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Summary

  1. Children, Young People and Education Committee
  2. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Services
  3. Questions to the Counsel General
  4. Topical Questions
  5. Nomination for the appointment of the Auditor General for Wales
  6. Debate on a Member's Legislative Proposal - Estate Management Companies
  7. Debate on the Children, Young People and Education Committee report on teachers' professional learning and education
  8. Plaid Cymru debate: Young people and communities in Wales
  9. Short Debate: importance of early language development
  10. Short Debate: Land banking, a vacant land tax and some lessons from the Cynon Valley

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

  1. Short Debate: vacant land tax

    The second Short Debate (postponed from 28 February) is by Vikki Howells (Cynon Valley): "Land banking, a vacant land tax and some lessons from the Cynon Valley".

    She says the impact of land banking can be "negative in the extreme", in terms of not meeting the demand for housing, economic development, public services or recreation, in addition to having an impact on the lives of those living nearby.

    Vikki Howells
  2. Short Debate: early language development

    The first Short Debate today is by Llyr Gruffydd (North Wales).

    His chosen topic is "the importance of early language development: current action on this key issue and what more needs to be done to drive forward change in Wales".

    He says "there is strong evidence to underline the relationship between poverty and early language delay, with children from the most disadvantaged groups more likely to have weaker language skills than those in more advantaged groups".

    Llyr Gruffydd
  3. 'Supported more than 18,000 young people into good-quality employment'

    Minister for Children and Social Care Huw Irranca-Davies presents the Welsh Government amendment which lists the support it provides for young people, "including through:

    a) Jobs Growth Wales, which has supported more than 18,000 young people into good-quality employment;

    b) high-quality apprenticeships and the commitment made by the Welsh Government to create a minimum of 100,000 all-age apprenticeships this Assembly term;

    c) access to housing as 10,000 affordable homes were built in the fourth Assembly and the Welsh Government plans to deliver a further 20,000 this Assembly term;

    d) supporting students’ living costs by ensuring they will receive the equivalent of the national living wage while they study;

    e) maintaining the NHS Bursary to support young people to start a career in NHS Wales; and

    f) investing £100m to raise school standards across Wales over the course of this Assembly term."

    Huw Irranca-Davies
  4. 'UK Government's ambitious, modern Industrial Strategy'

    Conservative Darren Millar proposes deleting all the Plaid Cymru motion and replacing with:

    "Welcomes the UK Government's ambitious, modern Industrial Strategy which sets out a long term plan to boost the productivity and earning power of young people throughout Wales and the UK.

    2. Notes the figures released by the Higher Education Statistics Agency which show Welsh graduates earn less than anywhere else in the UK.

    3. Regrets that since 1999, successive Labour Welsh Governments – supported by other parties – have failed to lift the educational and economic prosperity of young people in Wales.

    4. Calls on the Welsh Government to increase employment opportunities for young people and support for businesses and entrepreneurs by:

    a) abolishing business rates for all small businesses (up to £15,000);

    b) introducing free bus travel and discounted rail cards for all 16-24 year olds; and

    c) increasing the opportunities for younger people to secure finance for start-ups."

    Darren Millar
  5. 'A bit rich from Plaid Cymru'

    UKIP's Michelle Brown says the proposal "is a bit rich from Plaid Cymru" because of the party's "compact with the Labour-led Welsh Government from 2016-2017 and the One Wales coalition agreement with the Labour-led Welsh Government from 2007-2011".

    UKIP believes that "current and past Welsh Governments have failed to create opportunities for young people to choose to live and work in their communities".

  6. 'We can't afford to lose so many young people'

    Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas says that in the local authority areas of Anglesey, Gwynedd, Ceredigion and Carmarthen, over the last decade 117,000 young people between 15-29 years of age have left.

    "We can't afford to lose so many young people," he says

    Simon Thomas
  7. Plaid Cymru debate

    The topic chosen for the Plaid Cymru debate is "young people and communities in Wales".

    Plaid Cymru proposes that the National Assembly for Wales:

    1. Notes that many communities across Wales experience significant outward migration of young people to other parts of Wales, the UK and beyond.

    2. Recognises the contribution of young people to the resilience and sustainability of Welsh communities.

    3. Welcomes Plaid Cymru’s success in securing funding for a young farmers grant scheme to help retain and attract young people in rural areas.

    4. Regrets the current Welsh Government’s failure to create opportunities for young people to choose to live and work in their communities.

    5. Calls on the Welsh Government to:

    a) improve the economic opportunities afforded to young people in communities in all parts of Wales;

    b) provide better support for business start-ups in Wales and enhance the digital and transport infrastructure which they rely upon;

    c) support a new regional approach to retain young people in areas under particular pressure as a result of outward migration e.g. the Arfon region and the valleys;

    d) examine whether existing or new national institutions can be located in areas in Wales which require greater job opportunities;

    e) provide affordable housing and reform the planning system to enable young people to stay and/or return to live in their communities; and

    f) respond positively to the Diamond Review’s recommendation to incentivise students who study away to return to Wales after graduation.

