27 September 2023

WALES: PS Boards in need of change

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Public Service Boards (PSBs), set up by the Welsh Government in 2015 to improve the wellbeing of communities, are unlikely to realise their potential unless changes are introduced, a new report has found.

Published by the Auditor General for Wales, the report calls on the 19 PSBs to work more flexibly and to think and act differently.

Members of the PSBs, drawn from local public bodies and some voluntary groups, are required to assess the state of economic, social, environmental and cultural wellbeing in the areas they cover and to set objectives to maximise contributions to national wellbeing goals.

However, the report found that Local Authorities had not always effectively organised and resourced the work of PSBs.

“PSBs are not consistently being scrutinised or held to account and there’s no agreement on how their role should evolve,” the report stated.

“A lack of dedicated funding is limiting the potential of PSBs to make a positive and lasting impact on Welsh communities.”

The report makes a number of recommendations for improvement, including that the Welsh Government should enable PSBs to develop flexible models of working, including merging, reducing and integrating their work with other forums.

Auditor-General, Adrian Crompton (pictured) said PSBs had the potential to enable the effective collaboration that was absolutely crucial if Wales was to flourish in difficult times.

“However, the way they’re currently operating is hampering their ability to improve the wellbeing of their communities,” Mr Crompton said.

Cardiff, 12 October 2019

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