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Summary

  1. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the First Minister
  2. Personal Statement: Darren Millar
  3. Statement: The Economic Action Plan
  4. Statement: Working Together for Safer Communities
  5. Statement: Connecting Wales, a strategic approach to Transport
  6. Debate: The Equality and Human Rights Commission Annual Review 2016-2017
  7. Debate: Stage 4 of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

Hwyl

That's it for today.

Senedd Live returns tomorrow morning for the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee.

Senedd
BBC

Bill passes Stage 4

That completes Stage 4 - the final text - of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill.

The Bill will create a single statutory plan, the individual development plan (IDP), to replace the existing variety of statutory and non-statutory SEN or LDD plans for learners in schools and further education.

The aim is to "ensure greater consistency and continuity and, unlike the current system, ensure that provision and rights are protected regardless of the severity or complexity of needs."

Education Secretary Kirsty Williams has outlined her proposed approach for how the new system will be implemented here.

education
BBC

Guide to the legislative process

Once a bill is introduced into the Assembly it undergoes scrutiny. This is generally a 4 stage process:

  • Stage 1 - consideration and agreement of the general principles of the bill
  • Stage 2 - detailed consideration of the bill and any changes by a committee
  • Stage 3 - detailed consideration of the bill and any changes by the Assembly
  • Report stage – an optional stage to make changes (if required)
  • Stage 4 – a vote by the Assembly to pass the final text of the bill.

Individual development plan to replace 'statements'

The final item today is the Stage 4 debate of the Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill.

The Bill passed Stage 3 on 21 November.

The Additional Learning Needs and Education Tribunal (Wales) Bill will set up a single system - called an individual development plan - to replace "statements" which currently address the needs of an individual aged up to 25.

It will also allow parents and young people to appeal to the special educational needs (SEN) tribunal, set to be renamed the Educational Tribunal for Wales.

Earlier this year it emerged that the bill will cost £13.1m more than previously thought.

'Focus on rights of minorities will impact negatively on rights of majority'

UKIP's Gareth Bennett creates a stir in the Siambr.

"Many of us in UKIP don't quite share the same enthusiasm for so-called human rights as people in other parties.

"We are specifically concerned that the increasing focus on the rights of minorities will ultimately impact negatively on the rights of the majority population".

He adds, "there's only so much deviation from the norm that any society can take".

Gareth Bennett
BBC

Concerns over increase in reported hate crime

Conservative Mark Isherwood expresses concerns over the increase in reported hate crime in Wales.

He says the Equality and Human Right’s Commission’s efforts to ensure that equality and human rights are embedded in work taken forward under the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2017 will require “real and meaningful dialogue between communities, individuals and their public services” as called for by the Future Generations Commissioner in her draft strategic plan.

'Lack of progress'

Plaid Cymru's Sian Gwenllian says the Equality and Human Right’s Commission’s aim of eliminating violence in the community is "hampered by the lack of progress in implementation of the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act (Wales) 2015".

Sian Gwenllian
BBC

'Unprecedented period'

Leader of the House Julie James says "this year's annual review covers an unprecedented period for equality and human rights in the UK.

"The UK's impending exit from the European Union brings with it uncertainty about many things, including the future of European funding streams."

Regulations 2017 approved

The draft Regulated Services (Service Providers and Responsible Individuals) (Wales) Regulations 2017 are approved.

Social Care regulations

AMs discuss the draft Regulated Services (Service Providers and Responsible Individuals) (Wales) Regulations 2017.

Part 1 of the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care (Wales) Act 2016 (“the Act”) introduced a new system of regulation of care and support services in Wales.

These Regulations include provisions for offences in the event of failure by a service provider or a responsible individual to comply with specified requirements.

Social care
Thinkstock

New Welsh transport appraisal guidance

The current transport strategy was produced in 2008.

Ken Skates says the "new Welsh Transport Appraisal Guidance will be published tomorrow, and will better enable transport planners to develop and implement interventions that better meet the transport needs of people living in Wales.

