Amanda in Monmouth
'Use your voice or lose the choice' is a motto more people should adopt according to Amanda Peters. Just as well then that she came along to make her own voice heard at an All Wales Convention public meeting held recently in Monmouth.
It is fair to say Amanda is not a big fan of devolution but whether she likes it or not, feels resigned to the fact she is probably stuck with it now. However, she is very much against more law-making powers for the National Assembly. The meeting didn't change her overall view but it did help clarify a lot of things for her - on both sides of the argument.
"I have a natural mistrust of people with power and feel very strongly that 'the public' need to hold them to account much more....and that includes getting involved in consultation events such as the one I attended.
"Of course there have been some good things about devolution - abolishing prescription charges was probably the one which generated most impact in terms of PR - but overall I think the Assembly has created an unnecessary and very costly layer of bureaucracy."
Amanda is a very busy woman with a great deal of responsibilities in her life and the impact of devolution on her daily life is something she is very aware of. She adds:
"I work in local government, I volunteer with a recycling charity, I have a daughter at University, a son who has recently graduated and I help care for my 93 year old father, so the huge number of laws, policies and bills devolution in Wales has produced has certainly had a pretty direct impact on my daily life!
“I am concerned more law-making powers would increase this. I was also unhappy to hear Emyr Jones Parry, Chair of the All Wales Convention, say that none of the parties are able, or willing to say, what they might do with the new powers...that alone sounds a very loud warning bell to me.”