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Summary

  1. Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee
  2. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs
  3. Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children
  4. Topical Questions
  5. Debate by Individual Members: energy efficiency
  6. Debate by the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee on their report on the Future of Agricultural and Rural Development Policies in Wales
  7. Welsh Conservatives debate: higher education
  8. Short Debate: Technology and the Welsh language: Risk or opportunity?

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

Hwyl

That's it for today.

Senedd Live will be back on Tuesday 4 July.

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Technology crucial to reaching one million Welsh speakers by 2050

Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language Alun Davies acknowledges that fully embracing technology and the digital world is crucial to Labour's assembly election manifesto commitment to ensuring there are a million people speaking Welsh by 2050.

Alun Davies
BBC

'Long-term investment needed in digital services'

"Technology does not have to be an enemy to the Welsh language," says Llyr Gruffydd.

He calls for long-term investment in both Welsh and bilingual digital services.

Siri virtual assistant confused

Llyr Gruffydd asks the iPhone Siri virtual assistant a series of questions in Welsh, which it misunderstands.

Siri
BBC

'Challenges, threats and opportunities'

Finally in the Siambr today is a Short Debate by Llyr Gruffydd (North Wales).

His chosen topic is:

"Technology and the Welsh language: Risk or opportunity?

"The challenges, threats and opportunities presented by new technologies for the Welsh language".

Welsh language
BBC

'New all-age employability plan'

Minister for Skills and Science, Julie James defends "the ambition of the Welsh Government in developing a new all-age employability plan, a key part of which is the need for effective and joined-up careers advice to support individuals into the most appropriate educational, employment and training opportunities".

She stresses the "vital importance of adult learning and supporting skills development at all ages".

Julie James
BBC

Support for students

Plaid Cymru's Llyr Gruffydd urges the Welsh Government to "confirm its proposals for student support and higher education funding as soon as reasonably practicable to allow the higher education sector to plan ahead for the 2018/19 academic year".

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Careers Wales 'not fit for purpose'

Earlier in the week we heard from the new MP for Bristol North West, Darren Jones, who claims to be the first Darren ever elected to the Commons.

The first Darren in the Senedd, Darren Millar, declares an interest in this debate as a part-time HE student.

He claims Careers Wales is "not fit for purpose, hugely under-resourced and not delivering the sort of independent and bespoke advice our learners need".

Darren Millar
BBC

Importance of adult and community learning opportunities

We move on to the Welsh Conservatives debate.

They propose that the assembly:

"1. Recognises the vital contribution that part-time higher education makes to the Welsh economy, especially in our most disadvantaged communities.

2. Supports initiatives such as Adult Learners Week and recognises the importance of adult and community learning opportunities to Wales.

3. Welcomes the proposed support package for part-time higher education and part-time students put forward in the Welsh Government's response to the Diamond Review.

4. Calls upon the Welsh Government to:

a) Provide an all-age careers advisory and education service which gives parity of esteem to full and part-time study options, supports progression for people in low wage employment, and recognises the wider benefits of adult and community learning to improving health and well-being; and

b) invest in adult community learning to enable pathways for all into, and through, further and higher education".

Higher education
PA

Welsh Government's response to the recommendations

Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, sets out the Welsh Government's response, which can be seen in detail here.

All the recommendations are accepted, some in principle.

'Should be preparing for a worst-case scenario'

"We should be preparing for a worst-case scenario of falling off a cliff and falling onto World Trade Organization (WTO) rules," says Eluned Morgan.

Eluned Morgan.
BBC

26 recommendations

New committee chair Mike Hedges (Swansea East), who was appointed to the role last week, presents the report which has 26 recommendations.

The first recommendation is that "the UK Government should seek tariff and quota-free access to the EU Single Market for Welsh agricultural and food products".

Mike Hedges
BBC

Brexit, agriculture and rural life

The next debate in the Siambr is a debate by the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee on its report on the future of agricultural and rural development policies in Wales.

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Debate by Individual Members - proposal agreed

The proposal is agreed without objection.

'Making progress in tackling fuel poverty'

Lesley Griffiths responds to the debate by saying "much of it does chime with my energy statement in December last year".

