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  1. Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee
  2. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Education
  3. Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services
  4. Topical Questions
  5. Motion to approve the Assembly Commission's Budget 2018-19
  6. Debate by Individual Members on the effects of female genital mutilation
  7. Short Debate on the exploitation of immigrants to the UK by immigrant criminal gangs.

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Sarah Down-Roberts

All times stated are UK


That brings today's proceedings in the Siambr to a close.

Senedd Live returns on Tuesday 21 November.


'Extremely distressed by the tenure and tone'

Leader of the House Julie James says she was "extremely distressed by the tenure and tone and made-up statistics" in Mr Rowlands' contribution.

She invites him to visit a prison, "in which he'll see most of the inmates are not from outside the UK".

She warns against stigmatizing any immigrant community.

Short Debate - exploitation of immigrants

The topic chosen by David J. Rowlands (South Wales East) for the Short Debate is the "exploitation of immigrants to the UK by immigrant criminal gangs".

David Rowlands

Proposal on female genital mutilation approved

the vote

'We must talk about this and not tip-toe around it'

'A change has begun'

AMs view the film 'A change has begun', a "short and intimate, survivor-led account of life with FGM which speaks of the positive shift in perspective within practicing communities in the UK".

Debate by Individual Members

The next item is a Debate by Individual Members.

Julie Morgan (Cardiff North)Angela Burns (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)Dai Lloyd (South Wales West)Joyce Watson (Mid and West Wales)Jenny Rathbone (Cardiff Central)

propose that the assembly:

1. Recognises that female genital mutilation (FGM) is widely practised worldwide and an estimated 2,000 women and girls in Wales are living with the consequences of FGM.

2. Calls on the Welsh Government to:

a) use every opportunity to raise awareness of this practice;

b) encourage schools to discuss this as part of the Personal and Social Education curriculum and in staff training;

c) raise awareness of this practice among GPs and all medical practitioners; and

d) do all it can to ensure communities most affected receive help and support to tackle the problem.

Assembly Commission's Budget 2018-19 approved

AMs approve the £56 million Assembly Commission Budget 2018-19.

Julie James elected member of the Business Committee

Members agree the proposal to elect Julie James (Labour) as a Member of the Business Committee in place of Jane Hutt (Labour).

Jane Hutt, who lost her cabinet role as Leader of the House in the reshuffle earlier this month, was the UK's longest serving minister.

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'Did the first minister mislead the assembly?'

Plaid Cymru's Adam Price raises a point of order, asking the Llywydd to bring the first minister back to the Siambr so he can answer questions about whether he misled the assembly.

"We have complete lack of clarity now as to whether the assembly was misled which is a very, very serious matter indeed," he says.

The contents of ministers' answers is not a matter for her, replies the Llywydd, adding that some answers today may have been too long and some too short.

Topical Question 3: warning from Aston Martin

Jane Hutt (Vale of Glamorgan) asks: Will the Cabinet Secretary make a statement on the warning from Aston Martin yesterday that their investment in St Athan could be at risk as a result of a Brexit ‘no deal’?

Aston Martin has said it may have to halt production if the UK fails to strike a Brexit deal with the EU.

Alun Davies says "the Welsh Government agrees with Aston Martin that no deal represents a risk to business.

"However the company has not indicated any risk to the investment in St Athan which is progressing at pace."

Aston Martin
Getty Images

Topical Question 2: allegations of bullying within the Welsh Government in 2014

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central) asks: Will the First Minister confirm whether he was aware of allegations of bullying within the Welsh Government in 2014, given that his response to a written question in November 2014 indicated that no allegations had been made?

The first minister replies: "I have nothing to add to the answers I've already given, but I do again of course reiterate the invitation that was made yesterday if anyone wishes to come forward with further information."

Former minister Leighton Andrews and former aide Steve Jones have both said there was a "toxic" atmosphere when they were part of the Welsh Government.

The first minister has previously said it was "dealt with" at the time, but would not go into more detail when questioned in the Siambr today.

In November 2014, he was asked whether there had been any reports of bullying by advisers in the previous three years. At the time, the first minister said no allegations had been made.

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View more on twitter

Topical Question 1: action to protect wild animals in Borth zoo

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales) asks: Will the Cabinet Secretary make a statement on action taken to protect wild animals in Borth zoo near Aberystwyth, in light of the death of two of its wild cats?

Nilly died following a "handling error" and was given mouth to mouth in a bid to save her after the incident at Borth Wild Animal Kingdom.

She was being moved ahead of an inspection of the zoo, after another lynx, Lilleth escaped last month.

Lilleth was "humanely destroyed" by Ceredigion council.

Environment Secretary Lesley Griffiths says it would be inappropriate for her to comment while inquiries by Ceredigion County Council are underway.

Simon Thomas suggests that national regulations need to be reconsidered to ensure people who runs zoos have the necessary skills and have the appropriate facilities and location.

Ms Griffiths says there is a need to review the processes regarding issuing licenses to zoos.


Impact of funding cuts to research and development

Conservative Suzy Davies asks about the impact of funding cuts to research and development in health and social care.

Mr Gething replies "we think we can manage some of the reduction without impacting on current research activity.

"It will affect some of our relationships within the UK architecture around health and social care research.

"We think we can manage but there are some things we may not be able to do".

How many new doctors are needed?

