Y Pwyllgor Cyfrifon Cyhoeddus - Y Bumed Senedd
Public Accounts Committee - Fifth Senedd25/01/2021
Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol
Committee Members in Attendance
|Angela Burns MS|
|Delyth Jewell MS|
|Gareth Bennett MS|
|Jenny Rathbone MS|
|Nick Ramsay MS||Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor|
|Rhianon Passmore MS|
|Vikki Howells MS|
Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol
Others in Attendance
|Adrian Crompton||Archwilydd Cyffredinol Cymru|
|Auditor General for Wales|
|Clare Pillman||Prif Weithredwr, Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru|
|Chief Executive, Natural Resources Wales|
|David Anderson||Cyfarwyddwr Cyffredinol, Amgueddfa Cymru|
|Director General, National Museum Wales|
|David Michael||Dirprwy Brif Weithredwr a Llyfrgellydd (Adnoddau Corfforaethol), Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru|
|Deputy Chief Executive and Librarian (Corporate Resources), National Library for Wales|
|Dr Sumina Azam||Ymgynghorydd Iechyd y Cyhoedd, Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru|
|Consultant in Public Health, Public Health Wales|
|Dr Tracey Cooper||Prif Weithredwr, Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru|
|Chief Executive, Public Health Wales|
|Kath Davies||Cyfarwyddwr Casgliadau ac Ymchwil, Amgueddfa Cymru|
|Director of Collections and Research, National Museum Wales|
|Llyr Gruffydd MS||Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor Cyllid|
|Chair of the Finance Committee|
|Mair Thomas||Cydlynydd Perfformiad a Chydymffurfiaeth, Awdurdod Parc Cenedlaethol Arfordir Penfro|
|Performance and Compliance Co-ordinator, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority|
|Nia Williams||Cyfarwyddwr Addysg a Rhaglenni Cyhoeddus, Amgueddfa Cymru|
|Director of Learning and Public Programmes, National Museum Wales|
|Pedr ap Llwyd||Prif Weithredwr a Llyfrgellydd, Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru|
|Chief Executive and Librarian, National Library of Wales|
|Professor Mark Bellis||Cyfarwyddwr Polisi ac Iechyd Rhyngwladol, Iechyd Cyhoeddus Cymru|
|Director of Policy and International Health, Public Health Wales|
|Siân Williams||Pennaeth Gweithrediadau Gogledd-orllewin Cymru, Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru|
|Head of North-west Wales Operations, National Resources Wales|
|Tegryn Jones||Prif Weithredwr, Awdurdod Parc Cenedlaethol Arfordir Penfro|
|Chief Executive, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority|
|Tim Buckle||Archwilio Cymru|
Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol
Senedd Officials in Attendance
|Claire Griffiths||Dirprwy Glerc|
|Tom Lewis-White||Ail Glerc|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.
The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.
Cyfarfu'r pwyllgor drwy gynhadledd fideo.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:16.
The committee met by video-conference.
The meeting began at 09:16.
Can I welcome Members to this morning's meeting of the Public Accounts Committee? Llyr Gruffydd, Chair of the Finance Committee, will be joining us later on. No apologies have been received. Do Members have any declarations of interest they'd like to make at the start? No. We've sorted out our interpretation.
Can I welcome our witnesses? Thank you for being with us today. We are continuing with our inquiry into the implementation of the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, and we're pleased that you're able to come and give us evidence today via Zoom. Would you like to give your names, positions and organisations for the Record of Proceedings, please?
Mi wnaf i gychwyn. Pedr ap Llwyd, prif weithredwr a llyfrgellydd cenedlaethol yn y llyfrgell genedlaethol yn Aberystwyth. Bore da.
I'll start. I'm Pedr ap Llwyd, chief executive and librarian at the National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth. Good morning.
Bore da. David Michael, dirprwy brif weithredwr yn y llyfrgell genedlaethol.
Good morning. I'm David Michael, deputy chief executive at the National Library of Wales.
Bore da. Kath Davies ydw i. Dwi'n gyfarwyddwr casgliadau ac ymchwil yn yr amgueddfa genedlaethol.
Good morning. I'm Kath Davies. I'm director of collections and research at National Museum Wales.
Thanks for being with us today. We've got a number of questions for you, so feel free to be succinct in your answers, and if Members can in their questions as well, we can then get through more. I'll kick off with the first one, and in general, briefly, what has been the biggest challenge for your organisation in implementing the Act? Who wants to go first on that? David?
Shall I go first? Thank you. I think that for us, really, it's been the integration of our work with the work across Wales that's been a major challenge, really. And we've had a lot of support from the Future Generations Commissioner for Wales in actually suggesting other potential partners, seeing good practice from across Wales, and to be able to identify ways in which we could actually improve our own practice as well. So, it's been very much a learning curve for the last five years for us, I would say, in this. But there is huge potential for much greater integration of work across sectors, outside culture, with health, learning and other sectors as well, which I think is still to be fully achieved.
Good. Would anyone else like to comment?
Efallai jest i ategu beth mae David wedi'i ddweud, ac fel mae nifer o ymatebion ŷch chi wedi eu derbyn eisoes wedi dweud, mae hefyd y cylch ariannu ac efallai llythyr cylch gorchwyl byrdymor yn gwneud cynlluniau hirdymor yn heriol, ac efallai fod y mesurau perfformiad sy'n cael eu gosod arnom ni gan y Llywodraeth yn tueddu i ganolbwyntio ar allbynnau yn hytrach na chanlyniadau'n gwaith, a dydy rhain ddim o reidrwydd bob tro yn ymateb i'r nodau llesiant.
Rŷn ni'n croesawu'r angen i seilio'n gwaith ar yr amcanion, ond mae diffyg nawdd i arbrofi a chreu gofodau i gyd-gynllunio gyda sefydliadau eraill efallai yn un o'r heriau i ni ar hyn o bryd. Ac mi fuaswn i hefyd efallai'n ategu o ran ffyrdd o weithio, yn ogystal â'r hir dymor, fod atal fel ffordd o weithio hefyd yn heriol, ac efallai bod angen i ni ystyried sut mae canfyddiadau ymchwil ar draws sectorau yn gallu cael eu rhannu'n well er mwyn mewnbynnu, i gael ni i weithio tuag at atal fel amcan.
Maybe just to echo what David has said, and as a number of responses you've already had have said, the funding cycle and perhaps the remit letter, the short-term letter, makes long-term planning a challenge. And maybe that the performance measures that are imposed on us by the Government tend to focus on outputs rather than the results of our work, and they're not necessarily responsive to the well-being goals.
We welcome the work based on the objectives, but the lack of resources for joint planning perhaps is one of the challenges for us at present. I would also perhaps add that in terms of the ways of working, as well as the long term, prevention as a way of working is a challenge and maybe we need to consider how the research findings across sectors can be shared better in order to provide input, and have us working towards prevention as an objective.
Os caf i ychwanegu hefyd fy mod i'n cytuno'n llwyr â sylwadau Nia a sylwadau David hefyd. Heb os, mae'r pum mlynedd gyntaf wedi bod yn bum mlynedd o adnabod y Ddeddf, deall y Ddeddf, a sylweddoli goblygiadau'r Ddeddf i'r sefydliad yma. Mi rydyn ni, yn ystod y misoedd diwethaf yma, wedi datblygu cynllun strategol newydd ar gyfer y pum mlynedd nesaf yma, ac mae deall ac amgyffred y Ddeddf wedi bod yn help mawr i ni wrth gynllunio'r cynllun strategol nesaf, ble mae Deddf cenedlaethau'r dyfodol yn mynd i chwarae rhan ganolog wrth i ni weithredu'n cynlluniau ar gyfer y blynyddoedd nesaf yma, ac wrth ddarparu gwasanaethau. Wrth edrych ar bob agwedd o'n gwaith, mae rhywun yn gofyn iddo'i hun erbyn hyn beth sy'n llesol i'r genhedlaeth bresennol a sut ydyn ni'n mynd i gyflwyno Cymru well i'r genhedlaeth a ddaw.
If I could add also that I agree entirely with the comments made by Nia and David as well. Without a doubt, the first five years have been five years of getting to know and understanding the Act, and realising the implications of the Act for this organisation. During recent months, we have been developing a new strategic plan for the next five years, and understanding and engaging with the Act has been a great help to us in drawing up that next strategic plan, where the well-being of future generations Act is going to play a central role as we implement our plans for the coming years and in providing services. In looking at every aspect of our work, one asks oneself what represents well-being for the future generations and how are we going to make a better Wales for the future generations.
Gaf i ategu beth mae Pedr wedi dweud drwy ddweud mai dyma'r flwyddyn gyntaf yn y cylch cyllido presennol, dyma'r tro cyntaf, i ni gael adnoddau ariannol ychwanegol ar gyfer delifro'r Ddeddf? Er enghraifft, rydyn ni'n cael £0.5 miliwn o arian cyfalaf ar gyfer datgarboneiddio'r llyfrgell. Felly, mae hyn yn gam pwysig ac mae hyn yn mynd i fod yn broses hirdymor, ac mae'n bwysig ein bod ni'n cadw'r arian yna yn y sylfaen ar gyfer y dyfodol, er mwyn i ni gyflawni'r anghenion datgarboneiddio yn y dyfodol.
Could I add to what Pedr has said by just saying that this is the first year in the current funding cycle, and the first time, for us to have additional resources for delivering the Act? For example, we've had £0.5 million in capital funding for decarbonisation in the library, so it's a very important step, and, as this is a long-term process, it's important that we retain that funding in the core funding for the future in order to deliver on the decarbonisation objectives for the future.
Who next? David.
Yes, I think I would very much like to echo what's been said about the future strategic planning. Over the last six months to a year, we've been working on developing a new 10-year strategic plan for Amgueddfa Cymru, and we have worked closely with the commission and got their advice in the processes of doing that. But we've also built in the goals of the future generations Act and the five ways of working into the way in which we have developed the strategy, and also in the primary draft goals that we've put together with the board of trustees and in consultation with staff and across Wales in the framework that we will use for the 10 years going forward. So, in this next phase we will be much, much more closely aligned and integrated with the purposes of the future generations Act as well.
And anyone else? No. Happy? Shall I ask you the next question, then, before we move on to other Members? Obviously, we're in the middle of the pandemic. How has that impacted on the implementation of the Act? Are there any specific challenges that the pandemic has posed for the use of this legislation? David.
I think this has been a significant barrier for us but also a very, very strong spur for us to change the way in which we work. Clearly, we've not been able to work inside our buildings in the way that was very normal and we would have regarded, and still would do, as essential in the long term, so we've had to innovate. We've innovated digitally and we've innovated in terms of working with our partners. One of our strengths as an organisation has been that, over the last five, 10 years, we've built up a huge network of community-based partners both geographically and by different sectors as well—street-level charities like Drug Aid Wales, The Wallich, Llamau, for example. Those networks have been a resource, really, I think both for us and, hopefully, for our community partners, and we've been able to continue our work in very, very different ways, and in partnership with them. So, we have taken the digital route, and we can give examples later on of how we've done that, if that's helpful, but I think we've also been able to continue our work in ways we never would have predicted, say, five years ago in circumstances like this.
Os gallaf i ategu beth mae David wedi rhannu, dwi'n meddwl, i ryw raddau, fod COVID wedi'n sbarduno ni ac wedi cyflymu'r agenda i ni gydweithio â chymunedau ledled Cymru mewn ffyrdd newydd. Mae David wedi sôn am sawl project rydyn ni wedi'u datblygu yn y cyfnod yma, ond efallai un o'r rheini sy'n bwysig yw'r ffordd newydd rydyn ni wedi bod yn gweithio gyda'r byrddau iechyd yn ystod cyfnod COVID, a gweithio gyda staff i roi cyfle iddyn nhw ddefnyddio'r casgliadau yn y ffordd maen nhw eisiau, a'n bod ni'n rhannu'r casgliadau o'r amgueddfa mewn ffordd newydd gyda'r byrddau iechyd. Rwy'n credu bod hwnna'n rhywbeth y medrwn ni adeiladu arno unwaith y bydd COVID drosto a byddwn ni'n symud ymlaen. Mae hwnna'n ddatblygiad pwysig iawn, iawn sydd wedi cyflymu yr agenda i ni.
If I could add to that, I think, to a certain extent, COVID has driven us and has accelerated the agenda for us to collaborate with communities across Wales in new ways. David has mentioned several projects that we have developed in this period, and maybe one of the most important ones is the new way in which we've been working with the health boards during the COVID period, and worked with staff to give them an opportunity to use the collections in the ways that they want, and that we share those collections from the museum in new ways with the health boards. I think that that's something that we can build upon once COVID comes to an end and we move forward. That's a very important development that has accelerated that agenda.
