Advantages Of Devolution Revolution
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Advantages Of Devolution Revolution

Contentschapterpage1 Introduction12 The historical and international context3 The views of the people of Wales4 The role and structure of the Assembly5 The scope and adequacy of the devolved powers6 The scrutiny of unelected public bodies7 The WalesWhitehall relationship 8 The WalesWestminster relationship9The boundaries of devolution10 The financing of devolved government11The cost of devolution12 The electoral arrangements13 Developing devolution in Wales14 Conclusions: the way aheadannexes1Terms of reference2Programme of evidence sessions3Public meetings4Index of written evidence5Primary legislation affecting Wales6Acts of the first session of the Scottish Parliament, 1999-20037Acts of the Northern Ireland Assembly, 1999-20028Letter to the Chair2.The Richard Commission wasappointed in July 2002 by the FirstWales.Our Chair, Lord Richard, wasappointed by the First Minister.Fiveinterview.

Four were nominated jointlyby the four party leaders in the firstAssembly.

Terms of reference3.These are set out in full at Annex 1.of the National Assembly, which cameinto being in July 1999: the adequacy4.Within the powers part of the remit,The Commissions approach5.In considering the way forward, wehave been conscious of the fact thatParliamentary sessions.6.In evaluating the evidence submitted,we have sought to distinguish betweenteething problems, which naturallyoccur in the first years of such radical7.The Rt Hon Peter Hain MP, Secretaryof State for Wales, suggested to usa practical delivery benchmark testshould be applied to any proposal forWales? How will it improve it in8.We set out in Chapter 13 the visionenquiry.We have worked on twoassumptions.

First, that gains indemocracy and accountability aremore open, participative andproduce better policy outcomes.Werecognise, however, that conclusivethat better delivery of public services,or improvements in the economy,outside the scope of our enquiry.our approach, processes and the structure of our report.chapter 1: introduction9.We decided to approach our remitfrom a broad and practical perspective.We felt that the terms of referenceraised fundamental questions, whichparliamentary body and the role of theWelsh Assembly Government.Thequestions we have addressed arewhat, if any, problems have beenencountered; and how could things beof Wales?10.Our enquiry has drawn on the views ofthem on a daily basis and of ordinarypeople in Wales.We are confident thatprovided a sufficient body of evidenceto enable us to identify in detail the11.Many aspects of the remit

theAssemblys size, powers, structure,inter-dependent.In reachingand on the governance of Wales morewidely, and to present a coherent and12.Each chapter of the report examines awith findings specific to that chapter.The conclusions we have reached,The scope of our report13.We were clear that it was not our roleto evaluate the performance of theAssembly or the Welsh Assemblyentailed going outside our terms ofjudgements.We have focused on theevidence and limited our observationsto matters directly relevant to theAssemblys powers and its capacity toexercise them effectively.14.On the electoral arrangements, wesystems.

We have drawn on these butfocused on the practical operation ofthe existing system and what seem to15.We began our work in September16.Between October 2002 andevidence sessions,3 seminars,submissions.We held 9 publicchapter 1: introduction3chapter 1: introductionmeetings, starting in Swansea andMeifod.We observed the Assembly inplenary and in committee, visited theScottish Parliament in Edinburgh, metthe Speaker of the Northern IrelandAssembly and visited Westminster, tomeet MPs, Peers and others, three17.Since our appointment, theParliament at Westminster hasproduced two reports that have beenDevolution: Inter-institutional relations Report ofthe House of Lords Select Committeeon the Constitution, HL 28 of 2002-The Primary Legislative Process as itaffects Wales Report of the WelshThe structure of the report 18.The structure of our report is asChapter 2 reviews the history andWales Act 1998 and demonstratessummary of the international context;the views of the people of Wales opinion survey evidence;structure of the National Assembly.

