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  1. Plenary begins at 13.30 with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government
  2. Questions to the Assembly Commission
  3. Topical Questions
  4. Debate on the Children, Young People and Education Committee's inquiry into the Education Improvement Grant: Gypsy, Roma and Traveller, and Minority Ethnic Children
  5. Plaid Cymru debate: local public services
  6. United Kingdom Independence Party debate: energy generation policies and environmental impact policy
  7. Short Debate: School of Politics - empowering the next generation of active citizens in Wales

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones

All times stated are UK


That's the end of today's proceedings in the Siambr.

Senedd Live will be back on Tuesday 9 May.  


School of Politics

Finally in the Siambr today is a Short Debate by Hannah Blythyn.

The subject: School of Politics - empowering the next generation of active citizens in Wales. 

Hannah Blythyn

Plaid Cymru motion fails

The Plaid Cymru motion - including a call on the Welsh Government to scrap zero hours contracts in the social care sector - fails with 12 members for, 35 against.   


Energy Wales policy strategy

On behalf of the Welsh Government, Jane Hutt (Vale of Glamorgan)proposes deleting all and replacing with a proposal that the assembly:

1. Notes the Welsh Government’s energy policy strategy Energy Wales.

2. Notes the legislative target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Wales by at least 80 per cent by 2050.

3. Recognises the planning system provides opportunities to both protect Wales’ unique landscape and also promote opportunities for renewable energy generation.

Jane Hutt

'Opportunity to be a world leader'

Conservative David Melding says "Wales has the opportunity to be a world leader in renewable technologies. 

"It's a route to localism and empowerment of local communities". 

David Melding

40 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020

Plaid Cymru propose the following amendments:

Insert at end of point 1:

‘with the aim of achieving a 40 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2020, an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 and a zero-carbon economy.’

Delete point 2.

In sub-point 3(a) delete ‘the final’ and replace with ‘a’.

Insert at end of sub-point 3(a):

‘through their democratic local and national decision-making structures based on the principles of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.’

Delete sub-point 3(b).

Delete sub-point 3(c) and replace with:

‘the method of reducing residential, public sector and business energy usage should be supported by strengthened building regulations for new buildings to be nearly zero energy and through a large-scale retrofitting programme for existing residential homes.’

Repeal the Climate Change Act?

Labour's Huw Irranca-Davies asks "whether it is still UKIP's national position to repeal the Climate Change Act entirely and to ditch decarbonisation targets, because that's not in the spirit of what you have just said?" 

David Rowlands replies, "absolutely it's not,  but we don't come under the whip as all other parties. We can have our own policies within the Welsh Government if that is what we feel we have to do". 

David Rowlands
David Rowlands

Aim of a zero-carbon economy

Members move on to the UKIP debate, proposing that the assembly:

 1. Directs the Welsh Government to review its energy generation policies and environmental impact policy.

2. Notes that there is an aim of achieving a zero-carbon economy in Wales.

3. Believes that:

a) communities should have the final say over whether to approve solar farms in their locality;

b) mature woodland should not be cut down to build solar farms; and

c) the method of reducing residential, public sector and business energy usage should be supported by:

i) encouraging the installation of triple glazing in residential and other properties; and

ii) encouraging the installation of fuel-efficient boilers.

Prosperity and wellbeing

As proceedings resume, the Welsh Government proposes deleting all after point 1. 

Mark Drakeford says he seeks to align the assembly with something all parties can agree, "that quality local public services are key to the prosperity and wellbeing of our nation". 

Mark Drakeford

Proceedings suspended

Proceedings are suspended in the Senedd due to "technical problems". 

'Legally binding vote on major planning decisions'

Gareth Bennett says UKIP "agree with the broad thrust of the Plaid Cymru motion". 

He says for the second time today that local people should have a legally binding vote on major planning decisions.   

'Designed for Twitter'

Labour's Hefin David says today's motion on zero hours contracts by Plaid Cymru is "designed for Twitter".  

