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Now or never! All Wales Convention holds final public debate at National Eisteddfod

Welsh Assembly Government

Now or never! All Wales Convention holds final public debate at National Eisteddfod

Following a total of 23 individual consultation events across Wales, attended by almost 2,000 people, the last formal public opportunity to voice opinions as part of the All Wales Convention’s efforts to get the views of the people of Wales on the powers of the National Assembly will be held on the Welsh Assembly Government stand at the National Eisteddfod, Bala, Friday 7th August, 2 - 3pm.

The Hawl i Holi (Question Time) event will be chaired by Sir Emyr Jones Parry who will be joined by All Wales Convention Executive Committee members Aled Edwards and John Jones. The final stages of the devolution debate on more law-making powers for the National Assembly are fast approaching. While this event marks the end of the public debates, which have been the hallmark of the consultation, the Convention still wants your comments via the website by Friday 21st August.

Sir Emyr Jones Parry, said:

Time has certainly flown since the Executive Committee of the All Wales Convention met for the first time in July 2008. We are now approaching the end of the road for the public consultation element of our work, but as a Convention we have a long way to go yet. We now have the task of gathering and collating all the evidence received over the past seven months and presenting the results in the form of a final report to the Assembly before the year is out.  

Public events have been at the heart of our work programme and the event at the National Eisteddfod, Wales’s premier cultural event, is a fitting place to end our tour of the country. We have held city centre roadshows, question time style events and family days in community centres, discussing the issues with people who had seldom engaged in political debate.

The arguments have been strong on both sides and I expect those attending the final event at the Eisteddfod to be no different. Certain matters have also come to light during our consultation which have undoubtedly had an impact on the debate most notably the scandal associated with MP expenses which has led to a general loss of faith in politicians and Westminster and Cardiff Bay to some extent.

However, our remit is clear. We were tasked with kick starting a debate on the future of law-making powers in Wales and to give the people of Wales an opportunity to give their views. Not an easy task, but one which I believe we have done our best to achieve. We have an interactive website, a lively Facebook group and Twitter followers. To date we have received over 400 pieces of official evidence from organisations, schools, politicians and the public.

So what's next for the Convention? Our consultation will draw to a close on the 21st of August. Thereafter we will focus on writing and agreeing the report for presentation to the Welsh Assembly Government in November. We're getting close to the final countdown in the devolution debate, so make sure you use your democratic right to have your say now before it is too late.

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We would like to thank everybody who took the time to contribute to the debate through our online forum.