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Summary

  1. The plenary begins at 13.30 with questions to the first minister.
  2. Legislative Consent Motion on the UK Trade Union Bill.
  3. Stage 3 Environment (Wales) Bill.

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Anwen Lewis

All times stated are UK

  1. Nos da

    Members complete stage 3 of the Environment (Wales) Bill, stage 4 will take place next Tuesday.

    Join us again tomorrow morning at 9:30am for the Children, Young People and Education Committee.

    Nos da!

    Senedd
  2. Increasing recycling

    According to the government the Bill will also introduce new powers, to increase the amount of materials for recycling, improve the quality of materials available for recycling and making sure that materials that could have been recycled aren’t wasted. 

    The new powers will enable the Welsh Ministers to: 

    • Require business and other waste producers such as the public sector to make sure that clean, recyclable materials are separated before they are collected 

    • Require waste collectors to collect recyclable wastes by means of separate collection 

    • Ban the burning of recyclable materials in incineration plants 

    • Ban the disposal of food waste to sewers by businesses and the public sector

    Recycling
  3. Carrier bags and waste

    We reach the last group of amendments.

    This section will extend the Welsh Ministers powers so that they may set a charge for other types of carrier bags such as bags for life, in addition to the current charge on single-use carrier bags, if evidence shows that the supply and disposal of these types of bags is detrimental to the environment. 

    Whilst the supply of single use carrier bags has reduced, data from WRAP for the period of 2010 to 2013 has shown a significant increase in the sale of bags for life. 

    Although this increase was expected the Bill will extend the Welsh Ministers powers so that they may set a charge for other types of carrier bags such as bags for life, in addition to the current charge on single-use carrier bags, if evidence shows that the supply and disposal of these types of bags is detrimental to the environment. 

    Carrier bag
  4. Climate change targets

    Members reach group 8.

    The Bill will place a duty on Welsh Ministers to set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.   

    Currently the EU committed in 2007 to reducing overall greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020 and by 80% by 2050 and has now put in place a clear roadmap for decarbonisation, with key interim targets put in place for 2020 as part of its headline 2020 policy and more recently as part of the 2030 framework, to guide planning towards the 80% target.  

    Liberal Democrat William Powell has the lead amendment in the group which calls for the target to be changed from 'at least 80%' to '100%'.

  5. Definition

    Group 7 relates to the definition of  'biodiversity' and 'ecosystem'.

  6. Experimental Scheme

    Members are discussing Experimental Schemes in group 5 of amendments.  

    This will allow Natural Resources Wales to trial new ways of working.

  7. National natural resources policy

    Members have reached group 4 of amendments which is called 'national natural resources policy.'

    This will be a national policy produced by the Welsh government that sets out the priorities and opportunities for managing natural resources sustainably. 

    The policy will take into account the findings of the State of Natural Resources Report which is a report produced by Natural Resources Wales (NRW) about how well they are managing in a sustainable way.

  8. Key parts of the Environment Bill

    According to the Welsh government, the key parts of the bill are:

    • Part 1: Sustainable management of natural resources – provides a modern legislation for managing Wales’ natural resources that helps to tackle the challenges we face and is focused on the opportunities our resources provide.
    • Part 2: Climate change- provides the Welsh Ministers with powers to put in place statutory emission reduction targets and carbon budgeting to support their delivery.
    • Part 3: Charges for carrier bags – provides the Welsh Ministers with the necessary powers to address issues in implementing the successful carrier bag charge.
    • Part 4: Collection and disposal of waste – improves waste management processes by helping us achieve higher levels of business waste recycling, better food waste treatment and increased energy recovery.
    • Parts 5 & 6: Fisheries for shellfish and marine licensing – clarifies the law in relation to shellfisheries management and marine licensing.
    • Part 7: Flood & Coastal Erosion Committee and land drainage – clarifies the law for other environmental regulatory regimes including flood risk management and land drainage.
  9. Amendments

    Members vote on amendments as they go along, to follow these amendments click here.

