The Welsh Government (Welsh: Llywodraeth Cymru) is the devolved government of Wales. It was established by the Government of Wales Act 1998, which created a devolved administration for Wales in line with the result of the 1997 referendum on devolution. The Welsh Government formally separated from the Assembly in 2007 following the passage of the Government of Wales Act 2006. The government consists of ministers, who attend cabinet meetings, and deputy ministers who do not, and also of a counsel general. It is led by the first minister, usually the leader of the largest party in the National Assembly, who selects ministers and deputy ministers with the approval of the assembly. The government is responsible for tabling policy in devolved areas (such as health, education, economic development, transport and local government) for consideration by the assembly and implementing policy that has been approved by it.
|Welsh: Llywodraeth Cymru|
|Established||May 12, 1999|
|Main organ||Welsh Cabinet|
|Responsible to||National Assembly for Wales|
|Annual budget||£18.4 billion (2019/20)|
As initially established, the Welsh Government had no independent executive powers in law (unlike, for instance, the Scottish ministers and British government ministers). The National Assembly was established as a body corporate by the Government of Wales Act 1998 and the executive, as a committee of the assembly, only had those powers that the assembly as a whole voted to delegate to ministers.
The Government of Wales Act 2006 formally separated the National Assembly for Wales and the Welsh Government, giving Welsh ministers independent executive authority, this taking effect after the May 2007 elections. Following separation, the Welsh ministers exercise functions in their own right. Further transfers of executive functions from the British government can be made directly to the Welsh ministers (with their consent) by an Order in Council approved by the British parliament.
Separation was designed to clarify the respective roles of the assembly and the government. Under the structures established by the Government of Wales Act 2006, the role of Welsh ministers is to make decisions; develop and implement policy; exercise executive functions and make statutory instruments. The 60 assembly members in the National Assembly scrutinise the government's decisions and policies; hold ministers to account; approve budgets for the Welsh Government's programmes; and enact acts of assembly on subjects that have been devolved to the Welsh administration.
The new arrangements provided for in the Government of Wales Act 2006 created a formal legal separation between the National Assembly for Wales, comprising 60 assembly members, and the Welsh Assembly Government, comprising the First Minister, Welsh ministers, deputy ministers and the counsel general. This separation between the two bodies took effect on the appointment of the First Minister by Queen Elizabeth II following the assembly election on 3 May 2007.
Separation was meant to clarify the respective roles of the assembly and the government. The role of the government is to make decisions; develop and implement policy; exercise executive functions and make statutory instruments. The 60 assembly members in the National Assembly scrutinise the Welsh Government's decisions and policies; hold ministers to account; approve budgets for the Welsh Government's programmes; and have the power to enact assembly measures on certain matters. Assembly measures can now go further than the subordinate legislation which the assembly had the power to make prior to 2007.
The assembly's functions, including that of making subordinate legislation, in the main, transferred to the Welsh ministers upon separation. A third body was also established under the 2006 Act from May 2007, called the National Assembly for Wales Commission. It employs the staff supporting the new National Assembly for Wales, and holds property, enters into contracts and provides support services on its behalf.
The 2006 Act made new provision for the appointment of Welsh ministers. The First Minister is nominated by the Assembly and then appointed by Her Majesty the Queen. The First Minister then appoints the Welsh Ministers and the Deputy Welsh Ministers, with the approval of Her Majesty. The Act created a new post of Counsel General for Wales, the principal source of legal advice to the Welsh Government. The Counsel General is appointed by the Queen, on the nomination of the First Minister, whose recommendation must be agreed by the National Assembly. The Counsel General may be, but does not have to be, an Assembly Member. The Act permits a maximum of 12 Welsh Ministers, which includes Deputy Welsh Ministers, but excludes the First Minister and the Counsel General. Accordingly, the maximum size of the Welsh Government is 14.
