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  1. Health, Social Care and Sport Committee
  2. Plenary begins at 13.30 with Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government
  3. Topical Questions
  4. Welsh Conservatives debate on housing in Wales
  5. Plaid Cymru debate on farm income
  6. Plaid Cymru debate on Brexit
  7. Short Debate: Solving Wales's housing shortage

Live Reporting

By Alun Jones and Nia Harri

All times stated are UK


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

Senedd Live will be back on Tuesday 13 June.

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Short Debate

The final item today is the Short Debate.

The topic chosen by Mike Hedges (Swansea East) is 'Solving Wales's housing shortage'.

Mike Hedges

Wales' circumstances and future needs

Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford says that "Wales' circumstances and future needs are best set out in the White Paper Securing Wales' Future".

'Funding lost from EU should be replaced from Westminster'

Gareth Bennett says UKIP "has always stated that funding to Wales lost from the EU should be replaced from Westminster".

'The best Brexit deal for Wales and the United Kingdom'

On behalf of the Conservatives, Mark Isherwood draws attention to "the Prime Minister's commitment to securing the best Brexit deal for Wales and the United Kingdom", and welcomes "the UK Conservative Government's guarantee that there will be no roll-back of powers from the devolved administrations, and that decision-making powers in Wales will be increased".

He calls on AMs to recognise "the importance of Wales and the United Kingdom embracing the trade and economic opportunities presented by leaving the European Union", and to support "the UK Government's plan to introduce a United Kingdom shared prosperity fund".

Mark Isherwood

'Wales has unique needs and requirements'

The second Plaid Cymru debate is on the Brexit process, proposing that the assembly:

1. Notes the result of last year's EU referendum.

2. Recognises that Wales has unique needs and requirements throughout the Brexit process.

3. Notes the importance of Wales insulating itself from the economic uncertainty of Brexit, as well as grasping the new legislative and economic opportunities created beyond our departure from the EU.

4. Calls on the UK Government to ensure:

a) that the National Assembly for Wales has a veto over any foreign trade deal;

b) that fiscal powers over VAT and APD are devolved to the National Assembly for Wales at the earliest opportunity and that further consideration is given to a unique Welsh corporation tax rate;

c) that procurement powers are devolved to Wales to enable the Welsh Government to stipulate greater involvement of Welsh businesses in the procurement process to promote Welsh businesses; and

d) that Wales does not receive a penny less in funding (as promised during the EU referendum campaign) and that a new investment package is brought forward to insulate the Welsh economy throughout the economic uncertainty caused by Brexit.

5. Calls on the Welsh Government to bring forward plans for a Welsh migration service and work with the UK Government to bring forward UK legislation to allow regional visas to allow Wales to have an immigration policy that works for its public services and economy.

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Securing Wales’ Future

The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths draws attention to the White Paper developed jointly by the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, “Securing Wales’ Future: Transition from the European Union to a new relationship with Europe”, which can be found online at:

Lesley Griffiths

How much does Wales export and where does it go?

'Agriculture now accounts for less of EU budget'

UKIP's Neil Hamilton says that "listening to Plaid Cymru you'd think that staying in the EU would mean the future would be assured for ever...When we first joined the European Economic Community agriculture accounted for 65-70% of the EU budget but it's now down to 42%".

'Same cash total in funds for farm support'

On behalf of the Conservatives, Paul Davies (Preseli Pembrokeshire) notes the commitment of the current UK Government "to provide the same cash total in funds for farm support until the end of the next UK parliament" and to "work with Welsh farmers, food producers, environmental experts and the Welsh Government to devise a new agri-environment system".

Paul Davies

'Flooded with cheap imported food'

We move on to the Plaid Cymru debate, which is on the impact of Brexit on the farming industry.

Plaid Cymru proposes that the assembly:

1. Notes that European payments comprise 80 per cent of farm income in Wales and that the purpose of these payments has been to ensure reasonably priced, high quality and high welfare food for the consumer.

2. Notes with concern that irresponsible trade deals could lead to Wales being flooded with cheap imported food, harming the agricultural industry, rural economy and public health.

