We asked the parties specific questions on strengthening local democracy and increasing prosperity of communities across Wales.
The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed and accelerated problems that have long been embedded in our communities.
Our places are struggling in the wake of declining retail sales and lockdown restrictions, and this has a knock-on effect on the environmental, economic, social and cultural well-being of Wales.
The IWA has therefore developed a Welsh Places Charter for the next Welsh Government, focusing on strengthening local democracy and increasing prosperity as a means to contribute to wellbeing.
We believe these measures would contribute to increasing the resilience of Welsh places, helping to stem the long-term problems that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
We asked the parties standing in the 2021 Senedd elections specific questions around our recommendations for Welsh Places in the charter, and you can read their answers below. Not all parties who we contacted provided a response.
An analysis by the IWA team of the responses received will be published this afternoon.
In order for Wales’ places to build back better from the effects of the pandemic and economic shutdown we need to see power redistributed back to our communities.
We also need communities of place which are welcoming for those from diverse backgrounds and with protected characteristics.
We believe all communities should have the tools to better understand their area; the voice to represent their needs to decision makers; the means to make a change in the places where they live and work.
What will your party do to strengthen local democracy for everyone in Welsh communities?
Often communities who are in the most need don’t have the capacity to focus on writing and developing funding bids.
How would your party support communities to develop grass roots project proposals which will help them build back better after the pandemic?
Data is increasingly seen as an essential service. But too often data and evidence about Welsh places is hard to find, hard to understand, or not available at all.
Improving the collection and presentation of data at a community level would both strengthen the evidence-base for informed local decision making, and empower people to improve their communities.
What plans does your party have to improve the accessibility, quality and presentation of data and evidence so that it can be easily used by local communities?
The pandemic has highlighted the challenges for places across Wales, specifically town centres. Many of our places are struggling in the wake of declining retail sales, lockdown restrictions, and changes in consumer behaviour.
What is your party’s vision of what vibrant town centres should look like, and what policies do you have to make this vision a reality?