doc

THE SILK Commission states its work on devolution in Wales is now complete.

That may well be the case, but the two reports produced have raised as many questions as they have answered.

The recommendations in yesterday’s second report by the commission were, if nothing else, diverse.

Arguing youth justice and policing should be devolved, alongside responsibility for large-scale energy projects, and the Welsh Assembly given powers over water policy, is as eclectic a collection of suggested changes as you could wish for.

The suggested devolution of more powers over rail and ports, then possibly devolution of the prison service and an increase in the number of Assembly Members are all included. We agree with Police and Crime Commissioner Ian Johnston that there is no point in devolving powers for the sake of it.

And we do urge caution.

We can’t see how part of the criminal justice system could be devolved but not others. For example Silk proposes devolving police pay but not pensions, which seems to us to be making a complex situation increasingly convoluted.

We also do not support a call to increase the number of AMs. At the moment each constituency has an MP who is involved in legislative work. We also have an AM and regional AMs who are involve in less legislative work. We just do not think an increase can be justified.