1979

In a referendum held on St David’s Day 1979 the Welsh electorate voted by a majority of 4 to 1 to reject the UK Labour government’s plans for a Welsh Assembly. Opposition to the proposals was spearheaded by members of the Labour party itself. For many this seemed the end for devolution.

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1997 - 1998

Eighteen years of Conservative government in Westminster from 1979 saw a shift in Welsh opinion in favour of devolution. Yet when a second referendum was held on the 18 September 1997, the overall majority in favour was still only 6,721 votes. But it was enough to change the course of Welsh history.

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2006

The Senedd building was opened by the Queen on St David’s Day 2006. Designed by the Richard Rogers Partnership, the building makes extensive use of Welsh materials like slate and oak.

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2007

Following the third Welsh General Election, Assembly Members met in a National Assembly that had been formally separated from the Welsh Government by the 2006 Government of Wales Act. This new settlement also gave Assembly Members the power to make primary legislation for the first time.

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2010

One of the National Assembly’s simplest yet most effective actions was approving the introduction of the ‘single-use carrier bags charge’. With it, Wales became the first UK country in 2011 to introduce a plastic bag levy leading to a reduction of around 75% in the use of carrier bags in Welsh shops.

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2011 - 2013

On 4 March 2011 the Welsh electorate voted in a third devolution referendum, this time on whether or not full primary law-making powers should be extended to the National Assembly in those areas over which it had responsibility.

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