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  1. Plenary begins at 13.30 with questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government
  2. Debate by Individual Members: Strengthen inter-departmental working to improve outcomes for looked after children
  3. Plaid Cymru Debate: Fair representation for all political viewpoints
  4. Plaid Cymru Debate: Welsh Government Ministerial Code
  5. Welsh Conservatives Debate: Air pollution
  6. Short Debate: 21st Century Schools; More than a building programme

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK


And that's all from the Siambr for today. 

Senedd Live will be back next Tuesday 8 July at 1.30pm for the next Plenary.


Results of secret ballots for committee chairs

In the secret ballots for committee chairs, the following were elected chair:

Lynne Neagle - Children, Young People and Education Committee.

Russell George - Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee

John Griffiths - Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee

Dai Lloyd - Health, Social Care and Sport Committee.

Nick Ramsay - Public Accounts Committee.

'21st Century Schools: More than a building programme'

Finally in the Siambr this afternoon is a Short Debate by Rhianon Passmore, Labour AM for Islwyn. 

The subject - 21st Century Schools: More than a building programme. 

Rhianon Passmore

Assembly's Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee chair

Labour's Rhianon Passmore expresses concern that an UKIP AM will chair the assembly's Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee given the party questions whether climate change is man made.

It is one of 13 committees divided among the parties based on the number of AMs they have.  

Environmentalists say climate policy has already been undermined by cuts to renewables subsidies
Environmentalists say climate policy has already been undermined by cuts to renewables subsidies

Particulate pollution risen 8 per cent globally

The Welsh Conservatives also draw attention to the World Health Organisation's finding that "particulate pollution has risen 8 per cent globally in the past five years, with experts in the UK believing that about 29,000 deaths are linked to air pollution."  

'Artificially deflating diesel particulates emissions'

Plaid Cymru's Simon Thomas condemns the practices "of some car manufacturers of artificially deflating their diesel particulates emissions and misleading consumers."  

Simon Thomas

Debate by the Welsh Conservatives on air pollution

AMs reach the penultimate debate, on air pollution.

According to the Welsh Conservatives, Crumlin in Caerphilly has the highest nitrogen dioxide levels recorded outside of London.  

Appointments by the Assembly rather than Welsh Government?

According to Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies, openness and transparency in the decision-making process would be enhanced by ensuring key appointments, including that of the Children's Commissioner, Future Generations Commissioner, Older People's Commissioner and Welsh Language Commissioner, are made by the National Assembly for Wales, rather than the Welsh Government.  

Andrew RT Davies

Principles of open government

Now another Plaid Cymru debate, proposing that the Assembly believes that:

(a) the principles of open government should be maintained in all areas of the Welsh Government's responsibilities; 

(b) the Ministerial Code should be laid before and approved by the National Assembly for Wales; and that 

(c) an independent adjudicator should be appointed to report publicly on any alleged breaches of the Code. 

'Assembly should determine Wales-only electoral arrangements'

First Minister Carwyn Jones says the Wales Bill should make provision "to enable the National Assembly to determine future Wales-only electoral arrangements."  

Carwyn Jones

Ranking candidates in order of preference

The single transferable vote (STV) is used in local government elections in Northern Ireland and Scotland. STV involves ranking candidates in order of preference.

In 2011 a referendum on changing the voting system for MPs to the "alternative vote" saw 68% of voters say no.

The Electoral Reform Society says STV gives voters more choice than any other system, fewer votes are 'wasted' and there are no safe seats under STV.

The society also lists the disadvantages of STV, saying the count takes longer, can lead to larger constituencies and result in people voting for the candidates "in the order they appear on the ballot".

Does "first past the post" put people off?
Does "first past the post" put people off?

Call for the single transferable vote at all levels

The next debate is by Plaid Cymru, proposing that the Assembly:

"Believes that the Wales Bill should make provision to enable the National Assembly for Wales to introduce the single transferable vote at all levels, except for elections to the European Parliament and House of Commons, to ensure fair representation for all political viewpoints."

Children leaving care 'lack support'

The debate comes after a report has found that children leaving residential care at 18 feel they lack support while others claim they have limited say in where they will live.

The report, by Wales' Children's Commissioner Sally Holland, found homes provide the right care for some, helping them feel more stable.

But it also highlighted concerns, such as children being criminalised by frequent police call-outs.

