The devolution debate engages with north Wales
The devolution debate, hosted by the All Wales Convention, is coming to North Wales. A series of public events will take place to test public opinion on future law-making options for the National Assembly for Wales. The events include:
- a discussion group on Wednesday, February 25th at Venue Cymru in Llandudno from 6pm,
- a roadshow from 9am-5pm at Bangor’s Deiniol Centre the following day, Thursday, February 26th
- a ‘Question Time’ style event at 6.30pm at Eglwys Bach Community Hall, Newborough on Anglesey, also on the 26th.
The All Wales Convention, chaired by Sir Emyr Jones Parry, is an impartial body established to analyse the arguments for, and against, extra powers. In turn, it aims to raise awareness, stimulate debate and encourage engagement amongst the people of Wales of the nationwide consultation, which runs until August 2009. 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.
Sir Emyr Jones Parry commented:
The public events are all about meeting members of the public and listening to their views on the future governance of our country. I know politics isn’t a topic which inspires everyone, but this debate is all about having a say in how things are run in Wales. I’d like to encourage everyone to participate. People don’t need to have a great understanding of politics as my team and I will be at hand to explain and clarify issues. What we want to know is what people think about having further law-making powers for the Assembly.
A general criticism of the Assembly is that it doesn’t focus enough on North Wales and its issues. In coming here to Llandudno, Bangor and Newborough in February, and with events planned for Rhyl, Mold and Wrexham in April, we hope to give people the opportunity to have their say. So please come along – get informed and get engaged in the debate.
Capel Curig based Shân Ashton, a member of the Convention’s Executive Committee, representing Wales Women’s National Coalition, added:
Like a lot of people, I am deeply cynical about formal politics in general, but this is a rare chance for the people of Wales to have an input to the debate about getting more powers or not for the National Assembly. I want to encourage people to join in the debate so that they can discuss more about the implications of any decision made.
It’s an opportunity to find out what the Assembly has done for the people of Wales and what more could it do if it had further powers. Unless members of the public demand to be a part of the debate it will go on without them and decisions made without their input. So, don't turn your back on this chance - make the Convention work for you, come and meet us , let us answer your questions. Make it your Convention!
Anglesey’s John Jones, who sits on the Executive Committee on behalf of the Wales Council for Voluntary Action (WCVA), said:
This is a chance for the people of North Wales to join in the devolution debate. It’s important everyone gets his or her voice heard. We’re here to listen, whether opinions are in favour of further law-making powers for the Assembly or against it.
We’re also here to inform people. Understanding how the Assembly works is complex and often confusing. What the All Wales Convention wants to do is to explain the choices to people across the length and breadth of Wales and then listen to the feedback. Everyone’s viewpoint is valid. Come and tell us what you think.