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Cofnod y Trafodion
The Record of Proceedings

Y Pwyllgor Newid Hinsawdd, Amgylchedd a Materion Gwledig

The Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee




Agenda’r Cyfarfod
Meeting Agenda

Trawsgrifiadau’r Pwyllgor
Committee Transcripts



4        Cyflwyniad, Ymddiheuriadau, Dirprwyon a Datgan Buddiannau
Introductions, Apologies, Substitutions and Declarations of Interest       


4        Craffu Cyffredinol ar Waith Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet dros yr Amgylchedd a Materion Gwledig
General Scrutiny of the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs


42      Papurau i’w Nodi
Papers to Note


42      Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i Benderfynu Gwahardd y Cyhoedd o Weddill y Cyfarfod
Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to Resolve to Exclude the Public from the Remainder of the Meeting










Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle y mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.


The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.


Aelodau’r pwyllgor yn bresennol
Committee members in attendance


Jayne Bryant


Sian Gwenllian

Plaid Cymru
The Party of Wales

Mike Hedges

Llafur (Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor)
Labour (Committee Chair)

Huw Irranca-Davies


David Melding

Ceidwadwyr Cymreig
Welsh Conservatives

Jenny Rathbone


Simon Thomas

Plaid Cymru
The Party of Wales


Eraill yn bresennol
Others in attendance


Prys Davies

Dirprwy Gyfarwyddwr, Datgarboneiddio ac Ynni, Llywodraeth Cymru
Deputy Director, Decarbonisation and Energy, Welsh Government

Dr Christianne Glossop

Cyfarwyddwr, Swyddfa’r Prif Swyddog Milfeddygol, Llywodraeth Cymru
Director, Office of the Chief Veterinary Officer, Welsh Government

Lesley Griffiths

Aelod Cynulliad, Llafur (Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet dros yr Amgylchedd a Materion Gwledig)
Assembly Member, Labour (The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs)

Neil Hemington

Prif Gynllunydd, Llywodraeth Cymru
Chief Planner, Welsh Government

Andrew Slade

Cyfarwyddwr, Amaeth, Bwyd a’r Môr, Llywodraeth Cymru
Director, Agriculture, Food and Marine, Welsh Government


Swyddogion Cynulliad Cenedlaethol Cymru yn bresennol
National Assembly for Wales officials in attendance


Louise Andrewartha

Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk

Wendy Dodds

Y Gwasanaeth Ymchwil
Research Service

Elfyn Henderson

Y Gwasanaeth Ymchwil
Research Service

Marc Wyn Jones



Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:30.
The meeting began at 09:30.


Cyflwyniad, Ymddiheuriadau, Dirprwyon a Datgan Buddiannau
Introductions, Apologies, Substitutions and Declarations of Interest


[1]          Mike Hedges: [Inaudible.]—to introductions, apologies and substitutions. We’ve had apologies from Gareth Bennett, and I understand there’s no substitute.


Craffu Cyffredinol ar Waith Ysgrifennydd y Cabinet dros yr Amgylchedd a Materion Gwledig
General Scrutiny of the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs


[2]          Mike Hedges: Can I welcome the Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs and ask if you could introduce yourself and your officials?


[3]          The Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs (Lesley Griffiths): Yes. I’m Lesley Griffiths, Cabinet Secretary for Environment and Rural Affairs.


[4]          Mr Hemington: Neil Hemington, chief planner.


[5]          Mr Slade: Andrew Slade, lead director, environment and rural affairs.


[6]          Mr Davies: Prys Davies, head of decarbonisation and energy policy.


[7]          Dr Glossop: Christianne Glossop, chief veterinary officer.


[8]          Mike Hedges: Thank you very much. If you don’t mind, can we go straight into questions? The first question, I’ll ask. How do you respond to recent criticism of coastal flood and erosion risk management in Wales by both the auditor general and the Public Accounts Committee?


[9]          Lesley Griffiths: Well, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear I didn’t accept their criticism. I think we’ve done some significant work in this area. We’ve also put significant funding into this issue. If I could just say, over the last year, since I’ve been in post, we’ve established a five-year capital programme for flood schemes. That was done to make sure that local authorities were certain of the funding they would be getting, and also Natural Resources Wales require improved governance through the new flood and coastal programme boards. We’ve also done improved flood-risk mapping and I think, particularly in light of what happened yesterday up in north Wales, we’ve already got surface water flood-risk maps. Officials are working with NRW to combine the flood-risk maps also, because I think it’s really important that we know what areas are at risk of specific flooding and what the types of flooding are and what the levels of risk are. We’ve established the communities-at-risk register, because that’s a way of prioritising the more at-risk schemes going forward. We’ve also got a forward work programme for the next year, where we’ll be updating the national strategy. We are bringing forward a coastal adaptation toolkit, and we’re now establishing the flood and coastal erosion committee.


[10]      Mike Hedges: Okay, thank you. Jenny.


[11]      Jenny Rathbone: What role does tree planting upstream from the flood areas play in your strategy?


[12]      Lesley Griffiths: Well, that’s something we’re specifically looking at. It is a big part of it.


[13]      Mr Davies: I know that NRW are looking at the role of tree planting in terms of upland schemes, so they have examples where they are looking at the viability to reduce flood risk. It is a bit more difficult to understand the exact correlation between tree planting and reducing flood risk, but I think it absolutely has a role to play, and it’s been a key part of NRW’s approach to this issue for some time.


[14]      Jenny Rathbone: I’m a bit disappointed, just looking at it. I’d have thought it should have been a substantial part of our strategy for some time now, given that trees absorb water and also stop boulders, et cetera, going down the hillside.


[15]      Mr Davies: Well, NRW do have a tree planting programme, so, in one sense, they are doing this and taking action to do that, and I think the work on the rural development plan also supports tree planting in various areas across Wales. I think one of the areas that we need to think about is actually meshing the relationship between tree planting and the flood programme that NRW runs into a more cohesive whole.


[16]      Lesley Griffiths: It’s also something we’ve been looking at in the natural resources policy.


[17]      Mike Hedges: Okay. Huw.


[18]      Huw Irranca-Davies: Can I ask, Cabinet Secretary, or your officials, where do local flood forums play any role within Wales? Is there a difference between what’s happening in Wales and what’s happening in England? Now, I know that local flood forums are not a mandatory scheme anywhere, but, as we see the weather conditions at the moment and we see the forecast for the weekend and we know that constituencies across Wales, including high upland areas, where you’d never have thought to have seen flooding on a regular basis, are now being hit—. So, local flood forums, do they play a part at all in our thinking in flood response?


[19]      Mr Davies: In terms of the way that the responsibilities around flooding are parcelled out across Wales, local authorities have the lead responsibility for dealing with flood issues at a local level. Now, it is ultimately up to them to decide how they might want to engage locally. What we have done at a national level and are in the process of doing is establishing a national flood committee that will bring different stakeholders—so, not only the key stakeholders like the Welsh Local Government Association and Natural Resources Wales, but others who have a significant role to play in terms of flood defence, like Network Rail—Network Rail own a lot of flood assets, as do other organisations—also utilities and others who have a role to play, like landowners, and the agricultural community as well.


[20]      Huw Irranca-Davies: I think that’s excellent at a national level, but, actually, to focus down to the local again, I understand what you’re saying about local authorities, and you’ve said very clearly they are in pole position to do whatever they want to on the ground. I’ll hazard a guess that, if I went to any local authority in Wales, and quite a few in England, and I said to them, ‘What are you doing on local flood forums that do the same sort of analysis on a street-by-street community level, area level—street design, house resilience, community resilience?’, they’d say, ‘What the hell is a local flood forum?’ Are you giving any guidance to local authorities? Would you consider actually devising guidance that said, ‘This is how you can work at a local level with residents in order to better protect them against flooding’?


