(Title Image: Electoral Reform Society)
The Senedd has approved several changes to proceedings to ensure legislative work can continue through the coronavirus/Covid-19 pandemic but also to protect staff and AMs during the period of “social distancing” by minimising the need to travel to Cardiff Bay.
- A single plenary session will be held all day on Wednesday 25th March in both the morning and afternoon. It’s unclear if this arrangement will continue after the Easter recess (which runs from 30th March-20th April).
- David Melding AM (Con, South Wales Central) has been nominated as a Temporary Presiding Officer in case the Llywydd and Deputy Llywydd are taken out of action.
- While Senedd proceedings are still to take place in public and be broadcast (unless deemed impractical to do so), members of the public can be barred from public galleries in the interests of public health.
The Assembly Commission has already announced that the Senedd estate will be closed to the public until at least 26th April 2020, while all non-time-critical debates have been postponed to concentrate on coronavirus.
A statement also says ways will be found to enable AMs to continue to scrutinise the government over Easter recess.