ItAssembly and its committees to carryout the role of scrutiny and holdingacquiring further powers.The mainfocus is on the experience of the FirstAssembly, but relevant developmentspractice by the Welsh AssemblyChapter 6 reviews the Assemblyspublic bodies it sponsors and how therelationship between government andbetween the Welsh AssemblyChapter 8 considers the way primarylegislation affecting Wales is handledat Westminster and the impact ofsystem are discussed;implications of further transfers ofpowers from the UK Government;Chapter 10 examines the Assemblysdevolution in Wales and the possibleimplications of further development;Chapter 12 considers the Assemblysdeveloping devolution in Wales; 19.We would like to express our sinceregave a unique insight into the far-public life in Wales.We are also mostof the Parliament at Westminster and20.We hope that our report does justice tothe evidence we received.We believethat it represents an unprecedentedexamination of Welsh constitutionala resource for future students of Welshchapter 1: introductionNotesOral evidence of The Rt Hon Peter Hain MP, Secretary of State for Wales, 13 March 2003.Evaluating devolution in Wales, Adrian Kay, Political StudiesSocial Research Councils Devolution Research Programme, at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth (October2002) and Swansea (January 2003).Seminar on legal aspects of the settlement in February 2003 convened bythe Law Society in Wales.Commission on the Powers and Electoral Arrangements of the National Assembly for Wales, The Powers of theNational Assembly for Wales: issues and questions for consultationPowers and Electoral Arrangements of the National Assembly for Wales, Electoral Arrangements of the NationalAssembly for Wales: issues and questions for consultationIn particular Chapters 8 and 10.5chapter 2: the historical and2.The chapter addresses the followingdevolution introduced for Wales inhow do the current governancearrangements in Wales and the UKwhat has been the impact ofdevolution on the role of Wales inHow Wales was governed before3.The Acts of Parliament, of 1536 andActs of Union, though not known asthe conquest of Wales by Edward I inthe 13th century.

The preamble to the1536 Act asserted that:Wales is and ever hath beenCrown of this Realm as a verrye4.The legislation abolished any legaldistinction between Wales andjustice, the courts, shires andgranted Welsh representation inParliament

27 Members, whichwhen the Welsh population was5.In the 19th century, proposals forfor Wales, whether from a Home Rulequestion, or from the perspective of theCymru Fyddsupport in Parliament.There wasdistinctive Welsh legislation from thesecond half of the 19th centuryonwards, including the Welsh Sundaylegislative enactment to apply to Wales6.Subsequent Wales-only measuresAct in 1889, the Disestablishment ofthe Church (Wales) Act 1920 and theThis chapter provides a summary of the historical and internationalcontext of devolved government in Wales.The first part of the chapterplaces the 1998 Government of Wales Act in the context of thegovernance of Wales since the 16th century.The second part reviewsWelsh Language Act 1967.Manybodies for Wales including the WelshDevelopment Agency, the DevelopmentBoard for Rural Wales and the LandAuthority for Wales.7.Responding to Welsh needs throughdistinctive Welsh legislation was seenan alternative to it.

In Lord MorgansThe twentieth century, from the FirstWorld War down to the late 1960s,for Wales, an age of centralism and ofWales in the 20th century: economic8.The pre-First World War LiberalAdministration created separate Welshdepartments within the existingMinistries for Education, Agriculturethe Assembly, and was taken forwardby each of the political parties when in9.During the inter-war years of economicAneurin Bevan, and others within theTrade Union movement, consideredfacing the Welsh economy and thecentral task of influencing thecommanding heights of the economy,10.In 1925 Plaid Genedlaethol Cymrugoverning Wales and to preserveWelsh identity, especially the language.11.Demands for a Secretary of State forWales received short shrift from thewar-time Coalition Government, thethe Conservative Government of HaroldMacmillan.It was not until after theLabour Party gave a manifestoSecretary of State and establish aWelsh Office with executivebackdrop of growth in electoral supportthe Conservatives to move in thedirection of devolution.12.Under Conservative Governments fromand co-ordinated by a Minister ofWelsh Affairs, who was in the Cabinetby virtue of jointly holding anothermajor portfolio.

The appointment inCardiff, strengthened these moves.13.The first Secretary of State for Walesappointed Secretary of State, JamesGriffiths, to oversight over governmentdepartmental activities in Wales.

Achapter 2: the historical and7chapter 2: the historical andWelsh Office was founded round theMinistry of Housing and LocalGovernment office in Wales.14.Whitehall, at the highest level,continued to resist the furtherdevolution of executive responsibility,such as health and education would15.Arguments put forward against thethat, in education, the separation ofEngland and Wales would createsevere practical problems in respect ofthe creation of a fourth agriculturedepartment would add to potentialexecutive and advisory bodies;in housing and local government, the16.Underlying these objections was arecognition that the creation of a Welshthrough further transfers of powers tothe new department.This forecastwere extracted slowly from a reluctantThe key stages in the process are summarised in Box 2.1below.17
advantages of devolution revolution
.Under growing political pressure, andfollowing the major re-organisation ofthe Departments of Health and SocialSecurity, health and tourism functionswere transferred in 1968 and jointAfter the 1970 General Election,responsibility for primary andsecondary education was transferredby the new Conservativeadministration.18.The debates in Parliament, and withinWales, throughout the period ofelected Welsh body:specific circumstances of Wales;account of national feeling in Wales;from separated and unco-ordinateddemocracy in Wales;the need for a watchdog Secretary ofState to make sure that Wales wasthat Wales should be treated on a parwith Scotland.19.

