Talks on the Commission which will look at financial powers for Wales have now reached the stage of deciding what sort of people will carry out the work.
This is the commission often known as Calman Cymru because it’s expected to cover similar ground to the Calman commission in Scotland. it’s expected to start work in the autumn. You can read my previous posts on it here and here if you’re so inclined.
While Parliament and the Assembly are both in recess, the Welsh Secretary, Cheryl Gillan, has been speaking to party leaders in London and Cardiff while negotiations have also been going on between officials.
According to one source, those negotiations have reached an impasse with the party leaders in the Assembly favouring a large panel made up experts and political appointees while the Secretary of State prefers a small panel of experts only.
I’ve been able to establish that there is discussion about whether or not the panel is ‘political’ or expert-led.
But Welsh Office sources say that ‘any suggestion there is disagreement is overemphasising what’s going on’ which is consulation and discussion. ‘Views have been given but no decisions have been taken.’
And others within the parties have also dismissed talk of disagreement.
‘There’s a lot of discussion going on (about the form of the commission panel) but not massive disagreement,’ I was told.
‘We just want a good outcome’ said one Labour source.
In fact, ‘relaxed’ is the word virtually all those I’ve spoken to have used which, given the potential for tension on this matter, is all the more remarkable. It must still be summer.