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Summary

  1. 9am: Finance Committee.
  2. The plenary begins at 13.30 with questions to the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport.
  3. Debate on the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee's report on Making Laws in Wales.
  4. Debate on Higher Education Funding.
  5. Debate on flooding.
  6. Short Debate: A national dementia strategy for Wales.

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Anwen Lewis

All times stated are UK

  1. Nos da

    That's all from Senedd Live for another week, join us again on Tuesday 26 January.

    In the meantime, for more political news click here

    Senedd
  2. Short debate on dementia

    Members have reached the last item of the day, a short debate lead by Labour member Lynne Neagle.

    Her chosen topic is 'A national dementia strategy for Wales – responding to the health challenge of our time'.

  3. Rural Development Programme

    Several members mention the Rural Development Programme, which is funded by the European Union’s European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and by the Welsh government.    

    It is a 7 year investment programme supporting a wide range of activities which contribute to the following objectives:

    • fostering the competitiveness of agriculture
    • ensuring the sustainable management of natural resources, and climate action
    • achieving a balanced territorial development of rural economies and communities including the creation and maintenance of employment
  4. Supporting flood-hit communities

    Amongst other things, the Conservatives are calling on the government to take immediate, tangible action to support flood-hit communities, including:

    a) exploring the viability of providing rate relief to impacted businesses;

    b) reviewing how the Trunk Road Agency responds to adverse weather conditions, and in particular assessing the management of the A55 in relation to flooding;

    c) providing additional freedoms to farmers and landowners to undertake any necessary clearance of ditches, drains and agricultural channels; and

    d) assessing how the Rural Development Programme can better support flood prevention schemes for communities affected by flooding.

  5. Recent flooding

    Members move on to the second Conservatives' debate, this time their chosen topic is the recent flooding in Wales.

    Flooding on the A55 in north Wales
  6. Final report due September 2016

    Professor Diamond's final report is due in September 2016. 

    The government’s priorities for the review include:

    • widening access – ensuring that any future system has widening access as its core objective, is progressive and equitable
    • supporting the skill needs of Wales
    • strengthening part-time and postgraduate provision in Wales
    • long-term financial sustainability.
  7. Professor Diamond interim report

    Professor Diamond was given the task of leading an independent review of higher education funding and student finance arrangements in Wales. He produced a factual summary of evidence in the autumn of 2015, to see a copy of the interim report click here.

  8. 'An ounce of sense?'

    Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas says: "We can't afford to carry on subsidising, to the same extent, students wherever they study, and we can't afford to carry on giving money to HEFCW for our national priorities, the two together are un-affordable, you know that, the government knows that all the ministers know that and any backbencher with an ounce of sense knows that". 

    Simon Thomas
  9. Higher Education Funding

    The Conservatives propose that the National Assembly for Wales:

    1. Notes the findings from the interim report into the Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance Arrangements in Wales, which states the existing system is "not sustainable", echoing calls from Universities Wales, the Learned Society of Wales and University and College Union;

    2. Recognises the need, identified by the interim report, for the Welsh Government to "revisit the tuition fee grant policy" in Wales;

    3. Believes the Welsh Government should remodel higher education funding in Wales, implementing a more sustainable policy and offering greater priority to a progressive system of living cost support.

  10. Conservatives' deabte

    Members move on to the first of two Conservative debates this afternoon.

    Angela Burns opens their debate on Higher Education Funding and Student Finance Arrangements in Wales.

    Angela Burns
  11. Queen's Printer for Wales?

    One recommendation in the report is "that the Welsh Government fully explores the practicalities and feasibility of the establishment of a Queen’s Printer for Wales."

    The committee says: "Now that the Assembly has full law-making powers, we feel further consideration should be given."

  12. Hard to understand a bill?

    Numerous members talk about Explanatory Memoranda used in the Assembly.

    This is a document which accompanies each bill to explain the intentions of the bill.

    UCAC (Undeb Cenedlaethol Athrawon Cymru) told the committee: "They tend to be very long and repetitive. 

    "Despite their length, they do not always manage to throw further light on the provisions of Bills….”

  13. Report

    To see a copy of the report click here.

  14. First debate of the afternoon

    Members move on to a debate on the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee's report on Making Laws in Wales.

    The Chair of the committee, David Melding opens the debate. 

    David Melding AM
  15. Trade Union Bill

    The Counsel General Theodore Huckle is questioned about the implications for Wales of the Trade Union Bill.

    Yesterday the Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews asked the UK government to make amendments to its legislation to exclude Welsh public services from the affects of their Trade Union Bill.

  16. Junction 41 of the M4

    Liberal Democrat Peter Black asks when a final decision will be taken on Junction 41 of the M4.

    Access to the westbound carriageway at junction 41 was blocked during morning and evening rush hours from August 2014 to March 2015 as part of a trial in a bid to ease congestion.

    Ms Hart says "I've got work undergoing with my officials and I will certainly alert members if it's my intention to do anything now within the next few weeks."

    Peter Black
  17. Steel industry in Wales

    Rhun ap Iorwerth asks for "a promise that all proposals are exhausted" regarding the steel industry in Wales.

    The Minister for Economy Edwina Hart says "we already work on some ventures with large companies like Tata...we have to work through everything that we can do to ensure we have a steel industry in Wales."

    Edwina Hart