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Last Updated: Wednesday, 31 March, 2004, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Street reaction to Richard report
Richard Street, Cilfynydd
Richard Street is a typical street in the south Wales valleys
A major report into devolution in Wales has recommended far-reaching changes to the devolution settlement.

The Richard report has called for the assembly to be given law-making powers in areas such as health and education.

It also recommends increasing the number of AMs from 60 to 80.

But what does it mean to people living in Wales? BBC News Online went to Richard Street in Cilfynydd, near Pontypridd to find out.

Richard Street is a busy street. It has about 30 houses, a chemist, a doctors' surgery and a few shops - it is a typical street in a former mining village.

Leanne Hull
Leanne Hull has mixed views about the changes

Leanne Hull, a 29-year-old nurse has lived in the street for the last 10 years.

"I've got mixed views on giving the assembly more law-making powers," she said.

"I think it is a better idea that they can make more laws for people in Wales but they have already made a number of promises that they haven't kept.

"I think that a lot of money has already been poured into the assembly and I get fed up every time I go to Cardiff Bay and see the politicians in their expensive suits in expensive restaurants.

"I'm a nurse and nursing in Wales is at crisis point, people are leaving in their droves and recruitment is very low.

"We suffer verbal abuse from families and physical abuse from patients virtually everyday.

"I wonder just what pouring more money into the assembly is actually going to do to help the NHS.

"My partner is a teacher and I think there is a similar problem with education in Wales.

"I think I'm just going to wait to see what happens before I make my mind up about the changes," she said.

They are forever asking us to pay out and yet we seem to get nothing in return
Caroline Birkby

But pensioner Caroline Birkby, 60, has already made her mind up about the planned changes.

"What a complete waste of money," she said.

"We are paying all our taxes to pay for managers and administration and nothing actually gets done for us.

"I've worked all my life and paid stamp all my life but as a pensioner what do I get - a free bus pass and that is it.

"I've been on a hospital waiting list for three years and I'm still waiting and instead of putting money into the NHS they are wasting it on a debating chamber.

"They don't seem to understand how normal people live. They are forever asking us to pay out and yet we seem to get nothing in return.

"Giving the assembly more power will mean having to pay for more administration and that is where all our money goes.

Catheryn Pledge
Catheryn Pledge doesn't know how the changes will affect her

"It is throwing good money after bad and I think it is a dreadful state of affairs," she added.

Her neighbour Catheryn Pledge, a mother of three, said that the changes meant very little to her.

"It doesn't mean much to hear that they are going to have more powers," said the 34-year-old.

"I don't know what they do for us anyway. I just think it is going to be another big waste of money and the only difference it will make to me is how much money I will have to pay out," she added.


SEE ALSO:
Call for more AMs and powers
31 Mar 04  |  Wales
Wait ends for devolution report
29 Mar 04  |  Wales
Assembly powers change warning
13 Jan 04  |  Wales
'Weak' assembly harming Wales
24 Nov 03  |  Wales


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