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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

A decision at last?

I know I am in danger of repeating myself but really the date of the referendum on Assembly powers does not matter provided that it is held before the Assembly elections and that we do not confuse things by holding it on that day.

The other consideration is that we get it right and that is why the failure of the previous Labour UK government and the present rules out an 2010 autumn poll. It is also why I welcome the announcement by the Secretary of State for Wales that she is now considering a referendum in the first quarter of 2011.

Of course the other complicating factor in all this is the view of the Presiding Officer that we can wait until October 2011. He is concerned about turnout, as research shows that the more people who vote, the better the chance of a 'yes' vote.

On this issue I have to disagree. I believe that it is important that a new Assembly Government hits the ground running after May 2011 certain of its position and knowing precisely what powers it has for its four year term. The last thing we need is a six month period of uncertainty in the run up to a referendum. That would be a distraction and would undermine good governance.

This is one issue that needs to be settled early rather than later.
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