The First Decade List According to Key Subject Areas





Youth & Lifelong Learning

Older People

The Economy

Health and Social Care

Social Justice

Equality and Human Rights





Sport and Culture


The Welsh Language

Welsh Law

Wales and the World

Introduction to the 'What They've Done For Us'  list 



Social Justice

The First Decade

Welcome to Aled Edwards' "What They've Done For Us" Social Justice list. Written a little in the style of Monty Python's Life of Brian "What have the Romans done for us?"  the list aims to provide a reliable record of the distinctive Welsh policies brought about by devolution (1999-2009). Beyond underlining the distinctiveness of Welsh policies no substantive attempt is made here to evaluate the performance of Welsh Assembly Governments or to list the policies brought about by other UK legislatures but not adopted in Wales. The dates in brackets normally indicate when the development was announced by the Welsh Assembly Government through a press release.

        Third Assembly 2007 - 2009

bullet Completed a consultation on The All Wales Community Cohesion Strategy. (April 2009).
bullet Announced a joint agreement setting out the Welsh Assembly Government’s commitment to reducing child poverty and outlining ways in which other organisations could make their own contributions. It supported the proposed Children and Families Measure which placed a duty on specific Welsh public bodies to identify and take action to assist in the goal of eradicating child poverty by 2020. (March 2009).
bullet Published a guide, Support When you Need It, containing advice to help people and families deal with the impacts of the recession. (March 2009).
bullet Launched a plan, the Financial Inclusion Strategy for Wales Taking Everyone into Account, to help people across Wales deal with the economic downturn through co-ordinated action on debt and financial exclusion. (February 2009).
bullet Completed a consultation on the The Welsh Assembly Government's National 10 Year Homelessness Plan to guide the development and delivery of services to people in extreme housing need. It aimed to reduce homelessness to a minimum over the next decade. (February 2009).
bullet Provided £100,000 of funding to assist the credit union movement in setting up current accounts which allowed account holders to withdraw money from ATMs, access Visa debit facilities and make standing order and direct debit payments.  In addition, account holders could have their benefits or salary paid directly into their account. (January 2009).
bullet Launched a National Housing Strategy for Wales focusing on tackling poverty, promoting sustainability and ensuring affordability. (January 2009).
bullet Announced an extra £4.5 million for the Assembly Government’s Mortgage Rescue Scheme. Under the Mortgage Rescue scheme, grants could be used by housing associations to buy a share of the mortgage or buy properties outright and then rent them back to the former owner. (December 2008).
bullet Launched the first nation-wide landlord accreditation scheme in the UK recognising good landlords and helping them to differentiate themselves from less reputable landlords who give the rental market a bad name. (November 2008).
bullet Announced that reducing the harm caused by alcohol, drugs and other substances was at the centre of a new ten year strategy. ‘Working Together to Reduce Harm’ set out how the Welsh Assembly Government and partner organisations would work to reduce the damage caused to individuals, their families and society from substance misuse. (October 2008).
bullet Announced proposals for a new fund to help sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses diversify and improve their Post Offices. (August 2008).
bullet Completed a consultation on seeking legislative power for the Assembly to suspend the Right to Buy in areas of housing pressure. (July 2008).
bullet Highlighted Wales’ proud record of providing protection to people from other nations who are forced to seek refuge in Wales at the Assembly Government’s Refugee Inclusion Strategy. The Strategy sets out how the Assembly Government supports and enables refugees to rebuild their lives in Wales and make a full contribution to society. It also documented the progress made in achieving refugee inclusion in Wales. (June (2008).
bullet Launched a distinctive fund to boost community regeneration in some of the most deprived areas of Wales, worth at least £25 million over a three year period. The Outcomes Fund is the centrepiece of plans for the next phase of Communities First, the Assembly Government’s flagship community regeneration programme.  (June 2008).
bullet Launched an All-Wales action plan to help tackle forced marriage. The three-year plan aims to improve the understanding of the scale and nature of forced marriages in Wales and to increase awareness of the issue among key frontline professionals. (April 2008).
bullet Launched a helpline to assist male victims of domestic violence - the Dyn Cymru helpline. (March 2008).
bullet Announced plans to make available grant funding worth £1.5 million in 2008/9 so that local authorities can set up new Gypsy Traveller sites in Wales. (March 2008).
bullet Applied for powers which could help local authorities further stem the loss of affordable housing in Wales. (December 2007).
bullet Launched a distinctive initiative to raise awareness of the effects in the workplace of domestic abuse. (November 2007).
bullet Pledged to provide 6,500 new affordable homes to Wales over a four year period. (November 2007).
bullet Set out a distinctive three year programme for a fairer and more just society. Reducing poverty, tackling substance and alcohol misuse, as well as promoting the safety and regeneration of communities were at the centre of the programme announced following the draft budget The three year funding round focused on delivering key One Wales commitments. (November 2007).
bullet Outlined a distinctive vision to tackle homelessness in Wales seeking to ensure that further loss of the social housing stock is prevented. Sought Legislative Competence with a view to suspending the Right-to-Buy in areas of housing pressure. (June 2007).

