Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

The low down

The Welsh Assembly was formed on 1 July 1999, the same day that saw formation of the Scottish Parliament.

Unlike the Scottish Parliament, where devolved powers include the ability to create and change law, the Welsh Assembly is largely limited to policy decisions regarding the allocation of Treasury funds. Next year this fund will exceed £8.5bn.

As with the Scottish system, the assembly is made up of one chamber only, supported by a series of committees.

The 60 members are elected to serve four years on a proportional representation basis.

The leader of the assembly - the first secretary - is elected by the members and will usually be a member of the leading party.

The current first secretary, Rhodri Morgan, is a member of the Labour Party.

The first secretary in turn selects a number of assembly secretaries to form the assembly cabinet.

Beneath the main assembly, subject committees develop policies and examine what the assembly does. Members are elected to serve on the subject committees to reflect the balance of political groups in the assembly as a whole.

Four regional committees then represent the needs and interests of their localities and convey issues of local concern to the full assembly and to the subject committees.

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Please note comments made online may also be published in the print edition of New Civil Engineer. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.