Y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a’r Cyfansoddiad - Y Bumed Senedd

Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee - Fifth Senedd

22/03/2021

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Carwyn Jones AS
Dai Lloyd AS
David Melding AS
Mick Antoniw AS Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Gareth Howells Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
P Gareth Williams Clerc
Clerk
Sarah Sargent Ail Glerc
Second Clerk

Cynnwys

Contents

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau 1. Introduction, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest
2. Offerynnau negyddol arfaethedig nad ydynt yn cynnwys materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.3B 2. Proposed negative instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.3B
3. Offerynnau nad ydynt yn cynnwys materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 na 21.3 3. Instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3
4. Offerynnau sy'n codi materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt i'r Senedd o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 neu 21.3 4. Instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3
5. Offerynnau sy'n codi materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt i'r Senedd o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 neu 21.3 – trafodwyd yn flaenorol 5. Instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3 - previously considered
6. Is-ddeddfwriaeth nad yw’n cynnwys materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.7 6. Subordinate legislation that raises no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.7
7. Datganiadau ysgrifenedig o dan Reol Sefydlog 30C 7. Written Statements under Standing Order 30C
8. Papurau i'w nodi 8. Papers to note
9. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod 9. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.

Cyfarfu'r pwyllgor drwy gynhadledd fideo.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:30.

The committee met by video-conference.

The meeting began at 09:30.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau
1. Introduction, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

I welcome Members to this virtual meeting of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee—probably the last committee meeting in this fifth Senedd. In accordance with Standing Order 34.19, I've determined that the public are excluded from the meeting in order to protect public health. And in accordance with Standing Order 34.21, notice of this decision was included in the published agenda for this meeting. The meeting is being broadcast live on Senedd.tv and the Record of Proceedings will be published as usual. Aside from the procedural adaptation for conducting proceedings remotely, all other Standing Order requirements remain in place. No apologies have been received for today's meeting, because we have a full committee in attendance. The usual housekeeping arrangements will apply.

And before we move straight on to the agenda, formally, right at the beginning of this meeting, I thank all the staff members over the past few years for the incredible, detailed work that has been carried out, and also the committee members, who have had to go through thousands of pages of documents with quite intricate detail, but have always been able to work, I think, within a consensual framework, particularly as the responsibilities of this committee and, I think, it's importance in terms of the parliamentary work of the Senedd have actually increased. This is our last meeting, although we'll see that, later on in the papers, there are proposals in respect of the scrutiny of those final items that may appear before the final dissolution of this Senedd, I think around about 28 April.

So, that having been said, if I can then move on—. Sorry, David.

I'd also like to endorse your remarks and, on behalf of the Welsh Conservative Party, thank you for the way you've chaired the committee. Like you, I think it's a very important committee, it's not very high profile usually, but the work we do in the engine room of legislation is very, very important. And we do that because we have a wonderful secretariat—the clerks [Inaudible.] researchers, the lawyers—and the quality of the information and the clarity of it. I think it's been a great service, and likewise for the reports that we've published on the wider constitutional issues. It's been a very satisfying experience to serve on this committee over the years, not just in the fifth Senedd. I do hope that a high priority will continue to be given to the work this committee does in future Senedds. Thank you.

Okay. Thank you for those comments, David. If we move on, then, to the first item on the agenda.

Oh, yes I can, David, yes. The sound was beginning to weaken a little bit. And I suppose I ought to mention at this stage that in the event that the system destabilises in any way, there are previous arrangements for Carwyn to take over the chairing of it. But the signal seems to be reasonably stable at the moment. So, thank you for those comments, David, and we'll move on to the agenda now, if that's okay.

2. Offerynnau negyddol arfaethedig nad ydynt yn cynnwys materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.3B
2. Proposed negative instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.3B

We move on to item 2. We have the Food, Animal Feed and Seeds (Miscellaneous Amendments and Transitional Provisions) (Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021. These proposed regulations have been laid for the purpose of sifting under the EU (Withdrawal) Act 2018 in accordance with Standing Order 27.9A. The proposed regulations make amendments to several statutory instruments relating to food and feed hygiene and safety, food compositional standards and labelling and seeds, in order to address deficiencies arising from the UK's exit from the EU. It is suggested that these proposed regulations are not recommended for uplift to the affirmative procedure. Are there any comments or observations from Members? I don't see any.

09:35
3. Offerynnau nad ydynt yn cynnwys materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 na 21.3
3. Instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3

So, we move on item 3. We're on to the Education (Pupil Referral Units) (Management Committees etc.) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. This instrument amends the Education (Pupil Referral Units) (Management Committees etc.) (Wales) Regulations 2014 in connection with the implementation of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018. I don't think there are any technical or merits point. Is that right? Any comments or observations from Members? I don't see any.

So, we'll move on, then, to item 3.2, the Velindre National Health Service Trust Shared Services Committee (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. These regulations amend the Velindre National Health Service Trust Shared Services Committee (Wales) Regulations 2012 to make provision for the chief officers of special health authorities established by the Welsh Ministers to become members of the NHS Wales shared services partnership committee. And, again, I don't think there are any technical or merits points. I don't see any comments or observations from Members.

In which case, we move on, then, to item 3.3, the Adoption and Fostering (Wales) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Coronavirus) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. These regulations amend the Adoption and Fostering (Wales) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020. They extend the expiry date of the 2020 regulations to 30 September 2021. I don't think there are any technical or merits points and I don't see anyone making any comments or observations on these.

So, we'll move on, then, to the next item, 3.4, the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Amendment) (Wales) Order 2021. This Order amends the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (Wales) Order 1995. Article 3 of and Schedule 2 to that Order confer permitted development rights in respect of certain developments where such rights are conferred and application for planning permission is not required. Any observations, comments? No.

4. Offerynnau sy'n codi materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt i'r Senedd o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 neu 21.3
4. Instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3

So, we move on to item 4, the Independent Schools (Provision of Information) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. Members have the report, the regulations and the explanatory memorandum. The instrument amends the Independent Schools (Provision of Information) (Wales) Regulations 2003 in connection with the implementation of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018. Over to you, Gareth—lawyers.

Diolch. There is just one minor merits point, which notes that certain sections of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 will have to come into force by 1 September for these regulations to work, and the Welsh Government is aware of that. An explanation is set out in the explanatory memorandum.

Thank you for that. Are there any other comments or observations? I don't see any.

We move on to item 4.2, the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) (Amendment) (Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021. These amend the National Health Service (Charges to Overseas Visitors) Regulations 1989, which allow local health boards in Wales to recover charges from overseas visitors who are not ordinarily resident in the UK for certain categories of healthcare provided to them in Wales, unless the overseas visitor or the service they received fall within an exemption. Over to you, Gareth.

There are two merits points. The first relates to the reciprocal healthcare arrangements the United Kingdom has with Ireland and Norway. Those arrangements have been in place since 31 December 2020, but Ireland and Norway are only now being recognised in the regulations. The Government was asked whether any visitors from Ireland or Norway had been adversely affected by that delay. The Government's response said that it assessed the recent movement of people from Ireland and Norway and that such movement has, of course, been low because of travel restrictions. The response said that no citizens from Ireland or Norway had been affected by the delay in Wales.

The second merits point relates to a technical point the committee raised on a previous set of regulations in this field, and the point related to the status of Liechtenstein and Iceland in the field of reciprocal healthcare arrangements. The Government accepted the technical point at the time and said it would correct it at the earliest opportunity. These regulations before the committee today were the ideal opportunity to correct the error, but that opportunity has not been taken and the Government accepts it was an oversight. The Government says it will correct the error when the next set of changes are made in this field, which is when the United Kingdom will enter into further reciprocal healthcare arrangements with the European Free Trade Association countries. 

