Wales politics

Assembly petitions need 50 signatures under new plans

Mike Hedges receives a petition Image copyright National Assembly for Wales
Image caption Petitions committee chairman Mike Hedges has previously received a petition on rail services in rural Wales

Petitions would need at least 50 signatures before being considered by the assembly, under new proposals.

Currently, petitions to the Welsh Assembly need 10 names or more before they can be considered.

One calling for Cardiff Airport to be renamed after Princess Diana gathered just 16 signatures.

Mike Hedges, petitions committee chairman, said raising the limit would require petitions to generate interest "beyond family and friends".

At the moment, petitions must pass a range of criteria before they are considered by the assembly petitions committee.

But they have to be deemed "admissible" - asking for action within the Welsh Government's control, among other reasons - to make it that far.

Some quirky submissions which have previously been rejected include calls for T plates for tourist drivers, banning bicycles in public spaces and a Welsh pound.

Image copyright BBC/PA
Image caption The petition to rename Cardiff Airport in tribute to Princess Diana was later rejected by the airport

Mr Hedges said the petitions committee agreed 50 signatures would be needed.

The idea emerged from a report in the last assembly term which said an increase "may help discourage a small number of petitions that could be better dealt with as constituency cases or which are nonsensical or submitted as a joke".

Mr Hedges told BBC Wales there had been "one or two frivolous" petitions.

"You would have to get something that could generate interest over and above your family and friends," he said.

The proposals have been sent for a final decision by senior AMs on the cross-party assembly business committee.

The recommendations being put forward also include automatically considering large petitions of at least 5,000 for debate in the Senedd.

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