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  1. 9am: Public Accounts Committee.
  2. The plenary begins at 13.30 with questions to the first minister.
  3. Stage 4 debate on the Environment (Wales) Bill.
  4. Stage 3 debate on the Historic Environment (Wales) Bill.

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Anwen Lewis

All times stated are UK

Nos da

That's the end of the Stage 3 debate on the Historic Environment (Wales) Bill and today's plenary.

Senedd Live returns tomorrow for the Enterprise and Business Committee.


Ecclesiastical buildings

Amendment 68 by Plaid Cymru's Bethan Jenkins, supported by Conservative Darren Millar - stating that "Welsh Ministers must provide a publicly-available list of ecclesiastical buildings in Wales which they consider to be of national or international importance" - is defeated. 

Ken Skates says it is "unnecessary" and involves an element of duplication. 

Historic place names

Bethan Jenkins' amendment 62 - to leave out 'historic place names' and insert ‘the commonly used current and historic names of places, landmarks and buildings’ - is defeated.

Ken Skates said it would be "resource intensive" and "could lead to current names, which are often business names, displacing historic names".   

Bethan Jenkins

Listed buildings: recovery of costs

A series of amendments by Conservative Suzy Davies regarding recovery of costs associated with listed buildings are rejected after the Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism, Ken Skates said they would "severely limit cost recovery by local authorities" and would be a "recipe for legal disputes".

Suzy Davies

Amendment 8 'lost'

Members vote against amendment 8 by Peter Black which would have inserted a new section including: "A local authority must compile, maintain and publish a register (the “local register”) of buildings of special local interest, together with any modification or revision thereof."

Cost was one of the reasons it was opposed by the government.  

Peter Black

Maintain historic environment records

The bill aims to make it easier for owners to manage their listed buildings by introducing management plans that will eliminate the need for repeated planning applications for similar works.

Councils must also maintain historic environment records to inform nearby planning decisions and must set up a register of nationally important parks and gardens.

More difficult to escape prosecution?

The new law to protect historical monuments and buildings in Wales aims 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.

The bill will give ministers powers to make owners who damage monuments undertake repairs.

In 2013, a stretch of the 1,200-year-old Offa's Dyke, on privately owned land between Chirk and Llangollen, was found flattened.

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 Bill

The final item today is the Stage 3 debate on the Historic Environment (Wales) Bill.  

No objections to the proposal

Members approve the Environment (Wales) Bill without objection.

'Congratulating the Welsh government"

Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas said " I congratulate the Welsh government for producing a range of legislation which compares with anything any other parliament in the world has produced."

Responses to the bill

While supporting the purposes behind the bill, the Liberal Democrats say it is not ambitious enough, while the Conservatives describe the legislation as a missed opportunity.

Plaid Cymru's Llyr Gruffydd claims to have "succeeded in making the case for stronger legislation on reducing carbon emissions in Wales".

Changes to the way natural resources are managed

There is now a Stage 4 debate on the Environment (Wales) Bill. 

In addition to making changes to the way in which natural resources are managed, the measure introduces laws in many other areas, including climate change, waste management, fisheries for shellfish and marine licensing.

Welsh environment

Smoke-free Premises Regulations approved

Members approve the regulations.

There were no objections.  

Exempt designated cells in prisons?

The next item is on the Smoke-free Premises etc. (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2016.

The purpose of the regulations 2016 is to amend the 2007 Regulations to exempt designated cells in prisons in Wales from the smoking ban for a time-limited period, “so that prisons in Wales can be supported to become operationally smoke-free in a safe and secure way during the period of the exemption”.

Tata Steel Task Force meeting

Edwina Hart says the second meeting of the Tata Steel Task Force was held yesterday.

Wales Office Minister Lord Bourne represented the UK government at the meeting in Cardiff.

Ms Hart says she will "establish a high-profile group to examine investment opportunities and consider options and ideas for regionally focused economic development for the area".

Edwina Hart

Update on Tata Steel

Members move on to a statement by the minister for economy, science and transport on Tata Steel.

The company announced last month that about 750 of the 1,050 job cuts being made around the UK would go at Port Talbot. 

Tata, Port Talbot

Business Statement and Announcement

Jane Hutt outlines the business of the Assembly for the next three weeks. 