    The first amendment is number 68 in Llyr Gruffydd's name seeking to add:

    'a biodiverse natural environment with healthy functioning ecosystems that support social, economic and ecological resilience and the capacity to adapt to change (for example climate change)’.

  10. 15 min break

    Members take a short break before starting on stage 3 of the Environment (Wales) Bill.

  11. Vote against

    Members have voted against UK government proposals to restrict strike ballots in the public sector.

    Labour, Plaid Cymru and the Liberal Democrats opposed plans to introduce new thresholds on when strikes can take place. 

    But the vote against the Conservatives' Trade Union Bill is not legally binding. 

     The UK and Welsh governments disagree on whether the assembly's permission is needed before the new rules apply to public sector workers in Wales. 

  12. Job protection

    Liberal Democrat Peter Black says "workers do not strike for political reasons but to protect their paying jobs."  

  13. 'Bill makes no sense'

    Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood says "the bill makes no sense and it is regressive."

    She adds "trades unions are less likely to take industrial action here and I would argue that is because they are involved in social partnerships."

    Ms Wood says this was made obvious with the recent junior doctors strike which only happened in England and not in Wales an Scotland. 

    Doctor strike
  14. 'Political dreams'

    The leader of the Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies says: "Where there is a discrepancy I would suggest it is where general secretaries of unions chose to live their political dreams on the back of their members' subs and that is clearly not acceptable."

  15. 'Bill is flawed'

    The bill, currently being considered by Parliament, sets new rules for industrial action including requiring 40% of those eligible to vote to back strikes in key areas such as health and education.

    The Welsh government said it encroaches on its responsibilities over parts of the public sector.

    Mr Andrews says: "the Welsh government believes it will lead to a confrontational relationships between employers and workforce" and adds "overall we believe the bill is flawed and should not be pursued."

    Leighton Andrews
  16. UK Trade Union Bill

    Members move on to a Legislative Consent Motion on the UK Trade Union Bill.

    The Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews, opens the debate. 

  17. Reservoirs Act

    Members agree the Reservoirs Act 1975 (Exemptions, Appeals and Inspections) (Wales) Regulations 2016.

    According to the government: "The Reservoir Act 1975 was introduced to enforce adequate safety provisions for reservoirs. However, this Act was conceived in an era where there was little information available on risk from individual reservoirs. Advances in mapping and data now allow the enforcement authority (Natural Resources Wales) to rank reservoirs by their level of risk to human life. This means that the full suite of the Reservoirs Act 1975 regulations, which is based on volume of water as opposed to level of risk, is disproportionate for low risk Large Raised Reservoirs (LRRs)." 

  18. Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales

    Analysis by Nick Servini, BBC Wales political editor

    Nick Servini

    Political editor, Wales

    After inquiries by the Serious Fraud Office, the Welsh government, Deloitte and the Wales Audit Office, it appears that this will be the final chapter for the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales.

    So what's new?

    Until this point, criticism of the sale price has been the subject of hotly disputed claims about the valuation of each of the sites.

    This report, in effect, says those arguments have been overtaken by the fact that the company which bought the land has sold on many of them at a healthy profit.

    Money, which the AMs have concluded, should have remained in the public purse if they had been sold off individually and directly by the Welsh government.

    Those who carried out the sale will always insist that hindsight is a wonderful thing, and at the time of the sale, not long after the collapse of Northern Rock and Lehman Brothers, this was a good deal.

  19. Urgent question

    Plaid Cymru member Simon Thomas asks an urgent question on safeguarding children in Pembrokeshire following the Dylan Seabridge case.

    Dylan Seabridge, eight, died in Pembrokeshire in 2011 from scurvy. 

    The inquest into his death heard that he had no contact with the authorities in the seven years before he died.

    The Health Minister Mark Drakeford says in the years following the death of Dylan, "this National Assembly has placed the Social Services and Well-being Wales Act on the statute book which both reforms and strengthens safeguarding services including those provided to children in Pembrokeshire".

    Mark Drakeford