The First Meeting
By the 14 of July, we were ready to start work - a quick turn around considering all that needed to be done.
I was struck by how much talent we had in the room, and how willing the team was to take part in healthy debate. Everyone contributed strongly - all with different views and opinions, speaking up for their regions and particular interests. This range of arguments covered most sections of Welsh life but obviously sixteen members cannot tick every box. However as our work proceeds, everyone in Wales will have an opportunity to participate in the process, and to feed in views and comments.
We all believe that the Convention must be open, open to all views, and accessible to everyone. The Members reflect this, and we want to be in touch with all parts of Wales. In particular we want to encourage engagement from people and organisations that aren’t usually active on these kinds of issues. Already organisations have said that they want to work with us and contribute to the process. They have also offered practical help through distributing information.
For their part, members of the Committee individually, as well as the Committee as a whole, will be making wide spread contacts in the coming months to explain the Convention’s work, and to gather reactions and opinions to inform the eventual Report.
We discussed how Wales is governed now, the advantages of the present system, and the options available for the future. We want to help spell out the consequences of devolution, and will aim to stimulate a wide-spread debate in Wales on the law making powers of the National Assembly for Wales.
The Executive Committee agreed that it wanted to hear all views and robustly test opinions submitted to it. We agreed to listen carefully and to report objectively. We will strive to engage as widely as possible with communities and individuals across Wales, as well as with Civil Society. In due course we will be outlining the different ways that people and organisations can contribute.
Our next meeting will be on the 29 July in Cardiff and at 3-4 weekly intervals thereafter. At our next meeting we plan to define our work programme and work out detailed action plans to carry forward our work.