Politicians join dynamic devolution debate as Convention comes to Monmouth
The Question Time public event aims to provide information on the work of the All Wales Convention and engage members of the public in the big debate on the future direction of the National Assembly. The key questions for discussion are whether the people of Wales wish to keep to the status quo or to seek changes to the current law-making powers.
An online forum is also up and running which will allow the people of Monmouth to have an interactive opportunity to share their opinions on what they think about devolution in Wales. The forum can be found on the All Wales Convention website www.allwalesconvention.org.
The All Wales Convention, chaired by Sir Emyr Jones Parry, is a totally independent and impartial body. It was established to analyse the arguments for, and against, extra powers and in turn raise awareness, stimulate debate and encourage engagement amongst the people of Wales of the nationwide consultation, which is now open. Following this consultation period, the All Wales Convention, made up of 16 Executive Committee members alongside Sir Emyr, will present their findings by the end of 2009.
Conservative MP David Davies said:
So far very little attention has been given to the voices of those who did not want the Assembly in the first place and do not want to see it get further powers now. I intend to put this right at the event on Thursday.
Plaid Cymru's Adam Price MP said:
As a Welsh MP, my main concern is that Wales is governed in the most efficient manor - yet I've seen for myself how complex and overly complicated the current system is. So I believe that it's time to put that right and make our system of government more efficient and accountable, which could be achieved with a Yes vote in a referendum. That would be in the interest of all the people of Wales, whatever their political or social background.
The All Wales Convention is doing an extremely important job and I look forward to a constructive and informative discussion in Monmouth. I am confident that the more people come to understand tortuous legislative system that Wales currently has, the more they will support the constructive improvements that will be on offer in the referendum.
Sir Emyr Jones Parry, said:
There exists a unique opportunity for the people of Wales to ask if the current powers available to the National Assembly are enough or whether it is the right time for Wales to take the next step towards full law-making powers.
Everyone’s view is valid, and we want to hear about those views and why you hold them. We as the All Wales Convention are not arguing for, or against, any particular standpoint with regard to the Assembly’s powers, or as to whether a referendum should be held.
However, there is a strict time limit on this debate – between now and August. If people choose not to get involved in the debate once fully aware of its implications, then that is of course their privilege – I will be happy that they have been consulted and given the opportunity to get involved if they wish.
We want to inform and engage as many people as possible to enable them to make informed decisions on whether they would like more powers or not for their Assembly in the future.
Our mission, therefore, is to meet, talk and reach out to every corner of Wales and inform people in a clear fashion of their chance to join in the debate, and to explain the options to them in a way which resonates with everyday life. Coming to Monmouth Leisure Centre is a great way of doing that.