Julie James MS, Minister for Housing and Local Government
The Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill (“the Bill”) provides for the establishment of a new and reformed legislative framework for local government elections, democracy, governance and performance.
Part 6 of the Bill relates to the performance and governance of principal councils, providing for a new performance regime based on self-assessment and peer review.
Today I am launching a consultation on draft statutory guidance to facilitate the implementation of the new regime and support principal councils in discharging their duties under Part 6 of the Bill. My intention in consulting on this guidance in advance of Royal Assent of the Bill is to ensure that the final guidance is in place when the provisions under Part 6 come into force.
The draft statutory guidance has been co-developed with local government and extensive engagement has been undertaken with key stakeholders. We want to ensure that this is something which is valuable for local government and provides a meaningful opportunity to continually strengthen councils.
A clear message during this period of co-production has been that local government want flexibility to determine its own approach to self-assessment and panel performance assessment, designed to fit local circumstances and corporate structures, and informed by best practice. In response, the draft guidance has been developed in a way that seeks to support principal councils to understand and apply the duties in a manner that is appropriate to its own circumstances, taking an enabling approach rather than being overly prescriptive.
The consultation runs until 3 February 2021, and I look forward to considering feedback from stakeholders and interested parties.