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Minister invites the public to have their say
Social Justice and Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant kicks off a Wales-wide tour today to hear from public service users and providers how to protect services in the challenging times ahead.
During the ‘Your Service Your Say’ tour the Minister will travel the length and breadth of Wales to hear local views on how to deliver and improve front line services in the face of reduced budgets.
The tour is part of a wider Assembly Government strategy to improve efficiency across the whole of the public sector and follows on from First Minister Carwyn Jones’ tour of public services. Business Minister Jane Hutt will also be visiting public service providers across the country over the coming weeks.
Carl Sargeant is keen to meet people who have first hand experience of their service and so are well placed to offer an opinion based on their insight and knowledge.
“It is no secret that the public sector is facing funding cuts over the coming years” said the Minister. “Protecting and improving our services with a reduced budget will be challenging.
“We need to plan ahead and be prepared to take tough decisions so that we can continue to deliver high quality and valued services. We must recognise that we cannot continue as we are and that we need to do things differently.
“Working together will be the key to making this happen. This is not something that the Assembly Government can do alone. I want to hear what challenges are facing our services and what we can do to overcome these.
“We need service providers, at every level of the workforce, service users and the public to get involved and tell us what they think needs to be done. These people have first hand experience of our services, so it is important they help shape the future of them.”
One of the first stops on the tour is a waste collection unit in Bridgend where the Minister will meet staff to hear their views on how their service could be improved. Other stops include an arts centre in Pont Tyweli that provides leisure and recreation for elderly people in rural Carmarthenshire and joining a bobby on the beat in Llandrindod Wells.
Later in the tour the Minister will be at RAF Valley on Anglesey to find out how armed forces families think local services can be improved to meet their needs. The Minister is also keen to hear from third sector partners and will visit a number of voluntary organisations, including the Vale Volunteer Bureau in Barry.
During the visits the Minister is keen to discuss how local services can be improved to suit local priorities and what the Welsh Assembly Government can do to help.
Carl Sargeant added
“We need to understand what local communities want to see delivered as a priority and then decide how we can best achieve this at the local level.
“The challenges are tough but by working together we can overcome them and continue to deliver first class services where they are needed the most.
“I look forward to hearing from many people throughout this tour. Only by working together can we meet the challenges that lie ahead.”