The First Minister made the announcement as he updated Assembly Members on the progress of the Welsh Government’s five year legislative programme. During this second year of the Welsh Government’s five year legislative programme, a further seven bills will be introduced:
• A new Control of Dogs Bill will be introduced next spring to protect the public by promoting responsible dog ownership. Responsible ownership will be fundamental to the changes and through the introduction of Dog Control Notices there will be a strong education and training requirement for both the dogs and their owners or keepers.
• The Local Democracy Bill will bring greater transparency around the local elections process and the activities of local representatives.
• The Human Transplantation Bill represents a major step forward in implementing a soft opt-out system of consent to donation in Wales. The Bill will be introduced by the end of this year with the view to a new soft opt-out system being implemented in 2015.
• A Social Services (Wales) Bill will provide, for the first time, a coherent legal framework for social services in Wales. The Bill will be introduced at the beginning of 2013. The Social Services (Wales) Bill will also combine measures which were to be part of a Children and Young Persons Bill to strengthen our approach to supporting looked after children, to establish a single adoption services for Wales, to review our position on safeguarding and set national standards and to consider the role and function of Local Safeguarding Children Boards.
• A Regulation and Inspection Bill will be introduced to cover the regulation and inspection of social care workforce, training and social care services in Wales.
• The Active Travel Bill will be introduced early next year which will help the people of Wales become healthier, more active and more environmentally aware we will be introducing;
• A Public Service Workforce Bill will be introduced next spring to put the workforce at the centre of public service improvement in Wales.
The First Minister also announced two Education Bills will be introduced which will help build a just, inclusive and fair society:
• A Further and Higher Education Bill will implement many of the recommendations of the Humphreys Report on the governance of Further Education Institutions in Wales. It will also make changes to the structure of the body responsible for Higher Education strategic planning and funding and other connected purposes.
• The Education (Wales) Bill, This Bill will provide for improved performance management in teaching, reform of the existing system of statements for children and young people with Special Educational Needs.
In addition to these eight bills the Welsh Government will be conducting the following White Paper consultations:
• The Ending Violence Against Women and Domestic Abuse Bill which will underpin our integrated strategy for tackling all forms of violence against women and domestic abuse.
• A consultation on the Sustainable Development Bill to develop and strengthen the approach to sustainable development in Wales.
• A consultation on the Environment Bill that will enable us to secure a more integrated approach to management of the environment.
• This will be followed by a White Paper on the proposed Tenancy Reform Bill to cover the reform of tenancies across the social and private housing sectors in Wales.