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Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 06:00 GMT 07:00 UK
Ideas roll in for Welsh laws plea
View of the Senedd from the public chamber
If I Ruled Wales will put forward one idea for AMs to consider
A BBC Wales project giving people the chance to voice their opinion on the laws they want created in the Welsh assembly is entering its final week.

More than 300 people have already been in touch with their suggestions.

The suggestions range from calling for a ban on smacking children to asking for proper funding for apprenticeship schemes.

If I Ruled Wales will pick one idea, sent in by e-mail, phone or post, and pass it on to AMs for consideration.

But even if your idea is not the one chosen, the assembly's extended powers under the Government of Wales Act mean anyone in Wales is entitled to put forward their idea directly to the assembly.

According to the assembly's website, all admissible petitions will be referred to the relevant committee.

The ideas can come from anyone, of any age, as long as 10 people back the proposal.

Isaac Elliott
Isaac Elliott wants to see an overhaul of the education system

Sixth-form pupils from Ysgol Gyfun Gwynllyw in Pontypool, Torfaen, put forward their suggestions to If I Ruled Wales this week.

Isaac Elliott said the provision of education in Wales should be made more effective, and believed five new education authorities should replace the existing 22.

He said: "This would improve the education system in Wales, which is something that's important to me at the moment. It would lead to a better standard of education which would in turn lead to a higher standard of living in Wales.

"Everyone would be working together and this would mean that everyone would be moving forward together."

Isaac's fellow sixth-former, Elin Withey, said that she would like to see a new Welsh Language Act.

Elin Withey
Elin Withey wants to see a new Welsh Language Act

She said: "We've been talking about the recent story about Thomas Cook (the estate agent which asked staff to conduct business in the English language only), and feel that a new Welsh Language Act that includes private companies would be a good idea.

"It's important to expand on the existing act and make sure that private companies stick to it too."

In Scotland the process that allows members of the public to suggest laws has existed since 1999, and many primary and secondary school pupils have put forward their ideas.

The 1,000th idea to be presented to the Scottish Parliament came from a group of sixth-formers calling for a ban on the sale of cheap alcohol.

BBC Wales' If I Ruled Wales wants more people to get in touch with their suggestions on the laws they want to see implemented.

The suggestions will be scrutinised by a panel of experts who will decide on the best ideas which have a real chance of becoming laws.

The winning submission will be chosen by the audience, before being handed to assembly Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis Thomas, for consideration.

Ideas can be sent by post to Betsan Powys, BBC Wales political unit, Llandaff, Cardiff CF5 2YQ, and by phone on 08703 500700 (calls from a BT line cost up to 8p per minute (some operators and mobiles vary) and may be recorded for training.

Ideas can also be received by e-mail to IfIRuledWales@bbc.co.uk


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