[21]      Mr Davies: I think it’s something, certainly, that we can look at. I can certainly take that issue back to colleagues who work specifically on the flood side.


[22]      Huw Irranca-Davies: Brilliant.


[23]      Mike Hedges: Can I, really, ask Jenny Rathbone’s question the other way around? What are you doing about people taking trees down in upland areas, which, obviously, can lead to flooding lower down? I was confused. What you said and my understanding were not exactly the same, so perhaps you can solve my confusion: I believed trees sucked up a large amount of water—there’s a calculation somewhere of how much they take up, but they’re fairly large amounts of water—but your view, in the answer to Jenny Rathbone, was that it was just a minor help, if a help at all.


[24]      Lesley Griffiths: No, I think we know they significantly do help. In fact, when we were out in—I don’t know if Prys remembers, but when we were out in Marrakech and we met with Paul, who manages our Wales for Africa programme, he was telling us how the tree planting that we’re funding in Mbale has stopped villages from being flooded, so I think that’s completely accepted. But you will remember I was in front of this committee two weeks ago on woodland and forestry, so, obviously, it’s a piece of work that needs to be much more joined up in relation to flood management.


[25]      Mike Hedges: Yes, I’m sorry—


[26]      Mr Slade: If I may, Chair, there are three strands to the natural resources policy work that we’ve been discussing with stakeholders, and two of those are around nature-based solutions to exactly the sort of issue that you’re describing, and also area-based approaches to things, working on a catchment level for what the impact would be on rivers and tributaries to those rivers.


[27]      Mr Davies: Just on your point, Chair, if I gave the impression that it was a minor impact, that wasn’t, certainly, something that I wanted to give. I think what I was trying to convey is that, when you build a 7 ft high concrete wall, it is more measurable for a flood engineer to assess what impact that will have, let’s say in terms of a one in 100- or 200-year flood. When you plant trees further upstream, it is perhaps more difficult for flood engineers to understand the impact that will have, and perhaps a bit more difficult to persuade them about that as a particular option in terms of mitigating flood, but it is absolutely something that we and NRW are keen to encourage.


[28]      Mike Hedges: Surely, then—


[29]      Simon Thomas: A lot more attractive, trees, than a 7ft high wall.


[30]      Mike Hedges: But, also, it’s—. From just personal experience—and, I’m sure, the personal experience of most Members in here—people chop trees down and we get flooding occurring in areas that have never flooded before. So, what is being done to stop this chopping down of trees and bushes, because I think bushes are underrated as a means of sorting out water coming down hills? I live in Swansea, which is not very different to most of south Wales: it’s full of hills. Those hills have trees on them, and bushes. Sometimes people decide to chop those trees and bushes down and then they get amazed by the fact they get flooding. What are you doing to try and get people not to chop these trees and bushes down?


[31]      Lesley Griffiths: When you say ‘people’, who are you referring to?


[32]      Mike Hedges: I’m referring to, in most cases, private landowners, but I’m also referring to public bodies and developers. It’s a whole range of—. There’s a piece of land, it’s got trees and bushes on it, there’s no flooding lower down. Somebody decides to go and remove those, for whatever reason, either to make it better for themselves or in order to develop the land, and, all of a sudden, flooding lower down occurs—what are you trying to do to try and stop that removal of bushes and trees?


[33]      Lesley Griffiths: Well, looking at the national strategy update that we’re going to have next year, we can continue to work with private landowners, et cetera. We obviously have tree preservation orders that we can bring in.


[34]      Mr Slade: Trees and hedges will be part of the cross-compliance conditions for common agricultural policy payments and, indeed, linked to the RDP. So, we have a number of mechanisms.


[35]      Mr Hemington: Also, in addition, there’s the planning licence process, which you need to follow if you’re taking out a certain volume of trees as well. On the planning side, certainly when a developer is involved, there’s a requirement for flood consequences assessments, so you will assess the impact of that development, not just on the development but on the surrounding areas as well. On the planning side, I think it’s probably fair to say one area where we call in applications quite regularly is where there is a potential impact on flooding, particularly on neighbouring properties. So, there are, on the development side, controls that we can put in place as well.


[36]      Mike Hedges: Okay. I was just going to say that some of us believe in a one-for-one replacement policy. Huw.


[37]      Huw Irranca-Davies: This is a question to do with forward looking in your strategy towards flood alleviation and mitigation measures. All the various things—whether it’s trees or whether it’s a perimeter wall of an estate, or it’s a bund or it’s street-level design and so on—do you feel you have adequate tools, including powers of mandation—some sort of strong legal powers—to actually say to landowners over a water catchment area, ‘You need to do this. We’re asking you to do it, but if you refuse to do it—’, whether that is, ‘Keep those trees planted there’, or ‘Don’t vertical plough a hill’, et cetera, et cetera? Do we feel we’ve got sufficient grasp of the scale of what we need to do in a water catchment area, and have you got the powers to do it, or are you looking to examine whether you need additional powers?


[38]      Lesley Griffiths: This hasn’t been flagged up as a particular issue, certainly not with me—I’m looking at Neil. We’re reviewing ‘Planning Policy Wales’ at the current time, as you know, so, if it was an issue, we could look at it then.


[39]      Mr Hemington: I’m fairly confident on the built environment side—we do have those controls in place, where planning permission is required—less so, perhaps, on the agriculture side and land management side, because it’s not development, so it doesn’t fall within the planning regime. So, when planning permission is required, yes, we can intervene, and we do quite frequently. If I look at all of the call-in cases over the past few years, virtually every one of those has been where there’s been a potential impact on flooding.


[40]      Huw Irranca-Davies: Let me just give a really practical example: you’ve done all of your wonderful design downstream around the local community in the town and so on, and, up on top of a hill, a landowner says, for whatever reason, ‘I’m vertical ploughing this field’, and it runs off totally. The first heavy storm we have, the water just runs off and completely deluges the houses below. Do you have any ability to say to that landowner, under current cross-compliance or anything else, ‘Don’t do that, please’?


[41]      Mr Slade: Potentially, you’re into diffuse water pollution issues as well, so it’s not just about downstream flooding issues. We do have powers in respect of that, although we are looking at the moment, in relation to water quality, at what needs to happen in the next phase of work on nitrates and phosphates—


[42]      Huw Irranca-Davies: But not in terms of the contribution—[Inaudible.]


[43]      Mr Slade: But we don’t, as Neil was saying, necessarily have a suite of powers that say, ‘We don’t want you to do this because we think that will have a downstream consequence’ in that specific regard.


[44]      Huw Irranca-Davies: Yes. Thanks.


[45]      Mike Hedges: The final question from me is: can you outline the Welsh Government’s intended timeline for establishing the new flood and coastal erosion committee and discuss its wider advisory role?


[46]      Lesley Griffiths: Yes, it’s now, really—the Order commenced last Friday. We’re looking to start the recruitment process for a chair next month, and the appointment of the board members will then follow.


[47]      Mike Hedges: Thank you. David.


[48]      David Melding: I have a question on—well, close to this area, anyway. The auditor general has criticised the Welsh Government for the lack of a strategy for managed realignment. In your response, I think you seem to say, ‘Well, that’s really a matter for local government’. Is that still your position, or will we have a national response? Because it seems odd to reject an auditor general’s finding quite so directly.




[49]      Lesley Griffiths: No. The national strategy update, so the refresh that we’re going to do next year, will set out the policy position in relation to that. I do think it’s—


[50]      David Melding: But you have said in your paper to us that you think the coastal local authorities are best placed to do this work, so is that going to change or not?


[51]      Lesley Griffiths: Well, we’re going to consider how we bring in, obviously, the shoreline management plans. I think what local authorities are telling us is that one size doesn’t fit all.


