An updated scheme setting out the basis of a new relationship between the Welsh Government and local government has been published today.
The Local Government Scheme looks at how the Welsh Government, local government and the wider public service will deliver services according to the principles of the Well-being of Future Generations Wales Act 2015.
This means a more holistic approach to decision-making in public services, recognising the importance of working together and with citizens.
Better policy making is central to the scheme with the Welsh Government working closely with local authorities on legislative, national or strategic policy implications.
A draft annual report on the scheme’s progress next year will be co-produced between the Welsh Government and local government, shared with associations representing local government and then considered by the Partnership Council for Wales - a body that promotes joint working and co-operation between Welsh Government and local government.
Welcoming the scheme, Local Government Secretary Mark Drakeford said:
“Councils provide the services which touch everybody’s lives, every day; whether it’s educating our children, looking after our elderly, disposing of our waste or lighting our streets.
“I’ve said before that I want to see a new relationship between Welsh Government and local government, based on mutual respect and a better understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities.
“This new scheme formalises a closer and more coordinated partnership that will help to improve both the delivery and design of public services.”
WLGA Leader Councillor Debbie Wilcox said:
“Local government is an essential tier of government which forms a bridge between local communities and national policy making. We want to have a constructive relationship with Welsh Government based on a better understanding of each other’s roles as equal partners in governing the nation, and on mutual respect towards one another.
“I have already iterated previously my appreciation of the constructive, inclusive and pro-active approach taken by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government in particular in working with local government. With the renewed Local Government Scheme, I look forward to seeing that same approach being taken by all parts of Welsh Government in order to ensure that we can fulfil our mutual wish to work closer together as equal partners in the interests of the people of Wales.”
One Voice Wales new Chair Cllr Mike Cuddy said:
“We welcome and fully support the updated Local Government Scheme and look forward to working more closely with Welsh Government, the WLGA, Unitary Authorities and public service partners on its implementation.”
He added “Community and Town Councils are the most local grassroots level of our democracy. They are likely to play an increasingly integral role in the functioning of communities in Wales with an expectation they will take on more responsibilities in the coming years. The updated Local Government Scheme will allow greater collaboration and enhanced relationships across the public services family enabling the design and deliver of sustainable services for the future across the communities of Wales.”