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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 tomorrow.

    Senedd
  2. Welsh Government 'created uncertainty'

    Plaid Cymru's Sian Gwenllian criticizes the Welsh Government because it "created uncertainty" by planning to scrap the job of Welsh language Commissioner, before its "u-turn".

    Sian Gwenllian
  3. Enforcing duties

    Conservative Suzy Davies calls for the reform of the system of dealing with complaints about Welsh language standards and language schemes.

    The annual report states that 205 valid complaints were received: 174 valid complaints about Welsh language standards and 31 valid complaints about language schemes.

    Suzy Davies
  4. 'Support has developed across Wales for the standards regime'

    Minister for International Relations and the Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan, says "we have heard over the last year that support has developed across Wales for the standards regime".

    Through the Welsh language standards, public organisations have a duty to consider the impact of their decisions on the Welsh language.

    Eluned Morgan says Prosiect 2050 - a new multi-disciplinary unit - will plan strategy, create initiatives and help maintain Welsh-speaking communities and increase the use of Welsh.

    The Welsh Government aims to get one million people speaking Welsh by 2050.

    Eluned Morgan
  5. Welsh Language Commissioner's Annual Report 2018-19

    The final item today is a debate on the Welsh Language Commissioner's Annual Report 2018-19.

    This Annual Report reports on the work of the organisation during the final year of Meri Huws as Commissioner.

    It covers a period in which the Welsh Government dropped plans for a Welsh Language Bill - which would have scrapped the job of Welsh language Commissioner.

    Meri Huws said her work promoting standards had made a difference
    Image caption: Meri Huws said her work promoting standards had made a difference
  6. Reforming local government finance

    The final statement today is by the Minister for Finance and Trefnydd Rebecca Evans: "Annual Update on Reforming Local Government Finance".

    She has published the third in a series of annual updates on a programme of work to reform local government finance in Wales.

    It sets out the reforms the Welsh Government is undertaking "to improve local taxes and the wider local government finance framework, to ensure it responds to the future needs of local services in challenging times."

    Councils
  7. Trial of a new scheme 'aimed at increasing the housing stock available to local authorities'

    We move on to a Statement by the Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James: "Supporting Local Housing Authorities to secure long term housing options in the Private Rented Sector".

    She provides details of the trial of a new scheme "aimed at increasing the housing stock available to local authorities in discharging their housing duties, and more particularly their Part 2 Housing (Wales) Act 2014 duties."

    She says "This trial proposes using the Private Rented Sector to increase the stock available to local authorities when discharging their Part 2 duties by offering tenants access to good quality housing at affordable rents with an appropriate level of support.

    "We are trialing the scheme in a small number of local authorities to prove the concept and provide the necessary evidence base for a model to be developed for roll out across Wales."

    Julie James
  8. Report 'deserves far fuller consideration'

    Brexit Party leader Mark Reckless says the report "deserves far fuller consideration... it is right to hold back to absorb it further".

  9. 'Deficiencies in the current justice system have a real impact on people's lives'

    Plaid Cymru's Rhun ap Iorwerth says "the deficiencies in the current justice system have a real impact on people's lives" and sets out arguments for devolving powers from the Ministry of Justice.

    Rhun ap Iorwerth
  10. 'Unconvinced that its devolution is the right way forward'

    Conservative leader Paul Davies says, "whilst there are some very admirable arguments about the devolution of justice to Wales, we on this side of the chamber still remain unconvinced that its devolution is the right way forward".

  11. 'Unavoidable hiatus in our ability to open a dialogue with the UK government'

    Mark Drakeford points out that "within less than a week of the Report’s publication a General Election has been called. This means that there is an unavoidable hiatus in our ability to open a dialogue with the UK government, but that discussion will need to begin as soon as we have a government again in office.

    "That does not prevent us, of course, from focussing on those aspects of the Report which fall to many justice actors here in Wales.

    "To provide one example: Wales’s excellent law schools are challenged to work more effectively together to recognise the place of Welsh law in legal education, and to ensure teaching materials are available in both languages."

    Scales of justice
  12. 'A fair, effective and accessible justice system is a cornerstone of freedom and democracy'

    First Minister Mark Drakeford says "the most striking finding - there in the very first paragraph of the report – is that the people of Wales are being let down by their justice system. That is the Commission’s unambiguous conclusion.

    "We should not underestimate the significance of that finding. A fair, effective and accessible justice system is a cornerstone of freedom and democracy. It is, or should be, non-negotiable. We should not allow ourselves to become accustomed to, still less to accept, any failure to meet those standards."

