Senedd Bites #71: AM withdraws bid to re-join Plaid

(Title Image: via Senedd TV)

Neil McAvoy withdraws bid to re-join Plaid Cymru

Neil McAvoy AM (Ind, South Wales Central) has withdrawn his application to re-join Plaid Cymru. An initial hearing a few weeks ago failed to come to a decision leading to a second panel being set up – the members of which the AM accused of being impartial.

He also complained about procedural irregularities and “malicious” leaks to the media. He hasn’t ruled out applying for membership again after elections are held to fill voluntary positions in the party later this year.

Government clampdown on pavement parking

An expert group is set to be established by the Welsh Government to look at ways to clamp down on motorists parking on pavements – as well as illegal parking generally. Parking on pavements is currently legal outside London, though motorists can be fined for dangerous parking or causing an obstruction.

Deputy Economy & Transport Minister, Lee Waters (Lab, Llanelli), said: “This is not about penalising car users, but redressing the balance of power in our urban environment. The numerous benefits of active travel are well documented, and we are in a position here in Wales to really do something positive in making it the obvious choice for all ages.”

Portuguese Government reveal reasons around alcohol minimum pricing law opposition

The Portuguese Government said its wines would be “less competitive” if Wales pressed ahead with plans to introduce a 50p-per-unit minimum alcohol price, as the details of its objections to the European Commission were released. They also questioned whether the policy was proportionate and would have the desired public health impact.

Afan Valley resort plans likely to collapse after developers are placed into administration

Plans for a £200million holiday village and leisure resort in the Afan Valley near Croeserw look set to be scrapped after the company behind the development, Northern Powerhouse Developments, was placed in administration. It comes after a Guardian-ITV investigation into the finances of other projects linked to the company, as well as long-standing delays to a number of them.

Leader of Neath Port Talbot Council, Cllr. Rob Jones, said: “It would have brought tourism and money back into the valley with the proposed local employment for local people, and providing on-site services for local suppliers. It held so much promise – this could have been a game-changer for the Afan Valley and now it appears to be at risk.”

“Citizens’ Assembly” to meet in July

A “Citizens’ Assembly” made up of 60 members of the public selected to provide an accurate cross-section of the Welsh population will meet in Newtown from 19th-21st July as part of events to mark the 20th anniversary of devolution. The participants were invited from 10,000 randomly selected addresses.

The goal is for the Assembly to suggest new ways to improve engagement with the Senedd and the future direction of devolution. A report on the Citizen’s Assembly conclusions will be published in the autumn.