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Assembly Reform programme

Through its Assembly Reform programme, the Assembly Commission is exploring reforms which could make the National Assembly for Wales a more effective, accessible and diverse legislature. 

 As the programme of work progresses we'll update this page with the latest news and information, so check back regularly to stay up to date with our work. 


Today's Assembly is a very different institution to the one established in 1999. 

Then, it had no primary law-making powers and was not formally separated from the Welsh Government. Now, it has responsibility for making laws and holding the Welsh Government to account in some of the areas which have the greatest impact on people's lives.

The National Assembly now operates on the basis of a new reserved powers model under the Wales Act 2017, with responsibility for the first Welsh taxes in 800 years, including income tax-varying powers. The Wales Act 2017 also gives the Assembly the power to make decisions in relation to the institution’s size, name and how Members are elected.

The National Assembly for Wales Commission has announced plans to take forward key elements of its programme to reform Wales’ parliament. The two-phase approach was announced in a written statement to the National Assembly from the Llywydd on Wednesday 11 July 2018.

The full findings of the Commission’s public consultation, ‘Creating a Parliament for Wales’, have been published and are available online, along with an Easy Read version and a summary of the main findings

The first phase 

On 2 October 2018 the Assembly Commission announced its intention to introduce legislation to: 

• change the name of the National Assembly for Wales

• lower the voting age for Assembly elections to 16

• amend the law relating to disqualification from being an Assembly Member, 

• and make other changes to the Assembly’s electoral and internal arrangements.

The Assembly gave its approval to the Commission’s decision on 10 October 2018.

On 12 November, the Llywydd wrote to all Assembly Members to explain that the name change introduced in the Bill will be the monolingual name “Senedd” and that Members will be referred to as “Aelodau’r Senedd / Members of the Senedd”. The Bill will be called the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill.

Once introduced, an Assembly committee will consider the proposals and any suggested amendments in detail before a final vote is put to all 60 Members. The Bill will require at least 40 members to vote in its favour before it becomes law.

The Commission intends that the changes proposed by the Bill will be implemented by 2021.


Read the Llywydd’s Written Statement (2 October 2018)


The second phase 

In addition to the reform proposed in the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill, Assembly Members and political parties are still considering other issues including; the future size of the Assembly, how Members should be elected, and how diversity could be increased. If agreed, these elements will form the second phase of the reform programme later in the Assembly term.

Latest updates 

You can follow the progress of the Bill and of the Assembly Reform programme through our Assembly Reform hub or you can sign up to receive email updates on the Assembly Reform programme.



Results of the Assembly reform consultation.

Find out more about the Creating a Parliament for Wales consultation results and access the full report, Easy Read version and key findings. 

Read the consultation report.

Lowering the voting age to 16

The Assembly Commission intends to introduce a Bill to lower the minimum voting age for Assembly elections to 16. 

Find out more about consultation findings and what happens next

Changing the name of the National Assembly

In July 2016, Assembly Members agreed that the name of the Assembly should reflect its constitutional status as a national parliament.

Find out more about the plans to change the Assembly's name.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find out more about the Assembly Reform programme and the reforms proposed for the first phase. 

Read the FAQs.


Background Information

The role of the Assembly Commission explained

The Assembly Commission is the corporate body for the National Assembly for Wales. It consists of the Llywydd and four members from different political parties.

Find out more about the Commission

Assembly reform timeline

Since the start of the Fifth Assembly, work has been underway to make use of the opportunity the Wales Act 2017 gives us to make our parliament a more effective, accessible and diverse legislature.

Find out more about the work undertaken so far

Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform 

The Llywydd established the Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform to provide robust, politically impartial advice on the future capacity of the Assembly.

Find out more about the Panel and their work


Your National Assembly for Wales

Discover how you are represented and how you can influence law making in Wales.

Your opinions count

We are your Assembly and we're here to represent you. 

Find out how you can shape our work.

Shaping Welsh life

Assembly Members discuss, debate and make laws that shape life in Wales. 

Find out which areas of Welsh life we have the powers to change.

Representing you

You are represented by five Assembly Members. Chosen by you and responsible for things that affect your life. 

Find out who your Assembly Members are.




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