St Dominic's Visit the National Parliament for Wales (NPW)
The National Parliament for Wales or Senedd Cymru
On the 14th January at 7.30am, 23 Government and Politics students plus Kingsley Jolowicz and Melisa Tupou made the long journey down to Cardiff to the National Parliament for Wales (NPW). The trip was part of the student’s study of how Devolution operates throughout the United Kingdom. The Parliament is on the corner of Cardiff Bay in a beautiful spot next to the Wales Millennium Centre and the Pierhead Building once the home of the Bute Dock Company.
On arrival we were met by Richard who gave an excellent talk on the history of Welsh Politics 1880-2020, on the design, shape and all the Welsh materials used in the construction of the NPW, the re-development of Cardiff bay following the building of the NPW and the move of BBC Drama from London to the Welsh capital. Richard also showed us how the Petition Committee operates and how it links to the agenda of the NPW.
The day concluded with time in the visitor’s gallery observing First Minister’s questions. The students were keen to comment on how polite the members were to the First Minister and to each other compared to the rough and tumble of Prime Minister’s Questions. Questions to the First Minister ranged from the future for refugees in Wales following Brexit, the Welsh Ambulance Service, mental health in Wales, making first aid compulsory in Welsh schools and the future of Erasmus Plus. In addition, following new powers of the NPW to raise some taxes, questions were asked on the new Welsh Landfill Tax, economic development in Newport, and on the future of jobs in Bridgend following the closure of the Ford factory. The students also noted the meaningful responses of both the questioner and the First Minister and how many members were emailing in order to keep in touch with their constituents. It was also noted how many members did and did not use earphones from translation into Welsh and visa versa.
Overall the staff and students thought it was an excellent trip and well worth repeating for the new Y1’s next year. I would just like to thank the students for their exemplary behaviour throughout the day and to Melisa for her support managing the students. The next visit by the department will be to City Hall in March 2020.
Kingsley R Jolowicz - Head of Government & Politics