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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 July 2007, 14:48 GMT 15:48 UK
Plastic bag ban goes to the vote
Assembly members
The winning idea will be discussed by assembly members
People have been given their chance to vote on the winner of a BBC Wales project encouraging suggestions for new laws for the Welsh assembly to create.

A ban on plastic bags is on a shortlist of three selected by a panel from 350 entries sent to If I Ruled Wales.

Also in the running are a ban on smacking children, and creating a body to co-ordinate search and rescue.

Lines have now closed, and the winner will be passed to AMs for consideration.

Under new legislation, anyone in Wales is entitled to put forward their ideas directly to the assembly.

Julie Hixson
I completely disagree with smacking children. It gives them the wrong message.
Julie Hixson

Suggestions for new laws flooded in when the project began last month, with some suggestions coming from overseas.

Finalist Alistair Cook, from Pontyclun, Rhondda Cynon Taf, who put forward the search and rescue suggestion, is now living in Australia.

Neil Evans from Abergwili near Carmarthen was one of a number of people to suggest banning plastic bags.

He said: "I think the supermarkets in Britain would love to give up selling and using plastic bags. It's a cost to them.

"They would like a little bit of an incentive to become greener and I think if we lead the way in Wales, it may just happen in Britain and eventually, all over Europe."

The idea to ban the smacking of children was submitted by a child care lecturer at Coleg Morgannwg.

Julie Hixson, a fellow lecturer at the college, fully supports the idea.
Neil Evans
I think the supermarkets in Britain would love to give up selling and using plastic bags
Neil Evans

She said: "I completely disagree with smacking children. It gives them the wrong message. Children copy adults and if they are going to be hit by adults, they are going to think hitting is ok.

"It is time for the government in Wales to follow the lead of many European countries who have made it illegal to smack children."

The ideas were selected by the expert panel including Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, constitutional expert David Lambert, Dylan Iorwerth, managing editor of the magazine Golwg, Dylan Iorwerth and Glyn Mathias from the Electoral Commission.

Some of the suggestions which did not make it past the panel included making St David's Day a bank holiday and "making every day the first day of spring" - an idea first put forward decades ago in If I Ruled The World, a song made famous by the Swansea-born tenor Sir Harry Secombe.

If your ideas have not made the final three chosen by the panel, you can still put your ideas directly to the assembly.

The assembly's extended powers under the Government of Wales Act mean anyone in Wales is entitled to put forward their idea on how those powers should be into law.

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




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