"This guidance will be critical to the success of the three metro programmes and delivery of key transport projects such as on the M4 and along the A55 corridor and the A40 in west Wales."

An artist's impression of M4 relief road
WELSH GOVERNMENT
An artist's impression of M4 relief road

'Connecting Wales'

The final statement of the day is by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport Ken Skates: "Connecting Wales, a strategic approach to Transport".

Ken Skates
BBC

'Understatement rather than a statement'

Plaid Cymru's Bethan Jenkins says Mr Davies' statement "should be called an understatement as it clearly understates the issues raised in both the auditor general's review and the Welsh Government review".

Bethan Jenkins
BBC

Effective management of performance of community safety?

Conservative Mark Isherwood questions whether the plan will improve strategic planning to better co-ordinate activity for community safety, and whether it will ensure effective management of performance of community safety.

Mark Isherwood
BBC

'Comprehensive and wide-ranging review'

Alun Davies says "we have now undertaken a comprehensive and wide-ranging review of community safety partnership working in Wales.

"I am confident this will help us further develop the many successes of the Welsh Government’s approach".

He adds, "In partnership with the Youth Justice Board Cymru we have achieved significant and sustained reductions in the number of first time entrants to the youth justice system.

"We have halved the number of fire casualties and fires including grass fires set deliberately.

"Welsh police forces have recruited an additional 500 community support officers paid for by the Welsh Government while many areas in England are losing these valuable community assets."

Alun Davies
BBC

'Unprecedented opportunity'

We move on to a statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services Alun Davies: 'Working Together for Safer Communities'.

On 7 February the late Carl Sargeant, as Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, announced a review of the way public services work together to help make our communities safer in Wales.

He said that "almost 20 years on from the ground-breaking Crime and Disorder Act 1998 that established a statutory requirement for public services to work together in partnership to improve community safety we now have an unprecedented opportunity provided by the current implementation of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 to establish a sustainable approach to partnership working in Wales that will deliver safer communities for future generations."

Carl Sargeant
BBC
Carl Sargeant

'Move away from satellite companies approach'

UKIP's David Rowlands says the Welsh Government "must move away from a satellite companies approach" to one that encourages those that establish headquarters in Wales.

David Rowlands
BBC

'No clarity about who the actors are'

Plaid Cymru's Adam Price welcomes "some aspects" of the plan such as the new focus on the foundational economy and decarbonisation.

But he describes it as "an action plan with five calls to action but no clarity about who the actors are".

He describes the decision to abolish the 48 advisory panels as a "mini bonfire of the quangos".

Adam Price
BBC

'Underwhelmed' by action plan

The Conservatives' economy spokesman Russell George says he is "underwhelmed" by the action plan, adding that there was no mention of the flagship enterprise zones and little on procurement.

He says it is Labour's fourth major economic strategy since devolution, and yet gross value added (GVA) has declined over that period.

Russell George
BBC

More than lip service?

Sarah Dickins

BBC Wales economics correspondent

Out: Nine priority sectors. In: three national sectors and four foundational sectors, one of which is food which used to be a sector in itself. Three plus four doesn't make nine of course, but it's not far off. And instead of economic regeneration being driven centrally, it will come through the three existing growth deals with the UK government. So are these big changes big enough to kick-start the Welsh economy and improve productivity, which when measured as gross value added (GVA) per person in Wales is 71% of the UK average? Those people who have been waiting for one tightly-focused "big idea" that will take Wales forward with more better paid jobs and higher living standards will no doubt be disappointed. It is less a radical plan to grow the economy than a collection of many tweaks and changes to try to improve it. Perhaps its bravest step is to tell businesses they have to think about the future, about decarbonisation and the way they treat their workforce in order to get Welsh Government cash. Over time it will be interesting to find out what business leaders privately feel about that and whether action will be taken to ensure it is more than lip service".

Regional approach to economic development

The first statement of the day is on a new economic action plan for Wales for the next decade.

The plan includes cutting the number of so-called priority sectors and a regional approach to economic development.