3. Believes that the UK Government must deliver on the promises of its prominent Leave campaigners and guarantee that European funding for agriculture and rural development is replaced its entirety.

4. Believes that, in order to give protection to Welsh farmers and rural communities, the UK Government should seek the endorsement of each UK country before any trade deal is be signed.

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Welsh Government commitments

The Welsh Government want to delete the entire Conservative motion and replace with a proposal that the assembly:

1. Recognises that the Welsh Government is committed to meeting the varied housing needs of the people of Wales, working in partnership with private builders, the private rented sector, councils and housing associations.

2. Welcomes the Welsh Government's commitments to:

a) build a further 20,000 affordable homes by 2021, including 6,000 through Help to Buy – Wales and 1,000 through its new Rent to Own scheme;

b) work with developers to encourage and facilitate their wider work to build market homes and unlock the potential of SMEs to build homes and deliver skilled jobs throughout Wales;

c) protect the existing social housing stock and encourage investment by housing associations and councils in the provision of new homes by abolishing the Right to Buy;

d) invest in the development of innovative approaches to housing construction to meet challenges including changing demographic patterns and the need for energy efficient homes;

e) continue to bring empty homes back into use and include the provision of housing in its regeneration schemes;

f) make more land, including publicly owned land, available for housing developments;

g) continue raising standards in the private rented sector and act on letting agents' fees to tenants; and

h) build on the success of its early intervention approach to homelessness by working with partners to tackle the problems of rough sleepers.

Carl Sargeant

'House price inflation outstripping wages'

UKIP's Gareth Bennett says "the major problem is house price inflation outstripping wages".

He questions why the Help to Buy scheme only applies to new build houses.

Gareth Bennett

Call on the Welsh Government to ban letting agent fees

Plaid Cymru says that "letting fees act as a barrier for low income households to move homes within the private rented sector, and that this can drive the quality of homes down as it removes the ability of households to leave unsuitable accommodation".

Plaid Cymru calls on the Welsh Government to ban letting agent fees.

AMs from all of the assembly's opposition parties have previously supported a ban.

Ministers have faced criticism for not acting sooner.

Plaid Cymru also calls on the Welsh Government to "examine ways in which the planning system can be further used to prioritise building homes for first time buyers and families, and avoid new developments becoming disproportionately dominated by buy to let ownership and second home ownership."


Welsh Conservatives debate

The first debate of the afternoon is led by the Welsh Conservatives.

The Conservatives propose that the assembly:

1. Notes the acute shortage of homes available to younger people and families to purchase or rent at prices near the historical trend.

2. Calls on the Welsh Government to base its calculation of housing need on the alternative projection contained in the Future Need and Demand for Housing in Wales.

3. Further calls on the Welsh Government to:

a) publish a strategy to secure more land, including brownfield sites, to be made available for home building;

b) deliver greater investment in vocational skills for the construction sector and in the development of modern apprenticeships; and

c) examine options for family living in higher density urban settings, following best practice in many European cities.


Short personal statements

The next item is 90 Second Statements.

Members may make a short personal statement which must be brief, factual, and are not subject to debate.

'Commercial and investment relationships with Qatar'

Leader of the House Jane Hutt says "the Welsh Government has commercial and investment relationships with Qatar," including the supporting of long-haul flights from Cardiff Airport to the Middle East by Qatar Airways.

Figures released in April show that in 2016 exports from Wales to Qatar amounted to £26m.


Relations between the Welsh and Qatari Governments

The only topical question today is by Steffan Lewis (South Wales East): Will the First Minister make a statement on relations between the Welsh and Qatari Governments following the severing of diplomatic ties with that country by its neighbours?


Expedited Ministerial response

We move on to the Topical Questions, which must relate to a matter of national, regional or local significance where an expedited Ministerial response is desirable.


No questions to the Assembly Commission

No questions were tabled to the Assembly Commission, the corporate body for the National Assembly for Wales.

The Commission consists of the Llywydd and four other Members nominated by the main political parties.

