The Welsh Assembly seems to have consulted local councils on a Legislative Competence Order, relating to community councils, as an afterthought. Certainly, they did not allow for the fact that many community councils do not meet in the month of August. As it was, the request for comments came before us on Blaenhonddan Community Council three days after the closing date for submissions.
(A LCO sets out new areas in which the Assembly can make legislation. After approval by the Assembly, it has to go before the Welsh Affairs Select Committee of the House of Commons and the Lords’ Constitution Committee. It has to be approved by Westminster before becoming law.)
Our clerk, Mavis Hewitt, was directed to write to the National Assembly protesting at the short time allowed for comments but not making any other observations at this time. It is probably as well that we did not discuss the proposal, because, I sensed, there was a clear division between those of us who would welcome a necessary devolution of power to Cardiff and (mostly Labour) councillors who are happy to see Westminster continuing to dictate how community councils in Wales should be run. I admit to having a little pop at the expensive and ludicrous LCO procedure devised by Labour Welsh Office ministers, but none of the Labour members rose to the bait.
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