Assembly Bwletin Cynulliad - Institute of Welsh Affairs

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Assembly Bwletin Cynulliad - Institute of Welsh Affairs
Issue 10—August 2008
Assembly
Bwletin
Cynulliad
On the agenda this month:
Assembly Government’s
legislation
Welsh laws for 2008/2009
‘Going further’ in Welsh
NHS reforms
Local health boards could be
scrapped
One year, One Wales
Plaid Cymru and Labour
celebrate their anniversary
The convention meets
Powers for the Assembly
One year, One Wales
July marked the first anniversary of the Labour-Plaid Cymru coalition in the Welsh Assembly Government. Labour and Plaid signed
the One Wales agreement following last year’s election in which
Labour failed to sustain an overall majority…(continued on p.2)
Assembly Bwletin Cynulliad is a joint initiative between Grayling and the Institute of Welsh
Affairs, bringing you the ABC of Welsh politics every month:
Institute of Welsh Affairs
1-3 Museum Place
Cardiff, CF10 3BD
Tel: 029 2066 6606
www.iwa.org.uk
Grayling
2 Caspian Point
Cardiff Bay, CF10 4DQ
Tel: 029 2046 2507
www.grayling.com
Issue 10 — August 2008
ARTICLE
1
Assembly Government’s
legislative
programme
Grayling Political Strategy
The First Minister, Rhodri Morgan
AM, announced on July 15 details
of the Welsh Assembly Government’s legislative programme for
2008-09. The programme underpins the activities of the PlaidLabour Assembly Government for
the next year.
The existing legislative programme for 2007/08 is still under
way. In the first year, the National Assembly witnessed the
successful passing of its first Legislative Competence Order (LCO)
– an official request for further
devolution of specific powers
from Westminster – the Additional Learning Needs LCO. The
National Assembly also passed its
first Measure – a Welsh law – the
NHS Redress Measure.
The five proposed Assembly
Measures in the legislative programme:
Child Poverty: to provide greater
support to children and families
experiencing poverty, including
placing a duty on public agencies
to demonstrate their contribution
to ending child poverty and to
provide free childcare places and
other early years services in specific areas.
Additional Learning Needs: to
extend the range of individuals
who may appeal to the Special
Educational Needs Tribunal for
Wales.
Charging for non-residential social care: to establish a ‘fairer and
more consistent approach’ to
charging for specified services levied by local authorities, using new
powers from the Domiciliary Care
LCO .
Better local services: a Measure
for local government to require
local partners ‘to co-operate in
effective and joined-up community planning and service improvement based on greater engagement with citizens and a
fuller understanding of local priorities’.
Affordable Housing: subject to
the approval of the Affordable
Housing LCO, a Measure to give
local authorities the power to apply to Welsh Ministers to designate areas where the right to buy
may be suspended for a limited
period.
The proposed Legislative Competence Orders (LCOs) include: support for carers by placing duties
on public sector organisations;
statutory obligations on local authorities to promote culture and
encourage partnerships to deliver
quality cultural experiences; to
allow further education institutions in Wales to have the power
to award foundation degrees; and
to give powers over the red meat
industry to give the Assembly
Government greater influence
over its direction, efficiency, marketing and sustainable development
If you require assistance to pinpoint
specific opportunities for your organisation to influence the legislative programme over the coming year, feel
free to contact Grayling:
[email protected]
One year, One Wales (continued from front page)
Grayling Political Strategy
One year on, both parties have heralded various
achievements. First Minister, Rhodri Morgan, said: ‚I
am delighted with what we have already achieved in
all areas including health care, education and the
economy – services that have a real impact on the day
-to-day lives of ordinary people.‛
The Deputy First Minister and leader of Plaid Cymru,
Ieuan Wyn Jones, said: ‚I am extremely pleased with
what we’ve achieved during the last year and the
progress we are making in delivering One Wales
shows that the coalition is working. There is however
much more to be done and we are impatient to get on
with the work of delivering these commitments for
the benefit of the people of Wales – wherever they
live.‛
Opposition parties have attacked the coalition one
year on, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats
Mike German, said: ‚The One Wales agreement has
kept the two parties together, but failed to stop parts
of Wales falling apart‛. The Welsh Conservatives said
the government had failed to deliver on key pledges,
including the Foundation Phase in education.
Issue 10 — August 2008
ARTICLE 1
The convention
meets
Institute of Welsh Affairs
The committee tasked with leading the debate on
powers for the Welsh Assembly met during July. The
Executive Committee of the All Wales Convention is
charged with preparing for a possible referendum in
Wales on full law-making powers for the Assembly. A
mixture of nominated representatives and appointees
from open competition make up the committee, which
is led by Sir Emyr Jones Parry, a former UK diplomat
at the UN.
