Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
CABINET: 25TH FEBRUARY, 2013
REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (CORPORATE RESOURCES): 8TH FEBRUARY, 2013
"833 WELSH GOVERNMENT WHITE PAPER: A SUSTAINABLE WALES – BETTER CHOICES FOR A BETTER FUTURE (MD) –
The Head of Performance and Development, in presenting the above report, referred to the fact that the White Paper as appended to the report followed previous Welsh Government consultations on the topic. The Welsh Government was proposing that a new duty would be introduced which would require specified public service organisations to embed sustainable development as their central organising principle. Within the Implementation Plan (which was detailed on page 19 of the White Paper) it was proposed that in 2015 a number of all-Wales organisations became subject to the duty and a new Sustainable Development Body established, that from 2016 local authorities would be subject to the duty along with a number of public service providers and that from 2017 Town and Community Councils would also be subject to the duty.
The Welsh Government was currently seeking responses to the five questions contained within paragraph 8 of the report and the Council’s proposed draft response was set out in Appendix B to the report. Members were notified that the response was yet to be considered by Cabinet and that the deadline for submission of the same was 4th March 2013. The Head of Service indicated that the Council was broadly supportive of the White Paper and was already going to considerable lengths to embed sustainability into its operations. He also drew attention to the proposal that the body established to support organisations to embed sustainable development as their central organising principle was intended to act as a critical friend rather than a regulatory body. A concern was, nevertheless, expressed that the new sustainable body could be both bureaucratic and regulatory, that the Auditor General could assume the role without the need for a new body to be established and that the new duty would result in making the Council less competitive than other organisations in what were already difficult times.
Following further discussion on the above and related matters, including the statement within the White Paper that sustainability was to be “the central core principle” rather that simply “a core organisational principle”, it was
RECOMMENDED – T H A T the above comments be referred to Cabinet for consideration.
Reason for recommendation
To inform Cabinet."
Attached as Appendix - Report to Scrutiny Committee (Corporate Resources): 8th February, 2013