Os caf i ychwanegu, mae adnabod y Ddeddf a deall y Ddeddf wedi ein paratoi ni'n dda, i ddweud y gwir, ar gyfer COVID-19 yn yr ystyr ein bod ni hefyd wedi gorfod newid ein dulliau o weithio. Ac os caf i ddweud, mae'r Ddeddf wedi plannu rhyw gydwybod yn ein calon ni fel llyfrgell genedlaethol. Hynny ydy, y gydwybod ydy bod gennym ni gyfrifoldeb i holl bobl Cymru ac nid yn unig i'r bobl sydd yn ymweld â ni yma yn Aberystwyth. Felly, ein cenhadaeth ni yn ystod y chwe mis nesaf yma yn y cynllun strategol newydd ydy mynd â gwybodaeth, mynd â diwylliant i bob twll a chornel o Gymru. Mae yna gymaint o bobl sydd yn methu ymweld â ni am wahanol resymau—rhesymau economaidd yn aml iawn—a'n dyletswydd ni fel sefydliad, os yw'r adnoddau ar gael i ni fedru gwneud hynny, ac, fel dwi wedi dweud, mae o'n rhan bwysig o'n cynllun strategol ni, ydy mynd â'r llyfrgell allan at y bobl. Dwi'n credu bod COVID, gyda'r gydwybod mae'r Ddeddf yma wedi'i rhoi yn ein calonnau ni, yn mynd i olygu ein bod ni'n mynd i lwyddo i wneud hynny lawer iawn yn fwy nag ydyn ni wedi gwneud yn barod yn ystod y pum mlynedd nesaf yma.
If I could add to that, understanding the Act has prepared us very well, I think, for COVID-19 in the sense that we have had to change our approaches and our ways of working. And if I could say, the Act has planted some kind of conscience in our heart as the national library, which is that we have a responsibility towards all of the people of Wales and not just to the people who visit us here in Aberystwyth. So, our mission over the next six months in the new strategic plan is to take knowledge and culture out to all parts of Wales. There are so many people who can't visit us for different reasons—for economic reasons very often—and our duty as an institution, if the resources are available for us to do this, and it is an important part, as I said, of our strategic plan, is to take the library out to the people. I do think that COVID, with the conscience that this Act has embedded in our hearts, means that we will succeed in doing that much better than we have previously over the next five years.
Os gallaf i ychwanegu ar ran Amgueddfa Cymru, fel mae David a Kath wedi dweud, mae wedi ein gorfodi ni i feddwl yn wahanol, ond rŷm ni hefyd wedi cael cyfle efallai i fabwysiadu rhai o'r dulliau gwaith mae'r comisiynydd wedi bod yn eu hyrwyddo. Er enghraifft, yn ystod y cyfnod clo, rŷm ni wedi sefydlu cynhyrchwyr Amgueddfa Cymru—pobl ifanc sy'n gweithredu fel lladmeryddion newid yn yr amgueddfa. Maen nhw'n gwneud hynny drwy fod yn rhan o lunio polisïau, maen nhw'n llywio ein rhaglenni cyhoeddus ni, ac maen nhw hyd yn oed yn ein mentora ni fel uwch-dîm, sy'n dipyn o her iddyn nhw, dwi'n siŵr.
Fel darparwr addysg y tu allan i'r ystafell ddosbarth mwyaf Cymru, rŷm ni hefyd wedi bod yn canolbwyntio tipyn ar sut i gefnogi ysgolion. Dwi'n meddwl bod y cwricwlwm newydd yn rhoi cyfle arbennig i sectorau efallai gydweithio i roi deddfwriaeth llesiant cenedlaethau'r dyfodol ar waith, achos nid dim ond cyfrifoldeb byd addysg a'r sector addysg yw sicrhau llwyddiant y cwricwlwm newydd hwn. Felly, dwi'n credu ein bod ni wedi cymryd y cyfle, efallai, i edrych ar weithio mewn ffordd wahanol, a bydd y dulliau gwaith hyn yn aros gyda ni wrth i ni fynd ati i baratoi cyfnod ôl-COVID.
If I could add on behalf of the museum, as David and Kath have said, it has forced us to think differently, and we've also had an opportunity to adopt some of the ways of working that the commissioner has been promoting. For example, during the lockdown, we have established national museum producers—young people who are change ambassadors in the museum. This is done by their being part of drawing up policies and steering our public programmes, and they even mentor us as a senior team, which is quite a challenge for them, I'm sure.
As the biggest provider of education outside the classroom in Wales, we've also been focusing on how to support schools. I think that the new curriculum gives sectors an excellent opportunity to collaborate on the implementation of the well-being of future generations legislation, because it's not just the responsibility of the education sector to ensure the success of this new curriculum. So, I think that we have taken the opportunity to look at working in different ways, and these ways of working will remain with us as we prepare for the post-COVID period.
Anyone else want to comment? I think you're muted, Pedr.
Os caf i ychwanegu at yr hyn mae Nia wedi'i ddweud, a dweud y gwir, eto o ddeall goblygiadau a deall y Ddeddf yn well, yr hyn mae'r Ddeddf wedi ddangos i ni hefyd ydy na ddylai'r gwaith mae sefydliadau diwylliannol fel y llyfrgell a'r amgueddfa yn ei wneud gael ei weld yn y bubble diwylliant yn unig. Mae'r Ddeddf wedi dangos hynny i ni. Mae gennym ni gyfraniad enfawr i'w wneud i Gymru lewyrchus, i Gymru gydnerth, i Gymru iachach, ac yn y blaen. Mae'n gwasanaethau ni erbyn hyn yn cyfrannu at holl nodau y Ddeddf a, plis, chwi wleidyddion, peidiwch â'n gweld ni yn eistedd yn y bubble diwylliant yn unig; mae gennym ni gymaint o gyfraniad traws-sector i'w wneud, a diolch i'r Ddeddf am bwysleisio hynny i ni.
If I could just add to what Nia said, again in understanding the implications of the Act better, what the Act has shown us is that the work that cultural organisations such as the library and the museum are doing shouldn't just be seen in the culture bubble only. The Act has shown that. We have a great contribution to make to a prosperous Wales, a resilient Wales and a healthier Wales, and so forth. Our services now contribute to all of the objectives of this Act and, please, you politicians, don't see us just sitting in this cultural bubble; we have so much of a contribution to make on a cross-sectoral basis, and we need to thank the Act for emphasising that for us.
Yes, if I could, really, echo what Pedr has said there. I think that what COVID has done is to cast a lightning sheet across the landscape in Wales, of poverty, exclusion, all the social challenges that we're very well aware of, the health imbalances, and it's made it very, very clear that we as a museum—and, I would argue, the cultural sector altogether—cannot and must not go back to the old normal. We're now radically rethinking how we can work. I think we will see the buildings always as being cornerstones for the museum sector, but the digital engagement with the public, which has grown so rapidly in the museum over the last six to nine months, will continue to grow, I think, from here, and also the commitment to working with communities across Wales in a very real, practical and useful way. Philosophically, I think, as well, it's shown us that our first purpose is to support change in Wales for good, and that culture is a very, very powerful mechanism for doing it. It can underpin the support for the health sector, and Kath could say a bit more about the work we're doing with the field hospitals, for example, with different health boards. It's shown us that cultural resources really do enrich the curriculum in ways that we hadn't at all yet fully exploited, and it also shows, too, that with Amgueddfa Cymru's very, very large number of visitors, we can be a very powerful took for public education, around, for example, environmental issues as well. So, there's almost every aspect of public life in Wales, which, in the next Senedd, we very much hope that the cultural sector, united and working together—us with the library, the arts council and others—can actually be a transformational resource, really, for change in Wales. We've been regarded as marginal, if I'm blunt; we have to be central.
That's fine. You've answered that very fully. We need to bring in some other Members now, so, moving on and Rhianon Passmore.
Thank you very much. That was really interesting. I'm slightly at odds in regard to the fact that it's taken COVID for this lightning strike to occur. I mean, in terms of a healthier, prosperous and greener Wales, culture is integral, and you'll find that this politician is fully understanding of that, as are many others. I think it's absolutely imperative that the museum is part of not just that cultural life, but integral to all of those policy objectives, so I'm not going to dig down too much into that, and I'm going to go into my lines of questioning.
I'm also slightly interested, though, if I may, Chair, in regard to the fact that outputs and outcomes, when budget and finance are so finite at this moment, are absolutely integral to the future generations Act in regard to what we want to happen, during that process and at the end of that sausage machine. So, I'll move on. How well is the Act understood? Obviously, you've gone through some of that already, but I'd like a little bit more detail throughout the organisation. And what work have you undertaken to develop and measure understanding corporately, at all levels of the organisation? I remember having these conversations quite a while back and there was very disparate understanding of that direction. I don't know who wants to go first. David?
Yes, I can answer. I think the first thing is that we use this in our discussions with staff about our strategy and about our work. It has been part of the underpinning rationale for the work we've been doing over the last year on strategy. We do briefings to our board of trustees and we give them updates on our progress in implementing the Act as well. We try to ensure that, when we're developing new projects, we are referencing the future generations Act as part of the test, if you like, for the value of those projects as well. I think, particularly over the last two or three years, we've made huge progress, really, on our use of the Act as a primary tool for change.
And can I have some comments from the other members of the panel, briefly?
Yes, if I could add, in terms of the awareness of the Act, I think that that has hugely increased over the last few years, and in terms of the work that's delivered by curatorial and research staff, as David has mentioned, I think the understanding of the Act actually underpins the design of various programmes. It's absolutely central to the way that we formulate our research programme, and I would say that 90 per cent of, for example, the research projects that we're pursuing in natural sciences are all related to understanding environmental change and how we work with communities in Wales to raise awareness. I'd also say that it also underpins the way that we work with communities, and now to the point at which, when we're moving forward with the development of our collections, that is very much done with communities, in partnership with those communities at all levels, so I think that the understanding of the Act has greatly accelerated and does genuinely underpin a huge amount of our work.
Jest i ategu at beth mae David a Kath wedi'i ddweud, gallwn ni hefyd dystiolaethu hyn drwy archwiliad o'n gweithgareddau ymgysylltu ni gan Archwilio Cymru, sydd yn arddangos ein hymrwymiad ni i Ddeddf llesiant cenedlaethau'r dyfodol. Mae hefyd yn dda gweld yn 'Adroddiad Cenedlaethau'r Dyfodol 2020' gymaint o enghreifftiau o waith Amgueddfa Cymru yn cael eu defnyddio fel astudiaethau achos o arfer dda.
Just to add to what David and Kath have just said, we could also evidence this through the audit of our engagement activities by Audit Wales, which shows our commitment to the future generations Act. It's also good to see in 'The Future Generations Report 2020' how many examples of the museum's work are being used as case studies of good practice.
It would be really lovely to see that, obviously, in terms of the mandate of this committee. We obviously don't want to stray into the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee's work, but that would obviously be very relevant at the appropriate point.
How well do you think the Act is understood, however, briefly, by your service users and stakeholders? It's one thing corporately having that understanding and then gold threading it through everything that you're doing, as has been said, but how well do you think that that trickles down to service users and other stakeholders? And how have you reached out to them to improve that engagement in relation to the Act?
Os caf i gychwyn drwy ddweud dwi'n credu bod yna lot o waith sydd eisiau cael ei wneud o ran addysgu ein rhanddeiliaid ni a'n defnyddwyr ni o ran goblygiadau'r Ddeddf. Er enghraifft, mae gennym—. Gall David Michael ddod i mewn yn fan hyn a sôn yn benodol, hwyrach, am ein polisi a'n trefniadau caffael ni. Rydyn ni, erbyn hyn, yn dilyn canllawiau y Ddeddf ac mae'n trefniadau caffael ni yn adlewyrchu gwerthoedd a gofynion y Ddeddf, ond mae ceisio egluro hynny i'n darparwyr ni yn her ac yn dipyn o broblem, a dweud y gwir. Felly, mae yna waith addysgu'r cyhoedd i'w wneud, dwi'n credu, y tu allan i'r sefydliadau cenedlaethol yma. Hwyrach y gall David sôn yn sydyn am yr enghraifft benodol yna.
If I could start by saying that I think that there is a lot of work to be done on educating our stakeholders and our users in terms of the implications of the Act. For example, we have—. David Michael can come in here, possibly, and mention specifically our policy and our arrangements for procurement. By now, we are following the guidance of the Act and our arrangements for procurement reflect the values and requirements of the Act, but trying to explain that to our providers is a challenge and it can be a problem, in truth. So, there is work to be done in educating the public outside these national organisations. Maybe David can mention the specific example of procurement.
Ie. Dŷn ni wedi trio 'build-io' y Ddeddf i mewn i'n prosesau ni. Felly, o ran caffael, mae yna restr y mae pobl yn gorfod ei gwirio er mwyn gwneud yn siŵr eu bod yn prynu'r peth iawn, ar yr amser iawn, i wneud y job iawn yn y tymor hir, felly dŷn ni yn trio newid ein prosesau. Hefyd, hyd yn oed i lawr i'r lefel eithaf isel, o ran y gerddi, er enghraifft, dŷn ni wedi ceisio newid y ffordd rŷn ni'n prynu hadau i'r gerddi. Dŷn ni ddim yn prynu blodau i mewn, rŵan; dŷn ni'n trio plannu pethau sydd yn gyfeillgar i'r byd natur, ac yn y blaen. Felly, dwi'n meddwl ei fod yn mynd drwy'r sefydliad i lefel eithaf isel, ond o ran ein defnyddwyr ni, dwi ddim yn credu mai'r Ddeddf yw'r peth cyntaf ar eu meddyliau pan maen nhw'n dod drwy'n drws ni.
Yes. We've tried to build the Act into our processes. So, in terms of procurement, there is a list that people have to check in order to ensure that they procure the right thing, at the right time, to do the right job in the long term, so we are trying to change our processes. And also, down to quite a low level, in terms of the gardens, for example, we've tried to change the way in which we buy seeds for the gardens. We don't buy in flowers any more; we try to plant things that are nature friendly, and so forth. So, I think that, going through the organisation, it does go right to the lowest level, but in terms of our users, I don't think the Act is at the forefront of their minds when they come in through our door.