The process of administrativeWales to develop policies in responseto Welsh needs as they interpretedthem.The staff of the Welsh Officegrew from 200 in 1964 to 2321 inchapter 2: the historical andBox 2.1: the expansion of administrative devolution 1906-19991906-1918 Creation of separate Welsh departments within the existingministries for education, agriculture, insurance and health1945-51Establishment of unelected Advisory Council for Wales and1951-1964 Creation of Minister for Welsh Affairs (post held initially byHome Secretary, subsequently by Minister for Housing andappointment in 1957 of Minister of State based in Wales1964 Establishment of Welsh Office under Secretary of State forWales, responsible for housing, local government, planning,water, forestry, parks, museums & libraries, the Welsh language, regional economic planning andhighways1968 Tourism and health transferred 1969 Welsh Office gains joint power over Welsh agriculture1970 Primary and secondary education transferred 1976Welsh Development Agency and the Development Board forRural Wales established1978Full responsibility for agriculture (most functions) transferred1980 Establishment of devolved Budget system 1992Employment training and University of Wales funding1993Funding Councils for further and higher education in Wales9chapter 2: the historical andpolitical parties used the Welsh Officeto further their objectives by pursuing20.This was seen, for example, inwhere a history of Welshinstitutions as the Welsh Jointpolicies depended on legislation, onextensive budgetary freedom (whichOther examples of policydivergence include local governmentand land reclamation.

21.The existence of the Welsh Office alsoinfluenced civic society in Wales,organisations to create Welshstructures and adding to thethis had a major impact on thepolitical parties, the trade unions and22.However, all this was against thebackground of the unitary state, andthe requirement on the Secretary ofFrom 1979 until the 1997 election,majority of Welsh MPs.

Thus theWelsh Office, and the Scottish Office,the Welsh Office up to the 1980sbrought to the fore the question ofdemocracy and accountability:The Welsh Office in the 18 years ofConservative rule the terms in which Welsh issues wereWelsh Offices extended role after1979 reinforced the sense of theterritorial identity of Walesactive Welsh Office, and of revulsionadded to a firmer sense of WelshElements of continuity and change24.Before the establishment of thedevolved to the Secretary of State forWales in respect of most of the majorpublic services in Wales;the Secretary of State had extensivebudgetary freedom; the structure of the Welsh Officeenabled policy to be developed on aWelsh basis although the constraintsof England and Wales legislationmeant that this was less developed25.The scope of the powers subsequentlythe Government of Wales Act wereSecretary of State (Chapter 5).The keydifference was in respect ofaccountability.The Secretary of Statefor Wales was (and is) a Member ofcollective Cabinet responsibility.

Bycontrast, the Welsh AssemblyWales.26.This separate accountability has wide-expectations placed on the Assemblyby people in Wales, as discussed inChapter 3 and in later chapters.LordMorgan suggests that it may havefurther development of devolution

weaddress this in Chapters 13 and 14.and from Wales, not from Whitehall orWestminster.....Like the constitutionaldynamic all its own.27.The change, in 1999, from aSecretary of State to an electedAssembly, has been described as anexecutive model of devolution, distinctparliamentary model which was28.The proposal for an elected Assemblywas put to the Welsh people for thethe same time as a Parliament wasfollowed the report in 1973 of theRoyal Commission on theConstitution, chaired at first by LordCrowther and, thereafter, by LordKilbrandon, which recommendedScotland and Wales, elected by theSingle Transferable Vote system ofproportional representation.29.The Commission presented a wide-the United Kingdom and its membersof devolution.argued for a UK-wide federal systemsignatories to the main report, sixScotland and Wales.

