Description: Community.jpgRt Hon Alun Michael JP FRSA                                                                                         

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Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales

Comisiynydd yr Heddlu a Throseddu De Cymru

Committee Clerk

Environmental and Sustainability Committee

National Assembly for Wales

Cardiff Bay

CF99 1NA


4th September 2014



Dear Committee Clerk,


Well Being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill


I write with regard to the consultation on the Well-being and Future Generations (Wales) Bill and welcome the opportunity to provide comments on the content of the Bill.


As I know from my time as First Minister, the principle of sustainable development has always been at the heart of the remit of the National Assembly for Wales. I welcome that the fact that this bill seeks to broaden and deepen the application of sustainable development principle. Putting sustainable development at the heart of government and the wider public sector can only be seen as a positive step, as is the move to adopt a single plan approach, coupled with a statutory Public Service Board.


I strongly support the inclusion of the third sector. I also warmly welcome the inclusion of non-devolved partners, such as the Police and Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable, as “invited participants” on these Boards, which can only strengthen partnership working and recognises the important role we all have to play.


This also fits well with the approach I have taken within my Police and Crime Reduction Plan, which focuses on the need for effective partnership working to ensure safer, stronger and more resilient communities.


The impact of austerity on many parts of public service is a matter of grave concern. We are seeing the impact within the police service, with the reduction of police officers from 3400 to 2800 in recent years.


It is a matter of particular concern that for reasons I well understand, local authorities are making significant cuts in their youth service budgets. Given that they have to protect the education budget, given that there is increasing pressure on social services, and given that the youth service does not have the same statutory status, there are limited areas where the large savings can be made.



From a policing perspective, I worry that the reduction in the informal engagement and recreational opportunities of the youth service may lead to an increase in youth crime and anti-social behaviour.


However, the impact is greater than this in that youth work and informal education has always been the springboard for young people to expand their horizons and learn about leadership. That was certainly the case for me and I have seen the impact on many others. The cuts in the youth service, therefore, run counter to the concepts enshrined in this legislation and in the interests of sustainability. This issue needs to be explored during the scrutiny of the Bill.


We all need to pursue the same goals and can achieve more by working together to provide a sustainable and prosperous Wales for future generations.


I am encouraged by the intentions of the Bill and provide further comments below. I would be prepared to give oral evidence if required.





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Rt Hon Alun Michael

Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales













Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill


Submission by Rt Hon Alun Michael

Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales



1.    The Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill provides a welcome opportunity to promote a partnership approach to ensuring safer and more cohesive communities in a sustainable and prosperous Wales. The intention to place Public Service Boards on a statutory basis to require collaborative working through a single well-being plan is also welcomed.


2.    The inclusion of Police and Crime Commissioners, as well as Chief Constables, probation and the third sector, as “invited participants” on Public Service Boards is a positive step to ensure that all relevant partners are included in this process.


3.    There is already a significant amount of partnership work being undertaken and care must be taken not to lose this momentum in the development and implementation of single well-being plans, which must acknowledge and seek to continue any existing areas of collaborative work, if that work is identified as adding value to service delivery. It is therefore encouraging that the Bill provides a statutory duty on Public Service Boards to consult with the “invited participants” on the preparation of well-being plans and to ensure information is captured on existing activity to deliver goals and priorities.


4.    The role of the Future Generations Commissioner needs to be clarified. Providing an over view of progress and encouraging a longer-term view of sustainability will only succeed through positive relationships with all partners, whether they be devolved or non-devolved agencies  and through the development of a common approach with a clear understanding of goals using consistent language.


5.    With this in mind, there is a slight disconnect when considering the role of the Police and Crime Commissioner in relation to that of the Future Generations Commissioner, which should be seen as comparable in stature. It is suggested, therefore, that the legislation be amended, or made more explicit, to permit a representative of the Police and Crime Commissioner to sit on Public Service Boards, which then allows both Commissioners to discuss matters without any potential conflict of interests, or perhaps be included as a member of the advisory panel which will assist in providing more comprehensive level of advice.


6.    The Bill proposes an outcome based accountability approach with a set of national indicators. It is recommended that in developing this methodology two principles need to be taken into account. Firstly the principle of promoting information sharing between partners to provide a true evidence-based approach to measuring progress. The second principle is that the agreed indicators should not be limited to the devolved partners, but need to include measures from the police and probation to provide a more accurate picture. I would strongly support this approach.