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Summary

  1. The Welsh Assembly sat from 13.30 GMT, and the first item on the agenda was questions to the first minister.
  2. Next: The Business Statement and Announcement outlined the future business of the Assembly.
  3. Next: Deputy minister for culture introduced the Historic Environment (Wales) Bill.
  4. Next: Stage 3 Debate on the Planning (Wales) Bill.

Live Reporting

By Anwen Lewis and Alun Jones

All times stated are UK

Nos Da

That concludes the stage 3 debate and with it today's business.

Join us tomorrow morning at 9:30 for the Environment Committee.

Group 13

Members are currently on the last group of amendments.

Planning permission

There is cross-party support for amendment 27 to insert a new section - 'Determination of applications for planning permission' - to Section 70 of Town and Country Planning Act 1990. The amendment proposed by Liberal Democrat William Powell and supported by the minister Carl Sargeant, Plaid Cymru's Llyr Gruffydd and the Conservative Russell George will amend TCPA 1990 as follows.

In subsection (2), after paragraph (a) insert—"any considerations relating to the use of the Welsh language, so far as material to the application;"

Therefore the Welsh language will be is a statutory material consideration in the planning system, allowing councillors to permit or block planning bids on the basis of the impact on the language.

Amendments

Here is a

list of the amendments that the Assembly Members are discussing and voting on.

Census

Language campaigners and some local authorities have claimed that

large housing developments can have a big impact on the nature of small communities, particularly those where the Welsh language is prominent.

Results from the 2011 Census showing a decline in the number of people speaking Welsh in traditional strongholds such as Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion have fuelled their concerns.

Welsh Language

Members are now considering amendments relating to the Welsh language.

Fracking

Last month Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant told

BBC Wales he was clear that councils could not determine fracking and the Welsh government was opposed to fracking, even though the power to issue licences for it still rested in Westminster.

Licences

Fracking is a process of hydraulic fracturing of rocks deep underground to pipe gas to the surface.

There is no fracking for gas in Britain at the moment but it is a huge industry in the United States.

However, it is controversial, with concerns about the environment and underground water especially.

fracking
BBC

Fracking

via Twitter

@SimonThomasAC "The Government has rejected an amendment by @LlyrGruffydd @Plaid_Cymru to ensure there will be no fracking or unconventional gas extraction."

Blog

You can read more about the background to the Bill, on the National Assembly's

blog.

Legal framework

Building work
BBC

The Bill introduces a new legal framework for the Welsh Ministers to prepare a national land use plan, to be known as the National Development Framework for Wales.

It also makes provision for the production of Strategic Development Plans, to tackle "larger-than-local cross-boundary issues, such as housing supply and areas for economic growth and regeneration".

It also provides for planning applications for nationally-significant projects to be made to the Welsh Ministers.

Tweet by minister

@WG_NatResMin "Natural Resource Management is about managing our resources in a more sustainable and joined up way"

Four-stage process

Here we go on the Stage 3 debate. There is generally a four-stage process for the consideration of a Public Bill involving:

Stage 1 - consideration of the general principles of the Bill by a committee, and the agreement of those general principles by the Assembly;

Stage 2 - detailed consideration by a committee of the Bill and any amendments tabled to that Bill;

Stage 3 - detailed consideration, by the Assembly, of the Bill and any amendments tabled to that Bill;

Stage 4 - a vote by the Assembly to pass the final text of the Bill.

Stage 3 Debate

Proceedings are suspended for 10 minutes before the Stage 3 Debate on the Planning (Wales) Bill

Names

Plaid's Alun Ffred Jones calls for "protection for place names, given their importance for telling our story", while Labour's Mick Antoniw and Julie Morgan call for protection for historic pub names.

Religious buildings

Conservative Darren Millar expresses concern that the bill "doesn't sufficiently protect Wales religious buildings".

Castles

Caerphilly Castle
BBC
Caerphilly Castle

The deputy minister visited Caerphilly Castle today where he met apprentices working on projects to conserve the castle.

Cadw

Plaid Cymru's Bethan Jenkins and Liberal Democrat Peter Black ask the deputy minister to consider what protection can be given to buildings of local interest but which are not necessarily of national importance according to Cadw.

'Lost forever'

"Without the right protection and management, our precious buildings and monuments could be lost forever" says deputy minister.

Offa's Dyke

Excavation works at Offa's Dyke were investigated by police in 2013
Mark Williams

Excavation works at Offa's Dyke were investigated by police in 2013

Historic Environment (Wales) Bill

The Historic Environment (Wales) Bill will give ministers powers to make owners who damage monuments undertake repairs.

Councils can also take action to stop decay by recovering urgent work costs.

Prosecution

The new law aims to protect historical monuments and buildings in Wales, to make it more difficult for those who damage them to escape prosecution.

It comes after 119 cases of damage to sites between 2006 and 2012 resulted in only one successful prosecution.

Historic Environment Bill

Members now move on to a Statement by the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates who is introducing the Historic Environment (Wales) Bill.

Ken Skates
BBC

Business Statement

Finance Minister, Jane Hutt, is making here weekly Business Statement and Announcement.

This outlines the future business of the Assembly up to three weeks in advance.

Deadline

The deputy minister, Rebecca Evans, says the system is "working well" and there is no need to extend the deadline.

Basic Payment Scheme

Click

here for information on the Basic Payment Scheme.

Urgent Question

Llyr Gruffydd is asking the Deputy Minister for Farming and Food an Urgent Question, calling on her to reconsider her decision not to extend the deadline for the Basic Payment Scheme applications in Wales.

Metro

First Minister says there will be an update on the south Wales Metro programme before the summer recess.

Bus station

On to Cardiff's new bus station, and the first minister recalls 'disaster' of Bridgend bus station closure in 1990s.

"It doesn't work if you don't have one point where you can catch a bus" he adds.

Organ donor

Carwyn Jones praises family of Teddy Houlston, Britain's youngest organ donor.

Playground

AM's return to the topic of the health service, with the first minister saying the Conservative Jeremy Hunt is "the sort of person who runs up behind you in the playground, hits you and runs away."

Energy powers

Llyr Gruffydd asks about the devolution of energy powers to Wales.

The second part of the

Silk Commission report published in 2014 recommends the devolution of responsibility for energy projects up to 350MW.

NHS

There'll be a "proper level" of funding for the NHS - and consequential funding for Wales - under a Labour government, says Carwyn Jones.

Health spending

Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams is asking about increased health spending in England and the knock-on effects for the Welsh budget.

Budget

"We'll have £375m extra in the Welsh budget each year", says first minister.

"Net cut", shouts Leanne Wood.

Picture: First Minister

Carwyn Jones
BBC

Answering leaders' questions.

Barnett formula

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood takes up a similar theme - this time using the Barnett formula to try to highlight differences in Labour's approach.

First Minister

"What I've heard on doorstep is people begging me to get rid of the Tories" says Mr Jones.

Overspent?

Mr Davies continuing to highlight differences between UK + Welsh Labour policy, and asks whether Mr Jones thinks Labour overspent.

Rent Controls

Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies asks about Labour plans for rent controls in England.

"We've had devolution since 1999" he says.