AMs request statements on, among other issues, the future of community pharmacies, the Basic Payment Scheme for farmers, and services for people having treatment for cancer. 

'It is socialism' says first minister

"It is socialism, you're right," says first minister in response to a question on Flying Start, part of the Welsh government's early years programme for families with children under 4 years of age living in disadvantaged areas of Wales.  

1,700 jobs 'saved'

First minister says 1,700 jobs would have been "thrown away" had Cardiff Airport closed.

Cardiff-Anglesey air link is 'chaotic at best'

Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies says the Cardiff-Anglesey air link has been "chaotic at best".

Carwyn Jones responds by saying the twice-daily service was not disrupted last month before a new airline, Citywing, agreed to take over. 

The twice-daily return flights, running since 2007, get a £1.2m annual subsidy.
The twice-daily return flights, running since 2007, get a £1.2m annual subsidy.

Welsh government out-performed on house-building?

Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams says that the Welsh government has been out-performed on house-building by "Scottish nationalists and English Tories", and adds there are 90,000 people on housing waiting lists in Wales.

Kirsty Williams

Cuts to some mental health services

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood says some local health boards have cut budgets for mental health services, but the first minister responds, they have not been done with the approval of the Welsh government.  

Leanne Wood

Letter to Iain Duncan Smith

The First Minister Carwyn Jones says he's written to Iain Duncan Smith, the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions since 2010, asking him to drop an appeal against the so called bedroom tax court ruling.   

Last week, the Court of Appeal ruled that the tax discriminates against a domestic violence victim and the family of a disabled teenager.  

Croeso nôl

First Minister's Questions get underway at 1.30pm. 


The committee now moves into a private session. 

Senedd Live returns for the plenary at 1.30pm.

Call to devolve air passenger duty

Devolving air passenger duty "would be a significant game-changer" in terms of increasing opportunities for the airport says Roger Lewis. 

Airport value 'includes wider economic benefit'

Debra Barber says: "I know at the start of the negotiations Abertis were talking about £200m to buy the airport." 

She says the value of the airport included its wider economic benefit to the country and the number of jobs it supported. 

Debra Barber

Buying the airport was 'absolutely' the right decision

Roger Lewis says it is impossible to know whether the Welsh government paid the right price for it - but buying the airport was "absolutely" the right decision. 

Mr Lewis tells the committee: "Could one have paid less for it? Perhaps. Could one have paid more for it? Perhaps. One will never know. 

"Because what's in the mind of the seller - and you need a willing seller as well as a willing buyer - one will never know." 

He added: "Can we enhance the value of the enterprise going forward? Yes." 

Roger Lewis

'A fifth of what we required'

Debra Barber was operations director under Abertis, the previous owner.

Under Abertis, she says the airport submitted a programme - worth around £3m - for "critical infrastructure that needed to be replaced and we actually got about a fifth of what we required, which just about enabled us to do the stuff that we were required to do by regulation". 

Holdco - the holding company

Mr Lewis refers to Holdco.

This is the holding company by which the Welsh government owns the shares and oversees the airport. 

'Invited to consider the position of chair'

Responding to a question by the committee chair, Darren Millar, Roger Lewis reveals he was "invited to consider the position of chair" of Cardiff Airport by Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport.

'Closer links with Anglesey'

Roger Lewis says he "would like to develop closer links with the airport on Ynys Môn/Anglesey".

Maes Awyr Môn/Anglesey Airport
Alann Fryer/Geograph

'Infrastructure being worn down'

Debra Barber says prior to the Welsh government's purchase, there was a general feeling the previous owner, Abertis were "pulling away from interest in the airport, with infrastructure being worn down".


Roger Lewis – Chair, Cardiff Airport; Debra Barber – Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, Cardiff Airport
Roger Lewis – Chair, Cardiff Airport Debra Barber – Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer, Cardiff Airport

Initial valuation of £20m-£30m

Last week, ministers were accused of wasting tens of millions of pounds buying Cardiff Airport for around double an initial valuation of £20m-£30m.

Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies accused Labour of a "stunning failure to safeguard taxpayers' money" in paying £52m for the airport in 2013.

The estimate by accountants KPMG is in a report by the Wales Audit Office.

Cardiff Airport
Cardiff Airport

Bore da

The Public Accounts Committee gets underway at 9am, with an evidence session on Cardiff Airport.