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Written Statement - Response to the Consultation on the Social Services (Wales) Bill

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Gwenda Thomas AM, Deputy Minister for Children and Social Services
I am pleased to announce that the Summary of Responses Report to the Social Services (Wales) Bill consultation will be published on the Welsh Government website from today, 17 October 2012: http://wales.gov.uk/consultations/healthsocialcare/bill/?lang=en&status=closed. The Report is also attached to this Statement.
The consultation on the proposals for the Bill ran from 12 March to 1 June 2012. I am delighted to have received 275 written responses from a variety of stakeholders; and I will publish them all in full, where consent has been given, prior to the introduction of the Bill in January 2013.  I am grateful for the support shown by individuals and organisations from across Wales in this Bill; and it shows once again, the important part that social services and social care play in all of our lives. 
The premise for this consultation was to gauge the opinions of the experts –these are the commissioners and providers of services from across the public, Third and independent sectors; the people that use these services; and the people that care for those that use them. Every comment has been carefully considered and those comments have been central in bringing the Bill forward to this point.
As you would expect, the responses have given us much to consider in the development of the Bill. I announced in June my decision to take forward the regulation and inspection proposals in separate legislation. Consultees’ comments have been extremely important in shaping the detailed drafting of the Bill.  I will be publishing a series of statements updating you on the policy proposals that will be within the Bill when I introduce it in January. The first of these statements will be in relation to Safeguarding, and will be published later this week. 
I have always been clear that it is vital that we get this important piece of legislation right, and as I said in June, I am pleased to see that there is a broad consensus for our transformation agenda of Sustainable Social Services and what we are trying to achieve through this Bill.