Following the "yes" vote in the referendum on further law-making powers for the assembly on 3 March 2011, the Welsh Government is now entitled to propose bills to the National Assembly for Wales on subjects within 20 fields of policy. Subject to limitations prescribed by the Government of Wales Act 2006, Acts of the National Assembly may make any provision that could be made by Act of Parliament. The 20 areas of responsibility devolved to the National Assembly for Wales (and within which Welsh ministers exercise executive functions) are:
The government is composed of ministers and deputy ministers. The counsel general is also a member of the Cabinet. The current government is formed by Welsh Labour, the sole Liberal Democrats Assembly Member, Kirsty Williams and Independent AM Dafydd Elis-Thomas.
|First Minister||Rt. Hon Mark Drakeford AM||2018–||Labour|
|Minister for Finance and Trefnydd||Rebecca Evans AM||2018–||Labour|
|Minister for Health and Social Services||Vaughan Gething AM||2018–||Labour|
|Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs||Lesley Griffiths AM||2018–||Labour|
|Minister for Housing and Local Government||Julie James AM||2018–||Labour|
|Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language||Eluned Morgan AM||2018–||Labour|
|Minister for Economy and Transport||Ken Skates AM||2018–||Labour|
|Minister for Education||Kirsty Williams AM||2016–||Liberal Democrats|
|Counsel General and Brexit Minister||Jeremy Miles AM||2018–||Labour|
|Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government||Hannah Blythyn AM||2018–||Labour|
|Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism||Rt. Hon Dafydd Elis-Thomas AM||2017–||Independent|
|Deputy Minister and Chief Whip||Jane Hutt AM||2018–||Labour|
|Deputy Minister for Health and Social Services||Julie Morgan AM||2018–||Labour|
|Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport||Lee Waters AM||2018–||Labour|
The Welsh Government also includes a civil service that supports the Welsh ministers. As of March 2018, there are 5,015 full-time equivalent civil servants working across Wales. The civil service is a matter reserved to the British parliament at Westminster: Welsh Government civil servants work within the rules and customs of Her Majesty's Civil Service, but serve the devolved administration rather than the British government.
The permanent secretary heads the civil service of the Welsh Government and chairs the Strategic Delivery and Performance Board.
The permanent secretary is a member of Her Majesty's Civil Service, and therefore takes part in the permanent secretaries management group of the Civil Service and is answerable to the most senior civil servant in Britain, the cabinet secretary, for his or her professional conduct. He or she remains, however, at the direction of the Welsh ministers.
The Welsh Government Board translates the strategic direction set by the Welsh cabinet and its committees into work that is joined up across Welsh Government departments and makes the best use of its resources. The board is made up of four directors general, four directors and 4 non-executive directors, and is chaired by the permanent secretary.
Board members are appointed at the discretion of and by the permanent secretary. Membership is not wholly dependent on functional responsibilities; it is designed to provide balanced advice and support to the permanent secretary, and collective leadership to the organisation as a whole.
|Permanent Secretary||Dame Shan Morgan, DCMG|
|Director General, Education and Public Services||Tracey Burke|
|Director General, Economy, Skills & Natural Resources||Andrew Slade|
|Director General, Health & Social Services and Chief Executive of NHS Wales||Dr. Andrew Goodall CBE|
|Director General, Office of the First Minister & Brexit||Desmond Clifford|
|Director, Legal Services||Helen Lentle|
|Director, Governance||David Richards|
|Director, Finance||Gawain Evans|
|Director, Corporate Services||Peter Kennedy|
|non-executive director||Gareth Lynn|
|non-executive director||Ann Keane|
|non-executive director||Jeff Fararr|
|non-executive director||Ellen Donovan|
|Head of Organisational Development and Engagement||Natalie Pearson|
|Board Equality and Diversity Champion||Gillian Baranski|
The Welsh Government is responsible for a number of Welsh Government sponsored bodies (WGSBs). These are, respectively,
WGSBs are staffed by public servants rather than civil servants.
The Welsh Government is also responsible for some public bodies that are not classed as WGSBs, such as NHS Wales, and the Welsh Offices of England and Wales legal offices.
The Welsh Government has a total of 22 core offices across Wales. It also has an office based in Westminster in London. The Government also has 15 offices located in 7 countries outside the United Kingdom, including China, India, United Arab Emirates and the United States.
