With less than 200 days to go until the Senedd Election, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales Sophie Howe is proud to launch her Manifesto for the Future, providing a reminder to politicians of their duty to respond to young people’s calls for change.
She said “Our younger generations are calling out the failures of past decisions, and sadly, often decisions in the continuing present that fail to take into account their futures – embarrassing, perhaps, but necessary. And with youth movements building across the world, alongside a reduction of the voting age here in Wales, policymakers can no longer ignore their voices and their hopes for a better future.
“As Future Generations Commissioner for Wales I want to amplify their voices and call on the next Welsh Government to commit to creating a better Wales – a radical and brave manifesto for future generations.
“The 2021 Senedd Elections provides Wales with the opportunity to create the future we want. It’s also a significant election, as it allows 16 and 17 year olds the opportunity to vote for the first time.
“We are living through difficult times. From the devastating loss of lives, pressures on public services, isolation from loved ones and the potential for long-term damage to the economy, jobs and livelihoods. Never has the need to think and plan for the future been so relevant. Many of the findings and recommendations in my ‘Manifesto for the Future’ seek to highlight how we can do that better. In every crisis there are two phases: the first where you respond and the second where you learn. To be successful you must have both.”
The Manifesto makes 48 recommendations for political parties standing in 2021 Senedd Elections.
A Green Recovery
In May 2020, Sophie Howe published a 5 point plan on the areas Welsh Government should consider investing and prioritising as part of its green recovery post COVID.
Recommendation 1 Invest in nature and prioritise funding and support for large-scale habitat and wildlife restoration, creation and connectivity throughout Wales.
Recommendation 2 Invest in better ways to connect and move people through improving digital connectivity, active travel and public transport.
Recommendation 3 Develop an economic stimulus package that leads to job creation and supports the decarbonisation of homes.
Recommendation 4 Invest in skills and training to support the transition to a better future, creating new greener jobs.
Recommendation 5 Invest in the industries and technologies of the future, and support for businesses that will help Wales to lead the low carbon revolution and lock wealth and jobs into local areas with investment in the foundational economy.
A Resilient Wales
Responding to the Climate and Nature Emergency
Recommendation 6 Be transparent in showing the carbon impact of all Government policies and spending decisions.
Recommendation 7 Invest in responding to the Climate and Nature Emergency. Commit to increasing spend year on year.
Recommendation 8 Develop a food system strategy for Wales linking together all parts of the food system from farm to fork.
Recommendation 9 Establish nature recovery targets on land and sea including the completion of the protected site network.
Green spaces on the doorstep
Recommendation 10 Ensure people can access natural green space within 300 metres of their home.
Recommendation 11 Commit to greening your communities by delivering 20% tree canopy cover in every town and city in Wales by 2030.
Recommendation 12 Require green infrastructure to be delivered as part of every new development and Welsh Government funded schemes such as school improvement, community and health facilities etc.
A Healthier Wales
A National Wellness System
Recommendation 13 Establish a National Wellness System to improve the nation’s health and reduce demand on services.
Recommendation 14 Appoint a Minister for Prevention and top slice budgets to spend on preventative policies.
A More Equal Wales
Reducing existing and future inequalities
Recommendation 15 Set out a plan for responding to future trends* in ways that reduce inequalities rather than perpetuating them.
*such as increasing automation, our ageing population and climate change
Recommendation 16 Set challenging targets for recruitment of women, Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities and disabled people across the public sector.
Recommendation 17 Create Race Equality Strategy to tackle the inequalities experienced by Black, Asian and minority ethnic communities in Wales.
National Strategy for Early Intervention
Recommendation 18 Make tackling childhood adversity a priority and set out a national strategy to empower all key public services to deliver effective, sustainable and evidence-based early intervention.
Recommendation 19 Make school exclusions a thing of the past.
A Globally Responsible Wales
A globally responsible citizen
Recommendation 20 Establish a national vision for Wales to become the most eco-literate and globally responsible nation in the world.
A Welcoming Wales
Recommendation 21 Set clear ethical guidelines for public sector pensions in Wales including commitments to divest from all sources of harm, fossil fuels, pollutants, goods driving, deforestation oversees and arms.
Recommendation 22 Building on the Nation of Sanctuary, recognise people who are displaced in the context of disasters and climate change as refugees and advocate for them to be offered the same protections offered to refugees.
A Prosperous Wales
Recommendation 23 Establish a national vision for lifelong learning.
Recommendation 24 Establish and fund a shared national mission for education bringing in the skills of business, third sector, community activists, older people and the youth services sector to be a core part of delivering the requirements of the new curriculum.
Recommendation 25 Establish an education levy to fund this approach and broader implementation of the new curriculum.
Recommendation 26 Introduce assessment based qualifications at age 16 that focus on diversity and are centred around pupils and not exams.
A work-life balance fit for the future
Recommendation 27 Explore opportunities for a shorter working week.
Recommendation 28 Pilot a Basic Income.
Recommendation 29 Apply well-being economics in all policy decisions, funding arrangements and interactions with the public, private and voluntary sector.
A Wales of Vibrant Culture and Thriving Welsh Language
Using creativity to solve big challenges
Recommendation 30 Ensure Wales’ cultural agencies collaborate and act to address the climate and nature emergencies.
Recommendation 31 Establish a Creative Participation Income.
Recommendation 32 Develop and fund ‘cultural corridors’ across Wales that encourage public, private and voluntary sectors to connect cultural and creative sites, programmes and institutions.
A Wales of Cohesive Communities
Recommendation 33 Create 20 minute neighbourhoods to ensure people can access key services closer to home; creating healthier, greener & happier communities.
Recommendation 34 Make broadband a critical public service.
Create better communities
Recommendation 35 Adopt a placemaking approach for all community policy and funding decisions.
Homes for Humanity
Recommendation 36 Make housing a human right.
Prioritising how we move
Recommendation 37 Set a national target for modal shift to enable people to adopt low carbon modes of travel.
Recommendation 38 Introduce free public transport for young people in Wales.
Recommendation 39 Allocate at least 50% of capital transport spend on improving bus and train services.
Recommendation 40 Encourage innovation in developing intergenerational housing and communities.
Recommendation 41 Require all publicly funded housing developments to be carbon neutral.
Governing for Future Generations
Diversifying public policy development
Recommendation 42 Introduce a ‘Real Life Fast Track’ programme within the Civil Service and Public Sector to involve broader perspectives and experiences in policy development.
Recommendation 43 Make knowledge and expertise on the interests of future generations a key requirement of at least one post on every public sector board.
A Future Public Sector
Recommendation 44 Create a long-term vision and strategy for the Welsh public sector of the future.
Recommendation 45 Promote kindness at every level of government and in public policy and financial decisions.
Opportunities to test, innovate and implement
Recommendation 46 Establish a ‘Ministry of Possibilities’ and engage the brightest and the best from all levels of government and public service to collaborate alongside private sector and voluntary sector together to create innovative solutions to current or future challenges.
Appoint a Minister for Prevention
Recommendation 47 Appoint a Minister for Prevention with responsibilities for taking a whole-government approach to investment in prevention.
Procuring for the Future
Recommendation 48 Provide clear guidance and leadership to other public bodies on how they are considering and applying the Well-being of Future Generations Act in their procurement activities.