|Previous Section||Index||Home Page|
These are all vital to the creation of a modern transport system that promotes individual choice and supports the national economy. The report complements existing Government initiatives, such as the £14 million which I recently announced to improve the provision for cyclists at stations.
The champions have found that the largest stations, including the main termini, are generally up to the standards that passengers should expect. But there are stations in the next tier-the major interchanges-which fall below the required standard and are in urgent need of attention. The Government and Network Rail are committed to a rolling programme of improvements to major stations, and I have agreed with Network Rail that they will make up to £50 million available to enable an early start to be made on the 10 key stations highlighted in the report. My Department will be working closely with Network Rail to decide on a programme of work, funded by them, developer and local contributions and through the franchising process. The investment will of course be subject to a satisfactory business case and the prospect of an adequate financial return. I am challenging the industry and local government to raise part of the money required for each of these stations themselves. It is very important that the additional programme funding that I am announcing should be supplemented in this way so that as many stations as possible can be tackled.
It will be helpful and constructive to give organisations in the industry, the devolved Administrations and local government an opportunity to comment on the many very detailed proposals in the report before we decide how to take them forward. I want to be sure that when we implement the report we give priority to the most urgent actions and get the best possible value for the taxpayer's investment.
I am placing copies of the champions' report, the Government's initial response and the consultation I have launched in the Libraries of both Houses. The text of these documents is also being posted on my Department's website.
Thirteen of the Bills outlined in the Queen's Speech in this final Session of the current Parliament contain provisions that affect Wales; once again this is a programme that will significantly benefit people living in Wales.
This statement provides a list of the legislation announced in the Queen's Speech and its application to Wales. This statement includes both new Bills that will be introduced shortly, and those Bills that are carrying-over from the last Session. It does not include draft Bills.
Children, Schools and Families Bill: Framework Power for the National Assembly for Wales regarding regulation of home education; There are two other mirror provisions for Wales in relation to an obligation for schools to provide information to Welsh Ministers, and, separately, information sharing for children's safeguarding purposes.
Constitutional Reform and Governance Bill: (Carry-over): Framework power for the National for Wales to legislate on the governance and organisational structures of the Wales Audit Office.
There are three other provisions for Wales that will enable Minister for the civil service to issue separate codes of conduct for civil servants and special advisers in the Welsh Assembly Government (after consulting the First Minister);requires First Minister to report annually to the Assembly on special advisers;
Introduce a one-year time limit for human rights claims brought against the Welsh Ministers under the Government of Wales Act.
Enable Welsh Ministers to designate bodies so that estimates of their expenditure are included in the Assembly's annual Budget motion.
Three Bills will contain specific provisions for Wales, which will generally be provisions to confer the same powers on Welsh Ministers, in devolved areas of responsibility, as are being conferred on UK Ministers in those areas in relation to England. These are:
Equality Bill (Carry-over): Welsh Ministers will obtain a power to confer additional specific equalities duties on public bodies carrying out devolved functions and the devolved functions of cross-border bodies.
Flood and Water Management Bill: Provisions about flood and coastal erosion risk management will make Welsh Ministers responsible for preparing a national strategy and approving local flood risk management strategies;
Welsh Ministers will also be able to make regulations about procedures relating to the designation of flood and coastal erosion risks.
Provisions about reservoir safety will give Welsh Ministers power to make regulations about the registration of large raised reservoirs and the designation of high-risk reservoirs.
Welsh Ministers will have power to make regulations about provision of water and sewerage infrastructure, which may require that projects are put out to tender.
Welsh Ministers will have power to modify circumstances in which water undertakers can impose temporary bans on water use.
Provisions about sustainable drainage will give Welsh Ministers functions, including issuing national standards and guidance.
Personal Care at Home Bill: Welsh Ministers will be given the same power to make regulations in this area as the Secretary of State.
Bribery Bill: The Bill will modernise law on bribery to support the highest ethical standards across business and public life and to equip prosecutors and courts to deal effectively with bribery.
Child Poverty (Carry-over): The Bill will support the Government's commitment to set target to eradicate child poverty by 2020. This will mean tackling the underlying causes of poverty rather then just treating the symptoms.
Cluster Munitions (Prohibitions) Bill: The Bill will make it an offence to use, produce, acquire or transfer cluster munitions, in order to give effect to prohibitions imposed by the Oslo Convention on Cluster Munitions.
Crime and Security Bill: The Bill will increase the protection for communities against a range of threats and financial exploitation, violence and anti-social behaviour.
Digital Economy Bill: The Bill secures the United Kingdom's position as one of the world's leading digital knowledge economies and takes forward an active industrial policy to maximise the benefits from the digital revolution.
Energy Bill: The Bill will provide for financial support mechanism to bring forward commercial-scale carbon capture and storage demonstration projects. It will also strengthen the powers of the regulators to ensure that social tariffs for energy suppliers are set to help those vulnerable to fuel poverty. The Bill will also extend the duties of the regulator, OFGEM, to ensure it takes climate change and consumer protection into account.
Financial Services Bill: The Bill will strengthen the financial system and will continue to respond to the global financial crisis to lay the basis for the recovery and success of businesses in the United Kingdom.
Fiscal Responsibility Bill: The Bill will aim to reduce the budget deficit, ensuring that the national debt remains sustainable in the medium term.
Northern Ireland Assembly Members Bill: The Bill will allow the Northern Ireland Assembly to delegate powers relating to the setting of its Members salaries and expenses.
Remploy will publish its annual report and accounts today giving further detail of its performance throughout 2008-09. Copies of the annual report and accounts will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.
In addition, I have on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, written to the Chairman of Remploy formally approving the agreed 2009-10 Performance and Resources Agreement between the Department and the Company. The agreement has been negotiated on behalf of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. The targets for 2009-10 are: