Complaint Regarding Plenary Debate of Petition 200171 re the new Velindre Cancer Centre

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After the debate on Wednesday the 3rd of March we have decided to submit a complaint with the petitions committee officer and with the standards commissioner. We’re not happy at the way our petition was treated (an independent inquiry was not even mentioned once by Members other than Janet Finch Saunders to introduce the petition), and there were mistruths told by a number of Members. Although the stories of patients are important and deserve to be heard, the facts of the clinical, environmental, and monetary issues with the new cancer centre also deserved to be heard. Sadly, it didn’t appear like any of the labour members had attempted to read our submissions, or those sent by clinicians to all Ministers and Members. Therefore we submitted the following compliant.

“I am writing to you today as a result of the plenary debate which took place on Wednesday 3rd of March. We followed your advice and lobbied members extensively regarding the petition. We reached out to a number of our regional MS’s, and heard two would like to have spoken – Gareth Bennett and Neil McEvoy, – as well as hearing of support from Rhun ap Iorwerth. However, when it came to debate, Ap Iorwerth, was the only non-Labour member to be selected. As such we were not represented on balance within this ‘debate’.

Our petition was not even mentioned by the members, regardless of the tireless work we have done to raise the serious clinical and environmental issues within the petitions process, it appears this was never read by the members who spoke. Further, the Llywydd stated on twitter it was simply an oversight made by her team member that our petition and local area had no representation in the debate. How can such a casual oversight occur on such a divisive and serious issue? This is unacceptable to our campaign, and the local people who have been tirelessly working to support this petition. 

As a result I would like to complain – 
1. Petition 200171 was not treated in a balanced, impartial way, with the llywydds office only choosing one non-Labour, non-governing member to speak in support of petition 200171;

2. The debate was compromised of those pursuing the Governments agenda and failed to consider the facts regarding the location of the new cancer centre, and the petition calling for an independent inquiry and the local community were totally ignored;

3. The words independent inquiry were never mentioned by a member other than Janet Finch-Saunders to introduce the petition. As such our petition was never considered;

4. No members representing South Wales Central were called, however two requested to speak and were denied. Therefore Cardiff North was not represented, and neither was our petition. This undermined the process which was supposed to give the 5,241 signatories a voice in the Senedd, effectively leaving us voiceless and unrepresented. Therefore this debate did not consider our petition;

5. Members made a number of false and misleading claims in plenary, misleading the public and the Government Ministers present. I would be happy to outline these further if required. 

I will also be making a formal complaint to the Llywydd’s office, and standards commissioner as a result of the effort to manipulate this debate purely in favour of a new cancer centre, and disregard and ignore the views of 5,241 who signed our petition. This is a clear violation of Senedd standards. 

I want to be clear – we didn’t have a debate on Wednesday. Rather, it was a purposeful white-wash. And so I will be clear – this community will not be ignored or misrepresented, regardless of how the processes have repeatedly undermined us, or the leaks within multiple departments which give the petitioner in support of the new centre advantages. 

We will continue to pursue a real debate on this issue where we are represented equally. This is the least we deserve considering this process of opposition has occurred during a global pandemic. 

Kind regards, 
Save the Northern Meadows”

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