Questions to the Assembly Commission: The Assembly Commission’s Outreach Service (3/4/19)

Janet:

Will the Commissioner make a statement on the Assembly Commission’s outreach service?

 

Llywydd:

The Assembly’s outreach service engages with citizens from all parts of Wales, and of all ages and backgrounds, to increase levels of understanding and interest in the Assembly’s work and to involve people in the work of committees. The service engages with schools, colleges, youth groups, community groups, businesses, public bodies, representative bodies, unions and a wide range of civic society organisations. The team also manages the Assembly’s presence at summer shows and other events. More recently, of course, our outreach work includes supporting the Welsh Youth Parliament’s activities.

 

Janet:

Thank you, Presiding Officer. I'm really pleased to endorse the work they do. I know they work exceptionally hard. Of course, here, we have the honour of drafting, debating and passing legislation that does impact on our own constituents across the length and breadth of Wales.

I do have some minor concerns, and I thought I'd raise them here, as to how we, as Members, can be kept better informed of the engagement within our constituencies. This has arisen at committees. Quite often, the outreach team will engage within our own constituencies, and sometimes I'm told about it by constituents, but I'd like to see a better connection, really, between the work they do in our constituencies, because we are elected Members, and how we could, perhaps, work more closely with them. We may be able to attend an event where they may be doing some work, so we could go along to support them. Could that, possibly, be a consideration going forward, that when the outreach team are present within our own constituencies that, perhaps, as we do out of courtesy when Ministers are actually attending our constituencies, perhaps we could be informed and we could, as I say, either support them or at least we'd be aware and there would be a better join-up between us and them?

 

Llywydd:

Thank you for the question, and I think the Member raises an interesting point. I know it's happened to me, where work by committees has happened in my constituency that I wasn't aware of. It is work that happens in every constituency in Wales—in every region of Wales. Perhaps it would be worth us looking at whether it's possible to create a system that would at least inform Members here of what work is happening in their constituencies and regions. Therefore, we will look at whether that is practically possible to do, but, certainly, I think it is a valuable question to ask.