Concise Minutes - Petitions Committee


Meeting Venue:

Committee Room 4 - Tŷ Hywel

Meeting date: Tuesday, 13 October 2020

Meeting time: 09.15 - 11.01
This meeting can be viewed
on Senedd TV at:
http://senedd.tv/en/6432


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Attendance

Category

Names

Assembly Members:

Janet Finch-Saunders MS (Chair)

Michelle Brown MS

Neil McEvoy MS

Jack Sargeant MS

Leanne Wood MS

Witnesses:

Ken Skates MS, Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales

Andy Falleyn, Welsh Government

Committee Staff:

Graeme Francis (Clerk)

Mared Llwyd (Second Clerk)

Kayleigh Imperato (Deputy Clerk)

 

<AI1>

1       Introduction, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

The Chair welcomed Members to the meeting and made a short statement about conduct during and outside of meetings.

</AI1>

<AI2>

2       New COVID-19 Petitions

</AI2>

<AI3>

2.1   P-05-997 Give Citizens of Wales use and access to the German Track and Trace APP! We can't wait for England!

The Committee considered the petition for the first time and agreed to close the petition in light of the launch of a Covid-19 tracking app on 24 September, which means it is likely that there is little that could be achieved through further work on the petition.

 

</AI3>

<AI4>

2.2   P-05-1014 Give Dental practices and their staff the “key worker” status

The Committee expressed their disappointment at the lack of a timely

response to the petition from the Welsh Government and agreed to write again to seek this and a subsequent response from the petitioner before considering the petition again.

 

</AI4>

<AI5>

2.3   P-05-1021 Do not make face masks or face coverings mandatory in ANY (inc secondary) schools

The Committee considered the petition for the first time and agreed to:

·         write back the Minister for Education to ask what guidance is made available to pupils about the wearing of face coverings and what is being done to facilitate the safe and environmentally friendly disposal of face masks in schools. 

·         await further comments from the petitioner.

 

</AI5>

<AI6>

2.4   P-05-1025 Ensure fairness for students taking exams in 2021

The Committee considered the petition for the first time and agreed to:

 

·         await the findings of the independent review currently being conducted into the awarding of grades in 2020 and 2021 and decisions expected to be made shortly by the Minister for Education; and

·         write to the WJEC to ask for a response to the petitioners’ concerns over the differences in approach to adapting course content being taken in relation to individual subjects, and the call for increased optionality in examination papers if course content is not reduced.

 

</AI6>

<AI7>

2.5   P-05-1027 Allow Welsh domestic football clubs to play friendlies and allow supporters to attend matches

Jack Sargeant declared the following relevant interest under Standing Order 17.24A:

He is a board member of a football club in Wales.

The Committee considered the petition for the first time and agreed to write to:

 

</AI7>

<AI8>

2.6   P-05-1028 Relax the excessive restrictions to allow motor sport rallies to take place in Wales

The Committee considered the petition for the first time and agreed to write back to the Deputy Minister to share the petitioner’s further response, seek clarification about whether officials have engaged directly with Motorsports UK and ask for an update on the outcomes from of the test events referred to in his previous correspondence.

 

</AI8>

<AI9>

3       Evidence Session - P-05-886 Stop the Red Route (A55/A494 corridor)

The Committee heard evidence from the Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales and Andy Falleyn.

 

</AI9>

<AI10>

4       Other New Petitions

</AI10>

<AI11>

4.1   P-05-1022 To follow the Scottish Parliament and have LGBTQ Welsh history taught in all Welsh schools

The Committee considered the petition for the first time and agreed to note the petition and the responses received, including the broad satisfaction of the petitioners. In light of the prioritisation being given to the flexibility of subjects taught in the new curriculum and the introduction of statutory Relationships and Sexuality Education, the Committee agreed to write back to the Minister for Education to stress the importance of addressing this issue and close the petition.

 

</AI11>

<AI12>

4.2   P-05-1023 Welsh Government funding for recycling bins and collections in all education settings in Wales

The Committee considered the petition for the first time and, in light of the funding available through the Circular Economy Fund and the satisfaction of the petitioner, the Committee agreed to close the petition and thank the petitioner for bringing the issue forward.

</AI12>

<AI13>

4.3   P-05-1026 Petition to ban the snaring of wildlife for use in the fur trade

The Committee considered the petition for the first time and agreed to write back to the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs to ask for details of work done since the publication of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee’s report on the use of snares in Wales, including in relation to the collection of data and annual reviews of the Code of Practice.

 

</AI13>

<AI14>

5       Updates to previous petitions

</AI14>

<AI15>

5.1   P-05-825 Protect children's lungs from harmful pollution whilst at school

The Committee considered an update on the petition and agreed to note the publication of the Clean Air Plan and the petitioners’ further comments.  In light of the petitioners’ satisfaction with much of the content of the Plan and the wider nature of the actions they are seeking to improve air quality in general, the Committee agreed to close the petition and, in doing so:

 

o   write to the Chair of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee to share the petitioners’ detailed comments to inform their current Inquiry into air quality; and

o   write to share the additional detailed comments about the Welsh Government’s Clean Air Plan and proposals for a White Paper on a new Clean Air Act with the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs for information.

 

</AI15>

<AI16>

5.2   P-05-937 STOP BOILING CRUSTACEANS ALIVE (lobsters, crabs, crayfish, prawns etc)

The Committee considered an update on the petition and agreed to write back to the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs to ask what consideration has been given to date by the Welsh Government to using its powers under Section 1 of the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to extend the definition of “animal’ to include invertebrates on animal welfare grounds, and what evidence has been considered as part of this.

 

</AI16>

<AI17>

5.3   P-05-963 Require supermarkets to donate excess food to charity

The Committee considered an update on the petition and agreed to:

o   write to the committee in the House of Commons responsible for scrutinising the UK Environment Bill to note its support for the relevant provisions being provided to Welsh Ministers; and

o   write to the Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs to urge that additional powers be used, when available, to require supermarkets to donate excess food.

 

</AI17>

<AI18>

5.4   P-05-798 Male domestic violence victim support services to be independently run & funded

Neil McEvoy declared the following relevant interest under Standing Order 17.24A:

He has been a service user of, and volunteer for, the petitioners.

The Committee considered an update on the petition and agreed to write back to the Deputy Minister and Chief Whip, with the content of the letter to be agreed outside of the meeting.

 

</AI18>

<AI19>

5.5   P-05-906 Save Sam Davies Ward at Barry Hospital

The Committee considered an update on the petition and agreed to close the petition in light of the fact that the Sam Davies Ward has remained open and the petitioners are satisfied with the current position.

 

</AI19>

<AI20>

5.6   P-05-743 End the Exotic Pet Trade in Wales

In light of the lack of recent contact from the petitioner, and the confirmation from the Minister that the Welsh Government will not be bringing forward new regulations or a Code of Practice during the remainder of this Senedd term, the Committee agreed to close the petition.

 

</AI20>

<AI21>

5.7   P-05-864 Ban the use of 'Hostile Architecture

In light of the lack of contact from the petitioner, the launch of the Placemaking Charter in September and the Minister’s commitment to engage organisations supporting homeless people in relevant work under this, the Committee agreed to close the petition and provide details of the evidence the Committee has considered to the petitioners.

 

</AI21>

<AI22>

6       Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the meeting for the following business:

The motion was agreed.

</AI22>

<AI23>

7       Discussion of Evidence Session - P-05-886 Stop the Red Route (A55/A494 corridor)

The Committee discussed the evidence session and agreed to seek the petitioner’s views on the evidence provided by the Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales.

</AI23>

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