National Assembly for Wales

Back to Search

Y Pwyllgor ar Ddiwygio Etholiadol y Cynulliad

Committee on Assembly Electoral Reform

21/10/2019

Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

David J. Rowlands AM
Dawn Bowden AM Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Huw Irranca-Davies AM

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Anna Daniel Pennaeth Trawsnewid Strategol
Head of Strategic Transformation
Professor Laura McAllister Cadeirydd, Panel Arbenigol ar Ddiwygio Etholiadol y Cynulliad
Chair, Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform

Swyddogion Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru a oedd yn bresennol

National Assembly for Wales Officials in Attendance

Gareth Pembridge Cynghorydd Cyfreithiol
Legal Adviser
Helen Finlayson Clerc
Clerk
Sian Giddins Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk
Stephen Aldhouse Ail Glerc
Second Clerk

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Mae hon yn fersiwn ddrafft o’r cofnod. Cyhoeddir fersiwn derfynol ymhen pum diwrnod gwaith.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. This is a draft version of the record. The final version will be published within five working days.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 11:01.

The meeting began at 11:01.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau
1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

Bore da, bawb, and a very warm welcome to the first meeting of this new committee, which is the standing Committee on Assembly Electoral Reform. Can I welcome members of the committee, Huw Irranca-Davies and David Rowlands, and note apologies this morning from Delyth Jewell?

The National Assembly operates through the medium of Welsh and English languages. There are headsets, with simultaneous translation on channel 1 and sound amplification on channel 2. This is a formal public meeting and Members do not need to operate the microphones themselves. In the event of an emergency, an alarm will sound and ushers will direct everyone to the nearest safe exit and assembly point.

2. Cylch gwaith y Pwyllgor
2. Committee remit

If we could now, then, move on to item 2, which is the committee remit, and if I can ask for Members' indulgence, I'd like to make a short statement, given that this is a new committee. The committee, as we know, has been established by the National Assembly for the purposes of examining the recommendations of the expert panel on Assembly electoral reform. That expert panel considered a wide range of issues, but at the core of its recommendations was a recognition that our Assembly, our Senedd, the Welsh Parliament, needs to be effective in carrying out a wide range of functions and responsibilities now placed upon it. Before we consider the remit, as I said, I'm going to make a short statement about the work of the new committee.

The work of the expert panel, of course, provides a key reference point for our deliberations, but I hope that it won't constrain our conversations as we consider our work. Clearly, some of the key points that we need to consider will include the panel recommendation on an increase in the size of the Assembly to ensure that it has the capacity it needs to fulfil its role, and for reform of the Assembly's electoral arrangements to enable the election of a larger institution.

The panel's recommendations also included measures that could encourage the election of a more diverse legislature. As we know, the expert panel reported in 2017 and our Assembly is currently making progress with legislation in relation to some of the original recommendations, not least of all votes for 16 and 17-year-olds. But I'm also conscious that the political context for our deliberations is already markedly different to that considered by the panel. So, our role, as a committee, is, of course, to reflect on the panel's recommendations, but perhaps more importantly to consider how best this Senedd, our Welsh Parliament, can best respond to the changing and uncertain constitutional landscape in Wales and beyond.

I believe that the conversations we hold and any recommendations that we make will be most effective if they can underpin a long-term vision for the Senedd and are rooted in a broad base of political and public support. And to achieve this, I'm keen that we seek evidence, gather opinions and listen carefully to a wide range of views. I certainly hope that during our work, we will hear from young people who, it's worth noting, have never known a Wales without devolution. We will also hear from those people who've watched and participated in the development of the Assembly that we know today, and this will include those people who are passionate about these issues and those who are impatient for change. But we must also find ways to encourage discussion with those people who may feel more detached from this institution and ensure that we listen to what they have to say about its future. I believe we need to be outward-looking and open to all these discussions, but we do not have to repeat the work of the expert panel. In undertaking our work we'll need to recognise both the technical and the political nature of the issues within our remit. We will need to consider how best to test common ground, respect differences and to seek consensus where we can. I hope that together, and early in our deliberations, we can develop some core objectives and understanding about our methods of work. I think that will benefit everyone who wants to engage with this important process in the coming months. So, as a committee, we have a challenging task ahead of us, but I'm sure that we're looking forward to getting to work, developing our work programme and beginning our consideration of these important issues.

So, thank you, colleagues, for your patience, but I thought it important to make that short statement at the outset of our work.

11:05
3. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42(ix) i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod, ac o’r ddau gyfarfod Pwyllgor nesaf
3. Motion under Standing Order 17.42(ix) to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting, and from the next two Committee meetings

Cynnig:

bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod ac o’r ddau gyfarfod pwyllgor nesaf yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(ix).

Motion:

that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting and from the next two committee meetings in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(ix).

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

If we can now move on to item 3, which is the motion under Standing Order 17.42(ix) to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting and from the next two committee meetings. Are there any objections to that motion? No. If no objections, then we can move on to item 4 in private.

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 11:06.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 11:06.

Explore the National Assembly for Wales