Commentary on Sections

Sections 39 – Local well-being plans

146.Each public services board must, under section 39(1), prepare and publish a local well-being plan.

147.A board’s first local well-being plan must be published no later than 12 months following the first ordinary election, as defined in section 26 of the Local Government Act 1972, held after the commencement of this section. The board must then publish a local well-being plan no later than 12 months after each subsequent ordinary election. Those requirements are subject to any transitional provisions the Welsh Ministers may make.

148.The local well-being plan will set out how the board intends to improve the economic, social, environmental and cultural well-being of its area and therefore contribute to the well-being goals. It has to include objectives which will maximise the contribution made by the board to achieving the well-being goals (see section4) in its area. A plan may include a local objective which is to be met by steps which are to be taken by an invited participant or other partner only if the board has obtained their agreement.

149.The members of the board are also ‘public bodies’ for the purpose of Parts 1 – 3 of the Act and as such must, under sections 3 and 7 of the Act, set well-being objectives. These members, namely the local authority, local health board, fire and rescue authority and Natural Resources Wales, may choose to include their well-being objectives in the local well-being plan.

150.The objectives included in the local well-being plan must accord with the sustainable development principle, namely the need to ensure that action taken by public bodies to improve the well-being of people now doesn’t impact the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The board must take all reasonable steps to meet their well-being objectives, in accordance with the sustainable development principle.

151.The local well-being plan must include a statement explaining why the board considers that:

152.The plan must also include a statement setting out how the board proposes to take steps to meet the objectives in accordance with the sustainable development principle (see section 5).

153.The plan may include objectives that are to be met or actions to be taken by one or more members of the board, invited participants or other partners acting individually or jointly. Where these objectives are to be met by one or more members of the board, invited participants or other partners acting jointly, the statement must specify the persons that make up the combination.

154.For subsequent local well-being plans, the statement must detail the steps the board has taken to meet the objectives set out in the board’s previous local well-being plan and the extent to which those objectives have been met.

155.A public services board must send a copy of its local well-being plan to the Welsh Ministers, the Commissioner, the Auditor General for Wales and the local authority’s overview and scrutiny committee.