I am pleased to be publishing the first Future Generations Report.

The report analyses the progress of all public bodies, including Welsh Government, in implementing the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act since it became law in 2015.

Publication of the report by May 5 is a statutory requirement, but I have written to each of the bodies including Welsh Government to advise them that I understand that these are challenging times and that they are under considerable pressure due to COVID-19.

I understand that responses to the report will be delayed while Wales focuses on dealing with a global pandemic. A more formal launch of the report will follow, subject to an assessment of the position regarding COVID-19. 

In the meantime, I am encouraging Welsh Government and public bodies to use the Future Generations Report as we work towards an eventual recovery plan for Wales.

The world has changed and I believe society in Wales can be significantly reshaped for the better.

Our health service is under tremendous pressure, the economy is facing unprecedented challenges and households across the country are feeling huge financial and emotional strain. 

As we deal with the current crisis, we must think long-term. We’re being presented with an opportunity to enact change. With a progressive and inclusive approach, we can build a Wales which gives everyone a stake, including the most vulnerable.

COVID-19 needs a holistic response and one that focuses on the well-being of people and the planet so that we can future-proof now, and learn from previous mistakes.

I’m calling for a Ministry of Possibilities to be established within the Welsh Government, bringing together the brightest and the best from local government, private sector, the voluntary sector and industry to develop new ideas and approaches. 

They’d work in detail on critical issues, such as, how we recover from the pandemic.

The report also sets out possibilities for the NHS in the years to come after this crisis, with the development of a National Wellness System to improve the nation’s health and reduce demands on services by putting an emphasis on keeping people well.

I understand that the report, in its current format is difficult to digest. The report has been produced in difficult circumstances, without a formal launch. Over the coming weeks and months, I will be expanding on further findings and recommendations, as well as producing executive summaries for each chapter and more accessible versions for wider use.

The current crisis has exposed flaws in the system, and we have a chance now to redress those failures in the months and years ahead.

We are at a crossroads. We can either go back to the old way of doing things, with the old problems still harming our most needy communities, or we can change to better things for the benefit of everyone.

It will take political courage to bring about that change.

We have seen society at its very best since the pandemic hit Wales, with communities coming together in ways we’ve not seen in living memory. 

There are going to be challenges. But we have opportunities, too – and we should use them: from maintaining falls in carbon emissions and air pollution; to valuing hard-working volunteers, tapping into this new enthusiasm for helping others; and nurturing and developing the community spirit emerging from this crisis.

We have the opportunity to build on what we’ve learned, to act now and create the Wales We Need for the future.

 

 

NOTES

The once-in-five-years Future Generations Report covers each of the seven National Well-being Goals – a prosperous, resilient, more equal, healthier and globally responsible Wales, and a Wales of cohesive communities, with a vibrant culture and a thriving Welsh language.

The report is drawn from the commissioner’s monitoring and assessing work and insights from more than 5,000 people and organisations from Wales, the UK and further afield.  

The recommendations are what the commissioner considers to be the most significant things that should be done in the next five years to help Wales reach the well-being goals. 

The report also contains a number of ‘Big Ideas’ of how Wales could change for the better, taken from some of the best examples from Wales and across the world.

Media enquiries to Claire Rees on clairefrees@gmail.com/ 07815 291140.