Y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a’r Cyfansoddiad
Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee11/10/2021
Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol
Committee Members in Attendance
|Huw Irranca-Davies MS||Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor|
|Jayne Bryant MS|
|Peter Fox MS|
|Rhys ab Owen MS|
Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol
Senedd Officials in Attendance
|Gareth Howells||Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol|
|Jennifer Cottle||Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol|
|Katie Wyatt||Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol|
|P Gareth Williams||Clerc|
|Rachael Davies||Dirprwy Glerc|
|Samiwel Davies||Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol|
|Sarah Sargent||Ail Glerc|
Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Mae hon yn fersiwn ddrafft o’r cofnod.
The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. This is a draft version of the record.
Cyfarfu’r pwyllgor drwy gynhadledd fideo.
Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 13:30.
The committee met by video-conference.
The meeting began at 13:30.
Prynhawn da a chroeso.
Good afternoon and welcome.
Welcome, everybody, to this virtual meeting of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee. The meeting is being broadcast live on Senedd.tv, and the Record of Proceedings will be published as normal. Now, aside from all the procedural adaptations for these meetings being conducted remotely, all the other Standing Order requirements remain in place. I'm delighted to say we've got all our Members here today; we've got no apologies for today's meeting. As per normal, just to remind Members if they can make sure that all mobile devices are switched to silent mode, and also that we operate through the media of Welsh and English, so we've got interpretation available during this afternoon's meeting, but, of course, there is a slight timelag as they switch from one to the other, but you don't need to mute and unmute yourselves.
In which case, we can move directly on to the first of our substantive items on the agenda this afternoon. We've got quite a lot to get through today, so we'll begin with item No. 2, which is, as normal, the instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3. So, we can turn now to statutory instruments with clear reports, which are in paper 1, and the affirmative resolution instrument item 2.1, which is SL(6)055, the General Power of Competence (Commercial Purpose) (Conditions) (Wales) Regulations 2021. This instrument is made by the Welsh Ministers in exercising the powers conferred upon them by the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021. It prescribes additional conditions that a principal council must meet before exercising the general power of competence to do things for a commercial purpose. Our lawyers have not identified any points for reporting, so I wonder, colleagues: are we happy to note and agree the draft report? Thank you very much.
That brings us on to item 2.2, SL(6)057, the Scheduled Monuments (Heritage Partnership Agreements) (Wales) Regulations 2021, which amend the Historic Environment (Wales) Act 2016 and amend the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act 1979 by iintroducing heritage partnership agreements for scheduled monuments in Wales. A heritage partnership is a voluntary arrangement for the long-term management of one or more designated historic assets. So, the details of it are in the papers there, starting at pack page 2, but we have not identified any points for reporting. Again, could I ask if we're happy to note and agree the draft report? And we are. Thank you very much.
That brings us to item No. 3, which is instruments that do raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3, and we turn to the made negative resolution instruments, the first of which is item 3.1, SL(6)061, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel, Operator Liability and Public Health Information to Travellers) (Wales) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (No. 3) Regulations 2021. We have the draft report and the letter from the Minister for social services in our pack today. Now, this instrument makes amendments to several sets of regulations relating to international travel. We're quite familiar with seeing these coming periodically in front of the committee, and the amendments include the removal of the so-called green list from the international travel regulations, amending provisions related to pre-departure testing, adding three events to the list of specified sporting events for which a person is able to leave isolation to compete or train in or to provide coaching or other support to a person who is competing. Our lawyers have identified three merits points for reporting. Could I ask our lawyers to make any observations they have on this, please?
Diolch. Nothing, really, to add to what is in the draft report, which contains three standard reporting points for coronavirus-related regulations, that is, reporting points related to lack of consultation, the Welsh Government's justification for any potential interference with human rights and the Welsh Government's explanation for the breach of the 21-day rule.
Thank you very much, Gareth, and we're quite familiar with those points being put forward on previous ones. Can I ask Members: are they happy to note and agree the report? We are. Thank you very much.
