That's it from the Siambr for today.
Senedd Live returns tomorrow.
That's it from the Siambr for today.
Senedd Live returns tomorrow.
Plans to ban the smacking of children in Wales move a step closer, with only one group of amendments - on reporting requirements - passed at Stage 3.
Therefore AMs vote to back Stage 3, the penultimate stage of the bill, which will end the "reasonable punishment" as a defence for assaulting children.
There is generally a four-stage process for the consideration of a Public Bill involving:
AMs pass Janet Finch-Saunders' amendment 6, meaning :
(1) The Welsh Ministers must prepare two reports on the effect of the changes to the law made by section 1.
(2) The first report must be prepared as soon as practicable after the expiry of the period of 3 years beginning with the coming into force of section 1.
(3) The second report must be prepared as soon as practicable after the expiry of the period of 5 years beginning with the coming into force of section 1.
(4) The Welsh Ministers must, as soon as practicable after preparing a report under this section— (a) lay the report before the National Assembly for Wales, and (b) publish the report..
All the amendments on the duty to promote public awareness are rejected by AMs, after the minister Julie Morgan argued they are "unnecessary and add nothing to the bill".
Deputy health minister Julie Morgan says there is nothing more important than protecting vulnerable children.
The Cardiff North AM, who had rebelled against the Labour whip in 2015 in an attempt to bring a smacking ban into law, is now responsible for its passage through the Senedd.
Plaid Cymru AM Helen Mary Jones says the ban on the smacking of children in Wales would "not be a revolution of parenting practices" and that children should have the same defence against violence as adults.
The only AM to table amendments is Janet Finch-Saunders, the Conservative AM for Aberconwy.
Her proposed amendments include promoting public awareness, reporting requirements, and funding.
She has previously said the bill would "unreasonably criminalise good parents" and would intervene "inappropriately and excessively in family life".
We now reach a Stage 3 debate on the Children (Abolition of the Defence of Reasonable Punishment) (Wales) Bill.
The Welsh Government's Bill has already passed the first two of four stages through the assembly.
If passed, the law would mean a parent or guardian would not be allowed to use the defence of reasonable punishment if accused of assault or battery against a child.
AMs approve the draft Representation of the People (Annual Canvass) (Amendment) (Wales) Regulations 2020.
These Regulations (and the Representation of the People (Annual Canvass) (Amendment) Regulations 2019) provide for the reformed annual canvass to apply to a register of local government electors in Wales.
These Regulations are part of a package of statutory instruments that will ensure the same changes to the annual canvass are introduced across Great Britain.
According to the Explanatory Memorandum to these Regulations: “In its current form, the annual canvass prescribed in legislation focuses on process (e.g. the number of canvass forms to be sent to each household) rather than outcomes (e.g. the accuracy and completeness of the register). It is heavily paper based, inefficient and outdated, leaving little scope for digital innovation.”
The reformed canvass is intended to be less prescriptive and therefore more permissive. The objectives of the canvass reform are:
• to make the process simpler and clearer for citizens;
• for Electoral Registration Officers (EROs) to have greater discretion to run a tailored canvass which better suits their local area;
• to reduce the administrative burden on EROs and the financial burden on taxpayers;
• to safeguard the completeness and accuracy of the registers;
• to maintain the security and integrity of the registers;
• to include the capacity for innovation and improvement, with a model that is adaptable to future change.
Plaid Cymru health spokesman Rhun ap Iorwerth says it is questionable whether changes in culture can occur without significant changes to the culture of the NHS management itself which he says has failed to hold any manager to account for the failures that have been seen in Cwm Taf.
Conservative Angela Burns warns there are still big challenges facing Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board, including a backlog of complaints.
She questions the pace of change.
Health Minister Vaughan Gething says he was pleased the health board is making progress and he expects it to continue.
He says there was a "large and very sensitive exercise" to review around 140 pregnancies.
Mr Gething says this would take some time to complete but it was vital the reviews were completed "thoroughly and not quickly".
Maternity services were put into special measures last April.
It follows an investigation by two royal colleges, which found mothers faced "distressing experiences and poor care" at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr Tydfil and the Royal Glamorgan Hospital near Llantrisant.
The services were said to be "under extreme pressure" and "dysfunctional", after an investigation looking at 25 serious incidents going back to 2016.
What is the independent oversight panel doing?
The only statement of the day is by the Minister for Health and Social Services Vaughan Gething: "Update on maternity services and targeted intervention at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board".
Cwm Taf Morgannwg health board has made "good progress" in recent months in dealing with serious failings in its maternity services although there remains "much more to be done", according to an independent panel appointed by the Welsh Government.
A second quarterly report of the independent panel is "cautiously optimistic" of long term improvements.
But there are still big challenges, with a backlog of complaints a "matter of concern".
Both Labour and Plaid Cymru reject the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill - their combined votes forming a majority in the 60-member chamber.
The Brexit Party and the Conservatives support giving the assembly's consent to the bill.
There were 15 for, no abstentions and 35 against.
Under the way devolution works in the UK, the Welsh and Northern Ireland assemblies and the Scottish Parliament must give their consent to Westminster laws affecting them - including this bill.
But votes against parliamentary legislation are not legally binding.
The UK is set to leave the EU on 31 January with the deal in place.
The Brexit Party's Mark Reckless accuses Welsh Labour of a futile anti-Brexit stunt.
"They have learned nothing from the Brexit Party's victory in the European elections, nor the Conservative victory in December," he says.
He also welcomes the news that the EU flag will be lowered from the flag pole outside the Assembly at 11pm on Brexit night.
It will be replaced by an extra red dragon flag. So there will now be an Assembly flag, a union jack, and two Welsh flags flying outside the building.
Plaid Cymru's Delyth Jewell says her party cannot support the bill because "it threatens Welsh powers, removes parliamentary oversight of the negotiations, takes away the rights of child refugees, workers and EU citizens and unnecessarily rules out an extension to the negotiating process, making bad deal or even no deal at all the most likely outcome".
Conservative Senedd leader Paul Davies says the Welsh Labour Government should "respect the Welsh people's wishes" and support the EU Withdrawal Bill to "unleash Wales's potential".
The chair of the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee, Mick Antoniw, presents their report on the UK Government’s European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill.
The committee warns that "if the National Assembly decides not to consent to the Bill, on the matters for which consent is required, and the UK Parliament nevertheless decides to proceed in the absence of consent, this will have significant adverse constitutional consequences for the future of the Sewel convention and devolution".