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  1. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the First Minister
  2. Statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services: Our Valleys, Our Future Progress Report
  3. Legislative Consent Motion on the Non-domestic Rating (Nursery Grounds) Bill
  4. Debate: The First Supplementary Budget 2018-19
  5. Debate: The Affordable Housing Supply Review

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

Hwyl fawr

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

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


Welsh Government motion passed unamended

The Welsh Government motion on the Affordable Housing Supply Review is passed unamended.

First Supplementary Budget 2018-19 approved

AMs approve the First Supplementary Budget for the financial year 2018-19.

There were 30 for, 23 abstentions, and nobody against.

Mark Drakeford

'Classic large firm, oligarchy behavior, and as a socialist that disgusts me'

Labour AM for Caerphilly Hefin David quotes from the Independent Review of Build Out Rates by Sir Oliver Letwin MP:

"The fact that a major house builder holds large amounts of land, is explained by the fact that the major house builders need to maintain a sustainable business and seek to do this by ensuring that they, rather than their competitors, hold as much of the land on which they will later wish to build as is compatible with their capital constraints. This may well enable them to minimise market entry".

Mr David says, "that's classic large firm, oligarchy behavior, and as a socialist that disgusts me".

Conservative David Melding shouts out, "as a capitalist, it disgusts me".

Hefin David

'20,000 affordable homes will not meet current or future needs'

On behalf of Plaid Cymru, Bethan Sayed disagree's with the Welsh Government's assertion that their target of building 20,000 affordable homes is "ambitious".

She says that "independent advice and analysis has demonstrated that 20,000 affordable homes over the course of this Assembly term will not meet current or future needs".

Plaid Cymru:

  • "Calls on the Welsh Government to have a long-term plan for increasing the amount of affordable housing to meet the needs of local communities throughout Wales, recognising that this can be achieved in different ways.
  • "Calls on all new social and council housing, where possible, to have solar panels installed, to ensure that tenants can benefit from lower energy bills.
  • "Regrets that the number of empty homes in Wales has increased over recent years, despite the Welsh Government’s Houses into Homes scheme.
  • "Notes the scope and agreed work streams of the affordable housing review.
  • "Calls on the affordable housing review to examine the wider context of access to public services in new estates, noting that poor access to public services can significantly increase costs faced by people living in such estates, particularly those on a low income.
  • "Calls on the review to include tenants groups and those in the private rented sector, so that they can inform the future social and rented housing landscape in Wales."
Bethan Sayed

'Accelerate the construction of modular housing'

UKIP's Gareth Bennett expresses regret that "fewer than 3,000 additional affordable homes have been delivered in each of the last six years for which statistics are available".

He calls for the Welsh Government to "accelerate the construction of modular housing in order to deliver additional affordable housing units at pace."

'Our ambition should be homes for all'

Conservative David Melding says "our ambition should be homes for all".

The Conservatives propose to delete all of the Welsh Government motion and replace with a proposal that the National Assembly for Wales:

1.Recognises the importance of increasing the supply of affordable homes in Wales.

2. Notes the scope and agreed work streams of the affordable housing review.

3. Recognises the robustness of the late Professor Holman’s alternative projection, 'Future Need and Demand for Housing in Wales', as a basis for predicting housing need.

4. Calls on the Welsh Government to replicate the ambition of Welsh housing associations, who are aiming to double their current rate of new house building to achieve 75,000 new affordable homes in Wales by 2036.

David Melding

Recommendations by the end of April 2019

Minister for Housing and Regeneration Rebecca Evans talks about the independent review of affordable housing supply in Wales which will be expected to issue a report and make recommendations to her by the end of April 2019.

The review will:

  • examine the scope for increasing match funding to build more affordable homes, to maximise the number of homes created by the Welsh Government’s contribution to social housing
  • review the arrangements governing partnership working between local authorities and housing associations
  • consider the implications of moving to deliver zero carbon homes by 2020, including the role of off-site manufacture and modern methods of construction
  • review the standards governing affordable housing and advise on whether they require updating
  • make recommendations regarding a sustainable rent policy that will both allow long term affordability for tenants and allow viability of existing and new housing developments.
Rebecca Evans

'Ambitious target of building 20,000 affordable homes'

The final item of the day is a debate on the Affordable Housing Supply Review.

The Welsh Government proposes that the National Assembly for Wales:

"1. Recognises the importance of increasing the supply of affordable homes in Wales; and the Welsh Government’s commitment to doing so through its ambitious target of building 20,000 affordable homes during this term of Government - towards which good progress is being made

"2. Recognises the Welsh Government is laying the groundwork for the prospect of building more affordable housing in the future, in response to a range of housing needs

"3. Notes that the Welsh Government is working to create the conditions which drive innovation and improvements in terms of design, quality and energy efficiency in housing provision

"4. Notes the scope and agreed work streams of the affordable housing review."

