The Senedd, formally known as Senedd Cymru or the Welsh Parliament and formerly known as the National Assembly, is Wales’ democratically elected legislature which is comprised of 60 representatives who are known as Members of the Senedd.
It has four key roles:
- representing Wales and its people
- making laws for Wales
- agreeing Welsh taxes
- holding the Welsh Government to account.
Members undertake their tasks in a number of ways, including attending Plenary debates and sitting on Senedd Committees to discuss specific issues. Elections for the seats in the Senedd take place every five years.
The WLGA promotes the concept of subsidiarity, whereby decision-making powers are devolved to the appropriate level of government and as close to the people as possible. Whilst powers over local services should be devolved to local government, the Welsh Government through the Senedd should have the competence and powers to set the legislative and strategic framework for Wales.
Most matters affecting Wales' communities and most local government functions and services are devolved to the Senedd; some however remain UK Government functions, including police and the benefits system. It is therefore important that the WLGA, in representing Welsh local government, seeks to engage constructively and proactively with the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales and Home Office as well as the Welsh Government and the Senedd. The WLGA works closely with the LGA on representing local government interests in Parliament and with the UK Government.
The WLGA provides the local government interface with the Senedd and the Welsh Government and seeks to provide a single, united local government voice. The WLGA's corporate strategy and annual business plan underpins its work in lobbying for local government interests and in promoting the principle of subsidiarity, fair and flexible funding and a commitment to partnership.
The WLGA regularly provides evidence on behalf of local government to Senedd Committee Inquiries, during the scrutiny of legislation and works with Members of the Senedd on matters of mutual concern or interest. The WLGA also meets with Senedd Group lead spokespersons to discuss local government priorities.