Historically, most Welsh Office staff were based in Cardiff, especially in Cathays Park. However, in 2002, the Fullerton Review concluded that "the Assembly could no longer sustain having the majority of its operational functions located in and around Cardiff". Since 2004, Welsh Government civil servants have been relocated across Wales as part of the Location Strategy, which involved the creation of new offices at Merthyr Tydfil, Aberystwyth and Llandudno Junction. In 2006, the mergers of ELWa, the Wales Tourist Board and the Welsh Development Agency into the Welsh Government brought these agencies' offices into the Welsh Government estate.
The office of the First Minister is in Tŷ Hywel in Cardiff Bay; an office is also kept at the Welsh Government building in Cathays Park where the majority of Cardiff-based Welsh Government civil servants are located.
Wales receives a budget allocation from the UK Government determined by the Barnett Formula, which makes up roughly 80% of the Welsh budget. The remaining 20% comes from devolved taxes such as Non-domestic rates, Land Transaction Tax, Landfill Disposal Tax and the Welsh rates of Income Tax. These taxes are collected and managed by the Welsh Revenue Authority except for income tax which is collected by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs and then distributed to the Welsh Government.
The Welsh Government sets out its spending and financing plans for the forthcoming financial year in the autumn.
The National Assembly for Wales scrutinises the budget and associated taxation and spending plans.
Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales, formerly the National Museums and Galleries of Wales, is a Welsh Government sponsored body that comprises seven museums in Wales:
National Museum Cardiff
St Fagans National Museum of History, Cardiff
Big Pit National Coal Museum, Blaenavon
National Wool Museum, Dre-fach Felindre near Llandysul
National Slate Museum, Llanberis
National Roman Legion Museum, Caerleon
National Waterfront Museum, SwanseaIn addition to these sites, the organisation runs Oriel y Parc, a gallery of Welsh landscape art in St David's, in partnership with the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority. The National Collections Centre in Nantgarw is AC-NMW's storage facility.Arts Council of Wales
The Arts Council of Wales (ACW; Welsh: Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru) is a Welsh Government-sponsored body, responsible for funding and developing the arts in Wales.
Established by Royal Charter in 1946, as the Welsh Arts Council (Welsh: Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru), its English name was changed to the Arts Council of Wales when it was established by Royal Charter on 30 March 1994 (the Welsh name remained the same), upon its merger with the three Welsh regional arts associations. It became accountable to the National Assembly for Wales on 1 July 1999, when responsibility was transferred from the Secretary of State for Wales. The Welsh Government provides ACW with money to fund the arts in Wales. ACW also distributes National Lottery funding for the arts in Wales, allocated by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
Arts Council of Wales is a registered charity under English law and has a board of trustees who meet six times a year, chaired by Phil George, Apart from the Chair, Council members are not paid; they are appointed by the Welsh Government. The Arts Council of Wales has offices in Colwyn Bay, Carmarthen and Cardiff. Nick Capaldi has been its chief executive since 2008.
The Arts Council partners with the National Eisteddfod of Wales to produce its annual "Y Lle Celf" exhibition of Welsh art, craft and design.Cadw
Cadw ([ˈkadu], a Welsh verbal noun meaning "keeping/preserving") is the historic environment service of the Welsh Government and part of the Tourism and Culture group. Cadw works to protect the historic buildings and structures, the landscapes and heritage sites of Wales, so that the public can visit them, enjoy them and understand their significance. Cadw manages 127 state owned properties and sites. It arranges events at its managed properties, provides lectures and teaching sessions, offers heritage walks and hosts an online shop. Members of the public can become members of Cadw to gain membership privileges.Cardiff Airport
Cardiff Airport (Welsh: Maes Awyr Caerdydd) (IATA: CWL, ICAO: EGFF) is the busiest airport in Wales. It has been under the ownership of the Welsh Government since March 2013, operating at an arm's length as a commercial business. Passenger numbers were 1.581 million in 2018 and are increasing year-on-year.Cardiff Airport is located near the village of Rhoose in the Vale of Glamorgan.Carwyn Jones
Carwyn Howell Jones, AM (born 21 March 1967) is a Welsh Labour politician who served as First Minister of Wales and Leader of the Welsh Labour Party from 2009 to 2018. He served as Counsel General for Wales from 2007 to 2009. Jones was first elected Member of the National Assembly (AM) for Bridgend in 1999.
