Renewed call to remove computer terminals from the Senedd chamber

(Title Image: via Senedd TV)

Alun Davies AM (Lab, Blaenau Gwent) has raised the prospect of computer terminals being removed from the Senedd chamber, after claiming they detract from debates and often gave the impression that AMs weren’t interested in proceedings.

During questions to the Assembly Commission last week, he said: “I think, all too often, people watching us taking part in debates in this place will see a member speaking, as I am now, and a sea of heads looking downwards at their screens”. He suggested AMs switch to mobiles and tablet computers instead.

The comments echo those of the late Plaid Cymru AM, Steffan Lewis, who claimed debates were “dull to watch” in 2016.

Not all AMs were in favour of the idea. Bethan Sayed AM (Plaid, South Wales West) responded on Twitter, saying the terminals were useful to respond to correspondence as quickly as possible when instant responses were often expected by the public.

Reminding AMs that they didn’t have to use the computers, the Llywydd, Elin Jones (Plaid, Ceredigion) said: “The last time we asked assembly members for their views on whether the IT equipment that was available to them in this chamber was the right way to carry on for the future was in 2016.”