09:40

Okay, thank you for those. Are there any other comments or observations? No, I don't see any. Thank you, Gareth, for that.

We move on to item 4.3, the Digital Health and Care Wales (Transfer of Staff, Property, Rights and Liabilities) Order 2021. This Order forms part of a suite of legislation to support the launch of a new special health authority called Digital Health and Care Wales. The Order makes provision for the transfer of particular staff, property, rights and liabilities from Velindre University NHS Trust to Digital Health and Care Wales. Over to you, Gareth, for merits points.

There's one merits point, which notes that the regulations form part of a suite of four instruments, and only two of those instruments have been laid. The other two do not have to be laid, but one of those other instruments has already been made and the fourth will be made on 1 April 2021. 

Okay. Any other comments from Members? No. In which case, we move on, then, to item 4.4, which is the Care and Support (Charging) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021. These amend the Care and Support (Charging) (Wales) Regulations 2015 to increase the minimum income amount to which a person provided with care home accommodation or receiving direct payments in respect of such accommodation is entitled to retain for personal expenditure, from £32 to £33 per week. Gareth, again over to you. 

There is one merits point, which notes that increase in the amount that a person is entitled to retain for personal expenditure, and that is the additional £1 per week. So, where state pensions and welfare benefits are uplifted from April 2021, people in local authority residential care will be able to keep some of that uplift themselves, while the local authority will receive the balance of the uplift in the form of increased costs of residential care.

Okay. Any other comments? Thank you for that, Gareth. Any other comments from Members? In which case, we can move on to item 4.5, the Business Tenancies (Extension of Protection from Forfeiture etc.) (Wales) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021. Again, Members have the report, the regulations and the explanatory memorandum. Section 82 of the Coronavirus Act 2020 ensures that re-entry or forfeiture for non-payment of rent may not be enforced in relation to relevant business tenancies during the relevant period. The 2020 Act originally defined the relevant period as beginning on 26 March 2020 and ending on 30 June 2020. Three previous sets of regulations have amended this date. Regulation 2 of these regulations further extends the relevant period until 30 June 2021. Over to you again, Gareth. 

There is one merits point, which relates to consultation. While the explanatory memorandum provides a summary of the key points that came up in consultation, there is no link to any full consultation. The Government response says that it undertook rapid engagement activity with business representative organisations, trade unions, property organisations and social partners, and that this kind of engagement has been in place for several of the previous versions of these regulations. 

Thank you for that, Gareth. Any other comments or observations? In which case, let's move on to item 4.6, the Health Protection (Coronavirus, International Travel and Operator Liability) (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Wales) Regulations 2021. Members have the various papers, including the letter from the Minister for Health and Social Services of 12 March 2021 and, of course, the written statement of 12 March 2021. These regulations make amendments to several health protection instruments related to international travel and seek to address a number of inconsistencies that have been identified between the international travel regulatory regimes for England and for Wales. There are a number of merits points that have been identified. Gareth.

09:45

Yes. There are some familiar reporting points in the context of international travel regulations, namely breach of the 21-day rule, the Government's justification for any potential interference with human rights, lack of public consultation, and lack of regulatory impact assessments. And given these are familiar reporting points, the draft support report suggests there is no need for a Government response.

They are indeed familiar reporting points. Any other comments? No, I don't see any.

Move on to item 4.7 then, please, which is the Official Controls (Plant Health and Genetically Modified Organisms) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021, which make provision in relation to biosecurity and trade between Great Britain and relevant third countries by introducing measures for high-risk plant goods. There's been one merits point identified. Gareth.

Yes, one merits point. The explanatory note at the beginning of the regulation says that no regulatory impact assessment was carried out, but when you look in the explanatory memorandum, there is a regulatory impact assessment. So, the report just sought some clarity on that. The Government accepts the anomaly between the two, and says that all efforts were made to consider the costs of the regulations, which is set out in the explanatory memorandum, even if it might not be a full-blown regulatory impact assessment.

Thank you for those points, Gareth. Any other comments? No, in which case, on to item 4.8, the Additional Learning Needs (Wales) Regulations 2021. The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018 establishes the system in Wales for meeting the additional learning needs of children and young people. These regulations supplement the system provided for in the 2018 Act and these regulations are a suite of regulations and a substantial code of practice, which follows in later items. One merits point identified. Gareth.

Yes, there's one point that notes there is no reference in the explanatory memorandum to an equality impact assessment, and given the subject matter of these regulations, I think it's fair to ask the Government why there is no reference to equality. The Government response said that an equality impact assessment has been carried out and provides a link to a summary of the impact assessments, but once again, the committee has had to ask for this information, rather than it being included on the face of the memorandum in the first place.

Yes, well spotted and identified there. Any other comments? In which case, move on to the Education Tribunal for Wales Regulations 2021—that's item 4.9 on the agenda—which set out the procedure to be followed in proceedings before the education tribunal for Wales. The regulations make provision relating to the exercise of the tribunal's jurisdiction under Part 2 of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018, which concerns additional learning needs appeals, and Chapter 1 of Part 6 of the Equality Act of 2010, which concerns claims of disability discrimination in respect of school pupils. Over to you, Gareth.

There are five technical points raising various questions around the drafting and effect of the regulations, for example, what is the exact trigger for making appeals to the tribunal, and what is the meaning of 'court' in the regulations. The Government has provided a very helpful and clear response. In some instances, it does not agree with the points raised, and in others, it accepts or half accepts the points, and might look to address those points in future. There is also one merits point that notes, again, that other legislation is going to have to come into force before these regulations can work. Again, the Government makes this clear in its explanatory memorandum.

Thank you for that report, Gareth. Any other comments or observations? I don't see any, so we move on to item 4.10, the Equality Act 2010 (Capacity of parents and persons over compulsory school age) (Wales) Regulations 2021. These regulations are proposed to be made by the Welsh Ministers under the Equality Act 2010 and provide persons over compulsory school age and parents of children not over compulsory school age who lack capacity with the right to bring a disability discrimination claim against a responsible body for a school in Wales, in accordance with Schedule 17 to the 2010 Act. A merits point has been identified. Gareth.

09:50

Again, just noting that, for these regulations to work, other legislation will have to come into force first, and again, the Government recognises this in its explanatory memorandum.

Thank you for that. Any other comments? We move on then to item 4.11, the Animal Welfare (Licensing of Activities Involving Animals) (Wales) Regulations 2021. We have the report, the regulations and the explanatory memorandum before Members, together with the letter from the Kennel Club of 9 March 2021 and the letter to the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs dated 15 March 2021. These regulations provide for the licensing of persons involved in selling animals as pets, and make it an offence for commercial third parties to sell puppies and kittens under six months. There are a number of merits points identified. Gareth.

Yes, two merits points. The first notes that these regulations allow local authorities to charge fees to cover costs of performing licensing functions, and the second merits point notes concerns about consultation raised by the Kennel Club. The Welsh Government response, which starts on pack page 404, sets out the Welsh Government's understanding of the regulations, and it says that statutory guidance will address some of the concerns raised.

Thank you. Any other comments or observations? No. In which case we move on, then, to item 4.12, the Agricultural Support (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021, which make amendments to retained EU law and domestic law to put in place a domestic framework to fund new rural development schemes following the end of the EU implementation period, and to ensure that the framework is efficient and effective. Now, there are some technical and merits points. Again, over to you, Gareth.

Yes, as to the technical point, it notes that there is a rogue reference to 'accounting year' that remains in a particular piece of retained EU law that needs to be removed. The Government accepts the point and will correct the error at the next available opportunity.

