Thursday, 23 April 2009 13:50


 ON the 10th anniversary of the National Assembly a North Wales AM speaks out about his glory moments and concerns for the future. Welsh Conservative Mark Isherwood, who has been an AM since 2003, said the Assembly has come a long way since its establishment in 1999, but the fact the majority of people in Wales still have little understanding about its role and separation from the Welsh Government is a great worry “The Assembly has grown from a new born with low support in Wales to an adolescent that has become part of the Welsh scene, but with all the trials of puberty ahead of it,” he said. “The people of Wales have yet to fully grasp what the Assembly does and its separation from the Welsh Government - and both Assembly and Welsh Government have yet to fully understand that increasing powers bring greater responsibility. “Although recent polling indicates majority support across Wales, not only for the Assembly but new law making powers, it must be noted with concern that half the people in Wales can’t name the parties in coalition in the Welsh Government and half the people can’t name a single thing it is responsible for.“Until we address this, our young democracy can not function effectively or on the basis of the accountability to the people in Wales which is so critical. Above all we must move to a position in which the Welsh Government, not the North/South divide, is rightly blamed by the people of North Wales for the unpopular decisions it has made.”He added: “There is an increasing likelihood that the Assembly will acquire full 'Scottish' law making powers in all devolved areas, subject to a referendum of the people. The current system, botched together to reconcile differences between Welsh Labour MPs and AMs, is an unsustainable ‘dogs breakfast’. However, the future of devolution must be considered within a UK context.” One highlight from the 10 years for Mr Isherwood was defeating the Labour Welsh Government on a Welsh Conservative Motion to scrap university top up fees for Welsh domiciled students at Welsh universities.His biggest disappointment was the complete failure of the Welsh Government to heed his warnings about the housing crisis in Wales until it was too late.  ENDS

Promoted by Mark Isherwood AM at National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

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