  • Priority sectors reduced from nine to three - advanced manufacturing (such as semi-conductors), tradeable services (including the likes of fintech, online insurance and creative industries) and enablers (digital, renewables and energy efficiency)
  • Four foundation sectors- tourism, food, retail and care - a new structure of support, improving skill development and sustainable business models
  • Bringing together direct Welsh Government finance for business into an economy futures fund - £100m a year - with businesses having to enter into an economic contract and satisfy they are delivering at least one "call to action" in areas ranging from innovation, research and development to exports
  • Three chief regional officerswill lead economic development in north Wales; south west and mid Wales; and south east Wales, working with existing city and growth deals, councils and regional skills partnerships

In south east Wales for example, the regional approach could be the "glue" to bring together the Valleys taskforce and city deal.

Wales is split into three regions in delivering the new strategy
SCOTT HORTOP/GETTY IMAGES
Wales is split into three regions in delivering the new strategy

Allegations of bullying within the Welsh Government in 2014

Darren Millar says he makes the statement "after much soul searching" but he feels a "moral obligation" to speak out.

He says he had tabled questions about allegations of bullying within the Welsh Government in 2014 after the late Carl Sargeant asked him to do so.

Mr Millar says it was "out of his loyalty to government and party he loved that he wanted these issues addressed".

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Personal statement by Darren Millar

Conservative Darren Millar is now making a personal statement.

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Welsh Assembly expansion: Vaughan Roderick's view
BBC Welsh Affairs Editor Vaughan Roderick says the fate of plans to expand the Welsh Assembly lies in the hands of Labour, which would lose its in-built advantage.

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

What goes on in Bedwas rugby club?

The first minister tells AMs for a second time that he was the first person to talk about a South Wales Metro - at Bedwas rugby club in 2009.

A role for Wales in reducing greenhouse gases?

The first minister says Wales has a role to play in reducing greenhouse gases.

Neil Hamilton suggests Wales is irrelevant in doing that.

Greenhouse gases
BBC

'Give greater protection to our landscape' from wind turbines

UKIP leader Neil Hamilton calls on the first minister to "give greater protection to our landscape" from wind turbines.

He says there have been many controversial projects involving wind farms in mid Wales, which he suggests desecrates the landscape.

The first minister says TAN (Technical Advice Note) 8 provides protection.

Neil Hamilton
BBC

Concerns about behaviour of special adviser?

Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies asks: "Were you at any time in October 2014 made aware – either by ministers or special advisers – of concerns about the behaviour of one of your special advisers. And did you ask one of your special advisers to look into those concerns?"

The first minister says he thinks this should be left to the independent adviser looking into whether he misled the assembly.

Andrew RT Davies
BBC

'People are dying on the streets'

"We as a government have delivered legislation on homelessness", says the first minister.

He says £20m is earmarked in the draft budget for homelessness services.

Leanne Wood says "people are dying on the streets. Still people are falling through the gaps."

She says she is "staggered" to hear the first minister suggest some people are on the streets out of choice.

Mr Jones says he himself was surprised to be told this.

End the concept of 'intentional homelessness'

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood asks if the first minister will end a test that she suggests would end the concept of "intentional homelessness".

Leanne Wood
BBC

Train cancellations 'not acceptable'

Conservative Russell George says he has a large number of complaints from regular travellers on the Arriva Trains Cambrian line, with a large number of cancellations and no alternative bus service.

It's "not acceptable", says Mr Jones, adding that rolling stock shortages are among the reasons behind cancellations.

'Proper network' of walking and cycling paths

The first minister says the Welsh Government wants to ensure there is a "proper network" of walking and cycling paths across Wales.

Carwyn Jones
BBC

Active Travel Act: 'councils are not being ambitious enough'

Regarding plans that local authorities have submitted under the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013, Llanelli AM Lee Waters says traffic volumes are top of his constituents' concerns and that councils are not being ambitious enough in encouraging people out of their cars.

Lee Waters
BBC

Welcome to Senedd Live

Prynhawn da.

The final session of Questions to the First Minister before the Christmas recess begins at 1.30pm.

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