The First Minister announced the Welsh Government’s Legislative Programme for the next five years on 12 July 2011. The programme fulfils a manifesto commitment to include provision to introduce a Heritage Bill. This is scheduled for 2014-15.
The Bill will be part of a package of measures, some of which might require primary or subordinate legislation. Others might be dealt with without regulation through practical actions, discussion, advice and guidance.
There will be full engagement with people and organisations with an interest in all aspects of the historic environment. Accordingly, before any proposals are introduced formally, there will be full discussion and debate with a wide range of interests – local government, the third sector, owners and generally anyone who appreciates and wants to enjoy the historic environment around them in its widest context. The aim is to identify both the more clearly perceived weaknesses in the current systems and how they might be improved; also to understand the wider drivers for change which will impact upon the historic environment in the next few decades and consider what steps might be necessary in order to face up to them.
The Heritage Bill will be only one part of the overall package of action for the future of the historic environment in Wales. Further policies and guidance are likely to form a large part of the output from this scoping and work on these will commence as soon as viable options are identified.
A White Paper on the Heritage Bill will be published in late spring 2013.
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