|Bethan Jenkins AM||Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor|
|Jenny Rathbone AM|
|Lee Waters AM|
|Neil Hamilton AM|
|Rhianon Passmore AM|
|Sian Gwenllian AM|
|Suzy Davies AM|
|Gwilym Hughes||Dirprwy Gyfarwyddwr yr Amgylchedd Hanesyddol, Llywodraeth Cymru|
|Assistant Director, Historic Environment, Welsh Government|
|Jason Thomas||Cyfarwyddwr Diwylliant, Chwaraeon a Thwristiaeth, Llywodraeth Cymru|
|Director, Culture, Sport and Tourism, Welsh Government|
|Peter Owen||Pennaeth y Gangen Polisi Celfyddydau, Llywodraeth Cymru|
|Head of Arts Policy Branch, Welsh Government|
|Yr Arglwydd / Lord Elis-Thomas AM||Y Gweinidog Diwylliant, Chwaraeon a Thwristiaeth|
|Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport|
|Adam Vaughan||Ail Glerc|
|Lowri Harries||Dirprwy Glerc|
|1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau||1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest|
|2. Cyllid heblaw cyllid cyhoeddus ar gyfer y celfyddydau: Sesiwn dystiolaeth 8||2. Non-public funding of the arts: Evidence Session 8|
|3. Yr amgylchedd hanesyddol: Sesiwn dystiolaeth 8||3. Historic Environment: Evidence Session 8|
|4. Papurau i'w nodi||4. Papers to note|
|5. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o'r cyfarfod||5. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the meeting|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle y 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.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 10:04.
The meeting began at 10:04.
Diolch a chroeso i'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, y Gymraeg a Chyfathrebu. I ddechrau, hoffwn i ddweud diolch i Siân Gwenllian a oedd wedi cadeirio dros dro tra roeddwn i i ffwrdd o'r gwaith. Diolch yn fawr iawn am wneud hynny, Siân. Croeso i aelodau'r pwyllgor, a hefyd i'r tystion. A oes gan unrhyw Aelodau Cynulliad rywbeth i ddatgan yma heddiw? Na. Nid oes ymddiheuriadau ar hyn o bryd gan Aelodau Cynulliad.
Thank you and welcome to the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee. To begin with, I would like to say thank you to Siân Gwenllian, who chaired in my absence. Thank you very much to you for that, Siân. Welcome to the committee members, and also to witnesses. Does anyone have any declerations of interest today? No. There are no apologies at present from Assembly Members.
Rŷm ni'n symud ymlaen at eitem 2 ar yr agenda, sef cyllid heblaw cyllid cyhoeddus ar gyfer y celfyddydau, sesiwn dystiolaeth 8. Mae'r Gweinidog Diwylliant, Twristiaeth a Chwaraeon mewn gyda ni heddiw, a thystion eraill, sef Jason Thomas, sydd wedi dod i'r pwyllgor nifer o weithiau nawr—cyfarwyddwr diwylliant, chwaraeon a thwristiaeth—a hefyd Peter Owen, sef pennaeth y gangen polisi celfyddydau, ynghyd â Dafydd Elis-Thomas, wrth gwrs, sef y Gweinidog Diwylliant, Twristiaeth a Chwaraeon. Croeso i chi yma heddiw.
We move on to idem 2 on the agenda, which is non-public funding of the arts, evidence session 8. We're hearing from the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport today and other witnesses, namely Jason Thomas, who has joined the committee several times now and who is director of culture, sport and tourism, and also Peter Owen, head of arts policy branch, along with Dafydd Elis-Thomas, of course, who is the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport. Welcome to you here today.
Diolch yn fawr, Cadeirydd.
Thank you, Chair.
Mae'n siŵr eich bod chi'n deall y fformat—rŷm ni'n mynd i gael cyfres o gwestiynau ar themâu gwahanol yn ymwneud â'r ymchwiliad penodol yma, os ydy hynny'n iawn gyda chi. Byddaf i'n cychwyn gyda rhai cwestiynau. Diolch am yr hyn yr oeddech chi wedi ysgrifennu atom ni fel tystiolaeth. I ddechrau, hoffwn i ofyn i chi am yr hyn yr ydych chi'n ei ddweud yn y dystiolaeth, sef eich bod chi'n dweud bod y sector yn colli staff arbenigol yn y maes. A allwch chi esbonio hynny ychydig bach? Hefyd, bod angen i'r sector ynddo'i hun edrych ar sut i farchnata ei hun yn well ac i godi incwm ar gyfer y sector—sut ydych chi'n credu eu bod nhw'n mynd i allu gwneud hynny? Rŷm ni wedi cael lot o dystiolaeth, er enghraifft, yn dweud bod lot o ofyn ar y maes yma i godi ei arian ei hun. Sut maen nhw'n gallu gwneud hynny pan fo cymaint o densiynau ariannol ganddyn nhw yn barod? Diolch.
Now, I'm sure you'll understand the format and be familiar with it—we'll have a series of questions on different themes relating to this particular inquiry, if that's okay with you. I'll start with some questions. Thank you for what you said in your written evidence to us. Just to begin with, I'd like to ask about what you say in the evidence, where you say that the sector is losing experienced and specialist staff in this area. Could you explain that a little bit more? You also say that there's a need for the sector in itself to look at how it markets itself better and to raise income for the sector. How do you think that they're going to be able to do that? We've heard a lot of evidence, for example, to say that there is a great deal of pressure on this particular field to raise their own income. How can we ask them to do that when there's so much financial pressure on them already? Thank you.
Wel, mae yna dri chwestiwn yn fanna, rydw i'n meddwl. Mi geisiaf i ateb dau ohonyn nhw, beth bynnag, i ddechrau. Ynglŷn â'r sefyllfa o sicrhau bod gyda ni bobl â gwybodaeth a phrofiad yn y maes, ein gofid ni ydy ein bod ni'n eu colli ar nifer o lefelau. Mae pobl yn gallu cael eu symud o fewn meysydd llywodraeth leol ac o fewn meysydd cyrff cyhoeddus yr ydym ni'n eu cyllido fel eu bod nhw ddim yn gallu darparu'r math o gyngor arbenigol y byddem ni'n ei ddisgwyl.
Rydw i wedi dechrau trafodaeth gyda Chymdeithas Lywodraeth Leol Cymru i weld sut y gallwn ni gael partneriaeth gadarnach ynglŷn â gwariant cyhoeddus a gwariant preifat dilynol—ac mi ddywedaf i fwy am hynny mewn dau funud—fel y gallwn ni gael patrwm gwell o wariant, partneriaeth o wariant, rhwng llywodraeth leol, Cyngor Celfyddydau Cymru ac, wrth gwrs, y cleientau unigol, y busnesion creadigol a'r busnesion celf. Rwy'n pwysleisio 'busnesion celf' er mwyn gwneud y cysylltiad rhwng busnes a diwylliant yn ganolog i'r hyn rydw i'n sôn amdano fo. Wedyn, rydw i'n gobeithio y gallwn ni sicrhau bod gyda ni gofrestr glir o'r arbenigwyr sydd yn gallu cynghori ac o'r gweinyddwyr effeithiol yn y maes, fel eu bod nhw yn gallu cynorthwyo i gael cyngor i godi cyllid ychwanegol. Mae cyngor y celfyddydau wedi rhoi tystiolaeth i chi wrth gwrs ac mae eu cynlluniau nhw erbyn hyn wedi'u teilwra ar gyfer anghenion cleientiaid gwahanol o fewn eu portffolio nhw. Mae Celfyddydau & Busnes Cymru, sydd hefyd wedi rhoi tystiolaeth i chi, yn cynnig cyngor o bob math i gwmnïau.
Ynglŷn â chodi arian—nid ydw i'n ystyried arian preifat, p'un ai ydy o'n gyllid yn dod oddi wrth yr artist unigol neu grŵp o artistiaid neu oddi wrth nawdd corfforaethol oddi wrth gwmnïau ac oddi wrth fuddsoddwyr drwy wahanol gwmnïau ac, yn arbennig, elusennau—. Rydw i'n deall eich bod chi wedi cael tystiolaeth, er enghraifft, gan y Colwinston trust. Rydw i'n gyfarwydd iawn â'u gwaith nhw drwy fy nghysylltiad â Mathew Prichard—roedd o'n gadeirydd ar gyngor y celfyddydau pan oeddwn i'n aelod o'r cyngor. Felly, mae'r cysylltiad yna rhwng y nawdd a'r gefnogaeth fasnachol a'r buddsoddiad cyhoeddus yn hanfodol i bob gweithgarwch.
Beth rydw i wedi'i osod yn dasg i mi yn yr adran yr ydw i bellach yn gyfrifol amdani, ac ar draws y portffolio, ydy chwilio am ffyrdd creadigol o sicrhau cyllid digonol o bob ffynhonnell. Felly, rydw i'n croesawu'n fawr yr ymchwiliad rydych chi'n ei wneud yn benodol ar gyllid nad yw'n gyllid cyhoeddus. Rydw i'n edrych ymlaen at argymhellion y pwyllgor fel y gallwn ni eu defnyddio nhw yn sail i ddatblygiad polisi a chyllido o fewn yr adran.
Well, there are three questions there. I'll try and answer at least two of them to begin with. In terms of ensuring that we have people with knowledge and experience of this field, our concern is that, at a number of levels, we are losing people. People can be moved within local government and within the public bodies that we fund so that they can no longer provide the kind of expert advice that we might expect.
I have started a discussion with the Welsh Local Government Association to see how we can have a more robust partnership in terms of public expenditure and the follow-on private expenditure—I will say more about that in a few moments' time—so that we can have a better pattern of expenditure between local government, the Arts Council of Wales and the individual clients, those creative businesses and those arts businesses. I do emphasise 'arts businesses', because we are making a connection between arts and business and that's at the heart of what I'm discussing. So, I do hope that we will be able to ensure that we will have a clear register of the specialists that can advise and of the effective administrators in the area, so that they are able to assist in providing advice on generating additional funds. The arts council has provided you with evidence, of course, and their plans are now tailored for the needs of different clients within their own portfolio. Arts & Business Cymru, who have also provided you with evidence, also provide advice of all sorts to companies.
In terms of generating funds—now, I don't consider private money, whether it is funding from the individual artist or a group of artists or from corporate sponsorship from companies and investors through various different companies and, particularly, charities—. I do understand that you've had evidence from the Colwinston trust. I'm very familiar with their work through my connection with Mathew Prichard—he was chair of the arts council when I was a member of the council. So, that link between the commercial sponsorship and support and the public investment is crucial to all activity.
What I have set as a task for myself in the department that I am responsible for, and across the portfolio, is to seek creative ways of securing sufficient funding from all sources. So, I very much welcome the inquiry that you are undertaking specifically on non-public funding of the arts. I look forward to receiving the committee's recommendations so that we can use them as a foundation for policy development and development of funding within the department.
Pan rydych chi'n dweud eich bod chi'n mynd i fod yn edrych ar sut ydych chi'n gallu gwneud hynny o fewn eich adran chi, a ydy hynny'n meddwl byddwch chi'n cymryd rôl fwy rhagweithiol? Hynny yw, a fyddwch chi fel Gweinidog yn gweithio gyda'r cyngor celfyddydau? Ar hyn o bryd, er enghraifft, nhw sydd yn cael rhelyw'r arian er mwyn llywio'r hyn sydd yn digwydd o fewn y sector. A ydych chi'n bwriadu newid hynny rhywfaint? Sut ydych chi'n gweld hynny'n siapio?
When you say that you're going to be looking at how you could do that within your department, does that mean that you'll be taking a more proactive role? That is, will you, as a Minister, be working with the arts council? At present, for example, they get the remainder of the money to guide what's happening in the arts sector. Are you intending to change that? And how would you see that being shaped?
Wel, na. Rydw i'n meddwl, ac rydw i wedi dweud hyn wrth y cyngor, wrth y cadeirydd a'r prif weithredwr, mai fy mwriad i ydy rhyddhau'r cyngor i fod yn fwy creadigol ac yn fwy annibynol yn y ffordd y mae'n gallu gweithredu oddi ar Lywodraeth. Oherwydd rydw i'n credu'n sylfaenol yn y cysylltiad hyd braich, nid fel ffordd o siarad am y celfyddydau, ond oherwydd bod rhyddid creadigol a rhyddid perfformio yn ganolog i'r hyn sydd yn digwydd yn y celfyddydau, ac felly mae'n rhaid i'r penderfyniadau artistig, ym mhob ystyr, gael eu gwneud gan bobl sydd yn abl i wneud y penderfyniadau yna. Ac er fy mod i wedi gweithio yn academaidd yn y meysydd yma ac wedi gweithio'n agos efo Celfyddydau & Busnes yn ystod eu datblygiad fel corff Cymreig, ni fyddwn i'n awyddus i fusnesa fel Gweinidog, ac ni fyddwn i'n disgwyl i'm swyddogion i fusnesa, chwaith, yn y penderfyniadau sy'n cael eu gwneud gan y cyrff yr ydym ni'n eu cyllido.
