Welsh politicians must ‘bite the bullet’ and deliver a larger Senedd says Electoral Reform Society director
Welsh politicians must “bite the bullet” and deliver a larger Senedd, according to the director of Wales’ Electoral Reform Society.
ERS Cymru Director Jess Blair was responding to a poll by the Western Mail suggesting that the people of Wales back the idea of having more members in the Senedd.
The poll by Beaufort Research commissioned by the Western Mail newspaper suggested that with ‘don’t knows’ removed, 61.5% wanted to expand the number of Senedd Members from 60 to 90 and 38.5% did not.
Jess Blair said that it was clear that Welsh support for devolution had increased over the years, and that there was a greater understanding of the role of the Senedd following the Covid pandemic when the Senedd and the Welsh Government could set different rules in Wales to elsewhere.
She said that ” this apparent increase in public support offers encouragement to key decision makers to bite the bullet and deliver a stronger parliament for Wales”.
“To many it might seem surprising for a poll to find support for more politicians, especially one undertaken not long after a number of sleaze scandals in Westminster and trust in politicians found to be at a record low,” she said.
“But really growing public support for a larger Senedd should come as no surprise. It’s clear that the public’s engagement with devolution and the way decisions are made in Wales has evolved in the past couple of years.
“The pandemic has highlighted the different decisions that can be made on either side of the Severn Bridge. In September, another poll demonstrated higher support for Mark Drakeford than Boris Johnson and that an overwhelming number of people in Wales preferred the Welsh approach to tackling the pandemic.
“The Senedd has come a long way since its inception in 1999 and this poll shows that the public have been on a journey with it too, evident by their more positive reflections on Welsh politics in recent months and years.”
The 2021 co-operation agreement between Plaid Cymru and Labour includes a commitment to legislate on a larger Senedd, and a Senedd Special Purpose Committee is due to report on the issue before 31st May this year.
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