[52]      David Melding: The auditor general first raised this point in 2011. Your reconsideration takes it to 2018. These are really difficult issues, obviously, about removing assets and people from high-risk areas. I would have thought that we would have more of a leadership indication from you about what’s going to happen.


[53]      Mr Davies: Well, as the Minister has explained, there are complex issues that affect local communities around risks to particular parts of Wales. One such community is Fairbourne in Gwynedd, and what we have been doing there is working closely with the local authority, doing work with the community there, but, most importantly, letting the local authority lead, as the democratically-elected local body, on the development of the discussion and engagement with the local community. Now, we have been financially supporting that whole process, gathering evidence: evidence that, in due course, once we understand the issues better, will help us to inform and develop a policy position more generally.


[54]      David Melding: So, you will—. Obviously that’s a particular example, which is welcome and important for that community. You are working on a strategic national approach to inform this one.


[55]      Mr Davies: Well, I think it’s fair to say we’re working specifically on that particular area to understand about the issues there, and out of that will come learning, from a bottom-up approach, to think about how we approach this issue, then, in other communities.


[56]      David Melding: So, it will be on a particular basis, then, in future. I don’t see any indication, from what you have just said, of a response to the auditor general’s central criticism of Government policy.


[57]      Mr Davies: Well, this deals with local communities, so I think you have to understand the particular topographical issue—the communities in question—and I think there might be some generic approaches that we could develop in terms of looking at how to deal with these things, but the process of engaging and working with a particular community and understanding the risks they face and the particular solutions have to be very local.


[58]      David Melding: I’d rather not have more lengthy description. Clearly, there’s a profound disagreement between the Welsh Government and the auditor general.


[59]      Mike Hedges: Okay, and Sian is the last person on this topic.


[60]      Sian Gwenllian: Roeddwn i’n mynd i ofyn cwestiwn ynglŷn â chynllun y Friog roeddech chi’n sôn amdano fo. Yn amlwg, mae’r Friog yn agos iawn i Geredigion, felly os ydy rhywun yn mynd i’w wneud o fesul awdurdod lleol heb yr arolwg strategol roedd David yn sôn amdano fo, mae yna broblemau yn gallu codi. Felly, o ran cael strategaeth genedlaethol, mae’n bwysig symud ymlaen efo hynny, ac a fydd yna unrhyw fath o—? Neu, hynny yw, diweddaru’r strategaeth. A fydd yna ymgynghoriad cyhoeddus ynghylch y maes yna cyn cyhoeddi unrhyw beth cenedlaethol newydd?


Sian Gwenllian: I’m going to ask a question about the Friog scheme that you mentioned. Evidently, Friog is very close to Ceredigion. Therefore, if someone is going to do it per local authority, without the strategic overview that David talked about, there are problems that can arise. In terms of having a national strategy, it’s important to move forward with that, and will there be—? Or, that is, updating the strategy. Will there be a public consultation on this area before publishing anything new on a national level?

[61]      Mr Davies: Rydw i’n tybio os byddwn ni’n datblygu safbwynt cenedlaethol—


Mr Davies: I suspect that if we did develop a national viewpoint—

[62]      Sian Gwenllian: So, ‘os’ byddwch chi. Felly, efallai na fydd yna gyfeiriad cenedlaethol, felly, os ydych chi’n dweud ‘os’.


Sian Gwenllian: So, ‘if’ you will develop a national viewpoint, so maybe there won’t be a national viewpoint, will there? You’re saying ‘if’ we do, here.


[63]      Mr Davies: Rydw i’n tybio bydd hwn yn dod ag amser, a mi fydd yna bolisi yn cael ei ddatblygu. Nid ydw i yn uniongyrchol yn gweithio yn y maes yma, ond rydw i’n tybio bydd y dysgu rydym ni’n ei gael o brofiad y Friog yn ein galluogi ni i ddatblygu safbwynt polisi ehangach ar sail y dealltwriaeth yna, a bydd hynny’n dod ag amser.


Mr Davies: I do expect that this will come in time, and that a policy will be developed. I don’t work specifically in this area myself, but I do suspect that the learning we’ll have from our experiences at y Friog will perhaps enable us to develop a wider policy on the basis of that understanding, and that will come in time.

[64]      Sian Gwenllian: Wel, gorau po gyntaf, byddwn i’n dadlau, er mwyn cael y cyfeiriad cenedlaethol yna.


Sian Gwenllian: Well, the sooner the better, I’d say, so we can have that national direction.

[65]      Mr Slade: The updated national strategy will be subject to public consultation.


[66]      Mike Hedges: I’m sure you’re going to come back to this in future meetings. Can we move on now to nature conservation? Huw, you’ve got a couple of questions.


[67]      Huw Irranca-Davies: Yes, thank you, Chair. First of all, Cabinet Secretary, you’re very aware, with the SoNaRR report, the State of Natural Resources Report, of the huge amount that we have to do to turn around many indicators in our natural environment, and again it’s not a Wales-only thing. This is not only a UK thing—it’s wider than that—but it’s what we can do in Wales. There is some frustration that we haven’t actually seen, yet, the natural resources policy, but I’m assuming you’re going to tell me that that is now tied up with the consultation you’re taking forward. Would I be right?


[68]      Lesley Griffiths: I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily tied up; it’s all, obviously, interlinked. So, we’ve had the designated landscapes report, we’ve had the natural resources policy, and we’re out to consultation on sustainable management. So, the three things are obviously linked, but I wouldn’t say the NRP is tied up. So, where we are with the NRP—. If you remember, when I was in front of committee two weeks ago, I said we were doing the last ring around, if you like, with stakeholders. The NRP is now with my Government colleagues. So, it’s with all ministerial colleagues. So, I very much hope I will be publishing the NRP over recess. It will certainly be published before the end of summer recess. So, that’s where we are with the NRP.


[69]      Huw Irranca-Davies: Right; interesting. So, you’re not going to wait on the outcomes of ‘Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources’—


[70]      Lesley Griffiths: No. I’m not going to wait in relation to that. That consultation doesn’t finish until the middle of September—I think 13 September. So, I’m not going to wait in relation to the NRP, mainly because, obviously, the NRP is a requirement of the Environment (Wales) Act 2016, and I’m very aware it was delayed. It was delayed because of a little thing called Brexit, because I think that’s having a significant impact—obviously, right across my portfolio, but in relation to the NRP. One of the reasons for going out to consultation on sustainable management was to get stakeholders’ views and the public’s views around what legislation will be needed.


[71]      Huw Irranca-Davies: Very good, okay. So, the natural resources policy, if you bring it forward during recess, which is not ideal, but you’ve explained why, with Brexit and everything else—it’s not ideal, but at least it will be there; that’ll be some reassurance for people—that will not necessarily need to be revised or amended in the light of what the consultation throws up.


[72]      Lesley Griffiths: No, I don’t think so. I think we’ve always accepted that we would need further legislation. So, the sustainable management consultation is specifically to look at what stakeholders and members of the public think Wales specifically requires in relation to legislation to manage the risks and challenges of Brexit, and also to look at the opportunities.


[73]      Huw Irranca-Davies: Okay, and that helps because you’ve clearly indicated that that natural resources policy will clearly anticipate the implications of Brexit.


[74]      Lesley Griffiths: Yes.


[75]      Huw Irranca-Davies: Well, that’s excellent. Could I go on to something that’s related to the consultation that you’re doing at the moment? It’s one part, but it is in the—and I know it’s a controversial area, but the issue of improving access to the outdoors, and it relates to previous consultations that the Welsh Government has done. It is a difficult field, this. I don’t think the committee underestimates it; there are competing interests. But where are we on the idea of bringing forward proposals for improving access to the outdoors for all different users? Are we going to see it now within this consultation going forward, and then something coming forward, or are you going to bring that out? Is there something coming out in the recess on that?


