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Historic Act aims to strengthen democracy in Wales

24 Jun 2024 2 minute read
Once-in-a-generation reforms gain Royal Assent

‘Once-in-a-generation reforms’ that aim to strengthen democracy in Wales have passed into law today (24 June) with the Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Act gaining Royal Assent.

The landmark legislation, which was passed by a supermajority of Members of the Senedd in May, is intended to ‘create a modern, more effective Welsh Parliament to serve and represent people in Wales’.

Under the new law, the Senedd will gain increased capacity to scrutinise policies, laws, spending plans, and hold the Welsh Government to account.

Key changes

Key changes to be implemented in time for the 2026 Senedd elections include:

  • 96 Members of the Senedd, elected using a fully proportional, closed list system, with all candidates named on ballot papers.
  • A move to having 16 constituencies across Wales, each electing six Members of the Senedd.
  • All candidates to, and Members of, the Senedd will need to be resident in Wales.
  • Senedd elections will be held every four years from 2026 onwards.

There are also commitments to review the changes brought in by the Act after the 2026 election, and to consider the practical and legislative implications of job-sharing offices related to the Senedd.

First Minister Vaughan Gething said: “This is an historic moment for democracy in Wales. During 25 years of Welsh devolution the Senedd gained greater responsibilities, including law-making and tax-varying powers, but its capacity did not keep pace and that had to change.

“These once-in-a-generation reforms will redress that imbalance to create a modern Senedd that better reflects 21st century Wales.”

Counsel General Mick Antoniw said: “Wales is currently the most under-represented country in the UK.

“This landmark legislation will strengthen our democracy to better serve people in Wales, both in the Senedd and in our local communities across Wales.

“It was forged in the fires of the Senedd’s scrutiny to ensure that our Welsh Parliament has the capacity it needs to examine laws, review spending plans, and ensure we deliver for the people of Wales.”

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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
23 days ago

Much to like here but for a start, any future news if this type must not require ‘Royal ascent’ and if our Senedd is to deliver for Cymru, it must be with the permission of our nations’ people only to whom members of Y Senedd must swear allegiance and not to an outside monarchy which is anything but ‘modern’. My personal jury is still out on the closed list system but having validated the increase to 96 members (when our Westminster voice has been cut by 8) and the requirement that ALL of them MUST reside in the country is… Read more »

Richard Davies
Richard Davies
23 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Yea to what you say, if we are to have a head of state it must be an elected head of state!

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
23 days ago

Westminster want ID, here they demand blind faith…

‘Solicitor politicians’ honestly linked-in or what ! ,LoL…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
23 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Look at the photograph, they look like they’d both got away with something…!

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
23 days ago

This Act certainly strenghens our democracy. Now to ratify a law that will ban politician from lying.

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