New website and democracy festival part of Assembly budget plans for 2019-20

(Title Image: National Assembly of Wales)

The Assembly Commission’s budget – which covers the running costs of the Assembly itself – will remain relatively unchanged for 2019-20 at just over £57million (pdf) – an increase of 1.7% in line with the expected increase to the Welsh block grant.

Two flagship proposals are for a new Assembly website and a celebratory event to mark the 20th anniversary of devolution in May 2019.

The celebration will take place in the week of 6th May 2019 and will include a Festival of Welsh Democracy taking the form of “lectures, events and activities accompanied by performances likely to take place in the autumn term and across Wales”.

The new Assembly website is also proposed following the recommendations of the Digital Taskforce. The website will be, in the report’s words, “user-friendly, easy to navigate and fast and accurate to search”. Information about the work of the Assembly will also be produced in a “far more efficient and effective way”. The work is expected to be complete by the 2020-21 term.

Other proposals include legislative and administrative work to change the name of the institution to Welsh Parliament/Senedd Cymru, scoping work on introducing an even faster speech-to-text transcription service for the Record of Proceedings and an academic engagement programme to increase the access AMs and Assembly staff have to expert advice.