Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Wrexham says "Yes" - Council votes 34-7 to back greater powers for Assembly

The campaign for greater powers for the Welsh Assembly tonight received a huge boost when Wrexham Council became the first in Wales to support the move.

The decisive 34-7 vote is a dramatic about-turn for an area that voted narrowly against the Assembly back in 1997 and campaigners believe it sends a powerful signal that the Assembly is ready for an enhanced role.

The vote, which attracted cross-party support and among the many independent councillors in Wrexham, was a symbolic milestone according to the councillor who submitted the motion.

Councillor Marc Jones, Plaid Cymru's group leader on the council, said:
"In a little over 13 weeks, Wales will have a referendum on whether the Assembly should have law-making powers in the 20 devolved areas it already makes decisions about, including health, education and housing.

"At the moment, any laws made in Wales have to be scrutinised and approved of by both the House of Commons and House of Lords in London. This has led to delays of up to a year in approving some important legislation, so a 'yes' vote will speed up the democratic process and do away with the current cumbersome process."

He added:
"The referendum on March 3 is about making the Assembly work better for all communities in Wales - including ours. At the moment the Assembly operates like a boxer with one arm tied behind its back. Gaining the power to make laws without a Westminster veto will speed up decision making in wales.
"A yes vote has no cost implications for the council or at a national level. If won, it says we are maturing as a nation and able to take a step forward in enhancing our democracy.

"If lost, it says we are happy with the overly bureaucratic set up we currently have and it could have huge repercussions for Wales, especially at a time when we’re trying to defend services.

"It’s great to see Wrexham leading the way in supporting this move – we’re the first council in Wales to put forward such a proposal. I'm sure others will now want to pick up on this and I hope we'll see a snowball effect throughout the country."

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The full motion reads:
"Wrexham Council supports full law-making powers within the devolved areas for the Welsh Assembly. This will speed up the democratic process in Wales and do away with the cumbersome process we currently have, for the benefit of both national and local government."

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Let me guess, the Tories voted against!

Plaid Whitegate said...

The "no" vote was made up of 2 Tories (the other 3 were absent), 1 Lib Dem, 2 Labour and 3 independents.

Two prominent Lib Dems abstained.

The "yes" vote consisted of all 3 Plaid members present (one was absent), 8 Labour, 7 Lib Dems and the remaining independent councillors.

Anonymous said...

So I was right! The Tories voted against I wonder what Nick Bourne thinks of that?!

Plaid Deserter said...

It is such a shame that at a time when council employees are losing jobs that Plaid chose to waste council time and taxpayers money debating an issue to which they had no remit.

The employees of Wrexham Council will certainly make their own judgement on this fruitless effort to further a nationalist campaign. They don't need to be told how to vote in the referendum by Councillors.

Anonymous said...

I thought this was supposed to be a public referendum not a bloody council directive.

Who the hell do these councillors think they are trying to influence the vote like this?

Plaid Gwersyllt said...

Not directing anyone but as Councillors we know as well as anyone the buraucratic nonsense that is the current law making powers needs amending and that is exactly what a YES vote will achieve. It will bring a better form of governance to Wrecsam and Wales and that is what we should be doing as elected members; so we stand by what we and cross group councillors did.

Anonymous said...

Looks like someone's taught the chimps in True Wales how to use a keyboard...
I wonder if it's the Labour or Tory chimp in control?

La Pasionaria said...

This is from John Broughton's twitter @grahnat:

Wrexham CBC just passed a Plaid motion in favour of Additional Powers - surely that was ultra vires? What's Plaid's game?

John Broughton is Paul Rogers' campaign manager in Clwyd South. he's a regular commentator on True Wales's Facebook page and supports a NO vote; he nor Rogers has any loyalty to Bourne then.