Minutes - Business Committee

Meeting Venue:


Meeting date: 23 November 2021

Meeting time: 09.02 - 09.21







Committee Members:

Elin Jones MS, Llywydd (Chair)

Lesley Griffiths MS

Darren Millar MS

Siân Gwenllian MS

Committee Staff:

Graeme Francis (Clerk)

Bethan Garwood (Clerk)

Others in attendance

Jane Dodds MS

David Rees MS, Deputy Presiding Officer

Manon Antoniazzi, Chief Executive and Clerk

Siwan Davies, Director of Senedd Business

Siân Wilkins, Head of Chamber and Committee Service

Julian Luke, Head of Policy and Legislation Committee Service

Gwion Evans, Head of the Llywydd's Private Office

Helen Carey, Welsh Government



1       Introductions, apologies and substitutions

The Llywydd welcomed Members to the meeting.



2       Minutes of the Previous Meeting

The minutes of the previous meeting were agreed for publication.



3       Organisation of Business



3.1   This Week's Business






The Trefnydd drew Business Committee’s attention to the following additions to today’s agenda:



Darren Millar informed Business Committee that he will be asking Party Leaders’ questions on behalf of the Conservative group leader today.



3.2   Three week timetable of Government Business

The Trefnydd drew Business Committee’s attention to the following changes:


Tuesday 30 November 2021 -


·         Statement by the Minister for Climate Change: The Homelessness Action Plan (45 mins)

·         Statement by the Minister for Health and Social Services: Transforming Allied Health Professions (45 mins) - withdrawn


Tuesday 7 December 2021 -


·         Statement by the Deputy Minister for Climate Change: Renewable Energy Deep Dive (45 mins)

·         LCM on the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rents) Bill (15 mins) – postponed until 14 December


The Llywydd drew attention to the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru and asked the Trefnydd whether a statement will be scheduled before the Agreement comes into effect on 1 December. The Trefnydd advised that the Programme for Government will be updated and that the First Minister will make a statement before Christmas.



3.3   Three week timetable of Senedd Business

Business Committee agreed to schedule the following items of business:


Wednesday 15 December 2021 –




3.4   Member Debates: Selection of Motion for Debate

Business Committee agreed to schedule the following motion for debate on 1 December:


NNDM7842 Mabon ap Gwynfor

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Welcomes the Welsh Government’s single cancer pathway approach.

2. Recognises:

a) that cancer is the leading cause of death in Wales and that 19,600 people are diagnosed with cancer every year in Wales (2016-2018).

b) that the challenges facing cancer services in Wales have been compounded by COVID-19, with around 1,700 fewer people beginning cancer treatment between April 2020 and March 2021.

c) that NHS Wales cancer waiting times for July 2021 show that the percentage of patients receiving their first treatment within 62 days of first being suspected of having cancer was at 61.8 per cent, which is well below the suspected cancer pathway performance target of 75 per cent.

d) that even before the pandemic, Wales was experiencing significant gaps in the workforce that diagnose and treat cancer, such as in imaging, endoscopy, pathology, non-surgical oncology and specialist nurses.

e) that without multi-year investment in training and employing more staff to fill current vacancies, Wales won’t have the frontline staff and specialists needed to address the cancer backlog, cope with future demand, or make progress towards ambitions to diagnose and treat more cancers at an early stage.

f) that the Wales Cancer Alliance criticised the quality statement for cancer, published in March 2021, for not setting a clear vision to support cancer services to recover from the impact of the pandemic and further improve survival. 

g) that Wales will soon be the only UK nation without a cancer strategy, which the World Health Organization recommends all countries have.

3. Welcomes the successful rapid diagnostic clinic pilots in Swansea Bay University Health Board and Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board, and that the Wales Cancer Network has provided funding to all other health boards to develop rapid diagnostic clinics.

4. Calls on the Welsh Government to:

a) provide an update on the next steps for the quality statement for cancer, including ambitious targets and mechanisms for tracking progress investment for staff, equipment and infrastructure;

b) address the long-standing staff shortages within cancer and diagnostic services;

c) consider how the recommendations in Professor Sir Mike Richards review of diagnostic services in England could be applied in Wales.


Supported by:


Sioned Williams

Rhun Ap Iorwerth

Paul Davies

Jane Dodds

Sian Gwenllian

Altaf Hussain

Sam Rowlands


Business Committee also agreed to schedule the following motion for debate on 15 December 2021:


NNDM7843 Rhys Ab Owen

Alun Davies

Jane Dodds

Heledd Fychan


To propose that the Senedd:

1. Notes the increase in the number of legislative consent motions being presented to the Senedd.

2. Recognises that this is both a consequence of Welsh Ministers seeking to use UK Parliament legislation to enact Welsh Government legislation and the UK Government seeking to override our democracy, erode the devolution settlement and diminish the powers of the Senedd.

3. Believes that all substantial and significant primary legislation should be enacted by the Senedd rather than through the LCM process.

4. Calls on the Welsh Government to:

a) work with the Senedd's Business Committee to review the LCM process to ensure it is fit for purpose;

b) clarify the principles of when LCMs are used;

c) work with the Llywydd to seek an urgent review of the impact on the devolution settlement and the powers of the Senedd as a consequence of UK legislation.




4       Legislation



4.1   Welsh Tax Acts etc. (Power to Modify) Bill

Business Committee agreed to refer the Bill to the Finance Committee for consideration of the general principles. Business Committee also agreed to defer a decision on the timetable for the Bill in order to consult the Finance Committee, and return to the matter at a future meeting.



4.2   Letter from the Local Government and Housing Committee - Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill SLCM

Business Committee agreed a revised reporting deadline of 9 December for the Local Government and Housing Committee and the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee on the LCM on the Leasehold Reform (Ground Rent) Bill.



5       Committee Timetable



5.1   Requests for additional meetings

Business Committee agreed to provide the Local Government and Housing Committee with permission to hold an additional meeting related to the LCM on the Leasehold Reform Bill between 1 and 9 December, in light of the delays in the laying of an SLCM.


Business Committee agreed the following additional meetings for committees:


Business Committee also noted the following additional meeting dates for the Finance Committee for the purpose of scrutiny of the budget and the Tax Bill:



Business Committee also agreed that the Health and Social Care Committee can hold an additional meeting in February or March 2022 for a pre-appointment hearing for the role of Chair of the Welsh Ambulance Service Trust, and the Children, Young People and Education Committee can arrange an additional meeting during the February 2022 protected week to agree its report on the Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Bill, subject to those meetings not causing any membership clashes.




6       Standing Orders



6.1   Signature threshold for petitions

Business Committee agreed to amend Standing Orders to increase the threshold for petitions, and that a report setting out the change required should be provided at a future meeting.


Business Committee also asked that the Petitions Committee monitor the effect of a new threshold on the number of petitions received and considered, noting that capacity should not be a barrier to petitions being considered.





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