First Minister of Wales
The First Minister of Wales is the leader of the Welsh Government, Wales' devolved administration. The First Minister is responsible for the exercise of functions by the Cabinet of the Welsh Government; the official office of the First Minister is in Tŷ Hywel known as Crickhowell House, the Senedd in Cardiff Bay. An office is kept at the Crown Buildings, Cathays Park, Cardiff; when set up under the Government of Wales Act 1998, Section 53, the post was known as Assembly First Secretary, as Wales was given a less powerful assembly and executive than either Northern Ireland or Scotland. The choice of title was attributed to the fact that the Welsh term for First Minister, Prif Weinidog, may be translated as Prime Minister, so a different title was chosen to avoid confusion with the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; the change of title occurred after the Liberal Democrats formed a coalition government with Labour in the Welsh Assembly in October 2000. The Government of Wales Act 2006 allowed for the post to be known as the First Minister and made the First Minister Keeper of the Welsh Seal.
Candidates for the position of First Minister are nominated by the members of the National Assembly for Wales. The members elect the nominee for the First Minister by majority vote. If no one is elected by a majority of votes cast with the first set of nominations, the process continues until a majority decide to cast their vote for one candidate; this process does not require an absolute majority of the National Assembly Once this process has occurred the Presiding Officer shall formally send a letter to the Current Monarch who must appoint that nominee to the position of First Minister. Under the arrangements in the Government of Wales Act 1998, executive functions are conferred on the National Assembly for Wales and separately delegated to the First Minister and to other Cabinet Ministers and staff as appropriate; until the Government of Wales Act 2006, these were delegated powers of the UK government. Since that Act came into force in May 2007, the First Minister is appointed by the monarch and represents the Crown in Wales.
Whilst this has little practical difference, it was a huge symbolic shift as for the first time the head of government in Wales is appointed by the Crown on the advice of the elected representatives of the Welsh people. The First Minister appoints the Welsh Ministers, Deputy Welsh Ministers and the Counsel General for Wales, with the approval of Her Majesty. Following separation between the legislative and the executive on the enactment of the Government of Wales Act 2006, the Welsh Ministers exercise functions in their own right. Any further transfers of executive functions from the UK Government will be made directly to the Welsh Ministers by an Order in Council approved by Parliament; the First Minister is accountable and responsible for: Exercise of functions by the Cabinet of the Welsh Government. Policy development and coordination of policy; the relationships with the rest of the United Kingdom and Wales Abroad. Staffing/Civil Service List of current heads of government in the United Kingdom and dependencies Deputy First Minister for Wales Welsh Government Dates are from World Statesmen and various BBC News Online articles from 1999 to 2003.
Roles and Responsibilities. Welsh Government: Cabinet and ministers
Directly elected mayors in England and Wales
Directly elected mayors in England and Wales are local government executive leaders who have been directly elected by the people who live in a local authority area. The first such political post was the Mayor of London, created as the executive of the Greater London Authority in 2000 as part of a reform of the local government of Greater London. Since the Local Government Act 2000, all of the several hundred principal local councils in England and Wales are required to review their executive arrangements. Most local authorities opt for the "leader and cabinet" model where the council leader is selected from the councillors, but in some areas the council proposes to adopt the "mayor and cabinet" model. Following a successful "yes" vote in a local referendum, a directly elected mayor is established to replace the council leader. Since 2007, councils can adopt the elected mayoral model without a referendum. Most authorities with elected mayors had a ceremonial mayor and the two roles continue to exist concurrently.
As of May 2015, 16 council areas are using the "mayor and cabinet" model of governance with a directly elected executive mayor. The system of elected mayors had been considered by the Major ministry, the former Environment Secretary Michael Heseltine had been a proponent of it; the 1997 Labour manifesto included a commitment to reform local government in London by introducing an elected mayor. The first directly elected mayor was introduced in Greater London in 2000 as part of the statutory provisions of the Greater London Authority Act 1999; the position of the elected Mayor of London is a strategic regional one, quite different from that of local authority mayors. The work of the Mayor of London is scrutinised by the London Assembly, a unique arrangement in the English local government system; the Mayor of London cannot be removed from office by a referendum following a petition, as is the case for directly elected mayors elsewhere in England. Elsewhere in England and Wales, since the Local Government Act 2000, there have been a range of options for how a local council executive leadership can be constituted, installing a directly elected mayor is one of these options.
