Independence Index

Your in-depth guide to Welsh independence.

Assembly

The latest news, debates and reports from the Senedd. (Fourth Assembly stories are under 'Archive').

Bridgend

The major local political stories and developments from Bridgend county.

Laws

We gave AMs law-making powers; this is what's being done with them.

Committee Inquiries

Detailed scrutiny of how Wales is being run. (Fourth Assembly inquiries are under 'Archive').

Independence In Depth : Defending Wales

How could Wales defend itself as an independent nation?

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Independence Minutiae : Public Lending Right

(Pic : The Guardian)
If you've ever borrowed books from a public library, you've taken advantage of this little known scheme. It's also one of the plethora of policy areas that are non-devolved and unlikely to be the responsibility of Wales unless we choose independence one day.

Friday, 2 December 2016

Reshaping the Senedd

(Pic : viewpictures.co.uk)

There's been a fair bit of discussion for several years on how many Assembly Members we need. The general consensus within the "Bay Bubble" is that 60 AMs is too few to meet the growing demands of the legislature – which will have tax-varying powers from 2018 and, at some indeterminate post-Brexit point in the future, some of the responsibilities of the EU.

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Law replacing landfill tax introduced

(Pic : South Wales Argus)

Earlier this week, Finance & Local Government Secretary, Mark Drakeford (Lab, Cardiff West), introduced the second Bill to establishes a new Welsh tax. It followed hot on the heels from the law to replace stamp duty – which was introduced in September.

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Senedd Watch - November 2016



  • On November 3rd, the UK High Court ruled the UK Parliament must vote to trigger Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to start the Brexit process, and the powers are not held under royal prerogative by the Prime Minister. The UK Government appealed to the Supreme Court.

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

FMQs : Sepsis, Letting Fees & Sport Wales



Sometimes AMs discuss stuff that only matters to themselves or those who lobby them. Sometimes they concentrate on things that have more topical relevance – as they did today.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

De-Pedestrianisation Update & Bin Police

© Copyright Jaggery and licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Licence.

Bridgend Council's (BCBC) Cabinet meet next week to discuss a new round of reports, including a significant move towards opening  Bridgend town centre to traffic, flood management, praise for libraries and proposals for a "Bin Police" to enforce the two black bag limit from next April. There's also a separate update on Brackla station.

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Assembly backs "Smart Farming"

(Pic : Emirates Business)

As someone who loathes buzzwords, I'm sceptical of the current trend of sticking "smart" in front of everything, but as such technologies have become more commonplace it's playing a part in all walks of life.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

FMQs : Circuit of Wales, Water & Tolls


The big story this afternoon is the emergence of a potential "cash for access" scandal. I stress "potential".

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Bridgend eyesore to go, Labour purge & more

(Pic : via Google Earth)

Here's another round up of some of the stories in Bridgend recently.

Friday, 18 November 2016

90-year-old sent £370million home improvement grant

(Pic : Visit London)
There were red faces all around when it was revealed a 90-year-old woman was sent a £369million home improvement grant by accident. The grant - issued on behalf of the UK Treasury - was still awaiting approval, but the letter-of-intent was delivered to the wrong address.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Who are "The Establishment"?


Is the idea of a single monolithic Establishment a myth?
(Pic : The Spectator)

2016 will be marked by a revolt against the status quo in liberal democracies. In Wales we've seen the election of UKIP AMs for the first time, followed by Brexit. Earlier this year there was an inconclusive Irish general election. There's also the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn in the face of opposition from Labour's aristocracy and finally Donald Trump's victory last week.

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

FMQs : GPs, Chainsaws & Trump



There were a number of exchanges relating to the new President-Elect of the US this afternoon ( as you might expect) but the staple topic of health dominated discussion overall.

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Carmarthenshire's Roll of Dishonour



This weekend, people will gather near monuments which, in some cases, will list the names of those who willingly and unwillingly sacrificed their lives in conflict.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Woodpeckers, Tits & Choughs

(Pic : Centre for Ecology & Hydrology)
In the last few weeks an alliance of environmental, conservation and ecology groups published a State of Nature report for 2016 (pdf). It didn't make good reading when it comes to protecting native Welsh species, with some spots of hope. There's more from the Assembly's Research Service here.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Public Health Bill (Re)Introduced

(Pic : BBC)

As you probably all know, the Fourth Assembly's Public Health Bill was troubled at several points, mainly because it proposed to ban "vaping" in public places in line with tobacco.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

FMQs : Veterans, USA & Article 50



It's a long one this week as I've decided to tack on the Assembly's response to the Article 50 judgement. There's also a sense of deja vu from recent FMQs as you'll probably see for yourselves.

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Vice Nation : Fireworks

(Pic : heavy.com)

It was only fit to pick today to address another issue regarding public policy and independence – pyrotechnics.

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Election 2016 : Where are they now?


It's six months since the Assembly election, so it's worth catching up with some of those who lost their seats to find out what they're up to now.