Carl Sargeant, Minister for Local Government and Communities
The Programme for Government, sets out this Government’s commitments to achieve, with its partners, the delivery of effective and efficient public services that meet the needs of the people of Wales. Our agenda is underpinned by a commitment to equality and social justice – this agenda is the Welsh approach to securing a fairer and more prosperous Wales.
Public service reform is essential – meeting the growing, complex needs of citizens in the current financial climate requires fundamental changes quickly. We have neither the finance nor the capacity to deliver the high quality services the people of Wales deserve unless we work together.
I am pleased that Welsh Government and Local Government have agreed a Compact for Change. This sets out a practical programme of action which supports the delivery of improved services against a backdrop of continuing financial challenges.
The Compact has been endorsed through the Welsh Local Government Association and the Partnership Council for Wales. This brings coherence to the major service reviews and policies under social services and education and sets out other areas where Local and Welsh Government will explore the opportunities for working locally, nationally and regionally.
Much of the evidence on what works in improving services supports increased regional collaboration to deliver better services. However it is essential that this collaboration does not add complexity. To provide clarity around how public services should collaborate, I set out a common geographical footprint for collaborative activity based on 6 collaborative areas in a paper to the Partnership Council on 21 July 2011.
By putting regional collaboration on a more stable, long term footing, partners are able to get on with the job of delivering services to meet the needs of individuals and communities across Wales. Key to this is strong governance and accountability – both democratic scrutiny and accountability to local people. Information underpins this.
Today I have published on the Welsh Government website a digest providing an overview of some key summary statistics for the collaborative footprint areas.
This article provides an analysis of each of the 6 collaborative areas and provides a comparison within each area and across the regional collaborative areas across a range of statistics reflecting the demographic, economic and social characteristics of these areas.