And there are two merits points. The first notes an inconsistent use of 'shall' and 'must', and this was raised in the original report on these regulations before the regulations were withdrawn and relaid. The Government response to the original report noted the inconsistency, but was satisfied it did not change the legal effect of the legislation. The second merits point is also something raised in the original report on the regulations before they were withdrawn. It raises the question as to whether a regulatory impact assessment should have been carried out for these regulations. The Government responded to say that the regulations do not create any new financial implications, criminal sanctions or administrative burdens that would affect the public sector, the private sector, the charity sector or the voluntary sector, therefore, no regulatory impact assessment has been carried out.

Okay, thank you for that. Any other comments or observations? No, well, thank you for that report. 

We move on, then, to the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) (Amendment) (No. 5) Regulations 2021, regulations that make a number of amendments to the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 5) (Wales) Regulations 2020. They were made on 12 March 2021. Some parts of the regulations came into force from 13 March and, again, there are a number of reporting points. Gareth.

Yes, there are three technical points relating to incorrect cross-references within the regulations. The Government accepts the errors and will correct them at the earliest opportunity. There are five merits points, a few of which are familiar coronavirus-related points around the impact on human rights and consultation. There are also two merits points that note the sheer complexity of the coronavirus restrictions that affect the daily lives of everyone in Wales. To understand the restrictions—that is, the law—involves reading the different layers and intricate detail of the regulations, which is all very complex for individuals, businesses, the police, everyone.

The Welsh Government response sets out its justification for its approach to the drafting. I'm not sure how it helps the people who need to understand the regulations today. Pack page 526 is a really good example of the intricacy and the layers of the interpretation required to understand the restrictions. And, of course, it also means that everyone is more and more reliant on Government guidance, which, of course, is not the law.

09:55

Thank you for that report, Gareth. Any other comments or observations? Yes, David. 

Yes, I think this is a key point, especially how it links into guidance, because we've made this point repeatedly, and when the Counsel General was before us, I put a fairly straightforward test case: what if someone had to drive to get to a safe area in which they could walk, is that permissible? And he chose not to answer it. In fairness, he'd had no notice of it, so I can't perhaps complain about that, but it is a stark reminder of how difficult it is sometimes for citizens to interpret. So, I think that there are real issues here for most citizens—even for us, frankly—being referred to the text and saying, 'Well, if you don't understand from the guidance, then there's the legal text in the regulations', is not much of an answer.

And we don't know how long coronavirus regulations are going to be in play. We could be for several years in a very tricky situation where we have to control aspects of society, turn on the controls, turn them off—goodness knows what. We've had the emergency part of the crisis—I hope that's coming to an end—but there could be a very long tail to this, and they do need to improve their practice if they want citizens to be properly informed, especially, as I said, if we're managing a situation that fluctuates a lot. It's a real issue, I think.

Thank you for those comments, David, and, of course, we do specifically refer to this issue, don't we, in our legacy report, which I think is important as well. Any other comments or observations? So, we note those particular points.

We now move on to—. So, I think it's item 4.13. Is that right, Gareth? Is that the next item? Sorry, you're muted.

Beg your pardon; sorry, 4.14, the public health, protection from eviction—. Sorry, I'm jumping between different screens and computers on documents. The Public Health (Protection from Eviction) (No. 2) (Wales) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021. Again, Members have the report, regulations, explanatory memorandum and the letter from the Minister for Housing and Local Government of 16 March 2021, and the written statement from the following day. These regulations re-enact the Public Health (Protection from Eviction) (Wales) (Coronavirus) Regulations 2021, which expire on 31 March. The regulations come into force on 1 April 2021 and expire at the end of the day on 30 June 2021. Regulation 3 provides that the regulations must be reviewed regularly to ensure the restrictions and requirements imposed remain proportionate. If I can go over to you now, Gareth.

There are four merits points that raise the same points the committee has raised on previous versions of these regulations. Those points include, in particular, the impact these regulations have on landlords. The explanatory memorandum this time contains a little more information on the measures that Welsh Government is taking to address difficulties experienced by both tenants and landlords.