[76]      Lesley Griffiths: No. Nothing will be coming out in recess on that. The NRP, I think—I accept what you say. I try not to bring anything out during recess, but, because it’s been so significantly delayed, and because we are nearly there, you know, I want to do that. But, in relation to access, obviously, my predecessor, or it might even be my predecessor’s predecessor, had the consultation around access back in—I think it was 2015. So, it was obviously decided at that time that we needed a much fairer and better approach to access. I think the message that came through was that people really value the access that we have. You’re quite right about conflicting—


[77]      Huw Irranca-Davies: Are you going to give us a hint what might be coming forward?


[78]      Lesley Griffiths: No. You’re quite right about conflicting interests. I remember sitting on this committee myself back in 2007-08, and I remember the Assembly bus coming to Wrexham as part of the committee going out, and I remember the—what’s the word I should use, I’ll be careful; not ‘fracas’, but I think you’re getting my drift, between two competing groups of interests, shall we say. So, I do realise it’s very controversial at times, but I think we need to make sure we have an approach that absolutely maximises the benefits of improved access.


[79]      Huw Irranca-Davies: I genuinely don’t intend to try and trap you in any way on this, but, of course, the big, polar discussion around this has been between the Scottish model of access and, of course, there have been issues between canoeists and waterway users, and so on as well. But it’s the big issue between the Scottish model and something else. Can you hint at whether we’re looking at a something else, or a Scottish model? Is it a classic Welsh way, of some—?


[80]      Lesley Griffiths: A classic Welsh way.


[81]      Huw Irranca-Davies: Okay. [Laughter.]


[82]      Lesley Griffiths: I like that phrase.


[83]      Mike Hedges: I don’t think you can always give the Cabinet Secretary a way out in—[Inaudible.]


[84]    Lesley Griffiths: Thank you, Chair.


[85]      Mike Hedges: —but I’m sure the Cabinet Secretary’s very pleased you did so.


[86]      Lesley Griffiths: I’ve just written to Fergus Ewing, actually, to meet with him to discuss. Because I think you’re right about Scotland and, again, going back to the forestry evidence I gave, if you remember, we were talking about a Scottish model and what they’re doing with farmers with tracks and planting forestry, et cetera. So, it’s something that I want to discuss more fully with the Minister.


[87]      Huw Irranca-Davies: Okay.


[88]      Mike Hedges: Sian, do you want to ask questions on designated landscapes?


[89]      Sian Gwenllian: Ie. Diolch. Fel rydych chi’n gwybod, ym mis Mai fe gyhoeddwyd yr adroddiad, ‘Tirweddau’r Dyfodol: Cyflawni dros Gymru’, ac mae yna dipyn o drafodaeth wedi bod ynghylch hwnnw, yn benodol ynglŷn â’r egwyddor Sandford. Beth ydy statws yr adroddiad yna erbyn hyn, a beth ydy eich barn chi am egwyddor Sandford?


Sian Gwenllian: Yes. Thank you. As you know, in May the ‘Future Landscapes: Delivering for Wales’ report was published, and there’s been quite a lot of debate about that, and specifically about the Sandford principle. What is the status of that report by now, and what’s your opinion about the Sandford principle?


[90]      Lesley Griffiths: Unfortunately, I think the whole debate around the designated landscapes report was focused on the Sandford principle. I think people were incorrectly whipped up around the Sandford principle, because I’m absolutely committed—


[91]      Sian Gwenllian: We would dispute that.


[92]      Lesley Griffiths: You would dispute it.


[93]      Sian Gwenllian: I would dispute that people were whipped up around the Sanford principle. There were a lot of concerns about—


[94]      Lesley Griffiths: There were lots of concerns, but I think they were unnecessary, to be frank. I think I had about 100 e-mails—all very similar—around it, but I think, if people had just taken a step back and looked at what we were saying, that wouldn’t have been the case. If you remember, in the debate—I think it was actually in answer to Huw Irranca-Davies’s point, which he raised during the debate—I actually said we were looking at Sandford principle plus plus, not even plus, because I’m absolutely committed to ensuring that we have areas that are absolutely valued for their beauty. I think it’s really important that, in the declining ecosystems and  biodiversity that we’re seeing, we have these vibrant and very resilient areas. So, I was a bit disappointed that one organisation brought forward such a—


[95]      Sian Gwenllian: Well, it was much more than that, but there we go, yes. If you’ve moved on from that, that’s fine. So, what is your clear position now, going forward, around designated landscapes?


[96]      Lesley Griffiths: Well, that does link in. First of all, I hope I have reassured Members and members of the public in the debate that we had around that principle. I want to be very clear: there’s no intention to dilute the protection of areas of outstanding natural beauty or national parks, and I reiterate that here now.


[97]      Sian Gwenllian: Okay. Thank you.


[98]      Lesley Griffiths: Obviously, the current consultation on ‘Taking Forward Wales’ Sustainable Management of Natural Resources’ is very much linked to the designated landscapes report, so we’re going to look at if primary legislation is needed. I mentioned that that consultation runs till 13 September, and that will link in very much to the report that came forward from Dafydd Elis-Thomas’s group.


[99]      Mike Hedges: Okay. Simon.


[100]   Simon Thomas: I think you have still some way to go to convince people on this. I’ve just received, dated 13 July this year, a report from the UK assessment panel of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which concludes as follows:


[101]   ‘The Marsden report was a ground breaking report in the UK context, showing how Protected Landscapes could meet international standards whilst adapting to contemporary requirements for sustainable economic and community development.’


[102]   ‘The new report’, it says, ‘is a big step backwards’. And the UK assessment panel concludes:


[103]   ‘If acted upon, the recommendations in the Future Landscapes report would make it impossible for the panel to continue to accord international recognition to Wales’s NPs and AONBs as protected areas.’


[104]   That’s a damning indictment of your standpoint on this.


[105]   Lesley Griffiths: Well, I haven’t seen that. I’m very happy—. Have officials seen it?


[106]   Mr Slade: I’m not aware of it, no.


[107]   Lesley Griffiths: You’re not aware of it. I’ll be very happy to look at it because, as I say, that’s absolutely not the intention. I’ll have a look at that report over the next couple of weeks, and I will write to the committee.


[108]   Simon Thomas: I will certainly send—. I literally had this report last night myself, so I will send it on to you, obviously.


[109]   Lesley Griffiths: Okay.


[110]   Simon Thomas: Can I just ask, though, for you to consider that what’s happened in this context hasn’t really been one organisation whipping up—? I know the organisation you might be referring to, but I had much wider concerns expressed to me about a lot of people working in this area, including private concerns from people who are very closely associated with this work but were not happy with the way that the whole progress had been made. Really, if you’re going to convince us that this is Sandford-plus, then I think there’s going to have to be some kind of restatement of the principle of Sandford, but in the modern context—in the modern context, which is what, of course, Terry Marsden had tried to do. We really need to understand how this report builds on Marsden’s report and takes us forward. At the moment, it seems to have taken a turning left or right, but not forward, if I can put it that way. So, clearly, you’re not going to do it in two minutes in a committee meeting, but I think we need a better understanding from the Government than we can get in a debate even—a statement of how you’re going to take this work forward.




[111]   Lesley Griffiths: Okay. If I can just say that the 100 e-mails I had were definitely from one organisation—


[112]   Simon Thomas: If it helps at all, I had 300 e-mails—[Laughter.] They weren’t all from the same—but 100 were from the same organisation, yes.


[113]   Sian Gwenllian: The ones I had weren’t from the—[Inaudible.]


[114]   Mike Hedges: Can we let the Cabinet Secretary reply?


