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The LCO recipe

Betsan Powys | 12:21 UK time, Wednesday, 19 November 2008

One of your comments asked for an explanation of LCOs - what are they?

I have had a couple of bashes at explaining LCOs in the past - here's one here but today Hywel Williams MP has come up with Plaid's version.


We have identified a minimum of 27 different actions to occur in creating an LCO

1. Announcement of LCO or ballot made (there could be other pre-LCO stages in the case of a ballot where it must be submitted or by an Assembly committee as the result of a petition)
2. Negotiation between Cardiff Bay & Whitehall on LCO text
3. Agreement of Cardiff Bay & Whitehall on LCO text ('Whitehall clearance')
4. WAG Minister lays proposed order in Plenary and accepted by vote
5. WAG Minister sends copy to Sec of State
6. Business Committee starts legislative committee in Assembly
7. Assembly Committee opens consultation
8. Sec of State publishes draft for pre-legislative scrutiny and invites Welsh Affairs Committee to scrutinise LCO
9. Sec of State invites Constitution Committee to scrutinise LCO
10. Welsh Affairs Committee asks for submissions
11. Assembly committee and WAC meet jointly or consecutively to take evidence - this has usually been consecutively and therefore could conceivably be 2 stages in the process
12. Constitution Committee scrutinises LCO
13. Assembly committee write report
14. Welsh Affairs committee write report
15. Westminster Government responds to WAC report
16. WAG & London Govt agree text after committee recommendations
17. WAG Minister lays draft order before Assembly
18. Assembly discuss and vote on LCO in plenary
19. First Minister informs Sec of State that LCO has passed or that the draft order was rejected by the Assembly, in which case it would fall
20. LCO is laid before both Houses of Parliament
21. Joint Committee of Statutory Instruments Scrutiny
22. Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee Scrutiny
23. House of Lords debates draft Order
24. Delegated Legislation Committee to discuss LCO
25. House of Commons passes draft Order without debate
26. Sec of State for Wales recommends Her Majesty in Council to make order.
27. Her Majesty makes the order

The Welsh Assembly now has the Measure making powers applied for in the Legislative Competence Order and may choose to make a Measure within these powers.

Hywel Williams wasn't present at the Welsh Affairs Committee meeting when the report on the Affordable Housing LCO was agreed - the one that's led to fellow MP Adam Price talking about "a potential constitutional crisis". As Mr Williams put it: "I hadn't been at the meeting. But that doesn't mean I agree with it - not at all."

You just suspect then that one or two of Hywel Williams' Plaid colleagues might be tempted to pencil in "turning up" as point 14.5.


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