The Welsh Government should not be bringing forward non-critical legislation during this time of unprecedented emergency, according to Plaid Cymru.

The party has decided to vote against the first stage reading of the Local Government and Elections Bill for this reason.

Plaid Cymru’s local government spokesperson Delyth Jewell AM will say that all the Senedd’s time and energy should be devoted to the covid-19 response.

The Welsh Government’s decision to table the legislation for this week leaves AMs with just one hour to scrutinise their response to everything covid-19 related.

Ms Jewell will add it is ‘irresponsible’ to be rushing through legislation at this time when communication is difficult and proper scrutiny is impossible.

South Wales East AM Delyth Jewell is expected to say:

“Under normal circumstances we would have been supporting this bill today, and looking forward to strengthening it via amendments, and testing the government with some new ideas as well.

“But these are not normal circumstances and now is not the time to be discussing this Bill.

“All of us should be resolutely focused on helping the nation deal with the biggest health emergency in decades, and it’s our view that all the sitting time this week should have been devoted to scrutinising the Welsh Government’s covid-19 response.

“It is also Plaid Cymru’s view that if we can’t legislate properly because of the circumstances making proper scrutiny impossible, we shouldn’t be legislating at all. To do so would be irresponsible.”