Minutes - Business Committee

Meeting Venue:

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

Meeting date: 10 January 2017

Meeting time: 08.30 - 08.46





Committee Members:

Elin Jones AM (Chair)

Jane Hutt AM

Rhun ap Iorwerth AM

Paul Davies AM

David J Rowlands 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



3.1   This Week's Business

The timing for the statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport: Consultation on the Draft Dementia Strategic Action Plan for Wales was increased from 30 to 45 minutes.


The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs will be making a statement on Avian Influenza (30 mins).


The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport will be making a statement on the New Treatment Fund (45 mins).


On Tuesday, Voting Time would be after the final item of business. On Wednesday, Business Committee agreed that Voting Time would take place before the Short Debate.




3.2   Three Week Timetable of Government Business

Business Committee noted the 3 Week Timetable of Government Business.




3.3   Three Week Timetable of Assembly Business

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


Wednesday 25 January 2017 –

·         Statement by the Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee: Future inquiries and engagement work (30 mins)


Wednesday 1 February 2017 –

·         Debate on the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee's report on its inquiry into winter preparedness 2016/17 (60 mins)

·         Time allocated to Plaid Cymru (60 mins)




4       Legislation



4.1   Supplementary Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Higher Education and Research Bill

Business Committee considered a paper from the government regarding a Supplementary Legislative Consent Memorandum (SLCM) in relation to the Higher Education and Research Bill.


Business Managers agreed to refer the SLCM to the Children, Young People and Education Committee for scrutiny. The Business Committee also agreed that the Committee should report on the SLCM by Thursday 9 February 2017 to allow the Legislative Consent Motion to be debated in Plenary on Tuesday 14 February 2017.




4.2   Letter from the Counsel General to the Llywydd regarding Consolidation Bills

The Business Committee noted a letter from the Counsel General regarding his response to the Law Commission on its report on ‘Form and Accessibility of the Law Applicable to Wales’.


In light of the Law Commission’s findings the Counsel General indicated in his letter that he was content to resume the process of introducing a procedure for Consolidation Bills, which Welsh Government and Assembly Commission Officials begun in May 2014.


Business Managers indicted that they were content to resume co-operating on proposals for amending Standing Orders to include a procedure for the consideration of Consolidation Bills and to write to the CLA Committee informing them of this decision.




5       Standing Orders



5.1     Review of the Public Petitions Arrangements


Business Managers considered a paper setting out proposals for amending Standing Orders based on the recommendations in the ‘Review of the Public Petitions Arrangements’ report the Petitions Committee wanted to take forward. The Business Committee agreed in principle to the proposals to amend Standing Orders so as to implement recommendations 3 and 4 of the report, and for procedure outside Standing Orders for dealing with petitions that reached a certain threshold of signatures.


The Committee agreed to write to the Petitions Committee to consult them on the proposals.




Any Other Business

Leaving the Chamber


The Llywydd reminded Business Managers that Members who have contributed to an item are expected to remain in the Chamber for its entirety and those who do not will be sanctioned in future.


The Llywydd asked Business Managers to encourage Members to be succinct when asking questions on statements. Spokespeople are allowed a 2 minute preamble before coming to questions, however other Members are expected to come straight to questions.