WQ89489 (e) Tabled on 06/11/2023

How was it decided that there should be 96 Senedd Members, given the report A Parliament that Works for Wales by the Expert Panel on Assembly Electoral Reform's assessment that there would be less return for the costs beyond 90 Members and recommended between 80 and 90 Members?

Answered by Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution | Answered on 14/11/2023

The Explanatory Memorandum to the Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Bill sets out that the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform considered that the size of the Senedd should be increased to 96 Members, and that this was marginally beyond the range of 80 to 90 previously recommended by the Expert Panel in 2017. The Special Purpose Committee believed this increase to be a proportionate adjustment, in light of the wide array of changes in the political landscape of Wales since the Expert Panel reported. The committee noted, for example, that the responsibilities of the Welsh Government and the Senedd had increased since the time of the panel’s report, primarily as a result of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. In addition, as a result of the pandemic, public awareness of the Senedd’s and Welsh Government’s responsibilities was believed to have significantly increased, providing opportunities for greater public engagement.

This work is being carried out in collaboration with Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, leader of Plaid Cymru, as part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.