Following the adoption of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act in April 2015, the Welsh Government has appointed its first Future Generations Commissioner, Sophie Howe, currently Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales.
“Public bodies in Wales have been put on warning”, WalesOnline reports, “…if they think their duties under the Well-being of Future Generations Act amount to no more than a box-ticking exercise, they have another thing coming.”
The Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act places an obligation on specified public bodies to meet wellbeing goals whilst observing the sustainable development principle – to create wellbeing plans and demonstrate how they are maximising their contribution.
Responsibility for delivering on the Act’s ambitions falls to the Future Generations Commissioner, as Anna McMorrin – former specialist adviser in the Welsh Government – explains in exploring the challenges that the newly appointed Commissioner is facing. She points out that real change will require an early focus on collaboration across all sectors and industries; with early examples that demonstrate the Act’s positive potential; as well as real courage for radical solutions. “We need to move away from judging developments on the basis of a potential conflict between the environment and the economy and move to a process where decision-making engages with local people to energise and empower. … The role of the new Commissioner is one that offers us real opportunity. We have the legislation in place to provide real change but we need the Commissioner to deliver it.”
The FDSD board congratulates Sophie Howe on her new role.
- WalesOnline: Future Generations Commissioner and head of Natural Resources Wales speak out ahead of appointments
- Anna McMorrin’s thinkpiece “Tests ahead for new Commissioner”
- Read more about the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act in our Ideas in Action section.
- Listen to Peter Davies, outlining the Wellbeing of Future Generations (Wales) Act at our re-launch event, June 2015.
- FDSD report by Graham Smith: “The Democratic Case for an Office for Future Generations”.
- Cat Tully’s FDSD provocation: “A UK wide commissioner for Future Generations?“