[115]   Lesley Griffiths: I didn’t have many—. We all know, as constituency Members, you receive a campaign and you know, don’t you, when they’re all from one organisation or they’re a standard letter? I didn’t have—. I mean, I can look into it, but I had probably a handful of letters of personal concerns. So, that’s just what I had as Minister, what I received. I’d be very happy to return to the Chamber to do a further statement around this, once we’ve had the consultation on the sustainable management—once that’s come to a conclusion, we’ve had time to look at the responses and we can link in with designated landscapes. I’d be very happy to come back to the Chamber and I’ll make sure that that is timetabled in Government time.


[116]   Mike Hedges: Thank you very much. Can I just say to Simon: you tell me off in another place for making statements rather than asking questions? [Laughter.] If I move on to marine fisheries and the UK’s exit from the European Union, Jenny.


[117]   Jenny Rathbones: On 2 July, Michael Gove suddenly announced that the UK was going to withdraw from the 1964 London convention, and I just wondered if you’d already had discussion of this in the Brexit working parties that were set up in March.


[118]   Lesley Griffiths: The short answer is ‘no’. As a Minister, I had no prior knowledge. I think it was in the press all over the weekend before I received a letter from the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on the Monday. I think officials got the heads-up—


[119]   Mr Slade: Late on Friday.


[120]   Lesley Griffiths: —late on Friday evening. I was told by officials then, but there’d been no discussion with Welsh Government. I don’t think it was a surprise that that happened and I think, obviously, in practical terms, nothing will change until we leave the common fisheries policy. However, I do think it’s a worrying indicator of the level of consultation between the UK Government and the devolved administrations.


[121]   Jenny Rathbone: So, what are the implications, potentially, for the Welsh fishing industry? And what’s to prevent English, Scottish and Irish fishing boats from raiding the Welsh, mainly shellfish, resources that we both export and consume ourselves?


[122]   Lesley Griffiths: Well, as I say, nothing will change until we exit the common fisheries policy. So, you’ll be aware that, in the Queen’s Speech—again, we didn’t have a heads-up—there was an agricultural Bill and a fisheries Bill. We’ve said all along that we will have a Welsh agricultural Bill and a Welsh fisheries Bill following exit from the EU. Obviously, the withdrawal Bill that was announced last week puts a different perspective on it, but we’ll leave that aside for a moment.


[123]   Leaving the 1964 London convention is a necessary step so that we can consider access arrangements to our waters post exit from the EU. I think that what the Welsh fishing industry is saying it wants is to realise its Brexit aspiration of an exclusive 12-mile limit adjacent to Wales. So, we have to look at that going forward for our own specific fisheries policy, because we know at the moment that it’s not fair. Welsh fishermen are telling us that it’s not fair that the quotas are—[Inaudible.]


[124]   Jenny Rathbone: Okay, but given the messages coming from London at the moment, there isn’t a huge amount of comfort for Welsh fishermen that these powers will be devolved to Wales rather than exercised by the Westminster Government.


[125]   Lesley Griffiths: Yes, well, as I say, the Bill that was announced last week, the EU withdrawal Bill, puts a completely different complexion on things now in relation to the constitution. Those are obviously discussions that will take place, but we will keep trying to talk and engage with UK Ministers. I am seeing Michael Gove for the first time on Monday at the Royal Welsh Show; I’m having a bilateral meeting. There are lots of warm words coming from not just DEFRA Ministers but the Prime Minister et cetera about consultation. Well, they need to back up those warm words now with some action.


[126]   Jenny Rathbone: Okay. Of the £600,000 that has been dispersed so far in the European maritime and fisheries fund, how are those projects supporting the resilience of the fishing industry in the future, given the uncertainties?


[127]   Lesley Griffiths: Yes, well, there are lots of uncertainties, as you say, and we’re making sure that we use all the funding. I think there’s still significant scope to help the industry prepare itself, if you like, for a future outside the EU, and we need to make sure that we make best use of EMF funds. So, we need to help them. One area they want to do is increase processing, for instance. They want to develop value-added products. They need to focus more on domestic markets. So, that’s one way—or several ways—that we’re using funds at the moment.


[128]   Jenny Rathbone: And what progress do you think has been made on making Welsh shellfish a distinctive brand? Scotland’s very good at that. You less-often see Welsh shellfish in the shops, and I’m not aware whether that’s sold in Europe as distinctively Welsh.


[129]   Lesley Griffiths: I recently met with the seafood advisory committee and it’s an area that they’re very keen to build on. We’ve recently been out to—I think it’s called Seafood Expo Global in Brussels. I wasn’t able to go, but Rebecca Evans went in my place in April. One of the ambitions of doing that is to make it more Welsh-distinctive. Next month, there’s a delegation of officials going out to Shanghai. I’m not quite sure what the event is—it’s an expo, I think—


[130]   Mr Slade: It’s another expo on seafood.


[131]   Lesley Griffiths: —to ensure that we are able to expand our markets.


[132]   Jenny Rathbone: So, do companies now brand their shellfish as Welsh?


[133]   Mr Slade: We use our food and drink Wales brand in support of that. There’s a lot of work going into the brand generally, and also in relation to seafood. We think it’s a really important sector for us, potentially, going forward. It is inevitably tied up in all the discussion around access to markets, and most of what we produce in Wales gets shipped straight across, unprocessed, onto the continent, and that would be put in very significant jeopardy if we had either tariffs that we’re not currently subject to, or non-tariff barriers that would hold up that sort of transport process. So, we’re very alive to those points and feeding those in at a UK level. But there’s a lot more, as you say, that can be done around the branding of our shellfish. I think I’ve told the committee before: a third of the Menai’s production of mussels would satisfy all of UK demand, which gives you some sort of sense of the scale of what we do here in Wales, and we should be making more of it.


[134]   Lesley Griffiths: I think there’s also the potential to use the Year of the Sea next year. You’ll be aware that Ken Skates has announced that next year is the Year of the Sea. So, I think it would be a good opportunity to use that to promote our seafood even more.


[135]   Jenny Rathbone: Okay. Because I’ve never ever seen Menai mussels in my local shop, branded as such.


[136]   Mr Slade: Beyond the very local market, we tend not to see that—that is true—and the Scots have undoubtedly stolen a bit of a march on us in that respect. But that goes back also to the Minister’s point about processing capacity in Wales. In order to be able to do that, at least in part, you’ve got to have a downstream supply chain arrangement, which helps you add value to the product, including in relation to the branding work.


[137]   Mike Hedges: I don’t see Swansea cockles branded, even around Swansea, as Swansea cockles. Am I looking in the wrong place?


[138]   Mr Slade: Chair, we’ll look into that for you.


[139]   Lesley Griffiths: Do you mean being sold—


[140]   Mike Hedges: Yes.


[141]   Lesley Griffiths: —or in restaurants?


[142]   Mike Hedges: Either. But certainly some of the more expensive restaurants that I don’t attend probably do, but just in supermarkets—they sell cockles; I’m yet to see them branded as Swansea cockles, unless I’m missing something.


[143]   Lesley Griffiths: I think we need to sort of expand the market, because, certainly, thinking about Menai—. When we go to Halen Môn, they sell Menai mussels, certainly. But it certainly is an area where we need to do more to promote, but, as I say, there are steps to do that, and I do think, next year, we should use Year of the Sea.


[144]   Jenny Rathbone: So, before next year, we’re going to—[Inaudible.]—and the processing organiser that we’re going to hit the ground running with—


[145]   Lesley Griffiths: Well, I’m not sure about next year. Certainly, I would hope to do it before we exit the EU.


[146]   Mr Slade: There is a project that we’re helping fund—work under way at the moment in and around Bangor to try and increase our processing capacity up there, including a tie-up with the university and other partners, so that we’re getting the maximum approach in terms of the value of the scientific input. It’s an absolute partnership between the scientific community and the fishing sector, which is great, but it’s a small step along quite a long road, and the difficulty for us, going back to access to European markets, is that you can’t put large-scale processing capacity in place, even if you had the money to do it, in very short order. Just getting the skills up in the area, the land that you’d need, the planning permissions for the sites and so on—that’s not the work of weeks, or even months; it’s longer than that.


