Minutes - Business Committee

Meeting Venue:

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

Meeting date: 7 May 2019

Meeting time: 08.30 - 09.15







Committee Members:

Elin Jones AM, Llywydd (Chair)

Rebecca Evans AM

Darren Millar AM

Rhun ap Iorwerth AM

Neil Hamilton AM

Committee Staff:

Aled Elwyn Jones (Clerk)

Others in attendance

Ann Jones AM, Deputy Presiding Officer

Manon Antoniazzi, Chief Executive & Clerk of the Assembly

Siwan Davies, Director of Assembly Business

Siân Wilkins, Head of Chamber and Committee Service

Gwion Evans, Head of the Llywydd's Private Office

Elin Roberts, Policy Adviser to the Llywydd

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 Llywydd informed Business Managers that, further to discussions after last week’s meeting, the leader of the UKIP group will be called to ask two leaders’ questions to the First Minister each week, and UKIP may ask 2 spokespeople questions on three OAQ sessions of their choice. They will not be called to ask spokespeople questions to other Ministers. Where they do not have spokespeople questions, the Llywydd will make every effort to call them for supplementary questions where possible. UKIP will notify the Llywydd by the end of the day today on their choice of three OAQ slots; whilst they are free to amend their choices at the start of any term, they will need  to notify the Llywydd of any changes.


The Llywydd also informed Business Managers that there will be a review of the Visitor Code of Conduct, particularly in relation to the public gallery, following last week’s climate change debate.




·         Voting Time will take place after the debate on ‘the Primary Care Model for Wales’, and before the Llywydd and First Minister’s addresses to mark the twentieth anniversary of devolution.


·         Plenary is unlikely to run past 6.05pm.



·         Business Managers noted that Plaid Cymru had tabled two 30 minute debates and subsequently withdrawn one, and so their debate will now last 60 minutes.


·         All voting will take place before the Short Debate.


·         Plenary is unlikely to run past 7.00pm.



3.2   Three Week Timetable of Government Business

Business Managers noted the small number of government debates over the next three weeks.



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 22 May 2019 –


·         Debate on the Petitions Committee report: Petition P-05-784 Prescription drug dependence and withdrawal – recognition and support (60 mins)


Wednesday 5 June 2019 –


·         Time allocated to the Welsh Conservatives (60 mins)

·         Time allocated to the Plaid Cymru (60 mins)

·         Member Debate under Standing Order 11.21(iv) (60 mins)



3.4   Member Debates: Selection of Motion for Debate

·         Business Managers selected the following motion for debate on 15 May:


Jenny Rathbone

Dai Lloyd

Joyce Watson


To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:


1. Believes that healthy, nourishing school meals can make an essential contribution to pupils’ wellbeing, attainment, and positive behaviour.


2. Notes that this month’s Children’s Commissioner’s report A Charter for Change: Protecting Welsh Children from the Impact of Poverty provides worrying evidence that a significant number of pupils are not getting their entitlement set out in the healthy eating in maintained schools guidance.


3. Calls on the Welsh Government to:


a) clarify whether the standards of school meals are the responsibility of school governors, local authorities or the Welsh Government and what action is being taken to ensure they are being monitored; and


b) outline what action is being taken to increase the amount of food for schools being procured locally as part of its emphasis on the foundational economy.


A Charter for Change: Protecting Welsh Children from the Impact of Poverty


Healthy eating in maintained schools: Statutory guidance for local authorities and governing bodies


Supported by:


Darren Millar

David J Rowlands

Mike Hedges

Russell George

Vikki Howells


·         Business Managers also selected the following motion for debate on 5 June:


John Griffiths

Dawn Bowden

Mike Hedges


To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:


1. Calls on the Welsh Government to produce a tackling poverty strategy, with a detailed budget and action plan for implementation.


2. Calls on the First Minister to clarify the areas of responsibility for tackling poverty within each ministerial portfolio.


3. Acknowledges and drives accountability on progress made on the tackling poverty agenda.


Supported by:

Jayne Bryant

Sian Gwenllian

Vikki Howells

Huw Irranca-Davies

Mark Isherwood

Dai Lloyd

Lynne Neagle

Jenny Rathbone

David Rees

David J Rowlands



4       Assembly Business



4.1   Timings for 30 minute opposition debates in Plenary

Business Managers discussed the paper and agreed to return to it next week after consulting with their groups.



4.2   The effect of recent changes to group membership on committees

Business Managers discussed the paper and agreed to continue discussions outside of the Committee.



Any Other Business

Standards Committee – Gareth Bennett


Before Easter, the Assembly endorsed the Standards Committee’s recommendation that Gareth Bennett be removed from being a member of that Committee for the remainder of this Assembly. 


The Standards Committee is next expected to meet on 14 May, and so any change would need to be made this week for it to have effect in time. Business Managers agreed to table a motion to remove Gareth Bennett as a member of the Standards of Conduct Committee; to be taken during tomorrow’s Plenary. The Committee will return to the issue of a nomination to fill the resulting vacancy in due course.





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