An Introduction to The Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015

What Is the Well-Being Of Future Generations Act?

The original purpose of the Well Being of Future Generations Act was about improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales.

The Act set out to make the public bodies listed in the Act more conscious about the long term and aimed to make them work with greater collaboration with people , with communities and with each other, The Act also looked to prevent future problems and take a more joined-up approach of collective social responsibility.

This new law meant that, for the first time, public bodies listed in the Act should fulfil their purposes in a more sustainable way.

The act posits that public bodies need to make sure that when making their decisions they take into account the impact they could have on people living their lives in Wales in the future.

What the act expected public bodies to do is:

Work more collaboratively
Actively engage with the public taking care to reflect the diversity of our communities in wales
Consider the long term effects of policy decisions as well as the more immediate well being concerns
Become proactive in stopping problems getting worse – or even stop them happening in the first place.

The Act also established a statutory Future Generations Commissioner for Wales whose role is to act as a guardian for the interests of future generations in Wales, and to support the public bodies listed in the Act to work towards achieving the well-being goals.

The bodies and persons which are effected by the act are:

Welsh Ministers.
Unitary Authorities (County, Borough and City Councils)
Town and Community Councils (former parish councils)
Local Health Boards.
Public Health Wales NHS Trust.
Velindre NHS Trust.
National Park Authorities.
Fire and Rescue Authorities.
Natural Resources Wales.
The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales.
The Arts Council of Wales.
The Sports Council of Wales.
The National Library of Wales.
The National Museum of Wales.

One of the other main provisions of the act was the establishment of Public Services Boards (PSBs) for each local authority area in Wales. Each PSB was tasked with the improvement the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of the area it represents by working to achieve the set well-being goals.

The act aimed to “ help us to create a Wales that we all want to live in, now and in the future.
To make sure we are all working towards the same vision”. To this end the Act put in place seven
well-being goals.

1.A prosperous Wales
2.A resilient Wales
3.A healthier Wales
4.A more equal Wales
5.A Wales of Cohesive Communities
6.A Wales of Vibrant Culture and Thriving Welsh Language
7.A Globally Responsible Wales

The seven well being goals were given to the named public bodies to be adopted, and the policies of these bodies were now meant to fall within this well being frame work.

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