Jones served in the Cabinet as Secretary for Agriculture and Rural Development in the Welsh Government from 2000 to 2002, and as Minister of State for the Environment from 2003 to 2007. Following the 2007 election, he was appointed Minister for Education, Culture and the Welsh Language, and thereafter Counsel General for Wales and Leader of the House following the One Wales coalition agreement with Plaid Cymru.
Jones succeeded Rhodri Morgan as Welsh Labour Leader and First Minister on 1 December 2009, where Jones was elected with over 50% of the vote. The third politician to lead the Welsh Government, Jones was nominated as First Minister by the National Assembly on 9 December 2009, and was sworn into office the following day. On 21 April 2018 he announced he would step down as First Minister in the autumn, and was succeeded by Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford in December 2018.Countryside Council for Wales
The Countryside Council for Wales (CCW; Welsh: Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru (CCGC)), a Welsh Government Sponsored Body, was, until 31 March 2013, the wildlife conservation, landscape and countryside access authority for Wales. It was merged with Forestry Commission Wales, and Environment Agency Wales to form Natural Resources Wales, a single body managing Wales's environment and natural resources, on 1 April 2013.As a statutory advisory and prosecuting body, the Countryside Council for Wales 'championed the environment and landscapes of Wales and its coastal waters as sources of natural and cultural riches, as a foundation for economic and social activity, and as a place for leisure and learning opportunities'. It aimed to 'make the environment a valued part of everyone's life in Wales'.The Council of CCW consisted of a Chairman and a maximum of ten members. They were appointed by the Welsh Government which also provided CCW's annual budget. The Council gave direction to the around 500 staff. CCW's headquarters was in Bangor, Gwynedd, North Wales, with other offices across Wales.England and Wales
England and Wales (Welsh: Lloegr a Chymru) is a legal jurisdiction covering England and Wales, two of the four constituent countries of the United Kingdom. ’England and Wales’ forms the constitutional successor to the former Kingdom of England and follows a single legal system, known as English law.
The devolved National Assembly for Wales (Welsh: Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) was created in 1999 by the Parliament of the United Kingdom under the Government of Wales Act 1998 and provides a degree of self-government in Wales. The powers of the Assembly were expanded by the Government of Wales Act 2006, which allows it to pass its own laws, and the Act also formally separated the Welsh Government from the Assembly. There is no equivalent body for England, which is directly governed by the Parliament and the government of the United Kingdom.First Minister of Wales
The First Minister of Wales (Welsh: Prif Weinidog Cymru) is the leader of the Welsh Government, Wales' devolved administration. The First Minister is responsible for the exercise of functions by the Cabinet of the Welsh Government; policy development and coordination; relationships with the rest of the United Kingdom, Europe and the wider world.
The official office of the First Minister is in Tŷ Hywel, previously known as Crickhowell House, and the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. An office is also kept at the Crown Buildings, Cathays Park, Cardiff.Higher Education Funding Council for Wales
The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) is the Welsh Government Sponsored Body responsible for funding the higher education sector.NHS Wales
NHS Wales (Welsh: GIG Cymru) is the official corporate name of the Welsh National Health Service (Gwasanaeth Iechyd Gwladol Cymru), a publicly funded healthcare system which is the responsibility of the Welsh Government.
