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Wales Council for Voluntary Action. Supporting charities, volunteers and communities. www.wcva.org.uk  0800 2888 329  [email protected] Voices for Change Cymru supported by. Voices for Change Cymru. Began in May 2008 Direct response to latest stage of devolution in Wales

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Wales Council for Voluntary Action

Supporting charities, volunteers and communities

www.wcva.org.uk  0800 2888 329  [email protected]

Voices for Change Cymru supported by


Voices for change cymru
Voices for Change Cymru

  • Began in May 2008

  • Direct response to latest stage of devolution in Wales

  • Provide services to help the voluntary sector understand implications and opportunities of devolution

  • Training, website, info resources, advice


“Devolution is a process, not an event”

Ron Davies, Secretary of State for Wales 1997-98


The history
The history………

  • 1536 & 1543: Acts of ‘Union’ passed by Henry VIII, Wales is “united to and annexed with England.”

  • 1881: First piece of Wales only legislation – Sunday Closing Act

  • 1964: Sec of State for Wales & Welsh Office established

  • 1979: Referendum – 80% against


1997 referendum
1997 Referendum

  • By 1997 devolution back on the agenda

  • Thatcherism

  • Cross party co-operation within Labour Party

  • Scottish precedent – A “yes” vote one week before Welsh vote

  • Referendum – 50.3% vote YES


Government of wales act 1998
Government of Wales Act 1998

  • Establishes National Assembly for Wales as a body corporate (not a Parliament – Government model)

  • 60 Assembly Members

  • Policy development and subordinate legislation only – no primary legislative powers

  • Statutory obligation to consult the voluntary sector – Vol Sector Scheme and Partnership Council established


1999 2007
1999 - 2007

1999 Labour Minority Government (Alun Michael)

2000 Rhodri Morgan takes over, Lib Dem coalition, begins to create distinct Welsh Assembly Government

2002 Richard Commission set up

2003 Labour Government after election

2004 Richard Commission reports

2005 Labour Party response is Better Governance for Wales paper (not all recommendations accepted)

2006 Government of Wales Act 2006 passed at Parliament, the next phase of devolution for Wales


Quick quiz
Quick quiz

True or False . . . Vote now!

  • Wales now has more than 60 AMs

  • Wales has primary law making powers

  • AMs can speak in Welsh in the Chamber and committees

  • Wales has tax raising powers


Government of wales act 2006
Government of Wales Act 2006

  • Officially splits the Executive (Welsh Assembly Government) and the legislature (National Assembly for Wales)

  • Gives law making powers to Wales – in certain policy areas and with consent of Westminster

  • Allows for further devolution if certain criteria are met


National assembly for wales
National Assembly for Wales

  • 60 AMs elected every 4 years

  • 40 AMs covering constituencies

  • 20 covering 5 regions (north, mid & west, south west, south central, south east). 4 in each region

  • Mix of First Past the Post and Proportional Representation

  • So each Welsh citizen has 5 AMs


The national assembly today
The National Assembly today

  • Wales has a four-party system;

    • Labour (26 AMs)

    • Plaid Cymru (15 AMs)

    • Conservatives (12 AMs)

    • Liberal Democrats (6 AMs)

    • Plus currently 1 independent AM

  • Need 30+ AMs to form the government

  • All parties have realistic potential to form part of governing coalition

  • Currently Labour/Plaid coalition “One Wales” government


Party leaders
Party Leaders

Rhodri Morgan

Labour

Ieuan Wyn Jones

Plaid Cymru

Nick Bourne

Conservative

Kirsty Williams

Liberal

Democrats


The nafw wag relationship
The NAfW / WAG relationship

Civil servants support

Third Sector Scheme

National Assembly for Wales – All 60AMs

Welsh Assembly Government

14 Ministers

Assembly Commission and AM’s own staff support

Committees / questions / petitions / AMs ballot

Hold to account / scrutinise

44 “Backbenchers” – without Ministers and Presiding Officer / Deputy


What can we do in wales
What can we do in Wales?

  • There are 20 areas of Policy devolved to Wales.

  • List of what’s devolved not what’s reserved (compared with Scotland)

  • Welsh Ministers can make policy decision and subordinate legislation in these areas.

  • We can also request the power to make primary legislation in these 20 areas but Westminster has to agree - totally new system, complex but an opportunity nonetheless



Lawmaking process
Lawmaking process

2 ways that the power to make legislation can be transferred to Wales:

1. Through the inclusion of powers in a UK Act of Parliament

2. Using a Legislative Competence Order (the Assembly asking for the powers)

Once the power is transferred only then can we make Welsh laws – “Assembly Measures”


The rules of the lco game
The rules of the LCO Game!

  • Can only ask for powers in one of the 20 devolved areas

  • Can be proposed by WAG, AMs or a committee

  • Cannot ask for the powers over the whole of an area e.g. cannot request the power to make laws in whole “Social Welfare” field only part of it

  • Considered by Assembly and at Westminster – both must agree to the transfer of powers

  • Must deepen not broaden the devolution settlement

  • Wales needs to make the case for having the powers


Issues with the lco process
Issues with the LCO process

  • New, complex and hard to engage with

  • Lack of clarity over what the “rules” actually are

  • More work for civil society – lots of lobbying and still a very key role for Westminster in agreeing powers so need to lobby in Cardiff and Westminster

  • Means the powers of Wales are constantly changing and being added to – makes devolution even harder to keep up with

  • Aren’t laws themselves just the potential – can take over a year and then the law making has to begin


Lcos so far
LCOs so far

Examples of LCOs passed so far:

  • Education (Additional Learning Needs)

  • Vulnerable Children

  • Domiciliary Care (Charging)

    Controversial LCOs still waiting:

  • Environment

  • Affordable Housing

  • Welsh Language


It s not all bad news
It’s not all bad news

  • We can make laws where we have the powers 

  • Once the power is there Assembly measures can be proposed by WAG, AMs or a Committee

  • Some examples of Welsh laws that have been made so far include:

    Healthy Eating in Schools Measure (backbencher)

    NHS Redress Measure

    Learner Travel Measure

  • At least we now have the possibility to make legislation


Ways to engage in wales
Ways to engage in Wales

  • Third Sector Partnership Council / Ministerial Meetings – the Government route

  • Scrutiny of Government via AMs – questions / short debates / committee work

  • Ideas for legislation – AMs ballot

  • Petitions system


Welsh campaigns
Welsh Campaigns

“Little steps make a big difference” Footcare campaign

Canoe Wales – Access to Rivers Petition


Issues for devolved campaigns
Issues for devolved campaigns

  • Different powers and devolution settlements, knowing what’s devolved isn’t easy (especially in Wales as it changes!)

  • Capacity – project survey revealed issues

  • Different policies = different statistics and reports required

  • But gives new opportunities and can learn from each other


The future for wales
The future for Wales

  • More powers built into GoWA 06 – powers to make primary legislation in all 20 “fields” but still no tax raising powers.

  • Only if the people of Wales want it – referendum

  • 2/3s of AMs; Sec of State for Wales and both Houses of Parliament must agree to Referendum

  • Labour / Plaid coalition aiming for 2011

  • All Wales Convention due to report 18 November 09


Issues
Issues

  • Labour do not want referendum defeat (memory of 79 looms large) Peter Hain warns against “rushing in.”

  • But it’s the basis on which Plaid Cymru went into coalition with them

  • May have Conservative Secretary of State by 2011

  • New leader of Labour Party in Wales by end of the Year


Thank you for listening.

Any questions?


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