A Queens speech it ain’t. The Welsh Assembly Government’s last legislative programme before next year’s elections has just been announced and it is a very modest programme indeed. With three measures [that is equivalent of laws that the Assembly can now enact without any further reference to Westminster] and one Legislative Competence Order [LCO] which Parliament in Westminster must agree so that the Assembly can pass measures in the given area.
The reason for such a modest programme is not difficult to work out. Referendum. All parties are going to be spending most of their energy between now and next March on winning a yes vote. Such a positive vote would end the humiliating practice of Westminster deciding the Assemblies law making programme.
But it also demonstrates that the green – red coalition is now coming towards the end of its agreed programme. Both are now starting to disengage from the coalition.
So all the bright ideas will be kept for their manifestos. These goodies will be used to get us to vote for them.
Just for the record the new programme is as follows.
Safety of Learner Travel Measure ’“ this Measure will improve the quality of contracted school transport and ensure that standards are sufficiently high for the public, and especially parents, to have confidence in the contracted learner transport their children use.
Housing Measure ’“ this will enable local authorities to apply to Welsh Ministers to suspend the Right to Buy in areas of housing pressure. It will also provide Welsh Ministers with a broad range of intervention powers to strengthen the regulation of Registered Social Housing providers.
Education Measure ’“ this will include provisions to improve school governance which in turn will raise education standards. It will further and deepen collaboration amongst schools and other educational providers and provide enabling powers for Welsh Ministers in relation to the federation of governing bodies of smaller schools.
The Organ Donation LCO ’“ We have held a number of public debates on the issue of organ donation underpinned by a formal consultation in May 2009 on ’˜Options for changes to the organ donation system in Wales’. The majority of responses we received supported a change to the soft opt-out system. We now intend taking this issue forward by seeking the necessary powers to be able to implement a Welsh system of organ donation that best meets the needs and wishes of Welsh people.