S4C marks 20 years of devolution with Huw Edwards’ documentary


On 19 September 1997, Welsh Secretary Ron Davies addressed the nation on a "very good morning in Wales". It was the morning after the biggest night in recent Welsh history as Wales began its journey as a devolved nation.

Huw Edwards was there to see events unfold on referendum results night. Exactly twenty years since Ron Davies' victory speech, in the S4C programme Huw Edwards: Datganoli 20 on Tuesday, 19 September, the journalist and broadcaster visits individuals and businesses across Wales to find out how devolution shapes our lives today.

To mark 20 years of devolution, S4C will also broadcast a special edition of the panel discussion show Pawb a'i Farn: Datganoli 20 live from the Senedd building on Thursday, 21 September. First Minister, Carwyn Jones will be on the panel alongside the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales, Elin Jones, the Conservative MP David Davies and Professor Richard Wyn Jones from Cardiff University, with Dewi Llwyd chairing the discussion.

"Twenty years ago, Welsh history was changed overnight," says Huw Edwards, who was broadcasting live on the night of the referendum results in 1997. "The atmosphere was electric and the memory of that night has not faded. But a lot has changed since then.

"I've spent the past twenty years debating the issues with politicians in the TV studio. But now, in this programme, there is an opportunity to meet people who are trying to make a difference in their own communities. These are the voices I want to hear in order to measure the state of Wales today."

Has devolution united or divided Wales? How have attitudes to devolution changed in Wales over the past twenty years? And what role will the Assembly have to play in post-Brexit Wales?

"In the programme we focus on three main topics of discussion: Education, Health and the Economy," explains Huw. "Brexit is a common theme throughout the journey and many people share their concerns as they face an uncertain future."

The decision to leave the European Union has already cost the Gorslas suit hire company Dyfed Menswear £20,000. Can businesses like this survive in Wales after Brexit, and what can the Assembly do to help? And what about agriculture? Huw learns about the Family Farms venture started by eight families in North Wales with the aim of increasing lamb sales in Wales, but the big question is what effect will Brexit have on Welsh produce export to the continent?

Huw meets traders in Cardigan and visits Halen Môn in Brynsiencyn, Anglesey to hear their thoughts on the economy. Does the relationship between the Welsh Assembly and Westminster help or hinder them?

In Newport, we visit the newest Welsh language secondary school in Wales, Ysgol Gwent Is Coed. The demand for Welsh education is on the increase in the area and Huw is sent to the Head's office to find out why.

And back in North Wales, Huw evaluates the challenges facing the National Health Service and care homes such as Bryn Seiont Newydd in Caernarfon. The demand for residential care is set to increase by more than 80% in the next twenty years; how will places like Bryn Seiont Newydd and GPs like Dr Dylan Parry in Old Colwyn, meet the demand?

Delving deep into lives across Wales, what difference has the past 20 years made to the country? And what is the forecast for the future, as devolution in Britain faces its biggest challenge yet in the shadow of Brexit?

Huw Edwards: Datganoli 20, Tuesday 19 September 9.30, S4C

English subtitles, A Wales and Co. production

Pawb a'i Farn: Datganoli 20, Thursday 21 September 9.30, S4C

English subtitles, A BBC Cymru production

On demand:; BBC iPlayer and other platforms

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