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Summary

  1. Children, Young People and Education Committee
  2. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs
  3. Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children
  4. Topical Questions
  5. Debate by Individual Members: revolution in transport technology
  6. Welsh Conservatives debate: travel entitlements for 16 to 24 year olds
  7. Plaid Cymru debate: north Wales economy
  8. Short Debate: Safeguarding and patient rights in the Welsh NHS - supporting the victim

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Sarah Down-Roberts

All times stated are UK

Hwyl

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

Senedd Live returns on Tuesday 24 October.

Senedd
BBC

'Supporting the victim'

The topic chosen by Bethan Jenkins (South Wales West) for the Short Debate is 'Safeguarding and patient rights in the Welsh NHS - supporting the victim'.

She focuses on the handling of sex assault allegations against a hospital worker who later killed a woman.

Nursing assistant Kris Wade admitted murdering neighbour Christine James in a sexually motivated attack in 2016.

An internal report found Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board did not "robustly" pursue sexual assault complaints against him by patients.

Wade killed Christine James at her Cardiff Bay flat
SOUTH WALES POLICE/FAMILY PHOTO
Wade killed Christine James at her Cardiff Bay flat

Motions to elect Members to committees

Members agree to proposals to elect:

  • Neil McEvoy (Independent) as a Member of the Petitions Committee.
  • Rhun ap Iorwerth (Plaid Cymru) as a Member of the Petitions Committee.
  • Adam Price (Plaid Cymru) as a Member of the Public Accounts Committee.

North Wales 'hugely prosperous' claims economy secretary

Economy Secretary Ken Skates says he is "incredibly proud of north Wales and the dynamic, forward-looking economy that it has," which he says is "a hugely prosperous part of Wales".

He says there is an "ambitious programme of investment being led by the Welsh Government in the region", including:

a) £250m of investment in the A55/A494 corridor;

b) £20m to establish an Advanced Manufacturing and Research Institute;

c) £50m to take forward the North East Wales Metro; and

d) plans for a third Menai crossing.

He adds the Welsh Government will bring forward an "Economic Action Plan that can support jobs and growth in the region".

'North Wales is well placed to receive a range of new responsibilities'

Conservative Mark Isherwood notes that the North Wales Economic Ambition Board's 'A Growth Vision for the Economy of North Wales' document concludes that "North Wales is well placed to receive a range of new responsibilities" and endorses its call for the devolution of powers by the Welsh Government over employment, taxes, skills and transport.

Mark Isherwood
BBC

Plaid Cymru debate: 'historic underfunding of north Wales by Labour'

Llŷr Gruffyddleads a debate on the north Wales economy, seeking to highlight the party's achievements for the area, including the two year budget deal, while scrutinising the Welsh Government's record on regional investment.

Plaid Cymru criticise the "historic underfunding of north Wales by the Labour Welsh Government", and Llyr Gruffydd calls on the Welsh Government to "bring forward, as part of its long-overdue economic strategy, genuine efforts to address the regional imbalances in the Welsh economy".

Llŷr Gruffydd
BBC

'New and ambitious Youth Travel Pass scheme from 2018'

Economy Secretary Ken Skates refers to the consultation launched by the Welsh Government to "develop a new and ambitious Youth Travel Pass scheme from 2018 that can encourage more young people to travel by bus".

He emphasises the need for any proposals to be fully costed and the importance of engaging widely with young people.

He says the Welsh Government's intention through Transport for Wales is to "encourage more young people onto a sustainable, integrated and multi-modal transport network".

Ken Skates
BBC

Austerity 'inflicted on victims with no mercy'

Rhianon Passmore, Labour AM for Islwyn, says "imagine my surprise when this Tory debate offered supposed largess to young people, the same group of members opposite who support this ideological obsessive policy of austerity that the UK Tory government is inflicting on victims with no mercy".

rhianon pasmore
BBC

Plaid Cymru support Conservatives' proposal

Dai Lloyd says Plaid Cymru support today's proposal by the Conservatives, and calls on the Welsh Government not to disregard ideas by opposition parties.

'Young people need a new deal for bus users'

Labour AM for Neath, Jeremy Miles says "young people definitely need a new deal for bus users, one which gives them free or cheap travel, but also improves travel time and experience".

Jeremy Miles
BBC

Welsh Conservatives debate

On behalf of the Welsh Conservatives, Russell George calls on the Welsh Government to:

a) extend eligibility for free bus travel entitlements to all 16 to 24 year olds in Wales; and

b) extend eligibility for railcard privileges to all 16 to 24 year olds in Wales.

