Members of the National Assembly for Wales will be offered the opportunity to raise issues of topical and local interest in new 90-second slots during Plenary sessions.
Plenary is the meeting of all 60 Assembly Members and takes place in the Siambr on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It’s the main forum for Assembly Members to carry out their role of representing the people of Wales and their communities, making laws for Wales and ensuring the Welsh Government is doing its job properly.
The move has been put forward by Llywydd Elin Jones AM and will set aside a five minute slot each Wednesday for at least three Assembly Members to make a short statement.
The Assembly will be the first parliamentary body in the UK to introduce this measure, which is already in use in parliaments such as Australia and Canada.
Any Member may make a 90-second statement on any subject of concern and can use their time to, for example:
- raise matters of concern to their constituents;
- draw attention to local issues;
- mark anniversaries or significant dates;
- pay tributes.
In the event of the sessions having more than three members apply, the Llywydd will use her discretion to select at least three statements based on the information provided.
“One of my key aims since being elected Llywydd has been to inject greater vibrancy into Plenary proceedings by allocating time for new types of business,” the Llywydd said.
“I have already secured the agreement of the Business Committee to introduce statements from committee chairs at an early stage of committee inquiries to raise awareness and engagement.
“Members’ Statements are used widely in other Commonwealth parliaments, primarily to provide Members with an opportunity to make short statements, without notice, on a current issue or matter of interest to their constituents or the general public.”
“The Assembly is a modern democratic institution and we should always be looking to make our work more relevant to, and inclusive of, the people of Wales.”
The first 90-second personal statements will begin after the half-term recess on 2 November and will be reviewed by the Business Committee in the New Year.