National School Categorisation System »This new system is not purely data-driven but also takes into account the leadership, teaching and learning that goes on in our schools.Learn more »
Welsh Government and Welsh Liberal Democrats: Joint Statement on Two-Year Budget agreement
The Welsh Government and the Welsh Liberal Democrats have today reached a ground-breaking multi-million pound two-year agreement.
- Welsh Government announces a “flying doctors” service for Wales
- Deputy Minister in Scotland to capitalise on Wales’ Ryder Cup legacy
- Welsh Government and Welsh Liberal Democrats: Joint Statement on Two-Year Budget agreement
In this section
- Business and economy
- Children and young people
- Culture and sport
- Education and skills
- Environment and countryside
- Equality and diversity
- Health and social care
- Implementing the Emissions Performance Standard: Monitoring and Enforcement Arrangements in England and Wales
- Collection and management of devolved taxes in Wales
- Draft 10-year plan for the early years, childcare and play workforce in Wales
- Reservoir Safety in Wales: Consultation on the Commencement of Schedule 4 to the Flood and Water Management Act 2010
- Devolution, Democracy and Delivery White Paper – Reforming Local Government
- Consultation on improving the availability of allotments and community gardens
Featured consultation »Draft 10-year plan for the early years, childcare and play workforce
76 days left
Section highlightHousing (Wales) Act 2014The Act introduces significant improvements across the housing sector to ensure that people have access to a decent, affordable home and better housing-related services.
Legislative programme 2014 - 2015 »
Bills that the Welsh Government will bring forward in 2014/2015.Learn more »
Section highlightWales for Africa grant
The Wales for Africa grant supports projects that build mutually beneficial links between Wales and Sub-Saharan Africa.
1st Supplementary Budget 2014-15 »
The 1st Supplementary Budget proposes a number of changes to the Final Budget for 2014-15, which was published in December 2013.Learn more »
- Statistics & Research
Upcoming calendar »
See the schedule for all statistics and research releases.View upcoming calendar »
Oral - Legislative Statement on the Proposed National Assembly for Wales (Legislative Competence) (Local Government) Order 2009
I am pleased to lay before the National Assembly the proposed legislative competence Order on local government. As highlighted earlier in the First Minister’s statement, the proposed LCO forms a key part of our legislative programme for the next session. The Assembly Government highly values the roles and status of local government in Wales. The purpose of the proposed LCO is to enable the National Assembly for Wales to legislate to strengthen the role of town and community councils. It also plans to remove barriers and disincentives to people standing for election to community and unitary councils. For the sake of brevity, references in this statement to community councils should be taken to mean both community and town councils.
The policy context of the proposed LCO flows from three separate and recent reviews into different aspects of local government in Wales: the Aberystwyth report on community councils, the expert panel’s examination of the recruitment and retention of councillors, and the independent remuneration panel’s review of councillors’ remuneration.
First, the proposed LCO would provide the Assembly with the competence to address concerns about the constraints facing community councils, which were set out in the Aberystwyth report, 'Research Study into the Role, Functions and Future Potential of Community and Town Councils in Wales’, undertaken by Aberystwyth University. Having considered the Aberystwyth report, the Assembly Government is committed to bringing forward proposals to develop and strengthen the role of community councils. The overall aim will be to increase the effectiveness of community councils in their functional and representational role, and to facilitate their ability to work in partnership with other bodies. The proposed LCO would furnish the Assembly with the competence to consider a range of proposals, which the Assembly Government will bring forward in a proposed local government Measure later in this session.
The proposed LCO is also designed to enable the Assembly to respond to the work of two review panels: the Councillors Commission’s expert panel in Wales, which has been looking at a range of issues connected to the recruitment and retention of councillors, and the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales, which is reviewing the remuneration structure for councillors in Wales, including salaries, allowances and pensions that are payable to councillors.
The Assembly Government wants to enable the Assembly to legislate to encourage broader and increased participation in local government. It has been a concern for some years that the pool of people from which serving councillors are drawn is rather narrow and several key sectors are seriously under-represented. That situation denies our councils the full range of experience and expertise that they need to carry out their diverse roles.
The Assembly Government wants to ensure that councillors at both community and unitary council level are drawn from the widest range of people and are more typical of the communities that they serve. The expert panel and the remuneration panel have been considering issues that we believe present barriers and disincentives to people standing for election to these councils. We are awaiting the final reports of the two panels and will consider their conclusions and any recommendations they might make very carefully. A local government Measure later in the session would be a vehicle for the Assembly to legislate to put into effect proposals stemming from the work of the two panels.
The National Assembly for Wales already has legislative competence in relation to many aspects of local government in Wales. These are set out in field 12 of Schedule 5 to the Government of Wales Act 2006. This Order will confer a wider legislative competence on the Assembly than that currently available to the Assembly or the current subordinate legislative power of the Welsh Ministers. Neither the Assembly nor the Welsh Ministers currently have the power to legislate for significant changes to the law covering the topics addressed in the proposed LCO: community councils, community reviews, relationships between tiers of local government, councillor allowances, and the recruitment and retention of councillors.
The legislative competence that would be conferred by the proposed Order is a necessary prerequisite to enable the Assembly to make changes to the law in these areas by way of Measures. Our intention is to make proposals for appropriate legislation in a local government Measure later in the session. The details of when the proposed Measure will be introduced will be finalised nearer the time. The aim of the proposed LCO is clearly in line with the Assembly Government’s commitment to strengthening the structures and work of local government in Wales at all levels. The proposed LCO will also enable us to ensure that local councils reach out to, and engage with, all sectors of the communities they serve.
These are important issues relating to the quality of our democracy and the services provided to local people. I look forward to working with Assembly Members and others with an interest in the health of local government on scrutinising the proposed LCO and, in due course, informing the development of our proposals for a proposed Measure on local government.