Stan Says:- Devolution has without a doubt been a catastrophie, not only for Wales, but also for the United Kingdom.
18 September 1997. In a one sided (Vote Yes) referendum voters were asked to decide whether “I agree there should be a Welsh Assembly” or “I do not agree there should be a Welsh Assembly”. The government’s devolution plans were endorsed by 50.3% of the vote on a turnout of 51.3%. Wales previously voted four to one against creating an assembly in 1979. The winning margin was ONLY 6,721 votes out of ONLY 1.1m cast and a second vote on the matter.
No ringing endorsement – and a quarter of a century later, no houses, a failed NHS, Education Service not fit for purpose and even before the ‘Pandemic’ an economy on its knees.
Over the intervening years however fundamental changes have also taken place due to that devolution vote – the feeling that people will have to keep voting until they reach ‘the right’ conclusion! The appallingly low turnouts in elections, with the exception of Cardiff indicates the rest of Wales is just a ‘backwater’ – the people of Wales remain forgotten.
That feeling changed however in the Referendum on Leaving the EU where the people of Wales rose up and gave Labour, the Greens and Plaid (All pro EU) a bloody nose and with the highest turnout ever recorded!
This of course was rewarded by the Welsh Government and its acolytes completely ignoring the wishes of the Welsh people (even on foreign affairs). On 12 September 2017, Carwyn Jones said his government will formally object to Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan to transfer EU laws to the UK when the UK leaves the EU. It follows months of claims UK ministers’ are using the Brexit process to snatch powers from Wales. Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns insisted Wales will not only not lose any of its current powers but will actually gain new ones! This disputed the fact that the EU is not devolved and literally BREXIT was banned by Labour from all official letters coming out of the Welsh Assembly.
So what has devolution brought Wales? 31% child poverty (UN Figures), overcrowded schools, a low wage low skill economy and a third world functioning system of Government with a feeling of despair for many.
On the 19 May 2016 Carwyn Jones announces his new cabinet, including sole Lib Dem AM Kirsty Williams in charge of education. Ministers are now to be described as cabinet secretaries. Deputy ministers are to be called ministers!
Williams went on to bring in what some describe as a ‘Pedos’ Charter with changes to education which will see children from the age of three taught about masturbation and sexual rights from birth! Lacking the moral fibre of a democratic government – these changes were brought in during lockdown and are currently being challenged in court. Williams then left the Assembly choosing not to support the bill she introduced.
In conclusion – devolution has been a disaster for Wales. This is reflected by the turn out at elections. The people vote ‘none of the above’ time after time and it’s time to scrap the high cost low return, second rate talking shop. They spend more on writing reports and expenses than on what’s needed at a local level.
Across every county in the country ‘localisms’; the ability and funding to keep the A&E department at Withybush Hospital, for example. The funding of our fishermen and the two free ports should have been bringing hundreds of new jobs.
Counties are best placed to plan for housing for local people and an education service which concentrates on reading, writing, arithmetic, science and spiritual needs – not Sexual Rights and BLM!
Make them the same as the most of the UK , by downgrading them to combine Authoritys and reversing the policies like free university places in Scotland. And the votes for everyone in Wales
I think your right. The best democracy is local democracy. Parish & Town Councils used to be the backbone of local communities and ‘on the whole’ did marvellous work – because they knew the area and what was right for that area. I served as Secretary on a parish Council for eight years and took no money except for stationary and stamps! Give our Councils and Counties the powers back.