Friday, 26 February 2010

The Assembly or the Assembly?

If ever there was any doubt that the names of the Welsh Assembly Government and the National Assembly for Wales are a cause of mass-confusion try searching Google with the specific search term National Assembly for Wales:


So’s everyone else.

Dewi Tri


Wednesday, 17 February 2010

How long does it take to write a letter?

I’m sure as First Minister there’s a lot to do.

Searching for your security pass takes it’s time. And there are all those Plenary sessions to attend on Tuesdays and Wednesdays (not this week though because it is the half-term recess after all).

But amongst all that chaos, one would imagine Carwyn Jones might find an hour in the course of a week to sit down and draft a few pages to Mr Hain at the Wales Office to formally let him know the Assembly have approved a referendum vote on further law-making powers .

I guess not.

Dewi Tri


Monday, 15 February 2010

Try, Try Again?

Last week 3 whole LCOs were given Royal Assent and power was transferred to the Assembly.

This week it’s likely we’re going to be back talking about the sticky and (ever so slightly prolonged) LCO process...

A few months ago I wrote a blog about the re-writing of the Affordable Housing LCO and its reintroduction as the Sustainable Homes LCO.

I said that the Assembly Government were optimistic that this LCO would have an easier ride through the Welsh Affairs Select Committee because “the powers asked for in the Affordable Housing LCO were too specific and so they [the WASC] ended up scrutinising the laws the Assembly could make instead of asking whether or not they should get the powers to make them.”

Turns out the WASC aren’t so keen on the powers being transferred actually – or at least the Conservative members aren’t.

Well if at first you don’t succeed...

Dewi Tri


Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Some thoughts on the Assembly vote

Hello everyone! Many apologies for the light-blogging of late - there are good excuses I assure you!

But yesterday's vote at the Senedd has probably not escaped your notice - and as the vote was passed the press released came flooding our way - here's what the 'big players' made of yesterday's vote:

Dafydd-Elis-Thomas (Presiding Officer):

"This is an historic day in the journey that is devolution in Wales,” said Presiding Officer, Lord Dafydd-Elis-Thomas AM.

"It will now be up to the people of Wales, provided the Secretary of State for Wales agrees, to decide whether we move to the next phase of devolution."

Carwyn Jones (First Minister):

"“I believe this Assembly has shown - and this government has shown - that we can handle legislation responsibly. We have shown that we can deliver quality Welsh laws that can make a real difference to people’s lives in Wales. Today’s vote seeks to build on the real and tangible benefits that devolution has delivered for the people of Wales over the last decade."

Ieuan Wyn Jones (Deputy First Minister):

"People in Wales now believe that it is the Assembly rather than any other legislature which should make most of the decisions that affect their daily lives. And I am confident that if you ask people should the Assembly have more tools to do the job more effectively, then most people in Wales would say ‘yes’.

"If the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish Parliament have powers to make laws without having to seek the consent from Westminster, then why should it be any different for us in Wales.

"We are proud that we have brought legislation closer to the people of Wales. But we know we can do more with the proper tools. We want to make laws in Wales, for Wales."

Peter Hain (Secretary of State for Wales):

"Carwyn and I have been working very closely together over the past two months to make progress on this issue. I fully support the First Minister's approach and now look forward to receiving his letter so I can begin the necessary preparatory work to take this forward. In the meantime, as Carwyn and I have said jointly, we both agree that the priority in the coming months will be the General Election, the outcome which will be so important for Wales. We must secure economic recovery for Wales, not choke it off with hasty cuts to Government spending.‬"

Kirsty Williams (Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats):

"While the General Election and issues such as the economy, our health service and schools must take precedence over procedural issues, this doesn’t mean that the yes campaign cannot start getting organised so that we can be quick out of the blocks when the referendum is called.

"Any campaign for the referendum must make it clear that the next step is not about independence and will not result in more spending on the Assembly – but that it will simply give Wales the tools to do the jobs we were elected to do – to make lives better for people in Wales"

Nick Bourne (Leader of the Welsh Conservatives):

"Today’s vote will enable people on both sides of the argument to have their say on the way Wales is governed.

"What is important now is that we get clarity and a resolution to the current unsatisfactory LCO procedure so the Assembly can get to grips with the issues that matter to the people of Wales."

Elfyn LLwyd (Plaid Cymru leader in Westminster):

"It is clear from the three years that it has taken for Westminster to transfer legislation to Cardiff on the Welsh language, sustainable housing and the environment that the current LCO method of transferring powers is slow and unwieldy.

"Moreover the complex LCO system prevents the Assembly from taking ‘prompt action’.

"A positive outcome for the referendum will mean that Wales has a faster, more efficient and less wasteful system that serves our communities much better."

So Mr Hain! It's over to you...

Dewi Tri