Okay, thank you. Are there any other comments or observations? In which case, move on then to item 4.15, the Senedd Cymru (Representation of the People) (Amendment) Order 2021. We have the various papers, including the letter from the First Minister of 17 March 2021. The Order amends the National Assembly for Wales (Representation of the People) Order 2007. The amendments made by the Order only apply for the purpose of the ordinary Senedd election due to take place in 2021. It was made on 17 March, came into force on 18 March, and a number of merits points identified. Gareth.

10:00

Yes, there are two merits points. With regard to the changes to the home address included on nomination forms, the merits point notes that this is temporary for the 2021 Senedd election only, and that this Order will need to be amended for future elections after 2021 to return to the usual position. 

The second merits point notes that there were discussions with regional returning officers, but there was no mention of discussions with constituency returning officers. The Government response helpfully explains that regional returning officers are responsible for liaising with returning officers for Senedd constituencies within their regions, and therefore regional returning officers were consulted on that basis. It also appears that one of the regional returning officers is chair of the Wales Electoral Coordination Board, which further helped ensure there was consistent electoral administration and practice across Wales, and the Government response also says that the Wales branch of the Association of Electoral Administrators was also consulted.

Okay, thank you for that report, Gareth. Any other comments or observations? No.

5. Offerynnau sy'n codi materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt i'r Senedd o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 neu 21.3 – trafodwyd yn flaenorol
5. Instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Senedd under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3 - previously considered

In that case, move on to item 5, moving on to item 5.1, the Education Workforce Council (Interim Suspension Orders) (Additional Functions) (Wales) Order 2021. We have the report and the Welsh Government response, so it's really just formally noting the Welsh Government response, which was circulated ahead of the Plenary debate, which took place on 16 March, so I think that's really just for noting, unless there are any comments or observations.

No, in which case we move on, then, to item 5.2, the Corporate Joint Committees (Transport Functions) (Wales) Regulations 2021. Again, to note the Welsh Government response, which again was circulated ahead of the Plenary debate on 16 March. Okay, thanks for that.

6. Is-ddeddfwriaeth nad yw’n cynnwys materion i gyflwyno adroddiad arnynt o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.7
6. Subordinate legislation that raises no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.7

We move on, then, to item 6 and the Additional Learning Needs Code for Wales 2021. This code was issued under the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Act 2018, and the Act, together with the code and regulations made under the Act, provide the statutory system for meeting the additional learning needs of children and young people. The code includes statutory guidance about the exercise of functions under Part 2 of the Act, and it also describes relevant statutory requirements. I don't think there are any reporting points identified.

I don't know if there are any other comments or observations, and if not, we move on to item 6.2, the Candidate Election Expenses (Senedd Elections) Code of Practice 2021 (Appointed Day) Order 2021. This Order appointed 9 March 2021 as the day on which the Candidate Election Expenses (Senedd Elections) Code of Practice 2021 came into force. The Electoral Commission prepared the code of practice and submitted it to the Welsh Ministers for approval. The Welsh Ministers have approved the code of practice, which was laid before Senedd Cymru on 20 January 2021. We reported on the code of practice on 1 February 2021. I don't think there are any reporting points identified, or if there are any other comments or observations.

In which case, we move on to item 6.3, the Senedd Cymru (Returning Officers’ Charges) Order 2021, which contains the maximum amounts a returning officer may recover for services rendered and expenses incurred in connection with the 2021 Senedd Cymru elections. Again, I don't think there are any reporting points. Are there any comments or observations? No.

