Exiting the European Union – An Update from the Chair of the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee

Following the declaration of the COVID-19 public health emergency, Senedd committees, like so many other organisations, moved the emphasis of their work to focus on responding to the crisis.

For the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee, this meant pausing some of our planned work while we found new ways of working.

External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee meeting via Zoom

The past ten weeks have given us the chance to adjust our working practices in line with Welsh Government guidelines and revise our work programme to reflect the wider situation.

While responding to the pandemic remains the Government’s number one priority, we must not forget that the UK is in a period of transition in exiting the European Union, and that as things currently stand we will have exited with or without a trade deal on 1 January 2021. For this reason, the Committee remains focussed on its remit to examine the implications for Wales of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

In order to achieve this, the Committee met remotely and informally in April to agree a way forward, and since then has held two remote formal meetings to discuss on-going work streams such as the UK Trade Bill, the UK-EU future relationship negotiations, and the trade continuity programme.

The Trade Bill 2019-21 is progressing though UK Parliament, and the Committee is preparing to report on the associated legislative consent memorandum in early July, building on its work on the previous iteration of the Trade Bill in March 2018 and March 2019.

We held our first virtual broadcast meeting on 2 June 2020 where we questioned the Counsel General and Minister for European Transition on the role that Welsh Government is able to play in the future relationship negotiations, and how the Welsh Government is preparing for the end of the transition period (if you missed it, you can watch a recording on Senedd.tv or read the transcript).

On 16 June 2020, the Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language will appear before the Committee to discuss the Welsh Government’s involvement in the UK Government’s proposed programme of free trade agreements, in particular those with the USA and with Japan.

This meeting will be held via video conference and will be available to watch on senedd.tv both live and after the event.

As well as our role in scrutinising the Welsh Government, we cannot forget the impact of these negotiations on Wales more broadly.

To fully understand the implications for Wales of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, we must understand how Welsh businesses and organisations are preparing for the end of the transition period, particularly in the light of the impact of coronavirus.

Social distancing and travel restrictions mean that we can no longer hold the conference-style meeting that we had planned with stakeholders, but we hope to explore other ways to engage in the weeks ahead.

More information about this and all our work streams will be given on our website.

Championing equality at the Assembly

Assembly Members celebrating International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day – a day to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality.

This year’s theme is #EachforEqual. The campaign is raising awareness of how all our actions, conversations, behaviours and mindsets can have an impact on society. Together, each one of us can help create a gender-equal world.

Equality at our core

The Senedd

We’re proud champions of equality at the National Assembly for Wales. Established in 1999, the Assembly had the principle of equal opportunities at its core.

The laws and rules that govern the Assembly have specific requirements that our work should be conducted “with due regard to the principle that there should be equality of opportunity for all people.”

Leading the way

As a legislature, we’ve led the way with equality. In 2003, we became the first legislature in the world to achieve a gender balance with 30 women and 30 men. Currently, 47% of AMs are female. The proportion has never fallen below 40%.

Globally the average percentage of women in national parliaments is 24%. The Assembly has always held a higher proportion of women Members than the House of Commons, Scottish Parliament and the Northern Ireland Assembly.

Women hold some of the most senior roles at the Assembly. Our Presiding Officer is Elin Jones AM. The role is similar to Speakers and Presiding Officers in parliaments across the world, although responsibilities vary from country to country. Ann Jones AM is the Deputy Presiding Officer.

Manon Antoniazzi is the Chief Executive and Clerk of the Assembly. 60% of senior managers in the Assembly are women.

Giving a platform to young people

The Welsh Youth Parliament gives a platform to young people to have their voices heard and debate issues of importance. Equality and inclusivity, are at its core. Young people aged 11-18 make up the 60 Members of the Welsh Youth Parliament, 58% are young women.

Welsh Youth Parliament with the Llywydd

Our work

We investigate issues relating to gender equality including parenting and work; violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence and ensuring diverse representation in local government.

You can keep up-to-date with the work of the Assembly by following us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You can also visit us.

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Guest blog by Ann Jones AM.

Ann Jones AM and the panel

The National Assembly for Wales holds an annual event each March to celebrate International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is #EachforEqual, and I feel really proud that we’ve committed to taking equality seriously at the Assembly since it was established 20 years ago.

