Minutes - Business Committee

Meeting Venue:

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

Meeting date: 5 November 2019

Meeting time: 08.30 - 08.50







Committee Members:

Elin Jones AM, Llywydd (Chair)

Rhun ap Iorwerth AM

Rebecca Evans AM

Caroline Jones AM

Darren Millar AM

Committee Staff:

Aled Elwyn Jones (Clerk)

Others in attendance

Siwan Davies, Director of Assembly Business

Siân Wilkins, Head of Chamber and Committee Service

Gwion Evans, Head of the Llywydd's Private Office

Helen Carey, Welsh Government

Elin Roberts, Policy Adviser to the Llywydd



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



·         Voting Time will take place as the last item of business.



·         All voting on government business will take place directly after item 3.

·         All voting on Assembly business will take place before the Short Debate.

The Trefnydd notified Business Managers that under Standing Order 12.58, Questions to the Minister for Economy and Transport will be answered by the Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport.  



3.2   Three Week Timetable of Government Business

The Llywydd asked if the Trefnydd could clarify the government’s approach to the Westminster pre-election period. The Trefnydd indicated that the Welsh Government was still awaiting the publication of the UK Government’s guidance, and would bring a note to next week’s meeting.



3.3   Three Week Timetable of Assembly Business

Vikki Howells requested that Business Committee consider postponing her Short Debate from 13 November, so Business Committee asked the Secretariat to see if any of the Members who had a Short Debate scheduled before Christmas would be able to swap with Vikki Howells.


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


Wednesday 27 November 2019 –


·         Debate: Stage 4 of the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill (15 mins)

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

·         Time allocated to the Welsh Conservatives (60 mins)

·         Time allocated to the Brexit Party (60 mins)

The Llywydd reminded Business Managers that forty Members would need to vote in favour at Stage 4 of the Senedd and Elections (Wales) Bill for it to pass.



4       Legislation



4.1   Letters from the Minister for Environment Energy and Rural Affairs

Business Managers agreed that the Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee should report on the Rural Affairs (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Wales) (EU Exit) (No.3) Regulations 2019, and the Animal Health and Welfare (Miscellaneous Amendments) (Wales) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019 by Thursday 21 November.



5       Standing Orders



5.1   Proposals to introduce a new Standing Order 18A for oversight of the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales

Business Managers agreed the draft Business Committee Report and also agreed to table a motion to revise Standing Orders for debate in Plenary on Wednesday 13 November 2019.


Business Managers also agreed to table motions to amend the remits of the Finance and ELG Committees for 13 November.



5.2   Proposals to Amend Standing Order 12.63 for Oral Assembly Questions

Business Managers agreed the draft Business Committee Report and also agreed to table a motion to revise Standing Orders for debate in Plenary on Wednesday 13 November 2019.


Business Managers also agreed to amend the Guidance on the Proper Conduct of Assembly Business to reflect these changes.



6       AOB

LCM - Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill


The Trefnydd drew Business Managers’ attention to the fact that last week the Welsh Government laid a Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Animal Welfare (Sentencing) Bill as the Bill had been reintroduced into Parliament, having fallen at prorogation. However, the Bill will fall again as it willnot be completed before Parliament is dissolved ahead of the general election, and therefore the government will not be asking Business Committee to refer the LCM for scrutiny.


General Election in Westminster


The Llywydd reminded Business Managers that Westminster elections should not affect Assembly business, and reminded Members that Standing Orders require that speeches must be "relevant to the business of the Assembly". Plenary is not the place to campaign for the UK general election and it should not distract Members from their focus on issues that are the responsibility of the Assembly and the Welsh Government. The Llywydd will call to order Members or Ministers who stray from this to debate Westminster election manifestos, political campaigns and individual candidates.


Proxy Voting


The Llywydd reminded Business Managers that the Committee would be returning to the paper on Proxy Voting next week to receive feedback from groups.






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