It’s legislation-tastic* over the next couple of weeks as AMs wrap up the final few Bills of the fourth National Assembly for Wales. This week there are a shedload* of Regulations and Orders to pass, two Stage 2 sessions and one Stage 3 debate.
Monday kicks off with the Constitutional & Legislative Affairs Committee who meet to approve a raft* of Regulations. They’ll also note a letter from the Presiding Officer (Rosemary Butler) in which she reminds Secretary of State for Wales (Stephen Crabb) that there is cross-party agreement that the draft Wales Bill “requires significant amendment”. The pressure is on for the Wales Office to act swiftly if the Bill is to be brought forward on its current timetable.
The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meets in private on Tuesday to hear a briefing from the Auditor General for Wales on Cardiff Airport and consider its draft report on governance in the NHS. Remember last week’s report on poor value land deals? PAC will publish that on Tuesday too.
Tuesday afternoons are surely the First Minister’s favourite part of the week. From 13h30, he’ll be answering Opposition Questions on everything from the crisis in the steel industry to medical innovation in Wales.
After that, AMs will approve Regulations on planning and child care before a three-hour Stage 3 debate on the Environment (Wales) Bill. Stage 3 is the penultimate stage in the Assembly’s legislative process and it’s the last opportunity for AMs to make amendments. Expect discussion around climate change targets and biodiversity targets.
On Wednesday morning, the Environment & Sustainability Committee meet in private to discuss their Smarter Energy Future for Wales inquiry. The Communities, Equality and Local Government Committee will hear evidence on financial inclusion and community based approaches to tackling poverty from Minister for Communities & Tackling Poverty (Lesley Griffiths).
Wednesday’s Plenary session kicks off with Health & Social Care Questions and Education & Skills Questions. There are Opposition debates on housing, the Welsh economy and local government funding. Angela Burns (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire)(Con) has a short debate on public services in west Wales.
On Thursday, three committees have all-day sessions. The Enterprise & Business Committee will be taking evidence on rail services in Wales. The Finance Committee will be considering amendments to the Tax Collection and Management (Wales) Bill as it undergoes Stage 2 scrutiny. Amendments at this stage tend to be more technical as the Bill takes shape. The Health & Social Care Committee will take evidence on the Public Health (Wales) Bill also at Stage 2. Expect most of the discussion to be around e-cigs.
Need in-depth coverage on any of these sessions? newsdirect is a dedicated monitoring service. We'll be reporting live all week. Give us a shout on 029 2009 0693.
*We are experienced monitoring professionals and we can confirm that these are highly technical terms.
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