A fresh vote on whether the needs of Wales’ 34,000-strong autism community should be enshrined into law will be put to Assembly Members today (14/06).

The proposal is led by Welsh Conservative AM Paul Davies. If successful, health boards and councils would be legally required to specify what services they need to deliver and would expand upon the Welsh Government’s autism strategy.

Last October, Welsh Conservatives’ attempt to bring about an Autism Bill was voted down, despite receiving cross-party support.

Voting records show that twenty four Members voted for the motion and 27 opposed it.

Paul Davies AM is hopeful that this latest attempt will succeed where others have not. He describes the bill’s introduction as an attempt to “depoliticise” the provision of autism services.

Autism specific legislation already exists in England and Northern Ireland, but currently there is no such equivalent in Wales.

Speaking ahead of the vote to enact a Wales-specific piece of autism legislation, Paul Davies AM said:

“At the very heart of this Bill is ensuring that the provision is there to meet the needs of Wales’ 34,000-strong autism community, and to give autism legal recognition.

“It must be remembered that this motion is not party political and the demand for this legislation is not driven by us politicians, but by those living and affected by autism.

“Indeed, this vote is about depoliticising autism. If successful, then I will be working with the autism community and the Welsh Government to create a piece of legislation that satisfies the rights of children and adults living with autism in Wales.”

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