Summary

  1. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the First Minister
  2. Business Statement and Announcement
  3. Statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Education: Self-Improving the Education System
  4. Statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure: Transport Modernisation
  5. Statement by the Minister for Lifelong Learning and the Welsh Language: The Welsh Language
  6. Debate: The First Supplementary Budget 2016-17

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

Hwyl

And that's it for today.

Senedd Live will be back tomorrow morning for a meeting of the Children, Young People and Education Committee.

Welsh Assembly sign
BBC

First Supplementary Budget approved

Members approve the First Supplementary Budget for the financial year 2016-17, without objection.

First Supplementary Budget 2016-17

And finally in the Siambr today, a debate seeking approval of the First Supplementary Budget 2016-17. 

The Finance Committee has made four recommendations regarding the budget: 

  • That the Welsh Government continue to take up opportunities to minimise costs of elections to the taxpayer. 
  • That in future the Welsh Government publishes greater evidence setting out the rationale behind budget allocations such as the business rate relief scheme, including details of the anticipated economic impact. This will assist Assembly Members and the people of Wales to scrutinise programmes in terms of their success and the value for money they offer. 
  • That the Cabinet Secretary presents information to ensure that it is possible to track allocations to departments and major projects over the course of this Assembly term. This should include enabling comparisons to be made when the portfolios of Cabinet Secretaries change. 
  •  That the Cabinet Secretary keeps the Committee informed of discussions with the UK Treasury on any decisions that may result in changes to the Welsh Government's budget in the coming months.  
Cash
BBC

Déjà vu?

Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas and Conservative Suzy Davies point out that Alun Davies' 'national conversation' on the language follows soon after the first minister's 'Sgwrs Fawr' (Big Conversation).

A consultation document at the National Eisteddfod

Alun Davies says one of the first things he intend to do this year as a Minister is "to consult on our long term vision as a Government about what needs to happen in order to meet this ambition. 

"The Government's current 5-year Strategy comes for the Welsh language expires at the end of March, so I'm looking forward to conducting a wide ranging debate over the next few months. 

"My intention is to publish a consultation document at the National Eisteddfod in August."

'A million people speaking Welsh by 2050'

Alun Davies reaffirms the commitment to ensuring there are a million people speaking Welsh by 2050.

In 2011, there were 562,000 Welsh speakers, according to the census.

Welsh language campaign group Cymdeithas yr Iaith had previously called for measures that would lead to a million Welsh speakers.

Mr Davies says, "It is our responsibility as Government to set direction but it is also essential that we all as a nation take ownership of the challenge. Not only to achieve a million speakers but to hear the language being used every day."

Alun Davies
BBC

Statement on the Welsh language

Now a statement by the Minister for Lifelong Learning and the Welsh Language, Alun Davies on the Welsh language. 

Cymraeg
Thinkstock

Construction from 2019

Mr Skates anticipates awarding infrastructure delivery contracts for the South Wales Metro in spring 2018, with construction taking place from 2019.    

South Wales Metro and Metro North

Ken Skates says the plans for the South Wales Metro include significant match funding from EU Structural Funds and "it will be difficult to deliver the same scale of transformation without a guarantee from the UK Government that funding will be available."

He adds, "We have already started work on a number of studies to help us deliver an outline business case for Metro North and we are working with key stakeholders to modernise the transport offer across the region."

Transport modernisation

Transport is the subject of the next statement. The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates is focusing on 'transport modernisation' with an update on the Wales and Borders Franchise and metro programmes. 

The metro is supposed to provide better trains, faster buses and light rail in Cardiff and the valleys.

It was announced last year that £600m will be spent on the current phase of the metro.

That included £125m from the UK government and £150m in European regional development funding.

Metro map
Welsh Government

'Looking at improvement in every aspect of the education system'

Kirsty Williams says the Welsh Government is "embarking on a major reform agenda – the biggest education reform we have seen in Wales since the 1940s". 

She says "I want to get to a place where teachers and school leaders are once again held in the very highest regard. We are looking at improvement in every aspect of the education system".

She announces the intention to establish a Welsh Academy of Leadership.

Exams
BBC

'Self-improving the education system'

'Self-improving the education system' is the subject of the next statement.

Liberal Democrat AM Kirsty Williams, appointed to the Labour cabinet by the first minister, has said that cutting infant class sizes to no more than 25 pupils would help improve standards.

