National Assembly Commission reviews progress made on its ambitions for the future
The National Assembly Commission agreed the next steps on some of its key priorities earlier this week. The meeting came in advance of the publication of the Commission’s draft budgetary proposals for 2018-19.
Commissioners considered the results of the Youth Parliament consultation and agreed to establish a Youth Parliament for Wales. Work will now begin in partnership with young people and youth organisations from across Wales to create a body led by young people to ensure their voice is heard as part of the democratic process.
The Llywydd, Elin Jones AM, who chairs the Assembly Commission, said:
“I am delighted that over five thousand young people took time to tell us what they think about our plans for a youth parliament for Wales - the proposals are better for it. We hope to see the new Parliament elected in 2018 and the views of young people will continue to inform our plans as they progress.”
In November, Commissioners will consider a comprehensive implementation plan for delivering recommendations of the Digital News and Information Taskforce. The Taskforce was established to advise the Commission on how best to communicate the work of the Assembly to a wider audience and addresses the democratic deficit.
The Commission has a statutory duty to ensure that the Assembly has sufficient, adequate accommodation to meet its current and future needs and, as previously announced, it has been investigating options to address the lack of capacity in Tŷ Hywel. No decisions have been taken to address the shortage of accommodation, but Commissioners have agreed that next year’s budget should include a transparent, ring-fenced amount to reflect the potential costs of developing a planning application for a new building. This funding will only be drawn-down if the decision to proceed to planning is agreed, if not, the fund will be retained by the Welsh Consolidated Fund.
Commissioners also noted that the Expert Panel on Electoral Reform, established in February 2017, will publish its findings before the end of the year. Its report will provide expert advice and recommendations for the Assembly Commission on three core issues: the number of Members the Assembly needs, the most suitable electoral system to be used to elect them and the minimum voting age for Assembly elections.