MAY 6 marked the 20th anniversary of Welsh devolution.

In that time we have seen significant changes to the way that Wales is governed.

The Senedd is now an established part of our constitutional landscape.

During Wales’ devolution journey we have gained more powers so we are able to legislate on issues that affect everyday lives, including health, housing, education, and transport.

Last year the Assembly was given additional tax powers for the first time.

I am proud of the part that I have played in that journey.

Twenty two years ago I was President of NUS Wales, leading a cross party student campaign to secure a Yes vote for devolution.

I then went on to work for Labour AMs Lorraine Barrett (my predecessor) and the late Val Feld.

I trained as a lawyer, working closely with trade unions before returning to the Assembly as the elected member for Cardiff South and Penarth.

Over the last twenty years there is much we can be proud of.

We have seen significant investment in our schools, the 21st century schools programme having delivered the Penarth Learning Community.

In health, we have introduced free prescriptions, free hospital car parking and led the way in becoming the first UK country to have an opt out system for organ donation.

The new Land Transaction Tax will help more first time buyers onto the property ladder.

Our recycling rates are the highest in the UK.

We introduced free bus travel to support older and disabled people to live active lives.

Of course, there have been challenges along the way, especially a complex devolution settlement and an unfair funding formula.

We have entered the ninth year of austerity imposed by the UK Government, which means that there is less money to spend on our public services.

Another challenge that we continue to face is political disengagement.

Devolution is meant to make politics more accessible and empower people so that feel they have a stake in the decisions that affect them.

The reality is that turn out at Assembly elections is low, having never reached 50 per cent.

We have work to do to get more people engaged with politics.

I am pleased that we have taken an important step to achieve this with plans to give 16 year olds the right to vote.

Since 1999, we have seen a growth in social media platforms, and whilst there are many positives, it has empowered people to be abusive and say things they wouldn’t say to you in public.

Politicians from all parties have been subject to online abuse. People should be able to disagree with each other without resorting to abuse.

Devolution is a journey not a destination. I am proud of what we have achieved over the last 20 years, making a real difference to people’s lives. I look forward to what we can achieve in the future.

As ever, I would be interested on hearing your views on this, please do get in touch.