THIS week’s #SeneddNewport project will see a number of events and committee meetings hosted throughout the city as part of an effort to help people understand more about how the Assembly makes decisions.

As part of this, first minister Carwyn Jones will appear before the Assembly’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee at the University of South Wales today to answer questions on the joint Brexit white paper launched by Labour and Plaid Cymru.

AMs and staff will also visit schools, community groups and other bodies throughout the city to speak to people about the work of the organisation.

Presiding officer Elin Jones said she was keen that as many people as possible experienced how the Assembly works in order to fully understand how decisions are made.

The Ceredigion AM said: “Taking out big chunks of the work we do to different communities of Wales aims to give people the opportunity to understand what we do.

“Some people do not realise that we make decisions on issues such as health, education or transport.

“We want to increase people’s awareness of what devolution means.”

She said part of the reason they are holding #SeneddNewport is to ensure people feel they have access to democracy in Wales and to ensure people feel ownership over the work they do.

“It works both ways. Members will have a greater understanding of the needs of Newport after next week,” she said. “One of our biggest projects at the moment is looking at the M4 road relief.”

Representatives of the Senedd will be at Friars Walk from Thursday, March 23, to Saturday, March 25, between 10am and 3pm to answers questions about the Assembly.

Monday’s Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee and a meeting of the Finance Committee on Thursday, March 23, which will hear from Wales’ auditor general Huw Vaughan Thomas on the implementation of the Wales Act, are both open to the public.

Both meetings will be hosted at the University of South Wales’ city campus. Monday’s meeting will begin at 2.30pm while Thursday’s session will start at 10am.

For a full programme visit


Dan Briggs, 29, from St Mark’s Crescent, Allt-Yr-Yn

Software support manager

“I provide all the support for the new technologies we are rolling out. A lot of the work we do is about creating training materials and running training sessions.

“I have been working here for four and a half years, I used to run nightclubs in Newport before that. I would be involved in the ICT side of it as I did music technology at University.

“The 9 to 5 was a welcome change from the 10pm to the 4am. I am happy here, I can see myself here for a long time.

“One of the things I see is the influx of school children that visit. I think it is positive to get them involved. If I was them, I would have found it interesting.”

James Attridge, 31, from Rogerstone

Senior security manager

“I am responsible for the day to day running of security here. We have a wide range of security staff as we have to make sure the security we provide is good.

“It is about striking the right balance between being open but do it in a safe and secure manner.

“I have been working here for two and a half years. As an organisation, this is a fantastic place to work.

“They support staff development, which is important. Since I have been here, I have done a masters in security management, which has benefited me and the organisation.

“I think the fact the assembly has gone out in the road is great. It is an opportunity for the people of Newport to see democracy in action in their area.”

Gareth Price, 41, from Aberyschan, now living in Cardiff

Clerk for the economy, infrastructure and skills committee

“I worked as a reporter in the Argus from 1997 to 2002, I covered the Senedd.

“My job as a clerk is to make sure meetings take place and that members have the information they need, amongst others.

“We pride ourselves in being open. By coming to Newport, it enables different communities to see the work in action.

“This is a great place to work, there is a sense here is where decisions are made. I have tried working in different places and you miss the buzz of important statements being made or about important debates, for example.

“There is something really exciting about all this.”

Sian Wilkins, 55, who grew up in Malpas, Newport, and currently lives in Undy, Monmouthshire

Head of Chamber and Committee service

“I have been doing this job for eight years.

“I manage a team of people who support AMs in their formal assembly business.

“It is our job to ensure the members have all they need to do their job. We support them in scrutiny of legislation, for example.

“I enjoy being at the heart of democracy in Wales. One of the interesting things of being here is seeing what we can and can’t legislate on

“I think it is important for people to be able to understand what the Assembly actually does and how it affects them.

“I am very proud of coming from Newport.”

Carys Evans, 37, from Bettws Newydd

Head of member liaison and professional development

“I have been working here for 10 years.

“I am responsible for making sure AMs and their staff have access to professional development.

“We train them on how to be more effective in their roles and, for example, we provide an induction programme after the election for the newly elected AMs.

“I think this is a really interesting place to work and I like working in an organisation that is at the heart of democracy in Wales. It is a great employer who has won awards for being family friendly and ranks highly in the Stonewall index (which measures an employer’s progress on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans inclusion in the workplace).”