Agenda and minutes

Venue: Conference Room C - Tŷ Hywel. View directions

Contact: Huw Gapper 

No. Item


Chair's introduction: (9.00 - 9.05)


1.1         The Chair welcomed everyone to the meeting.


1.2         Clerk to the Board, Huw Gapper was not in attendance due to a family emergency and the Board conveyed their best wishes to Huw.


1.3         The Board welcomed Lukas Santos-Evans to the meeting. Lukas has recently commenced a 12 month internship with the Senedd Commission and will be providing support to the Board’s secretariat during his tenure.


1.4         Due to the rise in covid cases and associated risks the decision was made to hold the Board meeting virtually, as well as the drop-in session with Members the previous day. The Board plan to have an ‘in person’ meeting in October.


1.5         The Board expressed disappointment at the postponement of visits to Group offices. These meetings will be rescheduled for October.


1.6         The minutes of the 26 May meeting were agreed.



·         The Secretariat to reschedule the Group office visits for the October meeting.

·         Publish minutes of the 26 May meeting.



Item for decision: Mid-term review of effectiveness (9.05 - 9.30)


2.1         The updated terms of reference, scope and timetable for the Board’s Mid-term Review of Effectiveness were agreed.


2.2         The review will be undertaken by Gareth Watts, Senedd Commission Head of Governance and Assurance, in November.


Item for discussion and decision: Annual Report (9.30 - 10.00)


3.1         The Board agreed its draft Annual Report, subject to a few amendments.


3.2         The report will be agreed via email, with a view to it being laid before the Senedd as soon as practicably possible.



·         The secretariat to arrange translation and prepare the report for publication.



Item for discussion: Senedd reform (10.00 - 11.00)

Huw Irranca-Davies MS, Former Chair of the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform;

Adam Vaughan, Senior Constitutional Change Implementation Officer, Senedd Commission.



4.1         The Board considered a paper on Senedd Reform, focusing on the findings and recommendations of the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform’s Report and the next steps anticipated for Senedd Reform.


4.2         The former Chair to the Special Purpose Committee on Senedd Reform, Huw Irranca-Davies, attended the Board meeting and gave his perspective on the work of the committee and the next steps to realising Senedd Reform by 2026.


4.3         The Board agreed to speak to the political groups early in the autumn term to understand their perspective on the impact of Senedd Reform on resourcing needs. The Chair noted that she and the Llywydd have agreed to regular meetings.


4.4         It was noted that the Board would need to give consideration to cost estimates during preparations for the Bill on Senedd Reform.



·         The secretariat to provide the Board with a detailed outline of the engagement activity with stakeholders in relation to the Board’s consideration of Senedd Reform prior to the convening of the next Board meeting in October.


Item for decision: Thematic Review - Ways of working (11.15 - 12.15)


5.1         The Board agreed draft terms of reference for its thematic review of ways of working as well as its approach and timescales for the review. The terms of reference will be shared with the Member and Staff Representative groups for feedback before finalising. The Board agreed that Sir David Hanson would lead on this thematic review.


5.2         It was acknowledged that the Senedd Commission's ways of working review will be undertaken concurrently to the Board’s own review. The intention is that the Board and Commission hold joint engagement exercises with Members and Members’ support staff.


5.3         It was agreed that there are issues of immediate priority around current ways of working that need to be considered and addressed in time for the next annual review of the Determination in the autumn term.


5.4         The Board agreed that the implications of rising inflation and energy costs for Members’ allowances will be considered outside of this thematic review, with the possibility of ‘in year’ changes being made to the Determination.


5.5         Evidence will be sought from internal stakeholders over the summer and early autumn to inform the Board’s consideration at the October meeting.



·         The secretariat to make arrangements for evidence gathering over the summer on the terms of reference for the Review to inform the Board’s consideration in the autumn term.



Item decision: Support staff review (13.00 - 14.00)


6.1         Draft terms of reference for the Board’s thematic review of staffing support for Members were agreed.


6.2         The review is to be conducted in three phases with the first phase to concentrate on issues for immediate action.


6.3         The Board agreed to informally consult internal stakeholders (specifically the Member and Members Support Staff Representative Groups) on the draft terms of reference prior to the next Board meeting so that the results may inform the remaining phases of the review.


6.4         Mike Redhouse was nominated as the Board Member who would lead on this thematic review.



·         The secretariat to make arrangements to seek views on the terms of reference over the summer, to inform the Board’s agreement of final terms of reference in the autumn term.


Item for discussion and decision: Co-operation Agreement (14.00 - 14.30)


7.1         The Board will consider the impact, if any, of the Co-operation agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru on Members’ pay and allowances at its October meeting.


7.2         Evidence from internal stakeholders and the Welsh Government will be sought over the summer to inform the Board’s decision making in the autumn term.



·         The secretariat to make arrangements to seek views over the summer on any impacts of the Co-operation Agreement, to inform the Board’s consideration in the autumn term of any changes required to the Determination.




Item for discussion: Update and forward work programme (14.30 - 14.50)


8.1         The Board noted updates on:

·         The resourcing of the Board;

·         Energy costs;

·         DSE training and assessment;

·         Senedd Reform;

·         The Commission’s electric vehicle scheme;

·         Business Committee’s review of Standing Order 34 and remote participation;

·         The Members’ Pension Scheme – Commission nominated trustee;

·         Correspondence from Members in relation to payment cards and Apprenticeship scheme;

·         The Board’s finances; and

·         The Board’s forward work programme.


8.2         The Board agreed to schedule its next formal meeting for Thursday 13 October, to be held in Cardiff.