I’m one of the original Assembly Members voted in for the first time in 1999. This has provided me with a good overview of the Assembly and the way it works. I can truly say that it is committed to the principles of #EachforEqual. We have a legal duty to promote equality and it’s become ingrained in our culture to do so, not because we have to, but because we want to.

International recognition

In 2003, the Assembly achieved international recognition for becoming the first legislature worldwide to achieve gender parity, and in being the first to have more women than men in 2006. We currently have 47 percent women Members and continue to strive for an equal balance.

When I was voted in by my peers for the role of Deputy Presiding Officer in 2016, I saw an opportunity to showcase the work of women. Hosting events like our International Women’s Day celebrations and hearing from such inspiring women always reminds me of why I’m so passionate about promoting and supporting women in politics. It’s not always easy, and this year’s theme #EachforEqual emphasises the importance of equality throughout our society.

Inspirational talks

It was a pleasure to listen to such inspirational women at our event. Our speakers were Charlie Morgan, co-founder Warrior Women Events; Angel Ezeadum, Member of the Welsh Youth Parliament and Sophie Rae, founder of Ripple Living.

Charlie Morgan, co-founder Warrior Women Events
Angel Ezeadum, Member of the Welsh Youth Parliament
Sophie Rae, founder of Ripple Living

Their talks were incredibly empowering and thought-provoking, and I’m grateful to them for sharing their stories with us. I was also pleased to welcome Betsan Powys to chair the event.

Betsan Powys and event speakers

We welcomed a mix of people to the Pierhead and it was a good opportunity to speak to people who might not have engaged with us before. I encourage you to stay in touch. Speak to your Assembly Members about the topics that are important to you. Visit us at the Senedd and you can keep up-to-date on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram

What’s next?

As we celebrate 20 years of devolution in Wales, it’s amazing to see how far we’ve come. With the next Assembly elections being held in 2021, we’ll see for the first time votes extended to 16 an 17 year olds as part of the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill. I’m so excited about allowing even more of Wales’ population to have their voices heard. We’ll also be changing our name from the National Assembly for Wales to Senedd Cymru, Welsh Parliament as we reflect its ever evolving responsibilities.

Celebrating Dydd Miwsig Cymru 2020

It’s Dydd Miwsig Cymru (or Welsh Language Music Day!), an annual event celebrated across Wales to raise awareness of Welsh language music.

This year, members of staff at the National Assembly for Wales are taking the opportunity to join in with Welsh Language Music Day, as part of our continued commitment to promoting the use of the Welsh language across the organisation.

We’ve been snapping selfies, making playlists and blasting Welsh language music across the Estate.

Here’s a little bit of what we’ve been up to:

Dydd Miwsig Cymru Selfies

Thank you to staff and Members who’ve taken the time to tell us their favourite Welsh songs and pose for a photo – there’s a lot of love for Welsh music here!

Playlists – what’s your favourite?

Thanks to the Welsh Youth Parliament, our learners and Chair of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, Bethan Sayed AM, for submitting their playlists of their favourite Welsh music.

We’ve also included the Llywydd’s playlist from 2018 which features some of her favourite tracks!

Welsh Youth Parliament

Bethan Sayed AM, Chair of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee

Songs for Learners

Y Llwydd

Cartographic Imaginaries: Interpreting Literary Atlas

Darllenwch yr erthygl yma yn Gymraeg | View this post in Welsh

An exhibition sponsored by Bethan Sayed AM
Senedd & Pierhead
8 January  – 20 February

‘Cartographic Imaginaries’ presents a collection of commissioned artwork in response to twelve English language novels set in Wales. These form part of the wider Literary Atlas of Wales project, which investigates how books and maps help us understand the spatial nature of the human condition. More specifically it explores how English language novels set in Wales contribute to our understanding of the real-and-imagined nature of the country, its history, and its communities.

In the commission brief, artists were invited to “play with traditional notions of cartographic mapping, and to explore the possibilities of visually communicating the relations between ‘page’ and ‘place’, as well as ‘books’ and ‘maps’.”

Through diverse approaches, each work proves that just as there is no single way to read a book or to know a place; each creates and inhabits its own unique ‘cartographic imaginary’. Yet together, the works embrace multiple voices that speak of the richness of writing, thinking, and inhabiting “real-and-imagined” Wales.

