That's it from the Siambr from 2017.
Have a great Christmas.
Senedd Live returns on Tuesday 9 January.
That's it from the Siambr from 2017.
Have a great Christmas.
Senedd Live returns on Tuesday 9 January.
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."
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 Rowlands explains he is opening the debate "given the prevailing situation" regarding Gareth Bennett.
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.
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".
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?"
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".
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.
UKIP's Gareth Bennett said society faces "total implosion" over transgender rights.
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".
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".
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.
Joyce Watson claims UKIP's Gareth Bennett has "caused outrage" with his speech on equality and human rights in yesterday's plenary.
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",
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?
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.
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".
Plaid Cymru's Rhun ap Iorwerth emphasizes the need for the Welsh Government "to come forward with definitive figures and a vision about how many doctors we need to train in Wales"
Vaughan Gething says "if we are going to invest more in training doctors here in Wales we will need to see a greater return in terms of Welsh domiciled students".
UKIP's Caroline Jones asks what the Welsh Government is doing to improve access to out-of hours GPs, including use of digital technology.
Mr Gething says access is a "whole system issue...flow all through the health care system".
In terms of IT, Mr Gething says a soft launch has taken place of A&E Waiting Times Live, which gives patients “up-to-the-minute” information on waiting times.
Conservative Angela Burns says patients often have to travel outside their health board area for treatment for inflammatory bowel disease.
Vaughan Gething acknowledges "we do not have the number of specialist nurses that we would ideally like to".
We move on to Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething.
UKIP's Caroline Jones raises the issue of ambulance response times in South Wales West.
Vaughan Gething says the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg health board "exceeded the eight minute target for red calls in each of the last 19 months".
UKIP's Michelle Brown asks whether the cabinet secretary has committed to "ring-fencing funding for schools to offer look-after children additional learning time"?
Kirsty Williams acknowledges that "children who are care-experienced at present do not achieve the qualifications in the numbers I would like them to do so".
She adds the Pupil Development Grant is ring-fenced.
Conservative Darren Millar says just 2% of Welsh students made up Oxbridge's intake last year.
Kirsty Williams refers to the government's investment in the Seren Network - "a network of regional hubs designed to support Wales’ brightest sixth formers achieve their academic potential and gain access to leading universities".
Mr Millar raises questions over the Seren Network's value for money.
Plaid Cymru's Llyr Gruffydd says "it has taken four years to embed the Hwb+ virtual learning platform and getting more than 80% of schools using it... so why is it the best use of public funds to abandon the project?"
Kirsty Williams says "aspects of the platform have been less well used" and the government is developing new online resources.
Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies refers to the announcement by universities minister Jo Johnson that students in England are going to be offered degrees in two years with a £5,500 saving in tuition fees.
Kirsty Williams says she has "noted" the announcement and is "considering the evidence as to whether those two-year degrees are of sufficient quality and allow students to have the depth of learning that they need, and the cost implications".
Minister for Welsh Language and Lifelong Learning Eluned Morgan says the Welsh Government will publish an employability action plan in the new year.
The final plenary of 2017 begins with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams.
Plaid Cymru AM Llyr Gruffydd says Nathan Gill is so rarely in the assembly his car parking space is used by somebody else.
The committee now moves into private session.
Senedd Live returns for plenary at 1.30pm.
Tim Ruscoe says "domestic violence is categorically not a low income issue.
"This bill does nothing to address the effect of alcohol in domestic violence in families who can afford alcohol".
Tim Ruscoe tells AMs about examples of some families providing money to young people without considering the associated risks of how this would be spent.
Tim Ruscoe makes it clear that Barnardo’s Cymru supports the principle of the Bill.
However he also highlights some possible negative impacts, such as the possibility of substituting alcohol with other drugs, increases of offending to obtain alcohol, increases in exploitation for alcohol and a profitable black market for alcohol.
BBC Wales health correspondent
The latest study from Sheffield University, commissioned by the Welsh Government, once again suggests a minimum unit price of 50p for alcohol will have the greatest impact on hazardous and harmful drinkers. But it is also true to say that the new law is likely to have more of a financial impact on less well-off drinkers. Critics claim it is unfair that the poorest will once again be hit hardest - however worthy the aims of the law. But due to the fact that very few places have introduced a minimum alcohol price, concrete evidence is scarce. Much of the research is based on computer modelling and academic assumptions and predictions. But until a minimum price is introduced, runs for a while and is subsequently analysed, it is impossible to say with certainty how and to what extent a minimum alcohol price will change behaviour and improve health."
Lynden Gibbs from the Salvation Army says "I don't know any guys that I work with that actually enjoy what they are drinking.
"They just drink for the effect".