Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Kirsty Williams: “We need a single port of call for children in Wales.”

The Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats, Kirsty Williams AM, has today launched a bid to give the Children’s Commissioner for Wales powers to do more to stand-up for children across Wales.

Kirsty Williams has written to the Minister for Children and Families, Sarah Teather MP, to ask that she give the Children’s Commissioner powers to investigate and speak up on non-devolved matters. Currently, the Commissioner is only allowed to work on devolved matters.

Commenting, Kirsty Williams said:

“This year sees ten years since the establishment of a Children’s Commissioner for Wales, and they have done a fantastic job speaking up for children in Wales. But they are often frustrated because they are limited in what they can do. I want there to be a single port-of-call for children in Wales.

“I’ve written to the Westminster Government to ask them to give these powers to the Welsh Commissioner. They are currently reviewing how the English Commissioner should work – now is the perfect time to make these changes. Now is the time for us in Wales to have a strong an independent Commissioner.”

The Welsh Liberal Democrats also believe that the Children’s Commissioner should be appointed by the National Assembly, rather than the First Minister, to ensure they are independent from Government.

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