Today, the Senedd Commission is publishing its Annual Report and Accounts outlining its achievements during a year of change.
This busy year saw the Commission team working hard to support the 20 newly elected Members following the Senedd election and an official opening from Her Majesty the Queen.
Following the Senedd election, young people from across Wales elected a new Welsh Youth Parliament, the second in its history. Their work has now begun on raising issues and influencing government.
The Senedd’s outreach and engagement teams, which raise awareness and encourage participation, have also recommenced their crucial work, visiting community groups and listening to the views of people in all parts of Wales.
The year has also seen a look to the future, with the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform considering a range of issues including the way Members are elected as well as the size and diversity of the Senedd.
Today’s report also gives the Senedd Commission’s Accounts a clean bill of health, reflecting the organisation’s commitment to the prudent and transparent use of public resources.
The Commission’s goals are to provide outstanding parliamentary support, to have citizens at the heart of all it does and to use resources sustainably and the annual report lays out the Senedd Commission’s priorities for this coming term.
Welsh language on the up
The percentage of contributions to parliamentary proceedings made through the medium of Welsh has, once again, increased this year - almost a third of contributions in Plenary were in Welsh.
This is a reflection of the support available to Members to contribute in their preferred language.
Whilst bilingual proceedings are the norm at the Senedd, with many participants feeling confident and comfortable in using both languages, the Commission has pledged to do even more to encourage confidence to use Welsh and to understand any barriers.
The aim is to ensure that the recent positive pattern continues.
A carbon neutral Senedd
Last year the Senedd’s Carbon Neutral Strategy was launched and changes to the estate have begun, meaning its future is a low-carbon one.
Hybrid and remote working is still being promoted, maximising the wellbeing and environmental benefits this brings.
The Commission is also taking steps to ensure that active and low-carbon travel to and from the Senedd and its places of work are easier than ever.
Llywydd of the Senedd, Elin Jones MS, said:
“It gives me great pleasure to present this year’s Senedd Commission Annual Report after a difficult few years. With the Senedd buildings open again for business and outreach work recommencing across the country it feels like we’ve turned a corner with the people of Wales.
“We will continue to examine the lessons learnt from the previous years of operating within Covid-19 restrictions so that we capitalise on what worked well, in the interest of Welsh democracy.
“The coming years may also see more fundamental changes to the Senedd itself. We need a parliament which more closely represents the people of Wales and will implement the necessary reforms.
“Many challenges lie ahead, whether it be on recovery from the pandemic, climate change or advancing equality. Our focus will continue to be on delivering effective Parliamentary services for the benefit of the people of Wales.”
Manon Antoniazzi, Clerk and Chief Executive of the Senedd, added:
“Throughout the pandemic, Commission staff have found novel and innovative ways of ensuring that the business of the Senedd has continued with as little disruption as possible.
“The Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform has been considering a range of issues including the way Members are elected as well as the size and diversity of the Senedd and we have been planning for any future reforms that may change the institution we serve.
“The worst of Covid-19 may be behind us, but new challenges have emerged. The Senedd is looking at the impact of the cost-of-living crisis and how Wales can play its part in helping those fleeing the war in Ukraine.
“With all of these challenges, our role, as a Commission, will be to support Members as they continue to search for answers and serve the people of Wales.”
Annual Reports and Accounts 2021-22
Our Annual Reports and Accounts provide information on the purpose, structure and strategic goals of the Commission and some key activities which have taken place over the past year.