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Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

  1. 'Breathing easier in Wales'

    The topic chosen for the Short Debate by John Griffiths (Newport East) is "Breathing easier in Wales: Pulmonary rehabilitation and smoking cessation services".

    He points out that "lung disease is the third biggest cause of death In Wales today".

    He says it is regrettable that "smoking rates have stagnated at 19% since 2015".

    Smoking
  2. Motion to elect Caroline Jones to Business Committee not passed

    AMs vote on the proposal that the National Assembly for Wales elects Caroline Jones (Brexit Party) as a Member of the Business Committee.

    There were 13 for, one abstention, and six against, but because it required a two-thirds majority it did not pass.

    Earlier this week the Brexit Party was officially recognised as a group in the Senedd by the Llywydd Elin Jones.

    Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage unveiled the new group made up of four former UKIP AMs last week.

    Caroline Jones (right) at the launch of the Brexit Party in the Senedd last week
    Image caption: Caroline Jones (right) at the launch of the Brexit Party in the Senedd last week
  3. Conservative motion defeated

    The Conservative motion is defeated, with 12 for, one abstention and 33 against.

  4. 'Plans to drive inclusive growth through the Economic Action Plan'

    The Welsh Government's amendment, moved by Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport Lee Waters, is to delete the entire Conservative motion and replace with:

    "1. Notes the actions taken by the Welsh Government to support the economy of Wales over the last twenty years which have helped lead to:

    a) 300,000 more people in work in Wales since 1999;

    b) economic inactivity rates now broadly comparable with the UK average for the first time in history;

    c) the proportion of working-age people with no qualifications more than halving since 1999;

    d) the proportion of working age people with higher education qualifications increasing from around one-in-five people to more than one-in-three since devolution;

    e) the numbers of active enterprises in Wales the highest on record.

    2. Notes the Welsh Government’s plans to drive inclusive growth through the Economic Action Plan including the new Economic Contract, major infrastructure investment such as the new £5bn rail franchise and metro as well as the new £1bn Development Bank of Wales.

    3. Recognises many of the economic concerns expressed in the EU referendum and the Welsh Government’s focus since publication of the Economic Action Plan in 2017 on nurturing the foundational economy as a driver for inclusive growth.

    4. Recognises the fundamental importance of fair work to Wales’s future and the Welsh Government’s commitment to work in social partnership to make Wales a fair work nation.

    5. Regrets the lack of UK Government investment in Wales over the last decade as well as cancelled rail electrification, rejection of tidal lagoon plans and failure to secure Wylfa project investment."

    Lee Waters
  5. Call for a 'regional renewal bill'

    Plaid Cymru's Rhun ap Iorwerth calls on the Welsh Government to "convene a national economic summit to discuss with key stakeholders and industry the future of the economy", and "legislate for a regional renewal bill, that will impose upon government the requirement to consider regional fairness and equality in its expenditure decisions."

    As well as expressing concern for the future of the Welsh economy post-Brexit, Plaid Cymru criticises "the failure of the UK government to deliver detailed proposals or consult upon a new post-Brexit Shared Prosperity Fund to replace EU funding, given its place as a key component of the Welsh economy".

  6. 'Welsh Government’s failure to realise Wales’s economic potential'

    The topic chosen for the Welsh Conservatives debate is the economy.

    The motion moved by Russell George proposes that the assembly:

    "1. Notes the Welsh Government’s failure to realise Wales’s economic potential over the past 20 years.

    2. Does not believe that the Welsh Government’s Prosperity for All: Economic Action Plan is sufficiently ambitious to deliver significant improvement in the Welsh economy.

    3. Calls on the Welsh Government to take further action to improve the economy, including:

    a) simplifying and improving access to business support;

    b) ensuring policy is aligned with an effective industrial strategy;

    c) reforming public procurement to support SMEs;

    d) upskilling and re-skilling the workforce to take advantage of new opportunities; and

    e) improving infrastructure."

    Russell George
  7. One recommendation rejected

    Health minister Vaughan Gething sets out the Welsh Government's response to the report.

    One recommendation is rejected, that "the Welsh Government should determine whether SSRI and SNRI antidepressants should be added to the list of drugs targeted for reduction, and should introduce a national prescribing indicator to support closer monitoring of prescribing volumes and patterns across Wales. This indictor should be used to identify areas where further investigation or intervention may be required."

    According to the Welsh Government, "It is important our approach to prescribing indicators takes account of the evidence supporting the effective use of a medicine or class of medicines.

