Call for increase in number of AMs

DAME Rosemary Butler has repeated calls for the Senedd to increase in size from 60 members to 80 assembly members.

The Presiding Officer of the National Assembly and Newport West AM told the Welsh Affairs Committee in Cardiff yesterday morning: “I have said this and I will continue to say it: we do not have enough members.”

She said she thinks a total of 80 members would be sufficient to scrutinise the Welsh Government and said the chamber was too small to do it at the moment.

On the same day a committee proposed a cut in the number of councils in Wales, she said: “We can manage and we will manage but if we had more members we would manage in a much more sensible manner.”

“You can go to Westminster and have the luxury to specialise in something, whereas here the members don’t have that opportunity because they’re going to have to do the run of the mill scrutiny and other jobs. For example, you might have party responsibilities and a whole range of things that make it quite difficult to get off that treadmill.”

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