Devolution: What difference has it made to Wales 25 years on - and is it under threat?

Dafydd Wigley, Peter Hain, Ron Davies, Wyn Griffiths and Richard Livsey celebrate the 'Yes' victory, 1997. Credit: PA

Where were you in 1997?

Plenty was going on. Tony Blair became prime minister, the country mourned Princess Diana, and we first learned of Tinky-Winky - along with the rest of the Teletubbies.

Wales also had a decision to make about its future. Either embrace devolution or reject it.

Spoiler alert - Wales said yes. Narrowly. But had 6,721 people voted another way, Wales would have gone down a different path. Who knows how things would look now?

Twenty-five years on, what difference has devolution made to the population of Wales? Bread-and-butter issues like health, education and transport are all decided in Wales, not Westminster.

Critics would point to poor performance in the NHS, schools and the broader economy. But only a sub-section of those critics blame devolution for the problems.

In 1997, Nick Bourne led the 'No' campaign. Sceptical about devolution and the cost. A quarter of a century later, he is now a devolutionist.

"This is now the settled will", he told me. "Even just talking about it now being rode back on is unimaginable."

The Senedd building in Cardiff Bay. Credit: PA

But there are still issues those in Cardiff Bay cannot ignore. There is yet to be an Assembly or Senedd election where the majority of the population voted. Are they content with the status quo, apathetic or even hostile? Leighton Andrews, a senior figure in the 'Yes' campaign and later a Welsh Government minister, has a warning - don't assume anything. "I don't think people should underestimate the challenges that Welsh democracy is likely to face in the future", he said.

'Undermine democracy'

Andrews believes Westminster is undermining devolution and bypassing Welsh ministers. That is something the UK Government would deny. But he also points to the pressures on the public purse.

"The pressures on budgets will, in effect, limit the central and local government's ability to do the things that the people of Wales want", he said. "In that context, a populist government in London could try to undermine democracy."

But leave politics one side for a moment. Has the presence of a Senedd in Wales done something for Welsh identity?The first Assembly came about in 1999 on the eve of a new millennium.

Peter Mandelson joins Stereophonics band members while out campaigning for the 'Yes' movement - 1997, in Cardiff. Credit: PA

At the same time, something else was happening. Welsh bands like Stereophonics and Manic Street Preachers became popular. Welsh actors became big in Hollywood. Cymru was cool.

The sense of a new Wales came about. Rugby and football played their part too.Maybe it's a lecture topic of the future - who helped to shape Welsh identity more? Rhodri Morgan or Gareth Bale?The answer is probably both - two ingredients in that big Welsh melting pot. But there's no doubt devolution has been key to shaping a modern Wales.

Sharp End: The Night Wales Changes, Tuesday 29 November at 9pm on ITV Cymru Wales. Catch up afterwards here.