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Environment (Wales) Act 2016

Section 12 - Welsh Ministers’ directions to implement area statements

81.This section enables the Welsh Ministers to direct a public body (as listed in section 10 of the Act), to take actions to address matters specified in an area statement under section 11(3). The Welsh Ministers must consider such actions to be reasonably practicable for the body to take. A direction may only require a public body to do something that is within the scope of its functions (subsection (4)).

82.For example, where (pursuant to section 14) NRW has requested that a body take specified steps to assist it in the implementation of an area statement, the body subsequently fails to provide that assistance, a direction may be issued by the Welsh Ministers to the body. This could require the body to provide this assistance but only if the Welsh Ministers consider that it is reasonably practicable for the body to do so.

83.Subsection (2) requires the Welsh Ministers to consult the public body affected before issuing a direction under this section. A direction made under this section must be published and can be varied or revoked by any subsequent direction (subsection (5)).

84.A public body must comply with a direction that has been issued under this section (subsection (3)). A direction under this section is enforceable by the Welsh Ministers applying to the High Court for a mandatory order. Failure to comply with a mandatory order is a potential contempt of court.

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