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Plaid publishes report to move the Party of Wales forward

17/01/2012

Moving Forward: Renewing Plaid for Wales

Plaid Cymru has today published the conclusions of its Party review – Moving Forward: Renewing Plaid for Wales.

The chair of the renewal process, Dr Eurfyl ap Gwilym said he hoped it “would act as a catalyst for a full debate within Plaid Cymru and lead to further success both for Plaid Cymru and the Welsh nation.”

The decision to renew the party, after recent electoral disappointments, was announced by Party leader Ieuan Wyn Jones in July 2011 and led to the establishment of a panel to oversee a complete review of Plaid.

A team of six, chaired by Dr ap Gwilym, looked at all aspects of the party, including structures; membership; vision, strategy and policy; campaigning methods; and communication. Evidence and views were gathered from Plaid representatives, grassroots members, supporters and from people outside the Party over a period of five months.

The 80-page report published today includes 95 recommendations for the party to consider over the coming months. Significant changes are expected to be made to the party following this report with the aim of improving electoral performance and ensuring that Plaid becomes the natural political home for all in Wales who share the party’s ambitions to see the nation succeed.

Key recommendations in the report include;

  • The establishment of a National Academy to revolutionise campaigning and organisation, as well as nurturing the community champions and national leaders of the future.

  • A radical modernisation of the party’s campaigning methods to create a permanently campaigning party equipped with the tools that are necessary for a modern 21st century party.

  • The establishment of a more effective mechanism for policy formulation. Ensuring that the skills of members, supporters and external experts are utilised in order to ensure better policy development.

  • An acceptance that the Party needs greater clarity over its aims in order to be able to present a coherent and united message to the people of Wales.

  • Fundamental changes to the Party’s structures in order to ensure clearer leadership and greater accountability from all Plaid representatives.

Chair of the renewal process, Dr Eurfyl ap Gwilym said;

“It is our hope that this report will act as a catalyst for a full debate within Plaid Cymru and that our recommendations will form the basis of an action plan which will lead to further success both for Plaid Cymru and the Welsh nation.

“Recent decades have seen tremendous progress in Wales with Plaid Cymru always in the vanguard. If we grasp the opportunities ahead we are confident that the best is yet to come. In the words of one of our greatest historians: ‘We have the faith and confidence that the nation in its fullness is yet to be’.”

Jocelyn Davies AM, one the six members tasked with overseeing the renewal process said;

“This comprehensive report includes 95 recommendations that will, in our view, help transform the way we campaign, engage with the people of Wales and communicate our ambitions for our nation.

“We’re determined to ensure that Plaid becomes the natural political home for all in Wales who share the party’s ambitions to see the nation succeed and this review will provide the foundation on which the can build success over the coming years.

“While Plaid Cymru has set the political agenda in Wales over many decades it has not capitalised on the increase in Welsh identity and the growing support for the people of Wales having greater control over their own affairs.

“We recommend that the Party needs to debate and clarify its constitutional goals and agree possible paths to their achievement. Only by so doing will the Party be able to present a coherent and united message to the people of Wales.

“In all its policies the Party needs to demonstrate the relevance of its constitutional programme and how a Welsh Government with greater powers will be able to deliver better lives for our people. This means placing even greater emphasis on fields such as education, health and the economy. It is by doing this that Plaid Cymru will engender more support for its wider and longer term programme including its constitutional goals.

“Our report recognises that Plaid Cymru’s strength is its membership. We believe that the Party needs to transform its campaigning methods to become a permanent, more effective campaigning force. We have proposed that the party develops a National Academy to revolutionise the way elected representative, members and supporters campaign in our communities and communicate our message.”