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  1. Plenary begins at 1.30pm with Questions to the First Minister
  2. Business Statement and Announcement
  3. Statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government: Update on Local Government Reform
  4. Statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, well-being and Sport: Improving Care for Major Health Conditions
  5. Debate: Government Priorities and the Legislative Programme

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK


And that's it for today.

Senedd Live will be back tomorrow morning when we'll be broadcasting the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee.

Y Senedd

Welcome for 'full lifetime guarantee'

First Minister Carwyn Jones welcomes the Chancellor's "confirmation that the Treasury will provide a full lifetime guarantee for all structural and investment projects approved before the UK leaves the EU."

Failure to outline measures

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood expresses surprise that the Programme for Government "makes no reference to the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union".

She says the Welsh Government has also 'failed' to outline measures it intends to introduce in order to address the consequences of this decision for Wales.  

'Do not inspire the necessary confidence'

Andrew RT Davies is back in the Siambr, after earlier today giving colleagues some food for thought at the party conference in Birmingham, confusing Brexit with breakfast.  

He says the Programme for Government and the legislative programme "do not inspire the necessary confidence or detail required to improve the life chances of people and communities across Wales."  

Andrew RT Davies

'Ambitious set of priorities'

First minister Carwyn Jones says this is an "ambitious set of priorities" and adds the people of Wales supported it in May's election.

He accepts the need to ensure that enough time is made available for the scrutiny of bills by the assembly.

Priorities and legislative programme

Finally today, a debate on the Welsh Government’s priorities and legislative programme.  

Taking Wales Forward sets out the government’s programme to "drive improvement in the Welsh economy and public services, delivering a Wales which is prosperous and secure, healthy and active, ambitious and learning, united and connected."  

Outlining his plans in the Senedd in June, the first minister said his government would bring forward six bills over the following 12 months, saying they would "deliver real improvements for the people of Wales".  

Dispute over GP surgeries open after 6pm

Further to the row in First Minister's Questions earlier over GP surgeries being open after 6pm, the Conservatives say their figures came from the Senedd research service.

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'Profound and positive impact'

Mr Gething says "each implementation group has made a profound and positive impact with their respective delivery plans and  I expect the refreshed delivery plans to continue to do this."     

Vaughan Gething

Care for major health conditions

Now a statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, well-being and Sport, Vaughan Gething: Improving Care for Major Health Conditions. 

In a previous statement, he announced how £1m that was allocated to each of the 10 of the Welsh Government’s major health condition delivery plans has been used.  

Mr Gething says the cash has improved services for heart disease, stroke, critical care and mental health.

Liver, neurological, respiratory, and end-of-life care also benefit.

Getty Images

Out of order

Labour's Rhianon Passmore is ruled out of order for talking about "the lies of the parties opposite" over funding for Wales. 

Rhianon Passmore

End up back where we started?


Nick Servini

Political editor, Wales

The one clear advantage of this latest plan to reform councils will be the argument that it is achievable. Proposals to dramatically cut the existing 22 local authorities to single figures proved to be overly ambitious for the previous Labour administration. This is likely to have far greater cross-party political appeal at the Senedd, and will go down well with the councils themselves and the unions as it won't involve large-scale redundancies and upheaval. The criticism will revolve around question marks over accountability and simplicity. If the new regional partnerships are not judged to be performing well, how do you get rid of them? It will also create an added tier of government, and inevitably greater complexity to a system that it is already unfathomable to many. A final thought: if new joint cabinets are effective it will surely be a matter of time before people start asking the question about why there needs to be 22 separate local authorities. And then we end up back where we started."

'Danger of creating more bureaucracy'

UKIP's Gareth Bennett says there is a danger of creating more bureaucracy, and of excessive redundancy payments for senior staff.

Gareth Bennett

'U-turn on a fiasco'

Conservative Janet Finch-Saunders says the Welsh Government  "needed to do a u-turn on a fiasco over the last three years".  

She says there is a danger we could be left with 22 "shell local authorities".

Janet Finch-Saunders

Role of the local councilor will become 'more important'

Mr Drakeford says that service delivery for social services and education would be based on the borders of Wales' seven health boards while economic development and transport would be organised on a city-region basis. 

The role of the local councilor will become more important, he adds. There will be elections to the existing local authorities, less any which merge voluntarily, in 2022.

'Seamless service for patients'

Sian Gwenllian says that Plaid Cymru has "always called for the retention of the 22 local authorities and I’m glad that the government has now supported this view." 

She says "the government’s plans on integrating health and social care are not clear. Plaid Cymru wants to see them developed further in order to deliver a seamless service for patients."

Sian Gwenllian

'Democratic tier' of local government

The 22 Welsh councils to remain as the 'democratic tier' of local government, says Mr Drakeford with regional collaboration on top.  

Mark Drakeford

'Work together to improve public services'

Welsh councils will be asked to work together to improve public services under plans set out by Mr Drakeford.

Social care and educational improvement could be pooled along health board boundaries, with regional co-operation likely in transport and planning.

The Welsh government is looking to put together a more concrete plan by the end of the year after further talks with councils.

Under the proposals, the existing 22 councils would remain but any voluntary mergers would still be encouraged.


Update on local government reform

Now a statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government, Mark Drakeford on local government reform.

It comes after he dropped merger plans to cut 22 councils to eight or nine.

The 22 councils had been facing plans to merge to as few as eight or nine authorities
The 22 councils had been facing plans to merge to as few as eight or nine authorities

'No rush based on questionable data'

Mr Skates tells AMs that his officials were warned in the spring that the UK government was going to update data on the number of trips per person and population forecasts.

He says he doesn't want to "rush into an inquiry based on questionable data".

The new traffic data provided by the UK government "of great difficulty to this project", says Mr Skates.  

M4 relief road 'could still be open by autumn 2021'

Mr Skates says he hopes the new stretch of road could still be open by autumn 2021 if it goes ahead after the inquiry into the route options.  

'Regrettable' public inquiry delay

Economy Secretary Ken Skates says it is "regrettable" that there is a delay after the inquiry date was first announced in July.

He accused the UK government of incompetence for "engaging with us on these amendments to their traffic forecasting three days before they were introduced."

But the Welsh Conservatives have said the changes to traffic forecasting were introduced more than nine weeks ago.

Ken Skates

£1.1bn M4 relief road

Members move on to a statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Ken Skates on the M4 Corridor around Newport Project.

A public inquiry into the £1.1bn M4 relief road around Newport has been delayed until early 2017.

A new formula to project the amount of traffic across the UK has been brought in by the Department for Transport.

It means the Welsh Government has to re-evaluate its evidence ahead of the inquiry, which was due to start on 1 November.


UKIP to boycott government debate

UKIP's Welsh leader Neil Hamilton has said his group will boycott a government debate on its legislative programme on Tuesday.

He raised in business questions "why are we having this pointless debate when we've already had it twice before".

The Presiding Officer says a chance to vote on the legislative programme is obligatory under standing orders, and is certainly not an "abuse" of the assembly, as Mr Hamilton suggested. 

Kris Wade: Murderer faced sex assault allegations in 2012

Bethan Jenkins asks whether Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board should be placed in special measures after the Kris Wade case.   

On behalf of Welsh Government, Jane Hutt says the case is a matter for the health board. 

Bethan Jenkins

Future business

Next on the agenda is the Business Statement and Announcement where Leader of the House Jane Hutt outlines the future business of the Assembly. 

Jane Hutt

Plans for the repeal bill

First Minister Carwyn Jones says he received a phone call at 6.10pm on Saturday from Brexit Secretary David Davis outlining plans for the repeal bill.

Mr Jones says, "The engagement so far with the UK government has been acceptable. Scotland has made a lot of noise but is in no different a position to us."  

Steffan Lewis says there is a danger that the Great Repeal Bill will become the "Great Power-Grab" with powers centralised in Westminster.

