Welsh Places Charter Launch
The Welsh Places Charter has been created by the Welsh Places Influencing Group, convened by the IWA. We are a coalition of organisations, practitioners, and academics passionate about creating a Wales in which people’s social, economic, environmental and cultural wellbeing is at the centre of our communities.
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.
It is clear that the way in which we live and work will not be the same as we move towards recovery, and big questions need to be asked about what we need to do to ensure that our places can not only recover but are thriving and resilient.
We believe that the answers to these questions lie within our communities, and throughout this Charter we set out a vision for a Wales where more economic power is returned to local citizens, and it is the norm for people to have a greater say in how they shape their communities.
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.
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.
The pandemic recovery presents an opportunity for us to design communities that work for people and foster health and wellbeing.
All Welsh places should:
- be co-designed with and for all people living and working there
- be well connected and promote opportunities for social interaction
- aim to become Living Wage Places, and support the creation and retention of good quality jobs
- provide high performing and responsive services and facilities for people
- celebrate their culture and identity.
We believe that this can create a lasting impact by improving the physical environment and creating sustainable and vibrant places that are focused on supporting people’s wellbeing. This document sets out our recommendations, firstly for all places in Wales (urban, suburban, towns and villages) and then specifically for smaller places, often left behind in the policy process.
Our panel will explore why this Charter matters and why it can make a difference to our communities. The event is chaired by Auriol Miller, Director of the IWA, who is joined by:
- Ellen Jones – Consumer Council for Water (former Understanding Welsh Places Project Lead)
- Roisin Wilmott – Royal Town Planning Institute Cymru
- Llyr ap Gareth – Federation of Small Businesses Wales
- John Heneghan – Centre for Local Economic Strategies