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Jones: No to a 'palace for politicians' in Cardiff Bay

Speech in the Welsh Assembly on the proposed new Welsh Assembly building costing £55 million

It was very telling that none of the three proposers of this motion mentioned the views of the public - which are decidedly against spending untold millions on a "Palace for Politicians" in the Bay.

The fiasco over the new Assembly building has already done a great deal of damage to the credibility of the Assembly as an institution. I have met many constituents who are disillusioned with the Assembly because it is seen to waste their money.

I ask Members here today to vote for what their constituents would want - and not vote to satisfy their own egos - that is why we are here.

The Labour Government in Westminster and the Assembly have "promised everything and delivered nothing."

- Instead of wasting time on Bills on Fox Hunting and now a new "Palace for Politicians" in the bay - surely we should be concentrating on what matters to the people - our failing public services and our dying agricultural industry.

- Is it any wonder that Voter Apathy is so high in Wales - when we are ploughing more than £55 million into an unnecessary Debating Chamber?

- We should be cutting waiting lists, raising educational standards, improving transport and cutting crime

These are the problems that the people of Wales want their money to go towards solving.

It is no wonder that they are disillusioned when you push such important issues to the sideline. It is disgusting.

If it is anything like the Scottish Parliament, the costs for this project will escalate into hundreds of millions of pounds.

What matters to the Welsh Conservatives is not what the Assembly looks like, but what it does for Wales.

I strongly urge members to consider whether their constituents will think this a valuable use of public money when they cast their voted this afternoon.

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