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Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015

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This is the original version (as it was originally enacted).

Sustainable development and well-being duty on public bodies

2Sustainable development

In this Act, “sustainable development” means the process of improving the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales by taking action, in accordance with the sustainable development principle (see section 5), aimed at achieving the well-being goals (see section 4).

3Well-being duty on public bodies

(1)Each public body must carry out sustainable development.

(2)The action a public body takes in carrying out sustainable development must include—

(a)setting and publishing objectives (“well-being objectives”) that are designed to maximise its contribution to achieving each of the well-being goals, and

(b)taking all reasonable steps (in exercising its functions) to meet those objectives.

(3)A public body that exercises functions in relation to the whole of Wales may set objectives relating to Wales or any part of Wales.

(4)A public body that exercises functions in relation only to a part of Wales may set objectives relating to that part or any part of it.

4The well-being goals

The well-being goals are listed and described in Table 1—

TABLE 1
GoalDescription of the goal
A prosperous Wales.An innovative, productive and low carbon society which recognises the limits of the global environment and therefore uses resources efficiently and proportionately (including acting on climate change); and which develops a skilled and well-educated population in an economy which generates wealth and provides employment opportunities, allowing people to take advantage of the wealth generated through securing decent work.
A resilient Wales.A nation which maintains and enhances a biodiverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems that support social, economic and ecological resilience and the capacity to adapt to change (for example climate change).
A healthier Wales.A society in which people’s physical and mental well-being is maximised and in which choices and behaviours that benefit future health are understood.
A more equal Wales.A society that enables people to fulfil their potential no matter what their background or circumstances (including their socio economic background and circumstances).
A Wales of cohesive communities.Attractive, viable, safe and well-connected communities.
A Wales of vibrant culture and thriving Welsh language.A society that promotes and protects culture, heritage and the Welsh language, and which encourages people to participate in the arts, and sports and recreation.
A globally responsible Wales.A nation which, when doing anything to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of Wales, takes account of whether doing such a thing may make a positive contribution to global well-being.

5The sustainable development principle

(1)In this Act, any reference to a public body doing something “in accordance with the sustainable development principle” means that the body must act in a manner which seeks to ensure that the needs of the present are met without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

(2)In order to act in that manner, a public body must take account of the following things—

(a)the importance of balancing short term needs with the need to safeguard the ability to meet long term needs, especially where things done to meet short term needs may have detrimental long term effect;

(b)the need to take an integrated approach, by considering how—

(i)the body’s well-being objectives may impact upon each of the well-being goals;

(ii)the body’s well-being objectives impact upon each other or upon other public bodies’ objectives, in particular where steps taken by the body may contribute to meeting one objective but may be detrimental to meeting another;

(c)the importance of involving other persons with an interest in achieving the well-being goals and of ensuring those persons reflect the diversity of the population of⁠—

(i)Wales (where the body exercises functions in relation to the whole of Wales), or

(ii)the part of Wales in relation to which the body exercises functions;

(d)how acting in collaboration with any other person (or how different parts of the body acting together) could assist the body to meet its well-being objectives, or assist another body to meet its objectives;

(e)how deploying resources to prevent problems occurring or getting worse may contribute to meeting the body’s well-being objectives, or another body’s objectives.

6Meaning of “public body”

(1)For the purposes of this Part and Part 3 of this Act, each of the following persons is a “public body”—

(a)the Welsh Ministers;

(b)a local authority;

(c)a Local Health Board;

(d)the following NHS Trusts—

(i)Public Health Wales;

(ii)Velindre;

(e)a National Park authority for a National Park in Wales;

(f)a Welsh fire and rescue authority;

(g)the Natural Resources Body for Wales;

(h)the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales;

(i)the Arts Council of Wales;

(j)the Sports Council for Wales;

(k)the National Library of Wales;

(l)the National Museum of Wales.

(2)Section 52 enables the Welsh Ministers to amend the meaning of a “public body”.

(3)Chapter 1 of Part 4 provides for persons who are listed as public bodies in subsection (1) (as well as certain other persons who exercise functions of a public nature) to be either members, invited participants or other partners of the public services boards established under that Part.

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