So, we turn then to an affirmative resolution instrument, which is under item 3.2, SL(6)056, the Listed Buildings (Heritage Partnership Agreements) (Wales) Regulations 2021, and this is in your papers— paper No. 4 and 4a—including the Welsh Government response and the draft report. Now, this instrument has been withdrawn by the Welsh Government in order to rectify a technical point identified by Senedd lawyers, as noted in the committee's draft report and confirmed in the Welsh Government's response. So, a revised version of the instrument has been laid by Welsh Government, which will be considered at the next meeting. Nothing to add to that, Gareth, have we? No. So, if we're happy to note that, and we'll revisit that at the next meeting. Thank you very much.
So, we turn then to our made affirmative resolution instruments today. Item 3.3, we have SL(6)058, the Trade in Animals and Related Products (Wales) (Amendment) (EU Exit) (No. 3) Regulations 2021. And we have the draft report and the letter from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd of 27 September. This instrument makes amendments to subordinate legislation in the field of biosecurity controls for the imports of live animals and animal products as part of a Great Britain-wide approach. The effect of this instrument will be further to delay the introduction of documentary and physical checks at border control points in Wales, in respect of imported animal products. These checks will now be phased in between 1 January 2022 and 1 July 2022, and our lawyers have identified one merits point for reporting. Gareth.
Diolch. Members may remember a similar set of regulations earlier this term that delayed the introduction of certain checks on food imports imported into Great Britain from the European Union. These regulations delay yet again the introduction of those checks, and, as with the previous regulations, the draft report highlights useful paragraphs from the explanatory memorandum, and some of the concerns raised by industry stakeholders.
These regulations also tie in with the letter in agenda item 6.3 today. To introduce these delays, a few bits of legislation need to be amended. Where the legislation that needs to be amended is Wales-only legislation, the Welsh Ministers make the amendments, but where the legislation that needs to be amended is England-and-Wales legislation, or Great Britain legislation, the Welsh Ministers have consented to the UK Government making those changes, and the letter in agenda item 6.3 sets out the Welsh Government's reasoning for consenting to the UK Government making certain changes on behalf of Wales in this area.
Thank you, Gareth. That's a really helpful clarification there on that merits point. Do we have any points from Members, or are we happy to note and agree the report? We are. Thank you, Gareth. Thank you very much.
So, we move on, then, to item No. 4, instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3 previously considered, and, under this, we have item 4.1, SL(6)052, the Coronavirus Act 2020 (Residential Tenancies: Extension of Period of Protection from Eviction) (No. 3) (Wales) Regulations 2021. We have the committee report and the Welsh Government response in your pack and the papers 7 and 8. Now, we considered this at last week's meeting, and laid our report the same day. So, Members, if I could draw your attention to the Welsh Government's response to the points that we raised in that report, and I wonder: in so doing, do we have any observations, Gareth, on the Welsh Government's response?
It's a helpful response, in particular noting that the tenancy hardship grant has now been introduced, which supports tenants with rent arrears owed to landlords, and grants paid under that scheme are paid directly to landlords.
That's excellent. Thank you very much for that, and we note that response and the fact that it added to our sum of knowledge on the committee and for the Senedd as well, so thank you for that. I think we're happy to note that piece of correspondence as part of that report as well, Gareth.
So, item no. 5, subordinate legislation that raises issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.7, and we have under this item 5.1, SL(6)059, 'The Curriculum for Wales— Statements of What Matters Code'. There is a draft report under paper No. 9 related to this. Now, this code has been developed under section 6 of the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021. It places a statutory duty on schools and settings to ensure their design and planning of a curriculum under the new curriculum for Wales framework includes and draws from the statements of what matters set out in the code. Our lawyers have identified one point for reporting under Standing Order 21.7. Gareth.
The draft report simply notes that the code will not come into force until September 2022, which is intended to give schools time to plan and consider separate guidance before designing curriculums that would be in accordance with the code.
Thank you very much, Gareth. Are Members happy to note and agree that report? We are. Thank you very much.
