Decision details

Welsh Liberal Democrats Debate

Decision Maker: Plenary - Fourth Assembly

Status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Purpose:

Debates are one of the most frequent items of business on the Plenary agenda. Many types of debate are brought forward in Plenary, including:

  • Opposition party debates on a topic of their choice;

Other than in the case of Government debates, the time allocated for all other types of debates and their frequency are determined by the Business Committee

Decision:

The item started at 16.50

Voting on the motion and amendments under this item was deferred until Voting Time.

A vote was taken on the motion without amendment:

NDM5313 Aled Roberts (North Wales)

To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:

1. Notes with concern that:

a) Wales has the largest proportion of premises in potential not-spots, and the lowest availability of superfast broadband services in the UK;

b) the recent rationalisation and decommissioning of mobile masts has resulted in many customers facing a frustrating loss or degradation of mobile signal.

2. Believes that broadband and mobile services play an integral and ever expanding role in the lives of Welsh consumers and citizens and that a lack of access to digital infrastructure is a hindrance to social, economic and cultural development, noting in particular that:

a) according to a recent Estyn report ‘The impact of ICT on pupils’ learning in primary schools’, around half the schools surveyed say that the poor quality of the internet connection hinders their ICT work;

b) the Welsh Affairs Committee report ‘Broadband services in Wales’ expresses concern that the existence of broadband not-spots and slowspots, particularly in rural areas, has hindered local businesses at a cost to the local economy;

c) the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee report ‘Rural Communities’ notes that households in rural areas are less likely to take up schemes that may reduce fuel costs, such as cheaper tariffs or energy efficiency schemes, due to a lack of broadband access; and

d) the Chairman of the Commission for Rural Communities has said that poor web coverage is a factor in pushing young people out of rural areas.

3. Regrets the problems experienced by the Welsh Government’s Regional Innovative Broadband Support Scheme and calls on the Welsh Government to:

a) ensure that the Access Broadband Cymru scheme is widely advertised and does not experience the same issues;

b) examine the planning system to ensure that planning rules support the development of digital infrastructure;

c) examine what support can be offered to businesses to improve their ability to compete worldwide through better access to digital services; and

d) investigate recent problems with mobile signal and work with network providers to ensure these issues are addressed and coverage is maximised across Wales.

For

Abstain

Against

Total

13

0

37

50

The motion without amendment was not agreed.

The following amendments were tabled:

Amendment 1 - William Graham (South Wales East)

Insert as new point 2c and renumber accordingly:

the rise of online shopping has contributed to the challenges faced by the high street, however recognises the potential of the internet as a source for high street regeneration;

A vote was taken on Amendment 1:

For

Abstain

Against

Total

50

0

0

50

Amendment 1 was agreed.

Amendment 2 - William Graham (South Wales East)

Add as new sub-point at the end of point 2:

the increasing digitalisation of farm administration and the impact this has on farmers who suffer from poor broadband coverage.

A vote was taken on Amendment 2:

For

Abstain

Against

Total

49

0

0

49

Amendment 2 was agreed.

Amendment 3 - William Graham (South Wales East)

Insert as new point 3a and renumber accordingly:

guarantee that during the rollout of the Superfast Cymru scheme BT ensures that premises which do not qualify for connection will be notified accordingly in a timely manner;

A vote was taken on Amendment 3:

For

Abstain

Against

Total

24

0

26

50

Amendment 3 was not agreed.

A vote was taken on the motion as amended:

NDM5313 Aled Roberts (North Wales)

To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:

1. Notes with concern that:

a) Wales has the largest proportion of premises in potential not-spots, and the lowest availability of superfast broadband services in the UK;

b) the recent rationalisation and decommissioning of mobile masts has resulted in many customers facing a frustrating loss or degradation of mobile signal.

2. Believes that broadband and mobile services play an integral and ever expanding role in the lives of Welsh consumers and citizens and that a lack of access to digital infrastructure is a hindrance to social, economic and cultural development, noting in particular that:

a) according to a recent Estyn report ‘The impact of ICT on pupils’ learning in primary schools’, around half the schools surveyed say that the poor quality of the internet connection hinders their ICT work;

b) the Welsh Affairs Committee report ‘Broadband services in Wales’ expresses concern that the existence of broadband not-spots and slowspots, particularly in rural areas, has hindered local businesses at a cost to the local economy;

c) the rise of online shopping has contributed to the challenges faced by the high street, however recognises the potential of the internet as a source for high street regeneration;

d) the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee report ‘Rural Communities’ notes that households in rural areas are less likely to take up schemes that may reduce fuel costs, such as cheaper tariffs or energy efficiency schemes, due to a lack of broadband access; and

e) the Chairman of the Commission for Rural Communities has said that poor web coverage is a factor in pushing young people out of rural areas.

f) the increasing digitalisation of farm administration and the impact this has on farmers who suffer from poor broadband coverage.

3. Regrets the problems experienced by the Welsh Government’s Regional Innovative Broadband Support Scheme and calls on the Welsh Government to:

a) ensure that the Access Broadband Cymru scheme is widely advertised and does not experience the same issues;

b) examine the planning system to ensure that planning rules support the development of digital infrastructure;

c) examine what support can be offered to businesses to improve their ability to compete worldwide through better access to digital services; and

d) investigate recent problems with mobile signal and work with network providers to ensure these issues are addressed and coverage is maximised across Wales.

For

Abstain

Against

Total

24

0

26

50

The motion as amended was not agreed.

 

Publication date: 02/10/2013

Date of decision: 02/10/2013

Decided at meeting: 02/10/2013 - Plenary - Fourth Assembly

 

 

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