Statement from Dame Rosemary Butler AM, Presiding Officer, in response to James Bond filming in the Senedd Siambr
"There has been much criticism of my decision not to allow a scene from the forthcoming James Bond film to be filmed in the Senedd Siambr. I did not take this decision lightly when it was put to me. I fully recognise the prestige and reach of the James Bond franchise and I am enthusiastic about the Senedd continuing to play its part in supporting Wales' creative industries.
"Such decisions are my responsibility as Presiding Officer. When I am asked to make a decision I have to weigh up the factors involved in each request. In this case, as well as recognising the potential advantages, I also considered the probable scale of what was being proposed and the likely impact on the Siambr given the number of people and amount of equipment involved in a production of this type, and the adjustments to the Siambr which would have been involved. We offered other areas of the Senedd but this was not taken up.
"On balance, the risk to the Siambr and potential for disruption to business was too great. As Presiding Officer I believe that the Senedd Siambr's primary function needs to be safeguarded and maintained above all else, so the use of the Siambr has to be treated differently to rest of the Assembly's estate. This is not new; allowing such filming in the Siambr would have been a departure from the practice that has been in place since the Senedd was opened.
"I am disappointed that the discussion has portrayed the Assembly as a body that is not open to do business with the creative industries. We have hosted a number of dramatic productions such as Doctor Who, Sherlock, Caerdydd and Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year programme. We proactively seek out productions that could be interested in locating some of their activity on the Assembly estate.
"Clearly opinions differ about whether this filming should have been allowed. I stand by my decision. It is the responsibility of the Presiding Officer to take a considered, balanced decision, having weighed up all relevant factors and that is what I did."