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The Welsh Political Week in 60 Seconds

Valerie Livingston has a run down on what's happening in Wales this week.

Mondays – which had been a very quiet day of the week in the Senedd during the Fourth Assembly – have become increasingly busy of late.

This Monday, Adam Price and Dai Lloyd will launch Plaid’s plans for a National Infrastructure Commission for Wales in the morning. In the afternoon, the External Relations & Additional Legislation Committee will take evidence from academics on the impact of Brexit on research capabilities. Constitutional & Legislative Affairs Committee will take evidence on the Land Transaction Tax Bill. Public Accounts Committee will quiz top Welsh civil servant, Derek Jones, on the Welsh Government’s Annual Accounts.

On Tuesday, it’s back to the future for AMs as they return, once again to the issue of local government reform. Cabinet Secretary for Finance & Local Government (Mark Drakeford) will make a statement on the subject after FMQs. The old merger plans were shelved after the previous Minister for Public Services, Leighton Andrews, was not returned to the Assembly after the election. Prof Drakeford has been speaking to local authorities over the summer and is expected to have reached more consensus than last time.

(Perhaps, because there’s only so much excitement we watchers of Welsh politics can stand, a statement on their plans for a National Infrastructure Commission which were due to be announced on Tuesday has been postponed for a couple of weeks.)

Other statements from the Welsh Government on Tuesday will be from Cabinet Secretary for Economy & Infrastructure (Ken Skates) on the new National Infrastructure Commission for Wales. Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing & Sport (Vaughan Gething) provides an update on care for major health conditions.

There will be a debate on Tuesday evening on the Welsh Government’s Programme for Government. Want to find out more about the Programme? Check out our blog post.

Wednesday morning is packed with Committees. Economy, Infrastructure & Skills will be considering Business Rates; Health & Social Care take further evidence on winter preparedness and the Finance Committee hear from the Public Services Ombudsman.  

On Wednesday afternoon, Ken Skates and Vaughan Gething will take questions from AMs. Opposition debates include Plaid Cymru in two half-hour debates on the Rural Development Plan and how to rejuvenate Welsh high streets. The Welsh Conservatives have a debate on Right to Buy, in anticipation of the Welsh Government’s upcoming legislation to end it. UKIP will discuss their opposition to HS2 and the need to invest in Welsh rail networks instead.

On Thursday morning, Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee will be channel hopping as they conduct general scrutiny of S4C, BBC Wales and ITV. Expect the BBC Charter to come up. A lot.

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