Commission moves with the times at Wales office

The Charity Commission is to rename its office in Newport the Wales Office as it bids to refocus and promote its activities there.

The commission board agreed to change the name of the four-year-old office at an open board meeting last week. The regulator is also starting an outreach campaign aimed at the Welsh media and politicians as it tries to catch up with changes in the country brought about by devolution.

Simon Jones, the commission's member for Wales, said it was important for the commission to keep abreast of the effects of devolution.

"Toes have already been dipped in the water on whether Wales should have a different legal structure," he said. "People might start asking why Wales shouldn't have a separate regulator."

Sarah Atkinson, head of corporate affairs, said the commission did not have a separate strategy for Wales. "This is not about devolving the Wales Office," she said. "It is about making the most of the resources we have put into it."

Andrew Hind, chief executive of the commission, said funding cuts made it impossible to allocate extra resources to the campaign.

Simon Wethered, a member of the commission, said the regulator had spent £30,000 on translating some if its key documents, but the Welsh section of its website had received only 9,000 page views in the past three months, compared with six million for the website generally.

Harry Iles, head of the Wales Office, said: "People still use English in an official context. That is changing, but we need to do more work to advertise our bilingual services."

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