    "For benzodiazepines where a national prescribing indicator is in place, the benefits of treatment are limited and use should be restricted to short courses to alleviate acute conditions. In the case of SSRI and SNRI antidepressants evidence supports the positive impact of antidepressant therapy in longer term use. This includes continuing the use of antidepressants for up to six months following remission."

    The Welsh Government's response to the report can be seen in full here.

    Vaughan Gething
  8. 'Greater recognition should be given to prescription drug dependence at a national level'

    Committee chair Janet Finch-Saunders (Aberconwy) presents the report, which has 10 recommendations.

    The first recommendation is that "greater recognition should be given to prescription drug dependence at a national level in both policy and strategy, including within the next Substance Misuse Action Plan and the Substance Misuse Treatment Framework.

    "This should include a clearer distinction between substance misuse and prescription drug dependence, and identification of specific actions to help prevent dependence upon prescription medications and support people affected."

    Janet Finch-Saunders
  9. 'Senedd dementia friendly'

    Jayne Bryant uses her 90 Second Statement to say that progress is being made in making the Senedd a "Dementia Friendly Parliament".

    View more on twitter
  10. Topical Question: rejection of the definition of Islamophobia

    There is one Topical Question today.

    Plaid Cymru's Leanne Wood asks: Will the Welsh Government make a statement on the impact that the UK government's rejection of the definition of Islamophobia has had on community cohesion?

    Deputy Minister and Chief Whip Jane Hutt replies that the "Welsh Government is in discussions with the Scottish Government with a view to adopting the definition".

    The UK government has rejected a definition of Islamophobia created by a cross-party group of MPs.

    The All-Party Parliamentary Group on British Muslims wanted to define it to tackle what it called a "social evil".

    But a government spokesman said the wording needed "further careful consideration" and had "not been broadly accepted".

    Leanne Wood
    Image caption: Leanne Wood
  11. Senedd to house Urdd Eisteddfod’s Art, Design and Technology exhibition

    The next item is Questions to the Assembly Commission, the body responsible for the day-to-day running of the National Assembly for Wales.

    Conservative Janet Finch-Saunders asks for a statement on the Assembly's involvement in the Urdd Eisteddfod 2019.

    The Cardiff and Vale 2019 Urdd Eisteddfod is being held in Cardiff Bay between 27 May and 1 June.

    The Llywydd Elin Jones says that throughout the week the Senedd will house the Urdd Eisteddfod’s Art, Design and Technology exhibition and the Pierhead will become the Learners’ Pavilion.

    URDD GOBAITH CYMRU
  12. 'Extremely concerned about the situation with Imam Sis'

    "We are extremely concerned about the situation with Imam Sis", says Eluned Morgan.

    A hunger strike by Newport's Imam Sis, which began in December last year, was started to protest against the treatment of a rebel Kurdish leader imprisoned in Turkey.

    Abdullah Ocalan, who has been in a high-security prison in Turkey since 1999, leads the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which is considered a terrorist organisation by the UK government.

    Kurds make up the fourth-largest ethnic group in the Middle East, stretching across Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Armenia, but they have never obtained a permanent nation state.

    Abdullah Ocalan (pictured on the right) leads the Kurdistan Workers' Party
    Image caption: Abdullah Ocalan (pictured on the right) leads the Kurdistan Workers' Party
  13. 'Take every opportunity to promote economic relations with Japan'

    Conservative Darren Millar calls on the Welsh Government to take every opportunity to promote economic relations with Japan, citing the Rugby World Cup as one opportunity.

    Darren Millar
  14. 'We shouldn't lack ambition'

    Asked by Plaid Cymru's Delyth Jewell about attracting the Commonwealth Games to Wales, Eluned Morgan replies it would require a "pretty significant budget so we need to look at the restrictions we have in this age of austerity, but we shouldn't lack ambition".

    Eluned Morgan
  15. Neath Port Talbot County Council 'disappointing'

    We move on to Questions to the Minister for International Relations and Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan.

    Plaid Cymru's Dai Lloyd seeks a statement on promoting the Welsh language within South Wales West.

    Dai Lloyd says it is "disappointing that Neath Port Talbot County Council has not opened a single Welsh-medium primary school since local government reorganisation in 1996".

    Eluned Morgan replies that a Welsh-medium primary school will open in the county, but that she is "very keen to see progress".

    Cymraeg
  16. 'Potentially big risks in taking on various benefits'

    Rebecca Evans quotes the report's assertion that "It is likely that many policy makers and third sector organisations would approach the idea of setting up a devolved welfare system with justifiable trepidation".

    She says the Welsh Government has a "cautious and informed approach to this issue because there are potentially big risks in taking on various benefits".

    Rebecca Evans