Terms of reference for Ystadau Cymru

Introduction and purpose

Ystadau Cymru (YC) – formerly known as the National Assets Working Group (NAWG) encourages excellence in active management of the Welsh public sector estate through strategic collaboration and good practice guidance with the following key criteria:

  1. Creating economic growth 
  2. Delivering more integrated and customer focused services 
  3. Generating capital receipts
  4. Reducing running costs
  5. De-carbonisation of the public estate 

Structure and membership of Ystadau Cymru

Ystadau Cymru consists of the main board chaired by a Senior Public Sector Leader currently Umar Hussain MBE, South Wales Police, and public sector representatives from the following sectors:

  • local authorities
  • Natural Resources Wales
  • NHS Wales
  • Fire and Rescue Service
  • Welsh Ambulance Service
  • Representative bodies e.g. Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE), One Voice Wales, Association of Chief Estate Surveyors (ACES), Consortium of Local Authorities in Wales (CLAW), Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE)
  • UK Government Cabinet Office;
  • third sector
  • non-devolved services, such as police, Department of Work and Pensions (DWP), etc.

The board is supported by 6 regional groups based on health board regions:

  • South East Wales (Aneurin Bevan HB)
  • Cardiff and Vale Region
  • Cwm Taf Region
  • Abertawe Bro Morgannwg Region
  • West and Mid Wales Region (Hywel Dda HB and Powys Teaching HB)
  • North Wales Region (Betsi Cadwaladr UHB).

Ystadau Cymru is also supported by a number of task and finish project groups.

Constraints

Ystadau Cymru seeks to influence and support collaboration between public services but, it will not lead on the delivery of collaborative projects.

Ystadau Cymru will liaise with the Welsh Government and other available finance streams for funding; with sector leads and members also contributing resource if it is appropriate.

Objectives

Ystadau Cymru was established by the Welsh Government to enable and influence collaborative asset management across public sector organisations to release efficiency savings, and to develop tools to enable and facilitate this collaboration. We seek to support and facilitate opportunities to take a more strategic approach to property and property management across geographical and organisational boundaries, supporting the priorities reflected in “Prosperity for All”. The Minister for Finance & Trefnydd is supporting Ystadau Cymru to gain more visibility and traction to realise this agenda.

Asset Collaboration Programme Wales

The Asset Collaboration Programme Wales (ACPW) was a grant programme that encompassed the development and delivery of a range of asset management and mapping tools and activities in 2018/2019. The funding aimed at accelerating and strengthening collaboration activity across the welsh public sector.

During 2017-2018 approximately £800,000 was committed and made available to support collaborative activity and projects, these were:

3 regional sub-group collaborative projects, each identifying opportunities for collaboration via data collation, project development and the identification of achievements. These are described as a more focussed version of the Cwm Taf Study:

  • A delivery plan for a collaborative public sector hub in Brecon
  • A new model for community based services in Swansea
  • A sports asset transformation project in Wrexham
  • A strategic industrial assets review in Blaenau Gwent
  • A project to undertake a Circular Economy Feasibility Study
  • Support for the technology to undertake space utilisation surveys at 5 public sector partner organisations
  • Research into the challenges and barriers associated with Community Asset Transfers, targeted at Public Bodies and the Third Sector.  

The initiatives and activities of the YC are fully aligned to the Well-being of Future Generations Act with its ways of working and wellbeing goals. The work of YC and the identified initiatives support the act’s challenge that public service should be more holistic in its decision making, taking a broader perspective and recognising the interdependencies that exist and the importance of working together.

Chair and members for 2019

Name Organisation
Umar Hussain (Chair) South Wales Police
Lorna Cross (Vice-chair) Vale of Glamorgan County Council
Richard Baker Welsh Government
Jon Rae Wales Local Government Association
Jonathan Fearn Carmarthenshire County Council
Lyn Cadwallader One Voice Wales
Geraint Norman Audit Wales
Stuart Armstrong Government Property Agency Cabinet Office
Stephen Roberts North Wales Police
Richard Davies Wales Ambulance Service Trust
Clive Ball NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership
Chris Brain Chartered Institute of Public Finance & Accounting
Paul Subacchi Natural Resources Wales
Mike Payne Wales TUC
Neil Frow NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership
Alun Jones Wales Council for Voluntary Action
Samia Saeed-Edmonds Welsh Government
Paul Bryant Welsh Government
Amelia John Welsh Government
Chloe Mitchell Welsh Government
Luke Brennan Welsh Government

Ystadau Cymru sub-group leads

Sub-group Lead
Cardiff and Vale Region Clive Ball
Cwm Taf Region Richard Baker
South East Wales TBC
Swansea Region Richard Davies
North Wales Region Stephen Roberts
West and Mid Wales Region Jonathan Fearn
Stakeholder identification and engagement Richard Baker
Skills and Training Neil Frow
Funding Streams Paul Bryant
Communications Strategy and Branding Samia Saeed-Edmonds
Asset Collaboration Toolkit Chris Brain
Community Asset programme of activity to support Policy colleagues Lyn Cadwallader and Alun Jones
Performance Indicators / KPIs Lorna Cross and Jon Rae

Background information

NAWG was originally established in 2010 as a workstream of a Wales Efficiency and Innovation Programme, steered by an Efficiency and Innovation Board and chaired by the then Minister for Business and Budget.

In 2011, the Efficiency and Innovation Programme was succeeded by the Public Service Leadership Group (PSLG) chaired by the Minister for Local Government and Communities.

In May 2016, Professor Mark Drakeford, Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government held ministerial responsibility for the NAWG. As well as ensuring that the priorities and direction of the NAWG support the ‘Taking Wales Forward’ programme and accelerate the pace and ambition of collaborative asset management in Wales; he also reinforced the message that the Welsh Public Sector needs to manage it’s physical assets efficiently and with the same level of scrutiny and assurance already applied to the management of financial resources.

In order to explore potential benefits of a more proactive collaborative asset management approach, the Welsh Government provided funding for a Welsh Public Sector Collaborative Estate pilot. The Cwm Taf area was selected as the Study focus area in early 2016.

The Cwm Taf Pilot Study demonstrated that significant opportunities could accrue from a strategic, more regional based approach to property and property management-based collaboration across wider geographies and organisational partnerships. However, the Pilot Study also highlighted the importance of robust and consistent baseline data to enable a comprehensive understanding of the public sector asset base and prevailing property management regimes as well as some of the challenges to effective collaboration.

In 2018, NAWG was rebranded as Ystadau Cymru (YC) under the responsibility of Mark Drakeford, the then Cabinet Secretary for Finance. A new Chair, Mr Umar Hussain MBE was appointed and the membership updated along with a programme of projects identified.

The Cabinet Secretary for Finance was keen to increase visibility and traction with an action focussed approach to deliver some tangible outputs and outcomes

Ystadau Cymru is now the responsibility of Rebecca Evans AM, Minister for Finance and Trefnydd, since her appointment in January 2019.