Minutes - Business Committee

Meeting Venue:

Tŷ Hywel

Meeting date: 31 January 2023

Meeting time: 09.01 - 09.23







Committee Members:

Elin Jones MS, Llywydd (Chair)

Lesley Griffiths MS

Siân Gwenllian MS

Darren Millar MS

Committee Staff:

Graeme Francis (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

Julian Luke, Head of Policy and Legislation Committee Service, Head of Policy and Legislation Committee Service

Siân Wilkins, Head of Chamber and Committee Service

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 informed Business Managers that she will answer FMQs today in the absence of the First Minister.


The Llywydd informed Business Managers of her intention to express condolences to the First Minister on behalf of the Senedd at the start of this afternoon’s meeting.




No scheduled business.



3.2   Three week timetable of Government Business

The Trefnydd drew Business Managers’ attention to the following additions:


Tuesday 7 February 2023


·         Statement by the Deputy Minister for Social Partnership: The LGBTQ+ Action Plan (30 mins)


Tuesday 14 February 2023


·         Statement by the Minister for Health and Social Services: The Health Service Procurement (Wales) Bill (60 mins)

·         Statement by the Minister for Education and Welsh Language: Further Education Digital Learning (30 mins)

·         Statement by the Minister for Social Justice: Ukraine Humanitarian Response (30 mins)

·         The Packaging Waste (Data Collection and Reporting) (Wales) Regulations 2023 (15 mins)

·         Debate: The Police Settlement 2023-24 (30 mins)



3.3   Three week timetable of Senedd Business

Business Committee agreed to make the following changes:


Wednesday 8 February 2023 –



Wednesday 15 February 2023 –



Wednesday 1 March 2023 –



Business Committee agreed to reschedule the Member Debate on 8 February to 1 March in order to achieve a better balance of finish times over the coming weeks.


The Llywydd informed the Committee that Mike Hedges and Russell George have agreed to swap their short debates. Russell George’s debate will now take place on 8 February and Mike Hedges’ on 15 February.



3.4   Member Debates: Selection of Motions for Debate

Business Committee considered the proposed motions for debate and agreed to schedule the following motion on 15 February:



Luke Fletcher

Co-submitters: Mike Hedges, Heledd Fychan, Jane Dodds, Adam Price, Carolyn Thomas, Sioned Williams

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Notes:

a) that the Welsh Government retained education maintenance allowance, unlike the UK Government in England;

b) that in Wales, the value of education maintenance allowance has not changed since 2004, and the eligibility thresholds have not changed since 2011;

c) that while education maintenance allowance is an important form of financial support for post-16 learners, it has not kept up with cost-of-living pressures.

2. Calls on the Welsh Government to consider an inflation-linked uplift to the value of education maintenance allowance and a review of the thresholds.


And the following motion on 1 March:



Sarah Murphy

Co-submitter: Jane Dodds

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Notes that the prevalent collection and use of biometric data within schools across Wales is putting children’s personal data and privacy at risk.

2. Calls on the Welsh Government to introduce legislation that would:

a) ensure that Article 16 of the UNCRC, a child's right to privacy, is upheld within Wales;

b) ensure that schools and childcare settings are using non-biometric technologies for services, rather than using biometric systems that may compromise the security of children's biometric data;

c) ensure appropriate risk assessments and procurement processes of technology companies within educational settings are put in place;

d) acknowledge the potential harms from the unregulated use of biometric data; 

e) acknowledge the lack of consent by young people and children within current usages of biometric data within schools. 




4       Legislation



4.1   The Non-Domestic Rating (Multiplier) (Wales) Regulations 2023

The Business Committee agreed to refer the Regulations to the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee and the Finance Committee and requested that the committees should report by Monday 27 February 2023.  



4.2   Correspondence from the Chair of the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee regarding the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill

Business Committee noted the correspondence and annex containing an update on the Welsh Government’s approach to the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Bill and its intention that the Senedd should have the opportunity to scrutinise subordinate legislation which arises as a result of the Bill. The Committee also noted the Government’s intention to contact it once it has sufficient information about the potential implications for the Senedd timetable.




5       Senedd Business



5.1   Use of 30-minute debates in opposition time

Business Committee considered current practice around the scheduling of debates in opposition time and agreed not to make any revisions at this time. The Llywydd indicated that she and the Deputy Presiding Officer would seek to ensure that a range of voices are able to be heard during all debates through the number of, and order in which, Members are called to speak.





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