“A more effective and accessible Senedd” - Electoral reform for the National Assembly - New committee to look at the future
Today the National Assembly for Wales voted in favour of creating a new committee to consider recommendations of the Expert Panel on Assembly Reform, including a look at the size of the institution and the voting system.
On 10 July 2019 the Assembly agreed that an increase in the number of Assembly Members is needed and that further cross-party work should be undertaken to develop this. The Assembly Commission's Creating a Parliament for Wales consultation received over 1,800 responses to questions about the size of the National Assembly, of which a majority thought that the institution needs more Members to carry out its role effectively
A new cross-party Committee on Assembly Electoral Reform will look at recommendations made by the Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform on the size of the Assembly, how Assembly Members are elected, and how a new electoral system could encourage the election of a more diverse Assembly.
This next step follows the first phase of reforms that are already well under way as the Senedd and Elections Bill makes its way through the Assembly's legislative process. If passed, the Bill will empower 16 and 17-year-olds to vote at Welsh general elections, giving them a voice on decisions that will define their future.
It also proposes changing the name of the Assembly to reflect its true status as a national parliament.
Elin Jones AM, Llywydd of the National Assembly said:
"These reforms are about how we best represent the people of Wales. This is the next important step in creating a more effective and accessible legislature, ensuring that our democratic framework is fit for the future.
"With ever-increasing pressure and the additional responsibilities of this parliament, the case for reform is stronger than ever.
"I look forward to following the committee's work in scrutinising these important issues of democracy and accountability."