7. Datganiadau ysgrifenedig o dan Reol Sefydlog 30C
7. Written Statements under Standing Order 30C

In which case, we can move on to item 7, the Official Controls, Plant Health, Seeds and Seed Potatoes (Amendment etc.) Regulations 2021. We have a written statement, which gives notification that the Welsh Government has consented to the making of these regulations and that consent has been given for reasons of efficiency and expediency. The regulations confer a function on the Welsh Ministers without encumbrance as a competent authority. They also confer functions on the National Plant Protection Organisation of Great Britain and of the United Kingdom. And these functions may constitute functions of a reserved authority for the purposes of paragraph 8(1) of Schedule 7B to the Government of Wales Act 2006 and represent a potential restriction on the future competence of the Senedd. Any comments, Gareth?

10:05

Could I just add on that final point that these are regulations that the Welsh Government has consented to the UK Government making in a way that has, potentially, effect on the Senedd's legislative competence? I think the statement could have been clearer on the exact impact there is on the Senedd's competence here, given that this is the Welsh Government consenting to UK Government making regulations, which has an impact in that area.

Okay. We note that point. Any other comments? No. In which case, let's move on to item 7.2: the Agricultural Products, Food and Drink (Amendment) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020. There is disagreement between the Welsh Government and UK Government as to whether consent is required for the regulations, and consent has not been sought by the UK Government. The statement provides that the Welsh Government is of the view that geographical indications, schemes, wines, spirit drinks and organic food and feed are devolved and do not relate to the reserved matters under any heading in Schedule 7(A) to the Government of Wales Act 2006. Nevertheless, the statement does note that consent would have been given, so Members will note that the regulations can turn provisions conferring functions on the Secretary of State in areas that are within the scope of the Senedd's legislative competence. Gareth, any report?

Nothing further to what you have just identified, Chair. 

8. Papurau i'w nodi
8. Papers to note

We have a number of papers to note. We have 8.1, the letter from the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs with regard to the Exemptions from Official Controls at Border Control Posts (Amendment) Regulations 2021. So, we're invited to note that letter. Perhaps we can defer any discussion on that to private session. Thank you.

And then, with regard to 8.2, correspondence with the Minister for Housing and Local Government with regard to the Local Land Charges (Fees) (Wales) Rules 2021. Again, to note the letter from the Minister that responds to a query that we raised during our consideration of those rules. If we can note that.

Item 8.3 is a letter from the Llywydd on the Welsh Elections (Coronavirus) Bill 2021 impact on the Senedd committees. We have the letter of 15 March 2021, to be noted. It's a letter that draws attention to the impact on the committee following the passing of the Bill, and the letter notes that this committee may meet during the designated pre-dissolution period if it needs to consider urgent regulations related to coronavirus, of the type that would require a Senedd recall, or regulations related to a postponement of the 2021 election. So, really, to note that, and perhaps we could defer any discussion on that to private session if there are issues that Members wish to raise. Agreed?

On to item 8.4, which is a letter from the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs with regard to the Reservoirs Act (Panels of Civil Engineers) (Applications and Fees) Regulations 2021. Can we defer that to private session if there are any comments? So, we note that.

And we note the written statement from the Counsel General with regard to improving the accessibility of Welsh law. We have the written statement of 16 March 2021 to be noted. Can I again suggest that this is deferred to private session if there are any comments?

And then on to item 8.6, again, a letter of 17 March 2021 from the Minister for Housing and Local Government, which has been sent to us in accordance with the inter-institutional relations agreement. If we just note that. Item 8.7 is another letter of 18 March 2021, again sent in accordance with the inter-institutional relations agreement.

Item 8.8, correspondence from the Minister for Finance and Trefnydd with regard to Standing Order 30C, the written statement, the Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Kyoto Protocol Registry) (Amendments) (EU Exit) Regulations 2021. This is a letter from the Trefnydd, which responds to queries that we raised, Members will recall, at last week's meeting. Can I just suggest any comments on that we defer to private session? 

10:10
9. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod
9. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting

Cynnig:

bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi) a (ix).

Motion:

that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi) and (ix).

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

In accordance with Standing Order 17.42 (vi) and (ix), I invite the committee to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting. Do the Members agree? Thank you for that. We now move into private session. 

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 10:10. 

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 10:10.