Questions to the Assembly Commission 6th July 2011

Mark Drakeford: What provision has the Assembly Commission made to allow Committees of the National Assembly for Wales to meet outside Cardiff?   

Rhodri Glyn Thomas: It is for committees to decide what, if any, activity they wish to undertake outside Cardiff. If the activity would impact on other Assembly business, practice in previous Assemblies has been for the Business Committee to decide whether any such meetings or visits should be permitted. Once approved, the Commission will make the necessary arrangements and ensure that services and facilities are available to meet any relevant procedural or legal requirements.   

Mark Drakeford: Thank you very much for that reply. After more than a decade of devolution, will the Commission think about our experience over the years and learn any lessons from the experience of taking committees outside Cardiff?   

Rhodri Glyn Thomas: As you have noted, there have been instances in the past where committees have met outside the Assembly. I have been a member of committees that have visited different parts of Wales. One or more of the committees usually holds a meeting in the Royal Welsh Show, which will take place soon. The former Committee on European and External Affairs held meetings in Brussels. Therefore, there is sufficient evidence there. I accept what you have said, that is, that we should look at that and consider the value of doing that. Of course, a lot of work goes into planning such visits and we would have to measure that against the value that is placed on those visits by the people who are able to attend those meetings.