The WLGA is a cross party organisation and its decision-making arrangements are politically balanced, reflecting the combined political composition of the authorities within its membership.
The Association’s main decision-making bodies are the Council – comprising 70 members proportionately representing the populations they serve – and the Coordinating Committee – comprising the 22 council leaders. Through this mechanism, there is a direct link between the WLGA’s governance arrangements and every individual voter in Wales. Electors vote for their councillors in the local government elections; the elected members in turn form governing administrations and elect a leader, and those leaders and councillors are elected on to the WLGA’s Council and Coordinating Committee. The Leader of the largest political group automatically becomes the Leader of the Association.
Elected members are at the heart of policy and decision making within the WLGA. Labour forms the largest group within the Association and holds the post of Leader, but power is shared between all four main political groupings – Labour, Independent, Plaid Cymru and Conservative. Each one of Wales’ 22 council leaders acts as a Spokesperson for the WLGA in at least one local government service or portfolio area.
These portfolio areas cover every aspect of local government service ranging from finance, education and social services to libraries, leisure and archives. Being a WLGA Spokesperson is a considerable responsibility. The WLGA is recognised under the Statutory Partnership Scheme derived from the Government of Wales Act as the sole negotiating body representing local government. Thus WLGA Spokespersons represent the whole of local government in discussions and negotiations with the Welsh Government, the UK Government and all other national partners in their particular service areas. In addition, a small team of officers and professional associations provide professional expertise and support to assist in the lobbying, improvement and policy development process.
The work of the WLGA is advanced by its members and their decision making structures – the Coordinating Committee and Council.
The Association promotes the important role of local government to Assembly Members and seeks to enhance and protect councils’ reputation and secure positive change to legislation.
Much of the WLGA’s work is focussed on the National Assembly for Wales, the Welsh Government and other national stakeholders and partners. This involves engagement with Ministers, National Assembly Members, and other national and governmental organisations. The Association’s lobbying work is therefore extensive.
Our key areas of work include:
- Bilateral meetings between WLGA Spokespersons and Ministers;
- Pre and post-legislative scrutiny with the National Assembly for Wales, UK Parliament and the European Parliament;
- Policy development and joint working with the Welsh Government and UK Government;
- Engaging with the workforce unions and professional associations;
- Working with the various Inspectorates in Wales;
- Providing Improvement Support including Peer Review and Member Development and Training and promoting good practice;
- Arranging conferences, seminars, workshops and training events;
- The publication of reports, guidance documents and on-line resources;
- Communications, press work, and social media.
The WLGA is committed to championing Equalities and Diversity, promoting the Welsh Language and is a committed stakeholder in the securing the Wellbeing of Future Generations Act.
For more information contact: Susan Perkins