The motion – which was backed by Councillors from every political group on Gwynedd Council – states that Gwynedd Council supports full law-making powers within the devolved areas for the Welsh Assembly, and that this would speed up and strengthen the democratic process in Wales for the benefit of both national and local government.
Gwynedd Council Leader, Councillor Dyfed Edwards said:
“I am delighted that Gwynedd Councillors of all political stripe and none have supported this common sense motion.
“As a Council we are of the unanimous view that local services in Wales would benefit if the current complicated, laborious and piecemeal method of devolving power from London to Wales is replaced.
“This would mean that our National Assembly would have full law-making powers in all devolved policy areas. Put simply this would mean that the Assembly could implement policies in all the devolved areas of government, without having to seek permission from the UK government on a case by case basis.
“As a Council we work with the National Assembly every day of the year to develop and deliver local policies for the communities of Gwynedd. We believe that securing full law-making powers for the Assembly would mean greater accountability and transparency on a national level for the policies that affect local services.
“This would allow the Council to plan ahead effectively safe in the knowledge that we would not be left in limbo whilst national policies that effect the Council slowly work their way through Westminster committees and are chopped and changed along the way.
“Perhaps most importantly of all, it would strengthen the relationship between local and national government and make it easier for councils like Gwynedd to stand up for our communities.
“For example in the field of affordable housing where we as a Council have been pressing since for several years for a policy change to ensure that we can suspend the 'right to buy' in areas of severe housing pressure such as those with a high proportion of second homes. Despite the Government of Wales agreeing with us it has taken until 2010 for the Minister Jocelyn Davies to address this due to the Westminster Government's reluctance to allow such legislation. Securing full law-making powers for the National Assembly would mean that we as a Council would be able to lobby Welsh ministers in the knowledge that we can influence legislation directly.”