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Summary

  1. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the First Minister
  2. The Childcare Funding (Wales) Bill
  3. Update and next steps for the Pupil Development Grant
  4. The Environment in Wales
  5. The Public Health Wales Review of Sexual Health Services
  6. The Agricultural Sector (Wales) Act 2014 (Continuation of Effect) Order 2018

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

Hwyl fawr

That brings the first plenary since the Easter recess to a close.

Senedd Live returns tomorrow for the Children, Young People and Education Committee.

Senedd
BBC

Agricultural Sector (Wales) Act 2014 (Continuation of Effect) Order 2018 approved

AMs approve the draft Agricultural Sector (Wales) Act 2014 (Continuation of Effect) Order 2018.

The effect of section 14(1) of the Agricultural Sector (Wales) Act 2014 is that the Act is to lapse on 30 July 2018, unless an order is made by the Welsh Ministers under section 14(2) providing that the Act is to continue in effect.

This Order provides that the Act is to continue in effect.

'No evidence of a bullying culture in Welsh Government in 2014'

Ability to have abortion at home

Vaughan Gething says "I have instructed officials to start work immediately on how we can amend the legal framework to allow for the treatment of the termination of pregnancy to be carried out at home in line with recommendation 7".

He adds, "my officials will now work with stakeholders to develop a fully costed and timetabled implementation plan".

'Clear from this report that more needs to be done'

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething says: “We’ve made tremendous strides in recent years in reducing teenage pregnancies, but the number of sexually transmitted infections remains considerable and it’s clear from this report that more needs to be done, particularly in respect of access and inequality.”

He adds that his “vision for sexual health services in Wales is one of modern services meeting the needs of all users."

Vaughan Gething
BBC

'Develop an understanding of the needs of the population'

The final statement of the day is by the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething, on the Public Health Wales Review of Sexual Health Services.

The report’s recommendations include:

  • Health boards to develop an understanding of the needs of their population and have a system in place to deliver services to vulnerable groups;
  • Considering amending the legal framework to allow patients to take medication for termination of pregnancy at home;
  • Enhancing the role of for primary care and pharmacies in sexual health provision, for example delivering over the counter oral contraception;
  • Health boards look at other opportunities to extend provision of Long Acting Reversible Contraception (LARC) in both primary and secondary care.

Dr Giri Shankar, Professional Lead Consultant for Health Protection at Public Health Wales, who oversaw the review on behalf of the organisation, said that “while huge progress has been made in addressing teenage pregnancies, much work remains to be done on accessibility to services, risky behaviours, modernising information gathering systems, access to abortion services and moving care closer to patients".

Welsh Government 'repeating what it has said many times before'

Echoing David Melding's concerns about the generality of the statement, UKIP leader Neil Hamilton says "at least the statement shows a commitment to recycling by repeating what it has said many times before".

Commitment to recycling?
BBC
Commitment to recycling?

'Lack of specific measures to meet environmental challenges'

Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas welcomes the principles, but criticizes the lack of specific measures to meet the environmental challenges.

He calls for more ambition from the government, such as a deposit return scheme and a Clean Air Act.

Simon Thomas
BBC

'We need more detail and bite'

Conservative David Melding describes the statement as being "very general indeed".

Quoting the minister "calling on our National Parks and AONBs [Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty] to be exemplars on the sustainable management of natural resources, particularly on biodiversity, trees and woodlands", he adds, "crikey, they are in crisis if they are not doing that naturally already.

"We need more detail and bite".

David Melding
BBC

Environment Minister's five priorities

Hannah Blythyn sets out her five priorities: reversing the decline in biodiversity, working with the national parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, increasing the number of trees and woodlands, accelerating action on air quality and becoming the best in the world on recycling.

Statement by the Minister for Environment

The next statement by the Minister for Environment Hannah Blythyn.

The title does not give much away - "The Environment in Wales".

Hannah Blythyn
BBC

Narrowing the attainment gap 'a moral duty'

"There is no question for me that we have to continue to prioritise narrowing the attainment gap – we have a moral duty to ensure there is equity of opportunity for all learners to reach their full potential. That is our challenge and I am absolutely committed to rising to it," says Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education.

Kirsty Williams
BBC

'Kirsty Williams has shown contempt for the Assembly'

Plaid Cymru's Llyr Gruffydd says Kirsty Williams has shown contempt for the Assembly by announcing that the Early Years Pupil Development Grant (PDG) will increase from £600 to £700 per eligible pupil, just weeks before the Children, Young People and Education Committee is due to publish a report on the subject of school grants.

'Appalled' by timing of announcement

Conservative Darren Millar says he is "extremely disappointed" and "appalled" that the education secretary announced the increase first at the Welsh Liberal Democrats conference rather than in the Siambr.

Grant will increase from £600 to £700 per eligible pupil

We move on to a statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams, providing an update and next steps for the Pupil Development Grant.

The grant which aims to help Wales' poorest pupils to achieve their potential is set to increase.

The Early Years Pupil Development Grant (PDG) will increase from £600 to £700 per eligible pupil.

Kirsty Williams says the extra cash would benefit 15,000 children who are in the foundation phase.

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'HMRC will have learned from IT glitches'

In response to UKIP's Michelle Brown, Huw Irranca-Davies says he has confidence that HMRC can take on the administration of the scheme effectively on behalf of the Welsh Government, and that they will learn from "IT glitches" in England.

Michelle Brown
BBC

'Evidence suggests impact is limited'

Plaid Cymru's Llyr Gruffydd says the Welsh Government's focus is on the working parent "but that a lot of the evidence suggests the impact is limited in that respect".