The 2000 act ended the previous committee-based system, where functions were exercised by committees of the council. All of several hundred principal councils were required to review their executive arrangements under the 2000 legislation. Local authorities considering the option of an elected mayor were required to put the question to a local referendum, it is possible for campaign groups to trigger a local referendum with a signed petition. A number of areas with elected mayors have civic mayors or Lord mayors and these ceremonial roles conferred on acting councillors are separate from elected mayors. Eleven mayors were established during 2002, covering metropolitan and non-metropolitan districts, unitary authorities and London boroughs. Three further mayoralties were created under this legislation: in 2005, 2010, 2015; some of the first mayoral elections were won by independents, notably in Hartlepool, where the election was won by Stuart Drummond, who played Hartlepool United's mascot. Although Wales is included in the legislation, only one Welsh authority, has held a referendum on such a proposal.
The referendum, in May 2004, resulted in the proposal being rejected by over 70% of the voters. In October 2006, the DCLG white paper Strong and Prosperous Communities proposed that in future the requirement for a referendum to approve the establishment of an elected mayor for a council area be dropped in favour of a simple resolution of the council following community consultation, it proposed the direct election of council cabinets where requested, that the "mayor and council manager" system in Stoke-on-Trent be reformed into a conventional "mayor and cabinet" system, it having been the only English council to adopt that system. The "mayor and council manager" option was revoked by the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 and a referendum was no longer required if two thirds of a council voted in favour of the change in executive model; the elected cabinet option was not taken forward. The 2007 legislation required all local authorities to review their executive arrangements again and consider the case for an elected mayor.
In February 2006, the Institute for Public Policy Research published a report calling for elected mayors in Birmingham and Manchester, positively received by the government, but not by the two city councils concerned. British Prime Minister David Cameron expressed support for the system, saying directly elected mayors are "accountable" and can "galvanise action". On 2 May 2012, think tank the Bow Group published a short article supporting directly elected mayors in large English cities; the Localism Act 2011 permitted central government to trigger referendums for elected mayors, this was intended to happen in the largest cities during 2012. Ahead of this, Leicester City Council in 2011 and Liverpool City Council in 2012 exercised their option to have a directly elected mayor without a referendum. In September 2011 citizens of Salford collected the required number of signatures to force a referendum, successful; the first mayoral election took place in May 2012. Using the powers in the Localism Act 2011, on 3 May 2012, referendums were held in 10 English cities to decide whether or not to switch to a system that includes a directly elected mayor.
Only one, voted for a mayoral system. Doncaster voted to retain its elected mayoral system in a referendum held on the same day. In 2014
Greater London Authority
The Greater London Authority known as City Hall, is the devolved regional governance body of London, with jurisdiction over both counties of Greater London and the City of London. It consists of two political branches: the executive Mayoralty and the 25-member London Assembly, which serves as a means of checks and balances on the former. Since May 2016, both branches have been under the control of the London Labour Party; the authority was established in 2000, following a local referendum, derives most of its powers from the Greater London Authority Act 1999 and the Greater London Authority Act 2007. It is a strategic regional authority, with powers over transport, economic development, fire and emergency planning. Three functional bodies — Transport for London, the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime, the London Fire Commissioner — are responsible for delivery of services in these areas; the planning policies of the Mayor of London are detailed in a statutory London Plan, updated and published.
The Greater London Authority is funded by direct government grant and it is a precepting authority, with some money collected with local Council Tax. The GLA is unique in the British devolved and local government system, in terms of structure and selection of powers; the authority was established to replace a range of joint boards and quangos and provided an elected upper tier of local government in London for the first time since the abolition of the Greater London Council in 1986. The GLA is responsible for the strategic administration of the 1579 km² of Greater London, it shares local government powers with the councils of 32 London boroughs and the City of London Corporation. It was created to improve the co-ordination between the local authorities in Greater London, the Mayor of London's role is to give London a single person to represent it; the Mayor proposes policy and the GLA's budget, makes appointments to the capital's strategic executive such as Transport for London. The primary purpose of the London Assembly is to hold the Mayor of London to account by scrutiny of his or her actions and decisions.
The assembly must accept or amend the Mayor's budget on an annual basis. The GLA is based at City Hall, a new building on the south bank of the River Thames, next to Tower Bridge; the GLA is different from the Corporation of the City of London with its ceremonial Lord Mayors, which controls only the Square Mile of the City, London's chief financial centre. In 1986, the Greater London Council was abolished by the Conservative government of Margaret Thatcher. Many people have surmised that the decision to abolish the GLC was made because of the existence of a high-spending left-wing Labour administration under Ken Livingstone, although pressure for the abolition of the GLC had arisen before Mr Livingstone took over, was driven by the belief among the outer London Borough councils that they could perform the functions of the GLC just as well. On abolition, the strategic functions of the GLC were transferred to bodies controlled by central government or joint boards nominated by the London Borough councils.
Some of the service delivery functions were transferred down to the councils themselves. For the next 14 years there was no single elected body for the whole of London; the Labour Party never supported the abolition of the GLC and made it a policy to re-establish some form of citywide elected authority. The Labour party adopted a policy of a single, directly elected Mayor, together with an elected Assembly watching over the Mayor. After the Labour party won the 1997 general election, the policy was outlined in a White paper entitled A Mayor and Assembly for London. With the elections to the London Borough councils, a referendum was held on the establishment of the GLA in May 1998, approved with 72% of the vote; the Greater London Authority Act 1999 passed through Parliament, receiving the Royal Assent in October 1999. In a controversial election campaign, the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, attempted to block Livingstone's nomination and imposed his own candidate. In reaction, Livingstone stood as an independent candidate, resulting in his expulsion from the Labour Party and in March 2000, was elected as Mayor of London.
Following an interim period in which the Mayor and Assembly had been elected but had no powers, the GLA was formally established on 3 July 2000. Areas which the GLA has responsibility for include transport, policing and rescue, development and strategic planning; the GLA does not directly provide any services itself. Instead, its work is carried out by functional bodies which come under the GLA umbrella and work under the policy direction of the Mayor and Assembly; these functional bodies are: Transport for London – Responsible for managing most aspects of London's transport system, including public transport, main roads, traffic management, administering the London congestion charge. Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime – Responsible for overseeing the Metropolitan Police Service, which provides policing throughout Greater London. Replaced the Metropolitan Police Authority in January 2012 under the provisions of the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011; the London Fire Commissioner – Administers the London Fire Brigade and co-ordinates emergency planning.
Until April 2017 this was the responsibility of the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority
Cornwall Council is the unitary authority for the county of Cornwall in the United Kingdom, not including the Isles of Scilly, which has its own council. The council, its predecessor Cornwall County Council, has a tradition of large groups of independent councillors, having been controlled by independents in the 1970s and 1980s. Since the 2013 elections, it is run by an Independent-Liberal Democrat coalition. Cornwall Council provides a wide range of services to more than half a million Cornish residents. In 2014 it had an annual budget of more than £1 billion and was the biggest employer in Cornwall with a staff of 12,429 salaried workers, it is responsible for services including: schools, social services, rubbish collection, roads and more. Before April 2009, Cornwall was administered as a non-metropolitan county by the Cornwall County Council with six districts, Carrick, North Cornwall and Restormel; the Council of the Isles of Scilly still remains a separate unitary authority. On 5 December 2007, the Government confirmed that Cornwall was one of five councils that would move to unitary status.
This was enacted by statutory instrument as part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, The changes took effect on 1 April 2009. On that date the six districts and Cornwall County Council were abolished and were replaced by Cornwall Council; the council has 123 councillors, the independent Local Government Boundary Commission for England is proposing that Cornwall Council should have 87 councillors in future. On the creation of the new unitary authority it was decided that the name of the new council would be Cornwall Council; the Council logo features a Cornish chough and the 15 Cornish golden bezants on a black field as used in the arms of the Duchy of Cornwall. The campaign for Cornish devolution began in 2000 with the founding of the Cornish Constitutional Convention, a cross-party, cross-sector association that campaigns for devolution to Cornwall. In 2009, Liberal Democrat MP Dan Rogerson introduced a bill in parliament seeking to take power from Whitehall and regional quangos and pass it to the new Cornwall Council, with the intention of transforming the new council into an assembly along the lines of National Assembly for Wales.
In November 2010, British Prime Minister David Cameron suggested in comments to the local press that his government would "devolve a lot of power to Cornwall - that will go to the Cornish unitary authority." In 2011, the Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said he would meet a cross party group, including the six Cornish MPs, to look at whether more powers could be devolved to Cornwall. The subsequent Localism Act 2011 was expected to achieve this but it proved incapable. However, the Cities and Local Government Devolution Act 2016 is intended to devolve some powers to Cornwall Council, helping to bring social and care services together, giving control over bus services and local investment. Among the services provided by the council is a public library service which consists of a main library in Truro and smaller libraries in towns and some villages throughout Cornwall. There are the following special libraries: Cornwall Learning Library, Cornish Studies Library, the Education Library Service, the Performing Arts Library, as well as a mobile library service based at Threemilestone.
Cornwall Council is promoting ten cultural projects as part of a five-year culture strategy. One project is the development of a National Theatre of Cornwall, a collaboration of the Hall for Cornwall, Kneehigh Theatre, Eden Project and Wildworks. Cornwall Council has based its idea on the successful National Theatres of Wales. Another of the projects is the proposed creation of a National Library of Cornwall to resolve inadequacies with the current storage of archives, it is hoped that this will bring some important documents concerning Cornish history back to Cornwall as well as providing better public access to those records held. Cornwall Council is involved in the project to build a Stadium for Cornwall. Cornwall Council backs the campaign for the Cornish to be recognised as a National Minority in the UK; the council's chief executive Kevin Lavery wrote a letter to the Government in 2010, writing, "Cornwall Council believes that the UK Government should recognise the Cornish as a national minority under the terms of the Framework Convention."
Adding that, "Cornwall Council believes that the Government's current restricted interpretation is discriminatory against the Cornish and contradicts the support it gives to Cornish culture and identity through its own departments." Cornwall Council's support was reaffirmed as council policy in 2011 with the publication of the Cornish National Minority Report 2, signed and endorsed by the leaders of every political grouping on the council. The council took an active role in the promotion of the options for registering Cornish ethnicity and national identity on the 2011 UK Census; the Cornish people were recognised as a National Minority by the British Government on 24 April 2014 and incorporated into the European Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities giving the Cornish the same status as the United Kingdom's other Celtic peoples, the Scots, the Welsh and the Irish. Since 2008 Cornwall Council and the former county council, together with Cornwall Enterprise, Cornwall Sustainable Energy Partnership, have been involved with a Protocol of Cooperation between Cornwall and the Conseil général du Finistère in Brittany.
The protocol aims to allow the two regions to work more on topics of common interest and engage in a knowledge exchange with the possibility of jointly applying for European fun
Royal assent is the method by which a monarch formally approves an act of the legislature. In some jurisdictions, royal assent is equivalent to promulgation, while in others, a separate step. Under a modern constitutional monarchy royal assent is considered to be little more than a formality. While the power to veto a law by withholding royal assent was once exercised by European monarchs, such an occurrence has been rare since the eighteenth century. Royal assent is sometimes associated with elaborate ceremonies. In the United Kingdom, for instance, the sovereign may appear in the House of Lords or may appoint Lords Commissioners, who announce that royal assent has been granted at a ceremony held at the Palace of Westminster for this purpose. However, royal assent is granted less ceremonially by letters patent. In other nations, such as Australia, the governor-general signs a bill. In Canada, the governor general may give assent either in person at a ceremony held in the Senate or by a written declaration notifying parliament of their agreement to the bill.
Before the Royal Assent by Commission Act 1541 became law, assent was always required to be given by the sovereign in person before Parliament. The last time royal assent was given by the sovereign in person in Parliament was in the reign of Queen Victoria at a prorogation on 12 August 1854; the Act was repealed and replaced by the Royal Assent Act 1967. However section 1 of that Act does not prevent the sovereign from declaring assent in person if he or she so desires. Royal assent is the final step required for a parliamentary bill to become law. Once a bill is presented to the sovereign or the sovereign's representative, he or she has the following formal options: the sovereign may grant royal assent, thereby making the bill an Act of Parliament; the sovereign may delay the bill's assent through the use of his or her reserve powers, thereby vetoing the bill. The sovereign may refuse royal assent on the advice of her ministers; the last bill, refused assent by the sovereign was the Scottish Militia Bill during Queen Anne's reign in 1708.
Under modern constitutional conventions, the sovereign acts on, in accordance with, the advice of his or her ministers. However, there is some disagreement among scholars as to whether the monarch should withhold royal assent to a bill if advised to do so by her ministers. Since these ministers most enjoy the support of parliament and obtain the passage of bills, it is improbable that they would advise the sovereign to withhold assent. Hence, in modern practice, the issue has never arisen, royal assent has not been withheld; the sovereign is believed not to have the power to withhold assent from a bill against the advice of ministers. Legislative power was exercised by the sovereign acting on the advice of the Curia regis, or Royal Council, in which important magnates and clerics participated and which evolved into parliament. In 1265, the Earl of Leicester irregularly called a full parliament without royal authorisation. Membership of the so-called Model Parliament, established in 1295 under Edward I included bishops, earls, two knights from each shire and two burgesses from each borough.
The body came to be divided into two branches: bishops, abbots and barons formed the House of Lords, while the shire and borough representatives formed the House of Commons. The King would seek the consent of both houses before making any law. During Henry VI's reign, it became regular practice for the two houses to originate legislation in the form of bills, which would not become law unless the sovereign's assent was obtained, as the sovereign was, still remains, the enactor of laws. Hence, all Acts include the clause "Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, by the authority of the same, as follows...". The Parliament Acts 1911 and 1949 provide a second potential preamble if the House of Lords were to be excluded from the process; the power of parliament to pass bills was thwarted by monarchs. Charles I dissolved parliament in 1629, after it passed motions and bills critical of—and seeking to restrict—his arbitrary exercise of power.
During the eleven years of personal rule that followed, Charles performed dubious actions such as raising taxes without Parliament's approval. After the English Civil War, it was accepted that parliament should be summoned to meet but it was still commonplace for monarchs to refuse royal assent to bills. In 1678, Charles II withheld his assent from a bill "for preserving the Peace of the Kingdom by raising the Militia, continuing them in Duty for Two and Forty Days," suggesting that he, not parliament, should control the militia; the last Stuart monarch, Anne withheld on 11 March 1708, on the advice of her ministers, her assent to the Scottish Militia Bill. No monarch has since withheld royal assent on a bill passed by the British parliament. During the rule of the succeeding Hanoverian dynasty, power was exercised more by parliament and the government; the first Hanoverian monarch, George I, relied on his ministers to a greater extent than had previous monarchs. Hanoverian monarchs attempted to restore royal control over legislation: G
First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland
The First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland are the joint heads of the Northern Ireland Executive and have overall responsibility for the running of the Executive Office. The two positions have the same governmental power. Created under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, both were nominated and appointed by members of the Northern Ireland Assembly on a joint ticket by a cross-community vote, using consociational principles; that process was changed following the 2006 St Andrews Agreement, meaning that the First Minister and deputy First Minister are now nominated separately by the largest parties in each of the two largest community designations in the assembly. The First Minister and deputy First Minister share equal responsibilities within government, their decisions are made jointly; the First Minister is, the first to greet official visitors to Northern Ireland and shares the same title as their counterparts in Scotland and Wales. They are tasked with co-chairing meetings of the Northern Ireland Executive, "dealing with and co-ordinating" the work of the Executive, the response of the administration to external relationships.
The First Minister and deputy First Minister agree the agenda of Executive meetings and can jointly determine "significant or controversial matters" to be considered by the Executive. The ministers' policy responsibilities include: economic policy equality before the law European Union issues human rights the machinery of government public appointments policy standards in public lifeTwo junior ministers assist the First Minister and deputy First Minister in carrying out the work of OFMDFM, they are jointly accountable to deputy First Minister. The last incumbent junior ministers were Jennifer McCann; as established under the Northern Ireland Act 1998, the First Minister was elected by the Assembly on a joint ticket with the deputy First Minister through a cross-community vote. It was created to enable the leaders of the main unionist and nationalist parties to work together, with guaranteed joint representation of both main communities. For the purposes of a cross-community vote, MLAs were designated as unionist, nationalist or other.
The nominees for First Minister and deputy First Minister required the support of: a majority of the members voting in the election. This procedure was used on 2 December 1999 to elect Seamus Mallon. Following several suspensions of the Northern Ireland Executive, Trimble was not re-elected on 2 November 2001 due to unionist opposition, he was subsequently re-elected alongside Mark Durkan on 6 November 2001. Following the St Andrews Agreement in October 2006, this procedure was changed to allow for: a First Minister nominated by the largest party of the largest designation; this procedure, which removed the need for a joint ticket between the Democratic Unionist Party and Sinn Féin, was used to appoint Ian Paisley and Martin McGuinness on 8 May 2007. It was again used to appoint Peter Robinson alongside Martin McGuinness on 5 June 2008 and again on 12 May 2011. However, if the largest party of the largest designation were not the largest party overall, the appointment procedure would be as follows: a First Minister nominated by the largest party.
The Minister of Justice is now the only Northern Ireland Executive Minister elected on a cross-community vote. All other ministers are party appointees; the First Minister or deputy First Minister may appoint another Northern Ireland Executive Minister to exercise the functions of the office during a vacancy. Vacancies have occurred on four occasions to date: First MinisterSir Reg Empey for David Trimble Arlene Foster for Peter Robinson Arlene Foster for Peter Robinson Deputy First MinisterJohn O'Dowd for Martin McGuinness In the Irish language, the literal translation of these positions is "Céad-Aire agus an leas Chéad-Aire"; the titles appear in both English and Irish in published literature by the North-South Ministerial Council, one of the "mutually inter-dependent" institutions laid out in the Good Friday Agreement, along with the Northern Ireland Assembly. Various ways of translating the titles "First Minister and deputy First Minister" into the Ulster Scots dialects have been attested in official communications, including Heid Männystèr an tha Heid Männystèr depute, First Meinister an First Meinister depute, First Meenister an First Meenister depute and First Minister an First Minister depute.
The second position has been spelt "Deputy" or "deputy" First Minister, due to differing preferences by civil servants, although the spelling of the title has no constitutional consequences in practice. The first two holders of the
2011 Welsh devolution referendum
The Welsh devolution referendum on law-making powers known as the Referendum on the law-making powers of the National Assembly for Wales, was a non-binding referendum held in Wales on 3 March 2011 on whether the Welsh Assembly should have full law making powers in the twenty subject areas where it has jurisdiction. The referendum asked the question: ‘Do you want the Assembly now to be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 subject areas it has powers for?’ If a majority voted'yes', the Assembly would be able to make laws, known as Acts of the Assembly, on all matters in the subject areas, without needing the UK Parliament's agreement. If a majority voted'no', the arrangements at the time of the referendum would have continued – that is, in each devolved area, the Assembly would be able to make its own laws on some matters, but not others. To make laws on any of these other matters, the Assembly would have had to ask the UK Parliament to transfer the powers to it. Regulations for the referendum, the powers to be approved or rejected by it, were provided for in the Government of Wales Act 2006.
