Wefan Gymraeg

Public Services and Local Government Policy Working Group

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The Policy Working Group's Remit

COVID has tested our public services and local government to the limit, what can we learn and what should our priorities for public services be?

  1. What has COVID told us about the difference joined-up, integrated and collaborative public services can make to outcomes for people and communities? What can we learn from this for future reform?
  2. Local government income has been pushed during the outbreak, with national rebalancing mechanisms making up for lost income or additional expenditure. What should be our priorities for local government funding in the future, and what should our approach be to empowering local government and communities to innovate and drive positive outcomes?
  3. How do we get the best for and best from our public sector workforces, and what more can be done to build capacity, support innovation and excellence, and ensure dignity for workforces and those accessing public services?
  4. How do we make the planning system work for local communities, and how do we ensure that house building supports sustainable, connected and vibrant communities?
  5. How do we ensure that local communities and local services have the scope, capacity and resources to shape services in response to need and local priorities? Is reform and devolution of power necessary to achieve this?
  6. How do we ensure that those with lived experience of accessing services are able to shape change and priorities for services and service delivery? How may we achieve this?

The Working Group's Task

The aim of each Working Group will be to consider and respond to key policy questions and present findings, evidence, and policy proposals (or broad policy aims and objectives) that are essential to the 2021 election and which represent gaps in the party’s existing body of policy. The group should also consider what policy from 2016 and 2019 manifestos can be ‘carried over’ to our 2021 manifesto.

The group will take evidence and consult as widely as possible both within and outside the party. This evidence should inform the group’s proposals. Working Groups are expected to produce a Local party Events Pack’ to engage members on a local level in their work. This also includes the potential to deliver two virtual engagement sessions with members across Wales.

It is recommended that the Working Group appoint a Chair who can liaise with the Policy Development Committee, Policy Development Executive Officer, and Staff.

A policy paper (of no longer than 10,000 words) should be produced for consideration by the Policy Development Committee. Papers should:

  • Provide an assessment of the key challenges within the policy area or theme (including those as a result of COVID);
  • Provide a vision or objective that the Welsh Liberal Democrats would seek to deliver (a statement of intent);
  • Present policy solutions that allow us to be bold, distinctive and proudly liberal in our response;
  • Provide an assessment of the likely key debates or policy issues for the 2021 election and which parties will ‘major’ on those issues;
  • Consider the campaigning implications of your proposals.

The Working Group should also produce, in addition to the policy paper, a Policy Pitch for each of the key policies it believes the Welsh Liberal Democrats should adopt for our 2021 Manifesto.

In its work the Policy Working Group is to consider:

  • The overall objectives of public services and local government policy in a liberal society;
  • Governance, structures and collaboration across public services;
  • Local government functions and powers (we are not considering boundaries at this time);
  • Public sector response to homelessness since COVID - what can be learnt for elsewhere?;
  • The use of technology, digitisation and digital connectivity;
  • Preventative spend and public sector approaches to prevention (poverty, homelessness etc).

The group is also expected to consider and address Liberal Democrat principles on diversity and equalities in developing their proposals. The process should take into account existing policy. Consideration should also be given to policy priorities, and implications for constitutional reform.

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