Concrete Ribbon Road by Joni Smith

Artist and Novel

John Abell: Revenant – Tristan Hughes (2008)

Iwan Bala: Twenty Thousand Saints – Fflur Dafydd (2008)

Valerie Coffin Price: Price The Rebecca Rioter – Amy Dillwyn (1880)

Liz Lake: Shifts – Christopher Meredith (1988)

Richard Monahan: Aberystwyth Mon Amour – Malcom Pryce (2009)

George Sfougaras: The Hiding Place – Trezza Azzopardi (2000)

Joni Smith: Mr Vogel – Lloyd Jones (2004)

Amy Sterly: Pigeon – Alys Conran (2016)

Locus: Sheepshagger by Niall Griffiths (2002)

Rhian Thomas: Border Country by Raymond Williams (1960)

Seán Vicary: The Owl Service by Alan Garner (1967)

Cardiff University Student Project Strike for a Kingdom by Menna Gallie (1959

Hiraeth for Beginners
by John Abell

Visit the exhibition in the Senedd and Pierhead before sharing your own artwork and stories as part of a collaborative activity in the Senedd.

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to keep up with everything going on on the Assembly estate

How are new laws made in Wales?

Senedd funnel

Darllenwch yr erthygl yma yn Gymraeg | View this post in Welsh

27 November 2019

Every new law starts as an idea to change how something works or to make something better.

When a law first begins its journey, it’s called a Bill – it’s a draft version of the law.

How does a Bill become an Act?

A Bill must pass through four stages at the National Assembly and receive Royal Assent if it’s going to become an Act of the Assembly – a new Welsh Law.

The journey of a Bill: Stage 1

The Assembly Members you elect decide if Wales needs a new law.

The Bill starts its journey with a committee. Committees are small groups of Assembly Members who look at specific subjects.

The committee looking at the Bill meet with subject experts, who help shape the Bill. The committee might run a public consultation, where you could give your opinion.

The committee collects evidence from everyone they speak to, and write it all into a report. This report will say if they agrees with the main aims of the Bill. It might also suggest changes to its wording.

Finally, Assembly Members debate in the Chamber all reports written about the Bill. They vote to decide if Wales needs this new law. If a majority of Assembly Members vote ‘no’, the Bill stops at this stage.

Stage 1: Assembly Members look at the basics. They meet and decide, in principle, if Wales needs the new law.

One or more committees look at the Bill and write Stage 1 reports.
Assembly Members debate in Plenary all reports written about the Bill.
Assembly Members vote in Plenary to decide if Wales need the new Law.

The journey of a Bill: Stage 2

Assembly Members meet in committee.

They look at the Bill, and make changes to the wording. Every Assembly Member can review the Bill, and suggest changes. They may see a way they could improve it. They might think it would be better if it also did something else or that it does too much and needs to be more specific.

Every change they suggest is an amendment.

The committee working on the Bill looks at all the amendments suggested by Assembly Members. They meet and discuss what the amendments would do to the Bill, and vote to decide if they should be included. An amendment is only included if a majority of the committee’s members vote that it should be.

Stage 2: Assembly Members shape the Bill: a small group of Assembly Members meet as a committee and look at suggestions to amend the Bill.

Every Assembly Member can suggest an amendment to the Bill.

The committee working on the Bill looks at what each amendment will do to the Bill.

The committee members vote on which amendments should be included in the Bill

Senedd chamber

The journey of a Bill: Stage 3

Assembly Members meet in Plenary. Plenary is a meeting of all Assembly Members in the Siambr, the debating chamber.

They look at the Bill, review suggestions and make final changes to its wording. Every Assembly Member can review the Bill, and suggest amendments. During Plenary, every Assembly Member who suggested an amendment can explain their amendment, and give their reasons for suggesting it. Other Assembly Members can explain whether they agree with the proposed amendment.

It’s important that every Assembly Member who wants to speak in Plenary is able to have their say. Sometimes, the Bill will need more work. There is an option for the Bill to have further amendments debated and voted on. We call these extra stages Further Stage 3, Report Stage and Further Report Stage.

Most Bills don’t go through these stages though. Once every Assembly Member in Plenary has debated and voted on the final amendment, the wording of the Bill is completed. The Bill now has its final wording and is ready to move to its final stage at the National Assembly.

Stage 3: Assembly Members refine the Bill. The Bill returns to the Chamber for Assembly Members to make final changes.

Every Assembly Member can suggest an amendment to discuss and debate in Plenary.

