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Summary

  1. Jack Sargeant was one of a number of AMs who spoke candidly in the Senedd about how suicide has affected them.
  2. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs
  3. Questions to the Minister for Housing and Local Government
  4. Debate on the 'Wales' future relationship with the Committee of the Regions' report
  5. Debate on the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee report: Everybody's Business: A Report on Suicide Prevention in Wales
  6. Member Debate - Active Travel
  7. Welsh Conservatives Debate - School Funding
  8. Short Debate: Housing our Heroes: Are we meeting the housing needs of our veterans?

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

  1. Hwyl fawr

    That's it from the Siambr for today.

    Senedd Live returns after the Spring Half Term recess (with sympathy for our colleagues in Westminster!) on Tuesday 5 March.

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  2. 'Housing our Heroes'

    The topic chosen for the Short Debate by Darren Millar (Clwyd West) is "Housing our Heroes: Are we meeting the housing needs of our veterans?"

    Darren Millar, Chair of the Assembly’s Cross-Party Group on the Armed Forces and Cadets, says he regrets to say there are still some veterans sleeping rough on the streets of Wales.

    Soldiers
  3. 'Deliver an education system that enjoys public confidence'

    The Welsh Government amendment is to delete the entire Welsh Conservatives proposal and replace with:

    1. Notes that the current 'school services' Indicator Based Assessment (IBA) formulae model the authorities’ relative need to spend on school services, given the funding available and making assumptions around council tax and prioritisation of spending.

    2. Welcomes the recently published ‘Funding for schools’ guide that clarifies arrangements for funding schools

    3. Recognises that all Welsh Government funding and policy guidance to local authorities, education consortia and schools support delivery in line with the ‘Our National Mission’ action plan to raise standards, reduce the attainment gap, and deliver an education system that enjoys public confidence.

    Education Minister Kirsty Williams
    Image caption: Education Minister Kirsty Williams
  4. 'Too easy to pin this" on the UK government

    In response to Labour AM Lynne Neagle's comment that the root of the problems is the UK government's "austerity agenda", Conservative Suzy Davies says it is "too easy to pin this" on the UK government "when the UK government sends Wales £1.20 for every £1 spent in England".

    Suzy Davies
  5. 'Lack of transparency'

    The topic chosen by the Welsh Conservatives for their debate is school funding.

    They propose that the assembly:

    1. Notes the current 'school services' indicator based assessment (IBA) formula which calculates how much funding each local authority notionally needs to spend on its schools.

    2. Recognises:

    a) the lack of transparency in the IBA formula and subsequent local authority school funding decisions; and

    b) the public confusion surrounding how schools are individually funded via local authorities, regional consortia and specific Welsh Government grants.

    3.Calls on the Welsh Government to develop a comprehensible means of evaluating and communicating the effectiveness of all streams of school funding, in particular;

    a) their impact on the attainment and other outcomes for learners;

    b) staff support and development;

    c) school standards; and

    d) delivery against the objectives of wider Welsh Government policy.

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  6. 'Active travel needs a culture change'

    Transport deputy minister Lee Waters says the Welsh Government support the motion.

    He says he plans to work on developing more ambitious targets on getting people walking and cycling for everyday use, such as to work.

    He reminds AMs that in 2008 he personally introduced the petition to the assembly to call for the creation of an Active Travel Act and says he led the campaign to create the cross-party coalition to achieve the passing of the act.

    He says "active travel needs a culture change. It needs motorists to change their behaviour".

    He adds, "we need more resource at local and national level to succeed in this project".

  7. Cross-party support for motion

    The co-submitters of the motion are:

    Dai Lloyd (South Wales West)Russell George (Montgomeryshire)Jenny Rathbone (Cardiff Central)John Griffiths (Newport East)Neil McEvoy (South Wales Central)Vikki Howells (Cynon Valley)

    Welsh Conservative transport spokesman Russell George says he is glad to see that a cross-party alliance built to support the Active Travel Act has matured into one to scrutinise the Welsh Government on the issue.

    He says the act has very good intentions, but there is a lack of political will and imagination within the Welsh Government to see it through to the end.

    Russell George
  8. Call for more investment in walking and cycling infrastructure

    Mr Irranca-Davies calls for more investment in walking and cycling infrastructure.

    The former minister for children and older people cites plans in Scotland to double investment to £80m a year. The Welsh Government has earmarked £60m over three years for walking and cycling.

    Teithio
  9. 'Refresh ambition for active travel in Wales'

    The Labour Welsh Government has not achieved its own ambitions to get people walking and cycling, a former minister says..

    Huw Irranca-Davies leads a debate calling for a strategy to invest in infrastructure and ambitious targets.

    Despite passing a law in 2013, levels of walking and cycling are in decline in Wales.

    The Welsh Government led the Active Travel Act through the Welsh Assembly in 2013.

