Agenda and draft minutes

Venue: Y Siambr - Y Senedd. View directions

Note: 48(v3) 

Media

Senedd.TV: View the webcast

Transcript: Transcript for 26/01/2022 - Plenary

Items
Note No. Item

This meeting was held in a virtual format, with Members joining by video-conference.

(45 mins)

1.

Questions to the Minister for Climate Change

The Presiding Officer will call Party Spokespeople to ask questions without notice after Question 2.

View Questions

Supporting documents:

Minutes:

The item started at 13.30

The first 8 questions were asked. Questions 3, 5, 7 and 8 were answered by the Deputy Minister for Climate Change. The Presiding Officer invited party spokespeople to ask questions to the Minister and Deputy Minister after question 2.

(45 mins)

2.

Questions to the Minister for Education and Welsh Language

The Presiding Officer will call Party Spokespeople to ask questions without notice after Question 2.

View Questions

Minutes:

The item started at 14.20

Questions 1–4 and 6–8 were asked. Question 5 was not asked. The Presiding Officer invited party spokespeople to ask questions to the Minister after question 2.

(0 mins)

3.

Topical Questions

No Topical Questions were received.

Minutes:

No Topical Questions were received.

(5 mins)

4.

90 Second Statements

Minutes:

The item started at 15.05

Sioned Williams made a statement to note the International Day of Education.

Heledd Fychan made a statement to celebrate the Urdd’s Centenary.

Carolyn Thomas made a statement to celebrate the establishment of the first local Urdd Adran (branch) in Treuddyn, Flintshire.

(5 mins)

5.

Motion under Standing Order 10.5 to appoint the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales

NDM7893 Peredur Owen Griffiths (South Wales East)

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Expresses its gratitude for the contribution of Nick Bennett during his term of office as Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

2. In accordance with Standing Order 10.5, and acting under paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019, nominates Michelle Morris for appointment by Her Majesty as Public Services Ombudsman for Wales for a term of seven years to commence on 1 April 2022.

Supporting document:
Report of the Finance Committee

Minutes:

The item started at 15.10

DM7893 Peredur Owen Griffiths (South Wales East)

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Expresses its gratitude for the contribution of Nick Bennett during his term of office as Public Services Ombudsman for Wales.

2. In accordance with Standing Order 10.5, and acting under paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 to the Public Services Ombudsman (Wales) Act 2019, nominates Michelle Morris for appointment by Her Majesty as Public Services Ombudsman for Wales for a term of seven years to commence on 1 April 2022.

The motion was agreed in accordance with Standing Order 12.36.

(60 mins)

6.

Member Debate under Standing Order 11.21(iv) – Public transport in rural areas

NDM7880
James Evans (Brecon and Radnorshire)
Mabon ap Gwynfor (Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Natasha Asghar (South Wales East)
Carolyn Thomas (North Wales)
Jack Sargeant (Alyn and Deeside)
Rhys ab Owen (South Wales Central)
Samuel Kurtz (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Notes that 101 million bus journeys were undertaken in Wales in 2018/19, compared to 129 million in 2004/05.

2. Further notes that 23 per cent of people in Wales do not have access to a car or van.

3. Recognises that public transport is essential in rural Wales to prevent isolation and loneliness.

4. Calls on the Welsh Government to:

a) provide sustainable long-term funding for local authorities to enhance rural bus services;

b) ensure rural councils receive a fair share of future investment for public transport and active travel schemes;

c) guarantee the National Bus Strategy for Wales considers the unique challenges of public transport in rural Wales.

d) prioritise investing in zero-emissions public transport vehicles in rural areas.

Supporters:
Paul Davies (Preseli Pembrokeshire)
Peter Fox (Monmouth)

The following amendment has been tabled:

Amendment 1
Alun Davies (Blaenau Gwent)
Hefin David (Caerphilly)
Jack Sargeant (Alyn and Deeside)
Rhys ab Owen (South Wales Central)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Recognises the damage done by the privatisation of bus services in the 1980s and calls upon the Welsh Government to bring forward legislation to re-regulate bus services as a matter of urgency in this Senedd.

Supporter:
Carolyn Thomas (North Wales)

Minutes:

The item started at 15.15

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

A vote was taken on the motion without amendment:

NDM7880
James Evans (Brecon and Radnorshire)
Mabon ap Gwynfor (Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Natasha Asghar (South Wales East)
Carolyn Thomas (North Wales)
Jack Sargeant (Alyn and Deeside)
Rhys ab Owen (South Wales Central)
Samuel Kurtz (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Notes that 101 million bus journeys were undertaken in Wales in 2018/19, compared to 129 million in 2004/05.

2. Further notes that 23 per cent of people in Wales do not have access to a car or van.

3. Recognises that public transport is essential in rural Wales to prevent isolation and loneliness.

4. Calls on the Welsh Government to:

a) provide sustainable long-term funding for local authorities to enhance rural bus services;

b) ensure rural councils receive a fair share of future investment for public transport and active travel schemes;

c) guarantee the National Bus Strategy for Wales considers the unique challenges of public transport in rural Wales.

d) prioritise investing in zero-emissions public transport vehicles in rural areas.