Assembly Members who proposed an amendment can explain why they suggested it.

Assembly Members vote on which amendments should be included in the final Bill.

The journey of a Bill: Stage 4

Assembly Members vote in Plenary to agree the final wording of the Bill. Once the Bill has reached Stage 4, its wording is final. Assembly Members can’t amend the Bill any further.

During the Stage 4 debate, Assembly Members look at the final text of the Bill, and decide if it should become a new law. After the debate, they vote – ‘should this Bill become an Act, a new Welsh Law?’ If a majority of Assembly Members vote against passing the Bill, the Bill falls. Nothing further can happen with the Bill once it has fallen. If a majority of Assembly Members vote in favour of passing the Bill, then it has successfully made its way through the National Assembly. It can go on to its final stop to become a new law (an Act of the Assembly) – as long as there is no legal challenge to it.

Stage 4: Assembly Members cast a final vote on the Bill: a successful Bill completes its journey through the National Assembly.

Assembly Members debate the final wording of the Bill.

A final vote takes place to agree the final wording of the Bill.

If the Bill doesn’t pass this stage, it falls.

Royal Assent

The Queen grants Royal Assent to the Bill. It’s a formal agreement that the Bill can become an Act of the Assembly and Welsh law. To get to this stage, Assembly Members have written, scrutinised, amended and voted on the Bill. They have spoken to experts on the subject, and you may have had your own say by responding to a committee consultation.

The Queen grants Royal Assent to all Bills that successfully make it through all four stages at the National Assembly. Royal Assent is a formal agreement the Bill can become an Act of the Assembly. All primary laws made by all the Parliaments and the Assemblies of the UK must receive Royal Assent.

You can see the laws we’ve made in Wales since 2016, and how we made them by visiting www.assembly.wales/acts.

Royal Assent: the final stop on the journey where the Bill becomes an Act of the Assembly.

The Queen grants Royal Assent to the Bill.
The Bill becomes an Act of the Assembly.

A paper Bill

Assembly name change and votes at 16: The Senedd and Elections Bill reaches Stage 3

Darllenwch yr erthygl yma yn Gymraeg | View this post in Welsh

13 November 2019

Today Assembly Members are debating the Senedd and Elections Bill – which could introduce voting at 16 in Wales and change the name of the Assembly – as it reaches Stage 3 of its journey to becoming law.

But what does that mean? And what happens next?

Where does a new law come from?

Every new law starts as an idea to change how something works or to make something better. When a law first begins its journey, it’s called a Bill – it’s a draft version of the law.

How does a Bill become an Act?

A Bill must pass through four stages at the National Assembly and receive Royal Assent if it’s going to become an Act of the Assembly – a new Welsh Law.

The journey of a Bill: Stage 1

The Assembly Members you elect decide if Wales needs the new law.

The Bill starts its journey with a committee. Committees are small groups of Assembly Members who look at specific subjects.

The committee looking at the Bill meet with subject experts, who help shape the Bill. The committee might run a public consultation, where you could give your opinion.

You can find a list of consultations running now by visiting www.assembly.wales/consultations.

Stage 1 lets the committee collect evidence from everyone they speak to, and write it all into a report. This report will say if the committee agrees with the main aims of the Bill. It might also suggest changes to its wording.

Finally, Assembly Members debate in the Chamber all reports written about the Bill. They vote to decide if Wales needs this new law. If a majority of Assembly Members vote ‘no’, the Bill stops at this stage.

Stage 1: Assembly Members look at the basics. They meet and decide, in principle, if Wales needs the new law.

One or more committees look at the Bill and write Stage 1 reports.
Assembly Members debate in Plenary all reports written about the Bill.
Assembly Members vote in Plenary to decide if Wales need the new Law.

The journey of a Bill: Stage 2

Assembly Members meet in committee.

They look at the Bill, and make changes to the wording. Every Assembly Member can review the Bill, and suggest changes. They may see a way they could improve it. They might think it would be better if it also did something else or that it does too much and needs to be more specific.

Every change they suggest is an amendment.

The committee working on the Bill looks at all the amendments suggested by Assembly Members. They meet and discuss what the amendments would do to the Bill, and vote to decide if they should be included. An amendment is only included if a majority of the committee’s members vote that it should be.

Stage 2: Assembly Members shape the Bill: a small group of Assembly Members meet as a committee and look at suggestions to amend the Bill.

