Elections and Elected Bodies (Wales) Bill

A Welsh Government Bill, introduced by Mick Antoniw MS, Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution. The Business Committee has referred the Bill to the Local Government and Housing Committee.

 

If passed, the Bill will:

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>>>Confer the functions of an Electoral Management Board for Wales on the Democracy and Boundary Commission Cymru, which will involve the Commission establishing the Board to take responsibility for oversight of the coordination and administration of devolved elections, collaboration with Returning Officers, and Electoral Registration Officers and advising Welsh Ministers on issues related to the democratic health of the nation.

>>>Introduce electoral registration without application, and the ability to pilot the most appropriate means of achieving this.

>>>Create a duty on the Welsh Ministers to put in place arrangements aimed at improving diversity within Senedd and local government democratic structures, and for individual schemes to be created and tailored to provide support for protected characteristics.

>>>Remove the requirement to set out the specific wording and format of the local government candidate survey in regulations.

>>>Create a requirement for a voter information platform that can host candidate and voter information for Senedd and ordinary principal council elections.

>>>Hold candidates and agents accountable for notional expenditure only where they direct it, allowing authorised persons to make payments not via an election agent, and restricting who can operate as a third-party campaigner in devolved elections. To support these campaign finance changes, the bill also proposes enabling the Electoral Commission to include them in their codes of practice.

>>>Make adjustments to the role and remit of the Local Democracy and Boundary Commission for Wales, including changes to the name and function of its audit committee, significant strengthening of electoral review arrangements, and the conferring of functions on the Commission to undertake the majority of the functions currently undertaken by the Panel. The Commission will also be responsible for determining the amount of any resettlement payment payable by a principal council to councillors, who fail to be re-elected to the council at a local council election.

>>>Disqualify town and community councillors in Wales from serving as Members of the Senedd, and remove the existing “grace period” for principal councillors elected to the Senedd and Members of the Senedd elected as Members of Parliament.

 

 

Further detail about the Bill can be found in its accompanying Explanatory Memorandum.

 

Elections and Elected Bodies (Wales) Bill (PDF 446KB)

 

Explanatory Memorandum (PDF 2.3MB)

Senedd Research – Bill summary (PDF)

 

Current stage

 

BillStage2

 

The Bill is currently at Stage 2. An explanation of the various stages of Senedd Bills is available in the Guide to the Stages of Public Bills and Acts.

 

 

 

Record of Passage in the Welsh Parliament

 

The following table sets out the dates for each stage of the Bill’s passage through the Senedd.

 

¬¬¬Stage 2 Committee consideration of amendments (Current)

Stage 2 began on 7 February 2024. Details of tabled amendments will be published here.

 

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¬¬¬Financial Resolution (6 February 2024)

In accordance with Standing Order 26.68 the Presiding Officer indicated that a financial resolution was required for this Bill. Further information about financial resolutions is available in section 3 of the Guide to the scrutiny stages for Public Bills

 

A Financial Resolution in relation to the Elections and Elected Bodies (Wales) Bill was agreed in Plenary on 6 February 2024.

 

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¬¬¬Stage 1, Committee consideration of the general principles (5 October 2023-6 February 2024).

 

A debate took place in Plenary on 6 February 2024. The motion to agree the general principles of the Bill was agreed.

 

 

Public consultation - The consultation closed on 10 November 2023, the responses have been published. In addition to the consultation, the Committee also launched a survey on the provisions relating to electoral registration without applications. Analysis of the survey has been published.

 

Committee dates

The Local Government and Housing Committee will consider the Bill on the following dates

 

Date and Agenda

Purpose of the meeting

Transcript

Senedd.TV

5 October 2023

Consideration of approach to Stage 1 scrutiny (Private)

n/a

n/a

26 October 2023

Evidence session with the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution

Transcript

View meeting

15 November 2023

Evidence sessions with stakeholders

Transcript

View meeting

22 November 2023

Evidence sessions with stakeholders

Transcript

View meeting

30 November 2023

Evidence sessions with stakeholders

Transcript

View meeting

7 December 2023

Evidence session with the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution

Transcript

View meeting

10 January 2024

Consideration of draft report

(private)

(private)

18 January 2024

Consideration of draft report

(private)

(private)

 

The Local Government and Housing Committee laid its report on 26 January 2024. The Welsh Government responded to the report on 12 February 2024.

 

The Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee will consider the Bill on the following dates:

Date and Agenda

Purpose of meeting

Transcript

Senedd.TV

20 November 2023

Evidence session with the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution

Transcript

View meeting

 

The Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee laid its report on 26 January 2024. The Welsh Government responded to the report on 6 February 2024 and also on 12 February 2024.

 

The Finance Committee will consider the Bill on the following dates:

Date and Agenda

Purpose of meeting

Transcript

Senedd.TV

15 November 2023

Evidence session with the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution

Transcript

View meeting

 

The Finance Committee laid its report on 26 January 2024. The Welsh Government responded to the report on 1 February 2024.

 

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¬¬¬Bill introduced (2 October 2023)

 

Elections and Elected Bodies (Wales) Bill, as introduced (PDF 446KB)

 

Explanatory Memorandum (PDF 2.3MB)

 

Presiding Officer’s Statement: 2 October 2023 (PDF 133KB)

 

Written Statement: Elections and Elected Bodies (Wales) Bill (2 October 2023)

 

Business Committee’s Report on the timetable for consideration of the Bill: 2 October 2023 (PDF 38KB)

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Contact information

Clerk: Catherine Hunt

Phone: 0300 200 6565

 

Postal address:

Welsh Parliament

Cardiff Bay

Cardiff     CF99 1SN

 

e-mail: SeneddHousing@senedd.wales

Business type: Bill

Reason considered: Senedd Business;

Status: For consideration

First published: 02/10/2023

Documents

Consultations