[147]   Mike Hedges: David.


[148]   David Melding: I wonder if I could go slightly sideways, but not to change the subject.


[149]   Mike Hedges: It would not be the first time you’ve done so this morning.


[150]   David Melding: Well, indeed. Before we leave this specific point, though, I’ve long argued that the Irish sea is the Chesapeake bay of Europe. It’s just the most remarkable resource and it’s nearly all directly exported without any sort of processing or use, for example, in our own food culture, and I do commend you for looking at this. I think it’s an important area to develop.


[151]   Cabinet Secretary, the last time you were in front of us, it was to help with our inquiry into marine protected areas and you may recall there was a whole issue about NRW’s statutory duties and whether they’re funded at a realistic level, as many people who have given evidence have suggested we question that. You did give us a reassurance, and then NRW have written to the Chair of the committee, and that letter’s been copied to us. I just wonder: how reassured are you, specifically in terms of the evidence base and monitoring of MPAs? I quote from this letter we’ve received:


[152]   ‘NRW’s marine monitoring programme is, however, currently a minimum service and resources are challenging.’


[153]   It’s not directly contradicting you, but I think, as hints go, reading between the lines, then it is urging us to press you on this a bit more strongly.


[154]   Lesley Griffiths: I think it is contradicting me, actually. It’s very difficult, isn’t it? When the purse is empty, the purse is empty. I fund NRW to the very best of my ability, and I expect them to fulfil their statutory duties within that funding. I do understand funding is challenging for them, and, certainly, in every monthly meeting that I have with the chair and chief executive of NRW, I think, funding comes up. However, the expectations that I have are that they fulfil those statutory duties. You will remember when I—your memory is probably better than mine on this, David, but, when I was in front of this committee on marine, I mentioned that we were having new enforcement vessels. Andrew’s got some very nice photographs here. Is that the one that we’re launching in the—? No.


[155]   Mr Slade: No, that one is coming a bit longer—


[156]   Lesley Griffiths: That’s next year.


[157]   Mr Slade: That goes out further to the sea.


[158]   Lesley Griffiths: So, that will make enforcement—it will certainly improve enforcement. I was very concerned—I’m not sure if I said that when I came before committee last time—when I came into post last year and I went on our enforcement vessel, which I know you have been on—but it really was not fit for purpose. So, I made sure that I put, I think it was, over £6 million aside to ensure we had those new enforcement vessels. As I say, the first one will be launched this autumn.


[159]   David Melding: I appreciate your candid remarks.


[160]   Mike Hedges: Thank you very much. Moving on to rural development programme spending and the Well-Being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015, which I think Simon Thomas wants to ask some questions on.


[161]   Simon Thomas: Diolch, Gadeirydd. A gaf i jest, yn gyntaf, fod yn glir, achos yn y papur rŷch chi wedi ei ysgrifennu at y pwyllgor rydych chi’n sôn am y rhaglen datblygu gwledig 2014 i 2020, ond, wrth gwrs, oherwydd yr etholiad, mae sôn y bydd yr arian Ewropeaidd yn mynd i gael ei ddiogelu am flwyddyn ychwanegol bellach, i 2021—a ydych chi mewn sefyllfa i’n diweddaru ni ynglŷn â’r rhaglen datblygu gwledig? A ydych chi’n ystyried nawr y bydd y rhaglen honno hefyd yn cael ei hestyn tan 2021?


Simon Thomas: Thank you, Chair. Can I just, firstly, be clear on this: in the paper that you’ve submitted to the committee, you talk about the rural development plan for 2014 to 2020, but, of course, because of the election, there is mention of that European money being protected for a further year now, to 2021? Are you in a position to give us an update on the RDP? Do you think that that programme will also be extended to 2021?



[162]   Lesley Griffiths: Yes, you’re quite right. We were given assurances from the Treasury that we would receive funding until 2020. Obviously, the election that we just had last month now means it’s 2022, and I have committed that funding till 2021, i.e., the lifetime of this Welsh Government. I have already committed over the full amount of RDP funds, through a combination of projects and ring-fencing of funding. It’s prudent to oversubscribe, as you know, just in case there’s slippage.


[163]   Simon Thomas: It’s the EasyJet way.


[164]   Lesley Griffiths: The EasyJet way, indeed. You can tell it’s the last day of term.


[165]   Mr Slade: Having recently experienced flight difficulties, that has a particular resonance for me. [Laughter.]


[166]   Lesley Griffiths: So, whether we’ll extend it to 2021, because all of the funding is committed—. I hope it would be done by 2020.


[167]   Mr Slade: We await clarification on this. The 2022 commitment is essentially around direct payments, as I understand it—so that’s CAP pillar 1—less in relation to the rural development programme. At the moment, we’re working on the basis that Treasury will stand behind anything that we have committed with a signature by the point that we leave the European Union, which, effectively, in planning terms, means we’ve got to get this done by spring of 2019. The programme would ordinarily have run on to allow us to make commitments till 2020, and then we’d have had three years to spend that money out. So, the degree of flexibility that we’ve actually got around the RDP in the aftermath of the general election, I’m less clear on at the moment. I think the intention of the UK Government in relation to CAP direct payments is to run it out to 2022.


[168]   Simon Thomas: Mae’n anodd gwybod, felly, a fydd yna estyniad, fel petai, i’r RDP ei hunan. Mae’n anodd gofyn y cwestiwn—mae’n anodd i chi esbonio hwn, rwy’n gwybod, ond rwy’n mynd i drio gofyn y cwestiwn beth bynnag. Pam ydych chi’n meddwl bod cynifer yn y sector yma yn teimlo nad ŷch chi yn gwario, felly, yn llawn ar y rhaglen datblygu gwledig, a bod cwynion—rydw i wedi’u clywed nhw, yn sicr, ac mae Aelodau eraill wedi’u codi nhw—nad yw’r gwariant yn mynd i fwrw’r targed? Ai dyma’r gwahaniaeth rhyngoch chi’n ymrwymo i wario a’r actual gwariant sy’n cael ei wneud? Ai dyna beth sy’n esbonio hyn ar hyn o bryd?


Simon Thomas: It’s hard to know, then, whether there’ll be an extension, as it were, to the RDP itself. It’s difficult to ask the question—it’s difficult for you to explain this, I know, but I’m going to try and ask the question anyway. Why do you think that so many in this sector feel that you are not spending fully on the RDP? I’ve heard some complaints, and I know other Members have raised them as well. There are complaints that the spending is not going to reach the target. Is this the difference between you committing to spending and the actual spend being made? Is that what explains this currently?

[169]   Lesley Griffiths: I have heard those concerns, and I certainly mentioned it to the farming unions when I met them last week, because, as I say, we’ve actually overcommitted, which I think is right, so I don’t really understand. I think perhaps we were—the beginning was a bit slow, maybe, to get the funds out, but, certainly, I don’t understand why there are concerns, and I have asked the farming unions for specific reasons why they think that, and I haven’t received any concrete answers. I don’t know if Andrew has.


[170]   Mr Slade: Well, it’s a sad reflection of time, but I’ve been delivering European programmes now for about 20 years—programmes of one sort or another—and, where you’ve got a long multi-annual programme, usually it’s to be expected that actual spend, cash out, is slower in the early stages of the programme, and then that picks up as you go through the programme period. To date, we’ve spent about £100 million, but, as the Minister has said, we’ve committed pretty well all of the programme to key blocks of expenditure, and, in fact, slightly overcommitted, mainly to allow for project slippage, and precisely to ensure that we spend the money in the limited time we’ve got available.


[171]   Mike Hedges: Is the spending in line with the spending profile?


