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Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

  1. Hwyl fawr

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

    Senedd Live returns on Tuesday 16 July, for the final week before the summer recess.

    Senedd
  2. 'Securing the recognition, respite and support our carers deserve'

    The topic chosen for the Short Debate by Jayne Bryant (Newport West) is "Caring for our carers".

    She calls for "securing the recognition, respite and support our carers deserve".

    She says, "I know that the Welsh Government has already made significant strides.

    "In the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2015, for the first time, the same rights are extended to carers as those who they care for.

    "This was an important development in gaining recognition for carers,but there's still a long way to go."

    Jayne Bryant
  3. AMs 'agree that an increase in the number of Assembly Members is needed'

    On assembly reform, the Labour amendment to the Plaid Cymru motion is passed.

    The amended motion is passed with 35 for, no abstentions and 15 against.

    So the National Assembly for Wales:

    1. Notes the publication of A Parliament that Works for Wales and its recommendations.

    2. Agrees that an increase in the number of Assembly Members is needed.

    3. Calls for further cross-party work to take these matters forward.

  4. General Principles of the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill agreed

    AMs agree the General Principles of the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill.

    There were 42 for, no abstentions and nine against.

    The Bill would change the name of the institution from the National Assembly for Wales (Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) to the “Senedd”, and reduce the minimum voting age in Assembly elections to 16.

    This was Stage 1 of a four-stage process for the consideration of a Public Bill involving:

    • Stage 1 – consideration of the general principles of the Bill by a committee, and the agreement of those general principles by the Assembly;
    • Stage 2 – detailed consideration by a committee of the Bill and any amendments tabled to that Bill;
    • Stage 3 – detailed consideration, by the Assembly, of the Bill and any amendments tabled to that Bill;
    • Stage 4 – a vote by the Assembly to pass the final text of the Bill.
  5. School Performance and Absence Targets (Wales) (Amendments) Regulations 2019

    AMs reject the proposal that the School Performance and Absence Targets (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 be annulled.

    There were 5 for, 19 abstentions and 27 against.

    Revised regulations are due to come into force on 1 September 2019 and will reflect the recent changes to Key Stage 4 performance measures.

  6. 'I do not believe that regional representation is proper representation'

    "I do not believe that regional representation is proper representation" says the Labour AM for Blaenau Gwent, Alun Davies, to the consternation of his colleague Joyce Watson, the Labour AM for for Mid and West Wales.

    Joyce Watson and Alun Davies
  7. 'Reduction in the overall number of elected representatives in Wales'

    Conservative Paul Davies says there are "significant challenges in the capacity of Assembly Members to undertake satisfactory scrutiny of legislation and the Welsh Government".

    The party calls for "further investigation into the impact of any increase in Assembly Members and whether there is public support for such a move", "for any increase in the number of Assembly Members to be funded via overall savings to taxpayers arising as a result of a reduction in the overall number of elected representatives in Wales", and "for any additional Assembly Members to be elected on a no less proportional basis than is currently the case".

    Paul Davies
  8. 'Further cross-party work'

    The amendment by Labour Chief Whip Jane Hutt (Vale of Glamorgan) is to delete the entire Plaid Cymru motion and replace with a proposal that the National Assembly for Wales:

    1. Notes the publication of A Parliament that Works for Wales and its recommendations.

    2. Agrees that an increase in the number of Assembly Members is needed.

    3. Calls for further cross-party work to take these matters forward.

    Jane Hutt
  9. 'No appetite amongst the voting public to increase the number of politicians in Wales'

    The Brexit Party's Mark Reckless argues "there is no appetite amongst the voting public to increase the number of politicians in Wales at this time, and that efforts should focus instead on enacting the proposals of the 2018 Review of Parliamentary Constituencies for election to the House of Commons, and speeding up local government electoral reform in Wales".

  10. 'Not without a public mandate via a manifesto commitment'

    A decision on whether to have more assembly members has been put off until after 2021.

    There were proposals to add another 20 or 30 AMs to the current 60 before the next elections in two years' time.

    But Labour said at its Welsh conference in April that legislation to change the size of the assembly and the electoral system should not happen "without a public mandate via a manifesto commitment".

    That effectively killed off any prospect of making the changes before 2021 and made it unlikely that the number of AMs will rise above 60 until the following election in 2026.

