The Well-being Act
Welsh Government legislation, the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, sets out how devolved public services should work as individual corporate bodies and as a collective through public services boards (PSBs), with the aim of improving the well-being and future sustainability of communities across Wales.
In applying the sustainable development principle public bodies will need to demonstrate that they have used the following five ways of working:
- Integration – demonstrating a joined up approach to communities and people, the economy, the environment and culture.
- Long-term – balancing current and long term needs.
- Prevention – taking action now to prevent problems in the future.
- Collaboration – working with others to meet our objectives.
- Involvement – involving the people affected by our decisions.
Whilst individual bodies work to meet through their corporate plans, PSBs have the responsibility for local assessments, partnership planning and delivery.
The Act requires us to undertake an assessment of social, economic, environmental, and cultural well-being for the area of Torfaen and its communities, as well as looking at the state of well-being of the people in the area. This integrated way of working differs from a more traditional needs based approach by considering the assets of each of our communities and their social capital.
The legislation sets out seven goals to improve well-being across Wales. These goals have been set based on a wide range of evidence relating to a range of important challenges facing our communities across Wales.
The goals provide a shared vision for all public bodies to work towards and we must report our achievements on all of the seven goals in annual reports; we cannot choose to only work towards one or two of the goals.
Understanding the relationship between well-being goals can help us understand that to improve well-being we need the right mix of approaches and, that effective action in one area will have important benefits to the other well-being goals.
The Act established a statutory Future Commissioner for Wales, the role acts as 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.