Blog: Policy Update from David Williams

Posted on January 29, 2018 by

Llais y Goedwig Chair, David Williams (centre) keeps us up to date with the latest developments from policy meetings and consultations.  

Just prior to Christmas, Llais y Goedwig were one of the organisations present at the first Third Sector meeting with the new Environment Minister, Hannah Blethyn, co-ordinated by WCVA (Wales Council for Voluntary Action).

David Williams , LlyG Chair, joined two colleagues from WCVA; Claire Sain le Berry and Katherine Miller, as well as Jemma Bere ( Keep Wales Tidy),  Angela Charlton ( Ramblers Association) and Lucie Taylor ( Federation of City Farms and Gardens)  for the meeting. The Minister was accompanied by four senior Welsh Government officials and a special adviser.

“There were three papers on the agenda. The first was covering Green Infrastructure – led by Lucie Taylor with all of us chipping in”, David reports. “This highlighted the need to roll forward initiatives similar to NHS forest as important green spaces for physical and mental health, the need to include green infrastructure in major government funding schemes such as the ‘City Deals’, taking forward accessible green space standards including the production of a Green Infrastructure Technical Advice Note (TAN) and finally that Welsh Government adopt a cross department approach to green infrastructure”.

“Next was a paper on the circular economy – focusing on repair, re-use and recyle. This was presented by Welsh Government but had in fact drawn heavily on information from Keep Wales Tidy and the Wildlife Trusts Wales.  So we were glad to see that the Minister had taken on board information provided by colleagues in the Third Sector” notes David, going on to say, “the last paper (and the shortest) was presented by Welsh Government on Air Quality; Essentially telling us that in 2018 the Welsh Government will develop a new clean air plan for Wales – and will be consulting on a proposed clean air framework as soon as possible and no later than the end of April 2018”.

David summarises the event as follows: “Overall it was a positive meeting with the new Minister – who has a background as a trade union activist – with the scheduled meeting going on for some twenty minutes longer than planned due to the minister’s willingness for discussion. Other points not on the agenda – but discussed – included the possible plastics tax (set for consultation in summer 2018), how much (or not) Third Sector groups have been involved in Public Service Boards, and a request for good practice that could be shared.

In addition the Minister was very interested in the i-tree approach, highlighting the value of trees, particularly in urban areas.  All of us felt that this was a constructive and useful discussion with an openness to dialogue. It was useful that Llais y Goedwig were present – as well as other fairly small Third Sector organisations- and it is always good to get our voice heard”

For more information on Green Infrastructure, the Landscape Institute has produced this helpful introduction;

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