Poll reveals 'a lot of confusion' in Wales over role of devolved Government

Less than half of people know the NHS is run by the Welsh Assembly

As the debate about Scottish independence rages on, a poll has revealed confusion in Wales about what the devolved Government actually does.

Only 48 per cent of people know that the NHS is run by the Welsh Government and 43 mistakenly thought Westminster was responsible, the research found.

In other areas, 31 per cent of respondents thought the Commons were in charge of education and 42 per cent wrongly thought the Welsh Government had control of policing.

The research was commissioned by the BBC to mark 15 years since the Queen opened the Welsh Assembly in 1999.

Based in Cardiff Bay, it has control of areas including health, education, language, culture and public services.

Under the devolution process started by Tony Blair’s administration in 1997, Westminster retained control of UK-wide policy on defence, foreign policy and benefits.

When asked whether they felt devolution had improved the way Wales is governed, 34 per cent said they thought it had but 46 per cent thought it had “not made much difference”.

Further questioning exposed a deep perceived divide in the country, with 31 per cent seeing the south-east of Wales getting the greatest benefits, compared to 4 per cent citing north Wales and 1% mid-Wales.

Professor Roger Scully from Cardiff University’s Wales Governance Centre told the BBC the figures were “not great” in terms of public understanding.

“I think that it does show there is still a lot of confusion amongst people about exactly where the line for responsibility comes between London and Cardiff Bay in terms of governance,” he added.

“Beyond [education], people have some general sense that there is a devolved government in Wales, there is a government in London, but exactly who does what and why, I think the details of that largely elude them.”

The two administrations have been rowing about standards in the Welsh NHS after David Cameron said care was so bad in some hospitals that the England’s border along Offa’s Dyke was the “line between life and death”.

The Welsh Government claimed its budget had been cut by Westminster and said services were dealing with rising demand.

There have also been calls for policing powers to be transferred to the Welsh Assembly.

The introduction of a devolved Welsh Government was controversial after a turnout of just 50.1 per cent of the electorate and a 50.3 per cent “yes” vote meant that only a quarter of residents supported a devolved government in the 1997 referendum.

In Scotland, by contrast, 74 per cent of people voted “yes” and the turnout was 60 per cent.

The poll was conducted for BBC Wales by ICM Research, who interviewed a random sample of 1,004 in May.

Voices
On the last day of campaigning before the polling booths open, the SNP leader has written to voters in a final attempt to convince them to vote for independence
voicesIs a huge gamble on oil keeping the First Minister up at night?
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Travel
travelWhy Japan's love hotels are thriving through an economic downturn
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Life and Style
Alexander McQueen A/W 2014
fashionPolitics aside, tartan is on-trend again this season
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Sport
Joel jumps over the board...and into a giant hole
footballFrom joy to despair in a matter of seconds
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC
tv

Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason

Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me
tv

Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Volunteer your expertise as Trustee for The Society of Experimental Biology

Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...

Email Designer

£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Psychology Teacher

£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...

Food Technology Teacher

£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week