Minutes - Business Committee

Meeting Venue:

Presiding Officer’s office, 4th floor - Tŷ Hywel

Meeting date: 12 July 2016

Meeting time: 08.30 - 09.15





Committee Members:

Elin Jones AM (Chair)

Jane Hutt AM

Simon Thomas AM

Paul Davies AM

Mark Reckless AM

Committee Staff:

Aled Elwyn Jones (Clerk)

Others in attendance

Ann Jones AM, Deputy Presiding Officer

Siân Wilkins, Head of Chamber and Committee Service

Christopher Warner, Head of Policy and Legislation Committee Service

Helen Carey, Welsh Government



1       Introductions, apologies and substitutions



2       Minutes of the previous meeting


The minutes for the meeting were agreed by the Committee for publication.




3       Organisation of Business


This Week’s Business


The First Minister would be making a statement on the priorities for Government.


The Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children would be making a statement on the Child Practice Review into the Death of Dylan Seabridge.


The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport would be making a statement on the new Treatment Fund.


The Statement by the Minister for Skills and Science on Wales’ Compound Semiconductor Cluster was withdrawn and would be issued as a written statement.



The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure would be making a statement on the Circuit of Wales.


Motions would be taken to change UKIP membership on committees.


Bethan Jenkins’ Short Debate, which was postponed from the previous week, would take place after the Short Debate by Mike Hedges.



On Tuesday, Voting Time would be after the final item of business. On Wednesday Voting Time would take place before the Short Debates.


Three Week Timetable of Government Business

Business Committee noted the 3 Week Timetable of Government Business.

The Presiding Officer enquired as to when the Government intended to bring forward a debate on its priorities and legislative programme, required under Standing Order 11.21(ii). The Leader of the House confirmed that the debate would take place in the near future.


Three Week Timetable of Assembly Business

Business Managers noted that Assembly Business would continue to be scheduled according to the current arrangements for Individual Member Debates and opposition debates,  until any decision is made on reforming the use of Assembly time.

Business Committee determined the organisation of Assembly business and agreed to schedule the following items of business:


Wednesday 14 September 2016 –

·         Motion to change the remit of the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee


Wednesday 28 September 2016 –

·         Debate by Individual Members under Standing Order 11.21(iv) (60 mins)

·         Time allocated to Plaid Cymru (60 mins)

·         Time allocated to the Welsh Conservatives (60 mins)

·         Short Debate - Eluned Morgan (Mid and West Wales) (30 mins)




4       Legislation


Land Transaction Tax and Anti-avoidance of Devolved Taxes (Wales) Bill

At last week’s meeting the Committee agreed in principle to refer the Bill to the Finance Committee for scrutiny. The Minister brought forward a paper for Business Committee, setting out proposed dates for the Bill’s consideration, but did not include dates for Stage 2 consideration.


Business Managers discussed the proposed dates and agreed that the timetable should include an indicative deadline for Stage 2 consideration and this would be subject to change.


Business Managers requested that Government and Commission officials liaise to agree a proposed date for Stage 2 to include in the consultation with the Finance Committee, and agreed to return to the matter at the first meeting after summer recess. 




5       Budget Timetable


Letter from the Chair of the Finance Committee regarding the Draft Budget Timetable

The Committee considered a letter from the Chair of the Finance Committee requesting a week’s extension to the proposed timetable, from four to five sitting weeks, to allow full and proper scrutiny of the Draft Budget.


Simon Thomas, Paul Davies and Mark Reckless agreed that the Finance Committee should be allowed a week’s extension, but the Leader of the House explained that this would cause difficulties for the government.

Business Managers requested that Government and Commission officials explore possible options and that the Committee to return to the matter at the first week back after summer recess.




6       Committees


Remit of the Reserve Policy and Legislation Committee

Business Managers discussed a paper on changes to the remit of the Reserve Policy and Legislation Committee and agreed to table a motion on Wednesday 14 September to that effect, subject to minor amendments. The Presiding Officer indicated that she would write to the chairs of the Reserve Policy and Legislation and the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committees setting out their new remits.




7       Use of Assembly Time


Use of Assembly Time in Plenary

The Committee considered a paper with various options for introducing more variety in the use of Assembly time in Plenary.


Business Managers agreed to explore further options around Member statements; petition debates; public debates and topical and spokespeople questions.


As there was general support for the idea of committee statements, the Presiding Officer will write committee chairs to encourage them to bring forward statements on the work of committees from September onwards.




8       Commission meeting slot and the committee timetable


Assembly Commission meeting slot and the committee timetable

The Committee considered a paper on possible slots for the Assembly Commissioners to meet in the new term.


Business Managers agreed that Commission meetings slots should be factored in to the Assembly timetable on Monday afternoons and that Committees meeting on the same day should be scheduled after 3pm. The dates of Commission meetings should be agreed at the latest by the last week of previous term.




Any Other Business


Business Managers agreed that the next Business Committee meeting should be scheduled for 8.30am on Tuesday 13 September and at that meeting, Business Managers would confirm whether or not to continue to meet at 8.30am.