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Live Reporting

Alun Jones and Eleanor Gruffydd-Jones

All times stated are UK

  1. Hwyl fawr

    That brings the plenary to a close.

    Senedd Live returns tomorrow. Take care.

  2. Corporate joint committees for local government collaboration

    MSs approve the establishment of four regional committees - covering north Wales, mid Wales, south east Wales and south west Wales - to co-ordinate major transport, planning and economic development projects.

    The Welsh Government hopes to have the committees up and running by September 2021.

    Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Conservatives stated their intention during debate to oppose the majority of the regulation motions.

  3. Remote meetings and electronic documents allowed for councils

    MSs approve the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021 (Consequential Amendments and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2021 allowing meetings to take place remotely and documents to be available electronically, as has temporarily been the case during the pandemic.

    There were 46 for, two abstentions and one against.

  4. Legislative Consent Motion on the Financial Services Bill approved

    The City/ Bank of England

    MSs have voted in favour of applying the UK Government's Financial Services Bill to Wales.

    This aims to ensure the UK's regulatory framework continues to function effectively now the UK has left the EU.

    New rules include a prudential regime for investment firms, and introducing a mechanism to simplify the process for marketing overseas investment funds in the UK.

  5. What is a Legislative Consent Motion?

    A legislative consent motion is the way the Welsh Parliament approves of the UK Parliament passing a law on a devolved matter.

    Usually the UK Parliament will not legislate on a devolved policy area without the consent of the relevant devolved legislature, under, what is known as, the Sewel Convention.

  6. Domestic Abuse Bill Legislative Consent Motion approved

    Crying

    MSs have voted in favour of the applying the UK Government's Domestic Abuse Bill to Wales.

    This would establish a Domestic Abuse Commissioner, prevent cross-examination in person in family proceedings in certain circumstances and extends the extraterritorial jurisdiction of the criminal courts in England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to further violent and sexual offence, amongst other provisions for victims of domestic violence and abusers.

    Jane Hutt, Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, says the killing of Sarah Everard has re-ignited a national conversation about women’s safety, adding the Domestic Abuse Bill 'must make the strongest possible contribution to protecting women'.

  7. Climate Change (Wales) Regulations 2021 approved

    Motorway

    MSs have voted in favour of:

    •The Environment (Wales) Act 2016 (Amendment of 2050 Emissions Target) Regulations 2021

    • The Climate Change (Interim Emissions Targets) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021

    • The Climate Change (Carbon Budgets) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021

    • The Climate Change (Net Welsh Emissions Account Credit Limit) (Wales) Regulations 2021

    These regulations amend emissions targets, notably changing Wales' commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% in 2050, to 100%, or 'net zero'.

    These also add measures to deal with emissions from international shipping and internal aviation as well as tightening the Welsh Government's carbon budget (maximum limit on the total amount of Welsh emissions permitted over a 5-year budget period) for the next decade.

  8. Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 passed

    MSs approve the Allocation of Housing and Homelessness (Eligibility) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2021 which gives 'stateless persons' such as refugees access to housing and housing assistance in Wales.

  9. Councils given extension to assess Gypsies' and Travellers' accommodation needs

    MSs have approved The Assessment of Accommodation Needs of Gypsies and Travellers (Extension of Review Period) (Wales) (Coronavirus) Order 2021.

    This allows the local authorities an extra year to conduct the required assessment of the local accommodation needs of Gypsies and Travellers in the community, as effective engagement has been difficult to undertake during to the pandemic.

  10. New regional committees to co-ordinate transport and planning?

    MSs now turn to the idea of regional committees being proposed by the Welsh Government after controversial council merger plans raised in 2015 were dropped.

    The Welsh Government felt the 22 local authorities were too small to be effective and efficient, but abandoned the idea of mergers in 2018 in the face of fierce opposition from councils.

    Instead, the proposal is that four regional committees - covering north Wales, mid Wales, south east Wales and south west Wales - be set up to co-ordinate major transport, planning and economic development projects.

  11. Education Workforce Council

    MSs approve the draft Education Workforce Council (Interim Suspension Orders) (Additional Functions) (Wales) Order 2021.

    This Order adds to the functions of the Council so that the council may, by way of an Interim Suspension Order (“ISO”), suspend a Registered Person from the public register prior to the outcome of an investigation and disciplinary hearing, which they are currently unable to do.

