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Public services need ‘radical’ approach

7 August 2015

Lightbulbs in perpetual motion

Radical new thinking is required to tackle the funding crisis facing Wales’s public services, says a leading Welsh political expert ahead of a major debate at the Eisteddfod.

Professor Richard Wyn Jones, Director of the University’s Wales Governance Centre, is hosting a distinguished panel which will consider how public services can flourish at a time when resources are under enormous pressure.

He says that public service provision in Wales is facing its “greatest challenge ever” and the situation is going to get much worse before it starts getting better.

The Cardiff University debate takes place at the Cymdeithasau 1 stand on the Maes at 1400 on Friday 7 August.

Speaking ahead of the debate, Professor Wyn Jones said: “The current squeeze on funding means that Wales’s public services are facing their biggest crisis for many years.

“It means that radical new thinking is required if these services are to meet the often increasing demands of the population in the coming years.

“The role of innovation will be more important than ever in shaping the way our public services function.”

The panel also features Adam Price of innovation charity Nesta; Ifan Evans, Deputy Director, Healthcare Innovation, Welsh Government; and Dr Sioned Pearce, of the Wales Institute of Social and Economic Research, Data and Methods (WISERD) at the University.

The University has a long history of supporting public services in Wales, advising on initiatives such as local government reorganisation, improving education policies and contributing to developments in public health.

Nesta and the University recently created ‘Y Lab’ to create and test new solutions to challenges facing public services. The aim is to provide practical support and contribute to the Welsh Government’s agenda of promoting innovation across public services.

The University is home to research centres that support improvement in public services such as DECIPHer, which looks at public health priority areas including alcohol, obesity and mental health, and WISERD, which focuses on social science research.

Cardiff University also hosts the Public Policy Institute for Wales and has academics who are advisors to key decision makers including Welsh Government Ministers and EU Commissioners.

A £300m innovation campus is being created on Maindy Road as part of the University’s innovation system which aims to create prosperity by turning ideas into products, technologies and new businesses.