Peth arall rydw i'n awyddus i weld yn digwydd ydy bod yr agwedd fusnes, er enghraifft, o Gymru Greadigol ac o'r gweithgaredd sy'n digwydd yn y fanna, sydd yn atebol i wahanol adrannau neu adrannau cyfarwyddo o fewn y gwasanaeth sifil—bod yr adrannau yna yn gallu gweithio'n glos gyda'i gilydd, oherwydd y mae'n rhaid i weithgareddau celf fod yn fusnes yn ogystal ag yn gelfyddyd.
Well, no. I have told the arts council—the chair and chief executive—that I want to free up the arts council to be more creative and more independent in the way that it can operate independently of Government. Because I do believe fundamentally in that arm's-length relationship, not just as a way of describing the arts, but also because creative freedom and the freedom to perform is at the heart of what happens in the arts sector, and therefore the artistic decisions, in all senses, must be made by people who are able to make those decisions. And although I have worked in these areas at an academic level and have worked closely with Arts & Business during their development as an organisation in Wales, I wouldn't be eager to actually pry, as Minister, and I wouldn't expect my officials to do so either, in terms of the decisions taken by the bodies that we fund.
Another thing that I'm eager to see happening is that the business approach of Creative Wales and all the activities happening there, which are accountable to various different departments or directorates within the civil service—that those departments should work closely together, because arts activities must be a business as well as being art.
Diolch. Thank you, Chair. In regard to your comments about recent discussions, or hope for discussions that you're going to have with WLGA, would you say that, despite recent initiatives, innovations and the whole austerity agenda, the balance is right in Wales in terms of non-public funding and public funding of the arts?
No, I don't think it is right. I think we need to inspire much more preparedness to invest by the corporate sector, by the public sector, in all forms of artistic activity. Now, obviously, it is up to the companies concerned, and, again, I've been involved informally in developments like this, over the years, in funding, or trying to assist in the funding, of various arts venues and performance activity. The key thing is for a business to select, as part of its corporate social responsibility, its artistic responsibility, its cultural responsibility, to be seen in relation to its own business plan and its own role as a company. There are obviously geographical, regional and other synergies. Maybe companies who are in the construction area, for example, who have been part of benefiting from contracts for public buildings—and, clearly, this a magnificent public building—would want to recognise that by turning some of their profit into an investment in public art. That is something that I would want to continue to encourage, and I want to do it in a partnership that is also regionally delivered so that there is a geographical spread. That's where the WLGA discussion, which I've only just begun with—. I haven't taken it yet to the degree I would want to take it, because I want to see the shortfall that has come about in public funding, through local government, into artistic and cultural activity, made up by a greater corporate investment—and I call it a corporate investment, because I see it in those terms. It's part of the social corporate responsibility of business.
Symud ymlaen at gymorth busnes nawr, a Neil Hamilton.
Moving on, now, to business support. Neil Hamilton.
Following on from that remark about corporate social responsibility, it's a big problem for arts organisations to raise money from business in Wales, and also from private individuals, because (a) we don't have the level of income, generally, in Wales, that you have in more prosperous parts of the UK, and also the corporate base in Wales is more restricted. We've only got one Financial Times Stock Exchange 100 company, Admiral, and, in the challenging financial environment of recent years, businesses are looking for a commercial return for investment that they make in the arts. So, what I'm interested in, for the purposes of this line of questioning, is what the Welsh Government can do to incentivise businesses to support the arts—what more, in addition to what's being done at the minute. And are you now coming in as a breath of fresh air into the department? Perhaps we'll have some new ideas.
Well, actually, I'm not a breath of fresh air in the department; I'm a recreated department, for which I am grateful, because I do think there is synergy across the parts of the department here that I'm keen to pursue.
Now, I don't accept for one moment that the level of economic activity or the productivity or the performance of Welsh business is at such a level that it is not able to take up its corporate social responsibility. I have come across many companies over the years that have chosen to invest in artistic activity because they want to celebrate their role as a company, and also, clearly, because they want to recruit people to work in their businesses. I'm particularly attracted by the amount of support that has been made available over the years by various corporate sponsors to youth theatre, youth music and so on, and I think it is possible to find partners—and I'm sure that Arts & Business have already told you this—across a whole range of companies, and it is also possible to invite people to become subscribers to artistic activity through the use of the artistic process itself, and this is something I did try and encourage when I was involved more closely than I am now, obviously, with Arts & Business in their detailed activity, which was to take the artistic experience to the companies and take individuals in companies to work alongside the artistic activity. That benefits the business approach of the artists and that sector, and it also benefits the understanding of human relations on the part of the company. So, I would say that the relationship between business and art is a totally symbiotic and useful one; it's not an add-on.
No, well, I accept that, of course—not all businesses do. So, what can we do from the Government perspective to open people's eyes, if you like, then, to what you've just said?
Well, when I was doing not dissimilar work in the promotion of bilingualism or languages policy, Welsh language policy in Wales, and working with the private sector, I made a decision fairly early on that the best relationship established with the private sector was through agencies that were themselves agencies that worked within the business sector, and I think that must be the way forward. That's why, as I say, I've been involved with Arts & Business and I think there is a case for further development of that kind. Having said that, I do value the way in which the arts council is now seeking to build up resilience across the board among its artistic clients through making it clear that there are forms of support available, both for the development of the artistic endeavour and also of the business side. And this is where I'm now in the process of looking at what has been described as 'creative Wales' and how that could relate to 'artistic Wales' in a federation of support so that the elements of the creative side of business, if you like, and the creative side of the artistic endeavour work together as teams that will be able to—not to be interventionist, but to be supportive of creating the atmosphere where businesses will see the opportunity of investing. I do not believe that, apart from what the UK Government may do in terms of tax incentives and of that kind, tax holidays—those are important in the overall corporate situation and of individual giving, but I don't think it's for Welsh Government to produce schemes that would seek to intervene in the actual giving or the actual form of corporate support coming from the private sector. But it would be for us to make it quite clear, as we have done in our remit letters over the years and in our ways of dealing day to day with those who are the distributors of revenue for us, that we expect a strong commitment, and we're getting a good response on that, but I wouldn't want to see a kind of incentive programme—a financial incentive—because I don't think that would be successful.
Sorry, just to butt in there, Jason Thomas just had a brief comment, if that was okay, Neil.
If it was just following on from the Minister's point, really. We support—not just we, Welsh Government, but the public sector generally—business in a number of different ways, whether it's the investment funding from Welsh Government or from local authorities. Sometimes we see a number of different criteria involved in the giving of that funding. Local authorities will seek section 106 agreements and we have a range of different criteria that are in there. I know from previous experience of running the trading and inward investment side that, when companies come to Wales, there is an appetite to give something back to the community on the back of the support they've had from the public sector. So, I just think there is an opportunity to join that up to make sure that the cultural voice and the artistic voice is heard loudly there, so that when businesses are looking at ways of giving back, this voice is heard clearly. So, it's not just always for infrastructure projects or for the skills projects; the cultural voice is loud as well. So, they can then make an informed decision on where they reinvest.
Well, almost all the money that the Welsh Government provides for the arts is channelled through the Arts Council of Wales—roughly £30 million a year—and I appreciate that you don't want directly to intervene where it's the arts council's role as the intermediary between Government and business to develop these relationships that you've been talking about, but, clearly, you have a great interest in the way the arts council operates in this respect, and you have your ideas, I'm sure, on how things should be done, which might differ from theirs. In what way can there be a symbiosis between the arts council and you as the Minister to help to increase the amount of money that is generated from business for the arts in Wales? Do you see yourself as being able to provide added value to the arts council in this respect?
Well, I hope Ministers generally provide added value to the public policy they're responsible for, otherwise what is democracy about? But short of that, as I say, I do not intend to second-guess the activity of the arts council or, indeed, of any other of the agencies. I've spent a lot of time this week with the sports council because it's awards time, so I spent a lot of time with them this week as I have, indeed, spent time with arts awards in the past and will continue to do that. But I will seek an opportunity whenever I can to deliver this message that culture is, in fact, itself multicultural: it is cultures rather than a culture, it is languages, it is the arts and the performance arts, it is visual art, it is public art, it is film. All the art forms have a distinctive way of communicating, which people can use as a vehicle for celebrating their contribution to society. It's as simple as that, and it's a matter of repeating this message, and also of making the audiences aware that part of their enjoyment of performance—I spent an evening with Miss Saigon last night next door at the centre—is brought about by the economic activity of companies within the society in which they work, and that that is always celebrated centrally in relation to the cost and value of a performance. And I don't think we make enough of that, and we'll be looking for ways of doing that.
Just finally, to talk about Arts & Business Cymru, what's your view of its effectiveness as an organisation?
I don't think it would be appropriate for me to comment as Minister, if I may, on that question because I'm too closely involved with them and have been over the years, and I've sought to encourage them and will continue to do so. But, obviously, they have to work independently of Government, independently of the arts council, but they provide a very distinctive service and they have a marvellous advisory network that can promote. And I'm sure that, in the evidence you've seen and you've had from them, you will be able to come to your own conclusions about the effectiveness of the organisation and I'd be very interested to read what your response is to their evidence and possibly to take it further, and if you have any proposals about ways in which we could assist Arts & Business Cymru to be even more effective, I'd be very glad to see them.
The arts council had intended to stop its core funding of Arts & Business Cymru earlier on in the year. They've now extended it for two years, but on a strict understanding this will be the end of the arts council's revenue funding of the organisation. Do you think that this is a wise policy? If Arts & Business Cymru has been—as I think it has been—quite successful over the years, if its core funding is lost and not replaced, or not sufficiently replaced, then it's going to become a less effective organisation, isn't it?
Well, Arts & Business Cymru has been funded directly by Government in the past; it has been funded through the arts council more recently. It is a service organisation that, of course, straddles the public and private sector in its very activity. I'm not avoiding your question; I'm developing a policy in relation to how we can be more effective in our arts support, in the ways I've tried to outline to this committee, and as soon as that is developed I will certainly be happy to share it with you, but I wouldn't want to take a particular line in relation to one funded body from the arts council without having had further discussions with them. But, as I said earlier, I was part of the discussion when Arts & Business Cymru was formed and there was then direct Government support. I'm not suggesting that we are making an offer through this committee that we would do that again, but there's more than one way of supporting a service organisation that straddles the private sector and the public sector, and we have to think of creative ways of doing this because they're not an ordinary client of the arts council is the point I'm trying to make. They're not an artistic body that produces artistic material.
Just briefly, going back to what you were saying about corporate social responsibility, you seem to be placing a lot of emphasis on that, for understandable reasons. It is, of course, a pretty crowded field at the moment and you mentioned, obviously, the sports awards, and there's heritage as well as a plethora of other third sector charities that are really trying to make strides in this particular area. For the voice of culture and the arts particularly, how do you think we're going to rise above those to make the case that you were talking about earlier? Who's best placed to make that case?
I don't think arts should rise above; arts is part of the marketplace, and art is also part of—
No. Arts is also part of the physical well-being of all of us, and if we don't have artistic activity or physical activity, if we don't do sport or don't take part, as well as become an audience of artistic performance, I think we're missing out on the quality of our lives. So, we have to argue that case, and the performance arts and all the arts, including the art that you see about us here—this is a commissioned piece of art by the Assembly, commissioned when we were building this building—brings well-being to those of us who are sitting here in committee as well as improving the sound-proofing.
Sorry to butt in. That is the case, but who's the best person or body to make that case?
Well, the case has to be made. It is a debate that has to be made in the social arena, and the value of the arts has to be seen to be proved. This is why I happen to be pointing out my exhibit on my right here, because I had something to do with it: it is a piece of sound-proofing, but it is also a work of art. This is what art is about. Art is a material object in society. It is not something in our heads, it's not spiritual; it's material as well.
Thank you. I'm certainly not talking about that piece of art. Very, very quickly, because I'm not down to talk on this particular question, in regard to the balance of contribution and outside of a strategic rethink of the balance of contribution between public and non-public funding for the arts, do you feel that the vast chunk of money that comes through from the Arts Council of Wales to the top five organisations—for instance, Welsh National Opera—is sufficiently drawing down corporate sponsorship, and, if not, what more can Welsh Government be doing to enhance that ability to bring it down? Because it's a huge chunk of money that's taken out of the Welsh arts council budget, and it is fundamental to our tourism agenda as well as to the arts.
You mentioned Welsh National Opera. I also did work alongside Anthony Freud when he was developing the opera company to become more fit for purpose in relation to its new performance base and the changes following devolution. Therefore, I've had an interest there over the years. Every country, every nation, every large city has this issue of how we support performance art, which is expensive. The opera genre itself is one of those. I think the existence of the WNO—which, as you'll all remember it's history, came out of the chorus and so on—and its role in touring widely, especially in the south-west and south of England, is an important part of the flagship role of national companies from Wales and in Wales, both in relation to creating a Welsh audience itself and, as I've mentioned the touring in England, I should also mention the residencies in Venue Cymru in Llandudno, and there will be further investment there.
And there's no doubt—to interrupt you—that there is huge success there. My question really is based around what more can Welsh Government be doing to draw down contributions from business, from the private sector, to be able to support the arts more generally speaking.
