Plaid Cymru councillors are urging their Labour and Independent colleagues on Caerphilly County Borough Council to back the ‘Yes’ campaign in next year’s referendum on greater powers for the Welsh Assembly.
A notice of motion has been tabled by the ruling Plaid Cymru group which is calling on Labour opposition members and Independents to support the campaign for full law-making powers for the Assembly within the devolved areas.
It will be considered by councillors at the next full meting of the county borough council
Councillor Allan Pritchard, deputy leader of the council, said: “On March 3 next year, Wales will vote on whether the Assembly should have law-making powers in the 20 devolved areas it already makes decisions about, including health, education, social services and housing.
“Laws made in Wales now have to be scrutinised and approved by both the House of Commons and House of Lords. This has led to delays of up to a year in approving some important legislation. A ‘yes’ vote will speed up the democratic process and do away with the current very cumbersome process.”
Councillor Ron Davies, Plaid’s Assembly candidate for Caerphilly and the original architect of devolution when he was Secreatry of State in 1997, said the referendum was about making the Assembly work better for all communities in Wales.
He said “The Assembly currently 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 which has to be positive.
“A ‘yes’ vote would have 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 will mean people are happy to make do with the overly bureaucratic set up we have. It could have huge repercussions for Wales, especially at a time when we’re trying to defend services.”