Co-production with local government and the creation of a Welsh Public Service
The Covid pandemic has demonstrated that local authorities are our most effective arm of government in terms of policy delivery, whether in the fields of public health, education, or economic intervention. Accordingly, we would seek a new collaborative relationship between the Welsh Government and the 22 Welsh unitary authorities on the basis of co-production in policy creation and delivery. In our first term, and as we press ahead with recovering from Covid, this new relationship will be especially important for the delivery of our education, housing and employment policies.
We would create a Welsh Government Council, bringing local authority leaders and senior officers together with Welsh Government Ministers and senior officials, to coordinate joint work between central and local government. Relations will be undertaken based on equality, creating a shared view of a work programme and delivery. We would provide additional investment as an incentive for joint working.
We would create a network of Government Regional Offices headed by Chief Regional Officers responsible for coordinating the delivery of our national spatial strategy. In the Valleys and Arfor this role will be overseen by our new development agencies for these regions.
As part of our new combined approach, we would develop proposals and a timetable for the creation of a Public Service for Wales. This would have a shared culture, and vision, allowing for the ability to share and exchange staff and expertise across all public sector organisations including the Welsh Government’s civil service. This would require that the reservation to Westminster of powers relating to the civil service be removed.
The Welsh Government’s Academi Wales would become a National School of Public Management and Governance, attached to the Welsh University sector. It will have an increased budget, a Board of Directors to include the Permanent Secretary and an independent Chair. It would develop an international research programme related to small country governance and enter into partnership arrangements with other management schools such as the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, and France’s École nationale d’administration (ENA).