Taking account of local government boundaries

Part of Parliamentary Constituencies Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 30th June 2020.

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Photo of Ben Lake Ben Lake Plaid Cymru, Ceredigion 9:45 am, 30th June 2020

I will keep my remarks brief. As I set out earlier, amendment 1 was a probing amendment and I am pleased with the debate we have had. We have not only highlighted the importance of the language in Wales, but had a bit of a discussion about what constitutes local ties, and how we might try to balance them out. I agree with the Minister that the Boundary Commission for Wales has done sterling work in the conservation of the language and in adopting the Welsh language standards voluntarily. I know from experience in my own part of the world that in the proposed boundary change of 2018—or even before that; I have lost track—the Welsh language was a key consideration that informed the final recommendation. In no way did I try to criticise the work of the boundary commission in tabling the amendment. The boundary commission does very good work. My concern relates to how local ties are balanced in the future, but I accept the point about not only the appropriateness of having the language on the face of the Bill, but the possible unintended consequences for the boundary commissions. With that in mind, I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.