Thursday, June 12, 2008

Labour dinosaurs are holding Wales back - Black

Labour AMs have blocked proposals to devolve new powers to Wales, powers which could have lead to a shake up of the way Wales elects its councils.

South Wales West AM Peter Black won a ballot in the Senedd to bring forward the legislative competence order (LCO) which would have devolved more powers to the Assembly. He said he was disappointed that Labour AMs - some of whom have previously spoken in favour of electoral reform - vetoed the proposal. No Labour AMs spoke in the debate.

Mr Black said: "Labour AMs should be ashamed with themselves. They have vetoed a proposal which would have given the Assembly crucial powers for the future. They have done so with no explanation of why. They are putting the brakes on devolution, at a time when we should be going further and faster.

"Labour AMs were given a free vote. The government told us it ' had no view ' on the matter. Yet Labour AMs have rejected this logical step in the devolution process.

"Labour have turned their backs on the devolution project they started more than a decade ago. The party that used to dominate Welsh politics is showing why it is becoming increasingly unpopular. Labour AMs didn't even have the courage and decency to explain why they were torpedoing this proposal.

"It seems clear to me that the people of Wales - like those in Scotland and Northern Ireland - should have the power to determine how they elect their local councils. Labour AMs will have to explain their reluctance to allow that to the people they represent."
> Tory AMs abstained on the vote.
> Notes:
> The final vote was:
> For 18
> Abstain 8
> Against 21
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