  13. Report of the Commission on Justice in Wales

    The first statement of the day is by the First Minister, on the report of the Commission on Justice in Wales.

    What does the report recommend?

    Some key suggestions:

    • Devolution of justice - similar to the Northern Ireland Assembly and the Scottish Parliament - and accompanied by a full transfer of financial resources
    • A new Justice Department in the Welsh Government led by a cabinet minister
    • Create a "law of Wales", distinct to the law of England and Wales
    • Wales could also gets its own high court and court of appeal, although lawyers could still work across England and Wales. There would be a Welsh judge at the Supreme Court
    • The age of criminal responsibility should be raised from 10 to at least 12 years old in Wales - similar to Scotland. Although the youth justice system is generally doing well, the commission says there are better ways of dealing with behaviour than criminalising children
    • Alternatives to prison should be developed "as soon as possible"
    • Policing and crime reduction policy, including drug abuse and mental health-related issues, should be devolved to chime with already devolved Welsh health, education and social policies
    • Problem-solving courts should be established, like five being trialled in Northern Ireland
    • The law relating to children and family justice in Wales should be brought together in one coherent legal system, while the overarching aim should be the reduction in numbers of children taken into care
    • Legal aid should be devolved and funding for it - and advice by charities - should be brought under a single fund and an independent body
    • All justice bodies should be subject to the 2011 Welsh Language Measure, while all coroner services should be available in Welsh.
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  14. 'Sabotaging' a rape trial: condemnation of 'any politician who knew and did nothing'

    Leanne Wood refers to the BBC's revelation that a UK cabinet minister who denied knowing about a Welsh assembly candidate's role in "sabotaging" a rape trial was emailed about it last year.

    Ross England made claims about the victim's sexual history in an April 2018 trial which led to its collapse.

    BBC Wales has seen the email sent to Welsh Secretary Alun Cairns in August 2018 about his former aide's role. Mr England was picked as the Tory assembly election candidate in December 2018.

    The Rhondda AM says: "This is remarkable. Remarkable for the indifference the Tories have shown to the victim of such a crime and remarkable for such a serious error of judgment from senior Tory figures who must resign if they knew about this disgusting behaviour."

    Ms Wood condemns "any politicians who knew about this and did nothing" and adds if it is proven that they knew, they should resign.

    Rebecca Evans agrees "there are questions to be answered".

    Alun Cairns said he only became aware of Mr England's role in the trial's collapse when the story broke last week
    Image caption: Alun Cairns said he only became aware of Mr England's role in the trial's collapse when the story broke last week
    Leanne Wood
  15. Trefnydd outlines the Senedd's future business

    The next item is the Business Statement and Announcement.

    The Trefnydd Rebecca Evans outlines the Senedd's future business and responds to requests from AMs.

    Rebecca Evans
  16. Carl Sargeant remembered

    AMs have recalled that it is exactly two years since Children's Minister Carl Sargeant, 49,was found dead.

    Mr Sargeant, who had mental health issues and was on anti-depressants, was AM for Alyn and Deeside when he was found dead at his home in Connah's Quay by his wife Bernadette.

    The married father-of-two was found hanged at his home in November 2017
    Image caption: The married father-of-two was found hanged at his home in November 2017
  17. 'Prefer to block Brexit'

    The Brexit Party's leader Mark Reckless suggests "the real reason Labour resisted having an election is that you fear you will lose and you prefer to block Brexit in this House of Commons".

    Mr Drakeford replies "I am delighted there is an election".

    Mark Reckless
  18. Betsi Cadwaladr's £2,000-a-day consultant

    Conservative leader Paul Davies asks whether it is acceptable for Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB) to pay £1,990 a day for an "interim recovery director".

    It comes as nursing staff were told paid 30 minute shift breaks could be cut in a bid to save £25,000 a month.

    Mark Drakeford replies that the appointment followed recommendations from the National Assembly's health committee, which suggested outside expertise should be brought in to help improve services at the board.

    Management consultants have been asked to help improve health services across north Wales
    Image caption: Management consultants have been asked to help improve health services across north Wales
    Paul Davies
  19. OECD PISA tests

    Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price asks whether "achieving a score of 500 in the PISA global rankings is still the policy of your government".

    Scores of Welsh students in science, reading and maths were below the average of 72 countries and economies taking part in the PISA study in 2016.

    Mr Drakeford replies "our mission for PISA is set out in our national mission for education".

    Adam Price
    Mark Drakeford