#Senedd10 – a record of "continuous improvement and innovation"
St David's Day will mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Senedd – the home of the National Assembly for Wales.
To mark that occasion the Presiding Officer, Dame Rosemary Butler AM, will host a lunchtime reception for external stakeholders and partners who have contributed to the work of the National Assembly during the Fourth Assembly (2011-16).
People attending the event will include those who have made a direct contribution to the work of the Assembly's committees in scrutinising the Welsh Government and Welsh laws.
The reception, to be held in the Senedd between 12.00-14.00 (on 1 March), will also include young people who took part in the Assembly's Votes@16 national conversation about lowering the voting age and women who have supported or benefited from the Presiding Officer's #POWiPL-Women in Public Life development scheme.
During the event, Dame Rosemary will deliver a keynote address on the achievements of the National Assembly during the Fourth Assembly – a record of "continuous improvement and innovation" in the delivery of parliamentary services.
"From my unique position as Presiding Officer, I could see opportunities for change," Dame Rosemary will say.
"I have initiated and driven a number of alterations to our practices to ensure greater scrutiny of the Welsh Government.
"That is our job as the democratically elected body that represents the interests of Wales and its people, makes laws for Wales and holds the Welsh Government to account.
"Effective scrutiny is an essential part of any democratic culture so taking a fresh look at how we could open up opportunities to invigorate our practices and procedures has been very important to me."
In her speech, Dame Rosemary will focus on four key areas of "improvement and innovation" in the delivery of parliamentary services:
The Presiding Officer will reaffirm her commitment to ensuring that Wales' voice is heard loud and clear as Wales' future constitutional settlement is decided in parliament. To ensure a settlement:
- which fairly represents our maturity as a parliamentary institution; and
- provides clarity and coherence – not only for the Assembly but for the people of Wales.
The Presiding Officer will focus on the changes she has implemented to make Assembly business more topical.
Changes introduced include:
- shorter tabling deadlines for oral questions in order to increase the topicality and variety of backbenchers' scrutiny of Ministers;
- Individual Member debates with cross-party motions;
- dedicated time for 'Leaders' Questions' during First Minister's Question time, which have given an opportunity for party leaders to scrutinise the First Minister in depth without notice; and
- 'Spokespeople's Questions' during Oral Assembly Questions allowing party spokespeople to ask three questions of Ministers without notice.
Public engagement with the Assembly's work:
The Presiding Officer will outline how the Assembly has increased its engagement with the people of Wales, including:
- 30,000 young people reached by the National Assembly through school visits, outreach programmes and other activities;
- 13,000 young people directly engaged with work of Assembly in past two years as witnesses who provided evidence to committees;
- A further 10,500 engaged with us on our consultation on lowering the voting age to 16;
- The #POWiPL – Women in Public Life campaign to encourage more women to get involved in public life.
An inclusive Assembly:
The Presiding Officer will highlight that the Assembly:
- Has been ranked 3rd in Stonewall's UK's Top 100 Workplace Equalities Index for 2016;
- Recognised by Top Employers for Working Families;
- Received recognition as being an inclusive organisation for people with autism;
- Has been awarded an Action on Hearing Loss Cymru Excellence Award since 2013.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Senedd, the National Assembly will also host:
- An evening in conversation with Lord Richard Rogers, the architect who designed the building, which will take place in the Senedd at 18.00; and
- The Senedd Family weekend on 5-6 March including:
- performances by S4C's Sioe Cyw; Britain's Got Talent finalists, Ysgol Glanaethwy; City Voices Choir and No Fit State circus.
- poetry workshops delivered by Literature Wales and the Children's Poet Wales, Anni Llŷn; and
- activities including arts and crafts, face painting and soft play for the whole family to enjoy.
The Deputy Presiding Officer, David Melding AM, will also receive the annual St David's Day message from pupils at Ysgol Dewi Saint, St Davids, at 14.30 in the Neuadd.To view the Assembly Commission's Legacy report please click here (PDF, 11MB)
To view the Business Committee's legacy report please click here (PDF, 1.05MB)