Julie James MS, Minister for Housing and Local Government
On 3 March I announced I had made the first Commencement Order in respect of the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act (“the Act”).
This Commencement Order included provision to bring the general power competence into force for principal councils on 1 November 2021 and eligible community councils on 5 May 2022. These provisions are being commenced on these dates to allow for the necessary subordinate legislation to be made and guidance to be issued to support their implementation.
I am pleased to inform Members that I have launched a consultation on the first of this subordinate legislation, in the form of the draft General Power of Competence (Commercial Purpose) (Conditions) (Wales) Regulations 2021 (“the draft Regulations”).
The draft Regulations, which I signalled my intention to bring forward during the Stage 1 scrutiny of the Act, prescribe conditions an authority must satisfy when exercising the general power of competence for a commercial purpose.
The draft Regulations as prepared for this consultation apply to principal councils only. It is my intention that they be amended in due course so as to extend their application to eligible community councils ahead of the general power coming into force for those authorities in May 2022.
The consultation also seeks the view of stakeholders on the proposal that community councils who are eligible to exercise the general power of competence should also be authorised to trade in their ordinary functions, in either case through a company. We propose doing so by remaking the Local Government (Best Value Authorities) (Power to Trade) (Wales) Order 2006 (“the 2006 Order”).
When remaking the 2006 Order it is also my intention that the same conditions are prescribed in that Order as are prescribed in the draft Regulations.
The consultation runs until 11 June 2021.