Tag: Mid and West Wales

The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister swaps Cardiff Bay for Carmarthen

The Assembly Committee responsible for scrutiny of the First Minister, Carwyn Jones, will examine the approach to reducing poverty in Wales and other issues in the West Wales region.

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The First Minister Carwyn Jones will be appearing before the Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister on Friday, 17 February at 11.00 in the Halliwell Centre, Carmarthen.

What does the committee do?

The Assembly has several committees made up of Assembly Members from different political parties to look at different subjects in detail, i.e. health, education and culture. One of their functions is to investigate whether the Welsh Government is doing a good job.

They do this by asking for views from the public and by getting input from experts, charities and other organisations. They also regularly question Welsh Government  Cabinet Secretaries and Ministers.

The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First of the Minister meets once a term and (as the name suggests) looks specifically at what the First Minister is doing. The chair of the Committee is the Deputy Presiding Officer Ann Jones AM. All of the Assembly Members in this committee are also currently chairs of other committees.

Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister – Membership

Ann Jones AM (Chair) Welsh Labour  Jayne Bryant AM Welsh Labour
Huw Irranca-Davies AM Welsh Labour Russell George AM Welsh Conservatives
John Griffiths AM Welsh Labour Mike Hedges AM Welsh Labour
Bethan Jenkins AM Plaid Cymru Dai Lloyd AM Plaid Cymru
Lynne Neagle AM Welsh Labour Nick Ramsay AM Welsh Conservatives
Mark Reckless AM UKIP Wales David Rees AM Welsh Labour
 Simon Thomas AM Plaid Cymru

What does the First Minister do?

The First Minister of Wales is the leader of the Welsh Government and is appointed by HM The Queen following nomination by Assembly Members in the Senedd.

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The First Minister’s responsibilities include:

  • appointing the Cabinet who comprise the Welsh Government;
  • chairing Cabinet meetings;
  • leading policy development and delivery;
  • managing relationships with the rest of the UK and internationally;
  • representing the people of Wales on official business, and
  • staffing of the Welsh Government.

What will the Committee be discussing this time?

For this meeting the Committee will be focusing on the Welsh Government’s vision and approach to reducing poverty in Wales.  Read more about the issue.

The Committee would also like to discuss other major issues in the West Wales region. If you have an issue you’d like to raise, you can suggest a topic in advance.

How can I watch?

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You are welcome to come and watch the Committee proceedings in person. Let us know via our booking line. If you are local to Carmarthen or live in the West Wales area you can also suggest topics for discussion in advance.

If you can’t make it in person, the meeting will be available to watch very soon afterwards on Senedd.TV.

Continue reading “The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister swaps Cardiff Bay for Carmarthen”

#AskFirstMin – The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister wants to hear from you

#AskFirstMin – Have your question answered by the First Minister, Carwyn Jones

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The Committee wants to hear from organisations, businesses and from you – more details on how to take part online below.

The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister is meeting in Swansea on October 16 at 10.30 at the National Waterfront Museum. The main topic will be ‘Wales in the Wider World’. Here’s a flavour of the main drivers for discussion:

What is the Welsh Government’s overall strategy for marketing and promoting Wales to the world? What is the Welsh brand? How well are Welsh attractions promoted to tourists? Does the Welsh Government do enough to draw in investors?
Does the Welsh Government do a good job of making Wales seem appealing to tourists from the UK and abroad?  Is Welsh culture visible enough outside of Wales? What markets or products should be prioritised?

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A full agenda will be posted on the Committee’s web page when confirmed. 

The majority of Committees meet weekly to scrutinise the Welsh Government in detail but The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister focuses on broad topics relating to any central strategic vision of the Welsh Government’s programme.

How do I take part online?