He says all areas that are currently devolved to Wales should remain so, such as agriculture and economic development, and other matters such as trade deals should be jointly negotiated and agreed by all four UK governments.

Steffan Lewis

Urgent Question

The second Urgent Question is by Steffan Lewis: Will the First Minister make a statement on the implications for Wales of the Prime Minister’s proposed EU law repeal Bill? 

The bill, announced by Prime Minister Theresa May on Sunday, will repeal the European Communities Act and enshrine all existing EU law into British law.  

The bill will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act
The bill will repeal the 1972 European Communities Act

Background: heritage sector

The heritage sector in Wales supports nearly 40,000 jobs and generates £749m - 2.6% of the Welsh economy - and is twice the size of the agricultural sector.  

National Museum Wales

Museum's independence from government

Plaid Cymru's culture spokesman Dai Lloyd calls for a guarantee over the museums' independence from government.  

Dai Lloyd

National Museums Wales and Cadw

The first of two Urgent Questions this afternoon is by Suzy Davies: Will the Minister make a statement over plans to merge elements of National Museums Wales with Cadw? 

The two bodies' commercial functions may combine under a new umbrella body called Historic Wales, ministers have said.  

The creation of Historic Wales was a commitment in Labour's 2016 assembly election manifesto, written by the then culture minister Ken Skates.

Now promoted to economy secretary, he has established a working group to consider the best way to maximise the commercial potential of Wales' heritage bodies and organisations.

The committee will also examine whether to include other organisations, such as the National Library of Wales.

Landmarks such as Castell Coch near Cardiff have been used as film sets and wedding venues
Gareth Jones
Landmarks such as Castell Coch near Cardiff have been used as film sets and wedding venues

'A bit more life'

Farming after 2020

The first minister says farming is "staring at a future" without subsidy after 2020.  

Current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) farming payments should not go through the "Barnett mangle", says Conservative Nick Ramsay.   

Getty Images

Immigration controls

UKIP's leader Neil Hamilton says Labour don't believe in immigration controls.

The first minister says there'd be a welcome for him if he chose to live in Wales.

Mr Hamilton, AM for Mid and West Wales, lives in Wiltshire. The Assembly's independent Remuneration Board is considering a change in the rules to allow AMs to claim more than £8,000 for Cardiff accommodation expenses if they live in England.

Neil Hamilton

Appointments after 6pm

Only 29% of GP surgeries in Wales offer appointments after 6pm, says Paul Davies - there has been no improvement from the Welsh Government, he says.

The first minister says he doesn't know where Mr Davies' figures come from, and adds that reality is different. 

Paul Davies says there are no longer any targets on access to GP surgeries.

Mr Jones says they've delivered and Tory figures are wrong.  

Out-of-hours GP services

Paul Davies asks about out-of-hours GP services.

The first minister says UK Government policy now is to stop medical professionals moving here  

Paul Davies

No 'prime Welsh beef' in the Siambr

Andrew RT Davies, leader of the Welsh Conservatives, is attending the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, where he said this morning that the Conservatives will make a success of "breakfast". 

Mr Davies mixed up his words during a section of his speech on Brexit.

So in the Siambr today, Paul Davies takes the place of the man who once described himself as "19 stone of prime Welsh beef".

'Urban health care model is not appropriate'

Why is vascular surgery being moved from the (closer) Ysbyty Gwynedd, asks Ms Wood.

She says the Welsh Government has the final say, and argues that an urban health care model is not appropriate for rural north Wales.

All representations will be considered by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, says the first minister. and adds it is not the case that people in rural areas should have worse services. 

Travel time

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood asks about travel time from Aberdaron to Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan.

AMs cheer as Mr Jones gives roughly the right answer (2 hours).

Leanne Wood

Transport 'Metro' for the Swansea region?

Mr Jones suggests the Welsh Government will look at a transport 'Metro' for the Swansea region in future.   

Bid is a matter for local councils

The first minister stresses that the Swansea Bay City Region bid is a matter for local councils to put together, although the Welsh Government is helping.  

Carwyn Jones