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Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

  1. Nadolig Llawen!

    That's it from the Siambr from 2017.

    Have a great Christmas.

    Senedd Live returns on Tuesday 9 January.

    Sion Corn
  2. Short Debate: construction industry

    The final plenary item of 2017 is the Short Debate.

    The topic chosen by Mike Hedges (Swansea East)is the construction industry in Wales.

    Construction
  3. 'Exciting work to find new and creative solutions'

    Minister for Housing and Regeneration Rebecca Evans talks about the "exciting work to find new and creative solutions":

    "a) the Welsh Government’s decision to start building new models of housing in 2017-18 through its Innovative Housing Programme;

    "b) that, of the 22 schemes approved for funding under the programme this year, 7 will be built using modular techniques with programme support totalling £5.6 million;

    "c) that a further £71 million will be available between 2018-19 and 2019-20 for the programme to build even more homes;

    "d) the welcome extension of the Property Development Fund to £40 million which will support SMEs to build more homes including modular housing and help to bring forward housing sites at an increased rate."

    Rebecca Evans
  4. Incentives to identify brownfield sites suitable for development

    Conservative David Melding calls on the Welsh Government to "examine incentives for local authorities and public agencies to identify brownfield sites that are suitable for development."

    David Melding
  5. 'Prevailing situation' regarding Gareth Bennett

    David Rowlands explains he is opening the debate "given the prevailing situation" regarding Gareth Bennett.

    David Rowlands
  6. United Kingdom Independence Party debate

    Modular housing is the topic of the UKIP debate, which they believe "can be used as an innovative component in addressing Wales’s housing needs".

    UKIP calls on the Welsh Government to:

    a) undertake a review of the planning process to remove red tape and barriers to individuals who wish to build their own modular home;

    b) establish a housing development corporation to acquire brownfield sites at existing use value and using compulsory purchase if necessary, where such sites have been undeveloped for three years or more; and

    c) develop a register of such sites and give priority on development to small-scale modular housing schemes, to incentivise individuals who wish to build their own home.

    Modular housing
  7. 'Transport infrastructure has often reflected prevailing power dynamics'

    Plaid Cymru's Adam Price says "transport has tended to be in Wales something that is done to us not for us, and certainly not for ourselves.

    "Our transport infrastructure has often reflected the prevailing power dynamics".

  8. 'Eye taken off the transport ball'

    Conservative Nick Ramsay says that "recognizing the importance of a modern public transport network to relieve pressure on Wales’s road network...seems common sense but how often over recent decades has the eye been taken off the transport ball?"

    Nick Ramsay
  9. 'Not just a project for engineers to play with buses and trains'

    Llanelli AM Lee Waters says "This is not just a project for engineers to play with buses and trains, and Ministers must make sure that different portfolios come together to capture this opportunity".

    Lee Waters
  10. 'Relieve pressure on Wales’s road network'

    We move on to the Member Debate in which

    Lee Waters (Llanelli)Mick Antoniw (Pontypridd)David Melding (South Wales Central)Nick Ramsay (Monmouth)Hefin David (Caerphilly)Suzy Davies (South Wales West)Mike Hedges (Swansea East)David Rees (Aberavon)Jenny Rathbone (Cardiff Central)Julie Morgan (Cardiff North)

    propose that the assembly:

    1. Recognises the importance of a modern public transport network to relieve pressure on Wales’s road network.

    2. Notes the evidence that a fully integrated public transport system - including active travel - is needed to provide a practical and attractive alternative to car use.

    3. Welcomes the commitment to the first stages of a south Wales metro.

    4. Endorses the commitment to develop a vision for a north-east Wales metro, and the allocation of funding for the development of a strategic outline case for a Swansea Bay metro, and calls on the Welsh Government to identify funding for full feasibility studies as a next step.

    5. Believes Transport for Wales must have the power to act as a development corporation - with the ability to capitalise on rising land values in areas close to metro stations - in order to lever in further funding to expand the metro network.

  11. Video content

    Video caption: UKIP AM says society faces 'implosion' from transgender rights

    UKIP's Gareth Bennett said society faces "total implosion" over transgender rights

  12. 'A single target unlikely to be helpful in taking forward our policies'

    Minister for Environment Hannah Blythyn sets out the Welsh Government's response, which can be seen in detail here.

    One of the Committee's recommendations - that the Welsh Government "must commit to ensuring a minimum of 20% urban tree canopy cover, to be addressed through Local Well-being Plans and Area Statements" - is declined because "a single target is unlikely to be helpful in taking forward our policies".

    Hannah Blythyn
  13. 'Not enough trees are being planted'

    Not enough trees are being planted in Wales and the Welsh Government needs to do more to meet targets, woodland organisations have said.

    Tree
  14. Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee report

    The first debate of the day is on the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee report: Branching out: a new ambition for woodland policies.

    Committee chair Mike Hedges presents the report which has 13 recommendations, the first of which is:

    "The Welsh Government must, as a matter of urgency, refresh its woodland strategy with the aim of significantly increasing planting rates. The refreshed strategy must include long term targets for woodland cover and must incorporate commercial forestry".

    View more on twitter
  15. Gareth Bennett's remark on transgender people ruled out of order

    The Llywydd Elin Jones rules that UKIP's Gareth Bennett must withdraw his remark about transgender people's "deviation from the norm" because they were "hateful".

    Mr Bennett refuses to withdraw the remark and walks out when the Llywydd says he will not be called until he does so.

    Gareth Bennett
    View more on twitter
  16. Gareth Bennett 'caused outrage'

    Joyce Watson claims UKIP's Gareth Bennett has "caused outrage" with his speech on equality and human rights in yesterday's plenary.

    View more on twitter
  17. Topical Question 3: small business rates relief scheme

    Adam Price (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr):Will the Cabinet Secretary make a statement on the introduction of a permanent small business rates relief scheme for Wales, following its announcement today through a written statement?

    The new permanent scheme will limit the number of properties eligible for small business rate relief to two per business in each local authority.

    The Welsh Government say this will "prevent larger businesses and national chains from benefiting from the scheme".

    Mr Price says, "by my calculation the proportion of small businesses that will benefit is around 70%, not all businesses as suggested by your [election] pledge",

    View more on twitter
  18. Topical Question 2: land transaction tax

    Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales)asks: Will the Cabinet Secretary make a statement on the reasons why the starting threshold for land transaction tax will increase for the residential main rates when the tax is devolved in April 2018?

    The chancellor announced last month first-time buyers would not pay duty on homes up to the value of £300,000.

    Mark Drakeford's original proposal for the new tax was that all homes in Wales up to the value of £150,000 would be exempt from April, but he has now decided that the threshold will be £180,000.

    The Welsh Government said the move would reduce the tax burden for about 24,000 homebuyers here - whereas keeping the chancellor's scheme would help around 4,500.

    It said the average buyer in Wales would save more than £500 under LTT compared to stamp duty, and about 80% of first-time buyers would pay no tax - the same proportion that is set to benefit from the Chancellor's tax relief for first-time buyers.

    Those buying a house in Wales worth between £180,000 and £250,000 will pay no stamp duty on the first £180,000 and 3.5% rather than the planned 2.5% on anything over that.

    Land transaction tax
  19. Topical Question 1: number of new homes

    David Melding (South Wales Central)asks:Given the recently released new house building figures for Wales, will the Cabinet Secretary confirm why the number of new homes built in Wales each year is shrinking?

    Minister for Housing and Regeneration Rebecca Evans says "the number of new dwellings started in Wales increased 2% in 2016/17 compared to the previous year".

    Mr Melding says "it is 10 years since this government achieved its target".