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Summary

  1. Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee
  2. Plenary begins at 13.30 with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Education
  3. Questions to the Counsel General
  4. 90 Second Statements
  5. Standards of Conduct Committee Statement on the incoming Standards Commissioner
  6. Plaid Cymru debate: Small businesses
  7. Welsh Conservatives debate: Cross-border healthcare
  8. Short Debate: Living with sight loss

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK

  1. Hwyl

    That brings today's proceedings in the Siambr to a close. 

    Senedd Live will be back on Tuesday 6 December. 

    Sunset in Cardiff Bay tonight
    Image caption: Sunset in Cardiff Bay tonight
  2. Short Debate

    And finally today a Short Debate by Nick Ramsay. The subject: 

    Living with sight loss: how we can improve accessibility in Wales for blind and partially sighted people. 

    Mr Ramsay asked AMs to close their eyes as they listened to sounds recorded in a town centre by the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), typical of sounds heard by blind people "on a daily basis".    

    Sight loss
  3. Cross-border patient flow is 'sensible and pragmatic'

    Health Secretary Vaughan Gething says the Welsh Government is "keen to ensure that the approach to cross-border patient flow is sensible and pragmatic."

    Vaughan Gething
  4. Select Committee's recommendations are 'sensible'

    Plaid Cymru's Rhun ap Iorwerth says the recommendations of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee's report on cross-border health arrangements are "sensible". 

    Rhun ap Iorwerth
  5. Call for a single performers list for GPs

    UKIP's Caroline Jones draws attention to problems in recruiting GPs in rural cross-border areas and calls on the Welsh Government to work with the UK Government's Department of Health to "establish a single performers list for GPs which will enable GPs to operate on both sides of the border."

    Caroline Jones
  6. 'Innovative use of cross-border healthcare'

    Conservative Angela Burns proposes that the assembly:

    1. Believes that promoting the innovative use of cross-border healthcare can offer improved patient outcomes for people in Wales and England.2. Notes the findings of the Silk Commission, which made recommendations to improve cross-border health delivery, particularly to promote closer working in relation to specialist services.

    3. Calls on the Welsh Government to reflect on the findings of the Welsh Affairs Select Committee report on cross-border health arrangements between England and Wales, which reflects concerns about the difficulties and delays in accessing secondary and specialist services on a cross-border basis.

  7. Welsh Conservatives debate

    Members are now listening to a Welsh Conservatives debate on cross-border healthcare. 

    NHS
  8. Current business rates system raises £1bn

    According to Economy Secretary Ken Skates, the current business rates system raises £1bn which supports public services in Wales that small businesses rely on.

    He says the revaluation of business rates by the independent Valuation Office Agency is not designed to raise additional revenue and that while some rateable values have increased, overall they have fallen.

    The Welsh Government has a commitment to introducing a new permanent small business rates relief scheme in 2018.

    Money
  9. Business rate system is 'indefensible'

    UKIP's Neil Hamilton describes the business rate system as "indefensible". 

    He says it's a "mark of a very bad tax if such a very large proportion of people who have to pay it have to be relieved of at least a part of what it imposes upon them."

    Neil Hamilton
  10. Call to extend business rate relief for small businesses

    Nick Ramsay emphasises that "Wales has the worst high street vacancy rate in the UK and that footfall on Welsh high streets is down by 1.4 per cent compared with October 2015."

    He calls for an extension of business rate relief for small businesses in Wales.  

    Nick Ramsay
  11. 'Reverse the decline in footfall in towns'

    Plaid Cymru call on the Welsh Government to take swift action to help small businesses on the high street.

    Adam Price encourages shoppers to choose the high street over shopping centres or online shopping in the run-up to this Christmas.

    Small Business Saturday takes place on December 3.

    He notes that while the latest figures show that while Cardiff has seen a large increase in city centre footfall of over 80% between 2008 and 2015, many towns from Caerphilly to Holyhead have seen significant decreases." 

    Adam Price
  12. Plaid Cymru debate

    For the next hour we have a Plaid Cymru debate on small businesses. 

    Small businesses
  13. Background: Role of the Standards Commissioner

    The Standards Commissioner is an independent person appointed by the National Assembly for Wales, to safeguard standards, to uphold reputations, and to address concerns. 

    The main duties of the Commissioner are to: 

    • receive any complaint that the conduct of an Assembly Member has, at a relevant time, failed to comply with a requirement of a relevant provision; 
    • investigate any such complaint in accordance with the laid down procedures; report to the Assembly the outcome of any such investigation; 
    • and advise Assembly Members and members of the public about the procedures for making and investigating complaints.
  14. Standards of Conduct Committee Statement

    The next item in the Siambr is a Standards of Conduct Committee Statement on the incoming Standards Commissioner.

    Sir Roderick Evans QC is the new Standards Commissioner and will take up his post on 1 December. 

    Sir Roderick is a retired High Court Judge. He was called to the Bar in 1970, practised in Swansea between 1970-92 and took Silk in 1989. 

     He was elevated to the judiciary in 1992 before being appointed to the High Court in 2001, retiring in 2013. 

    Sir Roderick will take over from Gerard Elias QC when his contract ends at the end of November; he has held the post since its inception in 2010. 

  15. Issues of topical interest

    Members are now listening to 90 Second Statements where three AMs have the opportunity to raise issues of topical interest. 

  16. Urgent Question 3: Historical sexual abuse in football

    To the Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children:

    Russell George (Montgomeryshire): Will the Minister please make a statement on the reports of a police investigation into historical sexual abuse within football in north Wales?

    Carl Sargeant responds by encouraging anybody with any knowledge of abuse to contact the police.

    Football
  17. Deal must include two blast furnaces

     Ken Skates says the Welsh Government will back a deal with Tata, but it must include two blast furnaces operating for at least five years.  

    This follows a Reuters story that a merger with ThyssenKrupp would mean that one of the two furnaces could close after three years.  

     Mr Skates tells members that media speculation about the steel industry is causing a roller coaster of emotions for the families working for Tata.  

    He adds, "I will be meeting tomorrow with the Secretary of State for Wales where I will relay the message from both sides of the chamber that it is essential the UK Government acts where it knows it can to secure the long term sustainability of the steel sector in Great Britain and especially in Wales."  

  18. Urgent Question 2 - Tata Steel’s Port Talbot steelworks

    To the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure:

    Adam Price (Carmarthen East and Dinefwr): Will the Minister make a statement on reports of potential job losses at Tata Steel’s Port Talbot steelworks?

    Ken Skates says he will "not respond to media speculation."   

    Tata Steel’s Port Talbot steelworks
  19. Economy Secretary expresses his concern to management

    Economy Secretary Ken Skates says he met Trinity Mirror management today in which he expressed his concern about the proposal. 

    He will also be responding formally to the consultation.

    Ken Skates
  20. Urgent Question 1 - Trinity Mirror

    There are three urgent questions today. The first is to the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure:

    Bethan Jenkins (South Wales West): Will the Minister make a statement on discussions he has had with Trinity Mirror about their proposal to close the Cardiff based printing press, cutting 33 jobs at the site? 

    The newspaper group Trinity Mirror is consulting with staff over closing its printing site in Cardiff.

    The group prints most of south Wales' newspapers, including the Western Mail, South Wales Echo, South Wales Evening Post and the Llanelli Star.

    A spokesman blamed declining print volumes and the relocation of a number of titles within its network.

    It said it had entered into consultation with the 33 staff affected.

    Western Mail