Agenda and minutes

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Contact: Aled Elwyn Jones 

No. Item


Introductions, apologies and substitutions


Minutes of the previous meeting


The minutes for the meeting were agreed by the Committee for publication.


Organisation of Business


This Week's Business


The Minister for Skills and Science will be making a statement on employability (30 mins).


Business Managers had noted on 4 October that Questions to the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs, originally scheduled for 16 November, would be postponed to Wednesday 23 November.

Julie Morgan’s Short Debate, which was postponed from 9 November has been re-scheduled to follow Hefin David’s Short Debate.


On Tuesday, Voting Time would be after the final item of business. On Wednesday, Business Committee agreed that Voting Time would take place before the Short Debates.


Three Week Timetable of Government Business


The Statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport on ‘Wales for Africa’, which was postponed by procedural motion on Tuesday 8 November, has been re-scheduled for 22 November.


Business Committee noted the 3 Week Timetable of Government Business.


Three Week Timetable of Assembly Business


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


Wednesday 30 November 2016 –


    • Time allocated to the United Kingdom Independence Party (60 mins) – moved to 7 December


Business Committee agreed to schedule the following items of business:


Wednesday 7 December 2016 –

·         90 Second Statements (5 mins)

·         Debate by Individual Members under Standing Order 11.21(iv) (60 mins)

·         Time allocated to the Welsh Conservatives (60 mins)

·         Time allocated to the United Kingdom Independence Party (60 mins)moved from 30 November

·         Short Debate - John Griffiths (Newport East) (30 mins)


Individual Member Debate: Selection of Motion


Business Committee selected the 2 motions for debate.


Wednesday 23 November 2016


o   NNDM6143
Lee Waters (Llanelli)
Huw Irranca-Davies (Ogmore)
Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales)

To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:


1. Recognises the enormous potential benefits of the application of ‘big data’ in agriculture.


2. Notes the growth in research and development in precision agriculture as a way of increasing yields, maximising the use of scarce resources and minimising the use of harmful chemicals.


3. Calls on the Welsh Government to develop a strategy to put Wales at the forefront of the development of precision agriculture.


Wednesday 7 December 2016


o   NNDM6144
Jenny Rathbone (Cardiff Central)
Rhun ap Iorwerth (Ynys Môn)
Vikki Howells (Cynon Valley)
Angela Burns (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)
Dai Lloyd (South West Wales)

To propose that the National Assembly for Wales:


Notes that


a) levels of obesity across Wales continue to rise and is more prevalent amongst poorer communities;


b) changing people’s eating habits is complicated and involves a combination of good food availability, affordability and cookery skills;


c) the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 has yet to impact significantly on the amount of exercise people undertake;


d) declining rates of smoking have only been achieved through decades of education and tough government action, and took place against the tobacco industry’s efforts to deny the science and block government action; and


e) a combination of education, legislation and public procurement is required to tackle a growing public health problem.




Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill


Business Managers confirmed their in principle decision of 8 November to refer the Landfill Disposals Tax (Wales) Bill to the Finance Committee for Stage 1 consideration, and agreed the deadline for the Stage 1 Committee to report by as 10 March 2017 and the deadline for the completion of Stage 2 Committee proceedings as 26 May 2017.


Supplementary Legislative Consent Memorandum on the Children and Social Work Bill


Business Committee considered a paper from the government regarding a Supplementary Legislative Consent Memorandum (SLCM) in relation to the Children and Social Work Bill.


Business Managers agreed to refer the SLCM to the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee for scrutiny. The Business Committee also agreed that the Committee should report on the SLCM by Thursday 8 December 2016 to allow the Legislative Consent Motion to be debated in Plenary on Tuesday 13 December 2016.


Standing Orders


Proposals to amend Standing Order 26 - Member Bills


Business Managers considered a revised draft report on the proposed changes to Standing Order 26 for changing the current procedure for introducing Member Bills.


Business Managers agreed the report and to table a motion to revise Standing Orders for debate on 23 November.


Amending Standing Orders: Budget Process


Business Managers considered a paper setting out proposals, arrived at by both Assembly and Government officials, to reform the current budget processes in line with recommendations made by the previous Finance Committee’s Best Practice Budget Process inquiry.


The Committee agreed to return to the matter on 29 November following consultation with Party Groups. In the meantime, the Clerks of the Business and Finance Committees will meet with Business Managers to brief them on the proposals.


Use of Plenary Time


Members Bills - Procedure for Debates on Proposed Bills


Business Managers considered a paper outlining how debates on No Named Day Motions could work in practice as a procedure for proposing Member legislation, using existing Standing Order provisions.


The Committee agreed in principle and asked the Secretariat to draft more detailed guidance for Business Managers to consider at a future meeting. 


Review of Oral Assembly Questions


Business Managers considered a paper on a review of OAQs, based on recommendations by the previous Business Committee in its legacy report and in comparison with other UK legislatures.


The Committee agreed that the number of Oral Assembly Questions would remain the same and that the Llywydd would prioritise calling Members to ask tabled questions, with the result that fewer supplementaries would be called. The Llywydd also emphasised that she would be stricter on calling Spokespeople and other Members to order if they take too long in coming to questions.


Business Managers asked for a further paper on Urgent Questions and Topical Questions and agreed to return to the matter early in January.


Paper to note


Paper to note - LCM on the Wales Bill


Business Managers noted a note circulated by Jane Hutt regarding the timing of an LCM on the Wales Bill which is currently expected to be laid before the end of November. Jane Hutt explained that the situation had changed since she circulated the note, and that she would send a revised note in due course.