Well, what we need to do is to remind people, as Jason has already said—and I'll call him in again if he wishes, or Peter—and make it clear that Welsh Government expects partnership support for its contribution in art and culture, especially large-scale performance art, which is clearly expensive. And as a part of that, there will always be an opportunity for those companies to celebrate their investment. I think that is the side where we could do more.
We have to move on, I'm afraid, unless there's something short you can say. We've got quite a lot of themes.
I will keep it really short. The point is that, obviously, one of our core roles is in terms of public funding that goes into the arts council. Every single organisation that relies on that funding from the council will have its own ambition, its own vision, its own aims, and to achieve what they need to achieve as an organisation, if that funding that's coming from the public sector is flat or if it's fallen because we've got times of austerity, we've got to also say, 'Where's the entrepreneurial activity there?', to be able to address that and then seek other funding themselves. It's not just thinking about what's Government doing; it's what they are doing as well to be able to do it, and I think you've seen from our evidence that there are good things happening in that space.
Rwy'n mynd i edrych ar y thema o roddion gan unigolion. Mae'r pwyllgor wedi clywed tystiolaeth fod yna anawsterau penodol yn gysylltiedig efo cael unigolion i roi rhoddion am wahanol resymau, a'i bod hi'n haws gan elusennau cymorth tramor ac yn y blaen i ddenu arian gan unigolion o gymharu efo'r sector celfyddydau. A ydych chi'n derbyn i ddechrau bod honno yn her ar gyfer y sector?
I'm going to be looking at the theme of individual giving. The committee has heard evidence that there are specific difficulties relating to getting individuals to support the arts for various reasons, and that it's easier for overseas aid charities and so on to raise funds from individuals as opposed to arts companies. First, do you accept that that's a challenge for the sector?
Nid wy'n siŵr beth ydy'r anawsterau yna. Byddai diddordeb gen i i weld yn y dystiolaeth gan y pwyllgor beth ydych chi'n ei weld fel anawsterau. Yn sicr, yr unig anhawster y gwnaethom ni ei wynebu pan oeddem ni'n cyfrannu tuag at ailadeiladu oriel Mostyn oedd nad oeddem ni'n teimlo bod gyda ni ddigon o arian i roi i mewn. Ond mi oedd yna fuddsoddiad sylweddol gan bobl a oedd yn cefnogi oriel Mostyn yn y gogledd er mwyn y gwaith yna. Rwy'n meddwl bod hwyluso pobl i weld eu cyfle ac i deimlo eu bod nhw'n cael eu hanrhydeddu am y cyfraniad—ac mae honno'n rhan bwysig iawn. Yn groes i'r hyn mae'r ysgrythur yn ei awgrymu, sef y dylem ni fod yn rhoi yn y dirgel, rwy'n meddwl yn yr achos yma y dylai ein bod ni'n dathlu'n gyhoeddus pan fydd pobl yn rhoi rhoddion sylweddol, fel y gallan nhw ei fforddio, yn enwedig i fuddsoddiadau cyfalaf.
Buaswn i'n tybio—nid wyf i'n siŵr a ydy hyn yn wir am y dystiolaeth mae'r pwyllgor yma wedi'i gael, neu a ydy o hefyd yn fwy gwir am y dystiolaeth rydych chi wedi ei chael fel pwyllgor, rwy'n trio dweud—bod buddsoddi mewn cyfalaf, er enghraifft mewn datblygiadau i adeiladau newydd neu weithgaredd newydd neu gwmnïau newydd, yn haws na rhoi cyllid refeniw. Mae yna rywbeth atyniadol iawn mewn gallu buddsoddi i mewn i berfformiad unigol neu dymor unigol o raglen o berfformio, neu fuddsoddi mewn darn o gelf weledol sydd yn gallu cael ei gydnabod fel buddsoddiad gan unigolyn mewn gofod arbennig. Ond rwy'n meddwl mai'r ffordd rŷm ni'n cynnig y cyfle sy'n bwysig yn hyn o beth. Mi garwn i weld mwy o ymwybyddiaeth gan gleientiaid celf o bob math, gan gynnwys orielau a gofod, am yr hyn sy'n atyniadol i gydnabod cyfraniad unigolion i bresenoldeb gwaith celf p'un ai ydy o'n berfformiad neu yn waith gweledol.
I'm not sure what these difficulties are. I'd be interested to see the committee's evidence as to what you've identified as the difficulties. The only difficulty we faced when we were contributing towards the rebuilding of the Mostyn gallery was that we didn't feel we had enough money to invest. But there was a great deal of investment from people in north Wales who supported the Mostyn gallery in that work. I think that facilitating people to identify their opportunities and to feel that they are honoured for their contributions—and that's important. Contrary to what the scripture suggests, which is that we should give without seeking praise, I think in this case we should celebrate publicly when people give significant donations, particularly in terms of capital investment.
I would assume—I'm not sure whether this is true of the evidence gathered by this committee, or more true of the evidence that you've gathered as a committee, is what I'm trying to say—that capital investment, for example in developments such as new buildings or new activities or new companies, is easier than giving revenue funding. There is something very attractive in investing in an individual performance or an individual series of performances, or investing in a piece of visual art that can be recognised as an investment by an individual in a particular space. But I think it's the way that we provide the opportunities that's important in this regard. I would like to see more awareness from arts clients of all kinds, including galleries and exhibition spaces, in terms of what is attractive in recognising the contributions of individuals in the funding of a piece of art whether it is a visual piece or a performance.
A oes yna le felly i Lywodraeth fod yn helpu symud hynny ymlaen? A oes yna le i gymhelliant penodol gael ei roi i unigolion? Rŷch chi wedi sôn am roi cydnabyddiaeth iddyn nhw am roi cyfraniadau. A oes yna bethau eraill y medrith rhywun fod yn meddwl amdanyn nhw?
Is there a role therefore for Government to be helping to move that forward? Is there a role for specific incentives to be given to individuals? You have mentioned recognising individuals for their gifts. Is there another kind of incentive that could be offered?
Nid oes gennym ni gyfrifoldeb sylweddol eto dros ddeddfwriaeth yn ymwneud â threthiant. Ac af i ddim i ddechrau trafod y gwahanol fathau o ddulliau trethu sydd wedi cael eu trafod, oherwydd maen nhw i gyd yn ddadleuol mewn gwahanol ffyrdd—nid yw'n rhan o fy maes penodol i er bod gen i farn am y peth.
Ond rwy'n meddwl mai'r math o gydnabyddiaeth roeddwn i'n sôn amdano fo oedd pan fydd yna ofod cyhoeddus neu ofod preifat yn cael ei ddatblygu a phan fydd yna fuddsoddiad ein bod ni'n cydnabod yn gyhoeddus, drwy enwi neu drwy ddisgrifiad, y cyfraniad yna. A hefyd, yn ogystal â hynny, lle mae yna ddatblygiadau cyfalafol newydd, fod yna ffordd o sicrhau bod buddsoddiadau penodol yn cael eu gwobrwyo mewn cydnabyddiaeth. Rwy'n credu mai'r ffordd y gall y Llywodraeth wneud hynny ydy drwy fod yn enghreifftiol a drwy fuddsoddi mewn celf yn briodol yn eu hadeiladau newydd. Ond, hefyd, mae'n rhaid inni fod yn fwy agored i sicrhau bod y gelf sydd gennym ni yn cael ei weld.
Un o'r pethau rwy'n dechrau ei wneud ar y funud ydy sicrhau, pan fyddwn ni'n dathlu pen-blwydd arbennig yr artist Kyffin Williams, y bydd holl gynfasau Kyffin, sydd ddim yn cael eu gweld ar hyn o bryd gan eu bod mewn storfeydd mewn prifysgolion ac mewn orielau a llyfrgelloedd cenedlaethol drwy'r wlad yma, ein bod ni'n gallu eu gweld nhw. Rwy'n gobeithio y byddwn ni'n gallu denu nawdd sylweddol i'r project yna pan ddaw hi. Yn sicr, rŷm ni, fel Llywodraeth, yn mynd i gymryd diddordeb yn y project yna, oherwydd byddwn ni'n defnyddio celfwaith fel ffordd o hyrwyddo tirwedd Cymru, drwy dirluniau Kyffin, fel lle atyniadol i ddod i chwarae, a mwynhau ac ymlacio, ac yn y blaen.
Wedyn, eto, yn y maes yna, mae yna gyfle inni i gyfuno ein hymroddiad fel noddwyr celf, fel Llywodraeth, drwy'r sefydliadau cenedlaethol rŷm ni yn eu cyllido a chyplysu hynny efo'r genhadaeth o greu diddordeb mewn buddsoddi mewn celf yn ehangach na hynny. Mae yna sawl ffordd, felly, y gall Llywodraeth wneud sydd yn fyr o geisio systemau o hybu rhoddi drwy fanteision cyllidol cysylltiedig. Mae'r rheini i gyd, i bob pwrpas, heb eu datganoli. Ond mi fyddai diddordeb mawr gen i mewn trafod efo'r Llywodraeth yn y Deyrnas Unedig sut y gellid sicrhau cyllid ychwanegol i'w drosglwyddo drwy Lywodraethau datganoledig allan o gynlluniau trethiannol a fyddai'n fanteisiol, a buasai diddordeb gen i mewn gweld unrhyw dystiolaeth a fyddai gennych chi fel pwyllgor, neu rywbeth rŷch chi wedi'i ddilyn i fyny ar hynny; mi fyddai hynny o ddiddordeb mawr i mi.
We have no significant responsibility in terms of legislation relating to taxation, and I won't go into the various taxation methods that have been discussed, because they are all contentious in their different ways—it isn't part of my particular sphere, although I do have an opinion on it, of course.
I think the kind of recognition that I was talking about was when a public or private space is developed and when there is investment, that we should publicly recognise that, through naming or describing that particular contribution. And, in addition to that, where there are new capital developments, that there should be a means of ensuring that specific investments are rewarded in recognition. I think the way that the Government can do that is by being an exemplar and by investing appropriately in the arts in its new buildings. But, we must also be more open to ensuring that the art that we have is displayed.
One of the things that I am starting to do at the moment is to ensure that, when we celebrate the notable anniversary of Kyffin Williams, all of the Kyffin canvasses that aren't being displayed at the moment and are being held in storerooms in universities and in galleries and national libraries and all sorts of different locations across the country, that they should be put on display. I hope that we will be able to attract significant sponsorship for that project when it emerges. We, as a Government, will take an interest in that project because we will be using artwork as a means of promoting the Welsh landscape, through Kyffin's landscapes, as an attractive place to come to play, relax and so on.
Therefore, again, in that area, there is an opportunity for us to combine our commitment as sponsors of arts, as a Government, through the bodies that we fund and to link that with the mission of creating and generating an interest in investing in arts more broadly. So, there are a number of ways that the Government can become involved that are short of seeking systems of promoting individual giving through related financial advantages. Those, to all intents and purposes, are non-devolved. But I would be very interested in discussing with the UK Government how we could secure additional funding to be transferred through the devolved Governments through taxation plans that would be beneficial, and I would be interested in seeing any evidence that you as a committee may have, or anything that you've followed up with; that would be of huge interest to me.
Ac y mae rhai o fewn y sector wedi awgrymu hefyd y gallai yna fod ymgyrch benodol gan Lywodraeth Cymru i gael y neges allan ynglŷn â gwerth buddsoddi yn y celfyddydau, ar gyfer unigolion ac ar gyfer byd busnes hefyd, rwy'n meddwl. A oes yna rywbeth yn fanna y byddech chi'n gallu ei wneud?
Some within the sector have suggested that there could be a specific campaign by the Welsh Government to get the message out with regard to the value of investment in the arts, for individuals and for the world of businesses as well. Is there something else that you could do there?
Rwy'n meddwl mai nid ymgyrch benodol rŷm ni ei angen, ond sicrhau bod y drafodaeth am rôl celfyddyd a diwylliant yn ein cymdeithas yn drafodaeth sydd yn amlwg ym mywyd Cymru. Dyna fuaswn i'n ei ddweud; nid rhyw ymgyrch benodol. Os oes yna gynlluniau newydd y gellid eu dyfeisio a fyddai'n cyfuno'r posibilrwydd o hwyluso rhoddi yn ogystal â hysbysebu'r cyfle i roi, yna mi fyddai diddordeb gen i yn eu gweld nhw, ond nid wyf wedi gweld dim byd deniadol eto y byddwn i yn gallu ei hyrwyddo fel ymgyrch newydd, ond rwyf yn agored i gael fy mherswadio ar hynny, wrth gwrs.
I don't think we need a specific campaign, but we need to ensure that the discussion on the role of the arts and culture within society is one that is prominent in Welsh life. That's what I would say; not a specific campaign. If there are new plans and programmes that could be drawn up that would bring together the possibility of facilitating giving as well as advertising the opportunity to donate, then I would be interested in seeing those, but I haven't seen anything attractive as of yet that I would be able to promote as a new campaign, but I am open to be persuaded on that, of course.
I'd like to ask about the expectation on Government that arts organisations generate more of their own revenue. We've heard that from officials this morning. That's been the mantra for some time now as public funding has contracted. We've heard mixed evidence from a range of bodies about successes, for sure, but also the challenges the sector faces to have the skills to be able to successfully leverage in additional funding. Given that the Government expects arts bodies to do more of it, what practical help can the Government give to fill that skills gap?
The capacity to support resilience is something that the arts council is pursuing very actively and I'm strongly encouraging that. On the question of public funding generally, there isn't a reduction; there's a flatlining of the arts council budget—
There is a reduction, but in the period of the current budget exercise here we've secured flatlining.
Well, that's a slightly academic point. We're looking at the trend over the last decade and where that's left the sector.
Yes, but I'm not responsible for trends over the last decade, surely.
I'm not interested in who's responsible for the past; what can we do to help the sector now, given the evidence that they've given us?
Well, that is something that I will consider when I read your report. If you have specific proposals for ways in which the resilience programme of the arts council, which I think is an excellent way of supporting through advice and encouragement and through Arts & Business and other agencies, how the various artistic organisations can become more entrepreneurial and commercial in themselves in securing support for the activity that they do, I would certainly encourage that. But, I don't think that it is for Government to be itself the promoter, apart from what it is doing in its own estates and so on, of artistic activity. I think that is why we fund, as we do substantially, and have retained the funding for the arts council and other aspects.
Well, forgive me; your paper says that
'increasing funding from charitable Trusts and Foundations is...an important element of our strategy.'
Yes, of course; I've said that. I've repeatedly said that.
I've heard you say repeatedly that you obviously want to take a more arm's-length view to the way that bodies are managed. I understand that. But, given that increasing funding is an important element of your strategy, how do you intend to secure that then?
That is through discussion about the activity with the major trusts. I've been getting around to those discussions at the moment.
I never stop engaging with these people because they're all personal friends of mine.
So, the UK major trusts all have personal friends of yours in them and you've been speaking with them trying to increase—
No, I wasn't talking about the UK personal trusts; I was talking about those trusts that are active in investing in Welsh art at the moment. But, clearly, I am very keen to pursue all the opportunities that we have and to promote them in the way that you suggest.
So, in terms of the UK trusts, because that's something that we've heard consistently in evidence that the London-based trusts consistently say that they don't get enough high-quality applications from Wales. We had evidence last week from somebody who used to work in a major UK trust who said that trusts like to give money to organisations that are safe, and that clearly advantages major organisations like the centre, for example, but it creates a challenge for smaller organisations. Given that you don't think that there is a role for the Welsh Government to directly intervene in the bodies that you manage in Wales, do you think that there is a role for you as an ambassador for the cultural sector in Wales to meet with and better understand the thinking of the UK trusts?
Well, if you make a recommendation that you think the Minister for culture should be touting themselves around central London looking for arts funding for Wales, I will look at it.
Well, you seem keen to tell us about your network of friends and how you can speak to them. Maybe you would want to expand your network of friends amongst the UK bodies to try and better understand the constraints they have, and to equip the sector to be able to position themselves to draw down money.
In my experience of UK big charities and large corporate organisations, they have a lack of understanding of how, not only Wales, but large swathes of the regions of England actually perform in the area of arts and culture. And I think there is a serious issue here about the way in which investment has been happening in the past in the south-east of England, not just in artistic endeavour, but in broadcasting and media as well, and that has to be addressed. It is part of our programme to address it, and I think some of it has to be addressed by working alongside the English regions, the English mayors and, of course, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
That's something I'd like to hear more about. That's consistent with the evidence we'd had. So, what more—? As it's part of your programme to address that, what is your early thinking of how that might be done?
I have no early thinking; I've been thinking about this for many years, and the way of operating, in my view, is to increase the sensitivity and the understanding of how the diverse cultural activity throughout the United Kingdom is not reflected in the corporate investment.
Well, I will look at the evidence and I will address the issue. I've been involved in the past with the Association for Business Sponsorship of the Arts and other organisations at the UK level, and I will continue to reconnect with those if I find that they are useful avenues, and if there is indeed interest.
I'm more interested, actually, in getting large players in the Welsh economy—especially, now, in the energy sector—who are investing in Wales at the moment, to see how they can, alongside that, make substantial investments in artistic and social provision, because they already have a stake in Wales. I'm not sure whether corporates that are headquartered in the south-east of England or in mainland Europe, unless they have a particular connection with Welsh business and the Welsh economy, would see it as their responsibility to invest in Welsh arts.
Forgive me; I wasn't asking about UK corporates—I'm asking about UK trust funds. You've said you've been thinking about this for years; it's not the case of early thinking. So, given that you have such developed thinking on this and you recognise the problem, apart from listening to the recommendations of this committee, what, practically, do you think you as Minister can do? Being as we've had clear evidence of the frustrations that organisations have in engaging with UK trusts, what practical help can the Welsh Government give them to try and open up that source of funding?
Well, I would want to consider how you respond to the evidence of these frustrations. I have followed the evidence that you've had so far. I have not come to a conclusion on what will be the result of this committee's work because, clearly, I want to see the recommendations.
You've just told us you have well-developed thinking in this area already, regardless of the committee's recommendations.
Yes, but those are my personal views. I now have ministerial responsibility, and the way to progress that is to respond properly to this committee and to the voices that I hear, and make sure that we have a course of action that is useful, not something that I would like to do because I think it's a good idea.
Diolch. Mae'n rhaid i ni symud ymlaen. Mae gennym ni themâu gwahanol i'w dilyn. Os gallwn gael cwestiynau mwy bras ac atebion mwy bras, byddai hynny'n grêt. Rhianon.
Thank you. We have to move on. We have other themes to explore. If we could have succinct questions and answers, that would be excellent. Rhianon.
Very briefly. This is my first committee and I've just managed to work through a lot of the papers myself. So, in regard to the trust, we know that, for instance, the Writers' & Artists' Yearbook is often used by those seeking private funding through grants, trusts and foundations. There are very few mentions of charities and trusts in Wales—Matthew Ryan was one of them. So, really, for me it would be how we can go about looking at whether it's wills, whether it's how we establish arts-based trusts, and to go with that, how we can then—perhaps Peter or Jason as well—work with, for instance, the arts marketing courses at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama to create the environment and ecosystem where we're actually growing that source of private funding in future, whether it's through charities, trusts or foundations.
Yes. Perhaps I can respond to that, and perhaps also pick up on some of the points Lee Waters made. I think it's fair to say that the Arts Council of Wales has got extremely good relationships with all the major UK trusts and foundations and is actually working very closely with them: Paul Hamlyn, Esmée Fairbairn, Clore Duffield—all the major trusts. I think, as you've probably heard from other people who've given evidence, the process of improving the quality and number of applications from Welsh arts organisations—it's a bit of an oil tanker thing. It does take time, and those organisations do tend to want to build a relationship with the arts organisation that they're potentially going to fund. It's not a case of just putting together an application and then, hey presto, they'll fund you. They will tend to want to develop a relationship over time so that they can feel completely confident that that—
Yes, and, obviously, the home-grown ones, as you've said, are few and far between, but—
So, what more can the Welsh Government be doing to promote that environment?
Again, I think the same principle would apply: that we need to use the arts council to develop those links. It does have very good links with organisations like the Colwinston trust, the Admiral charities—the Moondance Foundation and the other one—
Waterloo Foundation, exactly. Those relationships are there. I think it's probably our role to ensure that the arts council reports to us and gives accurate information on the progress that's been made, the number of applications that are being made. Clearly, there's a training issue as well, and I know that the arts council are working with the foundations directly, and also with organisations like the WCVA and the county voluntary councils, to increase the training that's available—
So, with respect, there is nothing that you feel that we can do as a Welsh Government around, for instance, making it easier so that we can bequeath money to certain organisations. I mean, is there anything that we can do in the wider system to make it, specifically within arts, more palatable for people to do this in the future?
Two points on that. I think, on the bequeathing point, as the Minister said, really, a lot of the levers that would really, perhaps, facilitate some of that are taxation levers, which—
And there's been a commitment—
I did specifically say that I was interested in opening a discussion across regional and devolved institutions on the question of the relationship between personal taxation and corporate taxation and artistic giving. We promise you we will do that and report back.
Very briefly, Chair, if I could, on the second point, the Welsh Government, I think, does have a role and has had some success in providing an arena for people to network in the space. We've supported major cultural events in Wales where you can bring people together. When you bring people together with ideas, and if there's money and investment, then, hopefully, good things can happen and have happened in the past with the events that we've supported.
Diolch. Symudwn ymlaen nawr at godi refeniw a thwf rhyngwladol—Jenny Rathbone.
Thank you. We're moving on now to raising revenue and international growth—Jenny Rathbone.
Just looking at how arts organisations could increase their financial resilience through new markets abroad, we've had lots of witnesses tell us that the mission to China at the beginning of this year was very successful in developing new horizons and new possibilities. Have we got a cultural representative on the mission with Ken Skates to Qatar?
I'm not aware—
Okay. I think what I'd like to know is whether it's your ambition that we'd always have a cultural representative on any trade mission, given the link between arts and promoting Wales culturally and financially.
Well, it depends on the nature of the mission and on the destination, and on the relationship that already exists. What I'm particularly interested in is promoting relations internationally where there is already a basis of interest so that we can grow our relationships.
With a previous hat on, when I was in trade and inward investment, what we found is that trade missions that have a cultural element to them are really successful. People find that a really attractive proposition. So, I can say, with assurance, that, ministerially and at an official level, those dots are being joined up. So, we work extremely closely, my directorate, with the directorate that's responsible for overseas trade. So, we look at every single opportunity—
So, you would recommend to the Minister that we have a cultural representative on all trade missions.
As the Minister said, it depends on the mission, but one thing that's for sure is that there's a discussion on the correct nature of what should go on a mission before the mission is put in place, and if it's cultural, then that happens.
Jest ar hynny, Jenny, byddwn i'n licio dweud, gyda'r ymweliad i Tsieina—a oes yna asesiad o'r hyn oedd wedi bod yn llwyddiannus gyda'r ymweliad hwnnw, fel ein bod ni'n gallu gweld hynny fel pwyllgor er mwyn asesu, efallai, ble yn y dyfodol y gallech chi ehangu ar y gwaith hwnnw? Diolch.
Just on that, Jenny, with the visit to China, is there an assessment of what was successful as part of that particular visit, so that we can see that as a committee, so that we can assess where, in future, you could expand on that work? Thank you.
Oes, rydw i'n credu bod. Peter—
I believe there is, yes. Peter—
Yes, there are a couple of evaluation reports, and there's also the report that was produced in the immediate aftermath of the visit, so we could make those available to you.
Excellent. In your paper, you mention that you've got a Creative Europe desk in Welsh Government, and I just wondered if you could tell us what success it's had so far in getting European funding. Nothing springs to mind?
Well, the information I have is that since the start of the programme, which is 2014, audiovisual companies and arts organisations have benefited from grants of €1.4 million, and that's part of an overall sum of €3.9 million of media and culture programme funding since 2007. So, it's significant. It's not huge in the overall scheme of things, compared to some European programmes, but it's significant.
Okay, thank you for that. The arts council argue that there are a number of ways that more co-ordinated support could be given to arts companies to grow new international markets. What do you think your role is in promoting that?
Well, it is developing and maintaining our very useful partnership with the British Council. I don't know whether I need to declare this, but my son is an arts practitioner who is currently funded by the British Council. I think he's actually in Madrid, from when I last caught up with him. That's a very important way of promoting Wales, and, indeed, the way in which the British Council has promoted the diversity of nations and regions and cultures within the UK in the years since I was on the Welsh committee many years ago is a tribute to the way in which successive Governments, and, indeed, going back to the Welsh Office as the executive arm of UK Government in Wales in previous years, did, in fact, ensure that the promotion of the United Kingdom and British cultures always reflected, of necessity, the partnership and the activity of Welsh practitioners. We would seek to maintain that. I haven't yet had a renewed discussion with the British Council on this, but I'm looking forward to doing that.
But what do you think the role is of the arts council and Business Wales, working closely together, to develop new markets abroad?
I think it's clear that, to develop, the artistic practitioners have to be assisted in developing their own international networks, which then have a feedback into other business activities. To see a region as a creative region, or a nation, in the arts and in the performing arts and individual arts is itself an essential part of the message of doing business with that region. So, the image of Wales as an artistic and culturally aware society is essential to all the work of Government.
Well, I'm sure the arts council doesn't need convincing of that, but how engaged do you think Business Wales is in this and in understanding the important role that our cultural organisations can play in promoting Welsh businesses?
Well, it would be very helpful if, in considering the general evidence of this committee, you were to emphasise that this committee places great importance on that. It would be helpful to us. But, in my understanding of discussions that I've had already about the way in which artistic promotion and the role of culture across Government are seen as an essential part of how Wales performs and behaves, both internally and externally—it is well understood across Government.
I would totally concur with that. It's completely intertwined within the department. So, my directorate, which is culture, sport and tourism, sits alongside the directorate for business. We engage weekly, and there's alignment of policy. You're going to see there are many joint initiatives across both sides, really. I would say it's intertwined.
Wales Arts International are arguing that there is a need for improved research and economic impact assessments to match Wales's creative companies with relevant markets. Do you think that's an unnecessary piece of research, given all the work you've done?
It's not necessarily unnecessary. I think an economic impact assessment of any work that you do should provide value. It'll depend on the nature of the specific project, I guess. I'd point to good examples. So, last week, I met with the organisers of the Hay Festival. They've had funding from Welsh Government and the public sector in the past, and they've developed into a truly global organisation that really does so much to reflect well on the culture of Wales and on our literary ambitions, and, actually, I think many others can look to them for an example of best practice to see how they can globalise.
Sure. So, going back to the evaluations that you've done of the China mission, are they something that have already been shared with Wales Arts International?
Yes. They were with us—me—on that mission. Certainly, generally, we have a very close relationship with them, and also our colleagues in international relations and trade and invest meet regularly to discuss where we can have the most impact and where we need to focus our efforts.
Okay. So, why do you think they're arguing that we need more research on the economic impact?
I think to understand the particular niche markets that offer the most potential. I think we recognise that, as a small nation, we have to focus our efforts in this area. We can't possibly cover every country and we have priority markets. In the cultural context, what are the activities and the fields where, potentially, we can not only share Wales's culture but actually generate income? I think we have to be very targeted about that. That's one of the lessons of the China visit.
Okay. So, who do you think is best placed to carry out that research?
We commission research and procure it from the appropriate academic institutions, and we would certainly do so in this case if we thought it was appropriate. I'm very keen on ensuring that research is carried out not just in specific centres where it has been traditionally deployed, but that we help build up the research capacity of our further and higher education institutions to assist us.
Grêt. Rydym yn symud ymlaen at yr adran olaf. Suzy Davies—diolch yn fawr iawn.
Great. We move on to the final section. Suzy Davies—thank you very much.
Diolch. I just want to start with one final question on the resilience programme, if I may. Some of the points were covered by Lee Waters, but I just wanted to put this to you: when the arts council in England set up their resilience programme, they met with resistance initially, because it was perceived by the arts community that this was about replacing public funding with private and corporate funding. They had to put a great deal of work into persuading the sector that, actually, this was about additional money to supplement their public funding. I'm hearing from the Minister that we're talking about a bit more of an exchange of responsibilities here and that you're looking for different funding to plug gaps left by public funding. As the purposes of those two resilience programmes seem to be slightly different, how are you going to persuade the arts sector here in Wales that this is about improving their ability to create extra funding rather than fill gaps left by contracting public funding?
It's never been my interest to emulate anything that's done in England, especially in the arts and culture field—
The resilience programme has been built up in response to a perceived need on behalf of artistic practitioners, to support them, to ensure that they are able to develop their activity and, in particular, to develop the skills necessary to become more entrepreneurial themselves. I have detected no hostility. I hope I won't get tweets or e-mails after saying this this morning, but I haven't detected any hostility in the arts community to the resilience programme that the Welsh arts council has pursued—au contraire, as one might say.
Yes, if I could just add to that, I think that arts organisations, now that they are experiencing it and the programme has been developed, are realising that it's very much tailored to their individual needs as an organisation and, in many cases, it's actually not about getting any assistance on things like fundraising; it's about other areas where they're perceived to be weak like governance. So, it's not all about funding.
No, I appreciate that. I just wanted to point out that distinction, because the expectations might be different from what we'd been expecting.
Just a small point.
It can be also a question of plugging gaps, because as the Minister said, the funding settlement for the next two years is flat, which is a very good funding settlement for the sector. So, this is all about bringing in additional money to support what is a very good funding settlement.
Okay. So, it's additional money. You've just confirmed what I needed to hear. Thank you ever so much.
Have you any views on social impact bonds? Have you done any exploration on those? We're talking about value through community cohesion, rather than making a buck.
I think certainly in the context of health we've been looking at the pilot scheme funded by Voluntary Arts Wales and Wales Council for Voluntary Action—the Wales Wellbeing Bond—where they've been looking at the issue of whether, for example, involvement in arts activities might potentially, in the long run, save money in terms of the health budget, on things like antidepressants. So, it's very much dipping the toe in the water at this stage, but we're certainly very interested, particularly in the context of arts and health.
Have you got some sort of target date when you would like to see something a bit more developed?
Well, Arts Council of Wales has commissioned a review of existing practice in the arts and health field at the moment, and that's now been completed. They're in discussions with our health department about potential ways to develop this further. It's fairly slow progress at the moment, but headway is being made.
Okay, that's helpful, and you mentioned the WCVA there. I just briefly wanted to touch on volunteering, because, obviously, we've heard that the level of volunteering within arts activities is pretty high. So, just two questions on this. The first is: do you think it's too high and that, actually, we're over-relying on volunteers? And the second one is: are we using the Welsh bac and the WCVA well enough to attract volunteers with interest in the arts? Because, of course, there is a huge demand on volunteers at the moment across the spectrum, and a sort of plateauing, if I'm right, in the number of people coming forward to contribute.
Again, I suppose I should declare an interest as the voluntary president of the Hay festival for a number of years, which has enabled me to stay at fine houses throughout the Wye valley for a short period of time.
The reason I am talking about personal experience is because I think people volunteer for what they like to do, out of which they get personal benefit and personal gratification. I think there's no end to the way that people are able to use their time at different times in their life cycle in volunteering. I don't think you can have too many volunteers in the arts world, because the big events and indeed small, local events that one thinks of in the arts world, rely continually on being able to ensure that audiences are comfortable and enjoy their time when they visit art events and venues. And for that—
I suppose my question is: are we attracting enough young volunteers into the arts when there are so many other opportunities that could attract them?
Well, I tried to answer that by saying that people volunteer for what they find helpful and useful to them. I think the commitment to volunteer is a personal thing that each individual takes and you go and volunteer for things you want to do and enjoy, and therefore that is not a market, really. Voluntary activity is a gift that people give to the rest of society, and, clearly, we encourage that.
I think the point, though, that needs to be made is that some people have come in to give evidence to say that it's plugging gaps that shouldn't be plugged, where people should be employed doing things like ushering and such, where it's not, potentially, to do with something that they're passionate about, but it's to do with the fact that they need to be volunteers in there because there simply aren't the finances to give them a paid role for that activity. So, that's the difference, I think—the artistic volunteering and the enforced volunteering that a company has to do to survive.
Well, I don't understand—I don't see how you can have such a thing as enforced volunteering. What you do with your professionals is develop their skills in managing volunteers. That's what the whole business—
We'll give you the evidence in the committee report. It was evidenced to us that they had to have people to volunteer in their organisations, because they could not simply afford to employ them to do that. So, that's something I think that you'll be able to read if we—
Well, it's also the case that people who begin by volunteering often end up being professionally involved in that business. This is a two-way street, and volunteering is a way in. It's a form of participation.
Okay. I just wanted to make that point for the record, just because of the different—. [Interruption.] Yes.
We have to come to an end on this. We've gone over substantially. We're having a few minutes' rest, and then we'll come back to the next session. Diolch yn fawr iawn.
Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 11:10 ac 11:16.
The meeting adjourned between 11:10 and 11:16.
Diolch. Rydym mewn sesiwn gyhoeddus unwaith eto, eitem 3, ac rydym yn symud ymlaen yn awr at yr amgylchedd hanesyddol, sesiwn dystiolaeth 8, a chroeso eto i'r Gweinidog Diwylliant, Chwaraeon a Thwristiaeth, Jason Thomas, sef cyfarwyddwr diwylliant, chwaraeon a thwristiaeth, a hefyd i Gwilym Hughes, sef dirprwy gyfarwyddwr yr amgylchedd hanesyddol. Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am aros gyda ni, a hefyd am ymuno â ni hefyd. Fel rydych yn gwybod, mae yna themâu gwahanol gyda ni o ran cwestiynau, ac rydym yn symud i'r sesiwn gyntaf, sef gweithredu Deddf yr Amgylchedd Hanesyddol (Cymru) 2016, a Siân Gwenllian sydd i gychwyn.
Thank you. We're back in public session for item 3. We're moving on to the historic environment, and this is evidence session 8, and welcome once again to the Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, to Jason Thomas, director of culture, sport and tourism, and also to Gwilym Hughes, who is assistant director of the historic environment. Thank you very much to you all for staying with us, and also for joining us. As you know, we have different themes on which we will be asking questions, and we move on to the first theme, which is the implementation of the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016, and Siân Gwenllian will start.
Diolch. Y dystiolaeth gawsom ni gan y mudiadau a'r cyrff sydd yn gysylltiedig â'r maes yma oedd ei bod hi dipyn bach yn gynnar, mewn gwirionedd, i weld sut mae'r Ddeddf yn gweithredu ar lawr gwlad. Ac un awgrym oedd efallai bod angen dod â'r holl ddeddfwriaeth ynghyd i mewn i ryw fath o Fil cydgrynhoi, ac awgrym pellach a gafwyd oedd efallai bod dim angen mynd drwy broses ddeddfwriaethol ond bod modd tynnu'r wybodaeth at ei gilydd fel rhyw fath o ymarfer golygyddol, ac y gellid defnyddio'r maes yma fel peilot ar gyfer gwneud y math yna o waith o fewn y Cynulliad. Nid wyf yn gwybod beth ydy eich barn chi ar hynny.
Thank you. The evidence that we received from the bodies related to this particular area is that it's a little bit too early, truth to be told, to see how the Act is being implemented at a grass-roots level. But one suggestion was that perhaps we need to bring all of the legislation together in a consolidation Bill, and a further suggestion that was made was perhaps we don't need to go through a legislative process to do that, but it would be possible to draw the information together as a kind of editorial exercise, and that this area could be used as a pilot for doing that kind of work in the Assembly. What's your opinion on that?
Diolch yn fawr am y cyfle i drafod yr amgylchedd hanesyddol, sydd wedi dod â llawer o foddhad i mi ar hyd fy oes o ystyried lle rydw i wedi byw. Rydw i hefyd, fel aelod yn y gorffennol o'r Pwyllgor Materion Cyfansoddiadol a Deddfwriaethol yn y lle yma, wedi ystyried y materion o gydgrynhoi deddfwriaeth, ac rydym yn disgwyl datganiad heddiw gan y Cwnsler Cyffredinol yn y maes yma ynglŷn â'r ymgynghoriad sydd wedi bod ar ddehongli deddfwriaeth Cymru. Ac felly nid wyf am gau fy meddwl i'r awgrym sydd yn y cwestiwn yna, oherwydd mae o'n dibynnu ar sut bydd y Cwnsler Cyffredinol am gymryd y gwaith yma yn ei flaen.
Mae symleiddio deddfwriaeth ar gyfer y sawl sydd yn gorfod ymateb i'r ddeddfwriaeth yna, gan gynnwys, wrth gwrs, perchnogion llawer iawn o adeiladau hanesyddol lle mae yna gymhlethdod yn gallu bod ynglŷn â chydbwyso rhwng cynnal a chadw adeilad hanesyddol, pa ddefnyddiau y gellir eu rhoi i henebion ac yn y blaen yn gyfoes a beth yw eu dibenion nhw at y dyfodol—mae'r cwestiynau yma yn gwestiynau y mae perchnogion adeiladau hanesyddol ac ystadau hanesyddol yn haeddu cefnogaeth arnyn nhw yn y gweithgaredd maen nhw'n ei wneud, drwy wneud deddfwriaeth yn syml ac yn hygyrch.
Fel mae'n digwydd bod, mae gen i gasgliad lliwgar iawn gerbron ynglŷn â rheoli adeiladau rhestredig yng Nghymru, ac rwy'n sicr y byddai Gwilym yn hapus iawn i ni rannu y dogfennau yma i gyd efo chi fel pwyllgor os nad ydych chi wedi cael cyfle i'w darllen nhw, ac, fel y gwelwch chi, mae yna lun ardderchog o Gastell Harlech ar un ohonyn nhw. Mi wnawn ni rhannu'r ddogfen yna.
Thank you very much for the opportunity to discuss the historic environment, which has brought a great deal of joy to me throughout my life given where I have resided. Also, as a member of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee of this place in the past, I have considered the issues surrounding consolidating legislation, and we are expecting a statement today from the Counsel General in this particular area in terms of the consultation that's taken place on interpreting Welsh legislation. And therefore I don't want to close off the possibility of responding to the suggestion in that question, because it does depend on how the Counsel General will want to take this work forward.
But simplifying legislation for those who are required to respond to that legislation, including, of course, the owners of many historic buildings where there can be complications in terms of the balance between maintaining historic buildings, which materials can be used in monuments now and their use for the future—all of these questions are questions that the owners of historic buildings and estates deserve support on in terms of their activity, by simplifying legislation and making it accessible.
As it happens, I do have a very colourful set of documents here on the management of listed properties in Wales, and I'm sure Gwilym would be very happy for me to share these documents with you as a committee if you haven't had an opportunity to see them already, and, as you can see, there is a wonderful picture of Harlech castle on one of them. So, we will share those with you.
Do you want to say something more on that? That was a plug for your work.
Thank you. And, actually, they've been very well received. Obviously, we've consulted extensively on all of those documents, during the course of the—. Subsequent to the passage of the Act, over this last year, 10 documents altogether have been produced. And I think that the sector, generally, have been very responsive, but I do take the point, though, about the complexity of some of the existing legislation, which has now been amended by all the UK administrations, actually. I think what you were referring to was the suggestion that there may be some form of editorial exercise. I think the Country Land and Business Association made that suggestion. I think we have to be cautious here because, of course, the legislation is a legal document, and, obviously, any attempt to do that exercise might actually just add even more confusion, if you like. It has to have legal standing. And we have been working—. Obviously, Legislative.com, I think it's called, isn't it, has all the legislation, which is pulled together into a single document. But, as you quite rightly say, there has been a process across Welsh Government to consider the way in which legislation can be codified specifically for Wales, and this, of course, may be one of those areas.
Iawn, diolch. Un adran sydd wedi achosi pryder ydy'r hysbysiadau diogelu, efo Cymdeithas Tir a Busnesau Cefn Gwlad yn dweud, er enghraifft, y byddai fo'n gwneud pethau'n waeth, gosod hysbysiadau diogelu ar adeiladau sydd mewn risg. A oes yna feddwl wedi mynd ar hynny? A fydd yna ymgynghori cyn cyflwyno'r hysbysiadau diogelu yma?
Thank you. One other area that has caused concern is the preservation notices, with the Country Land and Business Association saying that it would make things worse, setting these preservation notices on at-risk buildings. Have you thought about that further? Will there be consultation before introducing these preservation notices?
Wel, 'bydd', ydy'r ateb i hynny. Mae'n debyg y dylwn i ddatgan diddordeb hefyd. Rydw i yn aelod o gymdeithas y tirfeddianwyr, er nad yw'n hystâd ni yn fwy na rhyw 0.5 hectar. Ond rydw i'n deall y consýrn. Rydw i'n deall y consýrn ynglŷn ag adeiladau sydd wedi dirywio ac mewn cyflwr y mae angen eu gwella nhw ar gyfer eu defnyddio nhw. A dim ond mewn sefyllfa ddifrifol y mae'r cynigion yma yn cael eu gweithredu. A'r cwestiynau angenrheidiol yn y sefyllfa yma ydy: a oes modd ailddefnyddio adeilad oherwydd natur ei strwythur, a oes yna ddyfodol economaidd heddiw i ddefnydd o'r adeilad? Ac rydym ni yn ceisio sicrhau bod y newidiadau sydd yn dilyn y Ddeddf amgylchedd hanesyddol yn ddeddfwriaeth—y bydd perchnogion adeiladau, yn enwedig adeiladau a allai fod yn agored i rybudd i'w diogelu, yn ymwybodol o'r potensial o weld y rhybuddion yma fel cyfle i ail-ddatblygu eu hadeiladau yn briodol.
Well, there will be, yes. I should perhaps declare an interest. I am a member of the CLA, although our estate is little more than 0.5 hectares. But I understand the concern. I understand the concern about buildings that have been in decline, where maintenance and improvements are required in order for those buildings to be used. But these preservation notices would only be implemented in the gravest circumstances. And the necessary questions in these circumstances are whether a building can be reused because of the nature of its structure, and whether there is a viable economic future for the use of the building. And we are endeavouring to ensure that the changes introduced as a result of the historic environment Act are legislation and changes—that owners of buildings that may be open to preservation notices are aware of the potential of seeing these notices as an opportunity to redevelop their buildings appropriately.
Do you want to add anything there, Gwilym?
Yes, certainly. We totally get the point that the CLA made in their evidence, that we want to avoid unintended consequences. These are regulatory-making powers within the Act, and, of course, they will be subject to full consultation therefore, and also debated by everyone here. So, we have commissioned research. The research is now available and is published. I think the Country Land and Business Association were wondering when that would be made publicly available. It is now publicly available, so you can see the range of issues that have been raised as a consequence of that in-depth analysis that they've undertaken. And we've got to be careful here, I think—the number of cases where such notices might be used is actually very small, and it's very particular and very focused. So, the response has to be quite nuanced as well. We don't want to have those unintended consequences that the CLA referred to, to make it a disincentive for people to actually take on buildings that are at risk. So, yes, there's a lot more work and thought to go in, and there are other measures that can be implemented, and the recommendations of that report suggest that there are other things that we can do in advance of any legislative measures.
Os caf i ychwanegu, rydw i'n barod iawn i wneud ymrwymiad i gyfarfod â fy nghymydog, sydd, ar hyn o bryd beth bynnag, yn llywyddu cymdeithas y tirfeddianwyr yng Nghymru, i drafod y materion yma yn llawn.
And, if I may add, I'm very willing to make a commitment to meet my neighbour, who at the moment is the chair of the CLA in Wales, to discuss these issues in full.
Symud at faes diogelu enwau lleoedd, mae'r Ddeddf yn ei gwneud hi'n orfodol i gadw rhestr, ond nid yw hon yn rhestr statudol. A oes gennych chi unrhyw fwriad i feddwl rhagor ynglŷn â'r angen am restr statudol? Mae dadlau wedi bod am hyn. Tybed a oes newid cyfeiriad yn mynd i fod.
Moving on to protection for place names, the Act makes it a requirement to maintain a register, but this isn't a statutory register. Do you have any intention to think more about the need for a statutory register? There has been some debate about this. I wonder whether there will be a change of direction.
Mae'n dibynnu ar beth yr ydych chi'n ei feddwl wrth 'statudol'. Mae'r rhestr yma yn rhestr sydd wedi cael ei sefydlu ar sail y ddeddfwriaeth. Fe'i lansiwyd hi yn gynharach eleni. Mae'r rhestr yn cael ei chynnal ar ein cyfer ni fel Gweinidogion gan gorff rydw i'n gefnogwr brwd iddo fo, Comisiwn Brenhinol Henebion Cymru. Mae yna, rydw i'n credu, 350,000 o enwau ar y rhestr, ac mae yna berson amser llawn yn gyfrifol am ymwneud â'r gwaith o gynyddu a lledu'r rhestr, ac o gynyddu diddordeb cyhoeddus ym mhwysigrwydd enwau llefydd.
It depends what you mean by 'statutory'. This list is one that was established on the basis of the legislation. It was launched earlier this year. The register is maintained for us as Ministers by an organisation I'm a keen supporter of, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales. I think that there are 350,000 names on the list at the moment, and there is a full-time employee responsible for dealing with the work of adding to that list, and of engendering public interest in the importance of place names.
Ond nid oes gwarchodaeth statudol i'r enwau, nac oes? Achos byddai rhywun yn medru penderfynu newid un o'r enwau, er ei fod o ar y gofrestr, ac ni fyddai goblygiadau i hynny.
But there's no statutory protection for the names, is there? Because anyone could decide to change one of the names, even though it's on the register, and there would be no implications as a result of that.
Na. Wel, dyna oedd penderfyniad y Llywodraeth yn dilyn y drafodaeth a fu ar y mater hwn. Ac, os cofiwch chi, mi oeddwn i'n cefnogi'r Llywodraeth, cyn i mi fod yn aelod ohoni, ar y pwynt yma.
No. Well, that was the Government's decision following the discussion on this issue. And, if you recall, I supported the Government, before becoming a member of it, on this point.
Felly, nid oes symud yn mynd i fod ar hwn.
So, there'll be no movement on that.
Nac oes, oherwydd mae yna egwyddorion cyfansoddiadol difrifol ynglŷn â hawliau dynol, buaswn i'n dweud, heb fynd yn rhy bell i'r cyfeiriad yna, ynglŷn â hawl pobl i enwi llefydd. Beth rydym ni'n awyddus i weld yw bod yr arfer da ynglŷn â pharhau gydag enwau hanesyddol Cymraeg, neu newid enwau hanesyddol Saesneg, weithiau, i enwau Cymraeg—fod hyn yn gallu digwydd. Mae yna drafodaethau wedi bod efo'r comisiynydd iaith, ac mi fyddwn ni'n parhau i drafod ynglŷn â hynny. Ond rydw i'n cytuno—os mai dyna ydy'r cwestiwn—nad ydy hi'n briodol i orfodi pobl i alw adeiladau neu leoliadau o dan enwau penodol. Mewn gwlad amlieithog, rydw i'n meddwl bod yn rhaid i ni fod yn agored i'r math o newidiadau hanesyddol sydd wedi digwydd dros y blynyddoedd, er rydw i'n croesawu'r ffaith ei bod hi'n ymddangos—rydw i'n credu ei bod hi'n ymddangos—bod yna fwy o awydd i newid enwau i'r Gymraeg na fel arall. Nid ydw i'n siŵr a ydy hynny'n gywir, Gwilym, neu ai rhywbeth yr ydw i wedi dychmygu mewn breuddwyd oedd hynny?
No, because there are grave constitutional principles in terms of human rights, I would say, without going too far in that direction, related to people's right to name places. What we're eager to see is that the good practice in terms of preserving historic Welsh names, or changing historic English names, sometimes, to Welsh—that that can happen. There have been discussions with the language commissioner, and we will continue to discuss those issues. But I do agree—if that was your question—that it isn't appropriate to require people to name buildings or locations by specific names. In a multilingual nation, I do think we have to be open to the kind of historic changes that have happened over the years, although I welcome the fact that it appears—I believe it appears, at least—that there is more desire to change names into Welsh than vice versa. I'm not sure if that's accurate, Gwilym, or is that something that I have imagined in a dream?
Did you want to add something on that?
There is certainly some evidence that that is happening, that, actually, a lot of people are choosing to change names from English into Welsh. To a certain extent, the whole purpose of the list is actually to raise awareness of this important element of our historical legacy. There is a responsibility for local authorities, of course, to maintain and manage people who are required to change their postal addresses. We've been in extensive conversation with the local authority officers responsible to see how they could actually use and take advantage of this new statutory list that we've introduced. There is some success about that. I think we've got to allow this list to actually take effect and to be used in practice. We're going to support that, again, with another one of the many guidance documents that we've been preparing, to encourage them to explain how that might best be achieved.
Fel un sydd efo Glynllifon yn ei hetholaeth, a wnaeth bron iawn gael ei newid i Wynnborn—rydych chi'n gwybod bod fy marn i yn wahanol i'ch un chi. Jest dau gwestiwn sydyn: diweddariad ynglŷn â'r panel cynghori, os gwelwch yn dda, a hefyd y cytundebau partneriaeth treftadaeth. Ble ydym ni arni efo'r ddau beth yna?
As one who has Glynllifon in my constituency, which was almost changed to Wynnborn—you'll know that my opinion differs to yours. Just two quick questions: could you give us an update on the advisory panel, please, and also the heritage partnership agreements? Where have we reached with those two things?
Gwilym, would you like to respond to those questions?
Yes, of course. On the heritage partnership agreements, we're going to be working on introducing guidance and consulting on the regulatory-making powers around the establishment of heritage partnership agreements during the course of the next year. We're keen to identify partners—we're looking at the pilot ideas for how they might be working in practice. I know, from evidence that was given by the National Trust, that they're very keen to participate and work with us on the establishment and making these work in practice.
Ours are slightly different, because we've gone a bit further than in England, where they've already introduced heritage partnership agreements for listed buildings. We're proposing to allow estates and owners who have scheduled monuments on their land to also be included. So, there are some differences. We can learn lessons from what's happened across the border, but we need to, obviously, develop a particularly Welsh solution to this particular issue. But it's all about streamlining and making it easier to manage large estates through sensible, comprehensive and long-term conservation agreements and management agreements.
Jest ar hynny, rydw i'n gobeithio—rydw i'n deall mai'r bwriad ydy y bydd y dogfennau drafft allan ar gyfer ymgynghori cyhoeddus yn 2018.
Just on that, I hear that the intention is that the draft documents will be out for public consultation in 2018.
Rydw i'n iawn—dyna fo. Mae hynny'n parhau ar amser, felly.
I'm right, then. That remains the timetable, therefore.
On the panel, when Gwilym and I came to the committee about a month ago, we said that future decisions on the advisory panel would be taken in the light of the decision on Cadw, which the Minister published a couple of weeks ago. So, the Minister needs to, obviously, consider the implementation now of that decision and then we will look at the future of the advisory panel in that context, I think, going forward.
Efallai y dylwn i ei wneud yn glir nad ydw i yn ffan o baneli ymgynghorol. Mae'n well gen i fynd allan a ffeindio'r bobl sy'n gwybod, gwrando arnyn nhw a cheisio ymateb wedyn. Ond rydw i yn derbyn bod yna waith wedi cael ei wneud yn y fan hyn yn barod, a bod yna ymrwymiad o fewn y Ddeddf i hyn allu digwydd. Ond nid ydw i eisiau creu cynsail o ormod o baneli ymgynghorol, fel sydd, o bosibl, wedi bod yn y gorffennol mewn Llywodraeth, os caf i ddweud hynny. Nid ydw i'n credu bod paneli ymgynghorol o angenrheidrwydd yn cynnig yr ymateb ymgynghorol gorau, nac ychwaith yn hyrwyddo penderfyniadau cyflym ac effeithlon. Ond rydw i'n meddwl bod y penderfyniad ar Cadw yn mynd i fod yn allweddol i'r ffordd y byddwn ni, fel adran, yn gweithredu, sef cadw gwaith o fewn Llywodraeth ond rhoi mwy o ryddid i'r gwaith yna ddigwydd. Yn sicr, mi fyddwn ni'n chwilio am y cyngor gorau posibl, sut bynnag y bydd hynny yn ymddangos. Efallai nid panel sefydlog ymgynghorol yn y ffordd draddodiadol fyddai'r ffordd orau i weithredu.
Perhaps I should make it clear that I'm not a fan of advisory panels. I prefer to get out there and find those people who know, listen to them and try and respond. But I do accept that work has already been done in this area, and that there is a commitment within the legislation for this to happen. But I don't want to create a precedent of too many advisory panels, as may have existed in the past within Government, if I may say that. I don't think that advisory panels, of necessity, offer the best advisory response or promote swift and effective decision making. But I think the decision on Cadw is going to be crucial to the way in which we, as a department, will operate, namely to retain that work within Government but giving more freedom for that work to happen. Certainly, I will be seeking the best possible advice, however that may appear, and it may not be a stable advisory panel in the traditional sense.
Mi wnawn ni edrych ymlaen at hynny, felly.
We look forward to that.
I just wanted to look at our protection of listed buildings, because the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales has told us that, unlike in England and Scotland, where there's a systematic approach to designation, there's no such programme of systematic assessment, survey and evaluation in Wales. Cadw has told us that there's a system of spot-listing, which all sounds a bit haphazard. I just wondered what you think needs to be done to improve that situation, if you agree with that.
Again, on a personal basis, as a former owner of a building that had listings associated with it, I wouldn't call listing haphazard in any sense. And—
Well, that's what these two organisations seem to be telling us, though.
I will study the evidence, but the practice of listing—the statutory basis of listing—is something that I have a great interest in, and it is a very secure way of maintaining essential parts of our heritage. But it has to be effective, and effective in a timely fashion, very often, when dangers can appear in terms of the impact of the state of listed buildings.
I would actually argue that that isn't the case. We did a systematic survey of all communities across Wales, which was completed just over 10 years ago, and we looked at all the building stock with a series of research exercises, and as a consequence we now have 30,000 listed buildings across Wales, which is proportionately more than the other countries, actually. We mentioned this earlier on in our evidence. What I did say, though—and I do remember saying this—is that there are still some gaps, and I do agree there that the later twentieth century, for example, is a gap that we need to fill, and we are taking action on that, as I mentioned. In fact, we are now commissioning some research to look at the later twentieth century public buildings to assess them against the listing criteria and to consider which ones do meet that special interest test that we need in order to meet the requirements of the list.
Can I just come in on spot listing? I think we can speak with assurance in saying that the process that underpins spot listing is extremely thorough and is rigorous. One person's 'haphazard' in terms of describing that would be another person's 'agile and flexible' and an ability to—
Like Gwilym said, we've done the systematic probably, I would say, better than any other nation. We are at the forefront of that, and what we've got is that we've got this rigorous base that supports the whole country, but then we've still got an ability that overlays that to do spot listing for properties that come into the sort of public mind now.
Okay. Well, it's very useful to have that clarification. So, having got these wonderful 30,000 listed buildings, what role can Government play in ensuring that they're appropriately maintained? I'm aware that the National Trust has really done a fantastic job in ensuring that all its buildings are energy efficient and reliant only on renewable energy. So, clearly, they're path breakers. What role do you think Government can play in ensuring that all the other owners of these 30,000 buildings are aware of the techniques that can be used without destroying the uniqueness of the building?
Well, again, I'm a former member of the National Trust committee for Wales and I'm obviously active within the trust in the area I live. I think that what the National Trust provides is an exemplar national organisation, which is able to, through the development of its good practice on building conservation and also, more recently, on its whole activity on renewables, show the way clearly to owners of listed buildings of how it is possible to conserve a building and also use it. This is our mantra, I think, across—
Well, what we are looking—. What I was saying about the National Trust is that it's exemplar, and what we're seeking to do—. And not just the National Trust; I should also—. Again, I've been involved with historic buildings specifically, especially the analysis of historic buildings in the part of the world I represent, because it is to assist the owners to turn their historic buildings into useful living and business spaces. That is the key to us, because the best way of preserving a building is finding a current and future use for it. So, that is what we are wanting to encourage. Now, Government sets the context for that by legislation and by advice. Gwilym has already described the kind of detailed advice that has been produced.
Now, if you think it would benefit the whole process here for us to encourage the National Trust to share more of its good practice more widely, or for us to be in partnership with the National Trust in publishing information—further information—about the use of buildings, especially the use of renewable energy in conserved buildings, I'm sure that we would consider that.
Absolutely, and can I just actually add that we have provided and published some advice on this very area, looking at the way in which you can put in micro-energy installations on traditional buildings, which is available on the Cadw website. We're also working with others across the construction industry on looking at the way we can develop strategic skills partnerships. We're looking at the sustainable retrofit of traditional buildings. This is a crucial area. Tradition buildings are sensitive and need to be managed very carefully, but they require certain specific requirements when you're trying to effectively make them more energy efficient. And it might not be the same as a modern building, so you've got to think very carefully. So, we are working with the wider sector and providing appropriate guidance for this.
Could I add one thing, Chair? Cadw has in its guardianship a sort of exemplar property in Cwmdare Heritage Cottage, where we've put in place a number of sustainable measures to improve the thermal efficiency of that property. So, I think we've got a role, perhaps, to use that property more effectively to showcase what can be done, but it's something that we've been working on for a number of years now to show what can be done in what's a traditional Valleys house, really.
Yes. Can I just interject specifically on the National Trust point, not just on its specialism in buildings but in terms of marketing? We had evidence last week from its director in Wales, who told us about the insight work it does about who its audience is and so on. I noted that he was chair of the Historic Wales steering group and brought his expertise to bear to bring the sector together. Is there any merit in trying to get the National Trust to work more closely with Historic Wales, sharing its expertise on marketing in particular? Obviously, we have to be mindful that they're a revenue-generating organisation in their own right, and we need to be sensitive to that. But aren't there things that the sector, specifically through Historic Wales, given the director's role in bringing that together, could do to make advances?
There's already good stuff happening on that front as well, if I could add. In terms of informing the commercial direction of Cadw over the last couple of years, I was able and fortunate enough to work extremely closely with the commercial director at the trust on the back of a good relationship with Justin Albert there. So, we do learn from each other. Cadw's still got a long way to go on that front, but we are making significant inroads and making much better use of data to target customers. We're getting much more effective, but I accept that there's still a lot more we can do.
Can I just now turn to the enforcement powers that local authorities have to protect these 30,000 listed buildings? The Country Land and Business Association has argued that there is a tendency to target low-hanging fruit for people who have committed technical breaches rather than those who are deliberately either damaging or neglecting listed buildings. I just wondered if you'd like to comment on that, because that would be worrying if that were the case. The Welsh Local Government Association has denied that that's the case, but what evidence do you have? Clearly, we need to ensure that we aren't just going for the technical breaches but those where, in particular, people are deliberately damaging or neglecting buildings in order to get them delisted.
Before I ask Gwilym, I'd be very concerned if there wasn't a consistency of enforcement throughout Wales, and if there was any suggestion that local authorities are targeting—. I haven't seen any in the areas in which I live and work, which have a very high proportion of these historic buildings. I would like to have more evidence, and if you have more evidence from this committee, obviously, we look forward to seeing it. We want real examples of where local government has been interventionist in this way. Again, I have no experience of that directly, but we are working with local authorities to share best practice. Of course, part of the work of Cadw—as it develops its role, the training packages developed by Cadw will help the enforcement action to be consistent throughout Wales. Part of the mission of making Cadw, as it were, a strong arm of Government but also a semi-autonomous body in its way of working, with emphasis on being open-facing and a strong partner in the conservation of historic buildings throughout Wales, is to provide best practice available for everyone in local authorities. Gwilym.
I notice that when they were asked specifically, the CLA mentioned this and they felt it was more of a gut feeling rather than providing any particular evidence for this. Obviously, we would be keen to see evidence. I'm aware, and we're all aware, that local authorities are hard-pressed at the moment. They've got challenges in terms of the amount of resources and personnel with experience in enforcement matters for the historic environment. So, clearly, our role has to be, in order to help and support more consistency, working with the various fora that they have themselves, in collaborating and sharing that experience. But also, yes, there's a training role as well, as the Minister said.
So, sticking with the resources that local authorities have to undertake this important work, clearly some local authorities have retained specialist officers in this field, and others less so. And, clearly, it's better to be supporting owners of listed buildings, to assist them before you come to the enforcement business. So, what plans do you have to ensure that local authorities are pooling the limited the resources they have in this, so they can share best practice and knowledge to ensure that we have that consistency?
Well, we are encouraging, both within this department and across Government, local authorities to work together regionally and to ensure that the expertise that's available within each of the—how many regions do we have now in Wales? Four: north, south-east, south-west and Powys, isn't it?
There are three fora. At the moment, the local authorities themselves in the conservation services have formed three fora, and the north Wales forum has actually been very active in this area in looking at areas where they can share and pool their expertise and collaborate. The other regions are actually looking very closely at the outcome of that.
We've been working with the Welsh Local Government Association and with others and our planning colleagues in Welsh Government, trying to find a way through this for a pan-Wales approach to the need for consistency in terms of enforcement procedures and the way in which they use their existing powers. We talked about preservation notices earlier, but they've got a whole range of existing powers where they can take action.
I refer back to this pack of guidance documents that we've prepared: 'Managing Change to Listed Buildings in Wales', 'Managing Historic Buildings at Risk in Wales'. These are important documents that have been consulted upon and which provide that overall framework for the use of these powers in managing change.
Just talking about those extensive power, obviously there's no point having powers if there's no finance to back up the use of them, is there? Can you give us some sort of indication—? I know you've given us evidence before, Mr Thomas, about the way the Cadw grants are more streamlined now and focused on particular outcomes. Have you had any evidence yet that that has really been to the detriment of perhaps smaller, less important buildings that really needed the help?
Thank you for that question. There's certainly been a lot of representation from the sector, and certainly within the department, actually, that those grants add value and should be continued. We did take a difficult decision about 15 months ago about grant funding for the current financial year that we're in. We took the decision that we would prioritise investment. The capital funding available to Cadw was prioritised into the capital investment, into the Cadw estate, where we have statutory responsibility for maintaining.
Grant funding to listed building owners is not a statutory responsibility. However, on the back of the success that we've made with the capital investment programme, we are now in the process, on the back of the draft budget being laid, of looking at our detailed budget for next year and for the next two years. The hope—this will be one thing that we'll advise the Minister on, obviously—is that we can bring those grants back into existence, really. I think the phrase we've used here before was they were put into a 'cryogenic stasis,' not dissolved. So, we would hope to bring it back but, I think, bring it back in a way that is completely aligned with 'Prosperity for All'.
One thing that I've found—I'm four months into this job now—is that I've been struck by—
—the number of different capital grant programmes that exist just within our directorate. We've got grant funding on museums and libraries, grant funding on the tourism side, grant funding on Cadw, grant funding on sport, et cetera. Many of the aims and objectives of those funds are completely aligned, yet there are different funding streams for them, and it's looking at ways in which we can bring them together for the common good, really, and make them more effective.
That's an interesting answer, because one of the difficulties we have with buildings at risk, which, perhaps, aren't the big headline buildings, is that some of them can be put to alternative uses. But the interest in that alternative use is difficult to convert into activity, because there's no money and there is, perhaps, no expertise; there's just goodwill in the community. How do you foresee this sort of merging of grants for a joint aim being targeted at buildings of that nature, shall we say? I mean, it could be anything from an old post office to, I don't know, an old folly or a castle—it could be anything.
Before I ask Jason to come back on that, the principle for me, as I've indicated in earlier appearances before this committee, is that the financial support and the advice have to be together so that the people who are benefiting from public funding are benefiting to the maximum extent and getting the fully required direction for best delivery for themselves as well. I think that's what the public good that public funding brings about is for.
Therefore, if we can consolidate the way in which our funding streams run through the department and ensure, whatever the issues are, whether it's the built heritage or whether it's the general support for artistic activity that we were discussing earlier this morning, that we make the best use of the expertise that we can offer, the exemplars that we can give, the beneficiary, then, is the public good, generally. And that's what I'm looking for, as an objective. Jason.
I'll have to sort of anonymise these, because we're still in the process of assessing grants for next year, but it's a frustration that we've got to improve on within Government, I think. So, an example that I've had recently is that one division within the portfolio will come with a shortlist for grant schemes and, at the long list stage, will knock some potential projects out because they don't meet the particular criteria of that grant and that can be on the value. So, one grant scheme will have a threshold of £300,000 or £400,000 and will be limited to one particular sector, and if a project comes in that maybe touches on other sectors, sometimes, it shouldn't happen, but officials will sometimes knock it out, because it doesn't meet the criteria of that scheme. So, myself, with a broader view across the directorate will say, 'Well, actually, that touches on several other divisions.' The criteria that we put on these grants are an internal rule. It's not a legal thing; it's just a rule we've put on the criteria. So, it's a challenge that we're putting back on the officials to say, 'You really have to join up.'
The First Minister has made it abundantly clear that we've got to join up, within Government—that we don't just report to one Minister; we report to all Ministers, and officials have got to break down internal barriers to make the schemes more effective. So, to give a specific example, when we're looking at schemes for next year, when teams come to me and say, 'This doesn't meet that criterion', I'm going to say, 'Well, if it meets that criterion as well, join it up so that you can maybe take a good project forward.' So, it's challenging for the teams to have a different mindset, but that's what we're going to be doing.
I tell you who it's also going to be challenging for is the owners—either private owners or non-Government owners—of some of these endangered buildings, in making applications for grants when the criteria are going to be scattered across different directorates. I appreciate you're trying to bring them together.
Do you have any plans to introduce, shall we call it, a resilience programme, as we've heard about with the arts council, for people who might be interested in raising money in order to improve or save some of this endangered heritage?
It was an idea that was circulating when the scoping work was done on the historic environment Bill, about how to empower civil society, if you like, to actually do something with these good ideas. So, I'm glad about that.
For those who actually will never be able to acquire the skills to save their buildings, either individually or communally, if you like, have you got any plans to look at making it easier to delist buildings? You mentioned the survey 10 years ago and 30,000 buildings; some of these will fall just down because of the reasons we've been discussing.
We had evidence last week that the grounds for listing are very clear and easy to follow and all the rest of it, but have you any evidence that some buildings have been inadvertently listed, if I could put it like that, and didn't quite make the criteria?
We will always consider new evidence. If someone feels that a building has not been appropriately listed or has deteriorated, they can make an application to us to delist, just as they can to spot list. So, they can do either. We will, obviously, have then to consider the evidence. If it still meets the criteria for statutory listing, it still meets the criteria. I think that the important point here is that listing isn't necessarily a barrier to change. Buildings can still be allowed to breathe and live and continue to be viable and to adapt, even if they're listed. And that is, again, the thrust of some of these documentations that we've produced, the management document on managing change to listed buildings. I think that's where some of the confusion may have arisen; it's not a preservation order, listing. It's about actually recognising and continuing to preserve the special interest of that building while still allowing it to change and adapt.
Don't worry, I'm not arguing for mass delisting or anything. [Laughter.]
Cadw's list of heritage at risk isn't published. Good reasons, bad reasons, can we hear both?
I can certainly come in on it, Minister, if that's okay.
Well, the reason I raise the question is that certain bodies, particularly with old faith buildings, find that the fact that they're not visibly in danger makes it more difficult for them to apply for the kind of separate funding we've been talking about.
I understand. There's a balance that has to be struck between making information publicly available and, of course, protecting access to personal information about private property. But, we are in a process of renewing the contract that is looking at the assessment of risk facing all our listed buildings across Wales, and we are building into that an element of public access to the list of buildings at risk, without endangering the other issues. So, it's a balance, really.
So, is it possible, say there's a chapel that needs to be converted to a different use, or the owners say, 'Well, we want to keep it for a purpose still related to religion,' can they write to Cadw and say, 'Look, can you make it plain to these funders that we are on your unpublished list?' So, they've actually given you the permission to disclose the detail, effectively.
I think that if there's permission given, then we can look at that on an individual basis.
Thank you. I'm correct in saying that they do publish it in Scotland and England, though, don't they—this list.
Again, limited access to it, not full access. They provide some information that is publicly available, and some not—
And that's what we're looking at.
Okay, thank you. It's my understanding then that there's been a reallocation of finance from Cadw in terms of buildings at risk, in terms of a commercial arm in terms of seeking that revenue, moving forward. Now, it's also my understanding—correct me if I'm wrong—that Creative Wales was supposed to be combining all those arms, in terms of commercial funding, from Cadw and the museums of Wales. Is that still ongoing or not?
Creative Wales, I think, is a manifesto commitment.
So, is it happening now, in terms of our current status? That was my understanding from the previous—
Exactly. So, in terms of that—I don't know whether I put my question correctly to you. So, my understanding then is that the grant giving to buildings at risk has been denuded because it's now being used to fund a commercial arm. Is that correct or incorrect?
So, there are a couple of things. Historic Wales is a partnership of Cadw, the royal commission, the National Library of Wales and National Museum Wales, and the way that that's been constituted in terms of its terms of reference is to collaborate on commercial development. And there is a separate issue there, which is within Cadw, so on the bids that we are responsible for—this is a point I made in the last question—we took a strategic decision before this financial year to move funding from capital grants into capital investment into the commercial estate. So, those are discussions we have now for the next two years about whether we bring more money back into the grant side. So, it is fair to say that money was taken from grants to put into Cadw commercial development. That was a strategic—
Which obviously is less in the pot for buildings at risk, which is my point. So, my secondary point would be—not Creative Wales, but in terms of Historic Wales—is the strategic approach moving forward that those commercial arms, whether they're from Cadw or from the museum of Wales, will now go into that stakeholder strategic pot for commercial revenue making, to take it away from that function, from Cadw?
The discussions so far have not involved money going into the Historic Wales pot. Technically, it's not an entity; it's a partnership between the four. But commercial development is one of the four work streams that the Historic Wales partnership has established. We've got a meeting tomorrow—
So the answer is 'Yes, it's ongoing.' Nothing has fundamentally changed, then. Okay. Because obviously the less money that there is in a specific grant pot for buildings at risk, if that's going to be used for creating funding for an organisation, that's not good for our landscape.
My wider question then involves stakeholders beyond the strategic partnership. How are you going to involve stakeholders? You mentioned the WLGA. In terms of that amalgamation, what can be done so that we can spread out wider and involve more in this very important area?
Clearly, we have a strong relationship with Welsh local government. We have emphasised the importance of regional working and I see increasingly the activity of conservation being focused on the historic regions of Wales. Because it is in that dimension that the relationship between buildings and landscape and enjoyment of both the built heritage and the natural environment can flourish. That links also into the tourism offer as well. Therefore, we want to see Welsh local government collaborating within regions, but also collaborating with the more liberated agencies of Welsh Government, such as the way that Cadw will function in the future.
Going back to your earlier question, the whole point of encouraging income-generating activity by the other partners of Historic Wales is not to denude resources from part of the greater partnership; it is to try to develop—and the museum, for example, certainly want to do it, because I've already discussed this with them at some length. They want to move from a position where they're almost 90 per cent dependent on direct funding from Welsh Government into a situation nearer to where Cadw has got, through the good use of its own resources as a generator of incomes. So, I want to make the point that any income that has come into Cadw has not been lost to this department.
Okay. Because the evidence that I understand from this committee is that it had been lost from that particular grant pot, and it had been transferred into the commercial arm and not fed back, then, into protecting historic buildings. So, I don't know if we can get some clarity on that.
That's not what I said. The assurance I gave, which was an assurance I wanted myself, and I had it early on from officials in the budgeting process, was that there would be no resources lost to the department. So that, when we come to decide our budgetary priorities, we can indeed use our Government funds and the income generated in a way that ensures reinvestment by ourselves in increasing the amount of revenue that we're able to generate. So, when you say something goes into the commercial arm and is taken away from the income arm, that is not a loss to the overall effort.
Not to the overall organisation, but to the purpose of that pot of money: the protection of historic buildings. My understanding is that that has been lost, up until now.
That is correct.
Because, like I said, we have a statutory duty to preserve and look after the monuments within the guardianship of the Minister. Grant giving is not a statutory responsibility, so in times of austerity we took that decision.
I understand that. Okay. But that's ongoing, in terms of the answer you've given. Thank you.
In terms of the progress report from the strategic partnership, I believe that was out in September 2017. I don't know if that's already come to this committee yet.
There's the note that's come from the Historic Wales partnership. So, it's jointly chaired by Gareth from the Prospect union and Chris at the royal commission. So, they put a note up to the Cabinet Secretary, I think, in terms of progress. I don't think there's any problem with sharing that with the committee.
Actually, it might have been shared—. I'm not sure if it has been shared already, but there's no issue with that whatsoever. I'll need to—
I would need to check it with the joint chairs. I'm seeing them tomorrow, so I can do that.
It would be useful if it could.
Finally, in terms of your evaluation of the—you've touched upon this many times, so it can be brief—current level of Cadw support for local authority collaboration, you've mentioned regional collaboration with local authorities, and that's pleasing to hear, but I'm also very much more interested in the pan-Wales approach in joining up that regional approach in this particular area. So, is there anything more substantive that you can extrapolate on that?
Can I just say that the pan-Wales and the regional, in my view, are not in conflict? Because Wales is made up of these regions. The regional focus enables us to see what is possible both within the built environment and the built environment in relation to landscape, and those two are equally important in my view of things. The focus can develop and mature at the regional level. Regional partnerships can, indeed, be more effective than taking a scattergun or pan-Wales approach. That's all I'm saying.
Then I would also add that, in terms of national standards in terms of consistency across Wales, it's really important that we have that oversight. So, in terms of joining up that obviously needed regional level, is there anything that we have in terms of a national strategy, or—?
We have a national framework for protection, which we're articulating through all these measures that we've introduced, and all the guidance documents that we've introduced. The challenge now, and we're already having these conversations, is about working with those local authority groups to make sure there is consistency. Part of that is through training and part of it is through the best-practice use of the management. I've got a meeting with other officials this afternoon, actually, just to talk about taking advantage of those regional fora for a consistent level of training in the application of some of these measures that we've introduced.
The national standard is about the application of sustainable development to the historic built environment—and that is in all senses of that. The well-being of future generations applies as much to what we do here as to what what we do in all our activity.
Ocê. Symudwn ymlaen at Neil Hamilton. Rydym yn ceisio dirwyn i ben, ond—Neil.
Okay. We'll move on to Neil Hamilton. We're trying to draw this session to a close, but—Neil.
We're obviously interested in maximising the value of heritage tourism, which bolsters funding of everything else, and Cadw have been very successful in recent years at doing this. In your evidence to us in the draft budget scrutiny session, you said that
'We need to push forward with the digital interpretation at the sites in order to attract more and more visitors'.
Can you expand on that and what your plans are for the next year or so? Where are we now and how far can we get?
We're in that detailed business planning process now. The draft budget was laid in the Assembly, so we now know what our budget is indicatively for the next two years. So, the team, everybody in Cadw and similarly across the whole portfolio, are now working up the detail that will come through the process in January. So, the aim is very much to have business plans agreed by the start of February so that teams know exactly what's expected of them next year, and for two years, because we've now got a two-year budget. One of the big themes that's going to be coming through Cadw is picking up on that point: how do we engage with a much broader audience than we have traditionally over the years? And one of the best ways of doing that is bringing in some really great digital experiences to our sites, but also getting the basics right. Across our estate, we still don't have translation facilities to a standard that you'd expect of a modern tourist attraction. We still only have limited languages at some of our biggest monuments. So, what I want to see, and I'm sure what the Minister is demanding of us as officials, is to make sure that we are equipped for the future, and that involves a big investment on the digital side.
Time is short, so I'll just as one more question. The impact of Brexit—there are funding streams that currently exist. Responsibility for those areas will come back to the UK, and hopefully to Cardiff. Has there been any agreement with the Cabinet Secretary for Finance that these funding streams will be maintained? I've been pretty clear for myself and my party that any money that is currently being spent in Wales by the European Union should continue to be spent for the next few years, at any rate, by the Welsh Government, assuming it comes to us by way of block grant. So, have you been able to protect your budget lines in this respect?
Not beyond what is published in the current budget, because we can't, clearly. There is no understanding, as far as I'm aware, in relation to the Welsh block, with the UK Government. That is above my pay grade, even as a Minister. [Laughter.]
Just to follow up on the Cadw announcement, you said earlier that, obviously, you've decided to keep Cadw in Government, but that you'll be giving more freedom for that work to happen. Can you tell us some more about what that freedom looks like?
Well, I talk of nothing else with my colleagues, the freedom of Cadw. I must say that the most positive experience I have had since becoming a Minister is the enthusiasm of the senior civil service that serve my department for delivering our responsibilities. We had a round-table discussion up in the CP1 building, the Cathays Park 1 building, early on in my period of office, and there is certainly a determination to deliver the quality of the kind of public service objectives that I certainly have, and I have every confidence in the capacity of the people who work alongside me to do that.
So, there's a freedom to be enthusiastic—that's clear. Are there any other freedoms?
Well, that's where freedom starts, Lee. It starts from enthusiasm.
Yes, but we've talked about business improvements and greater flexibility. I don't hear what they are.
Well, they are being delivered in the way in which we manage the department.
That's what I'm asking you to tell us some more about—what it looks like in practice, what freedom there's going to be.