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Maximum powers must be sought in Queen's speech - Welsh Lib Dems

November 17, 2009 2:59 PM

Speaking ahead of the Queen's Speech, Liberal Democrat Shadow Secretaryof State for Wales Roger Williams MP has today called for Wales to begiven the maximum powers possible from the legislation.

Framework powers have been suggested as a faster and more efficient wayto devolve powers as an alternative to LCOs, which can take a couple ofyears to pass.

The Welsh Liberal Democrats are calling for the following powers to beincluded within the Queen's Speech based on the Bills announced in theDraft Legislative Programme:

  • Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill
  • An amendment to devolve power over electoral reform in localgovernment. Digital Economy Bill
  • Powers over broadband to create a mechanism to speed upbroadband provision. Energy Bill
  • Power to decide on energy consents over 50MW. Flood and Water Management Bill
  • Legislative powers over flood and water management. Improving Schools and Safeguarding Children Bill
  • Powers over school governance and funding streams. Policing, Crime and Private Security Bill
  • Legislative competence over police authorities.

Commenting, Roger Williams said:

"Even non-controversial LCOs can take two years to get on to the statutebook, so where there are opportunities to use framework powers todevolve power we must do so.

"In the past the Welsh Assembly Government seems to have been reticentabout asking for new powers, and the last Queen's Speech was a massivemissed opportunity for Wales. We cannot afford to let that happenagain, particularly when we know that in six months time we could have aGovernment that is hostile towards allowing Wales new powers.

"Nick Clegg is right to say that much of this legislation is aboutwriting the Labour manifesto ahead of the election, and we know much ofwhat is proposed tomorrow will run out of time.

"If there is going to be a Queen's Speech we need it to take Walesforward by using every opportunity to increase the powers available tothe Assembly."