Refresher: Current Senedd Legislation
Food (Wales Bill)
The Food (Wales) Bill was introduced by Peter Fox MS, Monmouth after being successful in a legislative ballot on 22 September 2021.
The Bill aims to establish the following:
· establishing ‘Food Goals’ to help deliver the Bills main policy objective;
· requiring public bodies to take reasonable steps to advance the food goals;
· establishing a Welsh Food Commission with the objective of promoting and facilitating the advancement and achievement of the food goals by public bodies;
· requiring Welsh Ministers to prepare and publish a national food strategy; and
· requiring public bodies (other than the Welsh Ministers) to make and publish a local food plan
The Food (Wales) Bill is currently at Stage 1, in its initial scrutiny period. A consultation on the general principles of the Bill has been launched, the closing date is 27 January 2023.
The Food (Wales) Bill will be considered by the Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee, the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee and the Finance Committee.
Social Partnership and Public Procurement (Wales) Bill
The Social Partnership and Public Procurement Bill was introduced by Hannah Blythyn MS, Welsh Government Minister for Social Partnership on 7th June 2022.
The Social Partnership and Public Procurement Bill will make provisions about social partnership, sustainable development and socially responsible public procurement. It will mean changes for many businesses that procure with public bodies, including local authorities and Welsh Government. The Bill will also establish a Social Partnership Council for Wales, a statutory advisory body which will connect the social partnership, fair work and socially responsible public procurement provisions of the Bill.
Stage 2 scrutiny began on the bill on 30th November 2022, with consideration beginning in Committee on 23rd January 2023.
A debate took place in Plenary on 29 November 2022 and the motion to agree the general principles of the Bill was agreed. The Equality and Social Justice Committee agreed its approach to Stage 1 scrutiny of the Bill on 9th June 2022.
Agriculture (Wales) Bill
Back in December 2020, the Welsh Government consulted on its Agriculture (Wales) White Paper. It put forward proposals relating to several areas, including future support for agriculture, regulatory reform, improving animal health and welfare, and future support for industry and the supply chain. The White Paper cemented the Welsh Government’s position on future support for farmers and the industry, which follows the principle of Sustainable Land Management and public money for public goods.
The Agriculture (Wales) Bill was introduced by Lesley Griffiths MS, Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnyddand is currently at Stage 1. The Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee, and the Legislation Committee both completed stage one considerations of the Bill before Christmas 2022.
The Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Wales) Bill
The Environmental Protection (Single-use Plastic Products) (Wales) Bill has now passed Stage 4 scrutiny in the Senedd and is now awaiting Royal Assent. The Bill will make it an offence to supply or offer to supply disposable single-use plastic products to consumers in Wales. This will provide local authorities with powers to enforce the offence, and includes:
· drinking straws – this product has an exemption for health needs
· plastic stemmed cotton buds
· balloon sticks
· expanded and foamed extruded polystyrene fast-food containers
· expanded and foamed extruded polystyrene cups
· polystyrene lids for all cups and fast-food containers
· thin plastic single-use carrier bags
· all products made of oxo-degradable plastic
The list follows a consultation in 2020 and the Welsh government argues there are non-plastic or reusable alternatives to all of the products.
This legislation is particularly notable because it means that Wales will have the most comprehensive regulations to restrict the supply of single-use plastics in the UK. The Bill also gives Welsh Ministers the power to add new products to the banned list, ensuring Wales is in the driving seat for future action.
We wrote about the Environmental Protection Bill, and it’s implications in more detail here.
Historic Environment (Wales) Bill
The Historic Environment (Wales) Bill is currently at its Initial Consideration stage after being introduced by Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution Mick Antoniw MS. The Bill includes provision to consolidate legislation relating to the historic environment in Wales. It provides for the protection of monuments, buildings and conservation areas by bringing together and restating already-existing legislation (both primary and secondary) in one place.
For a bird's eye view.
Am olwg oddi uchod.
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