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Written Statement - Sustainable Development Annual Report 2012-2013

Jeff Cuthbert, Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty

In fulfilling the Welsh Ministers’ duty under section 79 of the Government of Wales Act 2006, I have today laid a report before Assembly Members setting out how the proposals in the Welsh Government’s Sustainable Development Scheme have been implemented.  The reporting period covers April 2012 to March 2013 and shows how long term economic, social and environmental impacts have informed the policy, programme and initiatives of Welsh Government over this period.  The report follows the structure of the Scheme and also includes additional elements.  This builds on the 2012 review of the effectiveness of the Scheme and includes a separate chapter on activities taking place within the Welsh Government itself.

I welcome the independent commentary provided by Peter Davies, the Commissioner for Sustainable Futures.  It signals our commitment to open, transparent Government.  Including such independent commentary is a benchmark of good reporting, and gives credibility to the overall Annual Report.  No other administration in the UK has continued with support for an independent adviser on sustainable development and no other UK administration provides an opportunity for independent commentary in this way. This approach therefore sets the Welsh Government apart as a leader in sustainable development reporting.  We have built on the Commissioner’s recommendations each year, but recognise that more needs to be done, particularly in the context of the development of legislation in this field.  The Future Generations Bill will place a greater onus to improve our reporting on sustainable development and I hope to do so in future years.