I think you'll find that that is the picture generically, isn't it, across Wales, and it's something that all public bodies and all agencies of Government and Government are working on, even during this pandemic. So, do you think that public bodies consistently know—the million-dollar question—what good implementation of the Act looks like? What does 'good' look like? And also, do you think that that public knowledge is necessary for effective implementation?
Dwi'n credu bod pob corff cyhoeddus yn amrywio ac mae'r sialensiau ym mhob corff cyhoeddus yn amrywio ymhlith ei gilydd. Dŷn ni'n sefydliad gweddol fach, felly mae gennym ni gysylltiad ffyniannus gyda swyddfa comisiynydd Deddf cenedlaethau'r dyfodol, ac felly mi fedrwn ni droi atyn nhw yn rhwydd iawn am gyngor ac arweiniad. Dwi'n credu ein bod ni wedi meithrin dealltwriaeth dda o'r Ddeddf. Yn ogystal, mi rydym ni wedi cael swyddfa Archwilio Cymru i mewn i edrych ar rai prosiectau ac i gadarnhau eu bod nhw yn union berffaith ac yn adlewyrchu arferion gorau y Ddeddf. Ond mi fedrwn ni ddychmygu bod cyrff cyhoeddus eraill, megis llywodraeth leol, awdurdodau lleol, yn wynebu llawer iawn, iawn mwy o challenges nag ydym ni yn eu hwynebu wrth weithredu, ac wrth wybod a ydyn nhw'n gweithredu'r Ddeddf yn briodol ai peidio. Rydym ni, dwi'n teimlo, mewn lle cyfforddus oherwydd ein bod ni yn gallu troi at y comisiynydd a swyddfa Archwilio Cymru i gadarnhau ein bod ni ar y trywydd iawn.
I think that every public body varies, and the challenges that these bodies face do vary as well. We're an organisation that is relatively small, so we do have prosperous engagement with the commissioner's office, and so we can turn to that office very easily for advice and guidance. I think that we have fostered a good understanding of the Act. In addition, we have had the Audit Wales office in to look at some of our projects and to confirm that they do align perfectly and reflect best practices within the Act. But I could imagine that other public bodies, such as local government, local authorities, do face many more challenges than we face in implementing the Act, and to know whether they are implementing the Act appropriately on not. I feel that we are in a comfortable place because we can turn to the commissioner and the Audit Wales office to confirm that we are on the right track.
Thank you. And could I just ask David, then, just to dig a little bit deeper then? That's great, but in terms of understanding—maybe you've covered that—do you actually know what good implementation of the Act looks like?
We actively invite the commission to be critical friends for us on major projects that we're undertaking. We know we've got a long way to go yet. We've been identified in the category of believers and achievers, which is very positive. However, we can also see that the gap between what we would aspire to be and where we are at the moment is still large, and some of those things are very much within our control as well. We made a commitment to social justice over some years now. We've made a commitment to cultural democracy over some years. What we are now doing is using the language of the Act and the behaviours of the Act much more explicitly with audiences and with partners and, I think as David Michael has referenced, also in looking at contracts and suppliers as well, and trying to ensure that these are more widely embedded. I think we could do more. Without any question, we could still do more.
For me, the Act is one of the almost unique opportunities that Wales has, certainly within the nations of the United Kingdom, to actually take a much more positive and socially focused direction. We think that our cultural democracy ambition ties so closely with the Act's ambitions for a fairer Wales that it actually will, potentially, work very, very well for us. But I think it would be arrogant of us to say that we feel we're largely there. I don't think that's true, and I think that we still have a long way to go into making ourselves really a model—which we're not at the moment—of the way things should be working.
Thank you very much for that, and the honesty within that answer, and that's very much appreciated.
Finally from me, and this has already been largely pointed to, the evidence that we've received has pointed to a perceived disconnect between the auditor general, the Welsh Government and the commissioner, and that has been pointed to as an illustration of a lack of a unified message and approach to expectations. Do you agree with that and do you agree that there is a disconnect? And if there is, how can that perception, potentially, be addressed? I don't know who would like to take that.
Who wants to come in? Feel free if just one of you does this, because we need to make some progress. David.
Shall I, just very quickly, then? I'm aware that there has been this perception. Our own experience in the museum has been that there's been much closer collaboration between the auditing processes and the future generations commission. In our experience, particularly over the last year or two, and I think that Nia referenced the auditing of our engagement work, for example, as a case in point. I'm sure there's much more that could be done across other areas as well, but I would say the direction of travel is a positive one, from what we can see.
Okay. Thank you very much, Chair.
Good. Okay. Moving on, and Jenny Rathbone.
Thanks very much. It was very important to hear your message about the importance of culture in everything we're doing. We've all seen some of the problems that were created in the United States by the lack of a common culture, and we face some of the same problems here, because multinational organisations are the main source of culture for the majority of our population. So, I think, the importance of our shared story as we face many, many challenges. So, I want to ask about the resources you have, both money and personnel, and obviously skills, to really help this challenge, the cultural challenge that we have, to ensure that we have a collaborative, cohesive and resilient Wales. So, I wonder if you could just touch a little bit of an example of what you've done. I know that, David Anderson, you've spoken about the network of community organisations you've built up, but, between you, what have you done with the resources you've got over the last five years, and how are you going to use them in the next five years, particularly on things like how we combat the aversion to vaccines that is being peddled by religious organisations and such like?
If I may, I'll answer, but I also would like to give an opportunity for both Nia and Kath to contribute as well, because they've both been working very, very hard on the challenges and opportunities of working more deeply with our communities as well. I think, with a specific reference to the exclusion, really, of black communities in many aspects of public and other life in Wales, we've recognised for some years now that this is the case and we have a responsibility as an organisation to try to address that. We have already appointed a black history curator, for example, to help to readdress the balance of the absence of black history in the museum's work over decades really, and its collecting policies. We've now got a decolonisation strategy, which Kath could say a little bit more about. We've set up working groups within the organisation; we've also set up a consultation group with black communities as well. This is an area where I would put our hands up straight away and say, 'We did not do enough.' I as chief executive actually take personal responsibility for that. We did something; we didn't do enough. We are now really, really trying to change that and to make it one of our top priorities. But I'd like to give an opportunity for Kath and Nia just to say a little bit, if I might.
Diolch, David. If I can talk specifically about the work we've been doing in response to Black Lives Matter. There are three main areas of work that we focused on over the last year or so. The first area of it, as David has mentioned, is the programme to decolonise our collections. We recognise that there are a number of really problematic collections there, both in terms of visual art and particularly within natural sciences. So, we have developed a six-point charter and we are beginning to work on that. And maybe the key element of that work is that it's very, very much working in partnership with communities who have been affected by the legacies that we're discussing. So, it's very much a partnership project, and we will be guided by those communities as we move forward with the decolonisation.
But there's the other side as well. We're working with those communities about how we create new collections. Many of our curators have actively been collecting items from Black Lives Matter protests that occurred during the summer, and that work is ongoing.
And then the third area is, of course, how we deal with the reframing of Thomas Picton, about which there's been a significant amount of debate. And to deliver that project, we're working with the youth panel of the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel and, again, they are leading on the new narrative, and they hold the curatorial voice, if you like. So, that piece of work is progressing very positively and we're about to go out this week to seek an artist's commission for a black artist to respond to the Picton portrait, and we'll move forward. And, again, the selection of that artist is guided by the panel from the Sub-Sahara Advisory Panel. And I think that shift has been really beneficial and rich for us as a museum. I think we've learned a lot, and we'll continue to do so. And hearing new voices and new narratives within the museum can only be to the positive.
That's excellent. Nia, do you want to add anything briefly?
Jest i ychwanegu ein bod ni wedi gallu gweithio yn y ffordd yma oherwydd bod hwn wedi dod yn ffordd o weithio a wnaethon ni ei sefydlu wrth ailddatblygu Sain Ffagan. Mae'n cymryd blynyddoedd i ddatblygu ymddiriedaeth rhwng cymdeithasau, cymunedau a'i gilydd. Rwy'n credu bod y gwaith a wnaethon ni o gydguradu ailddatblygu Sain Ffagan, drwy greu straeon gyda phobl yn hytrach nag ar eu cyfer nhw, wedi rhoi platfform arbennig o dda i ni nawr i fynd rhagddi i ailddehongli ein casgliadau ni a chydweithio gyda phobl ifanc a chymunedau ar draws Cymru ar siapio ein rhaglenni cyhoeddus ni fel eu bod nhw wir yn cwrdd ag anghenion pobl heddiw, a defnyddio'n adnoddau ni yn y ffordd yna. Rydym ni wedi creu ffordd ymgysylltiol o weithio.
Just to add that we have been able to work in this way because this has become a way of working that we established as the basis for redeveloping St Fagans. It takes years to develop trust between societies, communities and each other. I think that the work of jointly curating the redevelopment of St Fagans, creating stories with people rather than for them, has given us a great platform to proceed and reinterpret our collections and to collaborate with young people and communities across Wales to shape our public programmes, so that they do meet the needs of the people of today, and to use our resources in that way. By doing that, we have created a way of working that engages with people.
Os caf i ychwanegu yn sydyn, yn sicr iawn yn ystod y pum mlynedd nesaf yma—ac mae'r adolygiad teilwredig a gafodd ei gyhoeddi gan Lywodraeth Cymru wedi dangos hyn i ni—mae angen inni fel sefydliadau cenedlaethol, neu fel llyfrgell genedlaethol, beth bynnag, wrando mwy ar y bobl rydyn ni'n eu gwasanaethau. Felly, mi fydd hynny yn elfen hynod, hynod bwysig yn ystod y blynyddoedd sydd i ddod.
Yng nghyd-destun, yn sydyn iawn, Black Lives Matter, rydyn ni wedi datblygu cynllun strategol rŵan, ble rydyn ni yn mynd i ddod â'n defnyddwyr o gefndiroedd ethnig at ei gilydd i weld yn union sut maen nhw yn disgwyl, sut maen nhw yn dymuno i'r llyfrgell genedlaethol eu gwasanaethu nhw. Un peth rydyn ni yn ei wneud ar hyn o bryd ydy edrych yn feirniadol iawn ar ein casgliadau cenedlaethol ni, er mwyn sicrhau yn y dyfodol eu bod nhw yn cynrychioli'r cymunedau ethnig yn y ogystal.
Yn sydyn iawn, iawn hefyd, Jenny, os caf i ddweud, rydyn ni wedi bod yn gweithio gyda'r sectorau iechyd yn ystod y ddwy flynedd diwethaf yma—ac mi fyddwn ni yn gwneud hynny yn fwy yn y dyfodol—efo pobl sydd yn gweithio efo dementia yn arbennig. Mae'r sector iechyd wedi dod atom ni, wedi dangos inni sut y medrwn ni ddefnyddio ein casgliadau cenedlaethol er lles y bobl hynny sydd yn dioddef o dementia. Mae hwnna'n waith rydyn ni wedi ei ddatblygu yn ystod y blynyddoedd diwethaf, ac, wrth gwrs, mae sefydlu'r archif ddarlledu genedlaethol yn mynd i ddod â phob math o gyfleoedd inni fynd â'n diwylliant allan i'r cymunedau ac i ymgysylltu mwy â'n defnyddwyr ni. Felly, mae'r dyfodol yn gyffrous, ond ysywaeth, mae adnoddau yn brin i gyflawni llawer iawn, iawn mwy y liciem ni fod yn ei gyflawni.
If I could just add, very quickly, certainly, over the next five years—and the tailored review that was published by the Welsh Government has shown us this—we as national institutions, or as a national library, in any case, need to listen more to the people that we serve. So, that would be a very, very important element in the years to come.
In the context of Black Lives Matter, we have developed a strategic plan, where we are going to bring our users from ethnic communities together to see exactly how they expect and how they wish the national library to serve them. One thing that we're doing at present is to look very critically at our national collections in order to ensure in the future that they do represent the ethnic communities as well.
Very quickly, Jenny, if I could say, we have been working with the health sectors during the last two years—and we will be doing more of that in the future—with people working with dementia in particular. The health sector has come to us, and has shown us how we can use our national collections for the benefit of those people who do suffer from dementia. That is work that we have presently, and, of course, establishing the national broadcast archive will bring all kinds of opportunities for us to take our culture out to the communities, and to engage better with our users. So, the future is exciting, but unfortunately, resources are scarce to deliver a lot more that we would like to be delivering.
Thanks. Just moving on, some organisations have tried to argue that because you only get annual funding budgets it's very difficult to think strategically and long term, but Natural Resources Wales in its written evidence to us, who we're hearing from later this morning, have put their hand up and said that is just an excuse, because even though there are changes in budgets—you know, priorities change—the core budget doesn't change. There aren't that many surprises in any budget. So, this is your opportunity to agree or disagree. Pedr. You're muted, Pedr. Can you unmute?
Can I ask David Michael to come in here, please, and speak on our behalf?
I think it's hard to comment on NRW's position—I don't know what their settlements are—but I think financial constraints are a problem. If you think about the future generations, we need to be collecting for our collections now, and there's a cost to that, so that people are able to look back at a trusted source of information in 100 years' time and see what was happening in the year of fake news. But I think we have, for the first time, seen the Welsh Government appreciate this in this budget round. We've had £0.5 million in our capital budget for decarbonisation, as I said—
You said that earlier on, yes, but I'm trying to understand how you're planning to do things differently, because there is no magic money tree, so it's no surprise if you're not going to get huge amounts of largesse coming through.
