David Rowlands AM

7 March 2017


Dear David

Plenary statement: Inquires and engagement – citizen panel

I am writing further to our exchange in Plenary on Wednesday 1 March following my statement as Chair of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee on inquires and engagement.

I was delighted to hear your positive comments around the Committee’s engagement initiative in which we are trialling a small citizen panel – an Assembly first – as part of our inquiry into inter-institutional relations between Wales and the UK.

The Committee hosted the first citizen panel on 13 February 2017. The purpose of this reference group was to test early in the inquiry process participants’ perceptions and expectations of inter-institutional working and relationships, and discover their thoughts on learning from other institutions.

The panel was made up of six citizens who were demographically diverse in terms of age, location, socio-economic background, and gender. Participants were age 16-59 and represented locations from all across Wales. We ensured that the participants had not taken part in a previous National Assembly consultation, and did not necessarily have previous knowledge or understanding of the constitution in Wales in order to obtain a broad range of views.

It was our intention for the panel’s views to provide the Committee the opportunity to focus aspects of its scrutiny around the issues raised. We intend on publishing a note of the discussion in due course, and I would be happy to provide you with a copy.

The Committee has made it a priority in this Assembly to promote the public understanding of constitutional matters and extend the Committee’s sphere of influence. To date the work undertaken by the Committee and its predecessor to develop relationships has focussed on key constitutional stakeholders. However, we are keen to extend this more widely and acknowledge that this audience will change depending on the work being undertaken. We have therefore committed to undertaking innovative methods of working where possible, and consider the best ways of involving citizens at all available opportunities. We will not restrict ourselves to any single approach and will look for innovative methods of engagement. I would therefore be pleased to receive any suggestions or details of good practice models you are aware of.

Yours sincerely

Huw Irranca-Davies


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