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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Back to business

Any thought that the demise of the local elections would make my life less busy was quickly disabused this week as the work continued to pour in unabated.

Included in this work load has been a meeting with the Children's Commissioner and the Welsh Local Government Association about my private members legislation, which reaches the floor of the Senedd on Wednesday.

This legislation seeks to put a duty on local Councils to provide facilities for young people. The intention is to try and fill in the huge gaps in provision that leads to many youngsters hanging around on street corners in the evening because they have nowhere to go.

I was pleased that both the WLGA and the Children's Commissioner were broadly supportive of what I am trying to do, dependent of course on sufficient resources being found to deliver it.

I have also been trying to get a meeting with the Education Minister for the last few weeks to see what the Government's attitude is towards this legislation. It would be nice if they could support it. I have finally secured a slot on 8.45am on Tuesday. This is the day before the debate but it is better than nothing.

I finished the first draft of my speech at about 11pm last night. I will be doing further work on it today and tomorrow before a press conference on Monday.
"This legislation seeks to put a duty on local Councils to provide facilities for young people."

Your heart is very much in the right place Peter (and I very much applaud that) but you will most probably come unstuck because of this little word "duty".

Government, in whatever form, rarely has "a duty" to those who are subjugated to it. Whereas those who are easily subjugated to Government, do have "a duty" to Government. Your ideas of Government then, though populist and naive, are nonetheless backwards. :-)
In this context Neil the word 'duty' is a legal term to indicate that it is compulsory for local government to do it.

That is why I get this feeling you are not going to get anywhere - this definition of duty is the backwards one.

From the point of view of "Government" that is. :-)
We will see. There are already many duties on local government to which this could be added.
Did you know that you are a Democratic Liberal?
The long time serving Dafydd Elis-Thomas. Someone else who could do with "the gun treatment", Peter. :-)
... and a good Democratic Liberal at that!
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