As I noted in a previous post when I responded to the Queen’s Speech this week I noted an opportunity for an amendment in the Wales Bill.
This Bill has published in the 2015-16 Parliament whereupon it was scrutinised by a variety of bodies, including the Welsh Assembly and the various select committees in Parliament. The draft Bill included a large number of proposals, but Mr. Hanson wants an additional measure to be included within the Bill. This measure would see only those who live in Wales being able to stand for the Welsh Assembly.
As it stands anyone who is at least 18 years old, a British citizen (an eligible Commonwealth citizen or citizen of any other member state of the European Union) can stand for election. Compare that with elections to town or county Councils or police elections the above applies, but in addition you must either be registered on the electoral roll in the area you wish to stand; or have occupied as owner or tenant any land or other premises in the local authority during the whole of the 12 months before the day of your nomination; or your place of work during the 12 months prior to the election is in the local authority.
I believe that we should be applying the same principles applied when people stand for council elections to the Welsh Assembly. This is an argument of localism. People who live in the area or region should be the only ones allowed to stand
For example, I have discovered that in this year’s Welsh Assembly election at least 21 candidates stood for election to either constituencies or regions who didn’t live in Wales. The most high profile of these candidates was Neil Hamilton AM, who prior to be elected as a regional member to the Assembly lives in Wiltshire.
I strongly believe that only people living in the area should be able to stand for the Welsh Assembly. Living in a region or area is the link that enables you to understand the challenges and opportunities facing an area.
That is why I will be calling on the Government to include an amendment to the Wales Bill that will bring elections to the Welsh Assembly into line with other elections and more importantly ensure that localism underpins the Welsh Assembly.
If the Government refuse to add the amendment on their own accord I will table the amendment into the Bill.