[172]   Lesley Griffiths: Yes.


[173]   Mr Slade: Pretty much, because we profile on the basis of a slower start.


[174]   Mike Hedges: I know you profile. I just wondered—sometimes, yes, you have a slower start, and you speed up towards the end, but are you making the smaller amount—the amount you expected to make at the beginning?


[175]   Lesley Griffiths: Yes, we are.


[176]   Mr Slade: I think so. There’s a small issue around our IT link-up with the European Commission’s systems, so there’s a few months’ backlog there. I reckon, once that’s cleared in a few weeks’ time, we’ll be able to spend about another £32 million, £33 million. That will bring us absolutely up to profile.


[177]   Mike Hedges: Okay. Simon.


[178]   Simon Thomas: There is one particular area where you definitely haven’t made the spend, though, and that’s the organic area, because you haven’t opened an organic window. Does the fact that you have nearly committed—you say today that you’ve more or less committed 100 per cent, or even further. Does that mean that we will never see an organic window opened in Wales?


[179]   Lesley Griffiths: I’m not able to open an organic window at the current time because I have committed all that funding. I met with the organic forum and I know they’re disappointed about that. But, yes, because I’ve committed it, I can’t open a window.


[180]   Simon Thomas: I understand you’ve committed it, but do you feel that you’re losing an opportunity here? Because organic farming in Wales is one of the areas where we have traditionally been at the forefront of development, and, coming out of the European Union, it’s one of the areas where we may make something of ourselves, if you like. So, we’re going to portray ourselves as an area of fresh food, of local food, of sustainable food, high animal welfare, and organic really ticks all those boxes very successfully. So, shouldn’t this be something you re-evaluate in light of this?


[181]   Lesley Griffiths: I have told the forum when I—. I met them about three weeks ago, and I’ve told them it’s something that I will look at.


[182]   Simon Thomas: I hope you do, certainly from our point of view. I will move on to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. I think organic farming contributes very nicely to the outcomes of that Act, I would say.


[183]   Lesley Griffiths: Yes, it does.


[184]   Simon Thomas: And, really, I think we’re still struggling with this Act, many of us, in the sense that we understand what the Act is for, or at least we understand the principles behind the Act and support those, but how it’s making a practical difference in the way you’re delivering Government programmes is a bit more difficult to discern at the moment. So, perhaps I’ll start with a specific question, if I may, because it might be easier to try and answer it in a specific way. You’ve got the future generations Act. We’ve also got the commitment to carbon budgeting by 2018. How are these now working together so that we are on line to achieve this? What are we likely to see emerging from these two strands now?


[185]   Lesley Griffiths: Okay. So, we all have to think about, as you say, the principles of the well-being of future generations Act. Thinking about, in preparation for this committee, how that’s shaping my policies and my decisions, I suppose the Brexit discussions really highlight, to me, the well-being of future generations Act. Can I just say, Chair, I think we’ve just been joined by a delegation of Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs officials who’ve come to spend time with my officials to look at how devolution is working, and I think that’s really to be encouraged? And, obviously, we have the well-being of future generations Act, so it’s very good that they’re here to hear about this. [Interruption.] I’m sorry?


[186]   David Melding: You’ve blown their cover. [Laughter.]


[187]   Lesley Griffiths: Sorry. But I think it’s really good, and I wish that different parts of Whitehall would engage in such a way.


[188]   There are several areas where we can see this working, and carbon budgeting is a classic example. So, I think, if it wasn’t for the legislation that we’ve got in place, it would be much harder to make that carbon budgeting more cross-Government. I hold my hands up here; when I was health Minister, thinking about carbon budgeting probably wasn’t top of the list, but, unfortunately, now, every Cabinet Secretary has to think about carbon budgeting. We have these time limits; as you say, it’s 2018. We’re already in the first period of carbon budgeting, and Prys and I have met with all ministerial colleagues to discuss the impact of that on their portfolios.


[189]   Climate change is another area. It’s a massive challenge, probably the biggest challenge that we’re all facing, and you have to have that joint working. So, the ways of working under the well-being of future generations legislation do guide our programme. They make us think about long-term targets, the need for collaboration and the involvement with stakeholders. So, that’s why I go back to Brexit being a good example, because I think our engagement with our stakeholders is exemplary in relation to Brexit, and certainly isn’t being seen in any other part of the UK. Colleagues will know that we’ve had the quadrilateral meetings, which, unfortunately—we now haven’t met since April. But, again, having that legislation there, I think, has shown them what’s missing in their legislation, if you like, that we’ve been able to engage with our stakeholders in that way.


[190]   In relation to climate change, I recently met with representatives from the UK Committee on Climate Change. Again, their call for evidence—they referred to the well-being of future generations Act as one way that we’ve been able to look at our long-term targets. I know officials are working very closely with Sophie Howe, the commissioner, and the commissioner’s office, in relation to the work that we’re doing. It also fits in, I think, with planning. I think, again, the way that we look at our planning system, making sure that that’s sustainable, is another way.


[191]   Mike Hedges: Okay. Simon, we’ve got 20 minutes left. I really do want to get on to building regulations and fire safety, because I think it would seem odd if we were rushing that at the very end when it’s probably the most topical of topical discussions. So, if you’re okay, can we move on to that? Jenny.


[192]   Jenny Rathbone: Can we come back to that?


[193]   Mike Hedges: If we’ve got any time at the end, we can, but I think that having fire safety and building regulations falling off the bottom of our agenda would be embarrassing and would be a serious problem for this committee and the Assembly. Sorry. Jayne.


[194]         Jayne Bryant: Thank you, Chair. Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, and with 38 high-rise block across Wales, will you be reviewing the fire safety measures contained within the current building regulations?


[195]   Lesley Griffiths: I certainly expect that we will be reviewing them, but I think it’s too early to say how we’ll be reviewing them. Obviously, my colleague Carl Sargeant is leading on this, but I’m working very closely with him because, obviously, building regulations are in my portfolio. I think we’re going to have to find out what the interim findings and feedback from the inquiry—. There are clearly issues over the choice of cladding, and the evidence that it complied. I believe there will be other issues. So, certainly, I would, in answer to your question, expect to have a review.


[196]   Jayne Bryant: Okay. Thank you. Can you clarify the extent of your power and responsibilities in relation to the building regulations? I think we’d be quite keen to know what you are actually responsible for and how you can effect change in that area.


[197]   Lesley Griffiths: Okay. I’m responsible for exercising certain functions under the Building Act 1984. That includes making building regulations. Carl Sargeant’s responsibilities are around fire safety policy. That includes the fire and rescue service and the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. That deals with ongoing fire safety in workplaces, and that actually includes common areas, such as apartment blocks like Grenfell Tower, but not the apartments themselves.


[198]   Jayne Bryant: Okay. Can you say a little bit more about the newly established expert group and how you see that going?


[199]   Lesley Griffiths: Yes. Obviously, again, Carl Sargeant has set up the expert group. I would certainly expect them to have input into discussions with my officials. Any proposed changes to building regulations or any review that we would have would be, certainly, informed by advice from that committee, and, again, I would imagine it would be subject to public consultation.


[200]   Jayne Bryant: So, are building regulations in the scope of the group, the expert group?


[201]   Lesley Griffiths: Of the one that Carl Sargeant set up?


[202]   Jayne Bryant: Yes.


[203]   Lesley Griffiths: Yes.


[204]   Mr Hemington: Yes, they are, but building regulations are also—there is also a statutory advisory committee as well. So, BRACW, the Building Regulations Advisory Committee for Wales, they will be involved in that process as well. So, that will be a group of experts within the field.


[205]   Mike Hedges: David.


