WALES: NEW ASSEMBLY MEETS NEXT WEEK
When the Senedd (National Assembly of Wales) officially opens next week in Caerdydd (Cardiff), it will not only mark the start of the Assembly’s business for new and returning Assembly Members following the election on 5 May 2011, it
will also be the most powerful legislative Welsh parliamentary body that Wales has had since the inauguration of Owain Glyndwr’s Parliament in the fifteenth century.
On hearing the referendum result on 3rd March 2011, the Welsh First Minister, Carwyn Jones, said “Today an old nation came of age”. When the Senedd convenes on 6th June, it will have competence over the 20 `Fields’ and `Matters’ under the Government of Wales Act 2006, and can pass laws in these areas without needing the approval of the UK Parliament in London. Other changes that will
also be evident will be the official change in name from the `Welsh Assembly Government’ to the `Welsh Government’. The Senedd however does not have the official title of `Parliament’ in English (although in Welsh `Senedd’ means both Parliament and Assembly) and this was one of the reasons why nationalists criticized the Government of Wales Act 2006 so heavily.
Scotland on the other hand does have a Parliament and the new majority Scottish National Party (SNP) Government has already begun pushing for further powers from the UK Government and will no doubt continue to do so in the future. In
contrast to the modest affair of the official opening of the Senedd on 6th June, the official opening of the Scottish Parliament on 1st July is expected to be rife with pomp and ceremony and tickets can be booked at the link below. The SNP
Government has already chosen its cabinet, which is an enlarged version of its former one following its landslide victory, but it has taken Plaid Cymru until this week to reveal its shadow cabinet.
Links to lists of the members of both cabinets are shown below along with their respective portfolios and as will be seen several new faces appear in both the Plaid Cymru and SNP cabinets. Following the disappointing loss of four Plaid Cymru seats in the elections, Ieuan Wyn Jones said last month that he will step down as leader of the Party.
List of SNP Cabinet members:
List of Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Members:
Government of Wales Act 2006 – 20 Fields of competence:
Official Opening of Scottish Parliament:
J B Moffatt (Mr)
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