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Live Reporting

Alun Jones

All times stated are UK

  1. Hwyl fawr

    That brings the plenary to a close.

    Senedd Live returns on Tuesday.

    Take care.

  2. What is the future of the sea fishing industry?

    The topic chosen for a Short Debate by Llyr Gruffydd (North Wales) is "what is the future of the sea fishing industry?"

    He says the main challenges facing the industry are climate change, Brexit and coronavirus.

    He calls for additional support for the sector from the Welsh Government.

    The majority of Welsh boats specialise in shellfish, with 90% of their catch exported to the EU.

    Mr Gruffydd also expresses sympathy for the families of three missing fishermen. Alan Minard, Ross Ballantine and skipper Carl McGrath were aboard the Nicola Faith when it went missing off the coast of north Wales on 27 January.

    The mussel industry is worth £10.7m to the Welsh economy
    Image caption: The mussel industry is worth £10.7m to the Welsh economy
  3. 'The Cumberlege Review: lessons for informed consent in the NHS'

    The topic chosen for a Short Debate by David Melding (South Wales Central) is "The Cumberlege Review: lessons for informed consent in the NHS".

    Last year UK health minister Nadine Dorries apologised to hundreds of women, and their children and families, failed by healthcare professionals after expressing concerns about medical treatments.

    The Cumberlege review, which had heard from about 700 women, focused on vaginal mesh to treat incontinence, an oral pregnancy test and an epilepsy medicine.

    Women said they had been ignored when telling doctors of severe pain after having vaginal mesh fitted.

    Others said their children had been born with defects as a result of two different drugs:

    • hormonal pregnancy test Primodos
    • epilepsy medication sodium valproate

    The review found their concerns had often been dismissed as "women's problems".

    Mr Melding says "We need to act on this excellent review and it has many, many lessons for us in Wales".

    Health minister Vaughan Gething outlines a series of steps undertaken in Wales in response to the review.

  4. Free school meals: 'rapid review of all available resource and policy options'

    The Plaid Cymru motion on free school meals eligibility is amended entirely by the Welsh Government and then passed by MSs.

    There were 31 for, three abstentions and 19 against.

    So the Senedd:

    1. Believes that it is unacceptable in a modern society that children still go hungry and that we will continue to step-up all our efforts in the provision of free school meals to stamp out the scourge of poverty and hunger.

    2. Welcomes that the Welsh Government:

    a) provided over £50 million of additional funding to ensure the continued provision of free school meals during the pandemic and was the first government in the UK to provide provision during school holidays;

    b) provided additional funding to ensure that children who are self-isolating or shielding continue to receive free school meal provision when they are not able to attend school;

    c) provides funding of £19.50 per week to free school meal-eligible families, which is the most generous provision in the UK;

    d) ensured that Wales remains the only country in the UK to have a universal free breakfasts in primary schools scheme;

    e) has been recognised by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) for being successful in ensuring families eligible for free school meals during the pandemic had “access to timely and appropriate support”;

    f) is committed to a rapid review of all available resource and policy options including the income threshold for receiving free school meals based on the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) data.

    The Welsh Government provides funding of £19.50 per week to free school meal-eligible families
    Image caption: The Welsh Government provides funding of £19.50 per week to free school meal-eligible families
  5. Welsh Government will not reverse introduction of Wales-wide nitrate vulnerable zone

    The Conservatives' motion on the Wales-wide nitrate vulnerable zone is amended by the Welsh Government, and then passed by MSs.

    There were 28 for, 12 abstentions and 13 against.

    So the Senedd:

    1.Supports the ambition of Welsh farming to be the most climate and nature friendly in the world and joins with the farming unions in recognising one agricultural pollution incident is one too many.

    Recognises Welsh farming offers many of the most important solutions to the climate emergency, and many Welsh farmers already exemplify the changes in farming practice needed.

    Accepts that control of agricultural emissions is an integral part of reaching net zero emissions in Wales and across the UK.

    Agrees the first step in tackling agricultural emissions is to implement good practice measures already undertaken by the majority of farmers.

    2. Further calls on the next Welsh Government to bring forward proposals to tackle pollution in Wales.

    There is an average of three farm pollution incidents a week in Wales, the Welsh Government says
    Image caption: There is an average of three farm pollution incidents a week in Wales, the Welsh Government says
  6. 'Unacceptable in a modern society that children still go hungry'

    There is only one amendment to the Plaid Cymru motion.

    The Welsh Government seeks to delete all and replace with:

    1. Believes that it is unacceptable in a modern society that children still go hungry and that we will continue to step-up all our efforts in the provision of free school meals to stamp out the scourge of poverty and hunger.

