Skip to main content

A Message from the Chair, Umar Hussain MBE

Hello and welcome to the second Ystadau Cymru Newsletter.

An opportunity to highlight and showcase the work that has been going on during the last few months. This issue will focus on:

  • The upcoming online conference on 3 December;
  • The Ystadau Cymru awards;
  • Interesting contributions from stakeholders on Covid-19 responses, remote working and more …

Ystadau Cymru Conference 2020

The second Ystadau Cymru Conference will take place on 3 December 2020, and will be held online, invitations will be circulated very soon. Due to the current pandemic, the board felt that they had an obligation to refocus the objectives and work plan of Ystadau Cymru. We hope the conference will provide the wider public and those responsible for third sector assets a chance to reflect, learn and share their experiences to date and their ongoing response.

Agenda can be found by visiting our website.

Ystadau Cymru Awards

The awards were launched on 4 September 2020 by Rebecca Evans MS, Minister for Finance and Trefnydd. The Awards celebrate best practice in the active management of the Welsh public sector estate and fall into five categories:

  • Creating economic growth
  • Demonstrating environmental sustainability
  • Delivering more integrated services
  • Reducing estates running costs
  • Delivering best value for money

There will be an Awards Ceremony in the afternoon of the conference also with an address from the Minister.

Public Sector Resilience: COVID-19

Public Sector stakeholders, have started to develop strategies around premises, policy and technology to promote remote and smarter working by staff. Examples include:

  • Reviews being undertaken by local government and NHS organisations to understand the most appropriate staff working patterns post COVID-19. A strategic analysis of staff health and wellbeing is seen as a key driver for changed patterns of working and accommodation changes. Reviews into better use of existing space, revised accommodation need and digital technology capacity to facilitate a more agile workforce;
  • There is evidence the public sector are actively working to create hubs that can potentially house a range of local, Welsh and Central Government services, to create a flexible and more collaborative workplace. Pilots of these hubs are being planned by some local authorities in the future with findings being fed back to the Ystadau Cymru (YC) board. More research is required to determine the functionality and benefits of which public services would benefit from these hubs;
  • Vale of Glamorgan Council has begun research as part of a transnational co-operation project with six other European countries, looking at the development and benefits of co-working in rural areas. Research is currently being undertaken to distinguish peoples commuting habits pre COVID-19 and if they would prefer to work at a rural co-working location in the future;
  • Further to discussions held regarding the impact COVID-19 has had on estate services, each regional Ystadau Cymru chair has agreed to promote the collaborative agenda of YC for inclusion at each Public Service Board meeting moving forward.

New Welsh Government publications

There will be a trio of guidance publications issued this autumn, these include:

  • Estates Co-location and Land Transfer Protocol;
  • Acquisition – Guidance for the Acquisition of Property Assets by Welsh Government; and
  • Disposal – Identification and Disposal of Welsh Government Non-Core Surplus Land and Buildings.

Other useful information

Written Statement

Embedding Remote Working: Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport 14 September

Managing Impacts of Covid

The Institute of Workplace & Facilities Management have published guidance about managing the impacts of COVID-19 and the return to work.

A series of regular webinars called “Navigating turbulent times” is also available with industry experts addressing the new challenges with COVID-19 and how new trends are emerging in the workplace.

Healthy for Bees: Healthy for People

Natural Resources Wales has published guidance for managing space for pollinators – an important part of the Environment Act (Wales) and Well-being of Future Generations on biodiversity. Covering the key principles for supporting pollinators and managing different terrain, it also includes links to further guidance.

If you are interested in the work of YC and would like to provide material for the newsletter or have a query about the forthcoming conference, please e-mail and the team will be more than happy to assist.