NHS Wales was originally formed as part of the public health system for England and Wales created by the National Health Service Act 1946 with powers over the NHS in Wales coming under the Secretary of State for Wales in 1969. That year, the latter took over much of the responsibility for health services in Wales, being supported in this by the Welsh Office, which had been established in 1964.Following the pre-legislative Welsh devolution referendum of 18 September 1997, Royal Assent was given on 31 July to the Government of Wales Act 1998. This created the National Assembly for Wales, to which overall responsibility for NHS Wales was devolved in 1999. Responsibility, therefore, for NHS Wales was passed to the Welsh Government under devolution in 1999 and has since then been the responsibility of the Welsh Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services.NHS Wales provides emergency services and a range of primary, secondary, and specialist tertiary care services. District General Hospitals provide outpatient, inpatient, and accident and emergency services, and there is a network of community hospitals run by GPs. Specialist hospitals provide services such as burns units and plastic and cardiac surgery. NHS Wales also funds GP services, dental services, pharmacies, and sexual health services. Community services are also provided which includes district nurses, health visitors, midwives, and community-based speech therapists, physiotherapists, and occupational therapists.National Assembly for Wales
The National Assembly for Wales (Welsh: Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru; commonly known as the Welsh Assembly or Senedd) is the devolved parliament of Wales, with power to make legislation, vary taxes and scrutinise the Welsh Government. The Assembly comprises 60 members, who are known as Assembly Members, or AMs (Aelodau y Cynulliad). Since 2011, Members are elected for five-year terms under an additional members system, in which 40 AMs represent geographical constituencies elected by the plurality system, and 20 AMs represent five electoral regions using the D'Hondt method of proportional representation. Typically the largest party in the Assembly forms the Welsh Government.
The Assembly was created by the Government of Wales Act 1998, which followed a referendum in 1997. The Assembly had no powers to initiate primary legislation until limited law-making powers were gained through the Government of Wales Act 2006. Its primary law-making powers were enhanced following a Yes vote in the referendum on 3 March 2011, making it possible for it to legislate without having to consult the UK parliament or the Secretary of State for Wales in the 20 areas that are devolved.
Legislation has been introduced by the Assembly Commission which will change the name of the institution from National Assembly for Wales to the Senedd (Welsh: [ˈsɛnɛð]), which may also be known as the Welsh Parliament; the proposed name change is expected to come into effect on 6 May 2020.National Trails
National Trails are long distance footpaths and bridleways in England and Wales. They are administered by Natural England, a statutory agency of the UK government, and Natural Resources Wales (successor body to the Countryside Council for Wales), a Welsh Government-sponsored body.
National Trails are marked with an acorn symbol along the route.
In Scotland, the equivalent trails are called Scotland's Great Trails and are administered by Scottish Natural Heritage.Natural Resources Wales
Natural Resources Wales (Welsh: Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru) is a Welsh Government sponsored body, which became operational from 1 April 2013, when it took over the management of the natural resources of Wales. It was formed from a merger of the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Agency Wales, and the Forestry Commission Wales, and also assumes some other roles formerly taken by Welsh Government.Sport Wales
Sport Wales (Welsh: Chwaraeon Cymru) is the national organisation responsible for developing and promoting sport and physical activity in Wales. Working alongside partners such as governing bodies of sport and local authorities, they aim to encourage sporting ambitions in the young, and promote championship standards nationally.
They are the main adviser on sporting matters to the Welsh Government and are responsible for distributing National Lottery funds to both elite and grassroots sport in Wales.
In 2016, Dr Paul Thomas was appointed as a new Chair, following Laura McAllister. However both chairman and deputy were sacked by the Welsh Government in March 2017 due to concerns that the organisation had become dysfunctional.Transport for Wales
Transport for Wales (Welsh: Trafnidiaeth Cymru), or TfW (Welsh: TrC), is a not-for-profit company owned by the Welsh Government.Wales
Wales (Welsh: Cymru [ˈkəmri] (listen)) is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It is bordered by England to the east, the Irish Sea to the north and west, and the Bristol Channel to the south. It had a population in 2011 of 3,063,456 and has a total area of 20,779 km2 (8,023 sq mi). Wales has over 1,680 miles (2,700 km) of coastline and is largely mountainous with its higher peaks in the north and central areas, including Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), its highest summit. The country lies within the north temperate zone and has a changeable, maritime climate.
Welsh national identity emerged among the Britons after the Roman withdrawal from Britain in the 5th century, and Wales is regarded as one of the modern Celtic nations. Llywelyn ap Gruffudd's death in 1282 marked the completion of Edward I of England's conquest of Wales, though Owain Glyndŵr briefly restored independence to Wales in the early 15th century. The whole of Wales was annexed by England and incorporated within the English legal system under the Laws in Wales Acts 1535 and 1542. Distinctive Welsh politics developed in the 19th century. Welsh liberalism, exemplified in the early 20th century by Lloyd George, was displaced by the growth of socialism and the Labour Party. Welsh national feeling grew over the century; Plaid Cymru was formed in 1925 and the Welsh Language Society in 1962. Established under the Government of Wales Act 1998, the National Assembly for Wales holds responsibility for a range of devolved policy matters.