Second Assembly 2003 - 2007

On the 40th Anniversary of the Aberfan Disaster the First Minister called on the people of Wales to remember those who died. The First Minister joined fellow Assembly Members in observing a 2-minute silence in Plenary on Wednesday, 18th October in memory of the 116 children and 28 adults who lost their lives in the Aberfan disaster 40 years before. (October 2006).
bullet Groundbreaking projects to reduce re-offending in the South Wales were showing real progress with the help of Objective 1 and 3 funding through the Welsh Assembly Government. The seven projects received over £2.4m of European funds and are all based around the resettlement of prisoners from Swansea, Parc, Prescoed and Cardiff. HM Prison service worked extremely hard to stop re-offending and improve employability by removing barriers to labour market entry for prisoners. 406 beneficiaries had gone into full time employment, with many others becoming self employed or working part time. After their sentence, an additional 306 people went into training, education or joined new deal. (April 2006).
The distinctive Communities@One helps people in the most disadvantaged communities in Wales get access to new technologies so they can fulfil their social, economic and cultural potential. (March 2006).
bullet Launched the revised National Homelessness Strategy today at a Housing Summit meeting in Cardiff with local authority leaders. (November 2005).
bullet Launched a multi-million pound programme to reduce drug-related offences in Wales. (November 2005).
bullet Unveiled a series of television and radio adverts to increase public awareness of the dangers of fires in the home.  (November 2005).
bullet Announced the first wave of successful proposals totalling just over £2m, under the Welsh Assembly Government’s £11m Substance Misuse Capital Programme. (October 2005).
bullet Published a new Index of Multiple Deprivation. The original index summarised deprivation in terms of income, employment, health, education, housing and access to services, for each electoral ward in Wales, and was important in the design of the Assembly Government’s Communities First programme. The new index represents a significant refinement of the old one. It includes a new element of deprivation, relating to people’s physical environment, and it goes down to a smaller spatial scale. (September 2005).
bullet A scheme funded by the Welsh Assembly Government to assist refugee doctors in Wales to work in the NHS proved to be a success, The scheme called WARD (Wales Asylum Seeking and Refugee Doctors Group). addresses the education and training needs of refugee and asylum seeker doctors in Wales by helping them pass the language tests required to work in the NHS. A drop-in centre is also provided in partnership with the charity DPIA (Displaced People in Action). which includes medical journals, access to the internet and other facilities. Since the scheme began in 2002 those taking part in the scheme have achieved a 100 per cent pass rate in the tests. (September 2005).
bullet Announced that young people from minority ethnic communities in Wales will have a new forum where they can voice their concerns and views on issues which have most impact on their lives. (August 2005).
bullet Announced a ‘New Ideas Fund’ to help broaden the scope of research being carried out on social justice and regeneration issues in Wales. (May 2005).
bullet Initiated a Review of the causes, scale, nature and impact of Overindebtedness in Wales. The findings of the Review and its ten recommendations for future action were published following consideration by the Social Justice and Regeneration Committee on 18 May 2005.
bullet Gave the go-ahead to 34 community schemes across Wales as part of the latest round of applications under the Assembly Government’s Community Facilities and Activities Programme (CFAP). Community radio stations, church halls and children’s playing fields will be among the projects to benefit from £2.27m worth of funding from the Welsh Assembly Government (March 2005).
bullet Announced new guidelines by the Welsh Assembly Government aimed at tackling the problem of drug-related deaths. (March 2005).
bullet Emphasised the Welsh Assembly Government’s commitment to young asylum seekers at the launch of a report commissioned by Save the Children, called Uncertain Futures. (February 2005).
bullet Tai Pawb (Housing for Everyone) was launched in October 2004.
bullet A Strategy to prevent offending and re-offending among children and young people in Wales was launched in July 2004. The All Wales Youth Offending Strategy was the result the Welsh Assembly Government, the Youth Justice Board and local agencies working together with the long term aim of making a real and significant reduction in the rates of youth offending in Wales. (July 2004).
bullet Community groups in Wales to benefit from nearly £2m from the Welsh Assembly Government to help revitalise community buildings and support voluntary activities. (June 2004).
bullet Announced that 104 post offices in the most deprived and isolated communities of Wales had been granted a total £4.1m under the Welsh Assembly Government's Post Office Development Fund.
bullet Four charities facing an uncertain future because of the ongoing legal dispute between the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund and Franklin Mint were granted a further year’s funding by the Welsh Assembly Government. (April 2004).
bullet Announced a  new Guarantee for Housing Associations. The new Guarantee acts as a straightforward guide to Housing Association Residents on their rights and responsibilities, and the service they should expect from their landlord. (April 2004).
bullet Launched a new initiative that aimed to foster closer working relationships between business and community leaders. Part of Business in the Community (BiTC). Cymru's Business Brokerage initiative supporting community regeneration under the Communities First and Objective One programmes, the 'Partners in Leadership with Community Enterprise' scheme would enable the sectors to share valuable experiences and knowledge. (March 2004).
bullet Voted on a range of powers for local authorities to deal with nuisance behaviour, from noise pollution to graffiti. (March 2004).
bullet Announced funding of £3.77 million to enable elderly and disabled people to remain in their own homes. (February 2004).
bullet Supported a new Victim Support National Office for Wales in 2004. (February 2004).
bullet Announced the membership of the Fuel Poverty Advisory Group for Wales. The group was responsible for taking forward recommendations arising from the ‘Warm Homes and Energy Conservation Act 2000 – A Fuel Poverty Commitment for Wales’. (January 2004).
bullet Announced £250,000 funding for first "alleygating" crime cutting projects in Wales. (December 2003).
bullet Announced that the Welsh Refugee Integration Forum was to be established to help assist refugees to successfully integrate in Wales and to promote a more positive image of refugees and asylum seekers as members of Welsh society. (November 2003).
bullet Launched an initiative to ensure that all those working with people with drugs and alcohol problems have the skills they need. The UK-wide Standards were developed by Skills for Health, following a two-year research programme involving all those involved in supporting sufferers and in response to the Welsh Assembly Government and UK Government's drugs and alcohol strategies. (November 2003).
bullet Threw  a lifeline to three Welsh charities facing closure following the decision to freeze payments from the Diana, Princess of Wales Fund while legal action by the Franklin Mint is being pursued. (July 2003).
bullet Launched a distinctive consultation document aimed at helping the Social Enterprise Sector in Wales. A social enterprise is a business which exists primarily for the benefit of the community but is involved in some form of trading. (July 2003).
bullet Announced that there would be a dedicated Minister to carry forward and deliver the Social Justice agenda for Wales. (May 2003).

