The Auditor General for Wales published his report (PDF 2.17MB) on 6 June 2019.
The report shows that all planning services have seen budget cuts of 50% in the last ten years, considering inflation. With less money to fund services, planning officer capacity is stretched and skills are decreasing in key areas. Furthermore, the number of trainees entering planning has fallen in recent years, raising concerns over the long-term sustainability of services.
The report also brings together public views from a Wales-wide survey, where a growing disconnect was found between what people want from their planning authority and what their planning authority is able to deliver. 67% of citizens surveyed stated that local planning authorities are not effectively engaging with them about their planning proposals, and many feel that planners are focused more on individual applications rather than supporting the creation of a better and more sustainable society.
The decisions taken by local planning authorities impact on us all – they can support the development of new homes, promote conservation, create job opportunities and improve local infrastructure. But while planners focus on individual applications, the concern of Welsh citizens is that not enough is being done to create vibrant and sustainable communities.
The Public Accounts Committee considered noted the Report findings and agreed to undertake a short inquiry early in 2020.
Business type: Committee Inquiry
Reason considered: Assembly Business;
First published: 24/07/2019