We go to item 5.2, SL(6)060, 'The Curriculum for Wales—Progression Code', and there is a draft report under paper No. 10. This code has been developed under section 7 of the Curriculum and Assessment (Wales) Act 2021. It sets out the ways in which a curriculum must make provision for all learners. Our lawyers have identified one point for reporting under Standing Order 21.7. Gareth, to you again, please.
As with the previous code, the draft report simply notes that this code also will not come into force until September 2022.
Thank you very much. I think we'll be happy to note and agree that. Yes we are. Great. Okay, thank you for that, and your help on that, Gareth.
We're now going to move on to item No. 6, which is papers to note for this meeting. First of all, item 6.1, Welsh Government report, the legislative response by the Welsh Ministers to the coronavirus pandemic. At this point, if Members are happy to note the statement and the report, then we can pick this up in private session afterwards in discussion. Happy to note? We are. Thank you very much.
Then we move on to item 6.2, correspondence from the First Minister—annual report on the inter-institutional relations agreement. Again, there is quite a lot within this annual report and the letter, but, for the moment, if Members are happy to note it, we can return to this subsequently in discussion. I just want to note one thing: discussions are ongoing between officials to establish a new inter-institutional relations agreement for the sixth Senedd, and further details, we understand, will be brought to the committee shortly. So, with that, are we happy to note that correspondence and the report? Thank you very much.
Item 6.3, then, is correspondence from the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd on the Official Controls (Extension of Transitional Periods) (England and Wales) Regulations 2021, and there's a letter there to note from the Minister, and also from the Minister to the Chair of the Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee as well. If Members are happy to note that correspondence, which states that consent has been given to the Secretary of State to make the Official Controls (Extension of Transitional Periods) (England and Wales) Regulations 2021 in relation to Wales—. One thing, though, that committee members might want to note, and we certainly need to note it on the public record, is simply that while the letter that we've received is dated 27 September, it wasn't received by the clerking team until 5 October, and perhaps, if there's anything arising from that, maybe we can return to that in private session as well. Are Members happy to note that? We are. Thank you very much.
We go on to item 6.4, correspondence between the Local Government and Housing Committee and the Minister for Climate Change in respect of the legislative consent memorandum on the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill, and we have the letter from the Minister and also the letter from the Chair of the Local Government and Housing Committee in our pack. I would ask Members if they'd like to note the correspondence there and that the reporting deadline for the memorandum is 18 November. So, we'll be bringing a draft report to our committee in a few weeks' time. If you're happy to note that, we can return to that in private session.
Item 6.5 is correspondence from the Chair of the Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee to the Minister for Economy—international agreement: free trade agreement between the UK, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, and the letter of October 2021. Are we happy to note that letter? We are. Thank you very much.
Then, we have correspondence from the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language in response to the committee's report on the LCM on the Professional Qualifications Bill—the legislative consent memorandum on the Professional Qualifications Bill. If we are happy to note the letter there, which includes the Welsh Government's response, we can defer discussion to the private session. And we're happy to do so. Okay.
And then we move to item 6.7, which I believe relates to a supplementary addition to our main pack today, which I draw to the attention of colleagues. This is correspondence from the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution—consent to the making of an Order under section 104 of the Scotland Act 1998. We have the letter from the Counsel General dated 8 October 2021. If, for this moment, you're happy to note that, then we can return to that in private session as well. Very good. Okay, thank you very much once again to those who've been looking into this.
We've concluded the matters that, as a committee, we need to have within the public session now.
bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi).
that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi).
Cynigiwyd y cynnig.
So, as is normal for us, we go into private session now to discuss some of the things arising and future reports, and future consideration of regulations and legislation. So, can I ask Members, under item 7, are we happy, under Standing Order 17.42, to resolve to exclude the public for the remainder of today's meeting? We are. Thank you very much, and we'll go into private session and I'll wait for our clerks to tell us when we are in private.
Derbyniwyd y cynnig.
Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 13:47.
The public part of the meeting ended at 13:47.