At the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, development of the mining and metallurgical industries transformed the country from an agricultural society into an industrial nation; the South Wales Coalfield's exploitation caused a rapid expansion of Wales' population. Two-thirds of the population live in South Wales, including Cardiff, Swansea, Newport and the nearby valleys. Now that the country's traditional extractive and heavy industries have gone or are in decline, Wales' economy depends on the public sector, light and service industries and tourism.
Although Wales closely shares its political and social history with the rest of Great Britain, and a majority of the population in most areas speaks English as a first language, the country has retained a distinct cultural identity and is officially bilingual. Over 560,000 Welsh language speakers live in Wales, and the language is spoken by a majority of the population in parts of the north and west. From the late 19th century onwards, Wales acquired its popular image as the "land of song", in part due to the eisteddfod tradition. At many international sporting events, such as the FIFA World Cup, Rugby World Cup and the Commonwealth Games, Wales has its own national teams, though at the Olympic Games, Welsh athletes compete as part of a Great Britain team. Rugby union is seen as a symbol of Welsh identity and an expression of national consciousness.Welsh Government sponsored bodies
Welsh Government sponsored bodies (WGSBs) (Welsh: Corff (plural: Cyrff) a Noddir gan Lywodraeth Cymru, CNLC) are non-departmental public bodies directly funded by the Welsh Government. Under the Government of Wales Act 1998 they were sponsored by the National Assembly for Wales and were known as Assembly Sponsored public bodies, and this was changed by the Schedule 3 of the Wales Act 2017 which amended the Government of Wales Act 2006.Welsh Government sponsored bodies undertake various functions on behalf of Welsh Ministers, but operate independently of the Welsh Government. Corporate governance is performed by a Chair and Board for each sponsored body, who are appointed by Welsh Ministers, in accordance with governance code established by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The role and governance of sponsored bodies was made stated by Ken Skates (Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure), in a written statement to the National Assembly,
Sponsored bodies have expertise and experience in specialist areas, and are valued partners who support and contribute towards many Welsh Government strategic initiatives and programmes. In terms of governance, they have separate Chairs and Boards appointed in accordance with the Code of Practice for Ministerial Appointments to Public Bodies.
Sponsored bodies are subject to the Freedom of Information Act 2000, under Section 83, and have been given guidance by the Information Commissioner's Office on they should exercise this responsibility.Welsh language
Welsh (Cymraeg); [kəmˈrɑːɨɡ] (listen)) or y Gymraeg (Welsh pronunciation: [ə gəmˈrɑːɨɡ]) is a Brittonic language of the Celtic branch of the Indo-European language family. It is spoken natively in Wales, by some in England, and in Y Wladfa (the Welsh colony in Chubut Province, Argentina). Historically, it has also been known in English as 'British', 'Cambrian', 'Cambric' and 'Cymric'.According to the United Kingdom Census 2011, 19 per cent of residents in Wales aged three and over were able to speak Welsh. According to the 2001 Census, 21 per cent of the population aged 3+ were able to speak Welsh. This suggests that there was a decrease in the number of Welsh speakers in Wales from 2001 to 2011 – from about 582,000 to 562,000 respectively.
The Annual Population Survey conducted by the Office for National Statistics for the year ending in March 2019 suggest that 896,900 Welsh residents (30 per cent) aged three or over in Wales were able to speak Welsh. The results for the most recent National Survey for Wales (2017-2018) suggest that 19 per cent of the population aged 16 and over were able to speak Welsh, with an additional 12 per cent noting that they had ‘some Welsh speaking ability’.The Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 gave the Welsh language official status in Wales, making it the only language that is de jure official in any part of the United Kingdom, with English being de facto official. The Welsh language, along with English, is also a de jure official language of the National Assembly for Wales.