For

Abstain

Against

Total

16

13

24

53

The motion without amendment was not agreed.

The following amendment was tabled:

Amendment 1
Alun Davies (Blaenau Gwent)
Hefin David (Caerphilly)
Jack Sargeant (Alyn and Deeside)
Rhys ab Owen (South Wales Central)

Add as new point at end of motion:

Recognises the damage done by the privatisation of bus services in the 1980s and calls upon the Welsh Government to bring forward legislation to re-regulate bus services as a matter of urgency in this Senedd.

The motion was agreed in accordance with Standing Order 12.36.

A vote was taken on amendment 1:

For

Abstain

Against

Total

26

13

14

53

Amendment 1 was agreed.

A vote was taken on the motion as amended:

NDM7880
James Evans (Brecon and Radnorshire)
Mabon ap Gwynfor (Dwyfor Meirionnydd)
Natasha Asghar (South Wales East)
Carolyn Thomas (North Wales)
Jack Sargeant (Alyn and Deeside)
Rhys ab Owen (South Wales Central)
Samuel Kurtz (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Notes that 101 million bus journeys were undertaken in Wales in 2018/19, compared to 129 million in 2004/05.

2. Further notes that 23 per cent of people in Wales do not have access to a car or van.

3. Recognises that public transport is essential in rural Wales to prevent isolation and loneliness.

4. Calls on the Welsh Government to:

a) provide sustainable long-term funding for local authorities to enhance rural bus services;

b) ensure rural councils receive a fair share of future investment for public transport and active travel schemes;

c) guarantee the National Bus Strategy for Wales considers the unique challenges of public transport in rural Wales.

d) prioritise investing in zero-emissions public transport vehicles in rural areas.

5. Recognises the damage done by the privatisation of bus services in the 1980s and calls upon the Welsh Government to bring forward legislation to re-regulate bus services as a matter of urgency in this Senedd.

For

Abstain

Against

Total

28

13

12

53

The motion as amended was agreed.

(60 mins)

7.

Welsh Conservatives debate – The impact of Covid on education

NDM7895 Darren Millar (Clwyd West)

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Regrets the adverse impact of COVID-19 restrictions on children and young people across Wales, including:

a) learners in Wales missing more days of their education than elsewhere in the UK during the pandemic;

b) Estyn’s conclusion that learners’ maths, reading, Welsh language and social skills have all suffered as a result of school closures.

2. Notes the persistent per pupil funding shortfall between Wales and other parts of the UK.

3. Calls on the Welsh Government to take action to overcome the impact of the pandemic on Welsh learners to ensure that every young person can reach their potential, by:

a) guaranteeing that schools will remain open;

b) removing the requirement to wear face coverings in schools and colleges as soon as possible;

c) accelerating the rollout of improved ventilation adaptations in learning environments;

d) levelling up school funding across Wales to address the shortfall between Wales and other UK nations.

The following amendments have been tabled:

Amendment 1. Lesley Griffiths (Wrexham)

Delete all and replace with:

1. Regrets the adverse impact of COVID-19 on children and young people’s learning and wellbeing.

2. Believes that the Welsh Government must continue to take appropriate measures to ensure face to face teaching is prioritised and that decisions to reduce COVID protections in schools must be taken in accordance with the data.

3. Believes that prioritising the wellbeing of pupils and staff is essential as we respond to the pandemic.

4. Notes the Education Policy Institute’s findings that Wales is spending the largest amount per pupil on education recovery in the UK.

5. Welcomes that the Welsh Government recently announced:

a) £50m additional capital funding to enable schools to undertake repair and improvement work, with a focus on health and safety measures, such as improving ventilation;

b) £45m additional revenue funding to support schools as they continue to deal with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and to prepare for the requirements of the new curriculum.

Comparing education catch-up spending within and outside the UK - Education Policy Institute (epi.org.uk)

[If amendment 1 is agreed, amendments 2 and 3 will be de-selected]

Amendment 2. Siân Gwenllian (Arfon)

Delete point 1 and replace with:

Regrets the adverse impact of COVID-19 restrictions on children and young people across Wales.

Amendment 3. Siân Gwenllian (Arfon)

Delete all after point 1 and replace with:

Calls on the Welsh Government to ensure that any future impacts of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic on children and young people, in particular in relation to learning and mental health, are minimised by investing in:

a) air filtration technology to ensure that every effort is made to keep schools open and safe;

b) mental health provision to prioritise mental health and wellbeing.

Minutes:

The item started at 16.19

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

A vote was taken on the motion without amendment:

NDM7895 Darren Millar (Clwyd West)

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Regrets the adverse impact of COVID-19 restrictions on children and young people across Wales, including:

a) learners in Wales missing more days of their education than elsewhere in the UK during the pandemic;

b) Estyn’s conclusion that learners’ maths, reading, Welsh language and social skills have all suffered as a result of school closures.

