“A positive step but work still to do”-Welsh Lib Dems welcome Senedd expansion

9 May 2024

This week in the Senedd, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have welcomed plans to expand the number of seats in the Siambr.

On Wednesday evening, members in the Senedd voted in favour of expanding the number of seats in the chamber from 60 to 96, in time for the 2026 election.

Despite backing the bill, the Welsh Lib Dems have warned against the introduction of a “closed party list” system, something which they claim, “risks robbing voters of a true choice”.

The party have also taken aim at the proposed pairing of new constituencies.

Commenting, the Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Jane Dodds MS said:

“I am pleased to see this vital legislation nearing its final hurdle, we as a party have continually called for expanding the Senedd to help enhance scrutiny and ensure representation for all of Wales.

This is a positive step in what will be a rewarding journey for us all, however there is still work to do. There are unfortunately, fundamental flaws with the Reform bill as it stands.

The introduction of a closed party list not only risks robbing voters of true choice but could also stifle the voices of smaller parties.

The proposed pairings of new constituencies will also undermine the vital link of accountability that exists between members of the Senedd and those they represent.

There are of course other ways for us to deliver a healthy and thriving democracy, by implementing a Single Transferable Voting system we could ensure that every vote carries equal weight.

Whilst I will be supporting this legislation, I urge both this Senedd and others after it to view this moment as just the first in a series of many on our democratic journey.”

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