You can submit your question, observation or comment to the Committee on the topic of ‘Wales in the Wider World’ any way you like:

Twitter On Twitter – Follow @AssemblyWales on Twitter and reply to any tweets relating to this topic or use the hashtag #AskFirstMin. Also feel free to Direct Message us if you’d like it to be confidential.
 Facebook On Facebook – Like the Assembly’s Facebook Page and leave a comment on a relevant status. If you can’t see a relevant status then leave a comment on the page with the hashtag #AskFirstMin.
 Email E-Mail – You can send your views by e-mail to: FM.Scrutiny@Assembly.Wales
 Youtube On YouTube – Why not film yourself asking your question and then send us the link through any of the channels above?
 Instagram On Instagram – If you can express your views in a creative visual way we’d love to see it. Tag our Senedd Instagram account within your picture or just use the hashtag #AskFirstMin. Alternatively you can leave a comment on any one of our Instagram posts again with the hashtag #AskFirstMin.
 Wordpress Comments – Leave a comment on this blog post right now!

What happens next?

We will collate the responses and hand them over to the Committee’s Chair – David Melding AM. The Chair will then incorporate them into the line of questioning for the First Minister, Carwyn Jones. You can come and watch the meeting in person, online on Senedd.TV or read the transcript. We’ll let you know if your question was answered. The meeting will take place on 16 October, 10.30 in Swansea at the National Waterfront Museum.

We look forward to hearing your views!

 “You can see the extraordinary beauty, the wonderful people and great hospitality, so I’d encourage everybody in the States to come and visit Wales.”
– President Barack Obama

Explore the topic – ‘Wales in the Wider World’

This may seem like a complex topic but sometimes it’s good to take a step back and look at the big picture. We want to hear out of the box ideas, comments from different perspectives and from different walks of life. Continue reading “#AskFirstMin – The Committee for the Scrutiny of the First Minister wants to hear from you”

Employment opportunities for people over 50

Back in November 2014 the National Assembly for Wales’ Enterprise and Business Committee decided it would undertake an inquiry into employment opportunities for people over 50 in Wales.

It can be difficult for people who are over 50 to find a job, especially one which uses all their skills. The Committee decided to look into what can be done about this because people are living longer and pensions are getting smaller. The majority of people are working longer and by now it is not required for people to retire when they are 60 or 65 years old.

As well as asking outside organisations, academics and the public what they think by asking them to respond in writing the Committee also visited representative organisations to discuss the inquiry with them.

The Committee visited staff members from John Lewis in Cardiff, NIACE Cymru, Working Links, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Wales TUC and Pembrokeshire County Council on 12 February 2015. Discussions were held around barriers that people over 50 face when looking for a new job. Are there any stereotypes about the employment of people over 50, how can they can be tackled and whether there is anything the Welsh Government need to do to support and promote employment for people over 50.

Some of the barriers discussed during these visits were the lack of funding for training opportunities and the lack of things like IT skills. You can see read more about these discussions on the Committee’s webpage here.

Here, Rhun Ap Iorwerth AM tells us about his discussion with Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board Human Resources staff.

As well as visiting representative organisations the Committee also spoke to individuals during their meetings at the Senedd, including the office of the older people’s commissioner for Wales and representatives from Age Cymru and Prime Cymru.

The Committee have published their report which includes recommendations on things the Committee thinks the Welsh Government should do to make it easier for people over 50 to find employment. One of the things the Committee have recommended that the Welsh Government do is to hold an ‘Age Positive’ campaign to encourage employers to employ people over 50. With the older people’s commissioner the Welsh Government should also have a campaign which will increase the number of work placements and apprenticeships for people over 50. The Committee also recommend that the Welsh Government should write a skills strategy for people over 50 which says how they will help those people get the skills they need to get a job.

You can see a copy of the full report or a summary report here and you can view press coverage from the report launch below by clicking on the images.

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ITV NEWS

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The Committee will be speaking to the Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology during the autumn term to ask what she will do about their recommendations.

For updates please follow @SeneddEcon.

The Outreach team: Understanding and Engaging with the people of Wales

We’ve had a busy start to 2015 visiting groups across Wales delivering workshops about the National Assembly for Wales.