  8. Welsh Government rejects two recommendations

    Kirsty Williams, Cabinet Secretary for Education, sets out the government's response, which can be seen in detail here.

    Two recommendations (19 and 20) are rejected.

    Kirsty Williams
  9. Workforce prepared for the changes to the curriculum?

    Committee chair Lynne Neagle presents the report, which 25 recommendations.

    The first recommendation is that the Cabinet Secretary "should undertake work as a matter of urgency to ensure that the whole workforce is prepared for the forthcoming changes to the curriculum, including the development of a detailed implementation plan".

    Lynne Neagle
  10. Children, Young People and Education Committee report

    The next debate is on the Children, Young People and Education Committee report on Teachers' Professional Learning and Education.

    View more on twitter
  11. Freeholders can be 'powerless' to find redress

    The AM for Caerphilly calls for new legislation because freeholders can be "powerless" to find redress.

    While leaseholders can take estate management firms - used to maintain new-build estates - to tribunals, freeholders can not, he says.

    Management firms can be used on new-build estates to manage communal areas not looked after by the developer or the council.

    The AM says constituents had complained to him about some of the standard of work they have seen, and that freeholders are required to sign deeds of covenants to make regular payments with such firms, leaving them tied to the firms.

    Houses
  12. Debate on a Member's Legislative Proposal

    The first debate of the day is on a Member's Legislative Proposal - Estate management companies.

    Hefin David (Caerphilly)

    proposes that the National Assembly for Wales:

    1. Notes a proposal for a Bill on the regulation of estate management companies.

    2. The purpose of this Bill would be to:

    a) give freeholders who pay charges for the maintenance of communal areas and facilities on a private or mixed-use estate equivalent rights as leaseholders to challenge the reasonableness of service charges;

    b) ensure that, where a freeholder pays a rent charge, the rent charge owner is not able to take possession or grant a lease on the property where the rent charge remains unpaid for a short period of time; and

    c) give freeholders in Wales equivalent rights to those in England as a result of changes to the regulation of estate management companies planned by the UK Government.

    Hefin David
  13. Adrian Crompton nominated for appointment as Auditor General for Wales

    AMs agree to nominate Adrian Crompton for appointment by Her Majesty as Auditor General for Wales for a term of eight years to commence immediately after the current Auditor General for Wales ceases to hold office.

    Members also express gratitude for the contribution of Huw Vaughan Thomas during his term of office as Auditor General for Wales.

    Adrian Crompton
    Image caption: Adrian Crompton has worked at the Welsh Assembly for 20 years
  14. 'Abhorrence of this appalling campaign'

    Leader of the House Julie James says "we stand with Muslim communities in abhorrence of this appalling campaign.

    "We've established structures in Wales to tackle all forms of extremism and hate crime".

    Julie James
  15. 'Punish a Muslim' letters

    The only Topical Question selected today is by Bethan Sayed (South Wales West):Will the Leader of the House make a statement on Welsh Government plans to tackle Islamophobia and improve community cohesion in light of the 'Punish a Muslim' letters that have come to light recently?

    Letters were sent out in a number of UK cities, calling on people to verbally and physically attack Muslims.

    Bethan Sayed
  16. Reviewing the justice system and policing in Wales

    The first of the tabled questions is by Mark Reckless: What assessment has the Counsel General made of the work of the Commission on Justice in Wales?

    Jeremy Miles urges people to give evidence to the Commission chaired by the current Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, which is reviewing the justice system and policing in Wales and considering how the system can achieve better outcomes for Wales.

    Mark Reckless
  17. Questions to Jeremy Miles

    We move on to Questions to the Counsel General - the senior legal advisor to the Welsh Government - Jeremy Miles.

    Gone are the days when only a question or two were tabled for the then Counsel General Theodore Huckle.

    Mr Miles, like his predecessor Mick Antoniw, now faces many more questions, possibly because the answers tend to be more expansive.

    Jeremy Miles
  18. 'The whole system is broken'

    "I'm saying the whole system is broken," says Rhun ap Iorweth "and the ambulance staff, paramedics and call centre staff are having to bear the brunt".

    Vaughan Gething says Rhun ap Iorwerth should be "embarrassed" by that claim.

  19. 'Why are ambulances taking longer to arrive now?'

    Rhun ap Iorwerth asks "why are ambulances taking longer to arrive now - in emergency and urgent amber call cases - than in previous years?"

    Vaughan Gething says "comparing this winter to last winter there has been a fall in performance of a couple of percentage points, but we are still meeting our targets".

    View more on twitter