The results of the referendum were announced on 4 March 2011. Overall, 63.49% voted'yes', 36.51% voted'no'. In 21 of 22 local authorities the vote was'yes', with the exception being Monmouthshire by a slim majority; the overall turnout was 35.2%. First Minister Carwyn Jones, welcoming the result, said: "Today an old nation came of age." In the One Wales coalition agreement on 27 June 2007 the Wales Labour Party and Plaid Cymru made the commitment "to proceed to a successful outcome of a referendum for full law-making powers under Part IV of the Government of Wales Act 2006 as soon as practicable, at or before the end of the Assembly term". The two parties agreed "in good faith to campaign for a successful outcome to such a referendum" and to set up an All-Wales Convention to prepare for such a successful outcome. On 27 October 2007 the First Minister Rhodri Morgan and the Deputy First Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones appointed Sir Emyr Jones Parry, the retired Permanent Representative from Britain to the United Nations to head the convention.
Sir Emyr stated on 22 November 2007 that he would like to begin to work as soon as possible and hoped to have the report ready by 2009 at the latest. The All Wales Convention reported to the First Minister and the Deputy First Minister on 18 November 2009, it reported. An opinion poll for the convention had found that 47% would vote Yes, 37% would vote No; the report suggested that the Assembly needed to decide before June 2010 whether to trigger a referendum if the vote was to be held before the next Assembly elections. On 2 February 2010 the new First Minister Carwyn Jones, who had succeeded Rhodri Morgan on 9 December 2009, confirmed that a trigger vote would be held on 9 February on whether the Assembly should request a referendum on full law making powers; the Welsh Liberal Democrats and Welsh Conservative Party stated they did not want the referendum to be held on the same day as the 2011 Assembly elections and would abstain from voting to trigger the referendum if this date was not ruled out.
The trigger vote was held in the Assembly on Tuesday 9 February 2010, was approved unanimously across all parties, with 53 out of the 60 AMs voting for it. Under the Government of Wales Act 2006 the First Minister was required to send a letter within two weeks to the Welsh Secretary, who would have 120 days to lay a draft order for a referendum before Parliament, it was expected. On 15 June 2010 Cheryl Gillan, the new Welsh Secretary in the Conservative--Liberal Democrat coalition government at Westminster, announced that the referendum would be held between January and March 2011. Others proposed that it should be held on 5 May 2011, together with both the Assembly elections and the AV referendum, it was agreed that the referendum be held on 3 March 2011, after representations to the Welsh Secretary from the Welsh Government. The draft referendum question submitted by the Welsh Secretary to the Electoral Commission on 23 June 2010 was: At present, the National Assembly for Wales has powers to make laws for Wales on some subjects within devolved areas.
Devolved areas include health, social services, local government and environment. The Assembly can gain further powers to make laws in devolved areas with the agreement of the Parliament of the United Kingdom on a subject by subject basis. If most people vote'yes' in this referendum, the Assembly will gain powers to pass laws on all subjects in the devolved areas. If most people vote'no' the present arrangements, which transfer that law-making power bit by bit, with the agreement of Parliament each time, will continue. Do you agree that the Assembly should now have powers to pass laws on all subjects in the devolved areas without needing the agreement of Parliament first? This wording was, criticised by the Welsh Government. A revised question was released in September 2010: The National Assembly for Wales - what happens at the moment The Assembly has powers to make laws on 20 subject areas, such as agriculture, the environment, housing, local government. In each subject area, the Assembly can make laws on some matters, but not others.
To make laws on any of these other matters, the assembly must ask the UK Parliament for its agreement. The UK Parliament decides each time whether or not the assembly can make these laws; the Assembly cannot make laws on subject areas such as defence, tax or welfare benefits, whatever the result of this vote. If most voters vote'yes' - the Assembly will be able to make laws on all matters in the 20 s