Sections 37 and 38– Assessments of local well-being
134.Section 37(1) requires each public services board to undertake an assessment of the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of its area.
135.This assessment of local well-being must be published at least 12 months before they publish their local well-being plan. Section 39 of the Act provides that the local well-being plan must be published no later than one year after an ordinary election, as defined in section 26 of the Local Government Act 1972. As such, the assessment of well-being would be published within the 12 months preceding each ordinary local government election.
136.The assessment must identify the community areas within the board’s area. It is intended that these ‘community areas’ are areas within the board’s area which are large enough to show differences between them and have a sense of identity but not as small as electoral wards. The assessment must provide an analysis of the state of well-being of:
the board’s area as a whole;
each of the communities within the board’s area.
137.The assessment may also include analysis of particular categories of persons determined by the board, including persons who are vulnerable or otherwise disadvantaged, persons possessing a common protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010, children, young people entitled to support under sections 105 to 115 of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014, persons who may have need for care and support or those providing care and support and persons sharing any other common factor the Board considers appropriate.
138.Assessing the well-being of each community is intended to ensure that the differences between the various communities within a public services board’s area are analysed. The communities within each area will be determined by regulations made by the Welsh Ministers or, if no such regulations have been made, the board.
139.Whilst the board may give consideration to aligning these communities with existing community networks such as a local authority’s ‘neighbourhoods’, health ‘locality networks’ or clusters of community councils, the communities identified for the purpose of the assessment will not necessarily correspond with the community councils within the board’s area.
140.The assessment must include any further analysis that the board carries out by reference to criteria set and applied by it for the purpose of assessing economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being in the area or in any community situated in the area.
141.The assessment must also include predictions of likely future trends and any other analytical data and information relating to the well-being of the area that the board considers appropriate.
142.In undertaking the analysis that informs the assessment of well-being, the board must refer to:
any national indicators, as published under section 10 of the Act; and
any of the future trends reports published by the Welsh Ministers under section 11 if they are relevant to the assessment of well-being in the area.
143.Section 38(3) defines a number of statutory reviews and assessments, the findings of which the board must consider when preparing their assessment. The Welsh Ministers can specify, by regulations, any other reviews or assessments that they wish the board to consider.
144.Prior to publishing their assessment of local well-being, a public services board must consult with those people listed in section 38(1). The board must provide each of the people listed with a copy of their draft assessment.
145.A public services board must send a copy of its assessment to the Welsh Ministers, the Commissioner, the Auditor General for Wales and the local authority’s overview and scrutiny committee.