In January we attended a Community Event at Cardiff Story Museum which was organised by Cardiff Third Sector Council. We met with members of the public to inform them of the Assembly’s work and discussed different ways of engagement. We had a great day meeting new faces and telling people how they can have their views heard.

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Age Connects North Wales Central arranged Understanding and Engaging sessions for their forums across North Wales at the beginning of the year. We visited forums in St Asaph, Rhyl, Rhuthun, Corwen, Prestatyn and Colwyn Bay. During the visit to Age Connects in Corwen, Antoinette Sandbach came long and spoke to the group about her role as an Assembly Member.

Speaking after the workshop, Antoinette Sandbach AM said: “It was great to have an opportunity to discuss the work that I do in the National Assembly. I thoroughly enjoyed engaging with such a lively, interested and well informed audience.”

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On 3 February we spoke to the All Wales People First Council during their National Council Residential Meeting. We spoke to them about Assembly Members that represent them in their area, what the Assembly are currently discussing and how they can get involved. Following on from this presentation we recently provided a workshop to Powys People First which focused on the 20 devolved areas in Wales and how to submit a petition to the Assembly.

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In February we worked with the UK Parliament Outreach team to deliver a session to a group of service users from Conwy Connect for Learning Disabilities in Colwyn Bay.

The aim of the session was to ensure that service users understand what the UK Parliament and Assembly do and who represents them in both.

Speaking after the session, Sue Davies, Conwy Connect Senior Co-ordinator said:

“We were delighted that the National Assembly Outreach Team and the Parliament Outreach Service partnered together to deliver a joint interactive and interesting workshop to our members which included people with learning disabilities, parent/carers and Voluntary organisations.  It was enjoyed by all – its not easy making politics interesting but they both did this through the use of photographs, videos and users friendly exercises.”

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After a visit to Interlink RCT in February Rachel Wyatt said the following about our workshops:

“The ‘Understanding and Engaging’ workshop gave people an excellent overview of the work of the National Assembly for Wales, who their local representatives are, how they can contact them and some of the different ways that people can become involved in the work of the Assembly”.

Our aim is to connect the people of Wales with the work of the Assembly by discussing:

  • Who represents you
  • How decisions made in the Assembly affect Wales and its people
  • How the Assembly hold the Welsh Government to account
  • How you can get involved in decisions made by the Assembly

If you would like to arrange an Understanding and Engaging workshop for your group, or are simply interested in our work, please contact us via email: contact@assembly.wales or phone us on 0300 300 6565.

You can follow us on twitter @SeneddOutreach / @SeneddAllgym to keep updated on visits as well as to learn about the work we do on behalf of committees. You can also visit our pages on the Assembly website.

Scouts Wales – Democracy Challenge Badge

Back in 2012 the National Assembly for Wales’ Outreach team formalised a partnership with Scouts Wales in order to provide them with resources for their Democracy Challenge Badge. The Democracy Challenge is intended to encourage young people to explore the democratic processes of the United Kingdom, Wales and Local Authorities in order that they are better placed to make their own judgements in the future and take an appropriate part in democracy in society.

Resources have been created by the Outreach team in order for leaders to have guidelines and activities in place to complete the requirements of the badge. Once completed the Scouts receive the badge below:

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Over the last couple of months the Outreach team have been busy promoting these resources with Scout leaders from all across Wales and have attended numerous events in order to do this.

Back in June the National Assembly for Wales’ Outreach bus was present at the Scouts Wales Scout Camp in Builth Wells and the Outreach team spoke to over 1,000 Scouts about the work of the Assembly. Scouts also received the opportunity to have their say on their recycling services by filling in a questionnaire.

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Following this the Outreach team visited a number of Scout groups across Wales to introduce them to the Democracy Challenge Badge and to help them on their way to completing the requirements. These groups included Wrexham Beaver and Cub Scouts. The group received an introductory workshop which gave them the opportunity to vote in a mini election. Following on from the workshop the group visited the Senedd in Cardiff in order to help them complete one of the requirements of the badge, which asks them to find out about the Senedd and to create a poster to explain to an adult who it is that meets there.

