Monday, April 25, 2011

Welsh Liberal Democrats Announce Legislative Priorities

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader, Kirsty Williams has unveiled the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ legislative priorities for the 4th Assembly term.

Following the successful referendum, Wales now has direct law-making powers for the first time. The Welsh Liberal Democrats have identified five key areas in which they would need to legislate in order to implement priority manifesto committments.

These include:

· A Local Economies Bill to help drive the economic recovery and create jobs.

· A Teaching Standards Bill to put in place new streamlined structures for the training and development of teachers.

· A Health Spending Bill to establish an independent waste watchdog to examine the way money in the health service is spent.

· A Public Transport Bill to create Joint Transport Authorities and re-regulate bus services.

· A Community Bill of Rights and Localism Bill to strengthen the powers the ability of local authorities to deliver public services by giving them a power of general competence and introduce fair votes for local elections.

Kirsty Williams, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats said:

“This will be the first National Assembly with direct law making powers. Welsh Liberal Democrats were proud to play our part in the referendum campaign that ensured for the first time in over 600 years that laws that affect only Wales will now be made only in Wales.

“Now we have those powers, politicians must explain to voters how those powers will be used to improve life for people up and down Wales.

“We should not legislate for the sake of it but neither should we be afraid of using the new powers that we have where this is necessary.

“For the first time, Wales now has the powers to re-regulate the buses to improve bus services.

“For the first time, we can now legislate to improve the training and quality of teaching and to create a health spending watchdog to root out waste in our NHS.

“For the first time, we can transfer powers back to local communities.

“Welsh Liberal Democrats will use these powers to ensure that Wales can do better.”

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