She says "we are making progress in tackling fuel poverty, despite many of the levers not being devolved".

'Need to do much, much, much more'

On home energy efficiency, Lee Waters says "the Welsh Government has done much, but we need to do much, much, much more".

Lee Waters
BBC

'More than a little irony in the proposal to reduce fuel poverty'

UKIP's David Rowlands says there is "more than a little irony in the proposal to reduce fuel poverty when much of it is the result of high fuel prices caused by decarbonation levies".

David Rowlands
BBC

'Make home energy efficiency an infrastructure investment priority'

Huw Irranca-Davies commends the report Energy efficiency:An infrastructure priority, which sets out "a strong case for Government to make home energy efficiency an infrastructure investment priority and to develop an infrastructure programme to deliver it".

Huw Irranca-Davies
bb

Debate by Individual Members

We move on to a Debate by Individual Members.

Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore)

Jeremy Miles (Neath)

supported by:

Lee Waters (Llanelli)

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales)

propose the assembly:

1. Notes the £217 million Welsh Government investment over the last 5 years and further commitment of £104 million for the next 4 years to improve home energy efficiency and tackle fuel poverty.

2. Further notes that investment in home energy efficiency needs to be dramatically scaled-up if Wales is to achieve its aims around decarbonisation and reducing fuel poverty.

3. Calls on the Welsh Government to consider a broader range of investment approaches for energy efficiency including innovative finance, putting public sector pensions to good use, and tapping into private sector funding.

4. Notes the proposal to establish a National Infrastructure Commission for Wales and calls on the Welsh Government to ensure that the long-term energy infrastructure needs of Wales and the opportunities for energy efficiency are included within its remit.

5. Believes that such investment would dramatically boost efforts to tackle fuel poverty in some of our older homes, providing warm and cosy homes, improving the health and well-being of all and particularly the vulnerable.

6. Further believes this would help tackle climate change, reducing the carbon emissions through energy efficiency, reducing energy consumption and reducing the number of new power stations we need to build.

7. Recognises the potential for economic growth, creating many thousands of jobs in every community throughout every part of Wales.

ynni
Getty Images

Issues of topical interest

We now have the 90 Second Statements, where three AMs have the opportunity to raise issues of topical interest.

'Deeply, deeply disappointed'

Economy secretary Ken Skates says he is "establishing a task-force to secure the best possible outcome for staff".

He adds he was "deeply, deeply disappointed" not just about the decision but also about how the Welsh Government and Tesco workers learned about the decision.

He also refers to today's news that Tesco plans to cut 1,200 jobs at its head office as part of a major cost-cutting drive.

Ken Skates
BBC

Plans to close the Tesco Customer Engagement Centre in Cardiff

There is one topical question today:

Adam Price (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr): What actions is the Welsh Government taking in response to the proposed plans to close the Tesco Customer Engagement Centre in Cardiff?

Tesco is facing calls to scrap plans to close its call centre in Cardiff with the loss of 1,100 jobs.

The supermarket giant said it was consolidating its customer engagement centres (CEC) on to a single site in Dundee.

Staff have spoken of their shock, upset and anger and claim the company is not answering their questions.

Tesco Customer Engagement Centre in Cardiff
BBC

'Utilising the assets in our localities to tackle inequality'

Mark Isherwood (North Wales) asks how is the Welsh Government utilising the assets in our localities to tackle inequality.

Mr Sargeant cites the Community Facilities Programme as an example.

Mark Isherwood
BBC

'No power to compel registered social landlords to test cladding'

In response to Bethan Jenkins, Carl Sargeant says the "aluminium composite material (ACM) product that was used on the Grenfell Tower is not in place in any of our buildings in Wales".

He adds, "we are learning more every day".

He also says he does not have the power to compel registered social landlords (RSLs) to test cladding.

Grenfell Tower
AFP
Grenfell Tower

Issues raised by the Grenfell Tower disaster

UKIP's Gareth Bennett seeks assurance that the split in responsibilities between Carl Sargeant and Lesley Griffiths does not hamper efforts to tackle issues raised by the Grenfell Tower disaster.