Hefin David

Conservative amendments

Janet Finch-Saunders moves the Conservative amendments: 

Delete point 2 and replace with:

Regrets that since 2013-14, funding for local authorities in Wales has decreased by 6.78 per cent, disproportionately affecting our rural communities, including cuts of 9.98 per cent to Monmouthshire, 9.36 per cent to Vale of Glamorgan and 7.96 per cent to Conwy.

Delete point 4 and replace with:

Notes that the Chief Executive salary for Welsh Conservative-led Monmouthshire County Council is one of the lowest in Wales, and commends the transparency of the council in publishing all expenditure.

Delete point 6 and replace with:

Notes the right of every child and young person to be given the opportunity to realise their full potential, and highlights the importance of direct funding for schools in enabling parents to be able to choose the best school for their children.

Delete point 8 and replace with:

Notes the value of social care workers in relieving overburdened, centralised NHS services, and the importance of integration between the health and social care sectors in Wales.

Plaid Cymru debate

Next is the Plaid Cymru debate, proposing that the assembly:

 1. Believes that quality local public services are key to the prosperity and wellbeing of our nation.

2. Regrets that since 2011-12, funding for local authorities in Wales has decreased by 6.5 per cent, disproportionately affecting some of the weakest and most vulnerable people in communities across Wales.

3. Recognises the important role played by local authorities in:

a) developing local economies in partnership with the business community;

b) ensuring that our streets are clean and safe;

c) delivering quality education; and

d) delivering social service care that look after the most vulnerable people in communities across Wales.

4. Notes that the average salary for Chief Executives running Plaid Cymru-led Councils is nearly £22,000 less than those run by Labour Councils in Wales.

5. Believes that local affordable housing development projects should be rooted in the needs of the community.

6. Notes the successful child development tracking model, used by Ceredigion Council - the only council judged by Estyn to have excellent performance in Wales in the last full cycle of inspections - to ensure children are reaching their potential, with assistance provided at an early stage to those who are falling behind.

7. Regrets that, since 2012, the percentage total of local government procurement spend in Wales has remained static at just 58 per cent.

8. Calls on the Welsh Government to scrap zero hours contracts in the social care sector.

Welsh Government's detailed responses

The Welsh Government's detailed responses to the report’s recommendations are set out here

Recommendation 6 was rejected by Education Secretary Kirsty Williams because the Welsh Government "does not consider that any benefit would be served in revisiting the impact assessments undertaken in the previous Assembly term in 2014/15". 

Kirsty Williams

Effectiveness of the education performance framework

Committee Chair Lynne Neagle presents the report, which has 14 recommendations for the Welsh Government, including:

  • Keep under review the best model for funding to support the educational outcomes of Gypsy, Roma, traveller and minority ethnic learners
  • Review the arrangements in place to monitor the use of the EIG and evaluate its impact, specifically in relation to these groups of learners
  • Call on Estyn to undertake a review of educational provision for these learners, providing an update since its last thematic report in 2011
  • Do more to improve educational outcomes amongst Gypsy, Roma and Traveller learners and minority ethnic groups with lower than average attainment.
Lynne Neagle

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller, and Minority Ethnic children

Now we have the first of this afternoon's debates, which is on the Children, Young People and Education Committee's inquiry into the impact of the Welsh Government’s amalgamation of previously ringfenced grants into the new Education Improvement Grant on Gypsy, Roma and Traveller, and Minority Ethnic children.   

Between 2013 and 2015, only 15.5% of pupils from Gypsy and Gypsy Roma backgrounds achieved five or more GCSEs at grades A*-C including core subjects - compared to 56% of all pupils.

Figures out in January showed that had risen to 24.4%.


No 90 Second Statements

We did not have any 90 Second Statements today, which any Member may make on any subject of concern. They can use the statements to, for example:

  • raise matters of pressing concern to their constituents;
  • draw attention to local issues;
  • mark anniversaries or significant dates;
  • pay tributes.