We try to integrate the Act into everything that we do, so that, actually, it's not an extra burden on what we do, it's all part of business as usual, as far as possible. So, that's how we're addressing it. There is no magic money tree, we appreciate that, but we're trying to make it so that it isn't an extra burden on top of what we do already, but recognising the things that do need investment.
Clearly, there's investment needed to fix buildings, but I think it's really more how you think the way you collaborate with other organisations enables you to stop doing things that are duplicating and actually having more impact.
Who wants to take this? Pedr.
Os caf i ddod i mewn, Jenny, yn sydyn iawn a rhoi un enghraifft yn unig ichi. Rydych chi'n ymwybodol iawn o'r archif ddarlledu genedlaethol rydyn ni wedi derbyn grant sylweddol gan Gronfa Dreftadaeth y Loteri Genedlaethol ar ei gyfer. Rydw i, ers dod yn brif weithredwr, wedi edrych eto ar y cynllun yna yng nghyd-destun Deddf cenedlaethau'r dyfodol a chyd-destun COVID hefyd, ac yn sylweddoli y gallwn ni wneud defnydd llawer iawn, iawn gwell o'r arian y byddwn ni yn ei fuddsoddi i weithredu'r cynllun yna. Er enghraifft, dwi wedi dod i'r penderfyniad rŵan nad ydyn ni'n codi adeilad ysblennydd werth £3 miliwn yn Aberystwyth, ond yn hytrach rydyn ni'n mynd i fuddsoddi'r arian yna mewn ymgysylltu cyhoeddus, sef mynd â'r archif yma allan at y bobl, yn hytrach na'i storio fo yn Aberystwyth. Mi fedrwn i dreulio awr yn disgrifio ichi sut rydyn ni wedi ailgynllunio'r prosiect yna, ond mae'r llyfrgell genedlaethol wedi dod i'r casgliad bod yn rhaid edrych o'r newydd ar bob dim rydyn ni'n ei gyflawni yng nghyd-destun COVID-19 a'r hinsawdd economaidd sydd ohoni hi, a gofyn i ni ein hunain, yn feirniadol iawn, iawn, iawn a ydyn ni'n medru gwneud hyn yn wahanol, ydyn ni'n medru ei wneud o'n well, ac a ydyn ni'n medru ei wneud o fel ei fod o'n dod â mwy o fudd i bobl Cymru. Dyna'n union rydyn ni wedi ei wneud efo prosiect yr archif ddarlledu, a hwyrach y caf fi gyfle eto i esbonio hynny yn fanylach i'r pwyllgor diwylliant.
If I can come in, Jenny, very quickly and give you one example only. You are aware of the national broadcast archive, and we've had a significant grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund for that. Since I became chief executive, I have looked again at that plan in the context of the future generations Act and the context of COVID as well, and have realised that we could make much better use of the funding that we will be investing to implement that scheme. For example, I have come to the decision that we won't build a new splendid building worth £3 million in Aberystwyth, but instead we're going to invest that funding in public engagement, namely taking this archive out to the people, rather than storing it in Aberystwyth. I could spend an hour describing to you how we have refocused this project, but the national library has come to the conclusion that we need to look again at everything that we deliver in the context of COVID and the current economic climate and ask ourselves very critically whether we can do this differently, whether we can do it better, and whether we can do it so that it brings more benefit to the people of Wales. That's exactly what we've done with the broadcasting project, and maybe I'll have an opportunity to explain that in more detail to the culture committee.
On another day, Pedr, I'd very much like to hear about it. Thank you very much.
Great. Thanks, Jenny. Vikki Howells.
Thank you, Chair. Good morning. I've got some questions around the practical support that you've been provided with by the future generations commissioner. Could you outline for us how your organisation has interacted with the future generations commissioner and her office, to start with, and how effective you think that support has been?
Who wants to answer that? David.
I think we've mentioned already that the 10-year strategy, which is coming near to completion, has really been very much worked in consultation with the future generation commission, and they've been very generous in providing that support as well. They've also given us guidance on many specific projects to enable us to reflect on them and critically look at them as well, and Nia has also mentioned the audit that was done of our engagement work.
Alongside the practical support we've been given, I think it's worth saying that we have found 'Manifesto for the Future' to be a really powerful and visionary document. We found the advice that has been given around development of a national wellness system, a national strategy for lifelong learning, the green recovery, the circular economy and all those things around social capital and skills to be really inspirational and also very practical guidelines for us in developing our own work. I don't think our work would be as strong and as rich as it hopefully is—we've got more to go, but hopefully it is—if the future generations commission hadn't been there. I think that we could say much more about the work that we're doing to support care homes and carers or to support schools, and maybe there'll be an opportunity for Nia, perhaps, to say a little bit about the work with children and schools that could be an example of that.
Rŷn ni wedi defnyddio adnoddau'r comisiynydd dipyn. Mae'r newidiadau syml a'r diogelwyr taith wedi bod yn hynod effeithiol, a hefyd defnyddio'r future trends fel rhan o greu'r strategaeth. Ac fel y dywedodd David, rŷn ni wedi gweithio yn ystod y cyfnod yma gyda cartrefi gofal ar hyd Cymru i fynd ag esiamplau digidol o'r casgliadau i mewn i'r cartrefi gofal. Mae'r y comisiynydd yn cynnig nifer o adnoddau i ni, ond mae tîm y comisiynydd, wrth gwrs, yn fach, ac rŷn ni'n ymwybodol o'r pwysau sydd arnyn nhw fel tîm, a dwi'n credu y byddai hi yn fuddiol i gael swyddog sydd yng ngofal cyrff cenedlaethol, hwyrach, i weithio ochr yn ochr.
Mae'r ffordd mae'r secondiadau rhwng y cyrff cenedlaethol i mewn i dîm y comisiynydd—mae hwnna wedi bod yn un model defnyddiol er mwyn dod i adnabod defnydd y ddeddfwriaeth yn well. Rŷn ni hefyd yn rhan o'r partneriaeth cyrff cenedlaethol. Mae'r comisiynydd a Llywodraeth Cymru yn rhan o hynny, ac mae hwnna'n rhoi cyfle i ni i rannu arfer da, ac rŷn ni wedi cydweithio gyda'n gilydd ar greu amcanion cydraddoldeb ar y cyd. Dwi'n meddwl bod yna fwy o le i gydgynllunio ar draws y cyrff cenedlaethol. Byddai'n braf cael un strategaeth ddiwylliannol i Gymru, er enghraifft, a fyddai'n tynnu y gwaith at ei gilydd.
Ond dwi yn meddwl, i ddod yn ôl at y cwestiwn nawdd, y byddai cael nawdd er mwyn arbrofi—efallai gallai'r sefydliadau ymgeisio gyda'i gilydd ar ei gyfer—yn bwysig, oherwydd dwi'n cytuno'n llwyr ein bod ni'n gweithio gyda'r nawdd sydd gyda ni at amcanion y Ddeddf llesiant, ond does dim lle i arbrofi yn y system ar hyn o bryd, ac mae hwnna'n rhywbeth a fyddai'n ddifyr, dwi'n meddwl, i edrych arno.
We have used the resources of the commissioner quite a lot. The simple changes and journey checkers have been very effective, and also using the future trends as part of creating the strategy. And, as David said, we have worked during this period with care homes across Wales to take digital examples of the collections into the care homes. I think that the commissioner does offer a great number of resources to us, but the commissioner's team is small, of course, and we are aware of the pressure on them as a team, and I think that it would be beneficial to have an official responsible for the national bodies, to work alongside.
I think the way in which the secondments between the national bodies within the commissioner's team—that has been a very useful model in order to identify and recognise the use of the legislation better. We're also part of the national bodies partnership. The commissioner and the Welsh Government are part of that, and that gives an opportunity for us to share good practice, and we've collaborated together to create equalities objectives jointly. I think that there is more scope to do joint planning across the national bodies, and it would be nice to have one cultural strategy for Wales, for example, that would draw the work together.
But I do think that, to return to the sponsorship question, having sponsorship for experimenting—maybe organisations could make joint bids for that—would be important, because I agree entirely that we do work towards the well-being goals, but there's not much scope to experiment in the system at present, and I think that's something that would be good to look at.
Gaf i ychwanegu, Gadeirydd, fod gan Llyfrgell Cenedlaethol Cymru berthynas dda iawn â swyddfa comisiynydd y dyfodol? Mi rydyn ni yn ystod y misoedd diwethaf yma wedi bod yn ymgynghori gydag academi arweinwyr ifanc cenedlaethau'r dyfodol yn swyddfa comisiynydd y dyfodol ar ein cynllun strategol. Roedd hi'n gwbl, gwbl hanfodol ein bod ni'n cael mewnbwn yr arweinwyr ifanc i lunio'r strategaeth, ac mi ddaru swyddfa'r comisiynydd hwyluso'r drafodaeth yna. Mi rydyn ni hefyd wedi bod yn gweithio gyda'r swyddfa yn ddiweddar ar eu cynllun mentora arweinwyr ifainc, lle mae un o'r arweinwyr ifanc wedi bod yn gweithio ochr yn ochr efo fi am nifer o fisoedd. Gallaf i ddweud wrthych chi rŵan fy mod i wedi dysgu mwy gan y mentor ifanc na ddysgodd y mentor ifanc gen i. Mae hwnna wedi bod yn gynllun llwyddiannus iawn. Hefyd, yn olaf, mae yna gyfarfodydd achlysurol yn cael eu cynnal rhwng y llyfrgell a swyddfa'r comisiynydd, felly perthynas adeiladol iawn ydy'n profiad ni o swyddfa'r comisiynydd cenedlaethau'r dyfodol.
Could I just add, Chair, that the National Library of Wales has a very good relationship with the commissioner's office? We have during recent months been consulting with the academy of young leaders at the future generations commissioner's office on the strategic planning. It was vital that we did have input from these young leaders in order to draw up that strategy, and the commissioner's office did facilitate that conversation. We have also been working with the office recently on their mentoring plan for young leaders, where one of the young leaders has been working alongside me for several months. I can tell you now that I have learned more from that young mentee than the mentee learned from me. That has been very successful scheme. And finally, there are occasional meetings held between the library and the commissioner's office, so we have a very constructive relationship with the future generations commissioner's office.
Does anyone else want to come back on that? No. Vikki, any more questions?
Yes. My next question is: what barriers do you think the commissioner and her office face as they look to discharge their responsibilities under the Act? David.
I think it's been referred to before, but I think it's really, really important; there is a real need for long-term strategic funding around national development projects that culture can massively contribute to. The one-year cycles of revenue funding make it very difficult to take a very broad strategic approach. To give one case in point, the cultural sector could contribute enormously to the content of the new curriculum, but in order to do so, we need to have a long-term plan. We need to have, say, a five-year goal—a three, four or five-year goal—as to what is to be achieved on that, and we need to be able to work strategically across all the different areas of the curriculum; not just art and history, for example, but also the sciences have been referred to.
We need to be able ourselves to plan ahead in that kind of way, in order to put the infrastructure in place, including things like the digital infrastructure within our own organisations that's tailored towards achieving those big national goals. It's very, very hard to do that on a one-year funding cycle; really difficult to be able to be as effective in the use of public money as we should be in doing this. Essentially, this is really about integrating the purposes of the future generations Act with the programme of government that we hope will be coming forward in the next six to nine months. So, I think it's really a plea for strategic funding in all this. We will be able to deliver so much more, and we're really up for it, really committed to it, really believe this is part of our purpose. But we need a change of funding system to be able to deliver it properly. It needs to be collaborative across the sector, not just for the museum and not just for the library.
Any other views?
Os caf i ychwanegu at yr hyn mae David yn ei ddweud, gan fwyaf, wrth gwrs, rydym ni'n ymwneud â nodyn llesiant Cymru â diwylliant bywiog lle mae'r Gymraeg yn ffynnu. Mae yna fygythiad enfawr i'r nodyn llesiant yna ar hyn o bryd wrth i'r llyfrgell a sefydliadau eraill hefyd wynebu argyfwng o ran eu lefel staffio a'r hyn rydym ni'n medru ei gyflawni. Dwi'n credu bod yna le i gomisiynydd y dyfodol, wrth edrych ar bolisïau'r Llywodraeth, gwestiynu a herio rhai o'r penderfyniadau dinistriol sydd yn cael eu gwneud y dyddiau yma lle mae cyllido cyrff diwylliannol yn y cwestiwn.
If I could add to what David has said, in the main, we engage with the well-being goal of a Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language. There is a great threat to that objective at present as the library, and other organisations also, face a crisis in terms of staffing and what we can deliver. I think that there is scope for the commissioner, in looking at the Government's policies, to challenge and question some of the destructive decisions that are being made these days where the funding of cultural bodies is in question.
Thank you. My final question, if there are no other comments on that, is just to ask: as we move forward, do you think that the role of the commissioner needs to change, and, if so, how?
And who—if one of you would like to take that. Who's—anyone interested in that? Or maybe it's a question you don't want to answer. No? David.
I'll put my neck on the line on this one. It's very hard to comment, of course, because we are not involved in other discussions that the commissioner is having with other bits of Government or other sectors. But I think that the integration of the remit letters that we get as organisations and the objectives that each of the different Government department has with the ambitions of the Act would be very, very helpful, and I think there is the potential for there to be more of that. What the mechanism is for that I couldn't really say, but I do think that that integration is vital for us to do our job as well as we can.
Gaf i ychwanegu? Os caf i ychwanegu yn sydyn, Cadeirydd, hynny ydy, dyw e ddim bod angen newid rôl y comisiynydd ei hun, felly, ond dwi'n meddwl mai'r bygythiad mwyaf i'r Ddeddf ydy colli ymwybyddiaeth ohoni hi ar draws yr holl sectorau Cymru. Sut mae cadw'r Ddeddf ar flaen meddyliau pob prif weithredwr wrth iddyn nhw wynebu gymaint o heriau gwahanol? Heb ehangu swyddfa'r comisiynydd ei hun, mae'n anodd gwybod yr ateb i'r cwestiwn yna. Y perig ydy i ofynion a goblygiadau'r Ddeddf lithro os nad ydym ni'n hyrwyddo a marchnata'r Ddeddf yn effeithiol, ond mae angen adnoddau i wneud hynny.
Could I add something to that very quickly, Chair? It's not that we need to change the role of the commissioner, but I think that the biggest threat to the Act is losing awareness of it across the different sectors in Wales. How do we keep the Act at the forefront of people's minds, and in the minds of chief executives, as they face so many challenges? Without expanding the office of the commissioner itself, it's difficult to know the solution to that question. The risk is that the requirements of the Act will slip—there will be slippage if we don't market the Act and promote the Act effectively, but we need resources to do that.
Thank you, Chair.
Okay, and Delyth Jewell.
Diolch, Cadeirydd. Dwi eisiau gofyn am rôl arweinyddol Llywodraeth Cymru yn hyn. Mae rhai awgrymiadau wedi cael eu gwneud yn barod am hynny. Yn gyntaf, ydy polisïau a phenderfyniadau'r Llywodraeth yn cyd-fynd â gofynion y Ddeddf, o ran eich profiad chi yn ymwneud â nhw? Dwi'n gweld bod Pedr eisiau siarad.
Thank you, Chair. I want to ask about the leadership role of the Welsh Government in this. There have been suggestions made already about this. First of all, are the policies and decisions of the Welsh Government aligned with the requirements of the Act in terms of your experience of engaging with it? I think Pedr wants to speak.
Yr ateb syml i hwnna ydy—a dwi'n mynd i gyfyngu fy hun, Delyth, i Gymru â diwylliant bywiog lle mae'r Gymraeg yn ffynnu—dydy hynny ddim yn wir yn ein hachos ni. Mae'n anodd gweld sut mae polisi'r Llywodraeth mewn perthynas â diwylliant a Chymraeg yn ffynnu yn cyd-fynd â gofynion y Ddeddf ar hyn o bryd. Mi ydym ni'n wynebu argyfwng enbyd, ac wedi gwneud hynny yn ystod y 15 mlynedd diwethaf yma, wrth i'n arian ni leihau. Felly, hyd y gwelaf i, mae'r hyn sy'n cael ei weithredu gan y Llywodraeth yng nghyd-destun diwylliant a'r Gymraeg yn gwrthdaro yn llwyr â nodau llesiant. Mae yn anodd gweld—mae hi'n mynd i fod yn heriol, ond rhaid inni wynebu yr her yna—sut ydym ni yn mynd i sicrhau bod gan genedlaethau'r dyfodol ddiwylliant bywiog lle mae'r Gymraeg yn fynnu, â buddsoddiad ddim yn cael ei wneud i sicrhau hynny gan Lywodraeth Cymru.
The very simple answer is—and I'm going to limit myself to Wales, and a Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language—that that's not true in our case. It's difficult to see where the policy of the Government in relation to culture and a thriving Welsh language is aligned with the requirements of the Act at present. We do face a severe crisis, and have done so these last 15 years, as funding has contracted. So, as far as I can see, what's being implemented by the Government in the context of culture and the Welsh language conflicts entirely with the well-being goals. It's difficult to see—it's going to be a challenge, but we have to face that challenge—how we can ensure that future generations have a vibrant culture with a thriving Welsh language with the investment not being made to ensure that by the Welsh Government.
Diolch am hynna, Pedr. David neu Kath neu Nia. David—David Anderson.
Thank you for that, Pedr. David or Kath or Nia. David—David Anderson.
I'll let Kath and Nia speak first, if I may.
Ocê, Nia neu Kath, pwy bynnag.
Okay, Nia or Kath, whoever.
Fel rŷch chi wedi'i glywed yn barod, dwi'n meddwl, o ran y llythyr cylch gorchwyl efallai yn gosod gofynion cliriach i ni o ran y nodau llesiant a'r pum dull o waith, ac efallai sefydlu un fframwaith ar gyfer y cyrff cyhoeddus sydd wedi cael ei fframio ar y nodau llesiant, a bod hynny yn ein llythyrau gorchwyl ni i gyd. Rwy'n credu ein bod ni wedi gweld mwy o gydweithio rhwng adrannau yn y Llywodraeth, ac mae hwnna i'w groesawu—rhwng iechyd, diwylliant, addysg—a dwi'n meddwl bod yna rôl i ddiwylliant yn y meysydd gwahanol hynny. Mae'r adroddiadau diweddar gan Lywodraeth Cymru—yr adroddiad ar ddysgu gydol oes a Digidol 2030—yn awgrymu bod y Ddeddf llesiant yn dechrau cael ei sylfaenu yn fwy yn y gwaith, sydd yn dda i'w weld.
Dwi'n meddwl mai un o'r pethau mae adroddiad cenedlaethau'r dyfodol yn sôn amdano fe ydy does dim digon o gyrff cyhoeddus wedi gosod amcanion a fframiau mewn perthynas â diwylliant a'r iaith Gymraeg. Efallai bod hwn yn adlewyrchiad o'r ffaith does yna ddim strategaeth ddiwylliannol i Gymru, a hefyd does yna ddim cynrychiolaeth efallai i ddiwylliant ar y PSBs. Felly, efallai bod y rhwydwaith o bartneriaethau a sut mae'r lleol a'r cenedlaethol yn cydweddu ac yn cydweithio â'i gilydd yn rhywbeth i'w edrych arno fe.
As you've heard already, I think, in terms of the remit letter maybe setting clearer requirements for us in terms of the well-being goals and the five ways of working, and maybe establishing one framework for public bodies that is based on the well-being goals, and that that is in all of our remit letters. I think that we have seen more collaboration between departments in the Government, and that's to be welcomed—between health, culture, education—and I think that there is a role for culture in those different areas. The recent report by the Welsh Government—the report on lifelong learning and Digital 2030—suggests that the well-being Act is starting to build firm foundations in that work, which is good to see.
I think that one of the things that the future generations report does mention is that there are insufficient public bodies that have set objectives in relation to the culture and language of Wales. I think that is a reflection of the fact that there is no cultural strategy for Wales, and that there is no representation perhaps for culture on the PSBs. So, maybe the network of partnerships and how the local and national are aligned and how they collaborate with each other is something to look at.
Kath, cyn i fi ddod â chi mewn, jest i sôn am rywbeth yn ymwneud â beth roedd Nia newydd ddweud, un o'r cwestiynau roeddwn i'n mynd i'w gofyn—ac mi wnaf i ddod nôl at weddill y panel hefyd, ond buaswn i'n hoffi clywed gennych chi, Kath, ar hyn—o ran yr haenau o bartneriaeth sydd gennym ni yng Nghymru sydd wedi cael eu creu gan nifer o ddarnau o ddeddfwriaeth, mae nifer o bobl sydd wedi rhoi tystiolaeth i'r pwyllgor wedi dweud bod hynny'n gallu tanseilio y Ddeddf, achos dyw pobl ddim cweit yn gwybod beth ydy'r hierarchy, os oes yna. Ond beth mae Nia newydd ddweud yw efallai bod y byrddau partneriaeth yn cynnig rhyw fath o gyfle ar gyfer newid hyn. Beth fyddech chi'n ddweud, Kath, i hynna, ond hefyd i'r cwestiwn cychwynnol wnes i ei ofyn hefyd?
Kath, before I bring you in, just to mention something relating to what Nia mentioned, one of the questions I was going to ask—and I'll come back to the rest of the panel on this, but I'd like to hear from you, Kath, on this—in terms of the tiers of partnership boards that we have in Wales that have been created by different pieces of legislation, a number of people who have given evidence to the committee have said that that can undermine the Act, because people don't really know what the hierarchy is, if there is one. But Nia's just said that the partnership boards do offer an opportunity for changing that situation. So, what would you say to that, Kath, but also to the initial question that I asked?
Rwy'n mynd i gael pass fan hyn, ond rwy'n cytuno gyda beth mae Nia newydd ei gynnig i ni. Dwi'n meddwl bod yna gyfle, ond ar hyn o bryd, efallai, dyw hwnna ddim cweit mor effeithiol ag y gallai fe fod. Ond os ydym ni'n gallu ailedrych ar sut mae'r byrddau yna'n cael eu strwythuro, ie, mae hwnna'n rhywbeth y gallem ni adeiladu arno.
I do agree with what Nia said. I think there is an opportunity, but, at present, that's not quite as effective as it could be. If we could look again at how the boards are structured, yes, that's something that we could build on.
Ocê, diolch am hynna, Kath. Y bobl eraill ar y panel—unrhyw beth rydych chi eisiau ei ychwanegu o ran y byrddau? David Andersen.
Okay, thanks for that, Kath. The others on the panel—anything that you want to add in terms of the boards? David Anderson.
Not necessarily specifically in terms of the boards, but I think on the general issue I would agree that the complexity of the relationship between national organisations like ours and regional and local structures is very, very difficult to navigate. And if there was some way of simplifying and clarifying that, and our role in relation to those, that would be really helpful to us.
What I did also want to perhaps just stress is—and I may be a little bit out of date on this, but when it comes to things like procurement of energy, for example, it would be wonderful if the central procurement frameworks that we're working with actually do support some of the wider purposes of the future generations Act, for example, around renewable energy. Now, in the last few months, that may have been changed, and in which case I'm speaking out of turn, but it was an example of an area where we very, very much want to work within frameworks around the environment and sustainability, but the procurement processes and what's available to us don't necessarily support us in doing that.
I think there's a deeper issue here, which is how do we define value, because, very often, if you only go by the financial value test on things, you end up with outcomes that can be counter to some of the other purposes of the Act. Looking at how value can be defined, and how organisations can be funded to achieve value as well, would be really helpful to us. I'm thinking, for example, that we are really—we're a vital support for the welfare state in Wales. We could tell you much more about the work we're doing with the health sector, the education sector and so on. We should be integral to this, and we should be part of the planning and thinking for other departments than the culture department, and it should be possible for us, if we demonstrate success and capability, to be able to get funding, to be funded by health, to be funded by education, to be funded by these other departments of Government. In practice, it's very, very difficult to cross the boundaries in these ways. And—
Sorry, I think—. Rhianon, did you have a supplementary question?
I'm happy to come in at the end of Delyth's questioning, because this is actually pertinent to what I'm going to follow through, and it's interesting. Thank you.
Okay. Sorry, to interrupt, David. Delyth, did you want to go on? Sorry, I'm moving things along, because I know that we're getting short on time.
Dim problem. Diolch am hynna, Cadeirydd. Jest cwestiwn olaf gennyf i ar gyfer pawb ar y panel. Rwy'n ymwybodol bod y llyfrgell heb ateb y cwestiwn diwethaf—croeso i chi wneud hynny nawr hefyd. A ydy gofynion y Ddeddf yma yn cyd-fynd â rhannau eraill o ddeddfwriaeth Llywodraeth Cymru—deddfwriaeth Cymru—neu oes yna unrhyw anghysondebau byddech chi eisiau eu pwysleisio? Cyd-destun hyn yw bod rhai pobl sydd wedi rhoi tystiolaeth i ni wedi dweud bod y ffaith—. Mae hyn wedi codi gan yn y panel yn barod—byddech chi eisiau mwy o strategaeth o ran yr ariannu, a bod rhywbeth wedi digwydd gyda hyn yn eithaf diweddar a bod croeso i hynna. Mae rhai pobl wedi tynnu sylw at y ffaith bod rhannau eraill o ddeddfwriaeth yn cynnig mwy o arian i gyd-fynd â nhw, felly. Mae hynny yn gallu bod yn rhwystredig neu'n creu problemau weithiau.
Oes unrhyw un eisiau mynd ar hyn? Os nad oes—does dim rhaid i chi ateb, yn amlwg, os dydych chi'n teimlo bod e'n berthnasol.
No problem. Thank you, Chair. A final question from me for everyone on the panel. I know that the library didn't answer that last question—you're welcome to do that now. Are the requirements of this Act aligned with other pieces of legislation from the Welsh Government, or are there any inconsistencies that you'd like to emphasise? The context of this is that some people who have given evidence have said that the fact—. This has already been raised by the panel—that you need more of a strategy in terms of funding and that something has happened with this recently and that that's welcome. Some people have drawn attention to the fact that other pieces of legislation offer more funding to accompany them. That can be frustrating or can cause problems sometimes.
Does anyone want to answer that? If not—you don't have to answer that if you don't feel that that's relevant to you.
