Clause 148

Part of Equality Bill – in a Public Bill Committee am 6:30 pm ar 30 Mehefin 2009.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Vera Baird Vera Baird Solicitor General, Attorney General's Office 6:30, 30 Mehefin 2009

There is a provision covering Scottish cross-border authorities, but I shall concentrate on Wales. In Scotland, the power to impose specific duties is split between the UK and Scottish Ministers, but Wales, for the reasons that the hon. Gentleman gave, requires a more nuanced approach to fit the different devolution settlement. The provision is about who imposes specific duties, and for some cross-border authorities we will split the power between UK and Welsh Ministers. That is procedure A. For other bodies that have only minimal devolved functions or whose administrative set-up means that it is hard to distinguish between devolved and reserved functions, UK Ministers will impose specific duties on all their functions, but they will consult with the Welsh. It is a question of degree.

The definition of a “relevant Welsh authority” in clause 151 means that some bodies will have mostly devolved functions, but a few reserved functions. In such cases, we contend that Welsh Ministers can impose the specific duties. It is a question of balance and nuance.