Members of the All Wales Convention announced
The First Minister said:
We have been seeking a cross section of Welsh life and Welsh opinion who can tap into the views of ordinary Welsh people. I believe we have achieved that balance.
I am confident that with the skilful chairing of Sir Emyr Jones Parry, the committee will gel as a group, get around all parts of Wales and ask the big questions about a referendum and what the ordinary people of Wales need to know about the key issues.
The Deputy First Minister said:
I’m delighted that we have succeeded in attracting people of a high calibre from all corners of Wales to serve on the Convention.
These people have a vital job to do in creating a debate across the country on the future governance of our nation. They will assess the levels of support for devolving law-making powers to our National Assembly in line with the commitment made by this Government in the One Wales agreement. I look forward to hearing their conclusions next year.
Setting up the All Wales Convention is an Assembly Government One Wales commitment.
The coalition partners are committed to campaign for a successful outcome to a referendum once it is called under the terms of the Government of Wales Act 2006.
The Executive Committee has 16 members, plus the Chairman, former British Ambassador to the United Nations Sir Emyr Jones Parry, and is made up as follows:
- Four members of the public appointed through an open competition process.
- Eight appointed from nominations received from key Welsh organisations.
- Four members nominated by the main political parties.
Appointed through open competition
Joan Asby of Narberth, Pembrokeshire: Joan has 30 years experience of supporting community engagement in local regeneration. She is the Chief Officer of PLANED, (Pembrokeshire Local Action Network for Enterprise and Development). She has served on the Welsh Assembly Governments’ Rural Partnership for Wales, its Social Enterprise Joint Working Group and 2020 Stakeholder Group. She was a founder member and Chair of her local community centre, Bloomfield House, Narberth and of Wales Rural Forum.
Nicholas Bennett of Cardiff: Nick was born in St Asaph, brought up on Anglesey and educated at Aberystwyth University. He is a member of the OFCOM Advisory Panel for Wales and is a member of the Welsh Language Board and of Glas Cymru. Nick was appointed Chief Executive of Community Housing Cymru in 2006 and has been a founding executive director of both an economic development consultancy and public affairs agency. Nick has recently attended the JFK Executive Education programme “Innovations in Governance” at Harvard University.
Sally Hyman of Baglan, Port Talbot: Sally is the former Headteacher of Bedwellty Comprehensive School. Now retired, she is Chair of RSPCA Cymru and Llys Nini animal centre. She is also involved in voluntary community initiatives including the Guides and works with other groups and charities including Environmental Wales and Shaw Trust.
Shereen Williams of Newport: Shereen is a recent migrant to Wales and represents a part of the mosaic of Wales’ communities. As Director of the Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisation in Wales, she works with various faith and racial groups and supports Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender communities. Shereen is currently carrying out research on disabled communities in Wales.
Faith Forum: Aled Edwards has had a career with the Church since 1979. He is currently employed as the Chief Executive Officer of CYTUN and is to be received as a member of the Gorsedd of the Bards at this year's National Eisteddfod in Cardiff. He is a member of the National Assembly for Wales Faith Forum, Chair of Displaced People in Action (Refugee Charity) and a member of the Wales Committee of the Equalities and Human Rights Commission. He wasa born in Trawsfynydd and went to school in Blaenau Ffestiniog. He now lives in Pontypridd.
Funky Dragon: Laura Hayes is a member of Funky Dragon representing Rhondda Cynon Taff Youth Council. Laura has finished her A Levels and is hoping to go to University next year. She has been active in achieving her Silver Duke of Edinburgh Award and as a school councillor, achieving an OCN in Effective Communication and Listening. She lives in Gilfach Goch.
Wales CBI. Harry Ludgate is the Wales CBI representative and is currently employed by the Dow Corning Corporation as a consultant. He has worked for the organisation for many years as Chief Information and Corporate Vice President, and has extensive knowledge of global business. He lives in Barry.
Wales Council for Voluntary Action: John R Jones is currently the Chief Officer of Medrwn Môn, the County Voluntary Council for the Isle of Anglesey. Educated in Anglesey and at the University College of Wales in Aberystwyth, John worked briefly for a solicitor’s firm in Cardiff before returning to Anglesey. He has worked in the voluntary sector for over 25 years. John’s first language is Welsh and he is committed to developing bilingual communities.
Wales TUC: Paul O’Shea was born and brought up in Tredegar. He then moved to Manchester to study Politics and Social Science at the city’s university. He has worked for UNISON since 1980 and is their current Welsh Secretary. Paul has also been a Board Member of the Somerset Learning and Skills Council, a non executive Director of the Training and Enterprise Council and a founding executive committee member of Tomorrow’s Wales, the group established by the Archbishop of Wales to campaign around the report of the Richard Commission. He lives in St Mellons, Cardiff.
Wales Women’s National Coalition: Shân Ashton is currently the Director of Postgraduate Studies in Lifelong Learning at Bangor University. Her main research interests are women, work and enterprise, rural and community development and regeneration and women in politics. She has a commitment to rural and community futures and equality and diversity. Shân is bilingual and lives in Capel Curig in North Wales.
Young Farmers Clubs: Rhodri Evans graduated from Aberystwyth with a degree in agriculture and is now a full-time farmer. He sits on the Wales and National YFC Board of Management and has recently been appointed as a non-executive director of Hybu Cig Cymru. Rhodri is also a Community Councillor and lives in Tregaron, Ceredigion.
Welsh Local Government Association: The WLGA will also have a seat on the Executive Committee and a nomination will be announced in due course.
Labour: Alex Aldridge has been a member of Flintshire County Council since 1995, representing the Flint Coleshill Ward. He was Council Leader from 1999-06. He served on Clwyd County Council from 1991, and is also a member of Flint Town Council. He is also a former leader of the Welsh Local Government Association. A former Corus worker at Shotton, he was also a previous chair of the then Clwyd Fire Service and its successor, the North Wales Fire Authority.
Plaid Cymru: Marc Phillips is Head of BBC Children in Need in Wales. He has a long history in the voluntary sector having, at various times, been Chief Executive of Tenovus, Director of Dyfed Association of Voluntary Services, and Mid Glamorgan Organiser for Urdd Gobaith Cymru. Marc Phillips was Chair of Plaid Cymru between 1996 and 2000. He is a current member of the Welsh Language Board.
Conservative: Paul Valerio. Born in 1940, Mr Valerio has also served on the Richard Commission. He was the first Lord Mayor of Swansea in 1982, and was a Conservative member of the City Council between 1968-1996. He also served as Leader of the Conservative group. A former Deputy Chairman of the Welsh Conservative Party, he was also the Conservative Assembly Candidate for Swansea West in 1999. He lives in Reynoldston, Gower.
Liberal Democrats: Rob Humphreys is Director of the Open University in Wales. He held posts previously as Director for Wales of the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, and lecturer in adult education at Swansea University. He was appointed to the first and second Rees Reviews of higher education student support and funding and later to the Graham Review of part-time higher education funding. He is a past President and Chair of the Welsh Liberal Democrats. He was born and brought up in Montgomeryshire and now lives in Swansea.
Notes for Editors
The first meeting of the All-Wales Convention Executive Committee is scheduled to take place in Cardiff on Monday, July 14. Further details will be issued in due course.
For further information and interview requests, please contact Nia Jones at the All-Wales Convention press office on 029 2089 8686 or Alan Morris at the Welsh Assembly Government on 029 2082 1870.