Proposals look at Senedd shake-up
5:08pm Monday 21st May 2012 in Gwent news
THE number of constituency Assembly Members in Wales could be cut by a quarter, a Wales Office report has proposed.
The Welsh Assembly has a hybrid electoral system - with 40 of 60 AMs serving constituencies and the remaining 20 looking after one of five regions.
But with the UK Government committed to reducing Wales' MPs from 40 to 30, Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan said it was now time to consider making changes to the Senedd's make-up.
Today Mrs Gillan published a Green Paper as well as announcing the launch of a 12-week consultation period - which will allow people to have their say on the plans.
They include looking at whether the split between the number of constituency and regional AMs should stay the same or be split at 30-30.
If the latter were to be implemented it would mean 10 fewer constituency AMs and 10 more regional AMs.
Other ideas also proposed are looking at whether Assembly election candidates should be allowed to stand for office in a constituency as well as a region, and whether politicians should be prevented from serving in the Senedd as well as in Parliament.
Mrs Gillan said: "The programme of political reform we have undertaken since the Coalition Government was formed impacts on all parts of the United Kingdom.
"In Wales it will mean changes to the constituency map with 30 new Parliamentary constituencies, and we now need to look at the effects of these changes on Wales.
"I want to make sure we have the right structures in place in Wales to deliver for our citizens and what this consultation does is give everyone the opportunity to contribute their views.
"We will carefully consider the results, before deciding on any changes.
"Any changes that arise will be implemented at the earliest opportunity.’’