First Assembly 1999 - 2003

bullet In November 2002, the Welsh Assembly Government launched the Post Office Development Fund. The aim the Fund was to help maintain the viability of post offices in our most deprived and isolated communities.
bullet The Communities First programme was launched in 2001 as a ten year regeneration programme.  It placed local communities and local people at the heart of the programme by involving them in the planning and delivery of local solutions to local problems.
bullet The Inequalities in Health Fund was set up in 2001 to stimulate and support local action to address inequalities in health and the factors that contribute to it including inequities in access to services.
bullet Helped schools in socially deprived areas to combat social exclusion by transferring £1.5 million from the teacher restructuring budget line, where funds were deemed to be adequate, to the grants for education support and training (GEST) programme (2000-01).
bullet Announced unprecedented levels of support for Credit Unions through an initial increase of £0.5 million. (2000-01).
bullet Announced an extra £1.125 million to the local government settlement for 2001-2002 to cover the preparatory costs of the Supporting People measure.
bullet Proposed to extend the categories of homeless people who are regarded as being in priority need of accommodation under Section 189 of the Housing Act 1996 and introduced legislation extending the duties of local councils to accommodate 16 and 17 year old homeless people, care leavers, people made homeless because they were escaping from violence and people who became homeless following discharge from the armed forces or release from prison. (October 2000).
bullet Announced the implementation of the Assembly’s decision to establish a Community Investment Authority to channel funding to community and voluntary enterprises. (October 2000).
bullet Set up a Homelessness Commission which met until August 2001.