Wales' most innovative and influential think tank

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Justice

Democracy is in crisis in Wales. Public bodies are unrepresentative of the people they serve and too few people have a say in the decisions that affect them. We want to ensure everyone has a voice in important decisions, and that democracy and civil society are thriving.

Why it matters

Every minute of the day, public, private and third sector bodies make decisions which have a direct impact on people’s lives. The people they most affect are often absent from the process.

  • In the May 2017 local elections just 4 out of 10 people voted

  • In local elections, in 1 in 13 seats there was only one candidate

  • In the general population 90% do not get involved in council business

Changes such as City Deals and the reform of local government mean decisions are becoming even more remote from ordinary people.

People struggle to challenge decisions that they are unhappy with, because the process for appealing or complaining are hard to access and difficult to understand.

In civil society, third sector organisations face questions about accountability and public trust and confidence.

Our aim

We want everyone to have a strong voice in the decisions that affect them.  We want public institutions that reflect Wales’ diverse population. And we want people from all walks of life actively involved in social movements and civil society. When people are unhappy with decisions, we want them to have access to justice.

What we will do

We are working on proposals to strengthen democracy and justice so that ordinary people can influence the decisions that affect them.  This will include:

  • A vibrant local democracy in which people have their say and institutions listen
  • Rights and redress when things go wrong
  • A thriving civil society

We will seek external funding to deliver this programme, although where essential we will use our reserves to ensure that the voices of ordinary people are not ignored in major debates.

 What we’ve already done

Our ideas are already making a difference with The Big Lottery in Wales currently acting on our findings about ‘doing good’.

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In Print

Supporter Magazine

Exchange Issue 10, Spring 2018

“Refreshing, timely and balanced – Exchange has its finger on the pulse” The latest edition of our exclusive supporters’ magazine brings together a range of contributors to explore some of the most current and important issues in Welsh public life. Read more »

Exchange – Issue 9

Well-being in Wales The latest edition of our exclusive supporters’ magazine looks at well-being in Wales from a range of different perspectives. Our excellent range of contributors looks at health and social care in Wales while considering different aspects of Read more »

More from the Supporter Magazine »

Other Publications

Poverty in Wales 2018

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation’s latest report provides an up-to-date analysis on the current status of poverty in Wales The report looks back over the last twenty years, examining the poverty trends in Wales, comparing Wales with the rest of the Read more »

More from Other Publications »

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Events

June 5th 2018

Strengthening local democracy, delivering good government

The Welsh Government’s Green Paper ‘Strengthening local government, delivering for people’ promises radical reform of Wales’ 22 local councils. But how will it strengthen the voices of people who use local services? Our round-table discussion on local democracy will bring Read more »