  11. Plaid Cymru debate

    The topic chosen for the Plaid Cymru debate is 'assembly reform'. The party propose that the National Assembly for Wales:

    1. Calls for an increase in the number of Assembly Members.

    2. Calls for immediate action in order to increase the number of Assembly Members in time for the start of the Sixth Assembly.

    3. Calls for reform of the Assembly electoral system, and the introduction of the single transferable vote system for electing Members in time for the next Assembly elections in 2021.

    Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price argues that the Senedd urgently needs an increase in its number of AMs alongside an STV electoral system to ensure a “strong Senedd” that would be able to “fully operate as an effective parliament for the people of Wales”.

    Adam Price
  12. Brexit Party opposing the bill

    Mark Reckless says the Brexit Party will be opposing the bill today "because we do not support renaming the assembly Senedd".

    In response to Labour's Hefin David, Mark Reckless confirms that the Brexit Party does not want to abolish the Assembly.

    Mark Reckless
  13. 'Insulting' to non Welsh-speakers

    On renaming the assembly the Senedd, Plaid Cymru's Dai Lloyd says it is "insulting" to non Welsh-speakers to think they wouldn't understand the monolingual name Senedd.

    Dai Lloyd
  14. Conservative AMs to be given a free vote

    Conservative David Melding says he will support the general principles of the Senedd and Election (Wales) Bill, but Conservative AMs will be given a free vote.

    David Melding
  15. Welsh Government 'fully supports the general principles of the bill'

    According to Counsel General Jeremy Miles, the Welsh Government is "very supportive of the main aims of the Bill as we see them: to rename the institution to reflect its status, to extend the franchise, and to clarify the rules about disqualification", and "fully supports the general principles of the bill".

  16. Two-phase legislative strategy

    The Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill is the first part of a two-phase legislative strategy.

    It is anticipated that the second phase of the legislative strategy will incorporate the electoral system and size of the Assembly, if cross-party consensus emerges on those matters.

    The second phase of reform will look at proposals published by a panel of experts in 2017.

    Led by Cardiff University's Professor Laura McAllister, the panel concluded that more AMs were needed to keep pace with the assembly's growing powers and responsibilities.

    It said: "Calling for more politicians is unpopular, but our analysis of the evidence demonstrates that all the alternatives to an increase in size have been tried and tested without adequately addressing the capacity gap we have identified."

    Laura McAllister had said more AMs were needed to keep pace with the assembly's growing powers
    Image caption: Laura McAllister had said more AMs were needed to keep pace with the assembly's growing powers
  17. 'Costs in relation to changing the name of the Assembly are generally proportionate'

    Finance Committee chair Llyr Gruffydd presents their report.

    The Committee believes "the costs in relation to changing the name of the Assembly are generally proportionate and transparent and the most cost effective option is being pursued".

    Llyr Gruffydd
  18. 'Major piece of Welsh constitutional legislation'

    Mick Antoniw, chair of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, presents their report on the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill.

    He describes the Bill as "a major piece of Welsh constitutional legislation", and says the committee recommends that its general principles are agreed.

    There are 19 recommendations by the committee.

    Among them are that "all Bills relating to significant constitutional issues should be published in draft and accordingly, time should be built into the legislative process to enable this to happen," and that "Bills should be introduced into the National Assembly that can be reasonably considered to be fully developed at the point of introduction".

    Mick Antoniw
  19. Purpose of the bill

    We now reach a debate on the General Principles of the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill.

    The Bill:

    ▪ changes the name of the institution from the National Assembly for Wales (Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru) to the “Senedd”, and makes consequential changes to relevant names, titles and descriptors.

    ▪ reduces the minimum voting age in Assembly elections to 16, and implements reform of associated electoral registration arrangements;

    ▪ makes changes to the law on disqualification from being an Assembly Member;

    ▪ places a duty on the Senedd to consider the financial and oversight arrangements for the work of the Electoral Commission in relation to devolved Welsh elections and devolved referendums;

    ▪ introduces a regulation-making power to implement Law Commission recommendations;

    ▪ extends the deadline for the first meeting of the Assembly after an election; and

    ▪ clarifies Assembly Commission powers to charge for goods and services.

    The Llywydd Elin Jones
    Image caption: The Llywydd Elin Jones