective surgery is being affected to accommodate additional trauma cases and to provide flexible capacity for medical patients.
Health services are also dependent on main routes being kept clear for access to services and to maintain crucial supplies, such as pharmaceuticals and blood. Roads to hospitals, doctors’ surgeries and residential care settings are considered a priority for gritting purposes.
The police and fire and rescue services are supporting other agencies as required. Ambulance movement has been restricted in places, but the emergency and voluntary services have been assisting with the use of four-by-four vehicles. There have been discussions regarding possible joint patrols between the police and ambulance services in order to maximise the use of four-by-four vehicles.
The weather is causing problems for water companies, making access difficult to sites for normal operations and deliveries of chemicals to treatment works, and for attending frozen equipment and burst water mains. Currently, there is reasonable confidence in accessing sites but assistance may be required if the weather deteriorates significantly.
There are some anecdotal reports of food stockpiling, but the supermarkets are not reporting any particular problems in the supply chain. Businesses in general have been affected by the weather. Given the forecast of further disruption, the single biggest factor affecting confidence is the availability of salt to keep open the transport network. We, as a Government, have provided guidance and information to businesses with regard to severe weather, which will be reviewed on an ongoing basis. From today, the Welsh Assembly Government website provides information on the severe weather picture in Wales, with updates on the weather forecasts, how the severe weather may affect travel and schools across Wales, as well as guidance on keeping well and warm throughout the winter months.
I chaired a special meeting of the Cabinet yesterday to discuss the position. The Assembly Government’s civil contingencies group is meeting daily to assess the wider consequences of the extreme weather and to consider the actions to be taken. Regional multi-agency strategic co-ordinating groups are also meeting to consider their local response.
Llywydd, I will, of course, keep Assembly Members updated regularly should the need arise.