Minutes - Business Committee

Meeting Venue:

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

Meeting date: 21 March 2017

Meeting time: 08.30 - 08.55





Committee Members:

Elin Jones AM (Chair)

Rhun ap Iorwerth AM

Paul Davies AM

Jane Hutt AM

David J Rowlands AM

Committee Staff:

Aled Elwyn Jones (Clerk)

Others in attendance

Ann Jones AM, Deputy Presiding Officer

Christopher Warner, Head of Policy and Legislation Committee Service

Siân Wilkins, Head of Chamber and 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

On Tuesday, the statement by the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language: The Future of Youth Work Delivery in Wales (45 mins) has been postponed to Tuesday 4 April.


The Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Children will be making a statement on Park Homes Commission Rate – next steps (45 mins).


The Leader of the House informed Business Managers that the Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language will be answering questions on behalf of the Cabinet Secretary for Education on Wednesday.


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 29 March 2017 –

·         Short Debate - Mike Hedges (Swansea East) (30 mins) Moved to 5 April

·         Short Debate - Steffan Lewis (South Wales East) (30 mins)


Wednesday 5 April 2017 –

·         Short Debate - Steffan Lewis (South Wales East) (30 mins) moved to 29 March

·         Short Debate - Mike Hedges (Swansea East) (30 mins)


Wednesday 3 May 2017 –

·         Debate on the Children, Young People and Education Committee's inquiry into the Education Improvement Grant: Gypsy, Roma and Traveller, and Minority Ethnic Children (60 mins)

·         Time allocated to Plaid Cymru (60 mins)

·         Time allocated to the United Kingdom Independence Party (60 mins)




4       Standing Orders



4.1     Proposals to amend Standing Orders in relation to the Budget Process

Business Managers considered a paper setting out proposals, arrived at by both Assembly and Government officials, to reform the current budget processes in line with recommendations made by the previous Finance Committee’s Best Practice Budget Process inquiry.


Business Managers agreed to consult with the Finance Committee on the proposed changes, and to discuss them with their groups once a response had been received from the Committee. The Committee also agreed that the Chair of the Finance Committee and the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Local Government should meet to discuss the proposals.


They asked that the draft protocol being considered by the Finance Committee be circulated to aid discussions around the Standing Orders. Business Committee will return to the matter early in the summer term.




4.2     Proposals to amend Standing Orders in relation to Topical Questions and Urgent Questions

Business Managers considered a draft report on the proposed changes to Standing Order 12 for introducing Topical Questions and revising the criteria for Urgent Questions.


Business Managers agreed the report, subject to one change to the draft guidance, and to table a motion to revise Standing Orders for debate on 5 April 2017.


Business Managers also agreed to review the new procedure in the autumn term, including the amount of time allocated and when they are scheduled.




Any Other Business

Paul Davies asked again for clarification on the position of Neil McEvoy within the Plaid Cymru group and what implications this would have on opposition group sizes, including the allocation of committee places. Rhun ap Iorwerth informed Business Managers that he hoped to provide further detail in due course.