Dementia patients on the Tawel Fan ward

The second topical question is by Darren Millar (Clwyd West): Will the Cabinet Secretary make a statement into the investigation being undertaken by Betsi Cadwaladr Health Board into reports that the quality of care for dementia patients on the Tawel Fan ward at Glan Clwyd Hospital may have contributed to at least seven deaths? 

The quality of care on a scandal-hit ward for dementia patients may have contributed to at least seven deaths, BBC Wales revealed yesterday.

Tawel Fan ward at Glan Clwyd Hospital, Denbighshire, was closed more than three years ago and a report found some patients were treated like animals.

It has emerged that at least seven patients' families were told treatment may have contributed to their deaths.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething reminds members that an investigation was under way.

Glan Clwyd

Use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis

Jeremy Miles (Neath)welcomes the decision to approve the use of Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis in Wales as part of a study.

The "game-changing" drug which dramatically cuts the chances of HIV infection will be provided in Wales as part of a three year trial.

This is despite the All Wales Medicines Strategy Group (AWMSG) advising the Welsh Government not to fund Prep on cost-effectiveness grounds.

Health Secretary Vaughan Gething has announced that during the research period "those for whom the drug is clinically appropriate can access it".

The trial will begin this summer.

An independent HIV expert group had already called the drug, which has got the go-ahead in Scotland, "highly effective" when used with the right groups and in the right doses.

 AWMSG had said there were "several uncertainties and limitations" in the economic model provided by the drug company.  

Getty Images

Changes to Standing Orders

We now have the first session of Topical Questions, following changes to Standing Orders.

The guidance provides that Topical Questions must relate to a matter of national, regional or local significance where an expedited Ministerial response is desirable. 

The guidance also states that the issue should have arisen since the deadline for tabling Topical Questions the previous week. 

It is be up to the Llywydd to determine how many Topical Questions to select within the 20 minute slot, and how to divide the time available between those questions, e.g. by varying the number of supplementaries called. The Llywydd will not have to select any question if she does not consider it meets the criteria, even if it is the only question tabled that week.

Next are questions to the Assembly Commission. The first is by Dawn Bowden (Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney):

Will the Assembly Commission provide a fixed date for the switch over from to You Tube?  

The Llywydd Elin Jones says the assembly commission is working to show live proceedings of the Assembly on as many platforms as possible, including, Facebook Live and YouTube. 

The various platforms will run alongside 


No 'government by referendum'

"I don't believe in government by referendum" says Mr Drakeford in response to Gareth Bennett who had said that "UKIP wants to allow local residents to decide on major planning developments in their area, with legally binding referenda". 

Gareth Bennett

Zero hours contracts

Plaid Cymru's Sian Gwenllian asks whether the government agrees that there is no place for zero hours contracts in public services.

Mr Drakeford replies that "when a Labor Government is elected in June, we will be able to do more" to tackle zero hours contracts.

Sian Gwenllian

'Mockery of democracy'

Conservative Janet Finch-Saunders thanks her "colleague" Mark Reckless for raising the issue of uncontested seats. 

She says she agrees with Prof Roger Scully, of Cardiff University's Wales Governance Centre,  who has said it made a "mockery of democracy".    

Janet Finch-Saunders

Reappointed without being challenged

Mark Drakeford says that on Thursday 7% of Welsh local authority seats will be uncontested,  

 " I regret any uncontested seats," he adds.

92 councillors in Wales will be reappointed without being challenged at the local elections.

When there is no challenger, no votes are cast and the incumbent councillor is returned to their position.


Uncontested seats

The first of the tabled questions is by Mark Reckless: Will the Cabinet Secretary make a statement on the number of uncontested seats in Welsh local government elections?  

Welcome to Senedd Live

Plenary begins with questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government, Mark Drakeford. 

Cardiff Bay