    The legislation aimed to boost walking and cycling across the UK, placing obligations on councils to provide network maps - showing existing routes and future plans - and to continually improve routes for walking and cycling.

    But figures showed last May that the number of people walking and cycling to work had not increased in the first five years it was on the statute book.

    Huw Irranca-Davies
  10. Spend more on mental health services than on any other part of the Welsh NHS

    All the recommendations are accepted, or accepted in principle, by the Welsh Government.

    Health Minister Vaughan Gething says the Welsh Government will target new mental health investment in initiatives to prevent and reduce suicide rates in Wales.

    He says the Welsh Government will continue to spend more on mental health services than on any other part of the Welsh NHS, with £655m being invested in 2018-19.

    The minister announces that an additional £500,000 a year will be invested to specifically support national and regional approaches to tackle suicide and self-harm prevention.

    These include:

    ·Recruiting National and Regional leads across Wales;

    ·Implementation of the support after suicide post-vention pathway to support those bereaved by suicide, as well as a full review of support and targeted investment to improve this;

    ·Improved awareness and availability of resources including Help is at Hand and a new suicide prevention website developed by the national advisory group talktometoo.wales;

    ·Guidance on suicide prevention training for staff across public services;

    ·Funding to support programs and initiatives that have been shown to be effective.

    Vaughan Gething
  11. 'Nothing can prepare you for the lasting impact of suicide'

    Jack Sargeant, son of the late AM Carl Sargeant, says "nothing can prepare you for the lasting impact of suicide".

    He says some days "I struggle to get out of bed".

    He says some "feelings impact your own health and well-being - a feeling of guilt, anger, confusion, distress over unresolved issues, and many, many more, all of which I know have had a long-term effect on me and will continue to do so."

    The inquest into Carl Sargeant's death is due to resume in July.

    Jack Sargeant
  12. Call for greater urgency from the Welsh Government

    Both Lynne Neagle and Helen Mary Jones say that acceptance of recommendations "in principle" is not good enough in several cases and call for greater urgency from the Welsh Government.

    Lynne Neagle
    Image caption: Lynne Neagle
  13. 'Hidden emotional domestic abuse of men'

    AMs are told that "in accordance with Standing Order 12.23 (iii), the amendments tabled to this motion have not been selected" by the Llywydd Elin Jones.

    Independent AM Neil McEvoy (South Wales Central) had tabled amendments adding that "hidden emotional domestic abuse of men can be a factor in the high suicide rate amongst men", and calling on the Welsh Government to "address the lack of non-judgemental domestic abuse support for men in Wales as part of its strategy on suicide prevention, as a matter of urgency".

    Neil McEvoy
  14. Suicide prevention training framework

    Committee chair Dai Lloyd (South Wales West) presents the report which has 31 recommendations.

    The first recommendation is that "a suicide prevention training framework should be adopted and implemented across all public services in a similar way to the framework for domestic violence, where training requirements are specified depending on the role.

    "In particular, GPs would be one of the groups of professionals with greater training / skills requirements, and it is important that they and their practice staff have confidence to ask the right questions, and respond compassionately and effectively when dealing with patients who may be at risk of suicide. We believe that the National Advisory Group should take this forward as an immediate priority, particularly given that a training framework has already been developed and is being launched in England."

  15. 'Leaving the European Union but not leaving Europe'

    Eluned Morgan, Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language, says she has long been aware of the work of the Committee of the Regions. She is a former MEP.

    She says that "although we are leaving the European Union we are not leaving Europe".

    She says the first minister is seeking a meeting with the president of the Committee of the Regions.

    Eluned Morgan
  16. 'Personally devastating'

    Plaid Cymru's Delyth Jewell speaks in her first debate in the Siambr.

    She says "I don't hesitate to say how personally devastating I find the prospect of Wales losing her voice in sister conversations in Europe."

    Delyth Jewell
  17. Importance of maintaining an ongoing relationship with EU institutions and networks

    Mick Antoniw presents the report, which makes three recommendations:

    • The National Assembly for Wales recognises the importance of maintaining an ongoing relationship with EU institutions and networks, including the CoR, post Brexit.
    • The Welsh Government should seek direct meetings with the CoR and other relevant EU bodies to discuss how this might be achieved.
    • The Welsh Government should raise the issue of ongoing associate representation on the CoR with the UK Government.
    Mick Antoniw
  18. First representation Wales had for approximately three years

    We move on to a debate on the 'Wales' future relationship with the Committee of the Regions' report.

    The Welsh Assembly is represented on the CoR by Mick Antoniw, with Bethan Sayed as an alternate, nominated by the First Minister, vetted by the UK government and formally appointed by the Council of the EU.

    The 8-10 October plenary session was the first representation Wales had for approximately three years.

    Welsh and EU flags
  19. 'Devastating news'

    Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters says Honda's announcement is "devastating news", and that his officials, together with the Welsh Automotive Forum, will work with these companies "utilising all available resources to help".

    Lee Waters