Wales' Children's Commissioner Sally Holland
Wales' Children's Commissioner Sally Holland

Improve outcomes for looked after children

Carl Sargeant, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children, says he will "facilitate effective collaboration across local and national government and with all our partners in the third sector " to improve outcomes for looked after children.

Carl Sargeant

'Enjoyed new right'

'Ready ourselves for a potential further increase in demand for services'

Llyr Gruffydd says, "if there is a correlation between recession and the number of changes in care, then we have to ready ourselves for a potential further increase in demand for services in post-referendum Wales."

Llyr Gruffydd

'Lost in Care'

David Melding holds up his copy of Lost in Care, a report of the tribunal of inquiry into child abuse in north Wales care homes. which was published in February 2000.  

Report author Sir Ronald Waterhouse was the chair of a tribunal which, over two years, heard evidence from 650 people who had been in care in north Wales since the 1970s.

Complaints were made to the inquiry about 40 homes in the old north Wales counties of Gwynedd and Clwyd, although most allegations centred on just seven.

David Melding

Debate by Individual Members

Next on the agenda is a Debate by Individual Members. 

David Melding, Julie Morgan, Lee Waters, Llyr Gruffydd and Neil Hamilton are proposing that the National Assembly for Wales: 

"Believes that the Welsh Government should examine ways to strengthen inter-departmental working to improve outcomes for looked after children."

Children in care

No questions to the Assembly Commission

Although commissioners answer questions only once every four weeks that the Assembly meets in Plenary, no questions have been tabled today.

Use of SQuID for purchasing by local authorities

Mike Hedges asks about the use of SQuID for purchasing by local authorities. For the uninitiated, this is the supplier qualification information database which, according to the Welsh Government,  "simplifies and standardises the selection stage of procurement".

Humboldt squid
This is not what Mr Hedges had in mind

Proposals for local government reform in early autumn

Asked by UKIP's Gareth Bennett for the timetable for reforming local authorities in Wales, Mr Drakeford says he hopes to bring forward proposals for local government reform in early autumn, and adds that their agenda is about people and services, not maps or boundaries.

Gareth Bennett

'We too can be bold' says Adam Price

Plaid Cymru's Adam Price asks the cabinet secretary to "make the case for Wales to set its own corporation tax rates".

Mr Drakeford replies, "I've always thought the case for it to be very weak and much more likely to lead to a race to the bottom, in which we take less money".

Mr Price says the Assembly must show that "we too can be bold".  

Adam Price
Adam Price

Work on the framework that underpins new taxation powers

Conservative Nick Ramsay asks about work on the 'fiscal framework'.

Mr Drakeford says he hopes to agree on the framework that underpins new taxation powers for Wales with the chief secretary to the treasury in the autumn.

He says the Scottish Government has been "generous in sharing its experience" of its talks with the UK government to try to reach agreement on the deal for Holyrood.  

What are the options?

Welsh Government concern over pensions

Mr Drakeford says the Welsh Government is concerned that the changes to pensions will "disproportionately affect women who have had their state pension age raised without sufficient notification."

Mark Drakeford

Transitional state pension arrangements

Hefin David asks for the Welsh Government's assessment of the impact that the UK Government's transitional state pension arrangements will have on women born on or after 6 April 1951.  

The new flat-rate, or single-tier, state pension has come into effect for everyone who retires after 6 April 2016.

The UK government argues it will be simpler, and that over the next 15 years most people will end up getting a higher pension.

Here's an assessment by the BBC's Personal Finance reporter of the winners and losers under the new state pension.


Plans to repeal aspects of the Trade Union Act 2016

The first of the tabled questions to Mr Drakeford is by Delyn AM, Hannah Blythyn, seeking an update on plans to repeal aspects of the Trade Union Act 2016. 

A new law removing restrictions on public sector strikes is being proposed by the Welsh Government.

The UK government's Trade Union Act has rules that means action affecting key services will only be allowed if backed by 40% of eligible voters in a ballot.

But Welsh Labour's assembly election manifesto in May included a promise to repeal changes affecting devolved services such as health and education.

First Minister Carwyn Jones has said he will try to pass a Welsh law on strikes, even if it results in another Supreme Court battle with the UK government over where responsibility lies.

A protest against the Trade Union Act

Prynhawn da

Welcome to Senedd Live's coverage of today's plenary. 

Mark Drakeford faces his first session of questions as the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government.