Every Assembly Member can suggest an amendment to the Bill.

The committee working on the Bill looks at what each amendment will do to the Bill.

The committee members vote on which amendments should be included in the Bill

The journey of a Bill: Stage 3

Assembly Members meet in Plenary. Plenary is a meeting of all Assembly Members in the Siambr, the debating chamber.

They look at the Bill, review suggestions and make final changes to its wording. Every Assembly Member can review the Bill, and suggest amendments. During Plenary, every Assembly Member who suggested an amendment can explain their amendment, and give their reasons for suggesting it. Other Assembly Members can explain whether they agree with the proposed amendment.

It’s important that every Assembly Member who wants to speak in Plenary is able to have their say. Sometimes, the Bill will need more work. There is an option for the Bill to have further amendments debated and voted on. We call these extra stages Further Stage 3, Report Stage and Further Report Stage.

Most Bills don’t go through these stages though. Once every Assembly Member in Plenary has debated and voted on the final amendment, the wording of the Bill is completed. The Bill now has its final wording and is ready to move to its final stage at the National Assembly.

Stage 3: Assembly Members refine the Bill. The Bill returns to the Chamber for Assembly Members to make final changes.

Every Assembly Member can suggest an amendment to discuss and debate in Plenary.

Assembly Members who proposed an amendment can explain why they suggested it.

Assembly Members vote on which amendments should be included in the final Bill.

The journey of a Bill: Stage 4

Assembly Members vote in Plenary to agree the final wording of the Bill. Once the Bill has reached Stage 4, its wording is final. Assembly Members can’t amend the Bill any further.

During the Stage 4 debate, Assembly Members look at the final text of the Bill, and decide if it should become a new law. After the debate, they vote – ‘should this Bill become an Act, a new Welsh Law?’ If a majority of Assembly Members vote against passing the Bill, the Bill falls. Nothing further can happen with the Bill once it has fallen. If a majority of Assembly Members vote in favour of passing the Bill, then it has successfully made its way through the National Assembly. It can go on to its final stop to become a new law (an Act of the Assembly) – as long as there is no legal challenge to it.

Stage 4: Assembly Members cast a final vote on the Bill: a successful Bill completes its journey through the National Assembly.

Assembly Members debate the final wording of the Bill.

A final vote takes place to agree the final wording of the Bill.

If the Bill doesn’t pass this stage, it falls.

Royal Assent

The Queen grants Royal Assent to the Bill. It’s a formal agreement that the Bill can become an Act of the Assembly and Welsh law. To get to this stage, Assembly Members have written, scrutinised, amended and voted on the Bill. They have spoken to experts on the subject, and you may have had your own say by responding to a committee consultation.

The Queen grants Royal Assent to all Bills that successfully make it through all four stages at the National Assembly. Royal Assent is a formal agreement the Bill can become an Act of the Assembly. All primary laws made by all the Parliaments and the Assemblies of the UK must receive Royal Assent.

You can see the laws we’ve made in Wales since 2016, and how we made them by visiting www.assembly.wales/acts.

Royal Assent: the final stop on the journey where the Bill becomes an Act of the Assembly.

The Queen grants Royal Assent to the Bill.
The Bill becomes an Act of the Assembly.

Access to banking in Wales [Infographic]

Have you noticed that its getting increasingly harder to find a bank, or cashpoint when you need one?

Here’s why:

Wales lost 43% of its bank branches between January 2015 and August 2019.

A total of 239 in all.

What’s more, 10% of our free ATMs have disappeared in the last year.

Access to banking and free cash machines in Wales is not a new concern, however the scale of closures continues to increase at an alarming rate.

You told us in a recent survey how losing your local bank branch or cashpoint is affecting you, your community and businesses in the local area.

You can see some of the feedback from the survey in the infographic below.

Urgent action needed

The findings of an inquiry into access to banking in Wales have been published. Calling for urgent action from the Welsh Government to protect our valuable banking network and champion Welsh consumers at a UK level.

If you’d like to read the full report on access to banking in Wales, you can download it here.


Pierhead Bees – Summer update, August 2019

Matthew Jones, Sustainability Manager

Darllenwch yr erthygl yma yn Gymraeg | View this post in Welsh

Winter

The Pierhead Bees coped with their first winter well – they thinned down their numbers and huddled together for warmth in the hive, keeping it a toasty 30+ degrees in the middle to protect their queen. 