Wrexham Scouts

Susan Mort, the Cub Scout Leader said:

“Wrexham District cubs visited the Senedd in Cardiff to find out about how their Parliament works and to learn about the meaning of the structure and fabrics used in its construction which is all part of Wales heritage.

We had a successful visit from Caryl who works for the Outreach team visiting organisations giving presentations on the Welsh Assembly. Beavers and Cubs from 6 to 10 and a half years old found out about the Senedd then took a vote on what they thought was most important to them which included sport and education.

As young as they are, they all took part and the results showed how aware they are of the importance of things like education.”

On Saturday 18 September 2014 the Outreach Team were present at the Scouts Wales AGM and Conference at Builth Wells High School. We set up a stand with hard copies of the resources and information publications for leaders to take home with them.

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The Outreach team then had the opportunity to give a presentation on the partnership between the National Assembly for Wales and Scouts Wales with regards to the Democracy Challenge Badge, how leaders can get hold of resources and to encourage as many leaders as possible to take up the challenge with their groups.

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Following the AGM and Conference the Outreach Team spoke to Debbie Tanner who is the Senior Development Officer for Scouts Wales. Below, Debbie tells us what she thinks of the resources created for the Democracy Challenge Badge.

If you would like any further information on the resources, or would like a member of the Outreach team to come out and speak to your Scout group then please do not hesitate to contact us on 01492 523219 or outreachteam@wales.gov.uk

For any other updates on the work of the National Assembly for Wales, please follow our twitter page @AssemblyWales.

Guest Blog – STEM Skills

Putting a group of young scientists, mathematicians, technicians and electronics students in the same room was rather a frightening idea. It was fortunate therefore that the Assembly had arranged for us to speak over the internet.

My name is Aled Illtud, and I am studying Physics at Aberystwyth University. I, and a number of other STEM students, had the opportunity to discuss our subjects and how we can improve or maintain different aspects of those subjects. The conversation was held on Google Hangouts and a number of issues were discussed.

The conversation began with Members of the Enterprise and Business Committee asking us why we had chosen our courses, are there prospects of a job at the end of the course and how we are enjoying the subject. I was concerned mainly about fighting for an increase in the growth of the Welsh language within STEM subjects, which is apparent from the webchat, that is available for you to read.

What surprised me most was how enthusiastic the other students were to have their voices heard. It is good to see that people are sufficiently concerned about their subjects to be able to hold an interesting discussion on what needs to be changed or maintained in their subject fields.

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It was good to be part of this conversation. I suggest that everyone else who is enthusiastic about his/her course should take advantage of any similar opportunities. Express your views, promote progress in your subject!

For further information on the Enterprise and Business Committee follow-up inquiry into STEM Skills in Wales, click here:

http://www.senedd.assemblywales.org/mgIssueHistoryHome.aspx?IId=9156

Football event 24/5/12 – Stebonheath, Llanelli

On Thursday May 24, members of a National Assembly for Wales committee held an open mic event in Stebonheath, Llanelli, to listen to people’s views on the Welsh Premier League.
The event was part of the Community, Equality and Local Government Committee inquiry into the Welsh Premier League.
Ann Jones, chair of the Committee said after the event: “it was great to get out and meet people who are interested in the Welsh Premier League and are dedicated to making it, and their clubs successful.
We heard a number of important points about how the Welsh Premier League can be developed and we will be putting these points to the Welsh Football Association when they come to speak to us in the Senedd.
We will be meeting more Welsh Premier League fans shortly, when we go to Llandudno FC http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/llandudno/ and we hope to hear from fans from all over North Wales.”
The video below includes videos with Colin Staples from the Welsh Football Trust, and Nigel Richards from Llanelli AFC, speaking about the main discussion points of the event.

Thanks to Nigel and everyone at Llanelli AFC for hosting the event. The event in Llandudno FC takes place on May 31 at 7:30pm: http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/llandudno/news/welsh-premier-league-open-foru-589890.html