Dear party leaders,
We write to you following the publication of the Committee on Senedd Reform’s report, which makes a series of recommendations on how to strengthen Welsh democracy.
These are important and long overdue proposals that represent a vital and much-needed blueprint for strengthening democracy in Wales. We represent a coalition of organisations who firmly believe in the recommendations made in this report and want to urge you to take action on implementing these proposals on capacity, electoral systems and diversity.
As you will be aware, there have been discussions around the capacity of the Senedd since before the publication of the Richard Commission report in 2004. The Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform in 2017 made serious recommendations on how to implement such changes, alongside further measures on diversity, and this new report is yet another call for change just three years later.
We cannot allow this vital issue to be kicked into the long grass any more and are asking you to publicly commit now to adopting all of the recommendations early in the next Senedd term. We are writing to all party leaders asking the same, in the hope that we can see some real cross-party commitments on this ahead of May 2021.
Next year’s election must be the last with a 60 member Senedd, elected under a system that is not offering maximum voter choice or guaranteeing diversity.
We appreciate that we are in unprecedented times with Wales facing a whole host of substantial. However, the Senedd must be equipped to deal with such challenges and to do this we need to grasp the nettle and commit to reform.
These reforms are vital for not only a stronger Senedd but a stronger Wales for all who live here.
Jess Blair, Director, ERS Cymru
Catherine Fookes, Director, WEN Wales
Rocio Cifuentes, CEO, Ethnic Minorities and Youth Support Team Wales
Stuart Ropke, Chief Executive, Community Housing Cymru
Auriol Miller, Director, Institute of Welsh Affairs
Cerys Furlong, Chief Executive, Chwarae Teg
Katie Dalton, Director, Cymorth Cymru