We left all the honey in the hives last year as they hadn’t been with us for the full season, and even supplemented their diet with some fondant which they munched through in the spring without having to leave the hives.

Spring into Summer

The different personalities of the hives have  continued to be evident throughout their first year.  Hive two has still been much more boisterous with the keepers inspecting them, but they have also been busier.  They started making plenty of food and increasing their numbers again early in the spring, while hive one was still taking it slow after the winter. 

So much so in fact that we even had to borrow some frames of food from hive two and give it to the bees in hive one; rewarding their lethargy, we know!

As the abundance of flowering plants has grown into the summer, especially on the undeveloped areas of land around the Bay where the bees can forage, hive one caught up and both were displaying ample food stocks.

This trend continued and recently we actually had to add a super (extra layer) to hive one to store all their food, and another one for brood– all the extra baby bees they’ve been making.

Hive two in the meantime changed dramatically- relaxing their behaviour for a while whilst we noticed they had stopped making eggs.  Although it can be difficult to spot the queen during an inspection visit, a behaviour change and lack of eggs are sure-fire signs the queen is no longer present.  The following week we then noticed two queen or supercedure cells; the hive trying to make a new queen.  We had to leave both of these to hatch, and in the ruthless efficiency of nature the two queens would battle it out with only the strongest surviving.

We had to allow this process to take its course; servicing only hive one whilst the queen from hive two left to mate with a male from another hive, and return home before settling down to take up her new role as matriarch and egg-layer. 

A precarious time during which she could become lost or even eaten by a bird, we were obviously on tenterhooks awaiting her safe return.  Our keepers had to be patient while we avoided any disturbance of the hive during this critical time.  That patience paid off though and we are pleased to report that at the start of August we found new eggs in hive two.  Baby bees are being made and the hive has a new leader to work for. 

Long live the queen!

For more information on the Pierhead Bees project email sustainability@assembly.wales

The Assembly has signed up to the Race at Work Charter

Leadership Team posing with pledges saying proud to sign up to Race at Work Charter

We are pleased to announce we are now a signatory of the Business in the Community Race at Work Charter.

We know, from the Race Disparity Audit’s Ethnicity Facts and Figures website and the Business in the Community Race at Work Survey, that ethnic minorities still face significant disparities in employment and progression, and that is something that needs to change. The McGregor-Smith review has highlighted the fact that greater progress and positive outcomes are now needed to ensure all organisations benefit from the wealth of diverse talent on offer.

The Charter helps businesses improve racial equality in the workplace and is composed of five principle calls to action for leaders and organisations across all sectors. The five principle call to action are:

• Appointing an executive sponsor for race.

• Capture ethnicity data and publicise progress.

• Commit at Board level to zero tolerance of harassment and bullying.

• Make clear that supporting equality in the workplace is the
responsibility of all leaders and managers.

• Take action that supports ethnic minority career progression.

Map
BHM logo

October is Black History Month and seems a great time to launch the fact that we have signed up to the Charter. Signing up means we are committing to taking practical steps to improving ethnic equality in the workplace and tackling barriers that ethnic minority people face in recruitment and progression and ensuring that our organisation is representative of British society today.

Manon Antoniazzi, Chief Executive and Clerk of the National Assembly for Wales, said:

“Signing the Charter will complement our ongoing diversity work to ensure that, as a parliamentary organisation that is for all the people of Wales, we behave as an inclusive employer, attracting and retaining talent, enabling everyone we employ to realise their full potential and that we break down the barriers that currently block opportunities for certain groups of people irrespective of their race and ethnicity. I am very excited to see our progress as we embark upon the Charter, in addition to other benchmarking and recognition activities.”

Joyce Watson AM, Assembly Commissioner with responsibility for diversity and inclusion, said:

“I am really pleased to see that the Assembly Commission is a signatory to this charter. Wales is a diverse nation as this should be reflected in its workforce. As Commissioner for Equality and People I will both promote and monitor progress.”

Elin Jones AM, Llywydd of the National Assembly for Wales, said:

It is important that the Assembly continues to lead the way in promoting an inclusive culture throughout our organisation.

“We want to build on our record as a modern, accessible parliament with which people from a diverse range of backgrounds can easily and meaningfully interact.

“I see us signing this Charter as a valuable part of ensuring that.”

Business in the Community logo