Page last updated at 11:04 GMT, Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee

AMs questioned the whole purpose of local government bylaws if they were not being enforced properly, on 18 January 2012.

The Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee were taking evidence on the general principles of the bill from representatives of the WLGA and One Voice Wales, the organisation that represents and provides support services to community and town councils in Wales.

If passed, the bill aims to simplify procedures for making and enforcing local authority bylaws by introducing an alternative procedure for local authorities.

Plaid Cymru AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas raised his concern that the level of some of the fixed penalties for some bylaws were too high.

According to the AM, a fixed penalty of £500 for breaking a bylaw was unrealistic, unaffordable and would not prevent citizens from offending.

Rod Jones, WLGA Advisor said that this fixed penalty of this level would rarely be enforced, however Rhodri Glyn Jones questioned the whole purpose of bylaws if they were not being implemented properly.

However the chief executive of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) welcomed the proposals for a new Local Government Byelaws Bill.

According to Steve Thomas the bill is "non-controversial" and is a "nice example of localism".

Mr Thomas welcomed the fact that the bill would streamline the process of law making and will give greater discretion for local authorities across Wales.

The WLGA chief executive was confident that local authorities would be "very capable" of making bylaws as the risks in doing so were not high.

Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee membership

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