    2. Welcomes that the Welsh Government:

    a) provided over £50 million of additional funding to ensure the continued provision of free school meals during the pandemic and was the first government in the UK to provide provision during school holidays;

    b) provided additional funding to ensure that children who are self-isolating or shielding continue to receive free school meal provision when they are not able to attend school;

    c) provides funding of £19.50 per week to free school meal-eligible families, which is the most generous provision in the UK;

    d) ensured that Wales remains the only country in the UK to have a universal free breakfasts in primary schools scheme;

    e) has been recognised by the Education Policy Institute (EPI) for being successful in ensuring families eligible for free school meals during the pandemic had “access to timely and appropriate support”;

    f) is committed to a rapid review of all available resource and policy options including the income threshold for receiving free school meals based on the Pupil Level Annual School Census (PLASC) data.

    Education minister Kirsty Williams
    Image caption: Education minister Kirsty Williams
  7. 'Expand free school meal eligibility criteria'

    The topic chosen by Plaid Cymru for their debate is free school meals eligibility.

    Plaid Cymru's proposal, moved by Sian Gwenllian, is that the Senedd:

    "Calls on the Welsh Government to ensure that the unallocated fiscal resource in the draft 2021-22 budget is used in the final budget for 2021-22 to expand free school meal eligibility criteria to include all children in families in receipt of universal credit or equivalent benefit and any child in a family with no recourse to public funds."

  8. 'Ambition of Welsh farming to be the most climate and nature friendly in the world'

    There is only one amendment to the Conservative motion.

    Environment and Rural Affairs minister Lesley Griffiths says "inaction" is not an option.

    She moves the Welsh Government motion seeking to delete point 1 and replace with:

    "Supports the ambition of Welsh farming to be the most climate and nature friendly in the world and joins with the farming unions in recognising one agricultural pollution incident is one too many.

    "Recognises Welsh farming offers many of the most important solutions to the climate emergency, and many Welsh farmers already exemplify the changes in farming practice needed.

    "Accepts that control of agricultural emissions is an integral part of reaching net zero emissions in Wales and across the UK.

    "Agrees the first step in tackling agricultural emissions is to implement good practice measures already undertaken by the majority of farmers."

    Lesley Griffiths
  9. 'Impractical, disproportionate and undermine the viability of Welsh farms'

    Plaid Cymru's Llyr Gruffydd says the Welsh Government's plans for a Wales-wide nitrate vulnerable zone are "impractical, disproportionate and undermine the viability of Welsh farms".

  10. Wales-wide nitrate vulnerable zone 'draconian'

    The topic chosen by the Welsh Conservatives for their debate is the Wales-wide nitrate vulnerable zone.

    To tackle river pollution, the new rules focus on use of slurry and fertilisers.

    But the new regulations, due to come into force on 1 April, are described as "draconian" by Conservative Janet Finch-Saunders.

    The Conservatives propose that the Senedd:

    1. Calls on the Welsh Government to reverse the introduction of the Wales-wide nitrate vulnerable zone.

    2. Further calls on the next Welsh Government to bring forward proposals to tackle pollution in Wales.

    The new rules will be introduced from 1 April
    Image caption: The new rules will be introduced from 1 April
  11. Welsh Government recognised BSL as a language in its own right in 2004

    BSL is a visual, spatial language that has it’s own grammatical structure and syntax. As a language it is not dependant nor is it strongly related to spoken English. The British Deaf Association state that there are approximately 7,200 BSL users in Wales, 4,000 of whom are D/deaf.

    The Welsh Government recognised BSL as a language in its own right in January 2004.

    The term D/deaf is used throughout higher education and research to describe students who are Deaf (sign language users) and deaf (who are hard of hearing but may lipread and/or use hearing aids).

  12. 'Encourage the use of British Sign Language (BSL) in Wales'

    We move on to a debate on a Member's Legislative Proposal - A British Sign Language (BSL) Bill.

    Mark Isherwood (North Wales) proposes that the Senedd:

    1. Notes a proposal for a Bill that would make provision to encourage the use of British Sign Language (BSL) in Wales, and improve access to education and services in BSL.

    2. Notes that the purpose of the Bill would be to:

    a) ensure that the deaf community and people with hearing loss have a voice in the design and delivery of services to ensure they meet the needs of service users;

    b) establish a BSL national advisory group to empower the BSL community in Wales;

    c) require the Welsh Government to co-produce and publish a national BSL plan, and to establish strategic goals to improve the accessibility of public services, support services and enhance BSL skills across society.

    d) require public bodies to co-produce and publish their own BSL plan to develop BSL awareness and training, and improve access to frontline services.

