2025: The Future of Public Services in Wales

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones welcomes ‘2025: The Future of Public Services in Wales’ at its Cardiff launch.


CARDIFF: First Minister Carwyn Jones welcomed the launch of ‘2025: The Future of Public Services in Wales’ at its Cardiff launch.

Professor Steve Martin, Director of the Centre for Local and Regional Government Research helped conceive and design the project, and Professor Ian Hargreaves, of Cardiff Business School and the School of Journalism Media & Cultural Studies, chaired the launch conference.

Speaking at the inaugural event, the First Minister, Carwyn Jones AM, welcomed the initiative, which will consider the implications of spending cuts and increasing demands from an ageing population for the kinds of public services that will be affordable by 2025.

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The conference was attended by public service leaders from across Wales including senior civil servants, senior police officers, and chief executives from the health service, local government and voluntary sector. The second event is being held in St Asaph in April.

This is a very exciting initiative and one which requires innovative thinking not least due to:

  • Severe economic challenges
  • Shifting demographics (ageing population)
  • A drive towards online public services
  • Increasing demands on health care services, social services and education
  • Unemployment and social disparity
  • Sustainability and environmental protection

The purpose of the initiative is succinctly described in the 60-second video below from Megan Mathias.

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60 Second Summary

60 second summary from Megan Mathias, Programme Director for Wales Public Services 2025.

The steering group comprises representatives from academia, business, third sector and a number of research institutes:

Wales Public Services 2025 Steering Group

  • Professor Ian Hargreaves. Professor of Digital Economy at Cardiff University.
  • Megan Mathias. Director of Kafka Brigade UK.
  • Michael Trickey. Wales Adviser for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.
  • Professor Steve Martin. Professor of Public Policy and Management and Director of the Centre for Local & Regional Government Research at Cardiff Business School.
  • Dr. Martin Rhisiart. Director of the Centre for Research in Futures and Innovation at Glamorgan Business School.
  • Alison Ward CBE. Chief Executive of Torfaen County Borough Council, a Council member for the Prince’s Trust in Wales and a Governor of the University of Wales, Newport.
  • Professor Sir Adrian Webb.  Chair of the Wales Employment & Skills Board and a member of Administrative Justice and Tribunals Council and Chair of Welsh Committee. A former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Glamorgan, he was a member of the Beecham Review of Local Service Delivery in Wales.
  • Helen Birtwhistle. Director of the Welsh NHS Confederation, as well as being a lay member of the Governing Body of the Church in Wales and a Board member for Young Enterprise Wales.
  • Jennifer Wallace. Policy Manager for the Carnegie UK Trust.
  • Ben Lucas. Director of the RSA’s 2020 Public Services Trust, having previously led a public affairs consultancy and been a government adviser.

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A number of slide packs from the launch are available at the links below:

Slide downloads


As this initiative is incredibly fresh, there is a really exciting opportunity to engage and contribute to the debate and to help shape Public Services provision in Wales in the next decade(s). A few areas where I think this could be especially interesting:

  1. Online Public Services adoption
  2. Smart Cities
  3. Smart Clusters (developing innovation clusters and high-tech industry in Wales)
  4. Smart Health Care
  5. Sustainability research

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By Steve Nimmons

Steve is a Certified European Engineer, Chartered Engineer, Chartered Fellow of the British Computer Society, Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Royal Society of Arts, Linnean Society and Society of Antiquaries of Scotland. He is an Electric Circle Patron of the Royal Institution of Great Britain, a Liveryman and Freeman of London and serves on numerous industry panels. He is a member of Chatham House, the Royal United Services Institute and the Chartered Institute of Journalists.