Nick Webb was the Conservative candidate for Newport East in the 2011 Assembly elections and is now Deputy Chairman of Newport West Conservatives.
Localism, and tackling the cross-border challenge unites the Conservative response to the Silk Commission. The Commission, established in 2011, is in the final month of hearing evidence before preparing a report due for publication in Spring 2014.
Silk’s current remit is to look at the balance of powers between devolved Wales and the UK Government. In practice, this is almost certainly going to result in more powers being devolved to Cardiff Bay, although one recent opinion poll showed a notable minority in support of returning health and education policymaking to Westminster.
It would be wrong to claim that debate around “Silk” has engendered excited debate amongst the electorate, but it certainly has been a focus of the political class. The outcomes of the Commission are likely to be significant in shaping Wales’s future.
The Welsh Conservative Assembly Group finds itself with a very delicate balancing act. Much of the Party membership remains hostile to principle of Welsh devolution. However, electoral reality requires the group to be an acceptable coalition partner to Welsh nationalists and, more broadly, not to be fighting the battles of yesterday.