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Oral - The Cabinet

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Rhodri Morgan, First Minister
Members will be aware that I have appointed my Cabinet, and, in accordance with the commitments I made before the election, I now inform the Assembly of these appointments.

As the First Minister, my responsibilities include policy co-ordination and development, the execution of the Cabinet duties, the relationship between the Assembly Government and the rest of the United Kingdom, Europe and Wales abroad, the science strategy and civil service staffing and other matters. The Cabinet has been reconfigured so that it will work more effectively and concentrate on the greatest challenges currently facing Wales, including climate change, child poverty, and regeneration of our deprived communities. The number of Ministers has decreased to from nine to seven, with more balanced portfolios, but with each ministry assuming new responsibilities.

Jane Davidson becomes Minister for Sustainability and Rural Development, which includes responsibility for climate change, sustainable development, the environment, agriculture, energy and planning. Andrew Davies will assume the responsibilities of Minister for Social Justice and Public Service Delivery, which include child poverty, housing, public service delivery, local government, the spatial plan, and community safety. Dr Brian Gibbons is to be Minister for the Economy and Transport. Edwina Hart becomes Minister for Health and Social Services, with responsibility for the national health service, public health and social services. Jane Hutt is the Minister for Budget and Business Management, including financial planning and control, and Assembly business management. She also retains responsibility for equality matters and Government communications. Carwyn Jones becomes Minister for Education, Culture and the Welsh Language, with responsibility for children and early years, schools, 14 to 19-year-olds, skills, further education, higher education, Welsh language, sport and the arts.

In addition to these seven Cabinet posts, I have appointed Carl Sargeant to be the Deputy Minister for Business and Chief Whip, and, as such, he will attend all Cabinet meetings.

With the enactment of the Government of Wales Act 2006, it is now possible to appoint Deputy Ministers with particular responsibilities, to assist Ministers in discharging their duties. Accordingly, Leighton Andrews has been appointed Deputy Minister for social justice and public service delivery, with special responsibility for housing. John Griffiths becomes the Deputy Minister for education, culture and the Welsh language, with special responsibility for skills. Huw Lewis becomes Deputy Minister to the Minister for the Economy and Transport, with special responsibility for regeneration. Finally, Gwenda Thomas is Deputy Minister to the Minister for Health and Social Services, with special responsibility for social services.

The team that I have outlined has the capacity and the experience to meet the challenges facing this third Assembly, while listening and reaching out to others in building a coherent, progressive consensus to take forward the policies that Wales requires. Ministers will bring a new impetus and energy to driving forward the new powers that this Assembly has acquired, and they will do so in co-operation with others of a like mind across the Assembly. This is a Cabinet that looks forward to getting stuck in to the job of work that the people of Wales rightly expect from the Assembly, and I commend it to you.