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Standing room only at Bevan Foundation summer supporter network

June 26th 2019

There was a packed house at Tiny Rebel in Cardiff on the 25th of June as the Bevan Foundation held its summer supporters’ network. Supporters and their friends networked over a drink or two whilst also hearing a panel discussion on Devolution at 20. The panelfeatured Sue Essex, former AM and Welsh Government Minister, and Daran Hill, former Yes for Wales organiser and now director of Positif Politics.

The panel reflected on the achievements of the first twenty years of devolution, discussing its successes and failures and the lessons to be learned for the future. There was agreement between the two panellists that devolution had seen its greatest successes when enacting legislation and developing policy that had had a direct impact on people’s lives, for example, changing the law on organ donation and the ban on smoking in public places. There was concern however, that not enough was being done to communicate what both the National Assembly and the Welsh Government were doing, limiting people’s opportunity to engage with the process.

In addition to hearing both panellists’ views on the fist twenty years of devolution it was fascinating to hear their reflections on the process that led to the successful Yes vote in 1997. Sue Essex highlighted that there were a group within the Labour party that were eager to see a far more radical devolution settlement with powers over taxation and law making devolved to Wales. Daran Hill also highlighted the significance of the fact that Scotland had voted in favour of devolution a week before Wales, arguing that that was a key tipping point in taking the yes vote across the line.

The panel discussion prompted a lively debate amongst supporters with a number of interesting and thought-provoking questions being fielded to the panellists. Discussions continued for some time after the close of the formal debate with many supporters staying on at Tiny Rebel to continue the conversation.

To find out more about how you could become a supporter then click here to make sure you don’t miss out on similar events in future.

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