Rhun ap Iorwerth cites Plaid Cymru’s manifesto commitment to train and hire 1,000 new doctors and asks for the Welsh Government's assessment of the number of new doctors needed over the next ten years and how many will be trained in Wales.

Vaughan Gething gives no figure and says "it's a mistake to look at one group of professionals in isolation".

Rhun ap Iorwerth

'No adequate plans for alternative care for residents'

UKIP leader Neil Hamilton raises the issue of the closure of Bodlondeb care home in Ceredigion, with he claims "no adequate plans for alternative care for the residents".

Huw Irranca-Davies replies that "Ceredigion County Council, like any other council, has to plan its care provision based on local need".

Bodlondeb has been operating at a loss of nearly £400,000 per year
Bodlondeb has been operating at a loss of nearly £400,000 per year

Numbers of drug-related hospital admissions

We move on to Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething.

The first of the tabled questions is by Caroline Jones: What is the Welsh Government doing to reduce the numbers of drug-related hospital admissions?

Vaughan Gething says the Welsh Government invests almost £15 million a year on its substance misuse agenda.

Vaughan Gething
Vaughan Gething

More applied to Oxford and Cambridge universities

The education secretary says that the number of students who have applied to Oxford and Cambridge universities from Wales has increased 6%.

The number who applied for medical courses has risen 2%.

The applications were due in by October 15th.


Prevalence of school staff bullying

UKIP's Caroline Jones calls for an "investigation into the prevalence of school staff bullying".

Kirsty Williams says she has a zero tolerance approach to all forms of bullying in Welsh schools.

Caroline Jones
Caroline Jones

Debate over teaching Welsh as a second language

Plaid Cymru's Sian Gwenllian questions how the Welsh Government will achieve its target of one million Welsh speakers by the year 2050 - about double the current number - without a more ambitious education strategy, particularly regarding the teaching of Welsh as a second language.

Eluned Morgan replies there is a "lot we can learn about the way we teach Welsh as a second language". She says that, as a newly-appointed minister, she wants to take time to listen to evidence about what works.

Sian Gwenllian
Sian Gwenllian

'Extremely difficult financial constraints'

Kirsty Williams says she is "coping with extremely difficult financial constraints that have been placed upon us, primarily by the austerity agenda that is being pursued by your colleagues in London".

'Per pupil funding gap with schools in England of £678'

Conservative Darren Millar says "this government and its predecessors has a legacy of under-funding Welsh schools".

He says the per pupil funding gap with schools in England is £678, which he describes as "scandalous".

Darren Millar

Support for new supply arrangements for 15 councils

Education Secretary Kirsty Williams says she eagerly awaits the transfer of responsibility for the terms and conditions of teachers.

She points to her recent announcement of £2.7m of Welsh Government funding to support new supply arrangements for 15 councils and help for 50 new teachers.

It comes after warnings that many supply teachers were considering leaving the profession due to poor pay.

Terms and conditions for supply teachers 'uneven, chaotic and exploitative'

The next item is Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Kirsty Williams.

Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood begins by raising the issue of terms and conditions for supply teachers.

Ms Wood says the current system is "uneven, chaotic and exploitative".


Mick Antoniw elected committee chair

Mick Antoniw is the only nominee and is therefore elected Chair of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee.

Nominations for the Chair of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee

The Llywydd Elin Jones begins plenary by inviting nominations for the Chair of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee.

Back at 1.30pm

The committee now moves into private session.

Senedd Live returns for plenary at 1.30pm.

'Candidate for Plain English award for gobbledygook'

Conservative Mark Isherwood says the following sentence from the government's written submission to the committee should be a candidate for the Plain English award for gobbledygook:

"The Life Sciences sector forms part of the wider Sectors Action where budgets have been re-prioritised and aligned to support capacity building and investment targeted to maximise the budget available".

Mark Isherwood

Apprenticeships and trainee-ships budget

This is Eluned Morgan's first committee meeting since joining the government as Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning.

In response to Hefin David's question about changes to the apprenticeships and trainee-ships budget, she says the "amount of money will remain more or less the same".

Innovation budget 'being cut by 78%'

Plaid Cymru's Adam Price says the budget for innovation is being cut by 78%.

Julie James says it is "because big ticket items are coming to fruition", such as the Menai Science Park and Yr Egin in Carmarthen.

Yr Egin
University of Wales Trinity Saint David
Yr Egin

Sciences budget down £1 million

UKIP's David Rowlands learns from Dean Medcraft, the Welsh Government's Director of Finance and Operations, that the budget for sciences is being reduced by £1 million, which Mr Medcraft describes as a "small change".

Future Generations Act's 'profound influence'

Julie James AM, in her first committee appearance since being promoted to the Cabinet as Leader of the House and Chief Whip, says the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 has had a "profound influence on the entire way we do policy planning".

Julie and Eluned
Julie James (left) and Eluned Morgan


Giving evidence are:

Julie James AM, Leader of the House and Chief Whip;

Eluned Morgan AM, Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning;

Huw Morris, Director Skills, Higher Education and Lifelong Learning, Welsh Government;

Simon Jones, Director for Economic Infrastructure, Welsh Government;

Dean Medcraft, Director Finance & Operations, Welsh Government.

Welcome to Senedd Live

Bore da.

This morning the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee is scrutinising the Welsh Government draft budget 2018-19.

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