"I am lead minister, including fire regulations" says Mr Sargeant.

Carl Sargeant
BBC

Support available for veterans

We move on to questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant.

Hefin David (Caerphilly) asks about the support available for veterans in Caerphilly.

He calls on the government to look at the issue of problem gambling among veterans.

Armed forces
BBC

Cash support for farmers will remain at current levels until 2022

In response to Plaid Cymru's Llyr Gruffydd, Lesley Griffiths confirms she has had assurances that the commitment given to Northern Ireland that cash support for farmers will remain at current levels until the next election in 2022 also applies to Wales.

The confidence and supply agreement sealed between the Conservatives and the Democratic Unionist Party will see £1bn of extra funding for Northern Ireland over the next two years

Llyr Gruffydd
BBC
Llyr Gruffydd

'Look at regulation pragmatically to ensure it is proportionate'

UKIP's Neil Hamilton says regulation facing farmers after Brexit could be "more proportionate".

Lesley Griffiths replies. "I have about 7,000 pieces of regulation in my portfolio...we would not allow environmental standards to slip and we could strengthen some in places were they to be needed.

"But you're right, we need to look at it pragmatically to ensure it is proportionate".

Neil Hamilton
BBC

'Use of non-code compliant snares should be banned on Welsh Government owned land'

Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas asks whether the cabinet secretary accepts a recommendation by the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee that the use of non-code compliant snares should be banned on Welsh Government owned land.

Lesley Griffiths says she will respond to the report in due course, but adds, "I would certainly hope to be able to do that".

Simon Thomas
BBC

Assessment of pre-application consultations

Asked by Conservative David Melding about section 17 of the Planning (Wales) Act 2015 which requires applicants to carry out pre-application consultations, Lesley Griffiths says an assessment is underway now than it has been operating for 15 months.

David Melding
BBC

Questions without notice

The Llywydd calls party spokespeople to ask questions without notice to the Cabinet Secretary after Question 2.

'Possibility of funding an enhanced behaviour change campaign'

Lesley Griffiths says she's "discussing with local authorities the possibility of funding an enhanced behaviour change campaign" to reinforce the messages of WRAP Cymru.

Lesley Griffiths
BBC

Recycling of food waste

The first of the tabled questions today is by Vikki Howells (Cynon Valley): What action is the Welsh Government taking to encourage the recycling of food waste in Wales?

Recycling of food
BBC

Questions to Lesley Griffiths

Plenary begins with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths.

Back at 1.30pm

The members are now meeting in private.

Senedd Live will be back at 1.30pm for Plenary.

'Audience behaviour will judge long term future of BBC Radio Cymru 2'

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BBC Cymru Wales announced last week it is to launch a second Welsh language radio station.

Radio Cymru 2 will broadcast from 07:00 to 10:00 each morning on digital radio, digital TV and BBC iPlayer.

The new station will offer a mix of music and entertainment, while the existing Radio Cymru station will maintain its morning news service.

It follows the trial broadcast of a second Welsh language station, Radio Cymru Mwy, last year to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

'Increasingly vital' to invest in apprentices and trainees

Rhodri Talfan Davies says 15-20 years ago the BBC could "fish" in the HTV and press pool of talent to find new rising stars, but "increasingly vital" now to invest in apprentices and trainees.

'A beast you are going to have to feed'

Lee Waters says BBC has created "a beast you are going to have to feed" with the BBC Scotland newshour which, he claims, will leave Wales at a disadvantage.

Listeners in Bristol area relying on Wales-based transmitters

Rhodri Talfan Davies explains that geography is a huge obstacle to opt outs for Welsh news on Radio 1 and Radio 2 with around a million listeners in the Bristol area relying on Wales-based transmitters.

Shared coverage of local government and courts

BBC bosses are asked by Dr Dai Lloyd how they can ensure local papers won't cut staff when 11 journalists are employed to share coverage of local government and courts.

Rhodri Talfan Davies says that using the local reporters and making use of access to BBC audio/video will be optional for local publishers. He says he wants partnerships.

Dai Lloyd
BBC
Dai Lloyd