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Summary

  1. Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee
  2. Plenary begins at 13.30 with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure
  3. Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport
  4. Statement by the First Minister: Article 50 Response
  5. Debate on the Children Young People and Education Committee Report of the inquiry into statutory advocacy provision
  6. Debate on the Petitions Committee Report on a Petition on Ovarian Cancer
  7. United Kingdom Independence Party debate: Welsh-medium, English-medium, dual-stream and transitional schools
  8. Short Debate: Credit Unions: A key contribution to tackling financial exclusion
  9. Short Debate: Chronic traumatic encephalopathy and sport – can Wales lead the way?

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

  1. Hwyl

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

    Senedd Live will be back on Tuesday 4 April.

    Senedd
  2. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy and sport

    Finally today is a Short Debate by Steffan Lewis.

    The subject: Chronic traumatic encephalopathy and sport - can Wales lead the way?

    Encephalopathy
    Image caption: Encephalopathy
  3. Credit Unions

    Next in the Siambr is a Short Debate by Dawn Bowden. Her subject:

    Credit Unions: A key contribution to tackling financial exclusion.

    Dawn Bowden
  4. Motion amended

    The Welsh Government's amendment is passed. 

  5. 'Disappointing'

    Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language, Alun Davies says the tone of this debate has been disappointing.

    He proposes that the assembly:

    • Welcomes the Welsh Government’s intention to publish a White Paper this year for consultation on provisions for a new Welsh Language Bill as part of plans to increase the use of the Welsh language.
    • Recognises the additional investment in 2017-18 to improve and increase Welsh in the workplace provision and to promote the Welsh language.
    • Notes the Welsh Government’s commitment to review the Welsh in Education Strategic Plan process.
    • Recognises local authorities and other proposers must comply with the School Standards and Organisation (Wales) Act 2013 and the School Organisation Code and must consider a range of factors when proposing significant changes to schools in their jurisdiction.
    Alun Davies
  6. 'You've behaved irresponsibly'

    Leanne Wood accuses Llanelli AM Lee Waters "of joining forces with the leader of UKIP to oppose this development [in Llangennech] which is a policy by your own government. You've behaved irresponsibly".   

    Mr Waters replies, "the mask has slipped. You've shown your true colours, trying to weaponise this debate".

    Lee Waters
  7. 'Trying to reopen old wounds'

    Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas criticises UKIP for "trying to reopen old wounds in one particular community in Carmarthenshire".

    Plaid Cymru point out "that Carmarthenshire County Council's Welsh in Education Strategic Plan 2014-2017, which included the decision to establish a Welsh-medium school at Llangennech, was approved unanimously by the Labour-led Cabinet in July 2014, and that all subsequent decisions were approved by the appropriate authorities".

  8. 'Debate is being used to hone in on one issue in one part of Wales'

    Conservative Darren Millar says he is "disappointed that the debate is being used by UKIP to hone in on one issue in one part of Wales".

    He says that there has been a fall in the number of Welsh speaking teachers entering the profession, and that school closures have disproportionately affected Welsh medium schools.

    Darren Millar
  9. 'Unhelpful' cross the border call

    Neil Hamilton refers to "unhelpful comments" last month by Michael Jones, a co-ordinator for Parents for Welsh Medium Education.

    Parents unhappy their children's school has been changed to a Welsh medium primary should move over the border, the leading campaigner said

  10. 'Must involve genuine local consultation'

    UKIP's Neil Hamilton proposes that the assembly:

    1. Commends the Welsh Government's aim of achieving one million Welsh-speakers by 2050 and recognises the key role of schools in achieving it.

    2. Believes that flying in the face of local public opinion will limit the chance of success and that changes to educational institutions covering Key Stages 1 to 5 should be made in a manner supported by the majority of parents, guardians or local residents, who are best placed to make educational decisions on behalf of their children.

    3. Believes that proposals to convert English-medium, dual-stream or transitional schools into Welsh-medium schools or to close them must involve genuine local consultation whereby:

    a) all respondents supply their names, addresses and postcodes;

    b) each individual named in any submitted petition is recorded as a discrete observation unit; and

    c) the opinions of unrelated third parties should not be given priority over the wishes of parents or local residents.

    4. Believes that the consultation exercise carried out by Carmarthenshire County Council prior to deciding to close the Llangennech dual stream federated infants and junior schools and convert them to a single Welsh-medium school was flawed.

    5. Believes that the council should rescind its decision pending a further consultation based on the principles set out in paragraph 3 above.

    
          In January, Carmarthenshire council voted in favour of making Ysgol Llangennech, near Llanelli, a Welsh medium primary from September.
    Image caption: In January, Carmarthenshire council voted in favour of making Ysgol Llangennech, near Llanelli, a Welsh medium primary from September.
  11. UKIP debate

    We now have a UKIP debate on Welsh-medium, English-medium, dual-stream and transitional schools. 

    Classroom
  12. Two of the three recommendations accepted

    Rebecca Evans, Minister for Social Services and Public Health, explains the government accepts two of the three recommendations.

    The detailed response is here .  

  13. Committee's three recommendations

    Mike Hedges, chair of the committee, presents the Committee’s three recommendations

    Mike Hedges
  14. Petitions Committee Report

    The next debate is on the Petitions Committee Report on a Petition on Ovarian Cancer.  

    The following petition was submitted using the National Assembly for Wales’s online petitions system by Margaret Hutcheson, a retired palliative care nurse. 

    "We, the undersigned, call upon the Welsh Government to support yearly screening for ovarian cancer (CA125 Blood Test)". 

    The petition gathered 104 signatures online.   

    Ovarian Cancer is one of the major causes of mortality of women in the UK. It is the sixth most common form of cancer diagnosed in women in Wales, with 365 cases diagnosed in 2014, and the fourth most common cause of cancer death for women in Wales, with 238 deaths in 2014.  

    Ovarian cancer
    Image caption: Ovarian cancer
  15. Response by the Welsh Government to the report

    Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, Carl Sargeant outlines the government's response to the report, which can be seen in detail here

    He rejects one recommendation, while another is accepted in principle rather than fully. 

  16. Committee recommendations

    Lynne Neagle, chair of the committee, presents the report which has eight recommendations

    Lynne Neagle
  17. Children Young People and Education Committee Report

    Members now hold a debate on the Children Young People and Education Committee Report of the inquiry into statutory advocacy provision.  

  18. 'Serious questions'

    Paul Thomas and Adele Baumgardt were first suspended in November, along with the entire Sport Wales board, over concerns the  organisation was dysfunctional .  

    In February, Welsh ministers  re-instated the Sport Wales board , but the chair and vice-chair remained suspended, and they have now been sacked.  

    Plaid Cymru's spokesman Rhun ap Iorwerth says there are serious questions on the original recruitment process and on the assurance review which was conducted.

    UKIP's Gareth Bennett questions why the announcement was made the day the triggering of Article 50 happened.

    Rebecca Evans says the government has taken "appropriate action at every step".  

    She denied that the Welsh Government was seeking to bury bad news by making the sackings public less than an hour after the UK government triggered Article 50. She said,  "I don't time my announcement for the convenience of Gareth Bennett or any other AM. 

     "I have to say I didn't want the process to take any longer than it had to, and I didn't want it to drag on, for the benefit of all those people concerned." 

    View more on twitter
  19. Interim chair

    Rebecca Evans, Minister for Social Services and Public Health, says that Lawrence Conway has agreed to be interim chair of Sport Wales until the end of the year.

    Rebecca Evans