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  1. Plenary begins at 13.30 with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs
  2. Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children
  3. Motion to amend Standing Order 12 in relation to Topical Questions
  4. Debate on a Member's Legislative Proposal: waste reduction
  5. Statement by the Chair of the Finance Committee on Ministerial Appointments: Pre-Appointment Hearings by Assembly Committees
  6. Debate by Individual Members: fourth industrial revolution
  7. Plaid Cymru debate: construction industry
  8. Welsh Conservatives debate: local government
  9. Short Debate: The Swansea Bay City Region

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK


The Assembly is in recess after this week for the Easter period. 

Senedd Live will be back on Tuesday 2 May. 


Swansea Bay City Region

The final item in the Siambr is a Short Debate by Mike Hedges on the Swansea Bay City Region. 

Swansea city centre and marina

Funding formula

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford says the government will support the Conservative motion, but expresses surprise that the motion does not include a call for the UK government to reform the funding formula.

'Outsourcing can work'

UKIP's Gareth Bennett says "outsourcing is becoming a fact of life for many councils. 

"Outsourcing can work but councils have to ensure that a good level of service is delivered to local residents". 

Sharing best practice across local authorities

Plaid Cymru's Sian Gwenllian highlights the "importance of sharing best practice across local authorities in Wales in order to deliver better public service outcomes for constituents".

She calls on the Welsh Government to introduce proportional representation for local elections to strengthen the accountability of local government and to improve local public services.

Sian Gwenllian

Welsh Conservatives debate

Conservative Paul Davies proposes that the assembly:

1. Recognises the important role played by local authorities in delivering significant public services across Wales.

2. Notes that strong and effective local government should see power put back into the hands of local people and their communities.

3. Acknowledges the important role played by small businesses in driving the Welsh economy and believes local authorities should work closely with the business community to encourage greater collaboration, innovation and entrepreneurship.

local authorities

'Intelligent use of policy and legislation across Wales'

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford moves the Labour amendment:

"Delete all after point 1 and replace with:

2. Notes the work of the Welsh Government in developing the Wales Procurement Policy Statement which has lowered barriers to procurement for small and medium sized enterprises right across Wales.

3. Recognises the need to grow capability within the Welsh public sector to maximise the impact of procurement spend within the Welsh economy.

4. Notes the intention of the Welsh Government to develop a new programme for procurement to help enable the Welsh public sector to make intelligent use of policy and legislation across Wales.

5. Recognises the Welsh Government's capital investment plans and the significant procurement opportunities presented by the South Wales and North East Wales metros; the 21st Century schools programme; the M4 relief road; building 20,000 affordable homes; improvements to Wales' transport network and other major infrastructure projects."

'Nothing that cannot be provided through existing channels'

UKIP's Michelle Brown says a national construction college for Wales "is a very grandiose-sounding development which would no doubt be a headline-winning story for Plaid, but in reality offers nothing that cannot be provided through existing channels".

Michelle Brown

Access public sector contracts

Conservative Mohammad Asghar calls on the Welsh Government to "implement measures that will enable Welsh companies, in particular small and medium sized businesses, to access public sector contracts".  

Mohammad Asghar

Plaid Cymru debate

Plaid Cymru propose that the assembly:

1. Notes the importance of forward skills planning to meet the future needs of the construction industry to deliver infrastructure projects in Wales and beyond.

2. Believes that reform of public sector procurement in Wales is needed to take full advantage of the social, economic and environmental potential of the purchasing power of the Welsh public sector.

3. Calls on the Welsh Government:

a) to bring forward a procurement bill to make it mandatory for public sector bodies to follow Welsh Government policy on procurement, to maximise the social and economic impact of construction;

b) establish a national framework for public sector procurement in Wales to ensure the ambitions set out in the Wales Procurement Policy Statement are delivered;

c) to increase levels of capital infrastructure spending to boost the economy in Wales, providing a much needed boost for the construction sector;

d) consider the case for establishing a national construction college for Wales to develop high quality skills in the construction industry.

Construction industry
Getty Images

'Essential we build bridges between people'

Economy Secretary Ken Skates says "in solving future challenges and adapting to an ever-changing world, it is essential we build bridges between people so we can develop knowledge and solutions".

Ken Skates

'A positive alternative to a bleak future for job opportunities'

UKIP's David Rowlands says, "are we to act as Luddites or is there an alternative solution? I think the proposals laid out in this debate do provide a positive alternative to a bleak future for job opportunities".

Read more about the Luddites

David Rowlands

'One in every two Welsh jobs'

"Automation could threaten one in every two Welsh jobs" warns Vikki Howells.

Vikki Howells

'Develop expertise'

"Businesses need to develop expertise to take advantage of the fourth industrial revolution" says Dr Dai Lloyd.  

Dr Dai Lloyd

March of the robots?

Debate by Individual Members

Lee Waters (Llanelli)

Jeremy Miles (Neath)

Hefin David (Caerphilly)

Vikki Howells (Cynon Valley)

David Melding (South Wales Central)

propose that the assembly:

1. Notes that the commonly-termed 'fourth industrial revolution' presents both challenges and opportunities to Wales' economy.

2. Notes that an estimated 700,000 jobs are at risk in Wales over the next two decades as a result of automation.

3. Believes that Wales has existing expertise that offers competitive advantage in emerging growth industries.

4. Recognises that, to capitalise on these emerging industries, we need to focus on rapid, agile approaches which adapt easily to changed circumstances.

5. Calls on the Welsh Government to revisit the Innovation Wales Strategy with a view to ensuring it reflects the scale and scope of the disruption we face, and commits to a strategic review of opportunities in emerging, high-growth sectors, where Wales has the potential to establish early market dominance as part of its work on developing a new economic strategy.