The key tasks of the convention itself will be to promote understanding of the current legislative arrangements and to gauge opinion about further powers for
the Welsh Assembly. Currently, Assembly Members
can pass legislation specified by ‘matters’ that are contained within broader policy fields, such as health and
social care and the Welsh language. The first piece of
Welsh legislation – the NHS Redress Act – was passed
in July. AMs can also request devolution of further
matters from the UK Parliament.
The convention is expected to report by the end of
2009. Politicians will decide then whether to hold a
referendum, requiring two-thirds of Assembly Members to approve a referendum; and a majority in the
UK Parliament. Labour and Plaid Cymru pledged in
One Wales to hold the referendum ‘at or before’ the
end of the Assembly term in May 2011 and both
agreed to campaign for a ‘successful outcome’ in a referendum.
No council merge plans
The First Minister, Rhodri Morgan AM, urged greater
collaboration between councils in delivering public
services, at a meeting of public service leaders on July
9. An opportunity to improve services existed, he
said, but if necessary in the future the Assembly Government could use devolved powers to alter the structure and boundaries of local government in Wales.
There have been suggestions that a move to rationalise
councils or other services in Wales might follow proposed Welsh NHS reorganisations. However, the First
Minister said he was not currently persuaded there
was an optimum local authority size to ‚justify the
huge and expensive distractions‛ of a reorganisation.
Sir Emyr Jones Parry (centre) and the Executive Committee of the All
Wales Convention outside the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.
‘Going further’ in health reforms
Edwina Hart AM, the health minister, has announced
a consultation about plans to ‘simplify’ the Welsh
NHS structure. She proposed to completely replace
the current model of 22 local health boards and 7
trusts with 7 consolidated trusts, in a move to end the
‘internal market’ in the Welsh NHS by 2011.
The Minister had originally proposed in another consultation to reduce the number of local health boards
to match the trusts structure. Some respondents questioned the extent of this proposal. The joint IWA and
Academy Health Wales response said:
‚If the logic of ‘abolishing the internal market’ is to
remove the purchaser/provider split between the
LHBs and the trusts, why be content with reducing
the LHBs from 22 to eight? Why not simply merge
them with the trusts?‛
Announcing the newer proposals Ms Hart welcomed
the ‚huge and positive response‛ to the consultation
and said: ‚The overwhelming view from both responses and the consultation events was that I should
go further than initially suggested.‛
The newer proposals will be finalised and open to
consultation during the autumn.
About the IWA and Grayling
Publications by the Institute of Welsh
Affairs:
Media in Wales: Serving Public Values
By Geraint Talfan Davies and Nick Morris
A detailed audit of media available in
Wales, with consideration of the opportunities and threats to English and
Welsh language media in Wales, in
broadcasting, online and in print.
Price: £10 (discount to IWA members)
PDF copy available to download on www.iwa.org.uk
ISBN: 9781904773344
Ending Sovereignty’s Denial
By John Osmond
The paper asks why Scotland was
awarded full legislative powers at the
start of the devolution process while
Wales has been left to make an inadequate settlement work effectively.
The answer is found in the confining
of Welsh popular sovereignty over
much of the past 150 years. The author finds that the coming of pluralism in 21st century Welsh politics is ending
this denial of sovereignty, providing an opening for constitutional change.
Price: £5 (discount to IWA members)
ISBN: 9781904773368
Keep your ear to the ground with Grayling Political
Strategy……
Keeping up to date with political decisions and developments in the National Assembly for Wales is essential for
effective communication in Wales.
If you are not careful these activities can eat into the time
you have available for developing policy and for face to
face contact with key opinion leaders and stakeholders.
Grayling Political Strategy’s monitoring service ensures
you are kept up-to-date with political decisions and developments in the Assembly freeing you up to implement the
more strategic elements of your role.
Our reports are distributed to you via email within 24
hours of a subject committee or plenary session. We don’t
just surf the Assembly website: our researchers monitor the
meetings themselves providing a much better insight and
analysis of what is said, by whom and in what context.
So confident are we that you will find our service invaluable that Grayling Political Strategy would like to offer you
a free tailored monitoring report, to let you sample the
quality of what we will deliver.
If you decide to go out to public tender, please make sure
Grayling Political Strategy is offered the opportunity to
pitch and demonstrate to you the excellent services we offer and introduce the top class consultants who work with
us. If you would like to find out more please do not hesitate to contact us.
Contact Carla Mahoney on: 029 2046 2571 or
[email protected]
More details are available on www.iwa.org.uk
Grayling Political Strategy develops and implements communications programmes for organisations and businesses throughout Wales, directed at those in the world of politics and the media as
well as the wider public. We provide information and advice which helps our clients effectively
engage with National Assembly Members, officials and decision makers, and others working in
the field of public policy in Wales.
The Institute of Welsh Affairs is an independent think-tank that promotes quality research and
informed debate aimed at making Wales a better nation in which to work and live. It is a membership-based body that commissions and publishes research and organises events across Wales over
a range of topics. The IWA particularly focuses on politics, economic development, education,
culture, the environment and health.

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