Smacking ban is first topic on the agenda as new system of Member-led debates is trialled

Published 17/10/2011   |   Last Updated 14/07/2014

Smacking ban is first topic on the agenda as new system of Member-led debates is trialled

20 October 2011

UPDATE: Assembly Members vote in favour of motion that urges Welsh Government to bring forward new legislation to ban the smacking of children.

17 October 2011

A new procedure for Assembly Members to bring forward motions for debate will be trialled from 19 October.

The system aims to make the Assembly’s business more open to issues of importance to Members and communities across Wales.

The first motion to be selected for debate on 19 October by the Assembly’s Business Committee calls for a ban on the smacking of children, tabled jointly by Christine Chapman AM, Julie Morgan AM, Lindsay Whittle AM and Kirsty Williams AM.

“The National Assembly for Wales now has enhanced law-making powers and we have already changed the way we work in committees so that the law-making and scrutiny process is more responsive to the needs of the people of Wales,” said Presiding Officer, Rosemary Butler AM.

“However, we must also make it easier for individual Members other than members of the government, to discuss the issues that matter most to their constituents and wider Wales in Plenary proceedings.

“That’s why I am encouraging all Members to take advantage of the Business Committee’s decision to allocate time in Plenary for individual Member debates.

“These will be different from the Short Debate process because Members will put a motion forward upon which all AMs will then vote.

“This will provide the scope in Plenary sessions for Members to bring forward their own motions which have attracted support from Members of other parties.

“This will allow a more regular opportunity for Members to debate issues raised by individual constituents and non-government organisations and better reflect their views.”

The system will work in the following way:

  • Individual Members may table a motion which must be supported by at least two other Members from two different political parties.

  • Members may table a motion jointly as is the case with the motion selected for the first debate or may seek the support of other Members after they have tabled the motion;

  • The Business Committee will consider motions meeting these requirements and then notify the Member whose motion has been selected and the date it will take place.