Cross Party Groups do not have the status granted to them in Westminster and the Scottish Parliament but they are acknowledged, and guidelines for their establishment are included in the Assembly's Standing Orders.
CPGs are highly effective as fora bringing Assembly Members with an interest in a specialist field or topic to meet with members of the public and relevant organisations, often from the voluntary sector, to share information (such as expert presentations) and engage in discussion and networking. CPGs do not scrutinise the work of the Assembly but they have been effective in discussing issues and providing a platform for policy suggestions. They also are an effective channel for government Ministers and bodies to communicate with informed and interested members of the public and encourage them to engage in the democratic process.
Cross Party Groups listed on the Assmbly register, as of 2008 (not all are currently active):
Cross Party Group for Animal Welfare, Cross Party Group on Autism, Cross Party Group on Broadband in Mid and West Wales, Cross Party Group on Cancer, Cross Party Group on Creative Industries,, Cross Party Group on Deaf Issues, Cross Party Group for Disability, Cross Party Group on Eating Disorders, Cross Party Group on Epilepsy, Cross Party Group on Faith, Cross Party Group for Funerals and Bereavement, Cross Party Group on Healthy Living, Cross Party Group for Hospices, Cross Party Group on International Development,Wales Cross Party Kidney Group, Cross Party Group on Nursing / Midwifery,Cross Party Group on Older People and Ageing, Cross-Party Group for the Public and Commercial Services Union, Cross Party Group on Rugby Union, Cross Party Group on Sport, Cross Party Group on Trafficking of Women and Children, Cross Party Group on Waterways
Among the most active of these are the Cross Party Groups on Cancer, Healthy Living, and NASEG, the Cross Party Group on Sustainable Energy, not listed on the Assembly site, and Waterways. Civitas Cymru has experience of founding and providing the Secretariat for groups on Cancer and Waterways (which it still administers).
Civitas Cymrus, by virtue of our expertise in programming and the subject, ensures pogrammes and events remain interesting and continue to win support from Assembly Members and interested members of the public. The Waterways group has seen visits from Ministers and leading experts in the field. For more details see here.