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National Assembly Commission sets out plan for name change

13/06/2017

​The Assembly Commission has agreed to legislate to rename the National Assembly for Wales as the Welsh Parliament / Senedd Cymru before the end of this Assembly. 

The Commission agreed to consult with the people of Wales on the issue following a unanimous Assembly vote in July 2016 in favour of a name which reflects the institution’s constitutional status as a national parliament.

The Assembly Commission is today publishing a summary of the consultation responses. In total, 2,821 survey responses were received from people of all ages and from all across Wales. 
61 per cent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that the Assembly should change its name and that the name that best described the institution’s role and responsibility was: Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru (73 per cent). 60 per cent of respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed that the role of the Assembly is well understood.

The preferred title for elected representatives wasn’t as clear cut. On balance, the most popular choice was Members of the Welsh Parliament. However, the Commission agreed to put forward a proposal to call them Welsh Parliament Members, in keeping with the current title of Assembly Members.

The change will be taken forward as part of a wider programme of reforms being considered following the transfer of the relevant powers by the Wales Act 2017.

In particular, the Act confers competence on the Assembly over a range of its internal, organisational and operational arrangements. These include issues such as the rules on disqualification from membership of the Assembly, electoral administration, and the design of our committee system.

The Commission is considering how changes to the current arrangements enhances the legislature’s position as an accessible, forward-looking institution which serves the people of Wales effectively.

The Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales, Elin Jones AM, said:

“People of all ages, regions and backgrounds across Wales have taken time to present us with their views and I am grateful to everyone who took the time to share their opinions with us.

“The change will I hope play a part in ensuring that more people more fully understand the powers of the Assembly and the role it plays in their lives. Our role today is as a full parliamentary body, with the power to pass laws and agree taxes, and we must continue to work hard to inspire the confidence, trust and pride in the people we serve. 

“A change of name alone will not do that, but it is part of a wider package of reforms that I believe will play an important role in improving understanding of our national democratic legislature. The Commission intends to publish the legislation to give effect to those reforms next year”

Assembly Commissioner with responsibility for budget and governance, Suzy Davies AM said:

“We recognise that some people who responded to the consultation were concerned about the potential costs that any name change may cause.  I want to reassure them that we do not intend to rebrand completely or waste resources by rushing to make the change. We will legislate in the near future but, until then, the institution will continue to be known officially by its current statutory name, the National Assembly for Wales, in order to avoid confusion and to minimise cost and disruption.”

The summary of consultation responses is available here: assembly.wales/name

Read the full statement (PDF, 191KB) from the Llywydd Elin Jones AC/AM.

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