  12. The 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme

    School classroom

    Minister for Education Kirsty Williams is updating MSs on the progress of the 21st Century Schools and Colleges Programme.

    This is a long-term investment in school buildings across all 22 local authorities in Wales, to support the rebuild and refurbishment of over 150 schools and colleges.

    First proposed in 2009, the programme is 50% funded by Welsh Government using a combination of capital and revenue funding, with the remaining 50% provided by local authorities and others.

    Kirsty Williams says £1.5bn has been spent over the course of the programme and a number of projects have been achieved ahead of schedule.

    It aims to improve the condition of school infrastructure, reduce surplus capacity, reduce running costs by targeting improvements and focus on demand for places in Welsh medium and faith-based schools.

  13. Tax to fund social care: A 'longer term potential solution'

    Health Minister Vaughan Gething says that a 'tax solution' for raising funds for social care is a more likely 'longer term potential solution' but not one for the immediate future.

    Last year he said that the Inter-Ministerial Group discussed a social care levy, proposed by Professor Gerry Holtham, but it was deemed an additional burden on other generations.

    Conservative Angela Burns says 'you wouldn't know there was an election coming' as this is a way of 'kicking the policy into the long grass'.

    Plaid's Rhun ap Iowerth adds funding could come from the general taxation system, rather than funded through a bespoke tax, if the health and social care sector was completely transformed according to his his party's vision.

  14. The Inter-Ministerial Group on Paying for Social Care

    Care home

    The Health Minister is updating MSs on the work of the Inter-Ministerial Group on Paying for Social Care, since his last update in February 2020.

    Social care puts significant pressure on local government budgets and Mr Gething says the pandemic has shown the 'importance and fragility of the sector'.

    Current analysis from economic consultancy LE Wales released today, he said, shows expenditure is expected to be £400m higher in 2022-23 than it was in 2019/20

  15. Wales has 'very low' vaccine wastage rates

    Plaid Cymru's Rhun ap Iorwerth says there should be a strategy for using up left-over doses when people don't turn up for appointments.

    "Given the cohort we're working through of everyone over 50 and the second dose programme", replied Mr Gething, "at this point in time, we shouldn't have difficulty in using the supplies we've got."

    Wales has 'very low wastage rates', he seeks to reassure MSs.

    Rhun ap Iowerth
  16. Booking vaccine appointments

    Angela Burns

    Conservative health spokesperson Angela Burns reiterates for the second week her concerns about rearranging vaccine appointments, fearing this could potentially waste doses and if not sorted, could cause problems in rolling out the vaccine to the working age population.

    The health minister replied that it was 'an extraordinary endeavour' in running the appointments programme- he personally found it difficult to book one for a relative over the phone, and the key was 'perseverance'.

    But a 'staring point' is asking people to attend when they get an appointment, he says, adding he's been talking to trade unions about encouraging reluctant employers to let employees go to appointments.

  17. Vaccine confidence

    Vaughan Gething receiving a COVID-19 vaccine
    Image caption: Vaughan Gething receiving a COVID-19 vaccine

    Vaughan Gething says they are 'making good progress' towards the mid-April milestone of giving a first vaccine to those in the nine priority groups.

    He received his first dose on Sunday and encourages others to do the same, as 'we are confident in our vaccines'.

  18. Covid-19 vaccinations

    We move on to a Statement by the Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething, providing an update on Covid-19 vaccinations.

    Mr Gething says 'we are maintaining the best vaccination rate within the UK'.

    Latest figures show nearly a quarter of all 70-year-olds have been given the full Covid-19 vaccine

    So far, 36.1% of the Welsh population have had a first dose and 8.7% have had a full vaccination, according to data from Public Health Wales (PHW).

    It means a total of 1,139,866 people in Wales have been given a first dose while 272,983 have had their second - the full vaccination course.

    Covid-19 vaccinations
  19. The virtual Senedd Cymru/ Welsh Parliament

    Senedd
  20. A Wales-only Covid inquiry rejected

    FM

    Andrew RT Davies calls for a Wales-only public inquiry into the Covid pandemic.

    The first minister rejects a standalone probe, saying a UK-wide one would be more effective.

    A Wales-specific inquiry would 'not be able to grapple the long list of fundamentals', he says, like foreign travel importing cases, the decision-making of Cobra, and supply for the vaccination programme.