WCVA has responded to the Finance Committee’s consultation on Welsh Government’s draft budget proposals for 2021/22, and Welsh Government’s consultation on a new digital health body.
The former, a wide-ranging consultation, looked at the impact of the previous budget, the financial impact of Covid-19, climate change, equalities, the economic recovery and more.
In our response we noted that:
- The voluntary sector must be supported and resourced to fulfil its central role in the recovery from the pandemic.
- Welsh Government should continue to invest in activities that build resilience across communities, as well as preventative services and mental health.
- A Voluntary Sector Recovery Fund could support organisations to contribute to a green and just recovery.
- It remains imperative that sector organisations are able to plan properly for the future. Single-year funding cycles are a hindrance to that.
- Local Nature Partnerships have a significant role to play in the green recovery, but will need support.
- Investment in green and blue jobs is crucial.
- Cross-government working and investment in sustainable jobs is crucial to reduce and eliminate poverty.
- A proportion of the skills and employability budget should be ringfenced for harder-to-reach groups.
- Communities must be supported to continue to work nimbly as they did during the spring and summer lockdown.
- Co-production must play a key part in the design and delivery of preventative services.
- Sector expertise must be sought to contribute to the debate on future economic development.
WCVA has also recently responded to Welsh Government’s consultation on a new Digital Special Health Authority for Wales. This consultation looked at Welsh Government’s proposals to establish a new authority to deliver national digital, data and technology services for health and care in Wales.
In our response, we commented on the need to ensure that older people, those with learning difficulties and those with sensory loss are involved in the digital conversation, or risk an increase in health problems, inequalities, loneliness and isolation. It’s also vital that the voluntary sector is represented on the new body’s Board, and that the Welsh language is embedded into planning and processes from day one.