An education expert and a Labour AM have claimed there are more effective ways of spending scarce resources.

Kirsty Williams
BBC

'Bureaucratic hurdles'

Rhun ap Iorwerth welcomes the review of the Independent Patient Funding Request system, calling the current system "a postcode lottery which makes hundreds of seriously ill patients overcome bureaucratic hurdles to get the treatment they need."

Rhun ap Iorwerth
BBC

£80m over the life of this government will be made available

Mr Gething announces plans for a new £80m treatment fund and review of the Individual Patient Funding Request (IPFR) process. 

He says the new treatment fund will support the "early introduction of the most innovative, high-cost medicines" recommended by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and the All-Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG).

tablets
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New treatment fund

Now a statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport, Vaughan Gething on the new treatment fund. 

One of Welsh Labour's key policy pledges for the election on 5 May was a new treatment fund for life-threatening illnesses.

Vaughan Gething
BBC

'As a society, as a system he was let down'

"What is clear to me from the Child Practice Review is that no single service or professional let Dylan down but that as a society, as a system he was let down and allowed to remain invisible and unreachable." says Mr Sargeant.

Conservative Darren Millar, who is on the Children and Young People Committee, said: "I'm appalled at the CPS's decision not to prosecute. I looked at the reasons why and it talks about the health and well being of the parents, it wasn't about the evidence, it was all about the parents.

"Given that the same individuals took out cases with an employer and contested them, I would have suggested that their health was in reasonable shape to go through the courts. We need to make an example of this, it shouldn't be dropped." 

Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas said he was disappointed with the statement. 

"Attempts to see Dylan were made by education officers, but they did not have a statutory right to see him. That's been addressed in the child practice review with a clear recommendation - a compulsory register of home educated children. 

 "This is a missing piece - are you kicking it again into the long grass?" 

'No knee jerk reaction'

Mr Sargeant says, "This was a highly  complex case and you would not expect me, or my cabinet colleagues, to respond in a knee jerk manner.

"That said I can report that whilst it is not routine practice to respond to Child Practice Reviews, I and my cabinet colleagues feel that the unique issues raised by this case warrant us writing immediately to all safeguarding boards in Wales and the National Independent Safeguarding Board drawing their attention to the issues raised and the findings of this report."

Carl Sargeant
BBC

Vaughan's verdict

The child practice review into the death of Dylan Seabridge

The next item is a statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant on the child practice review into the death of Dylan Seabridge, the eight-year-old boy who died from scurvy.

Dylan Seabridge became ill at his family's isolated farmhouse in Pembrokeshire, and died in 2011. 

A child practice review found that the boy had no direct contact with agencies such as doctors, nurses and teachers from the age of 13 months. 

The independent review report has called for the Welsh government to introduce a compulsory register of home-taught children.

Glynn and Julie Seabridge said they did not believe their son had scurvy
Wales News Service
Glynn and Julie Seabridge said they did not believe their son had scurvy

'Daring to dream, and being unafraid of the future'

Downcast AMs should take inspiration from Wales football manager Chris Coleman, Carwyn Jones says.

Mr Jones said despite pledges from the Leave campaign "we still have no guarantees from the UK Government that the £600m or so a year we receive in EU funding will continue to flow to Wales".

Without that money, the Welsh Government faces "a very large hole in our future budgets", he said. 

"So, yes there is uncertainty, but we will continue to lead and we will refuse to be gloomy," he added. 

 "Chris Coleman was a great example to us all when he talked about daring to dream, and being unafraid of the future."

Chris Coleman
Huw Evans Picture Agency

Using Brexit as a 'smokescreen'?

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies accuses Mr Jones of using Brexit as a "smokescreen". 

Mr Davies said: "Instead of prevaricating, and using the Brexit vote as an excuse for a lack of ideas, the First Minister should get on with laying down his Programme for Government. 

Brexit and EU Sign
Thinkstock

Metro project 'may not be in exactly the same form as before'

The Welsh Government will press ahead with the Metro public transport project but "it may not be in exactly the same form as before", the first minister tells AMs.  

'Referendum result has changed things fundamentally'

The first minister says "I had hoped to be here today with a freshly pressed copy of the Programme for Government in my hand.  