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Conservatives to abstain

Nick Ramsay confirms that the Conservatives will abstain in the vote on the First Supplementary Budget 2018-19 "as we didn't support the original budget, and these are amendments to it".

Nick Ramsay

'Additional information would be helpful at the draft budget stage'

Finance committee chair Simon Thomas presents their scrutiny report of the supplementary budget.

The committee has identified areas where additional information would be helpful at the draft budget stage.

Simon Thomas

Debate on the First Supplementary Budget

We move on to a debate on the First Supplementary Budget 2018-19.

This supplementary budget amends the Final Budget 2018-19.

The supplementary budget documentation shows that there are no changes to taxation or borrowing, whilst borrowing repayments have decreased by £0.5 million to reflect the lower than anticipated levels of borrowing in 2017-18.

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Legislative Consent Motion approved

AMs approve a Welsh Government proposal "that the National Assembly for Wales, in accordance with Standing Order 29.6, agrees that provisions in the Non-Domestic Rating (Nursery Grounds) Bill, relating to non-domestic rates, insofar as they fall within the legislative competence of the National Assembly for Wales, should be considered by the UK Parliament."

'Need for a radical change in what we do and how we do it'

Calling on the Welsh Government to be "bold", the report by Chwarae Teg stated: "To deliver the change required to be a world leader for gender equality there will be a need for a radical change in what we do and how we do it."

About 42% of senior Welsh Government officials are women.

To help new mothers back to work within the government, the report says fathers who share parental leave with their partners should be paid the higher - or enhanced - rate of maternity pay.

The report also highlights delays in implementing the Violence Against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act, passed by the assembly in 2015.

People who gave evidence talked about a "'culture of disbelief' in which often the default position of authorities is to disbelieve a report of harassment or sexual assault; a position that is not seen when other crimes, such as theft, are reported", it added.

'That's not feminism, it's humanism'

UKIP leadership contender Caroline Jones says "we have to fight misogyny, stand up to domestic violence and challenge gender stereotypes.

"That's not feminism, it's humanism".

Welsh Government's childcare offer 'not fit for purpose'

Plaid Cymru's Sian Gwenllian calls on the Welsh Government to lead by example as both an employer and a policy-maker to drive lasting change.

As an example, she says the Welsh Government's childcare offer is "not fit for purpose".

Sian Gwenllian

'Nervous of criticizing Welsh Government policy'

The final theme of the report, ‘External Scrutiny and Accountability’, finds that external scrutiny is welcomed and that effective scrutiny drives behaviour change.

Conservative leadership contender Suzy Davies questions whether "some quarters are nervous of criticizing Welsh Government policy" in case they are less likely to receive Welsh Government support in the future.

Suzy Davies

'We can and will do better'

Leader of the House Julie James says "we need to strengthen the current vision and leadership in Wales and build on our existing legislative and regulatory framework to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment.

"The report makes it clear that this framework and how the various pieces fit together is not well understood by stakeholders and is consequently perceived as not fully integrated.

"We can and will do better."

Report by charity Chwarae Teg

We move on to a Statement by the Leader of the House, Julie James, on the Review of Gender Equality.

More women are needed as senior civil servants if the first minister is to fulfil a pledge to lead a feminist government, a report by charity Chwarae Teg has said.

According to Chwarae Teg, radical change is needed to ensure equality between men and women.

Grant funding provided to Chwarae Teg for phase one of the review was £39,360.

Progress against the Welsh Government's equality objectives is captured and reported in annual reports on equality.

Public bodies have duties towards gender equality, but the report says in some cases there are "tick-box responses".

The report calls for the Welsh Government to be "bold" on gender equality
Getty Images
The report calls for the Welsh Government to be "bold" on gender equality

'Voice of local people'

UKIP's Gareth Bennett seeks assurance that the "voice of local people will be represented in the plans", and that their voice will lead to "meaningful change".

Gareth Bennett

Valleys taskforce 'not of the scale required to deal with the challenge'

Plaid Cymru’s Adam Price says the valleys taskforce is "not of the scale required to deal with the challenge" in regenerating Valleys communities.

He describes the taskforce as having "no real budget, lacking political clout" and without the ability to transform.

He contrast this with the City Regions "which have both money and political buy-in".

Adam Price

Concern over Bevan Foundation conclusions

Conservative Mark Isherwood quotes a social policy think-tank which has said the action plan is "bland" and not reaching those who most need it.

