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First Minister announces radical reform to a number of services in Wales

Senedd. Credit: Adobe Stock

Reform is the driving force behind the Welsh Government Bills which will be introduced in Wales over the next year.

Announcing his legislative priorities, the First Minister said the Bills will make positive change for the people of Wales.

Legislation to be introduced in the next Senedd term include:

  • A Bus Bill to reform and improve bus services, putting people before profit, to match what our communities need.
  • A Disused Tips Safety Bill will be a world first in managing disused tips, reforming current laws around coal tip safety and give greater security to the people living in their shadow.
  • A Welsh Language Education Bill to increase the number of people who can speak Welsh and to protect our Welsh-speaking communities.
  • A Bill to deliver the Government’s commitment to reduce the democratic deficit in Wales and develop an electoral system fit for the twenty-first century.
  • A Local Government Finance Bill to reform the council tax and non-domestic rates systems so they’re aligned to changes in market conditions and are more responsive to pressures faced by people and organisations.

A once-in-a-generation Bill to reform the Senedd will be introduced in the Autumn, to create a modern Senedd, better able to represent the people of Wales, with increased capacity to scrutinise, make laws, and hold the Government to account.

In addition, a bill will be brought forward, building on the provisions in the Bill to reform the Senedd, to introduce gender quotas for candidates for election to the Senedd, with the aim of making our Parliament more representative of the people it serves.

The First Minister also committed to introducing important legislation to eliminate private profit from the care of looked after children, and legislation to introduce  direct payments for continuing health care and make amendments to help the workforce operate more effectively.

The First Minister said:

“This forthcoming year will have an unrelenting focus on reform to make positive changes in the lives of the people of Wales.

“This is an ambitious and radical programme of reform, which will modernise parts of our tax and electoral system, ensure we put the needs of looked-after children ahead of profits, and create a Senedd which reflects the Wales we live in today.

“Our reforms will transform bus services, giving people greater choice about how they travel, and help us towards our ambition of a million Welsh-speakers by 2050.”

Beyond the 12 month programme the First Minister announced today, the Government’s legislative priorities for the remainder of this Senedd term will include Bills to deliver commitments in the Programme for Government and Co-Operation Agreement with Plaid Cymru, relating to homelessness and building safety, a visitor levy, tourism, tax, transport, environment and justice.

Further consolidation Bills will also be brought forward this Senedd to improve the accessibility of Welsh law. The Counsel General will set out more detail on these plans as part of his annual progress report on the accessibility programme.