A relatively quiet start to the week, with the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee continuing its series of panel sessions on the implications that Brexit will have for Wales. They’ll be focusing on agriculture and fisheries this week – so we can expect a fair amount of soul searching to try to outline what Wales might look like without the Common Agricultural Policy or the Common Fisheries Policy. The Constitutional and Legislative Affairs Committee and Public Accounts Committee will not be meeting at all.
At Westminster, the Wales Bill receives its second reading in the House of Lords. Last week, AMs warned that it risked "rolling back" the powers of the Assembly. This has been a tricky bit of legislation and it already looks like it has failed to settle many of the questions it set out to resolve. Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas has already described the Bill as a "legislative failure on the part of the imperial capital". We look forward to his contributions from the Red Benches.
Keeping with the recurring theme of Brexit, one of the first items of business for Tuesday will be a statement by Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Local Government (Mark Drakeford) on EU funding. This will be the first time that AMs come together to discuss funding since the guarantee was made by Chancellor of the Exchequer (Philip Hammond) that any projects agreed before the UK formally leaves the EU will be protected for their lifespan. Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing & Sport (Vaughan Gething) will then update AMs on the Welsh Government’s ‘Together for Mental Health’ delivery plan, following on from several events on mental health which are taking place in the Senedd this week. Other items of business for Tuesday will include a statement by Cabinet Secretary for Communities & Children (Carl Sargeant) on the Welsh Government’s tackling poverty programmes, an update by Minister for Skills & Science (Julie James) on superfast broadband, and a debate on tackling hate crime. In light of a rise in recorded incidents since the EU referendum, this may take on a renewed focus on ethnic minorities.
Wednesday will see another busy morning of committees. Children, Young People & Education will scrutinise Minister for Lifelong Learning & Welsh Language (Alun Davies) on youth work and then hear from Sir Ian Diamond on his review into higher education funding. The Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee will take evidence from the Welsh Language Commissioner on her 2015/16 Assurance Report, and from National Museum Wales on the Welsh Government’s review of heritage services and a possible merger of the Museum and Cadw. Finally, the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee will look at NRW’s first ‘State of Natural Resources’ report.
Both Cabinet Secretary for Environment & Rural Affairs (Lesley Griffiths) and Carl Sargeant are due to take questions from AMs in the afternoon. Later proceedings will be dominated by health, with opposition debates on mental health (Plaid Cymru) and the case for an Autism Bill (Welsh Conservatives). An individual members debate – when AMs from different parties come together on one topic – will discuss physical activity and the importance of the Active Travel Act. This week’s short debate will be led by Joyce Watson (Mid & West Wales)(Lab) on Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, a network to build elected women’s capacity across legislatures.
Thursday morning will see the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee undertake a general scrutiny session with Chief Scientific Adviser (Julie Williams). Expect discussions to focus on STEM education, EU funding and Sêr Cymru. The Finance Committee will be continuing their Stage 1 scrutiny of the Land Transaction Tax Bill for 6 long hours. The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee will take time out in private to discuss strategic planning and inquiry scoping. They confirmed last week that medical recruitment is on their agenda.
General things to keep an eye on this week will be the continuing leadership drama within UKIP. After the tumultuous events of last week, we may begin to glean a better idea of what the party’s second leadership election of the year will look like. Leader of the Opposition (Jeremy Corbyn) will be returning to Westminster in the first week back after conference recess with his rejigged shadow cabinet behind him. Or not, as the case may be.
newsdirect wales is a political monitoring service. We'll be following every twist and turn in these discussions and reporting back on relevant developments to our clients. Can we help you? We think so. Call us on 029 2009 0693 to find out more.
We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!
OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly