Archive for December 2000

19 December 2000

Alison Halford: What actions are to be taken to co-ordinate policy in North Wales to ensure the success of the "Communities First" proposals.(OAQ8595) The First Minister: The Assembly’s proposals for implementing Communities First are set out in the consultation paper launched on 6 December by the Minister for Finance, Local Government and Communities. One of the issues raised in the paper is how areas are to be selected for inclusion in the programme. We are seeking views on how this can be undertaken and how we can ensure that we target the communities in most need throughout the whole of Wales, including north Wales. Once the programme is set up and local action plans have been agreed, we and the community partnerships will be monitoring the programme and measuring progress. We will be ensuring that the Communities First programme links closely with other major programmes, including those from Europe so that our primary objectives are achieved. The Assembly has the overview of all these programmes and will be able to co-ordinate them effectively, regardless of whether a community is based in north, south or mid Wales.

12 December 2000

Alison Halford (Delyn): Will he make a statement on the limited availability of Private Business to fulfil the contractual needs of the Assembly. (OAQ8421) The First Minister: It is the Assembly’s policy to make the maximum use of quality Welsh products, services, and expertise within the procedures set down in the European regulations on procurement. This means that Welsh companies need to compete and be able to demonstrate their ‘added value’ and ‘competitiveness’. The regulations require that there can be no discrimination for or against a particular nation’s products or services. It is our policy, in line with UK Government policy, to obtain best value for money from publicly funded projects in Wales. The Assembly is investing heavily in developing Welsh firms to be more competitive and in enhancing the skills of the local workforce. Various initiatives are already in place, such as the WDA’s Source Wales scheme, whose aims include increasing profitability, competitiveness and the growth of companies based in Wales. Source Wales is a buyer-driven initiative aimed at helping Welsh companies win more business. It works with Welsh business to ensure that their performance meets the high standards expected by today’s leading companies. Each of our public bodies …..

7 December 2000

Alison Halford (Delyn): Can he make a statement about ‘Farming Connect’s’ performance in comparison to ‘Business Connect’. (OAQ8255) Carwyn Jones: As Farming Connect is still being developed, it is not yet possible to make a comparison between the performance of this scheme and that of Business Connect.

5 December 2000

Alison Halford (Delyn): In his role as policy co-ordinator for North Wales what is he doing to ensure that the areas badly affected by the floods are protected in the future. (OAQ8239) The First Minister: I am liaising closely with the Minister for Finance, Local Government and Communities, Edwina Hart, and the Minister for Environment, Sue Essex, to ensure that a proper assessment is carried out of the position and that appropriate work is carried out to reduce the risk of future flooding to those areas of north Wales that were badly affected by the recent floods.