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Plaid doubts Welsh Govt's call for parity with Scots

Despite Carwyn Jones' position that Wales should be offered all the extra powers being given to Scotland, Plaid Cymru's claiming that the Welsh Government isn't even actively seeking the power over fracking that Scotland already has.

The people of Wales should have the power to decide on licensing for fracking in their communities. Plaid Cymru wants Wales to have responsibility over fracking so that we can introduce a moratorium on a process that carries a host of unknown risks for the environment and public health. The Scottish Government has made this happen there, but unfortunately the Welsh Government has done absolutely nothing to stand up for Wales’ interests.

It is now clear that the Labour Government has not made any representations to the UK Government for these powers to be devolved which suggests that Labour sees no need to challenge Westminster’s policy of promoting and encouraging fracking in Wales.

– Llyr Gruffydd AM, Plaid Cymru

The vow to Scotland's been kept, claims Cameron

Major new powers for the Scottish Government and Parliament will be spelt out today. They're the result of the "vow" made by David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg in the final days of the Scottish independence referendum campaign, as they sought to save the UK at a time when polls were suggesting that Scots might vote to leave the union.

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has called for Wales to be offered the same powers as Scotland. Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

The three leaders committed their parties to enacting the new powers after the Westminster election but they also promised to publish the details of the legislation before Burns Night, on 25 January. Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has called for Wales to be offered the same powers and the UK Government is aiming to publish a cross party agreement before St David's Day on 1 March.

The Prime Minister will be in Scotland today and will meet the Scottish First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon. The SNP leader has already said that the cross-party agreement for Scotland on which the legislation will be based does not amount to Home Rule. She claims that's what Scots were promised if they voted against independence. Mr Cameron is expected to make a speech challenging her version of events.

"In September the people of Scotland came out in record numbers to decide the future of the United Kingdom. They voted clearly and decisively to keep our family of nations together. But a ‘no’ vote did not mean ‘no change’.

The leaders of the other main political parties and I promised extensive new powers for the Scottish Parliament – a vow – with a clear process and timetable.

We said we’d get cross-party agreement by St. Andrew’s Day – and we did. We said draft legislation would be published by Burns Night – and here we are, three days before the celebrations start, with those clauses before us."

– Prime Minister David Cameron MP

The Prime Minister will claim that whoever forms the UK Government after May 7th, these new powers are guaranteed. He'll argue that the Scottish Parliament will determine how 60% of public money is spent in in Scotland and for the first time most of the money spent by the Scottish Government will come from taxes raised in Scotland. The package will include control of part of the welfare state, worth £2.5 billion.

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Northern Irish leaders meet First Minister for talks

Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness are both due to meet Carwyn Jones Credit: Lewis Whyld/PA

The First Minister and deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland are due to hold talks with the Welsh First Minister later today. Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness will discuss co-operating with Carwyn Jones to seek more devolution following the promises that have been made to Scotland.

The Scottish First Minister, Alex Salmond, is not expected to be present as he is preparing to hand over to his successor, Nicola Sturgeon. Once Sturgeon is in post, Welsh and Northern Irish leaders will look to discuss devolutions matters with her.

Tory leader pours cold water on devolution proposals

The Welsh Conservative leader says it will be difficult to reach consensus on proposals for further devolution set out in a major report this week. Andrew RT Davies said he feared crime would go up if the Welsh Government were given control of policing.

The Opposition leader said he would 'really struggle to advocate' some of the changes recommended in the second part of the Silk Commission's report although he wasn't saying 'no' to all of its proposals.

And he repeated his commitment to the first part of the report which recommended transferring some tax and borrowing powers. That, he said, was 'the missing piece of the devolution jigsaw.'

Plaid leader's disappointment with devolution report

Plaid Cymru's leader Leanne Wood says she's 'surprised and disappointed' that a major report into devolution didn't go further in its recommendations. She said the Silk Commission, which included a Plaid Cymru representative, had 'done a good job' in gathering evidence and expert opinion.

But she said the report missed opportunities to push devolution on towards a 'sustainable' future and described its proposals 'are not radical, all they do is bring us up to where we should be today, catching up to the same position as the other UK countries.'

Despite her party's disappointment with the report's recommendations, she said they represented a step forward and should become reality as soon as possible.

The recommendations of the Silk Commission should be implemented at the earliest possible opportunity to end constitutional confusion.

It’s now up to governments at both ends of the M4 to work quickly to deliver what has been agreed. There is no reason and no justification for delaying this process.

These powers are vital if we are to build our economy and create work, and this is Plaid Cymru’s priority.

– Leanne Wood, Plaid Cymru leader

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True Wales "appalled" by Silk proposals

True Wales, the group that campaigned for a "no" vote in the 2011 referendum that gave fuller law making powers to the Assembly, says it's "appalled" by the Silk Commission's recommendations.

Yes politicians and campaigners continually denied that the devolution of tax powers, criminal justice and policing, more AMs and a separate legal jurisdiction would follow a Yes vote. Indeed, we in True Wales were regularly accused of being untruthful and of misleading the people of Wales. This happened even though Yes campaigners were fully aware that the UK Government had announced a Calman style commission in the event of a Yes vote. Two years on from referendum day, we have the extraordinary spectacle of a commission recommending all of those radical changes that we predicted.

The devolution settlement is to be very quickly expanded far beyond that to which 35% of the electorate consented on Thursday 3 March 2011. Such contemptuous treatment of the people of Wales during the referendum campaign has done nothing to enhance the reputation of the Assembly and only serves to undermine the legitimacy of these future powers that will no doubt be enthusiastically embraced by politicians who claimed that the referendum was 'merely a tidying up exercise'. We do not believe that the expensive centralisation of power in Cardiff Bay can accurately be described as devolution.

We would ask that a commission to explore the devolution of power from Cardiff Bay to local authorities be established forthwith.

Given the way the people were misled and denied a proper debate on the real issues in 2011, we believe that, without a full open and honest public debate and a further referendum on the proposals in Silk Part II, these radical changes will in no way be legitimate.

– True Wales statement

Charity welcomes new speed limit proposals

Proposed new powers to set Welsh national default speed limits in Wales have the potential to make Welsh roads safer and increase levels of walking and cycling, according to Sustrans Cymru.

The proposals were set out in the second report into the future of Welsh devolution, which sets out all the powers it thinks should be transferred from Westminster to Cardiff Bay over the next 10 years.

Some of those powers include control of youth justice and teachers' pay.

The Welsh Government does not yet have control over setting speed limits Credit: ITV News Wales

The Welsh Government does not currently have the power to set default speed limits.

National Director of Sustrans Cymru, Jane Lorimer, said, “The power to set speed limits is a key part of the jigsaw in making Welsh roads safer, as well as increasing walking and cycling.

"We welcome the Silk Commission’s recommendation and hope that it can be used to make 20mph the default speed limit in communities across Wales."

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