Os caf i nodi, wedi dweud bod arian y llyfrgell genedlaethol yn brin, byddwn i'n hollol anghyfrifol i beidio â chydnabod ei bod hi'n dynn ar Lywodraeth Cymru beth bynnag, gyda chymaint o ofynion ar y pwrs cyhoeddus y dyddiau yma, ond fe ddylwn i ddod yn ôl at y pwynt hefyd, dwi'n credu, fod yna agweddau ar ariannu'r llyfrgell yn adlewyrchu gofynion y Ddeddf, fel mae David Michael wedi ei nodi yn barod. Mae'n haws gydag arian cyfalaf nag arian refeniw, dwi'n credu. Lle mae arian cyfalaf yn y cwestiwn, yn sicr mae'r arian a ddaw i'r llyfrgell a sefydliadau eraill hefyd yn adlewyrchu gwerthoedd y Ddeddf yna—Deddf cenedlaethau'r dyfodol—ond dwi'n credu, o ran arian refeniw, fod yr amgylchiadau cwbl, cwbl, cwbl unigryw yma yn anos, neu mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei chael hi'n anodd i fod yn gyson â goblygiadau'r Ddeddf. I ryw raddau, gallwch chi ddeall hynny. Mae hi yn sefyllfa gwbl, gwbl unigryw, ond, yn sicr, o ran arian cyfalaf, mae hwnnw wedi ei roi i ni gan Lywodraeth Cymru gyda golwg ar ymateb yn gadarnhaol i ofynion y Ddeddf ble mae dadgarboneiddio'r adeilad yn y cwestiwn, ac rydym ni'n ddiolchgar iawn am hynny.
If I could just note, having said that funding for the library is scarce, I'd be irresponsible not to recognise that things are tight for the Welsh Government in any case, with so many requirements of the public purse at present, but I should also return to the point, I think, that there are aspects of funding for the library that do reflect the requirements of the Act, as David Michael has already mentioned. It's easier with capital funding than with revenue funding. Where capital funding is concerned, certainly the funding that comes to the library and other organisations does reflect the values of that Act—the future generations Act—but, in terms of revenue funding, the circumstances, which are unique at present, are more difficult, and the Welsh Government finds it difficult to be consistent with the implications of the Act. To a certain extent, you can understand that. It is a very unique, unprecedented situation, but, certainly, in terms of capital funding, that is given to us by the Welsh Government with a view to responding positively to the requirements of the Act where decarbonisation of the building is concerned, and we're very grateful for that.
Diolch am hynna, Pedr. Rwy'n ymwybodol iawn o'r amser felly well i fi symud ymlaen, oni bai fod rhywun eisiau ychwanegu rhywbeth ar frys. Dwi ddim yn gweld bod unrhyw un, felly af nôl at y Gadeirydd. Diolch yn fawr.
Thank you very much, Pedr. I'm very aware of time, so I should move forward, unless anybody else wants to add something urgently. I don't see that anyone does, so I'll hand the reins back to the Chair. Thank you.
No, okay. Thanks, Delyth. Gareth Bennett—. Oh sorry, I forgot to bring in Rhianon Passmore. And then Gareth Bennett.
Thank you. We did stray into the territory of what I wanted to ask, so just very briefly, then, in regard to the comments that have been made that seem to be pushing towards either a creative strategy or one framework for public bodies around the future generations Act, it's really more a question in regard to the fact that, no, we don't have that security in terms of funding cycles, and neither does Welsh Government. So, bearing that in mind and bearing in mind that the Welsh Government is actively, and has for some time been, petitioning the UK Government for that security in terms of funding cycles to be able to pass that on, surely there is merit then organisationally even to have that strategic goal planning, both organisationally and, one could also argue, across Wales. And, even without that security, surely it's not a good idea to do that anyway. I don't know whether David Anderson would like to comment upon that, bearing in mind his earlier comments, which have been a theme throughout this session, about how culture, working with health and education, could be bringing about great outcomes and outputs for Wales.
Yes. I think what I would say is that we do really, really need a culture strategy, and I hope that it'll be a very high priority for the new Government coming in to get that in place. In my view, it should be based on the principle that we're an integral supporter of the welfare state. We were left out in 1948, as was voluntary action, and voluntary action, we've seen, has been so vital recently. I think we need to reframe the welfare state's thinking in Wales, if I can be as ambitious as that, to bring in culture and to give us a very clear role around health and around education, and to set us three-year to five-year targets to achieve in these different areas. Therefore—and I'm being tough on ourselves, really, here—we then have to demonstrate value and we have to be funded by value. I feel that the static model is actually not good for us and it's not good for Wales, either. And I know that that's a risk.
Thanks, David. We need to make some progress, but thanks for making that point. Gareth Bennett.
Thanks, Chair. To what extent are the roles of the future generations commissioner and the auditor general clearly understood, and what role should Audit Wales play in implementing the Act? I don't know who wants to go first. Pedr, do you want to kick us off on this one?
I'm sorry, Gareth, could you repeat the question?
Yes, certainly. To what extent are the roles of the future generations commissioner and the auditor general clearly understood, and what role should Audit Wales play in implementing the Act?
Diolch yn fawr iawn, Gareth. Mae yna awgrym wedi cael ei wneud yn barod yn y cyfarfod yma, hwyrach, fod yna ryw wrthdaro'n digwydd rhwng swyddfa'r prif archwilydd a chomisiynydd cenedlaethau'r dyfodol. Mae'n rhaid i mi gyfaddef, o fod ym mhellafoedd Aberystwyth, dwi ddim yn ymwybodol o'r heriau hynny, felly dwi ddim yn credu fy mod i mewn sefyllfa i roi sylwadau ar beth ddylai perthynas y ddau ohonyn nhw fod, mewn gwirionedd.
Thank you very much, Gareth. Reference has been made already to this in this meeting—that there may be a conflict between the auditor general and the future generations commissioner. I have to admit that, being based in Aberystwyth, I'm not aware of those challenges, so I don't think that I'm in a position to provide comments on what the relationship of those two bodies should be, in truth.
Okay. David, did you want to add something on this?
Yes, just briefly. At the moment, we meet the auditors separately from meeting with the future generations commissioner, and we have, I hope, positive and constructive discussions with both. Just a thought, really, but maybe at least once a year, we should have a meeting where we're meeting with both the future generations commissioner and the auditors together, and that might help us then to focus on the areas of integration that are possible.
Okay, that's a helpful suggestion. Are you clear on what role Audit Wales should play in implementing the Act, do you think?
It would be an unwise person to say that they're 100 per cent clear on anything, really. But I am aware that there is motion in this area, and I think that'll be very, very helpful if we do begin to explore how value, if you like, is assessed. I've touched on that briefly before. I think clarity about value will bring clarity to the role of the auditors and of the future generations commissioner and, hopefully, good use of public money as well.
Okay, thanks. I think Nia mentioned earlier that cultural organisations weren't necessarily represented on the public services boards. So, one issue is, with national bodies like the national museum and the national library, is it going to be possible for those bodies to fit into that structure of PSBs, do you think?
[Inaudible.]—as it was her comment initially.
Dwi'n meddwl, mewn ffordd, fod yr amgylchedd partneriaeth yng Nghymru eisoes yn gymhleth ac yn orlawn, a byddai symleiddio hwn o ran byrddau gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, byrddau partneriaeth rhanbarthol, byrddau cynllunio ardal, partneriaethau diogelwch cymunedol, ac yn y blaen—. Dwi'n meddwl mai un o'r heriau, mewn ffordd, ydy sut i weithio'n genedlaethol ac yn lleol, a sut i ddod â hwn ynghyd. Ond dwi yn meddwl bod y diffyg cynrychiolaeth ar y byrddau gwasanaethau cyhoeddus yn broblematig o ran y strand diwylliant yn y Ddeddf llesiant, ac mae'r comisiynydd ei hun wedi dweud hynny yn adroddiad 2020.
Efallai fod yna ffordd i edrych ar sut gallai cyrff cenedlaethol gydweithio â'i gilydd i gynrychioli ei gilydd. O dderbyn bod yna gynifer o fyrddau gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, fyddai fe ddim yn weithredol i ni i gyd eistedd ar bob un, ond efallai fod yna ffordd o gydweithio fel yna i sicrhau bod yna fwy o uno cynllunio rhwng y PSBs a'r cyrff cenedlaethol. Dwi'n meddwl bod hynny'n rhywbeth y mae angen edrych arno, yn enwedig o ystyried ein bod ni hefyd, er ein bod ni'n genedlaethol, wedi'n lleoli yn lleol—mae gyda ni saith amgueddfa ar draws Cymru, a'r llyfrgell, wrth gwrs, yn Aberystwyth.
I think, in a way, that the partnership environment in Wales is already very complex and overcrowded, and simplifying this in terms of the PSBs, regional partnership boards, planning boards, community safety organisations, and so forth—. I think one of the challenges is how to work nationally and locally, and how to bring those two things together. But I do think that the lack of representation on the PSBs is problematic in terms of the culture strand in the Act, and the commissioner has said that in the 2020 report.
Perhaps there would be a way to look at how national bodies could collaborate in order to represent each other. Given that there are so many PSBs, it wouldn't be possible for us to sit on all of them, but maybe there's a way of collaborating to ensure that there is more unification in planning between the PSBs and the national bodies. That's something we need to look at, particularly given that, even though we're a national organisation, we are locally based—we have seven museums across Wales, and the library's in Aberystwyth, of course.
Gaf i ychwanegu at hynny, Gareth? Mi rydym ni, fel llyfrgell genedlaethol, yn aelod o'r PSB yn lleol, ac rydym ni wedi cael gwahoddiad hefyd i PSBs siroedd yr awdurdodau cyfagos. Dydy hi ddim yn ymarferol bob amser i ni fynychu'r cyfarfodydd yna. Ond o ran y PSB lleol, mae gennym ni berthynas arbennig o dda gyda'r PSB lleol, lle mae ganddyn nhw ddiddordeb mawr yn ein gwaith ni, a ninnau yn eu gwaith nhw, ac mi rydym ni, fel llyfrgell genedlaethol, yn cyfrannu at sawl trafodaeth ac amcan gan y PSB lleol. Er enghraifft, mae yna drafodaethau dwys iawn yn digwydd rhwng y llyfrgell genedlaethol a'r PSB lleol ar hyn o bryd o ran twristiaeth ddiwylliannol a'n dymuniad ni i ddatblygu'r adeilad yn gyrchfan dwristaidd o bwys. Felly, mae yna berthynas adeiladol yn bod rhyngom ni a'r PSB.
Could I just add to that, Gareth? As a national library, we're a member of the local PSB, and we've had an invitation to be a part of the PSBs in the neighbouring authorities. It's not always practical for us to attend those meetings. But in terms of the local PSB, we have a very good relationship with that local PSB, where they have an interest in our work and vice versa. And, as a national library, we do contribute to many discussions and the objectives of the local PSB. For example, there are very intensive discussions happening between the national library and the local PSB at present in terms of cultural tourism and our aspiration to develop the library building as an important destination for tourists. So, there is a constructive relationship that exists between us and the PSB.
Okay. That's good to hear. Thanks very much. Thanks, Chair.
Good. Angela Burns.
Good morning and thank you very much indeed for your evidence today. I was just going to ask a couple of questions about what you'd like to see, going forward. What would be your key areas? You've answered a lot of that in the questions that have already been asked. But I'd particularly like to pick on the point made by Pedr when you said that you thought that the biggest threat to the Act is losing awareness of the Act and keeping it in the minds of people and chief executives. I wonder if you might outline what thoughts you may have as to how, over the next five years, we can ensure that that focus isn't lost. And what more could be done to ensure that Welsh Government makes sure that the Act is front and centre of all of its policy decisions and any legislation, going forward—how, if you like, it's the overarching framework? Of course, everybody says they're going to do it, but the devil is always in how do you make sure that everybody actually does do it.
Mae hynny'n gwestiwn anodd, onid ydy, Angela. Heb os—a dwi ddim yn credu ei fod o wedi cael ei ddweud yn y cyfarfod yma yn barod—ers dyfodiad y Cynulliad Cenedlaethol dros 20 mlynedd yn ôl erbyn hyn, dyma'r Ddeddf fwyaf, mae'n bosibl, arwyddocaol a rhagorol. Mae hon yn sicr yn bluen yn het Llywodraeth Cymru a'r Cynulliad Cenedlaethol hefyd. Ond mae hi'n gwbl, gwbl hanfodol fod yna ryw fath o ymgyrch ymwybyddiaeth yn cael ei gynnal yn gyson gan Lywodraeth Cymru a swyddfa comisiynydd cenedlaethau'r dyfodol.
Dwi'n credu, Angela, fod fforwm arweinwyr cyhoeddus Cymru yn un o'r cyfryngau mwyaf pwysig i gadw'r Ddeddf yma ar flaen bysedd ein prif weithredwyr ni ac ar flaen eu meddyliau nhw hefyd. Dwi ddim yn gwybod os ydych chi'n ymwybodol o'r fforwm arweinwyr cenedlaethol, ond mi rydym ni, fel pennaeth pob sefydliad cyhoeddus, yn cyfarfod yn rheolaidd o dan adain uned cyrff cyhoeddus Llywodraeth Cymru, a dwi'n credu bod hwnnw'n fforwm pwysig iawn, iawn, iawn i gadw pobl yn ymwybodol o'r Ddeddf yma. Rŵan, ydych chi'n gosod dangosyddion cyflawni? Sut mae gwneud hynny? Mae hynny'n rhywbeth i gomisiynydd cenedlaethau'r dyfodol ei ystyried. Ond yn sicr mae fforwm yma'n barod i'w ddefnyddio er sicrhau bod y Ddeddf yma yn cael blaenoriaeth ym mhob agwedd o'n bywyd ni. Felly, mae'r fframwaith yna yn sicr i sicrhau hyn.
That's a tough question, isn't it, Angela. Without doubt—and I don't think that it has been said in this meeting—since the inception of the National Assembly more than 20 years ago, this is possibly the most significant and excellent piece of legislation. It's certainly a feather in the cap of the Welsh Government and the National Assembly. But it is vital that an awareness campaign is undertaken regularly by the Welsh Government and the commissioner's office.
