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First Minister sets out legislative priorities for remainder of Senedd term

09 Jul 2024 3 minute read
Vaughan Gething – Image Senedd Cymru

The First Minister has set out his legislative priorities for the remainder of this Senedd term pledging to ensure the Welsh Government is building “an ambitious future for a fairer, stronger, greener Wales.”

Legislation to be introduced includes measures to improve transport links across the country and  “protect people and communities, and tackle the climate emergency”.

The programme includes:

A Bus Bill, which will help create up bus network that “puts passengers before profit” and enables people to use cars less frequently.

A Building Safety Bill, which will reform the existing building safety regime in Wales and address fire safety issues in buildings 11 metres and over in existing building stock.

A Disused Tips (Mines and Quarries) Bill, which will reform outdated laws around tip safety and give greater security to the people living in their shadows.

A Homelessness Bill, which will include a package of significant reforms to help people in Wales remain in their homes and prevent anyone from experiencing homelessness.

A Visitor Accommodation (Regulation) Bill, which will see anyone who lets out visitor accommodation have to meet a relevant set of standards to help ensure the safety of visitors and enhance the visitor experience.

An Environmental Principles and Biodiversity Bill, which demonstrates a continued commitment to tackling the nature and climate emergency by establishing a statutory environmental governance body for Wales and introducing legal targets to protect and restore biodiversity.

A Bill to give local authorities powers to introduce a visitor levy, adding a small additional charge on visitors staying overnight in visitor accommodation that will go towards supporting sustainable tourism.

Planning laws

In addition, towards the end of this Senedd term, a Bill will be brought forward to simplify and modernise the planning law in Wales, which the First Minister said is currently “increasingly inaccessible and overly complex.”

The First Minister also confirmed the Welsh Government would consult on a draft Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles Bill.

Speaking in the Senedd, Mr Gething said: “Both our record of delivery and our plans for the future reflect our commitment to radical and transformative change for every corner of Wales as we focus our resources on what matters most in people’s daily lives.

“From completely reshaping the public transport system to protecting our critical infrastructure and safeguarding the environment, our ambitious legislative programme will make a real difference to the lives of people all across Wales.

“I look forward to both a renewed, genuine partnership with the new UK Government and to continuing to work with Members across this Siambr as we strive towards unlocking more opportunities across Wales and delivering positive, progressive change.”

Reform

In Response to the proposals for a new Bus Bill, Aaron Hill, Director of Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) Cymru said: “We will work closely with Welsh Government on their proposals for reform and urge them to consider the proposals we made last year for a “minimum subsidy” franchise that could deliver 40m more bus journeys across Wales.

“Buses are an essential part of the social and economic fabric of Wales. To meet the needs of passengers, it is vital that Welsh Government works with the industry to build a system that retains the local knowledge and innovation capacity of private bus operators”


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Wiwergoch
Wiwergoch
4 days ago

How about a North-South rail link? No one wants to take the stinking bus.

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
4 days ago

Putting the many issues with Mr vaughan gething to one side. This legislative programme is pretty good.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
4 days ago

Can I make a suggestion here? On the Taxi and Private Hire Vehicles Bill, something we could do with in Wales is shared taxis. Why not make it easy for people to set up these as businesses? I have seen these services work very well in several countries I have visited, e.g, Israel (where they are called Sherut), Turkiye (Called Dolmus), Georgia (Called Marshrutka) and Philippines (called Jeepneys). They are a great service. Basically they are mini bus-style taxis that go up and down a specified route, people wave them down, board (if there is room) and get off where… Read more »

Last edited 4 days ago by Mr Williams
Mr Williams
Mr Williams
4 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

I should add, that two advantages of these services are 1) they are a flat fare, unlike taxis (which can be very expensive) and 2) unlike the buses, they are not constrained by timetables.

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