He seeks assurance that the "£100 million plus investment" will have the necessary impact.

Llyr Gruffydd
BBC

'Fulfills one of our manifesto commitments'

Conservative Darren Millar says the "Childcare Offer" also "fulfills one of our manifesto commitments to extend childcare".

He raises several concerns, such as capacity within the sector to deliver the extension.

'Reducing some of the administrative and time burden'

Huw Irranca-Davies, Minister for Children and Social Care, says the Bill "will enable a technical solution to the management and processing of applications for the Childcare Offer, reducing some of the administrative and time burden upon parents and local authorities."

Huw Irranca-Davies
BBC

Welsh Government introduces its 'Childcare Offer'

The first statement of the day is by the Minister for Children and Social Care Huw Irranca-Davies, on the Childcare Funding (Wales) Bill.

The Welsh Government is introducing its "Childcare Offer", providing 30 hours of government-funded education and childcare for the working parents of three and four-year-olds for 48 weeks a year.

If the Bill being passed, it is envisaged that administration of the scheme will be carried out by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs who will accept applications and check eligibility for the Welsh Childcare Offer.

Childcare
Getty Images

'How incompetent does a council have to be?'

"How incompetent does a council have to be before being placed in special measures?" asks Plaid Cymru's Steffan Lewis, referring to the long-running dispute over pay rises for senior officers at Caerphilly council.

Anthony O'Sullivan, Nigel Barnett and Daniel Perkins were suspended after a critical audit report in 2013
BBC
Anthony O'Sullivan, Nigel Barnett and Daniel Perkins were suspended after a critical audit report in 2013
Carl Sargeant leak inquiry debate: Confidentiality warning by Jones
First Minister Carwyn Jones says confidentiality of witnesses could be at risk if AMs force publication of a report into whether the sacking of minister Carl Sargeant was leaked.

'Incredibly uncomfortable' for first minister

Journalists' tweets about First Minister's Questions

Business Statement and Announcement

The next item is the Business Statement and Announcement.

Leader of the House Julie James outlines the Assembly's future business and responds to requests from AMs.

Julie James
BBC

First minister tells the Llywydd Elin Jones she's 'losing control'

The first minister says Adam Price had personally attacked him and "he complains when he gets it back".

"Time to go" Adam Price tells the first minister.

The first minister tells the Llywydd Elin Jones she's "losing control".

Adam Price
BBC

'Running off to America rather than staying in Wales'

The first minister accuses Adam Price of running off to America rather than staying in Wales (the Plaid Cymru politician was in Harvard university before becoming an AM).

Mr Price says the first minister has responded with a personal attack on a question about personal attacks.

'Time to go, resign'

"Time to go, resign" Conservative Darren Millar shouts at the first minister.

Darren Millar
BBC

'If all documents are releasable... I don't see how government can continue'

Regarding the calls for publication of a report into whether details about a cabinet reshuffle were leaked before the death of Carl Sargeant, the first minister says "If all documents are releasable... I don't see how government can continue"

'Tortuous' and 'legalistic' response

UKIP leader Neil Hamilton says the first minister's earlier responses to Andrew RT Davies regarding the leak inquiry report were "tortuous" and "legalistic".

Mr Hamilton asked if the first minister wants to be seen as the Richard Nixon of Welsh politics.

The first minister says Neil Hamilton is the man that defends Enoch Powell.

Neil Hamilton
BBC

First minister 'quick to show his support for airstrikes'

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood asks whether the first minister supports military intervention in Syria.

The first minister recounts his phone-call with the prime minister. He says he had been concerned it would not be possible to take action without civilian casualties.

Leanne Wood says that without a single vote cast in this parliament, Westminster or anywhere else, the first minister was "quick to show his support for airstrikes".

The first minister says he would be skeptical of an escalation of military action.

Leanne Wood
BBC

'Without clarity whistle-blowers cannot be guaranteed confidentiality'

The first minister says there needs to be "further clarity" on the part of the law that would, through the motion tabled for debate, force publication of the leak inquiry report.

He says without clarity whistle-blowers cannot be guaranteed confidentiality.

'No legal power' to block a debate in the Assembly

The first minister insists he has "no legal power" to block a debate in the Assembly.

He adds the government has to protect a senior member of Welsh Government staff who would be at serious risk of prosecution if the motion, calling for publication of the leak inquiry report, were passed.

'Why are you trying to silence the assembly?'

Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies refers to the first minister's request to the assembly's Llywydd Elin Jones to call off a debate tabled by the Conservatives which calls for publishing a report into whether details about a cabinet reshuffle were leaked before the death of Carl Sargeant.

"Why are you trying to silence the assembly?" asks Mr Davies.

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'Broader scheme than the current school uniform grant'

The first minister responds to Lynne Neagle that "in the next academic year there will be a scheme in place that is broader than the current school uniform grant".

Carwyn Jones
BBC

50,000 more Welsh children in poverty by 2021

Lynne Neagle refers to an Equality and Human Rights Commission report which estimates there could be 50,000 more Welsh children in poverty by 2021.

She calls on the Welsh Government to look again at the decision to end the school uniform grant.

Lynne Neagle
BBC

Tackling child poverty in Wales

The first of the tabled questions is by Lynne Neagle seeking an update on the Welsh Government's policy to tackle child poverty in Wales.

The Welsh Government had set a target of eliminating child poverty by 2020 but claimed just over a year ago that welfare reforms had made this unachievable.

Welcome to Senedd Live

Prynhawn da.

The first plenary since the Easter recess begins with Questions to the First Minister.

Senedd
BBC