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Bigger Welsh Parliament will ensure government can’t ‘get away with things’ says Senedd reform chair

22 Oct 2021 2 minutes Read
Huw Irranca-Davies. Picture by Senedd Cymru.

A bigger Welsh Parliament is needed so that the government can’t “get away with things”, the chair of a new committee on Senedd reform has said.

Huw Irranca-Davies said that he hoped that the Welsh Government could bring forward legislation to change the Senedd’s size and voting system in May.

Up for discussion was the size of the Senedd, with broad support for more members, and also a switch to an STV voting system, he said.

Writing in the Western Mail he said that the current Welsh Parliament was “significantly underpowered” and that he was not “arguing for more members for the sake of it”.

“In other words, do we allow government to get away with things because we can’t scrutinise them?” he asked.

He also said that the committee would be looking at Single Transferable Vote, a system where voters list candidates in order of preference, to take the place of the current two vote constituency and regional system.

“People will know the widespread dissatisfaction generally with the system we have called the multi-member system where we have members based on a region and we also have members on first pass the post basis and constituencies,” he said.

“Laura McAllister’s expert panel and Dawn Bowden’s committee in the last Senedd, both came to the conclusion that the preferred model would be something based around the STV single transferable vote, because that has the benefit of becoming more proportional so every vote counts but also retains the link with a constituency.

“It might be a different size constituency, a different shape of constituency.”

He added that it was important that any reform to the voting system and boundaries ensure that there was greater diversity within the Senedd.

“Diversity goes hand in hand with the increase in numbers, the electoral reform, and the different sizes and shapes of seats,” he said.

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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
1 month ago

I am totally for this, it means more accountability and more democracy. Northern Ireland with half of our population has double the representation in Stormont compared to Cardiff Bay. 60 MS’s is nowhere near enough.

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Too busy squabbling to rule for three whole years! Stormont is a very poor example to offer up.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

I can’t believe I’m saying this. I agree with Huw Irranca-Davies. We need more Senedd members to enable our parliament to function properly and to scrutinise government legislation. We can’t have Welsh democracy on the cheap anymore. With the current Conservative idiocracy incursions into Welsh devolution, our Senedd Cymru having the exact same amount of Senedd members since 1999, plus add the 9 MPs cynically removed for by the Tories for political gain, Wales needs at least 90 MS, or 30 more, as present system is not sustainable or acceptable anymore baring in mind our Senedd Cymru increased workload &… Read more »

Wynford Jones
Wynford Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

I can’t believe that 9 Senedd Members would cost anywhere near the cost of 9 Welsh Westminster MP’s. Can anyone out there come up with a realistic estimate?

Ed Huw
Ed Huw
1 month ago
Reply to  Wynford Jones

Scrapping the Assembly would save us millions!!!

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago
Reply to  Ed Huw

Leaving this disfunctional Greater England state would save us trillions.

R W
R W
1 month ago
Reply to  Ed Huw

No, instead of scrapping our parliament, we should scrap the Westminster Parliament instead and save billions of pounds.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago
Reply to  Ed Huw

This sounds like trolling under a new fake name, this time based on Huw Edwards. “Hedda” at it again?

Dafydd
Dafydd
1 month ago
Reply to  Ed Huw

what a load of rubbish! Scrapping the Senedd would destroy Wales. We would be completely at the mercy of a perpetual english tory government,

Where does all the moiney we pay our Ms’s and the Welsh civil service get spent Ed? Yes the vasy majority of it here in Cymru ……

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
1 month ago

STV is not much better than FPTP.

Let’s go for the German PR system, which ensures the parties are represented according to their support, but also has the sonsttuency link.

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
1 month ago

constituency

CJPh
CJPh
1 month ago

I agree with the outcome Mr. Irranca-Davies is plumping for here, but not the rationale – I don’t believe that handing the government more power improves accountability; quite the inverse tends to happen. Ceding more powers to our Parliament, yes, but that is a transfer. More elected reps? Meh, probably.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
1 month ago

Supplementary vote is also a good voting system to consider if STV doesn’t appeal, (system we used to elect PCC). It keeps the link between constituency and AS – so no regional AS and it ensures that each AS has over 50% of popular vote, so no getting elected with less than 50%, seems to me it could be a possibly fair system to possibly consider. We would need more, smaller constituencies with it though, so could influence more local candidates.

Last edited 1 month ago by Mr Williams
Richard
Richard
1 month ago

HID needs to be urging fewer county councillors and at least two less authorities to balance the much needed top up at Y Senedd.

Town and larger or joint working community councils are great value and can support bottom democracy

Dafydd
Dafydd
1 month ago

Once attended an event at whicg HID spoke – impressive, think he has the potential to be a future FM.

To sell this to the general public, Senedd will have to reduce County Council numbers, particularly in SE Wales. Would also like to see them look into the potential of giving more powers to Town and Community councils to look after their areas – help increase pride in local areas – our litter covered streets and roads are a national shame.

Phil
Phil
1 month ago

Empire building. If this is to go ahead then we should take some of the matters currently dealt with by County Councils and hand them to the Senedd. We’re terribly over-governed.

ArgolFawr
ArgolFawr
1 month ago

Nero fiddles while Rome burns. Good grief, The AM’s (clearly not the tory one’s) should be focusing on how to deal with a UK Gov who would like nothing more than to ride themselves of the devolved gov’s. Scotland has a very good chance of walking away from the UK. Sadly at the moment, there aren’t enough that would want it to happen in Wales. So why are the AM’s looking to reinvent themselves as glorified county councillors instead of rising to the threat?

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