Wales’ constitutional future being ‘carved up behind closed doors’ Tory Senedd Member claims
Wales’ constitutional future is being “carved up behind closed doors” by a commission on constitutional reform, a Conservative Senedd Member has said.
The Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales, established by the Welsh Government, is currently holding a public consultation to look at options for how Wales might be governed in the future.
Headed by Professor Laura McAllister and the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, it has called for a “national conversation” so that Wales can approach any UK-wide constitutional change “on the front foot”.
However, Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders said that there needed to be a “greater level of transparency” from the commission and a need for “constructive debate”.
She said that “media speculation” and “conversations amongst politicos” had led to an “unhealthy conversation on matters related to the Welsh constitution”.
“As I hope the Counsel General will agree, discussions on the future of Wales need to be held in a transparent and open manner, where citizens can continuously scrutinise the work of the Commission and provide their input on how they envisage a modern-day democratic Wales to look,” she said.
“The future of this country should not be calved up behind closed doors.”
She said that the recommendations of the commission are likely to include an increased number of seats in the Senedd and a reformed voting system.
“Wales is still in its democratic infancy which is a very unique and privileged position to be in,” she said. “It is therefore important that any reforms made are carried out based on models seen elsewhere in the world that could better improve the level of democracy and governance in Cardiff Bay.”
‘Keen to hear’
Launching its consultation in March, the Commission said that its 11 memberss coved a spectrum of backgrounds, expertise and political views, with the purpose of generating vigorous and ground-breaking debate to inspire what Wales’ future could look like.
Speaking last month, Dr Rowan Williams said that Wales “must be ready” if the UK were to “change radically”.
The co-chairs have set out seven broad questions that they want the public to consider, including one that quizzes the public about the merits of Welsh independence.
Co-chair Professor Laura McAllister added: “We’re extremely keen to hear from organisations and groups as much as individual members of the Welsh public. We want to learn from the organisations closest to different communities about what is important to them in this conversation.
“The Commission gives us an opportunity to take charge by having a national conversation about where we want Wales to be in the future, and what kind of Wales we want for our children and grandchildren.”
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