UK and Welsh governments sign water powers agreement
The UK and Welsh governments are set to form an agreement over water which will see powers shared between the two.
Currently, the UK government has powers which allows it to intervene if it believes devolved functions risk having a “serious adverse impact” on water resources, water supply or water quality in England. But Welsh ministers do not have reciprocal powers.
The protocol, which was being laid jointly before the UK Parliament and National Assembly for Wales yesterday (November 16), replaces the secretary of state's intervention powers with a reciprocal agreement between the UK and Welsh governments
It dictates no action or inaction of either administration should have any serious adverse impact on either Wales or England.
The Welsh government describes the deal as an “important milestone” for Wales’ devolution journey.
Lesley Griffiths, AM, cabinet secretary for energy, planning and rural affairs, said: “The introduction of this protocol addresses an existing imbalance in the devolution settlement that could, in theory, result in UK Government Ministers intervening in matters that are the responsibility of the Welsh Government.
“I am pleased with the constructive and positive way in which both administrations have approached the drafting and implementation of an agreement which, importantly, means water consumers on both sides of the border are safeguarded”.
The new protocol is expected to come into force on April 1, 2018.
- Water sector measures highlighted in Environment Bill The government has unveiled a raft of new policies in its Environment Bill, with Ofwat and the Environment Agency set to... Read More >
- Renationalising water industry should be a priority for Labour Renationalising the water industry should be a top priority for the Labour Party's next election manifesto. The call has... Read More >
- Scotland's water sector will 'inspire a generation' Scotland's water sector will be admired for excellence, secure a sustainable future and inspire a generation, delegates... Read More >
- Changing the way water utilities think George Hesmondhalgh, managing consultant at Capgemini, says companies need to stop viewing legislation as an obligation... Read More >
- The price of water As part of our Utility of the Future campaign, Robin Hackett looks at whether low water bills can be maintained long term Read More >
- Scottish Water starts planning for the long term For SR21, Scottish Water is moving away from the traditional approach to business plans and developing a blueprint for the... Read More >
- Football teams and water companies: Closer than you think New season, new league, new challenges... Egremont Group's Owen Quinn and Alex Graham on the parallels between football... Read More >
- Abstract concept: How can water companies reduce abstraction? Despite concerns over supplies, water companies face pressure to reduce abstraction. As part of our Utility of the Future... Read More >