Russell George
BBC

Motion by Individual Members passed

Members agree the proposal.

Wales should be on the 'crest of the wave'

Minister for Skills and Science Julie James reveals she restores old Minis "by way of relaxation".

She says Wales should be on the "crest of the wave" in terms of the revolution in transport technology.

Julie James
BBC

'Members debates real plus in fifth Assembly'

Political lobbyist tweets

'Fragile 16 kilometer depth of atmosphere'

Dai Lloyd calls on AMs to support the motion "to protect the fragile 16 kilometer depth of atmosphere that we all depend upon".

Dai Lloyd
BBC

£2m for electric charging points

Jenny Rathbone bemoans the lack of electric charging points in Wales, but welcomes the commitment for £2m for electric charging points as part of the budget deal agreed between Labour and Plaid Cymru.

Labour and Plaid Cymru
th

Debate by Individual Members

The first debate of the day is by Individual Members.

Jenny Rathbone (Cardiff Central)

Suzy Davies (South Wales West)Dafydd Elis-Thomas (Dwyfor Meirionnydd)Dai Lloyd (South Wales West)David Melding (South Wales Central)Eluned Morgan (Mid and West Wales)

propose that the National Assembly for Wales:

1. Notes that the speed of the revolution in transport technology challenges current planning assumptions and requires a major re-think in public policy and design.

2. Believes that transport manufacturers and their supply chains will need to adapt or die as the combustion engine is phased out within the next 20 years because of:

a) driverless vehicles, which will disrupt assumptions about private ownership of cars, urban town planning, managing road congestion and the role of buses to connect communities; and

b) electric vehicles, which require a more dispersed electricity generation and supply including charging points covering the whole of Wales;

3. Calls on the Welsh Government to outline the steps that it is taking to align policies with the pace of change and ensure all citizens will benefit, in line with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

Super-majorities for Assembly Bills

Members approve a motion to amend Standing Orders 26, 26A and 26B in relation to Super-majorities for Assembly Bills.

Plaid Cymru swap

Members agree to elect:

Dai Lloyd (Plaid Cymru) as a Member of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee in place of Sian Gwenllian (Plaid Cymru).

Sian Gwenllian (Plaid Cymru) as a Member of the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee in place of Dai Lloyd (Plaid Cymru).

Committee membership

Conservative Paul Davies expresses disappointment that the allocation of committee chairs "does not reflect the size" of the political groups.

The Llywydd's view can be seen here.

90 Second Statements

We move on to the 90 Second Statements, which can be used to raise any subject of concern.

For example, a Member may raise matters of pressing concern to their constituents, draw attention to local issues, mark anniversaries or significant dates, or pay a tribute.

'Disconcerting' that ministers found out from media

Labour's Joyce Watson says it's "disconcerting" that the Welsh Government and CSSIW inspectors knew nothing about the police referral by Powys Council - regarding allegations that Powys children's services figures have been manipulated - until they saw it in the media.

Topical Question 2: children put at risk by failures

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales)refers to the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) report expressing "serious concerns" about Powys' social services department.

The CSSIW report said there was evidence of missed opportunities to safeguard children and added: "The lack of assessment, intervention and support, together with poor follow up and oversight has and is placing children at considerable risk."

Simon Thomas wants to know what is being done to safeguard children in the next 20 days while Powys Council creates an improvement plan.

He also raises the issue of the authority talking to police about the potential manipulation of children's services performance data.

Minister for Social Services and Public Health Rebecca Evans says she expects "rapid improvement" by Powys Council "or more direct intervention action will be taken".

Rebecca Evans
BBC
Rebecca Evans says she expects "rapid improvement"

'You offer no timeline'

Health secretary Vaughan Gething replies, "we continue to have a constructive conversation with both the BMA and the Royal College of GPs in Wales about the high cost of indemnity insurance".

Angela Burns says "the trouble is you've been looking for an answer for over two years.

"You offer no timeline".

Angela Burns
BBC

Topical Question 1: medical insurance facing Welsh GPs

We move on to Topical Questions, which must relate to a matter of national, regional or local significance where an expedited Ministerial response is desirable.

The first is:

Angela Burns (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire): Will the Cabinet Secretary make a statement on the Welsh Government’s progress in bringing forward a long-term solution to the high cost of medical insurance facing Welsh GPs?

Baglan prison: 'opportunities to mitigate against flood risk'

Plaid Cymru's Bethan Jenkins raises the issue of plans to build a super-prison in Neath Port Talbot despite restrictions on the use of the site, and it being deemed a flood risk.

