Jane Williams, Associate Professor at Swansea University’s College of Law, attended our lunchtime seminar during #SeneddSwansea last week. Here’s what she thought about the event…
Fascinating seminar at Swansea University’s College of Law and Criminology, with the National Assembly for Wales’ Deputy Presiding Officer, David Melding AM and Director of Legal Services, Elisabeth Jones, during #SeneddSwansea.
Students and researchers in law and politics, legal practitioners and other guests joined in discussions chaired by the College’s Jane Williams and Keith Bush Q.C. Ranging over really important and challenging issues, discussions spanned the legal, constitutional, political and civic aspects of devolution: access to justice, accessibility of Welsh law, characteristics of law-making for Wales, political participation, civic education, voting and the electoral system, access to information, a separate jurisdiction and ‘what makes good law’.
Reflections on the past and informed imagining of the future – excellent discussion on all this, and lunch, in just two hours! Thanks to our esteemed guests and all who helped make it happen and who joined us today. Determined to do this sort of thing more often!
My name is Claire Blakeway and I am the Vice President for the Heath Park Campus at Cardiff University Students’ Union. On Wednesday the 18th of March, I took part in a consultation event to scrutinise the Renting Homes (Wales) Bill. This involved Assembly Members speaking to a wide range of tenants about their experiences of renting properties from the council, housing association and private landlords. Tenants from different rental areas were put into focus groups which were led by Assembly Members. In my focus group, I was representing the tenancy views of students.
On the whole I agreed with ideas of the new Housing Bill but felt that there needed to be more detail around repair agreements. For example, there needs to be a detailed scheduling timeline in the agreement that outlines how quickly landlords should react to acknowledging and working towards resolving a repair that is reported by a tenant. I feel that currently tenants can be waiting a long time before repairs are addressed, and as result of this they are essentially paying to rent a property that isn’t fully to the standard that they originally rented the property out for. By implementing a repair agreement with specific timelines, both landlords and tenants will know exactly what to expect in the case of a repair and landlords can work to complete a repair in a pre-agreed timeline and thus meet the expectations of their tenant.
Here’s Claire being interviewed after the event:
I also fed my ideas into the focus group around how firmer repercussions need to be implemented for landlords and tenants who breach their contracts. The more serious repercussions are, the more likely it is that contracts will be adhered too and respected.
I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the focus groups, and it was great to hear AM so interested in the views of students. I look forward to seeing the Housing Bill being released, and hope that my views will be taken on board. Thank you to the Welsh Assembly for inviting me along!
The next step is for the Committee to hear what other people think about the Bill in formal meetings at the Senedd. The first of these meetings takes place on Wednesday morning, where the Committee will talk to the Welsh Government Minister responsible for the Bill, Lesley Griffiths AM. You can watch this meeting live on Senedd TV.
More information about the meeting is available here.
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.
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: