Minutes - Business Committee

Meeting Venue:

Video Conference via Zoom

Meeting date: 13 July 2020

Meeting time: 12.36 - 13.53







Committee Members:

Elin Jones MS, Llywydd (Chair)

Rebecca Evans MS

Darren Millar MS

Siân Gwenllian MS

Caroline Jones MS

Committee Staff:

Aled Elwyn Jones (Clerk)

Others in attendance

Ann Jones MS, Deputy Presiding Officer

Manon Antoniazzi, Chief Executive & Clerk of the Senedd

Siwan Davies, Director of Senedd Business

Siân Wilkins, Head of Chamber and Committee Service

Julian Luke, Head of Policy and Legislation Committee Service, Head of Policy and Legislation Committee Service

Gwion Evans, Head of the Llywydd's Private Office

Bethan Garwood

Helen Carey, Welsh Government

Elin Roberts, Policy Adviser to the Llywydd



1       Introductions, apologies and substitutions



2       Minutes of the previous meeting

The Minutes from the previous meeting were agreed for publication.



3       Organisation of Business



3.1   This Week's Business

The Trefnydd raised the issue of two Members being unable to vote at different times last week. The Llywydd explained that it was possible for Members’ votes to be entered manually into the system by a clerk, in the event that one or two of them experience an insurmountable problem. This would require Members to declare their vote orally while the vote was open. The Llywydd will use this when she considers it to be necessary, and if there were a more wide-scale problem, would resort to weighted voting. 


The Business Committee agreed that the Llywydd should continue with the current practice of not allowing interventions except in specific slots towards the end of a debate.


Independent Members


Business Committee agreed that as Neil Hamilton is unable to attend Plenary in person on Wednesday, although he had been successful in the ballot, his place will be offered to Neil McEvoy (the other non-group Member who had expressed a preference for attending in person).



The Trefnydd informed Business Managers that the Government has withdrawn the following motions:

This is because the Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 2) (Wales) Regulations 2020 laid on Friday repeal them.


Start time and break


Business Managers agreed that the break should be at around 12.30, after questions to the Counsel General. They also agreed a short break after government business, at around 15.30.


In response to a request from the Trefnydd, the Llywydd agreed that Ministers could swap during both breaks, so that most or all lead Ministers can participate from the Chamber.



3.2   Three Week Timetable of Government Business

The Trefnydd drew Business Managers’ attention to the fact that the Government has scheduled business for Tuesdays and Wednesdays from September onwards.



3.3   Three Week Timetable of Senedd Business

Business Committee agreed to return to a more usual schedule of business from September onwards, and so scheduled the following:


Wednesday 16 September 2020:



Wednesday 23 September 2020 –


·         Questions to the Senedd Commission (30 mins)

·         90 Second Statements (5 mins)

·         Debate on the Finance Committee report: Impact of variations in national and sub-national income tax (60 mins)

·         Time allocated to the Brexit Party (60 mins) – moved to 16 September

·         Time allocated to the Welsh Conservatives (60 mins)

·         Time allocated to Plaid Cymru (60 mins)

·         Short Debate (30 mins)


Wednesday 30 September 2020 –




4       Senedd Business



4.1   Senedd Timetable

The Business Committee agreed to return to twice-weekly Plenaries on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons, and agreed the draft committee timetable.


The Llywydd confirmed that the Commission would be looking at issues such as how many Members could be present in the building, and potential use of other rooms, ahead of the autumn term. It would also consider whether there was any way more than two committees could be broadcast simultaneously in future.



4.2   Recess Dates

Business Committee confirmed the autumn half term and Christmas recess dates for 2020 and agreed provisional recess dates for spring half term 2021 and Easter recess.



4.3   Summer recess 2020 tabling arrangements

Business Committee confirmed the arrangements for tabling Plenary business during the summer recess period and agreed the arrangements for the tabling of Written Questions.



5       Legislation



5.1   Letter from the Chair of the Equalities and Local Government Committee

The Business Committee agreed to the request by the committee for an additional meeting slot on 20 July.


The Business Committee also agreed the proposed revised timetable for the Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Bill, with a reporting deadline for Stage 1 of 2 October 2020 and for Stage 2 of 4 December 2020.



5.2   Supplementary Legislative Consent Memorandum - The Fisheries Bill

The Business Committee agreed to refer the Supplementary LCM on the Fisheries Bill to the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs and LJC Committees, with a reporting deadline of 24 September.




5.3   Revised Legislative Consent Memorandum - The Non Domestic Rating  (Lists) Bill

The Business Committee also agreed to refer the revised LCM on the Non-Domestic Rating (Lists) Bill to the EIS and LJC Committees but, as the Bill is being held in abeyance indefinitely in Westminster, did not set a reporting deadline. 



5.4   Legislative Consent Memorandum - The Medicines and Medical Devices Bill

The Business Committee also agreed to refer the LCM on the Medicines and Medical Devices Bill to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, and the LJC Committee, with a reporting deadline of 22 October.



6       Committees



6.1   Letter from the Chair of the Committee for Senedd Electoral Reform

The Business Committee agreed to the request from the Committee on Senedd Electoral Reform to meet during w/c 3 August 2020.




7       Any Other Business

Recall meetings of the Senedd on 5 and 26 August

The Business Committee confirmed that the meeting will be held virtually with a start time of 1.30pm, and that any voting will take place on the remote voting app.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus Restrictions) (No. 2) (Wales) Regulations 2020 

The Business Committee agreed a deadline of 3 August for the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee to report on the regulations, ahead of the anticipated debate on 5 August.

Business Managers discussed ways of ensuring that, in the case of made-affirmative regulations, the regulations were debated at the first Plenary after they had been made, and the Llywydd asked officials to consider ways of enabling that to happen.





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