Welsh Affairs Committee publishes report on local government

12 January 2010

New powers to develop and strengthen the role of community councils and councillors in Wales should be passed to the National Assembly for Wales, says a report by the Welsh Affairs Committee

Additional legislation has been requested by the Welsh Assembly Government in order to strengthen the role of community councils within their communities and put them on the same footing as parish and town councils in England.

The request was made via the legislative competence order (LCO) process whereby the National Assembly can seek additional legislation for certain matters.

The Committee concludes that the request is consistent with previously announced policy to build up the capacity of town and community councils and that using the LCO process to gain additional powers in this area is appropriate.

The Committee reiterates its call for clearer naming of LCO proposals to ensure that people know what each request is about.

The Chairman of the Committee, Dr Hywel Francis MP, said:

"We heard during evidence of the need for the democratic process to be brought closer to communities and to re-engage people.

"This LCO will allow the Assembly to remove barriers in order to encourage more people to become councillors and to participate in governing the communities in which they live. We are pleased to support this LCO."

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