I think, Angela, that the public leaders forum in Wales is one of the most important mediums for keeping this Act in the minds our chief executives and at the forefront of their minds. I don't know whether you're aware of the national leaders forum, but, as the heads of all national public organisations, we meet regularly under the public organisations unit branch of the Welsh Government, and that is an extremely important forum to keep people aware of this Act. Now, do you set performance indicators? How do you do that? Well, that's something for the future generations commissioner to consider, but certainly we already have a forum that could be used to ensure that this Act is prioritised in every aspect of life. So, the framework is certainly there to ensure that.
Can I just quickly ask, before David comes in, does the Government pay—? Does it take the recommendations or the discussions of that forum into account when it makes its planning? I've obviously never sat in on that forum, so I don't know what sort of weight it has in terms of influence, going forward.
Ie, Angela, dwi ddim yn gwybod beth ydy'r ateb yna, ond mae hwnna'n bwynt hynod, hynod bwysig sydd angen ei sicrhau—sef bod y mecanwaith yna i weithredu penderfyniadau'r fforwm. Felly, mae angen edrych ar gyfansoddiad ac ar lywodraethiant y fforwm yma, a dwi'n credu mai Jane Hutt sydd â'r cyfrifoldeb i wneud hynny, byddwn i'n meddwl. Ond mae e'n bwynt hynod, hynod bwysig, er mwyn iddo fo fod yn gorff effeithiol ac effeithlon.
I'm not sure, Angela, what the answer to that is, but that's a very important point, which needs to be ensured—namely that the mechanism is there to implement the decisions of the forum. So, we need to look at the constitution and the governance of that forum, and I think that Jane Hutt has the responsibility to do that, I would have thought. But it is a very important point, so as to ensure that it is an effective and efficient body.
Thank you. David, you wanted to add something, I think.
I'll be very brief, because I know time is short. Essentially, if we have a cultural strategy, and if we have shared goals across the cultural sector, then I would be very confident that the ambitions of the future generations Act would be embedded in that, and in which case we will have to, as chief executives, take it seriously. I would hope that Amgueddfa Cymru would anyway, but, since the question is the one you've asked, I would say there needs to be a mechanism. At the moment, there really isn't any carrot or any stick particularly beyond a little bit of a public reprimand in all this, and I think it should be more serious.
Nia or Kath or David, do any of you want to come in at all with any comment on that—on the future and just how do really make this resonate in the future? There we are, Chair, I think we've managed to end on time.
Yes, we have. Sorry, I've managed to move my panel, so I didn't know what was happening there. We have, for once, so thanks, Angela. Thank you to all our witnesses for being so succinct. We had a lot of information provided there in quite a short space of time, so thanks. We'll feed your comments into our inquiry, and we'll compile a transcript of today's meeting and we'll send it to you just for you to check for accuracy. Thanks for being with us.
Can I propose we take a 10-minute break? Good.
Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:33 a 10:42.
The meeting adjourned between 10:33 and 10:42.
Welcome back to this morning's meeting of the Public Accounts Committee, and can I welcome our witnesses? [Interruption.] Sorry, I need some water; frog in the throat. I welcome our witnesses to today's meeting. As you'll expect, we have a number of questions for you. [Interruption.] That's no good, is it?
Would you like to give your name, position and organisation for the Record of Proceedings?
I'm Clare Pillman, I'm chief executive of Natural Resources Wales. Siân, do you want to go next?
I'll come in next, in that case. I'm Siân Williams, I'm head of operations for north-west Wales with Natural Resources Wales.
Great, and who else? Mark.
Hello, Mark Bellis, I'm director of policy and international health at Public Health Wales.
And if I go next, I'm Tracey Cooper, I'm chief executive of Public Health Wales.
And who's next? [Interruption.] Sorry?
You just said—. I'm not quite—
I didn't say anything, it must have come through on the recording, I think.
Yes, I didn't see your lips moving.
There we are. Anyone else left to—?
Yes, I'm Tegryn Jones, I'm chief executive of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
Hello, Chair. My name's Sumina Azam, I'm a consultant in public health in Public Health Wales.
I'm Mair Thomas, I'm performance and compliance co-ordinator at Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.
Good, thanks. We've clearly got a lot of witnesses today, so don't worry if you don't all get in on each question, obviously. I've just had a message to say that someone is watching Senedd.tv in the background, and I think that's what's providing the feedback, so if someone could turn that off, whoever it is, that would help. Okay, a number of questions for you—thanks to Llyr Gruffydd for joining us as well—I'll kick off with the first one. What's been the biggest challenge for your organisation in implementing the Act? Who wants to take that? Clare, did you want to—
Shall I kick off, and then others can come in? I think the biggest challenge for all public authorities, all the 44 bodies within the scope of the Act and Welsh Government, is really getting the culture change necessary to give life to the requirements of the Act. It is an extraordinary piece of legislation, it is a very powerful piece of legislation, but legislating for culture change is always complex. So, for me, it is getting that consistent understanding of the Act and consistent application of the Act that has been the most challenging thing. But I think we're making good progress.
One area we find particularly challenging, and this was referred to in Sophie's recent report, is the different ways in which people interpret the resilience standard. And we'll explore that later, but I think that other colleagues have probably got other examples where the interpretation of a particular element can differ from body to body, and that can create challenges.
Good. Did anyone else want to comment before I ask the second question? Tracey.
Bore da. Thank you, Chair. If I may just say a really big thanks to the committee for being so accommodating for us to rearrange our evidence session. We really appreciate it.
I very much agree with Clare. I guess, for Public Health Wales, we almost have, a bit similar to Natural Resources Wales, a two-faced approach to this: there's us as a regulated body and, just as Clare said, how we embed the culture and the behaviour so it just becomes the way that we do business in the organisation; and then the second element is, given that the well-being of future generations Act, for us, is the epitome of a population health Act, it's how we really help to support other partners, other sectors and Welsh Government in embedding the Act and informing the decisions that we need to create today in order to create that healthier destiny going forward. And I know we'll come on to talk about COVID, but I think that is a challenge, how we make sure that we exploit the Act to really help us move out of COVID. And I think that will be one of the biggest challenges for us.
You've just led into my second question, because I was going to ask what effect the pandemic has had on the implementation of the Act and whether that's caused any additional challenges. So, would anyone else like to comment on that specific aspect? Or back to you, Tracey.
Sorry. Yes, thank you, Chair. Yes, I think like every organisation, we've had to recalibrate pretty much all of our functions apart from screening to be focused on the health protection response. What we have been doing, though, is really looking at the broader harms. I think, from our perspective, COVID will have a much greater impact on the indirect broader harms of population health, early years, et cetera, than the infection in its own right. So, I think there's a real opportunity to use the Act as the compass that really enables us to focus on that longer term and that prevention and that resilience. So, I think that, whilst it's a challenge, it has to be the way that we galvanise public sector action to really drive through what we need, to create the resilient society that we're going to need in the coming months and the coming years.
Yes, Chair, just to add to that, this is the real test now, as we come out of COVID. We have impacts, especially on young people and those future generations that the Act has actually talked about. We're doing things to look already at mental well-being, particularly in young people, but across the piece; the impact of unemployment that may come through on families and what that's going to do to this and future generations; and what COVID has exposed about new vulnerable groups, who may be from particular ethnicities or people living in particular ways we haven't focused on before. But it's a real opportunity now to take the Act and utilise that in how we, if you like, respond, come back from, bounce back from COVID and the effects it's had on the country.
Does anyone else want to come in before I bring in other Members? Clare.
Just really to build on that. From our perspective, I think we see the challenges that partners across the public sector are facing because of COVID and I'll perhaps ask Siân just to comment on what it feels like on the ground. But I think we've also seen how society and the public sector can respond in a crisis, and we've talked about climate crisis and environmental crisis before, and we sort of now know what a response to a crisis looks and feels like, and the way in which the Act provides a framework for public bodies and society to work together to do things differently, to think of different solutions, to collaborate in a different way is, I think, really exciting. I do not underestimate how tough it is on the ground at the moment and, Siân, I just wonder whether you might say something about how it feels being part of a PSB at the moment, working with others.
Thanks, Clare. Obviously, I'm here with two hats on; I'm chair of the Conwy and Denbighshire PSB as well as being here to represent NRW, and I think we've all seen the world has basically turned on its axis in the last 12 months, and the work of the PSBs has had to respond to that as well. But, obviously, a large number of the members of the PSBs and the teams that they manage have been involved in incident response and dealing with the pandemic directly, and that has meant that we've had to shift our work a little bit. It's meant delays in delivering some of our priority work streams that we'd had before, whether we're dealing with the front-line issues of COVID or whether we're dealing with staff absences or supporting our staff working at home and home schooling and so on. It's meant that we've had to really think again about what we do.
And one of the things, I think, maybe we've learned in north Wales is that the local resilience forum had directed the PSBs to look at the community resilience aspect of COVID and how the PSBs could support that going forward, and there are things that have come out of that, obviously. We've all seen communities really rally round in the last 12 months to support themselves and support the more vulnerable people within communities, and there's definitely an opportunity there for us as public bodies and as the PSBs to help that, to support that, and to support the third sector who are working with those communities as well, in terms of rather than doing it for people, building on what's already there and how we support that going forward.
One of the things that we have learnt and have picked up on, though, is that the Act doesn't allow very easily for us to change priorities halfway through the cycle. And so this is something that maybe we need to think about going forward; if something does happen—like a pandemic or something else that could cut across our priorities—how do we then rethink when something happens and we need to change tack and change direction of the work that we're delivering. And that's maybe something I'd like to feed back into this process is the learning from our experiences in the PSB.
Good. If I can bring in some other Members, then, and Rhianon Passmore.
Thank you, that's really interesting, actually. In terms of resilience in society, as was mentioned, that obviously means resilience across our public bodies and sectors, and that sufficient capacity of trained and ready workforce at all levels, all operational levels, including leadership. So, do you feel then that this crisis management scenario that we're in now, though, pertaining to capacity, does not allow the capacity for change that the future generations Act has got, particularly at this time, so that will not be extracted at its most maximum? I don't know whether you have any comment on that question before I go into my line of questions. Who would like to answer that? Tracey?
Who wants to come in first?
Yes, I think that's a really, really important question. I think that's what we're living every day at this point in time. For me, my personal view is I think there's a reality that there will be many, many public servants that are just managing to provide a service on a daily basis. The challenge for us all, though, is creating the thinking time, because we are heading into a really—I keep using the word, but an ongoing insult to society. So, from a leadership, senior management, director, cross-sector perspective, it is about creating that space that says, 'How do we imagine two years, three years, four years hence? How do we use the five ways of working particularly so that we are making the decisions that create that more sustainable future, and the investments?' Now, we are still spending lots of money, we are still procuring lots of things, so how do we—? Even running public services today in a pandemic, there are still opportunities to be innovative and to create that paradigm shift. Mark and Sumina may want to come in now or later on, but we're doing a health impact assessment at the moment that brings together EU transition, COVID—because they are compounding, potentially—and climate change. So, it's about how can we create that informed, evidence-based approach that says, 'These are the kind of decisions that we need to make today, but not every public servant's going to be able to do that, because we also have to manage the day-to-day operation'. So, it's about our strategic thinking, and that informed decision making, but it's got to be future focused even now, I would say. I think Tegryn perhaps had his hand up as well.
I think there's a bit of a difference between the formality of the Act and the more informal elements that have resulted from it. Certainly, the architecture is very set in some ways, but I think what we've found over the last couple of months is the fact that people sitting in PSBs—the relationships that have developed there have undoubtedly helped a process of engagement and partnership and responding very quickly. So, I think there are—[Inaudible.]
Are other people experiencing problems?
I can't hear, sorry.
I couldn't hear Tegryn, no.
I couldn't work out whether it was my connection or his. He seems to have disappeared. I don't know whether the—
Shall I move on to the next question? Thank you for both responses, and thank you, Chair. How well, then, is the Act understood by your organisation? What work have you undertaken, briefly, to develop and measure your understanding at all levels of the organisation? Perhaps you could briefly take that in turn, though I don't know about Tegryn.
Shall I pick that up first, then? It is really important that staff at all levels—that it's not just the leadership of organisations. Because it is in every interaction with partner agencies, the third sector, the private sector and with the public that the Act can change the way of working. We've done a huge amount of work in terms of training staff. Obviously, the sustainable management of natural resources, which is set out in the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, is underpinned by the measures in the well-being Act, and we have trained the majority of our staff in the principles of SMNR. I think that has really driven a change in the way of thinking—of thinking in that way that is about longer term, about resilience, about partnership—and that's been good. And then all of those good, basic things of having clarity through your planning documents, whether it's your corporate plan or your individual personal development plans—that all of those are underpinned by the measures in the Act.
Thank you. And the others?
Who else wants to—? Mair.
I think from our perspective, one of the things, since the Act has come into force, that has helped reinforce it with staff is the Audit Wales performance work on the five ways of working. I think because of the nature of how they've changed their performance work, they've been engaging with staff through their fieldwork sessions, through surveys and focus groups, and I think that helps reinforce for staff the relevance of the Act to the day-to-day, but also provides them with an opportunity to reflect on how we actually are performing and integrating those five ways of working into our work.
Thank you. I don't know if Tegryn's sound has come back in. No. Okay, I'm going to move on to my next question. In regard, then, to knowing what 'good' looks like, some of the criticism in the past is that it's ambiguous and nebulous, and that that architecture hasn't been properly embedded. Do you feel then that you as public bodies consistently know what good implementation of the Act looks like?
Who wants to take that? Tracey.
I'm afraid I've only got one screen on, so I can't see the witnesses in front of me.
Tracey just indicated.
Thank you, and Sumina may want to come in as well. In the first couple of years for us, we had our well-being objectives and we had separate corporate strategic priorities, and then we undertook a significant review of our long-term strategy and we applied the five ways of working to it. So, we've been fortunate in aligning our seven strategic priorities, and they are as one with our well-being objectives. For us, that means that our performance framework, our integrated performance report, all track back to our achievement against the well-being objectives. So, similar to what Clare was saying, actually—it's how does it become the drum beat of the organisation. It took us a couple of years to get there, actually.
But I think it's probably easier—I shouldn't say this, should I—for us as Public Health Wales, because this is a population health piece of legislation. So, if we are not developing strategic priorities that are informed by the burden of disease in Wales, international evidence, evidence that we create, engagement with our partners, then we've got it wrong. It is the drum beat for us. We did create a health and sustainability hub a couple of years ago, and I just wondered if Sumina wants to mention that, because I think committee members may be interested in that.
Thank you, Tracey. As Tracey's mentioned, we have created a health and sustainability hub, which is a team of people that aims to support the organisation, as well as our partners, to embed the Act. I think the important thing is to think about the Act in terms of individuals, teams, organisations and systems. We've done work in terms of supporting all of those. Within the organisation, for example, we've undertaken team meetings, we've undertaken surveys to understand awareness and understanding and action of the Act. We've also developed a campaign, we've worked with partner organisations, and we've developed tools that can be used both at an individual level and as teams. We've also supported other organisations to develop those and adapt them for their own purposes.
In regard to the actual premise of the question, that's what you have done to implement the Act. It sounds very solid. Do you feel that that is what 'good' looks like because you've invented that wheel, or do you feel that the level of autonomy that there is for organisations to implement the Act is sound enough so that there is an understanding of what 'good' is?
Shall I respond? I think Mark has also got his hand up. With regard to what 'good' looks like, what I would say is I think if we are all working according to the Act and not thinking about it, then that to me feels good. You know, when it's not right at the forefront when we're doing it—without thinking, it's part of our work. And also, I think every member of our organisation understands their connection to the Act. So, their work, the organisation's work—there's a golden thread that runs through. I think that, for me, is what 'good' looks like.
Okay. I don't know if there are any comments, briefly, on that particular question from others, or if there's disagreement in terms of your organisation as to how you perceive the—
Mark, and then we'll move on.
Very briefly, Chair, a couple of things are objective. We at the beginning did a series called Making a Difference, which was about pulling together the evidence and sharing that with partners about what works. We've also done work on sustainable development with other universities, getting guidance on what works best, what motivates people and what works best in different areas from an evidential basis. And I think finally, on the question of whether it's just us or not, the well-being of future generations Act in many ways is legislation for the sustainable development goals, or it's seen that way in other countries. And our connections with the World Health Organization show that they utilise what's happening in Wales as an exemplar of how you do this sort of thing. I think they are, in a way, an independent measure, but the trajectory is in the right direction.
Okay. Thank you for that, Mark. Apologies, but I can't see my witnesses in front of me, some I'm relying on the Chair to point the questions in the right direction.
Very briefly—I think you can give a 'yes' or 'no' to this, and if all of the witnesses could give me a response that's brief—we've received evidence that pointed to a potential or a perceived disconnect between the auditor general, the Welsh Government and the commissioner. They point to a lack of a unified message and approach to expectations. I don't know if you agree if there is a disconnect—a simple 'yes' or 'no' would be sufficient at this point.
Who wants to go first? Tracey.
A simple 'yes' or 'no'? I would say 'no'.
Thank you. Okay.
That's a new style of questioning, Rhianon.
Well, I'm adapting.
I would say 'no', but I don't shy away from the fact that some of the messages are quite complex, and that can sometimes mean that, perhaps, one has to go through them quite a lot before they land.
Okay. I understand that caveat. The next witness.
I would say 'no', but I think perhaps Audit Wales and the future generations commissioner had a stronger relationship at the start of the process, so it's something that needs to be reinforced—that joint relationship.
I'm not going to add anything too much. I think 'no', and I agree, you know, it is very complex, and given that we all have two roles to play in this as our organisations and as PSB members, and the other PSB members are all members of different partnerships, it becomes a very complex picture as well.
Okay. Thank you very much for that.
I'd agree. It's also a 'no'.
And Tegryn—can we hear you?
Hopefully, you can hear me now—sorry about that.
Welcome back, Tegryn.
Thank you. All I would say is that sometimes, there appears, possibly, to be a greater focus from Audit Wales on the ways of working, while the commissioner possibly focuses on the goals. So, that may well be an agreement between them. Certainly, there have been a number of joint conferences that I think worked well, but they were a fair few years back now, so whether that's something—
That could be repeated. Okay. That's really been interesting. Thank you very much for those responses. Thank you, Chair.
Good. Jenny Rathbone.
Thank you very much. I want to ask you all on what you've said in your excellent written submissions—thank you very much for them. Just starting with NRW, I very much like the way you were quite honest in the way you acknowledged that just moaning about annual funding isn't really sufficient. You say that, as the vast majority of funding is relatively static and long term, long-term planning can be undertaken on that basis if national bodies are genuinely embracing the Act as part of their core business. So, why do you think that other organisations that you're having to work with are finding that so difficult?
I've said this in a number of fora before; I think that particularly at the moment, moaning about funding is not going to help anybody. We're in a really difficult situation and we have to make the best of what we've got. Annual budgets do present problems for all organisations in terms of dealing with some of the systemic long-term problems. Some organisations—and I'd include NRW in this—are fortunate enough to have plural streams of funding. So, we have funding from regulatory activity and from our commercial income, and that does give us a bit more confidence in being able to set longer term budgets. I think that for some bodies that are entirely dependent on grant in aid, it can be much more difficult. It is a problem for us—I'm not saying it's not—but we have a bit more scope for being more confident in setting budgets over a number of years. Welsh Government are absolutely clear that they want to move to multi-year settlements and we welcome that hugely, as I know does the commissioner.
Okay. Just a couple of details, you talk about the pooling of budgets with some of your PSB partners to collaborate effectively. You say that as these budgets need to be held by a host organisation because a PSB isn't a legal entity, that that
'can provide a challenge to joint working putting an additional administrative burden on the host organisation.'
Can I just challenge that? Because any private body or even a voluntary sector body, they collaborate, they have to build in administrative costs into whatever action they agree to do with some other organisation. So, why do you think that's proved so challenging for public bodies in Wales?
I think that there are a number of issues. We had to, for example, reconfigure our grant system to enable us to be able to do this sort of work, and we did that successfully and that is working. I think that one of the problems is that you have a number of different bodies around the PSB table and you are always asking one of them to take a lead. And that can result in good partnership working, it can also sometimes create difficulties and tensions and barriers. I think what we would like to see is PSBs being able to hold budgets and run projects themselves, and I think that would help. Siân, I know you've been very involved with this and maybe you'd like to comment from a PSB chair position.
Yes, I won't repeat what Clare's said, but very briefly, yes, I think it's one of those things where there's a distinction between collaboration and true co-delivery, in a sense. And to achieve true co-delivery is very difficult if we're depending on one organisation to hold the funds and to do the administration on behalf of the group and to lead on a project. So, I think, you know, there's a question there around what's the best way to co-deliver projects when there isn't a legal entity. The PSB can't hold funds or employ people directly to lead on projects, so it's always dependent on one organisation taking the lead on delivering projects and on managing the funding, and that risks then a big dependence on that one organisation to deliver on behalf of several others, which isn't really the true sense of co-delivery of projects.
Okay. We don't have time to go into that and how we might get around it, but thank you for making that important point. Could you just comment on what the NRW paper also says, which is that
'some of the priorities decided as a PSB aren't every organisation's priority'?
As you chair a PSB, it would be great to hear how you deal with that.
It's taken us a while. Every good partnership depends on good relationships and it's taken us some time for people to get to know each other and for people to understand how we deliver on behalf of the communities that we're working with. So, that, I think, has been the biggest challenge up until now, getting to that stage where we're comfortable with each other. We've got a workshop, as it happens, this afternoon with the PSB that I chair, looking at some of these difficult-to-grasp issues around partnership and how we drive really good partnerships forward to co-deliver. But, yes, lots of discussion happens and sometimes, as I said, things aren't always a priority for every single organisation, but it's evidence based and accepting that evidence to drive forward the work for the communities that we're working with is really important.
Okay. Thank you very much for that.
Sorry, there's a lot going on here—we've got home school happening in my kitchen. [Laughter.]
Don't worry. We're very grateful to have you with us despite all that. Just turning to the Pembrokeshire national park paper, you acknowledge that a lot of progress has been made on shared budgeting, and that's great, but you then tell us that there's been a specific challenge around the fact that the regional co-ordinator post, which was funded centrally for the first four years, roughly, of the Act, is no longer centrally funded. So, I wondered if you could tell us why you think that was such a disaster. Tegryn or Mair—I'm not quite sure who's—. Tegryn, you're with us still, so shall we grab you while you're still technically connected with us? Did you hear the question?
Yes, I think I did cut off a bit, but I think I caught the gist of the question, which was about the centrally funded co-ordinator. I'm chair of the Pembrokeshire PSB and we worked very closely with Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion on the initial development of the well-being assessment and the well-being plan, and the co-ordinator played a key role in terms of facilitating that work, so it seemed from our perspective that, centrally, in terms of making this process work, it was a reasonably small investment in order for everything to work properly. So, obviously, we're about to restart, or are in the process of restarting, that process, and that possibly will be a bit more challenging this time without that central resource.
Okay. If it's a relatively small sum of money, why is it not possible for the combined elements of your local PSBs to simply put your money in your pocket and jointly fund it?
I think that's a very good question, and it's one where—. We've had discussions as a PSB whether we should all contribute £5,000 in order to build a fund for some work as a PSB. I think the problem we have is the fact that for our organisation and the county council we contribute once. If you go to the health board, they have to contribute three times to three different PSBs. If you go to the fire and rescue service, then it's up to six, and, if go to Natural Resources Wales, it's obviously 22. So, there are barriers there, which I entirely agree should be surmountable, and it's an issue I come back to fairly regularly, but that is the challenge of partnership working and, you know, different organisations have different views on that.
Thank you. Just turning to Public Health Wales, the well-being of future generations Act is like manna from heaven for your organisation, isn't it? Finally, tackling the causes of ill health is now centre stage, rather than spending all this money on the consequences of poor health. So, I wondered if you could tell us how you think Public Health Wales has seized this opportunity to really lead on ensuring that we are doing that. Just leaving COVID, the pandemic, on one side, because I acknowledge they are very special challenges, but, in the generality, how do you think Public Health Wales has really grabbed and run with this agenda?
Thank you for the question. Chair, if I could come in first and then I'll hand over to Mark. Mark mentioned a little bit earlier the Making a Difference series. So, just in advance of the last election, actually, the team identified the 10 prevention interventions, cross-sector, that could drive the biggest improvement in population health, together with what the return on investment would be for those interventions—so, things like early years, things like investing in housing. And then we've set about since then on building that series, continuing that series, and engaging with partners in Wales, in the UK and internationally.
And maybe just to pick one example of that, and it stems from your earlier question about resources, what we have found over the last number of years is if we can present evidence about something that is so key to society in a way that is understandable by many sectors—for example, adverse childhood experiences—we're much more likely to galvanise action against a common goal. On the example with adverse childhood experiences, we worked cross-Government, cross-sector, to set the hub up—the adverse childhood experiences support hub—which was funded by three Government departments, and that has grown and grown and grown and now we've got police and criminal justice involved in that. If I may hand over to Mark, because I think that's quite a nice example of how do we not have to persuade people when the evidence is really simply put within their frame of reference and actually drive some improvements in outcome. So, if I may, I'll hand over to Mark.
Yes. Mark, I absolutely acknowledge the fantastic work we've done on leading on adverse childhood experiences, but we're still the most obese nation in Europe. Obviously, I have a particular interest in childhood obesity. Why do you think we've not really made that much progress on persuading everybody that it's all our business?
I think what we can do, and what we have been doing, and I mentioned things like Making a Difference, and the ACE hub does much of this as well, is that you can provide the evidence, you can show what is capable of being delivered if people change behaviours and culture in a particular direction. Some of it around ACEs has been done. We've seen that in the training in schools, the way that the police have been doing, and there are rewards coming from that. I think, in answer to your question, there are a couple of issues. One is that the systems need to align themselves with rewarding prevention not just throughput, and that's a critical issue. So, we need to say that what is required is the delivery of prevention. The second thing—and we do work on this and put effort into trying to get those messages across—is that looking at the long term does not mean waiting long-term for rewards. I think those things are often confused. ACEs are a good example of that because they show that you can get rewards in a short time period in terms of mental health support, protection of children and, hopefully, impacts on obesity, but you also get long-term rewards as well. So, I think there's a culture issue there around rewarding, if you like, prevention, investing in prevention, sometimes at the expense of other things we're doing, and understanding that doing that doesn't mean waiting 10 or 20 years for success. It means that you get success in 10 or 20 years, but you also get successes in the short term as well.
You make important points. How successful do you think Public Health Wales has been in using its resources, including its staff resources, its financial budget, to drive forward this agenda?