Two favouredalone, with an advisory body forWales.Two members favouredand one favoured an advisory body for30.Thus, only two members favouredWales, influenced by Scotlandschapter 2: the historical and11chapter 2: the historical and31.In Wales, the 1979 proposal forlegislative devolution was supported,32.AcademicsWales in 1979 to a yes vote by a verytiming

the first referendum took placehold on to a wafer-thin majority, thenew government with a very largepopular will

the sense of nationhoodcontrol over the Welsh Office was lesswell developed in 1979 than in 1997,by a party without a majority in Walesand the particular strength of feelingthe campaigns

the yes campaignwas stronger, and the no campaignWhy the executive model of devolution?33.The model of devolution proposed in Voice for Wales, the White Paper whichpreceded the 1997 referendum, wasagreed by the Labour Party inthe Additional Member System ofproportional representation.for policies and public servicescurrently exercised by the Secretary ofState for Wales and make detailedsecondary legislation, within theParliament.34.The Rt Hon Ron Davies AM, whobecame Shadow Secretary of State forWales in 1992, and Secretary of Statefrom July 1997 to October 1998,explained that the model was acompromise solution, adopted toensure the support of both pro and antidevolutionists in the Welsh LabourParty:The big issue at the time, as it is now,was the question of primary legislation.an Assembly from the idea of aParliament.And it was that issue ofprimary legislative powers that becameLabour Party.The powers that bewithin the party were not convinced ofthe case for primary legislative powersprimary legislation.35.Mr Davies went on to explain that thechoice of the executive devolutionpowers previously held by the Secretaryof State for Wales, and the preciseconsiderations, which were to have far-36.In many respects, Wales has followedterritorial Secretary of State and,second, in the creation of an electedlonger history than the Welsh Office,by 1999 the two departments of statehad much in common

with the37.But there was a separate Scottishseparate Scottish legislation, withconsideration in Parliament.was also a stronger tradition of, andgreater capacity for, separate policyresponsibility.38.The sense of nationhood was alsodevolution proposals for Scotland builtrepresentatives of civic society,Democrat parties in Scotland, whichadvocated a Parliament for Scotlandwith law-making and tax-varying39.All these factors have been seen ascontributing to the outcome of anthe UK, driven by the momentum forconstitutional reform in Scotland butWales.Devolution in Northern Irelandhas a different structure reflecting itsconstitutional history.40.Lord Morgans evidence suggested thatthe asymmetry in 1999 did reflectdifferences in history and nationalidentity.But he questioned whetherasymmetry would survive the pressuresBroadly speaking, Wales has not had asense of citizenship, unlike Scotlandinstitutions; Wales has not.Even asrecently as the 1990s Scotland had aConstitutional Convention and WalesI think the Welsh Office achieved themost enormous amount particularlydiscrepancies between the Wales andthe UK Government became profound,accountability were asked.Now they are being asked againAsymmetry was essential at thesettlement at all and it creates verychapter 2: the historical and13chapter 2: the historical and41.Professor Rawlings emphasisedWaless historic and geographicthis asymmetry:powerful geo-political concept ofEngland and Walesexpressed in, but not confined to, theoverarching unity of the English andWelsh legal system, is not about to go42.Comparisons with other countries arecomplex and we are particularlyindebted to Professor Charlie Jeffery,Programme, Institute of GermanStudies at Birmingham University,Professor Martin Laffin of theUniversity of Durham and Professoroverview based on their research.43.Professor Jeffery pointed to thearrangements or practices from oneplace to another.Political institutionsdevelop in a particular social andidiosyncrasies.Cut loose from their44.

He did see value, however, inarrangements in Wales and identify theand Germany) and formerly unitaryProfessor Jefferys evidence are asDevolved government in Wales has moreregions in federal and regionalised45.Each of the regional tiers ofgovernment examined has significantexclusive (or primary) legislativepowers, typically including education,some cases, policing.But thesepowers are often subject to constraintsautonomy.For example, in some statesthat, in some fields of policy, regionssecondary legislation.46.In all the countries considered, thereand central governments, constrain theautonomy of regions and give thepolicies.Thus, although Wales hasregions/states surveyed, the latter arearrangements with the central andlocal tiers of government in theirDevolved government in Wales hasgreater freedom in its spendingregional tiers, but has a more47.Each of the regions or states studiedhas elements of fiscal autonomy (thebut all are dependent on the centre forfunding is often conditional

tied toparticular activities

this reduces48.Having compared Wales with thecountries mentioned above, ProfessorJeffery concl
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