The site on Baglan Industrial Park in Port Talbot was chosen by the Ministry of Justice as its preferred option to house 1,600 inmates earlier this year.

The site, located close to the M4, is owned by the Welsh Government

Mr Sargeant confirms there is a covenant on the land, which is a legal agreement which can restrict how land is used.

The covenant suggests the land should only be used as an industrial park.

Mr Sargeant adds "there are opportunities for developers to mitigate against flood risk".

The proposed site
BBC

'Drug use and substance misuse on the increase'

In response to UKIP's Gareth Bennett, Carl Sargeant says that "drug use and substance misuse is on the increase", citing welfare reform as having a detrimental impact.

Carl Sargeant
BBC
Carl Sargeant

Help to Buy boost?

Conservative Mark Isherwood refers to Prime Minister Theresa May's announcement earlier this month that the government will find an extra £10bn for the Help to Buy scheme to let another 135,000 people get on the property ladder.

Carl Sargeant responds, "we have had no indication of any additional funding coming to Wales".

First Universal Credit payment after Christmas

Jayne Bryant (Newport West) says the six week waiting period will mean the first payment of Universal Credit for those in Newport will be December 27.

Jane Bryant
BBC

Support for Communities First employees

We move on to Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant.

Hannah Blythyn (Delyn) asks: Will the Cabinet Secretary make a statement on the support that is in place for Communities First employees?

Ms Blythyn says she hopes "during this transition period, the well-being of the committed workforce and their families will be given priority".

hannah blythin
BBC

The 'menace' of the killer shrimp

UKIP's Gareth Bennett asks about the "current level of menace" posed by the killer shrimp, an invasive alien species.

Lesley Griffiths has no information to hand, but will find out.

Brexit 'a great opportunity for Welsh farmers'

Ahead of the NFU Cymru Conference 2017 next month, UKIP's Neil Hamilton quotes NFU Cymru director John Mercer: "The Union firmly believes that we can make a success of Brexit if our collective focus is centred on supporting our industry to meet the challenge of feeding a growing world population with safe, quality, affordable food".

Mr Hamilton adds "this is a great opportunity for Welsh farmers" but he calls for a framework agricultural policy from the government as soon as possible.

Neil Hamilton
BBC

Decreasing residual waste levels

Conservative David Melding notes the Welsh Government supported a Plaid Cymru proposal yesterday to decrease residual waste levels through introducing a tax on non-reusable and non-recyclable plastics.

He seeks clarification on the details of the proposal, "or is it a vague reassurance to Plaid Cymru that they have continuing relevance?"

Lesley Griffiths says it's one of a number of measures that could develop a more circular economy for Wales.

David Melding
BBC

'Better to deliver on previous consultations before opening new ones'

Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas asks why the Welsh Government consulted on as many as 56 different proposals on the management of natural resources over the summer.

Lesley Griffiths says it is "particularly important in the light of Brexit to have the views of stakeholders".

Mr Thomas says "it would be better to deliver on previous consultations before opening new ones", citing nitrogen vulnerable zones as an example.

Simon Thomas
BBC

Role of local authorities in generating and distributing energy

Labour AM for Neath Jeremy Miles, referring to the growth in the role of local authorities in generating and distributing energy, such as Robin Hood Energy in Nottingham, says this "has not taken off in Wales".

Priorities for the farming industry

Plenary begins with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths.

The tabled questions can be seen here, beginning with Joyce Watson (Mid and West Wales): Will the Cabinet Secretary make a statement on the Welsh Government's priorities for the farming industry in Wales?

Lesley Griffiths says she wants to see "a more resilient, profitable and sustainable agricultural sector".

Back at 1.30pm

That's the end of the committee meeting.

Senedd Live returns for plenary at 1.30pm.

'Not focused enough on child development'

Mark Reckless asks, "are you saying the policy on childcare the Welsh Government is developing is too focused on supporting parents in working rather than on child development?"

Sally Holland responds 'yes'.

Mark Reckless
BBC

'No action plan for implementation of United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child'

Llyr Gruffydd reminds the commissioner that she has previously called on the Welsh Government to draw up a clearly-defined action plan for full implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).

Sally Holland confirms that no such action plan is in place even though she has "repeatedly discussed this with the relevant minister and his officials".

Reserves of around 20% of annual income

Conservative Darren Millar says "many people will be surprised that you didn't spend not far off 10% of your budget this year and you're carrying reserve of around 20% of your annual income".

Sally Holland says she's "taken on board concerns about reserves in the past" and adds she has "a reserves policy which is monitored regularly".

Cash
PA