Jenny agrees with Nick on Welsh powers timetable

So what did he mean by that then?

Party conferences are a great opportunity to test the platform rhetoric against any delivery plans.

Yesterday, Nick Clegg told the Lib Dems that plans for further devolution to Wales could be revealed within months - on the same timetable as Scottish "home rule".

He said: "I'm very keen that [Wales Office Minister Baroness] Jenny [Randerson], and I know Jenny is doing this already, should work within government, so that on the same timetable as the government publishes draft articles - draft legislative articles - on the devolution of powers to Scotland around the beginning of next year - I hope - Jenny's looking rather alarmed by this - but I hope we can seek to do the same for Wales."

So today I asked Lady Randerson to expand on the deputy prime minister's statement.

She told me: "Well he means that we understand that Wales needs to have urgent attention to its devolution settlement and it shouldn't be allowed to lag behind Scotland, it shouldn't in any way be conditional on progress on Scotland - that Wales deserves its own limelight.

"Well we've got a very good foundation there - the Silk Two report has already been produced. We've had some time to think about it. We are getting to work on those bits of the second Silk report that don't need legislation, that can be done quite quickly, and we hope to be able to get an announcement on that in the next few months."

Those parts of the report that don't require legislation are said to be those that relate to the mechanics of intergovernmental changes.

Lady Randerson added: "But I think that the really important thing is that we start to draft some legislation, maybe on the reserved powers model of the legislation that's now being recommended for Wales, and we look at that and we get ready with that so that day one - after the next election - we're ready to go.

"We'll be drafting legislation, I hope we can agree on some aspects of the legislation that we can draft by the beginning part of next year."

Nick Clegg gave the impression it was a UK government initiative - so are the Conservatives onside with these Lib Dem plans?

"Well it's my job as a Liberal Democrat - remember Nick Clegg makes his announcement to a Liberal Democrat conference - and it is my job as a Liberal Democrat to persuade my colleagues in the Wales Office and across government that we need to make rapid progress. But I think it is important to take note that it's already clear that there is support within the Wales Office for the reserved powers model."

There may be cross-party consensus on the need for a reserved powers model but there is no agreement on which powers should be reserved to Westminster and which devolved. That could limit progress by the Lib Dems' deadline, although any draft clauses will, of course, just be draft as there won't be time to legislate before next year's general election.

In other news, the prime minister appears to have ruled out giving the Welsh government extra funding from Westminster.