He expresses concern that the Bevan Foundation concluded it was "more of the same".

The Merthyr Tydfil-based Bevan Foundation said recent investment in Taffs Well and Nantgarw was not in core valley areas.

Mark Isherwood

What has happened so far?

Seven "strategic hubs" were unveiled to focus public money and attract private sector investment.

In a progress report, the Welsh Government said 1,000 people have been helped into work in the last 12 months and an additional 100 new enterprises have been created in the taskforce area.

Transport for Wales is to be based in Pontypridd and the Department for Work and Pensions is setting up a new headquarters in Nantgarw, with staff moving from Cardiff, Newport, Cwmbran, Merthyr and Caerphilly in 2021.

An industrial clothing factory is opening in Ebbw Vale and a train depot is to open in Taffs Well.

Alun Davies says he is hopeful of more job announcements soon.

Welsh Government

'Deliver real and lasting change'

Alun Davies, who represents the valleys constituency of Blaenau Gwent, says people were not looking for quick fixes but "a serious programme" to address issues.

He says they also want a better quality of life, access to public transport, support for learning and issues like fly-tipping tackled.

He claims the 7,000 jobs target is "realistic" at a time of great economic pressures, and there is a vision beyond it.

He says it was now time for investment in individual projects to begin and it was a "serious effort to deliver a comprehensive investment programme", to "deliver real and lasting change".

Alun Davies

Aim of creating 7,000 new jobs

The first statement of the day is by the Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services Alu Davies, on the Our Valleys, Our Future Progress Report.

The action plan to revitalise the valleys included a promise of thousands of jobs and work to improve public services, health, wellbeing and tourism.


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

How many children with epilepsy could benefit from cannabis oil?

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood asks if an assessment has been undertaken on how many children in Wales have severe epilepsy and could also benefit from cannabis oil.

The first minister says restrictions would need to be removed by the UK government before it could be prescribed in Wales.

Cannabis oil

'People in Cardiff misled on the local development plan'

Independent AM Neil McEvoy alleges that people in Cardiff were misled on the local development plan, blaming Labour.

"I am not or have ever been the leader of Cardiff council", replies Carwyn Jones.

Neil McEvoy

Supporting young people with autism

Paul Davies calls on the Welsh Government to support his autism bill.

The first minister says the Welsh Government will do all they can to support young people with autism, but it does not have to be done through a bill.

'Failing to deliver support for children with disabilities'

Interim Conservative group leader Paul Davies says a report by the children's commissioner is very worrying and shows that the Welsh Government is failing to deliver support for children with disabilities.

The first minister replies that it is important that a proper response is given by government to the report.

Paul Davies

Ratification of Brexit deal

Any Brexit deal should be ratified by the parliaments of the UK, and if that doesn't happen, by an election or a referendum on the deal itself, Carwyn Jones says.

First minister 'refusing to accept reality'

Leanne Wood accuses the first minister of refusing to accept reality and not doing enough to protect Wales from a no-deal Brexit.

She asks him to back a "people's vote" on the final deal.

'No mitigation against a no-deal Brexit'

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood asks if the first minister will commit to developing a no-deal Brexit plan to protect jobs.

Carwyn Jones says there is "no mitigation against no deal.

"The reality is we will lose jobs".

It seems the UK government is "listening", given the Chequers agreement is nearer to where the Welsh Government wants to be on Brexit, he says.

Leanne Wood

'Number of businesses concerned' about a hard Brexit

"It is clear a number of businesses are concerned" about a hard Brexit, says the first minister.

There are no guarantees on money for agricultural subsidies, he tells AMs.

What is the first minister's position on Brexit?

Caroline Jones asks what the first minister's position is on Brexit - the earlier position he set out with Plaid Cymru, or is it the Labour position?

"The former", he replies.

Caroline Jones says Wales can capitalise on opportunities presented from Brexit, giving a number of examples including bespoke agriculture policies.

Caroline Jones
'It's a win-win for the farm and nature'
A post-Brexit subsidy shake-up will introduce funds to boost environmental and business performance.

'We need a Labour government in Whitehall'

Carwyn Jones disagrees with Caroline Jones' Brexit argument but says the UK government is, indeed, in turmoil.

"That's why we need a Labour government in Whitehall", he says.

'A complete hash of Brexit'

UKIP group leader Caroline Jones says the UK government is "in turmoil and seems determined to make such a complete hash of Brexit that we have no choice but to remain in the EU", criticising the proposals agreed at Chequers.

Caroline Jones

'Time for Conservatives to show some leadership'

The Conservative party is "absolutely divided", says the first minister.

"It's time for them to get a grip and show some leadership," he says.

Carwyn Jones