"However, it is not yet the time to do so.  

"The Brexit referendum result has changed things fundamentally.  

"There are many questions about the future to which we simply do not have the answers.  The impact of Brexit on our own budgets and programmes will be very considerable."     

 He is therefore delaying publication of the Programme for Government until September.

Wales and EU stars
BBC

Priorities for government

The First Minister Carwyn Jones now makes a statement about the priorities for government.  

Finances of local health boards

Simon Thomas requests a statement on the finances of local health boards, after it emerged that two Welsh health boards overspent their budgets by £50.7m between them in the 2015-16 financial year.

Hywel Dda in west Wales overspent by £31.2m, and north Wales' Betsi Cadwaladr by £19.5m.

Previous Health Minister Mark Drakeford warned earlier in 2016 that both health boards were unlikely to break even.

hospital
Thinkstock

Business Statement and Announcement

Next on the agenda is the Business Statement and Announcement where Leader of the House Jane Hutt outlines the future business of the Assembly. 

Tata have agreed to an urgent meeting

Mr Skates says says Tata have agreed to an urgent meeting.  

Neil Hamilton asks why the Cabinet Secretary "doesn't come clean" that he has nothing useful to offer David Rees' constituents.  

'Concerns about the disingenuousness of Tata'

Conservative Suzy Davies says there are "serious concerns about the disingenuousness of Tata".  

Suzy Davies
BBC

Merger could lead to the 'demise of the Welsh steel industry'

Plaid Cymru's Adam Price expresses fears that the proposed steel merger could lead to the 'demise of the Welsh steel industry'.  

Adam Price
BBC

'Show your mettle in a way Margaret Thatcher never did'

Mr Skates says,  "My message to Theresa May is 'show your mettle in a way Margaret Thatcher never did in supporting steel' ".  

Theresa May
BBC

Constituents have waited a 'hellish' period of time for certainty

David Rees says his constituents have waited a "hellish" period of time for certainty - "we haven't got it".  He calls for the Welsh Government to look at every option to keep the blast furnaces lit.

He also asks for the government to push for the Tata Steel sale process to be reopened.  

David Rees
BBC

'Extensive dialogue with Tata'

Ken Skates says the Welsh Government is "continuing our extensive dialogue with Tata, and are continuing to press the UK government on a number of points including appropriate relief from high energy  costs and a need for a solution on pensions".

Ken Skates
BBC

Urgent Question

David Rees, AM for Aberavon asks for details of discussions the Welsh Government has had with TATA Steel and the UK Government following the announcement of TATA's intentions to suspend the sales process of its UK steel making operations.

Last week, Tata Steel said it was in joint venture talks with Germany's Thyssenkrupp.  

In March, Tata Steel said it intended to sell all or part of its UK business.

It employs more than 4,000 workers at its plant in Port Talbot in Wales, and over 2,000 more at its speciality businesses in Hartlepool, Rotherham and Stocksbridge.

Tata Steel employs more than 4,000 workers at its plant in Port Talbot in Wales
Getty Images
Tata Steel employs more than 4,000 workers at its plant in Port Talbot in Wales

Replacement funding for EU farming cash will be 'Barnettised'

The first minister says he fears replacement funding for EU farming cash will be "Barnettised" which would mean a "substantial reduction".   

farming
Getty Images

NHS Wales 'an attractive place to work'

The first minister moots an international campaign to market NHS Wales "as an attractive place to work".  

Around 6% of doctorsin Wales were trained in another EU country.

NHS
Thinkstock

'Quid pro quo' with Tata

BBC's Daniel Davies tweets

'Access to the single market to be an absolute red line'

BBC Wales political editor tweets

Devolution of policing: 'matter of timing'

Leanne Wood says Labour MPs have abstained on Welsh Government policy on the devolution of policing.  "Why are your MPs letting the Tories off the hook?"

The first minister says it is a matter of timing and not principle.   

police
Getty Images

Two red lines in Brexit negotiating position

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood asks for confirmation that the first minister would come to an agreed Brexit negotiating position.

The first minister says that there are two red lines - the single market and replacing EU funding.

Leanne Wood
BBC

FM 'saved from radical surgery'

The first minister says he's been "saved from radical surgery" after a newspaper corrected a claim that women would soon be in power across the UK.  

Carwyn Jones
BBC