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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 15 January, 2003, 09:32 GMT
Review seeks assembly opinions
Welsh Assembly
The Welsh Assembly was opened in 1999
People in south west Wales are to be the first to give their opinion on the Welsh Assembly in a national review of its performance.

Residents of Swansea, Neath and Port Talbot have been urged to air their views at a meeting on Wednesday.

We want to hear from people across Wales about their practical experience of the assembly

Lord Richard, Commission chairman

The information will be used by the Richard Commission which is examining how the devolved government works and whether it adequately serves the people of Wales.

The commission, which began its investigation last year, is expected to hold similar events across Wales.

Lord Richard of Ammanford, chair of the commission, said: "This is the commission's first public meeting and I am looking forward to meeting the people and listening to their views on the issues before us."

The body will examine the assembly's work since its inception in 1999.

It will recommend on issues including the electoral system and whether the body needs greater authority, such as those held by the law-making powers of the Scottish Parliament.

However, any advised changes to the devolution settlement would only be made in Westminster.

Ideal opportunity

Lord Richard, former Labour leader of the House of Lords, was named head of the commission last April.

Lord Richard of Ammanford
Lord Richard is chairing the commission

"Over the past few months, we have heard evidence from expert witnesses including assembly ministers and chairs of the committees," he said.

"We now want to hear from people across Wales about their practical experience of the assembly and what changes they would like to see.

"The meeting will provide an ideal opportunity for individuals to make their views known - I very much hope people will find the time to talk to us," he added.

Lord Richard hopes to submit his report by the end of 2003.

The meeting on Wednesday will be held at the Guildhall in Swansea at 1900 GMT.


More from south west Wales
See also:

13 Jan 03 | Wales
28 Sep 02 | Scotland
14 Oct 02 | BBC Parliament
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