Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Friday, 4 July 2008 10:29 UK

Assembly powers group revealed

The convention executive meets for the first time on 14 July

The people leading a convention to measure support for a possible referendum on law-making powers for the Welsh assembly have been revealed.

The 16 members of the All Wales Convention executive are drawn from all regions and political parties.

The committee will be chaired by former British ambassador to the United Nations Sir Emyr Jones Parry.

The convention is a key part of the coalition deal to form the Labour-Plaid assembly government.

The convention is intended to prepare the ground for a possible referendum on full law-making powers for the assembly before the next assembly election in May 2011.

It is meant to gauge public opinion around Wales and explain the current powers available to assembly members in Cardiff Bay.

We have been seeking a cross section of Welsh life and Welsh opinion who can tap into the views of ordinary Welsh people...I believe we have achieved that balance
First Minister Rhodri Morgan

Announcing the executive, First Minister Rhodri Morgan said: "We have been seeking a cross section of Welsh life and Welsh opinion who can tap into the views of ordinary Welsh people. I believe we have achieved that balance."

Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones said: "These people have a vital job to do in creating a debate across the country on the future governance of our nation."

Sally Hynam, one of the members, said,: "We are there to engage with the whole people of wales and it's really exciting - it's taking democracy really to the next stage because we want to talk to the people of wales we want to tell them what's on offer with the next stage..."

And Paul O'Shea, from the Wales TUC, said: ""I think we need to be innovative, I hope it's not a talking shop I hope it's not confined to the chattering classes within Wales.

"I think we need to consult widely across Wales - what do people think about the current powers and I suspect we will find in the pubs in Pontawdawe and in Pontypridd and elsewhere people won't really understand what the Govt of Wales Act 2006 actually brought to the assembly..."

The executive is expected to hold its first meeting on 14 July.

Four of the executive members were appointed by open competition: Joan Asby, Pembrokeshire Local Action Network for Enterprise and Development; Nick Bennett, Community Housing Cymru chair; Sally Hyman, RSPCA Cymru chair; Shereen Williams, Council of Ethnic Minority Voluntary Sector Organisations in Wales director.

Eight members were nominated by organisations: Aled Edwards, National Assembly for Wales Faith Forum; Laura Hayes, youth organisation Funky Dragon; Harry Ludgate, Dow Corning, nominated by the Wales CBI; John R Jones, Wales Council for Voluntary Action; Paul O'Shea, Wales TUC; Shan Ashton, Wales Women's National Coalition; Rhodri Evans, Young Farmers Clubs.

There will also be a nomination by the Welsh Local Government Association, which will be announced later.

Political party nominees are: Alex Aldridge (Labour): Flintshire County Council; Marc Phillips, (Plaid Cymru): Head of BBC Children in Need in Wales; Paul Valerio (Conservatives); Rob Humphreys, (Liberal Democrats): director of the Open University in Wales.

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