Cross-Party Groups in Wales

The Senedd

In 2009/10, the Welsh Pharmacy Board facilitated the establishment of the Cross- Party Group (CPG) for Pharmacy in the National Assembly for Wales. This provided a forum for key pharmacy bodies in Wales to interact with Assembly Members on shared interests.

CPGs have no formal role in policy development but can influence policy formulation through sharing information and informing politicians of key issues they may not be aware of. Meetings of the CPG on Pharmacy focused on a range of issues including the role of pharmacy in rural communities, in mental health and prison environments and, in the run up to the 2011National Assembly elections, the dangers of not investing in pharmacy services.

As with all cross party groups, the CPG for Pharmacy was disestablished immediately following the National Assembly elections in 2011. It was decided not to re-establish the group at that time.

The report of the CPG meetings are still available to view and continue to offer an interesting insight into the key issues facing pharmacy in Wales.

Political Leadership

The Welsh Pharmacy Board is the profession’s voice in Wales. Ensuring this voice is heard amongst AMs, the Welsh Government and political party organisations is a key objective of the Board.

To gain a platform for political leadership and getting the Board’s key messages across, especially during this time of major changes to NHS organisations and the creation of a new professional body, the Welsh Pharmacy Board facilitated the establishment of a Welsh Cross- Party Group for Pharmacy.


What are Cross-Party Groups?

Cross-Party Groups (CPGs) provide an opportunity for Members of all political parties, outside organisations and members of the public to meet and discuss a shared interest in a particular cause or subject.

They are not formal Assembly groupings and are not, therefore, bound by any of the Assembly's Standing Orders. The operation of CPGs in Wales is not prescriptive in relation to the procedures to be followed, with Groups able to determine their own procedures.

CPGs may be set up by Assembly Members in respect of any subject area relevant to the Assembly. CPGs have no formal role in policy development, but serve as a source of information sharing and a point of contact on areas of particular interest to the Assembly.


Membership of Cross-Party Groups

The membership of CPGs was open to all Members of the Welsh Assembly.

CPGs must have included Members from three political party groups represented within the Assembly.

CPGs may have contained members from outside the Assembly, but the overall membership profile of the group remained clearly Assembly in character.

In order to maintain and guarantee the Assembly nature of the occasion, it was advisable to have at least two Members of the Assembly, both members of the group, present at every meeting.

CPGs elected its own officers at its first meeting, with prominence given to the Assembly Members as sponsors of the group.


Meetings

CPG meetings were held in public, with all Assembly members being invited to attend and speak. 

Members of the public and organisations with an affiliation to the CPG were invited to attend each meeting, with the group’s secretariat being responsible for issuing invites and providing administration support.