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Well-being of Future Generations

Meeting the needs of the present, while protecting the needs of future generations is a principle which underpins all decision making at Swansea Council.

The Well-being of Future Generations Act (Wales) 2015 means that the council and other public services must do what we do in a sustainable way.

As a result, we must think more about the long-term, work better with local people and communities and each other, look to prevent problems and take a more joined up approach. This will help us create a Wales and Swansea that we all want to live in, now and in the future. 

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

 

Introducing the Act

Welsh Government has produced a short animation which gives a useful overview of the Act and what it hopes to achieve for Wales.

You can find out more about the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act in Welsh Government's 'The Essentials' guide.

 

What the Act means for Swansea Council

The Well-being of Future Generations ActOpens new window is a world first and is different to other laws. It creates the conditions for our public services to deliver more effectively by changing how we work rather than what we do. 

Swansea Council has long adopted sustainable development as a central organising principle in our sustainable development policy.

However, we know that along with other public services, we still need to make significant changes to our processes and our behaviours. This is a real opportunity for transformation that will future proof both Swansea and Wales.

 

The Future Generations Commissioner

The Act established a Future Generations Commissioner for Wales.

Sophie Howe acts as a guardian for the interests of future generations in Wales, and supports 44 public bodies in applying the Act's sustainable development principle.

Swansea Council benefits from advice and tools provided which include;

 

The Sustainable Development Principle

The Act places a well-being duty on 44 public bodies (including Swansea Council) to carry out sustainable development by acting in accordance with the 'sustainable development principle'

This means that when making decisions we take into account the impact on people living in the future. We do this by applying the 'Five Ways of Working':

  • Long term  - The importance of balancing short-term needs with the needs to safeguard the ability to also meet long-term needs
  • PreventionConsidering how the public body's well-being objectives may impact upon each of the well-being goals, on their objectives, or on the objectives of other public bodies
  • Integration -  The importance of involving people with an interest in achieving the well-being goals, and ensuring that those people reflect the diversity of the area which the body serves
  • Collaboration - Acting in collaboration with any other person (or different parts of the body itself) that could help the body to meet its well-being objectives
  • Involvement - How acting to prevent problems occurring or getting worse may help public bodies meet their objectives

 

The National Well-being Goals

To make sure all public services are all working towards the same vision, the Act puts in place seven well-being goals:  

 

Our Well-being Objectives

Swansea Council must set well-being objectives that are designed to maximise our contribution to achieving each of the well-being goals, then take all reasonable steps to meet those objectives. How we do this is set out in our Corporate Plan.

 

Swansea's Local Well-being Objectives

The Act established Public Services Boards (PSBs) for each local authority area in Wales. This is a way for public services to work together to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Swansea.

Swansea PSB is responsible for publishing an Assessment of Local Well-being and setting Local Well-being Objectives in a Local Well-bring Plan. The Local Well-being objectives prioritise how members of the PSB will work together to achieve the well-being goals.

 

National Well-being Framework

National progress towards the well-being goals is measured via National Indicators and milestones set by Welsh Government so that we can all see if, for Wales as a whole, things are getting better.

 

Sustainable development policy

The council's corporate sustainable development policy sets out guidelines which help services deliver sustainable outcomes for our communities.

The City and County of Swansea defines sustainable development as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".

The Sustainable Development Policy is delivered by the whole council through corporate policies and strategies and frontline delivery.

 

Sustainable development

Swansea Council understands that 'business as usual' isn't enough to deliver the Swansea we want in these challenging times. Sustainable development is a way of working that looks at the bigger picture balancing costs and benefits, both now and in the future.

Sustainable development is about getting the best out of all our resources today, while making sure we have plenty of resources for tomorrow. We have to look again and see the full potential of our city and countryside. Then, use this knowledge to come up with new ways to tackle old problems.

By working with local people so they can help themselves, we can build help stronger communities.  By looking after our surroundings, we grow healthier and by finding new ways to make money and reduce waste, we get wealthier. 

Bringing all these things together, every time we act, is how we create a Sustainable Swansea, Fit for the Future.

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