'At best woolly or, as yesterday, completely misleading'

Conservative Nick Ramsay draws attention to the Welsh Government's decision yesterday to delay bringing forward a Financial Resolution, the mechanism by which the government receives approval from the Assembly for spending as part of a new law, until it has published revised proposed costs for its Bill to improve Addition Learning Needs (ALN) in Wales.

He asks "are you concerned that the costings associated with legislation that the government brings forward often seem to be at best woolly or, as was the case yesterday, completely misleading?"

Mr Drakeford says "it is the responsibility of ministers bringing forward legislation to make sure we do everything we can to make sure the information is as reliable as it can be".

Nick Ramsay

Barnett formula will remain 'probably into the medium-term'

Plaid Cymru's Adam Price accuses Welsh and UK Labour of infighting over the Barnett formula, and calls on Mr Drakeford to clarify plans for the way that funding is distributed to the devolved nations and English regions.

Mr Drakeford says "the Barnett formula will remain in the short-term and probably into the medium-term while its replacement is sought".

Adam Price

'Adverse economic impact in Wales'

UKIP's Neil Hamilton asks what assessment has been made on "the adverse economic impact in Wales" if Labour is elected tomorrow and increases corporation tax from 19% to 26%.

Mr Drakeford replies "he is quite wrong in trying to draw a direct line between rises in particular forms of taxation and their impact here in Wales".

Neil Hamilton

Party spokespeople after Question 2

The Llywydd calls party spokespeople to ask questions without notice to the Minister after Question 2.

Consultation responses being analysed

Mr Drakeford says the white paper ‘Reforming local government: Resilient and renewed’ includes a number of proposals and the consultation responses are currently being analysed.

Mark Drakeford

Greater democratic accountability with local government reform

The first of the tabled questions is by Janet Finch-Saunders (Aberconwy): How will the Cabinet Secretary ensure greater democratic accountability with any local government reform going forward?

Janet Finch-Saunders

Questions to Mark Drakeford

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

Back at 1.30pm

The members are now meeting in private.

Senedd Live will be back at 1.30pm for Plenary.

£10 million from the national primary care fund

The primary care clusters have used their share of the £10 million from the national primary care fund in a range of ways.

Labour's Dawn Bowden seeks assurance that they are providing value for money.

AMs are told the £10 million is recurrent and many clusters are investing in additional capacity such as pharmacists, physiotherapists and social workers.

Dawn Bowden

'Responsive to local circumstances'

Conservative Suzy Davies asks about the operational practicalities of multi-disciplinary team working, such as who is responsible for employing personnel within clusters.

Mr Gething says a variety of organisational forms for delivering sustainable and accessible care are evolving out of cluster working across Wales.

He says these models have differences in their infrastructure, benefits, and levels of integration, staff employment, contractual arrangements, and economies of scale, financial control, flexibilities and internal support mechanisms responsive to local circumstances.

Suzy Davies

Formal evaluation in spring 2018

In response to Vaughan Gething's statement that a formal evaluation of cluster working will be held in spring next year, Plaid Cymru's Rhun ap Iorwerth seeks assurance about what is being done now to measure progress and outcomes.

Rhun ap Iorwerth

'Standing still will get us knocked over'

"Standing still will get us knocked over," says Mr Gething in stressing the need for a multi professional, multi sector approach, with the GP at its heart.

Vaughan Gething

'Relatively early in the journey in terms of primary care clusters'

UKIP's Caroline Jones suggests the impact of primary care clusters is limited in reducing the demand on GPs and secondary care.

Vaughan Gething says it is about "changing demand and how we make it more appropriate rather than reducing demand".

He adds, "We are relatively early in the journey in terms of primary care clusters, so the evidence base is limited".

Caroline Jones

Evidence session 10

This evidence session is with the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport, Vaughan Gething.

Giving evidence with him are:

  • Grant Duncan, Deputy Director, Primary Care, Welsh Government;
  • Dr Richard Lewis, National Clinical Lead for Primary Care, Welsh Government.
Grant Duncan, Vaughan Gething, Dr Richard Lewis

Welcome to Senedd Live

The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee is holding an inquiry into primary care.

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