Week 5 at the National Assembly for Wales

This week I’ve mostly focused on wrapping up the third part of my long-term research project. I did some work on rough sleeping solutions, housing first program, children who leave foster care dropping into homelessness and solutions for eradicating homelessness from the root. Seeing how interested I was in the meeting I attended last week with the Builder’s Association, my AM took me along to another meeting this week about decarbonisation in Welsh homes. The stakeholders had prepared an incredibly detailed report about how this could be accomplished over the next thirty years, by drawing in various authorities and individuals to create a new wave of sustainable building. Not only would such a scheme heavily decrease energy usage and help alleviate fuel poverty but, coupled with grid decarbonisation, would be incredibly beneficial in helping Wales reach its carbon emission targets. I also attended a fascinating event on the pledge for carbon neutrality in Wales. The event was hosted by Extinction Rebellion and was incredibly interesting for me, as someone who doesn’t know much about the organisation, to witness this movement first hand. A general consensus was that the government was moving in the right direction and very committed and open to tackling climate change head-on. The purpose of this event, then, was to create a list of suggestions and demands under the sponsorship of various AMs that the Welsh Assembly could consider.

The most interesting part of my week, however, was getting to create a list of Plenary questions. For next week, my AM has been chosen to pose a question to the General Counsel and Brexit Minister of Wales, the minister in charge of overseeing the legal affairs and responsibilities of the Assembly, as well as orchestrating its departure from the EU. I wasn’t given any guidance and just told to come up with questions that interested me, of which my AM could select one to submit for Plenary. I ended up doing a lot of research and reading a variety of articles, combing through to find material relevant to my AM and the minister. In the end, I came up with five questions supported by research, so that informed follow-ups could be asked. I asked how Welsh tourism would be protected post-Brexit, how the UK JMC was functioning in improving international relations, if Wales would follow EU carbon reduction guidelines after Brexit, how the government felt about a UK-led shared prosperity fund and how the government intended to protect Welsh exports after leaving the EU. My question on tourism was chosen and submitted but the rest of the questions will be stored in a question bank, to be used sometime in the future. I am particularly interested in Brexit and its effects so to be able to draft questions I want the answer to that will be posed to someone who actually has a say in how these issues play out was incredibly interesting and exciting for me.