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Pwyllgor Materion Cyfansoddiadol a Deddfwriaethol

Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee

02/12/2019

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Dai Lloyd AM
Mick Antoniw AM Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Suzy Davies AM

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Gareth Howells Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
P Gareth Williams Clerc
Clerk
Rachael Davies Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk
Sarah Sargent Ail Glerc
Second Clerk
Stephen Davies Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 14:32. 

The meeting began at 14:32.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau
1. Introduction, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

This is a meeting of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee. We go straight on to item 1. Apologies—we've had Carwyn Jones for this morning. There's no substitute. The usual housekeeping issues apply. Are there any declarations of interest? 

Yes. I'd just like to make a declaration of interest in connection with item 2.1, in as much as a close family member is employed by the organisation that's written to the Assembly. 

2. Offerynnau nad ydynt yn codi materion i gyflwyno adroddiad yn eu cylch o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 na 21.3
2. Instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3

We move straight on to item 2, instruments that raise no reporting issues under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3 or 21.7. On the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Specified Information) (Wales) Regulations 2019, we have with us a letter from the Residential Landlords Association, which I'll ask the lawyers to comment on in a moment. These regulations set out information that must be provided to a prospective contract holder by either the landlord or letting agent before a holding deposit is paid. These regulations also specify the way in which the information must be provided. The letter from the association asks questions about potential conflicts with existing data protection law and whether there is enough time to implement the change required. Perhaps we can ask Steve for a view on the point that's raised in the letter. 

Okay, thank you, Chair. Yes, legal services have looked at the letter. They raise queries in relation to whether the provision that requires the home address of a landlord or letting agent conflicts with data protection law. We don't have concerns that it does. The general data protection regulation provides a number of exceptions where personal information or data can be processed, and, specifically, article 6(1)(c) of the GDPR allows you to process data where it is necessary for compliance with a legal obligation, as it is in this instance, and under the powers that these regulations are made under—the Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Act 2019. So, we don't share the concerns that are listed in the letter on the issue of data protection. 

14:35

Okay. Does anyone want to raise any issues on that? The letter is at page 2 of the pack. If there are no issues, we will just move on to item No. 3. 

3. Offerynnau sy'n codi materion i gyflwyno adroddiad yn eu cylch i'r Cynulliad o dan Reol Sefydlog 21.2 neu 21.3
3. Instruments that raise issues to be reported to the Assembly under Standing Order 21.2 or 21.3

This is the Non-Domestic Rating (Multiplier) (Wales) Order 2019, and you have before you the Order, the explanatory memorandum and also a letter from the Minister for Finance and Trefnydd to the Llywydd, dated 14 November 2019. This Order sets the increase in the non-domestic rating multiplier for Wales for the financial year 2020-21. It reflects the use of the consumer prices index—the CPI as we know it—rather than the retail price index, the RPI, to calculate the multiplier. There is a Plenary debate, which takes place on 10 December, in respect of this instrument. I think a merits point has been identified. 

Yes, just highlighting those issues, really—the importance of this Order and its impact on annual local government revenue settlements, and the fact that the lower CPI index is being used to calculate non-domestic ratings, rather than the default and higher retail price index figure. 

Any comments or observations on that? If not, we move on to item 4.

4. Papurau i'w nodi
4. Papers to note

Papers to note: we have a letter from the Minister for Finance and Trefnydd on the regulatory impact assessment code for subordinate legislation. We have the letter, dated 21 November 2019, and we're invited to note the letter. Any comments, observations on that? If not, we move on to item 4.2, then. Sorry, just on the last point, of course the positive is that the Minister has instructed officials to review the code and consult with relevant individuals and organisations on the revised code during 2020. That, of course, is a point that we had raised with the Minister previously, so that's been taken on board and recognised. 

So, item 4.2, a letter from the Minister—

Sorry, just to say, I'm pleased to see that as well. I was a bit behind the times on that one. It would be quite useful to know when, and who they consider to be the relevant stakeholders. Presumably they'll want us to contribute to that consultation, will they?

What we can do is ask what the timescale will be, when they envision it will actually take place, and so on, and we can say that we'll be interested in seeing the review and the process of review. 

Item 4.2 is a letter from the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs on the Wild Animals and Circuses (Wales) Bill. We have a letter of 28 November 2019, which we're asked to note. There are a number of issues that are raised there with regard to some potential changes to the report that we previously prepared. Can I suggest we refer that to private session?

In which case, we now move on to item 4.3, a letter from the Counsel General on Wales's changing constitution. You will see you have the letter, dated 28 November 2019. Is that 28 or 27 November? 

It's 27 November. 

So, we're asked to note that. Shall we defer that to private session as well? 

5. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o’r cyfarfod
5. Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the meeting

Cynnig:

bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42.

Motion:

that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42.

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

Okay, so we then come on to item 5 and, in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi), I invite the committee to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting. Is that agreed? In which case, we move into private session. 

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 14:39.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 14:39.

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