Lee Waters
Lee Waters

Pre-appointment hearing with Kathryn Bishop

The next item in the Siambr is about the government’s preferred candidate for the post of Chair of the Welsh Revenue Authority. 

Simon Thomas, as Chair of the Finance Committee, presents its report , which has the following summary:

"On 16 February 2017 the Finance Committee held a pre-appointment hearing with Kathryn Bishop. On the basis of the evidence provided at this hearing, a majority of the committee concluded that Ms Bishop is a suitable candidate for the post. 

"One member did not concur, expressing reservations that Ms Bishop had not demonstrated sufficiently any relevant lessons she had learnt from her non-executive role at the UK Border Agency 2010-12, at a time of reported failures of governance".  

Kathryn Bishop
Welsh Government
Kathryn Bishop

Debate on a Member's Legislative Proposal

Now the first of this afternoon's debates. 

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales)  proposes that the assembly: 1. Notes a proposal for a Bill on waste reduction. 

2. Notes that the purpose of the Bill would be to reduce waste through placing requirements on food producers and retailers in respect of packaging. 

He would like to see a deposit return scheme to be introduced on bottles and cans.  

Simon Thomas

Motion to amend Standing Orders approved

AMs approve a motion to amend Standing Order 12 in relation to Topical Questions. 

The Llywydd Elin Jones proposed that the assembly:

1. Considers the Report of the Business Committee 'Amending Standing Orders: Standing Order 12 – Topical Questions and Urgent Questions'  laid  in the Table Office.

2. Approves the proposal to revise Standing Orders 11 and 12, as set out in Annex B of the Report of the Business Committee.

It was approved to amend Standing Orders to re-name Urgent Questions as ‘Emergency Questions’, and for Standing Order 12.66(ii) to be amended so that the Llywydd must be satisfied that the question relates to a matter of ‘urgent national significance’ rather than ‘urgent public importance’.  

The Business Committee also proposed to introduce a new Standing Order 12.68A to enable the Business Committee to make time available for Topical Questions as part of Assembly time in Plenary. The new Standing Order 12.68B stipulates that it is for the Llywydd to select Topical Questions for answer from among those tabled that conform with guidance issued by the Llywydd.   

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Issues of topical interest

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

'Great success in delivering more homes'

UKIP's Gareth Bennett asks about efforts to increase the use of publicly-owned land for housing supply. 

Mr Sargeant claims the government has had "great success in delivering more homes for communities across Wales." 

Gareth Bennett

Local networks a priority

Conservative Mark Isherwood refers to the Young Foundation's report,   Valuing Place: The importance of place for understanding inequality and taking action in Wales .

He highlights the conclusion that "local networks need to be established as a priority to help encourage, train, mentor and connect people together who want to take local action".

Mr Isherwood also refers to the National Citizens Service, and asks for the Welsh Government to make progress on developing a similar scheme in Wales.  

Mark Isherwood

AMs' Big Issue challenge

Carl Sargeant accepts Bethan Jenkins' invitation to join her in selling copies of the Big Issue.  

She calls for a national strategy to tackle rough sleeping and for the ‘priority need’ category to be phased out to help more people. 

Bethan Jenkins

Questions to Carl Sargeant

Now we have questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant.  

Carl Sargeant

Lower nitrogen oxides limit for Aberthaw

Jane Hutt says that Natural Resources Wales has now finalised a new environmental permit for Aberthaw power station containing a lower nitrogen oxides limit.   

Last September, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) found the Aberthaw plant  had been emitting illegal levels .  

Aberthaw in the Vale of Glamorgan is one of only two coal-fired power stations still in operation in Wales.

It was found to have been pumping out more than double the legal amount of toxic nitrogen oxides from 2008 to 2011 in the case brought against the UK by the European Commission.

The UK Government was ordered to pay legal costs and could face further fines if pollution levels continue to breach EU law.


'Continuation Bill'

Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas refers to yesterday's vote in the Senedd which backed calls for "the Welsh Government to bring forward a continuation (Wales) bill in order to uphold Wales's constitution and convert into Welsh law all European legislation related to devolved policy areas". 

Plaid Cymru wants the continuation bill in response to the UK government's proposal  to hold EU powers at Westminster  before devolving them.

Jane Hutt says "we will not tolerate a power-grab from Whitehall, and it is unacceptable for the UK government to take powers currently exercised by the EU over devolved areas". 

Warning over bovine TB

UKIP's Neil Hamilton warns that the EU "might use the bovine TB situation in Wales as some kind of justification for banning exports of beef and other meat". 

Jane Hutt says the government received 993 responses to its consultation on a refreshed TB eradication programme, which is now under consideration. 


Government to 'respond positively' to recommendations?

Conservative David Melding calls on the government to "respond positively" to the recommendations of the Institute of Welsh Affairs' report on ‘ Funding renewable energy projects in Wales ’.  

Jane Hutt says the government "welcomes the IWA's contribution to what is the transformation of Wales' energy system.

"We are already delivering on many of the areas highlighted in the report". 

David Melding

Health and welfare of exotic animals

Simon Thomas calls on the government to take action to safeguard the health and welfare of exotic animals.

Jane Hutt says the "introduction of any new codes, including for exotic animals, will be considered in 2017/18".

Jane Hutt

Welcome to Senedd Live

Plenary begins with questions on the environment and rural affairs. Leader of the House Jane Hutt will answer questions on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths..  

The first of the tabled questions is by Simon Thomas on the well-being of exotic animals in Wales.

Cardiff Bay