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First Bill Introduced Since Greater Welsh Law Making Powers Obtained

The first Bill to be introduced since the Welsh Government gained greater law-making powers following the referendum in March 2011 has been laid before the National Assembly for Wales.
Monday 28 November 2011

The Local Government Byelaws (Wales) Bill seeks to simplify the procedures for the making and enforcement of local government byelaws.

The provisions contained within the Bill follow on from commitments made in “A Shared Responsibility” – the then Welsh Assembly Government’s 2007 policy statement on local government.

The Bill removes the requirement for confirmation of the majority of byelaws by the Welsh Ministers, but authorities will be expected to consult locally on options for addressing issues before deciding to make a byelaw.  

Confirmation is retained for certain potentially contentious byelaws, such as those relating to sites of special scientific interest and national parks.

The introduction of fixed penalty notices as an alternative form of enforcement to bringing proceedings in the Magistrates Courts is also a pivotal aspect of the Bill.

The Minister for Local Government and Communities Carl Sargeant said:

"The Welsh Government is committed to making byelaw procedures less bureaucratic so that all effort and resources can be directed to improving the day to day lives of the people of Wales.

"Byelaws, such as the control of activities on beaches and prevention of skateboarding near footways and highways, offer an ideal and appropriate form of enforcement to address the variety of local issues faced by local authorities and the communities for which they are responsible.

"By empowering local authorities to take full responsibility for their local laws and providing them with the option to make enforcement more effective, we will help them to improve the quality of their services to their communities."

The Minister said that the proposals for fixed penalty notices in the Bill would offer local authorities an efficient and effective means to enforce byelaws.

"Fixed penalty notices overcome the bureaucracy and cost associated with enforcement through the Courts, which can deter authorities from taking action against offenders," he said.

The Minister added that the new procedure introduced by the Bill is a simplification of the process for the making and enforcement of byelaws.

"It is a targeted approach which removes any unnecessary bureaucracy where it is not needed, but also provides a means of protection where this is required," he said.

 

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Local government 28 November 2011 Mid Wales North Wales South East Wales South West Wales
 
 

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