    Mark Isherwood presents his proposal to the Senedd
    Image caption: Mark Isherwood presents his proposal to the Senedd
  13. Topical Question: recent floods

    Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price asks what support is available to people following the recent floods that have affected communities across Wales.

    Environment minister Lesley Griffiths refers to Welsh Government funding of £6.5m announced last month to help with costs.

    Homes were evacuated and roads were closed as some areas saw a month's worth of rain within 24 hours over the weekend.

    A pub owner in Powys said his pub was flooded on Saturday - a year after it suffered more than £400,000 worth of damage during Storm Dennis.

    Adam Price has said the severity and frequency of flooding events "should convince us all that flooding needs to become a strategic national priority".

    Parts of the Tywi Valley, near Capel Dewi in Carmarthenshire, were flooded
    Image caption: Parts of the Tywi Valley, near Capel Dewi in Carmarthenshire, were flooded
    The River Cynin bursts its banks at St Clears
    Image caption: The River Cynin bursts its banks at St Clears
  14. Working Wales

    Asked by Conservative David Melding about promoting good mental health in the workplace after the lockdown, Eluned Morgan highlights Working Wales, "an advice service that will create a more efficient system of employability support".

  15. An NHS Recovery Plan before the end of March

    Conservative Angela Burns raises concerns about NHS waiting lists.

    Health minister Vaughan Gething replies that the Welsh Government will publish an NHS Recovery Plan before the end of March.

    Numbers in Wales who are waiting for non-urgent hospital treatment have hit a record high of 538,861.

    More than 82,000 people have been added to the list since last March, latest NHS Wales figures show.

    It comes after the number of those waiting more than nine months grew by eight times to 226,138 people, from 27,314 in January 2020.

    In-roads have been made on the longest waits, with nearly 5,000 fewer on the list in December than the month before.

    Waiting lists grew after most non-urgent treatment was postponed in March to prepare the NHS for Covid patients.

    Nearly two thirds of orthopaedic patients face a wait above 36 weeks.
    Image caption: Nearly two thirds of orthopaedic patients face a wait above 36 weeks.
  16. Need for better ventilation and higher-grade PPE?

    Plaid Cymru's Rhun ap Iorwerth refers to a letter by a coalition of prominent health bodies that has urged the UK government to "act on the evidence around the need for better ventilation and higher-grade PPE".

    The letter states that there is now '"direct empirical evidence that the virus is readily transmitted in health care settings beyond formally-classified aerosol generating procedures."

    This means health and care workers are at three to four times greater risk of developing and dying from Covid-19 than the general public and deliver care at "huge personal risk'", the letter adds.

    Health minister Vaughan Gething replies he believes "current standards are appropriate" in Wales but "as ever they remain under review".

    An FFP3 mask
    Image caption: An FFP3 mask
  17. Seven out of 12 tabled questions are from Labour MSs

    For both sessions of questions today - to the Minister for Health and Social Services, Vaughan Gething and Minister for Mental Health, Wellbeing and Welsh Language, Eluned Morgan - seven out of the 12 tabled questions to the Labour Welsh Government are from Labour MSs.

  18. Vote 16 Week to raise awareness among young first-time voters

    Two years have passed since the first meeting of the Welsh Youth Parliament, and MSs hear from the young parliamentarians as they come to the end of their term.

    The Llywydd Elin Jones, First Minister Mark Drakeford and Conservative, Plaid Cymru and Independent Alliance for Reform spokespeople congratulate the members of the first ever Welsh Youth Parliament on their work.

    The Senedd is currently holding a Vote 16 Week to raise awareness among young first-time voters.

    It marks the start of its wider campaign to encourage everyone eligible to vote to Use Your Voice.

    People who want to take part in the Senedd election need to register to vote by 19 April.

    The Senedd election on 6 May will be the first time 16 and 17-year-olds can vote in Wales.

    The new law, passed in 2019, also means qualifying foreign nationals can vote for the first time.

    Scotland gave 16-year-olds the vote in 2013 for the 2014 independence referendum and they can now take part in Scottish parliament and local elections.

    The Senedd election on 6 May will be the first time 16 and 17-year-olds can vote in Wales
    Image caption: The Senedd election on 6 May will be the first time 16 and 17-year-olds can vote in Wales
    Vote 16
  19. Welcome to Senedd Live

    Prynhawn da, plenary gets underway at the earlier time of 12.45pm today for a joint item with the Welsh Youth Parliament.

    You can watch proceedings by clicking on the video link at the top of this page.

    The meeting is being held on Zoom due to the coronavirus restrictions.

    Senedd