2. Notes the persistent per pupil funding shortfall between Wales and other parts of the UK.

3. Calls on the Welsh Government to take action to overcome the impact of the pandemic on Welsh learners to ensure that every young person can reach their potential, by:

a) guaranteeing that schools will remain open;

b) removing the requirement to wear face coverings in schools and colleges as soon as possible;

c) accelerating the rollout of improved ventilation adaptations in learning environments;

d) levelling up school funding across Wales to address the shortfall between Wales and other UK nations.

For

Abstain

Against

Total

14

0

39

53

The motion without amendment was not agreed.

The following amendments were tabled:

Amendment 1. Lesley Griffiths (Wrexham)

Delete all and replace with:

1. Regrets the adverse impact of COVID-19 on children and young people’s learning and wellbeing.

2. Believes that the Welsh Government must continue to take appropriate measures to ensure face to face teaching is prioritised and that decisions to reduce COVID protections in schools must be taken in accordance with the data.

3. Believes that prioritising the wellbeing of pupils and staff is essential as we respond to the pandemic.

4. Notes the Education Policy Institute’s findings that Wales is spending the largest amount per pupil on education recovery in the UK.

5. Welcomes that the Welsh Government recently announced:

a) £50m additional capital funding to enable schools to undertake repair and improvement work, with a focus on health and safety measures, such as improving ventilation;

b) £45m additional revenue funding to support schools as they continue to deal with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and to prepare for the requirements of the new curriculum.

Comparing education catch-up spending within and outside the UK - Education Policy Institute (epi.org.uk)

A vote was taken on amendment 1:

For

Abstain

Against

Total

28

0

25

53

Amendment 1 was agreed.

As amendment 1 was agreed, amendments 2 and 3 were de-selected.

A vote was taken on the motion as amended:

NDM7895 Darren Millar (Clwyd West)

1. Regrets the adverse impact of COVID-19 on children and young people’s learning and wellbeing.

2. Believes that the Welsh Government must continue to take appropriate measures to ensure face to face teaching is prioritised and that decisions to reduce COVID protections in schools must be taken in accordance with the data.

3. Believes that prioritising the wellbeing of pupils and staff is essential as we respond to the pandemic.

4. Notes the Education Policy Institute’s findings that Wales is spending the largest amount per pupil on education recovery in the UK.

5. Welcomes that the Welsh Government recently announced:

a) £50m additional capital funding to enable schools to undertake repair and improvement work, with a focus on health and safety measures, such as improving ventilation;

b) £45m additional revenue funding to support schools as they continue to deal with the ongoing impacts of the pandemic and to prepare for the requirements of the new curriculum.

Comparing education catch-up spending within and outside the UK - Education Policy Institute (epi.org.uk)

 

For

Abstain

Against

Total

28

11

14

53

The motion as amended was agreed.

(60 mins)

8.

Plaid Cymru debate – The UK government's Elections Bill

NDM7894 Siân Gwenllian (Arfon)

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Recognises the importance of ensuring that elections are fair and accessible for all voters.

2. Condemns the UK Government for introducing the Elections Bill which is set to bring in major changes to reserved elections, including the introduction of compulsory photographic identification to vote.

3. Supports the #HandsOffOurVote campaign that seeks to ensure that no legitimate voter is turned away from the ballot box.

4. Calls on the Welsh Government to oppose and raise concerns regarding the measures brought forward by the Elections Bill at every opportunity with the UK Government.

The following amendment has been tabled:

Amendment 1. Darren Millar (Clwyd West)

Delete all after point 1 and replace with:

Welcomes the UK Government’s Elections Bill and its provisions to strengthen the integrity of elections across the United Kingdom.

Notes that the introduction of voter ID has been backed by the Electoral Commission and that the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights has stated that its absence is a security risk.

Calls on the Welsh Government to work collaboratively with the UK Government to improve the integrity of all elections held in Wales.

Minutes:

The item started at 17.12

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

A vote was taken on the motion without amendment:

NDM7894 Siân Gwenllian (Arfon)

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Recognises the importance of ensuring that elections are fair and accessible for all voters.

2. Condemns the UK Government for introducing the Elections Bill which is set to bring in major changes to reserved elections, including the introduction of compulsory photographic identification to vote.

3. Supports the #HandsOffOurVote campaign that seeks to ensure that no legitimate voter is turned away from the ballot box.

4. Calls on the Welsh Government to oppose and raise concerns regarding the measures brought forward by the Elections Bill at every opportunity with the UK Government.

For

Abstain

Against

Total

39

0

14

53

The motion without amendment was agreed.

In accordance with Standing Order 12.18, at 18.08 proceedings were suspended to allow a technical break before Voting Time.

 

9.

Voting Time

Minutes:

The item started at 18.10

 

Votes Summary

Supporting documents:

(30 mins)

10.

Short Debate

NDM7892 Russell George (Montgomeryshire)

The benefits of the restoration of the Montgomery canal: exploring the progress and advantages of the ongoing restoration being pursued by a group of passionate local individuals, volunteers and organisations.

Minutes:

The item started at 18.15

NDM7892 Russell George (Montgomeryshire)

The benefits of the restoration of the Montgomery canal: exploring the progress and advantages of the ongoing restoration being pursued by a group of passionate local individuals, volunteers and organisations.