[206]   David Melding: Cabinet Secretary, you know that last week the equality, communities and local government committee—I think I’ve got the title right—had a day inquiry into fire safety and matters related to the Grenfell tragedy. It’s clear that the focus has been on social housing, and witnesses from local government and housing associations were present. I am a bit concerned by the number of high-rise buildings that are now in the private sector. In Cardiff, we see that very extensively.


[207]   Mike Hedges: Even out of the window here.


[208]   David Melding: Indeed. Cardiff Bay is a case in point. As your paper notes, you have little influence over private buildings and getting them to undertake checks. I just wonder what sort of engagement the Welsh Government is undergoing with that particular sector, because it does seem to me important that that’s not overlooked, even though, in many ways, it is more difficult, presumably, to get a hold of lots of different management companies or whatever organisational structure is used to run those buildings.


[209]   Lesley Griffiths: I know Carl Sargeant did a statement, I think it was last week—or a topical question, I can’t remember which it was—and he referred to the difficulties that he was having in engaging with the private sector. I don’t know if my officials have done any specific work.


[210]   Mr Hemington: No, we haven’t. We’ve been working as part of that group; it’s been a group set up across Welsh Government, so we are inputting to that process. There was also, I believe, a written statement on 18 July, so that sets out some of the action that is being taken, both with private sector but also with other public sector buildings as well. So, obviously, there is potentially use of this material on schools and on hospitals and elsewhere. So, I know the Cabinet Secretary concerned has written to Cabinet colleagues as well, so there’s action being taken at a number of levels, which also, I believe, includes going to the Land Registry to identify the owners of some of these buildings as well. So, although we can’t compel, we can encourage people to submit any cladding for testing in the same way as the social sector.




[211]   Lesley Griffiths: I think also in that written statement on Tuesday there was reference to the extensive work now the Cabinet Secretary’s undertaking with public sector buildings, because I think that was another area of concern—around universities, hospitals, et cetera.


[212]   David Melding: I commend that work, and I think it needs to go on. If we look at building regs, and we will shortly have complete control of these, I think there has been some criticism of the complexity of the information, even beyond what is required technically—obviously, these are matters that do need a certain level of detail. But I wonder: are you looking at the way information around building regs is presented—I think there was some frustration amongst the tenants as well in Grenfell that trying to scrutinise all of that was very difficult—but also with those who are responsible for complying with those regulations? To develop that point, are you going to examine the whole enforcement regime? At the moment, it does rely on a compliance approach. Do we need something slightly stronger that is more robust and consistent? I don’t know if you’re likely to review that.


[213]   Lesley Griffiths: You’re right; it is a very complex, technical area. So, for instance, if we ever have any changes in our building regulations, we always ensure that we run training sessions for people—industry and building control bodies. There’s always room for improvement. So, for example, we’ve recently republished the suite of approved document guidance for Wales. One area where I am concerned, and I’ve just started to talk to Mark Drakeford about in his role as local government Cabinet Secretary, is the resilience of our planning and building regulation departments across our local authorities, because I think that is an area of concern. So, as you say, our building regulations reflect the Department for Communities and Local Government ones, I would say, but we could look to, obviously, if we had the powers—when we get the powers—review them. You’ll be aware I’m reviewing Part L at the moment, so we could certainly look at that.


[214]   David Melding: I think it’d be useful for you tell the committee as well the Government’s thinking in terms of retrofitting sprinkler systems. I should say that last week the local government committee did look at this. There are many challenges with effectively retrofitting, because you can actually end up, if you’re not careful, compromising the compartmentation of tower blocks, which, of course, is still the principal fire safety mechanism that is used. But there may be ways, in common areas, for instance, and the way refuse is dealt with—those areas may be the ones where some sort of retrofitting could take place safely. So, any views yet?


[215]   Lesley Griffiths: It is early, because we don’t know what the review is going to tell us, but it is one of the areas where we might want to consider standards for renovation work, for instance, and then, as you say, it could include questions over retrofitting sprinklers. I should also say—I don’t know if colleagues will have picked this up—the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill as it is now would have a significant impact in this area and our ability to make our own regulations and legislation.


[216]   Mr Hemington: It’s also important to recognise that in some of the recent renovations that we’ve seen by social landlords they’ve actually independently decided to install sprinkler systems, so it can be done. Of course, in Wales, we have sprinklers now for all—


[217]   David Melding: We are ahead of the game in terms of new buildings.


[218]   Lesley Griffiths: We are. I remember, when I was housing Minister, so it must be a couple of years ago, I went to look at some renovated houses—they were Cardiff Council owned—and they renovated and put a really good sprinkler system in. So, you’re right, it can be done, and I’ve encouraged other local authorities to have a look at that for better practice.


[219]   Mike Hedges: Thank you. We got through that much quicker than I thought. So, we move back to the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015. Simon.


[220]   Jenny Rathbone: I’m sorry, I have a question on Part L, which is—. I’m glad that you’re looking at the building regulations. Clearly, the level of self-compliance is a cause for concern, in that contractors can appoint their own inspectors, and I hope that you will consider ensuring that local authorities’ building inspectors are the people doing the inspections of buildings, because we clearly need good standards throughout private and social landlords, and that seems to be a problem as regards the level of control you have over private buildings. But can I just ask you about Part L? Because it seems to me a matter of urgency that we ratchet up the standards we expect of new builders, because we are still producing, frankly, very poor quality. Most of our contractors continue to produce buildings that aren’t of the standards, in terms of energy, resilience, and I just wondered how ambitious you’re planning to be and when we can actually see these revised regulations.


[221]   Mr Hemington: Okay. So, we know at the moment there are issues around the performance gap. So, we have the previous improvements to Part L, which we suspect aren’t being reached in many cases. So, in terms of what you see on the plan, it’s planned and designed to achieve the requirements, but what happens on the ground is less than compliant with that. So, we know there is a performance gap at the moment. So, where we are, there’s a performance gap, and we do have regular meetings with the volume house builders in particular, and it’s one of the issues that we have got on the agenda for the next meeting. So, before we move on, we’ve got to make sure that buildings we’re building now are actually compliant.


[222]   Jenny Rathbone: Yes, but compliant with very low standards, with only 8 per cent. Originally, we were setting out to ratchet it up to 40 per cent.


[223]   Mr Hemington: Exactly, but we need to understand why we’re not achieving that. Because, as we move on, we are looking at potentially more and more difficult, more technical, solutions. So, if we can’t do the basics right, we need to improve that so we can move on. So, we are starting work on that process now, but there is also a potential link between Part L and any changes we may need to make in terms of the fire aspects of building regulations as well. So, how far we can progress one ahead of the other, I don’t know at this point in time, because, obviously, a lot of the retrofitting we saw on Grenfell and we’ve seen on other high-rise blocks has been linked to improving the thermal performance of those buildings. So far, a lot of the changes we’ve made to building regulations have driven that as well, so we need to understand the relationship between the insulation and what happened with that particular tower block. So, there is a tie-up there, which we hadn’t, obviously, planned on when we looked at the announcement on Part L, but we will consider that as well. So, we’re at very early stages at the moment.


[224]   Jenny Rathbone: Okay. But, clearly, it’s super urgent in terms of, if we have any ambition to meet our 40 per cent target by 2020, we need to get on with it.


[225]   Lesley Griffiths: Yes.


[226]   Mike Hedges: Okay. We’ll move back to the future generations Act, then, Simon.


[227]   Simon Thomas: Diolch, Cadeirydd. Mae yna gyswllt, a dweud y gwir, achos beth roeddwn i’n trio ei wneud o’r blaen oedd trio cael enghreifftiau penodol gennych chi o’r ffordd y mae Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau’r Dyfodol yn newid polisi ac, a dweud y gwir, mae’r hyn rydym ni wedi ei weld—newydd fod yn ei drafod—yn enghraifft o hyn. Rydych chi’n mynd i’r afael â, a cheisio gwella, perfformiad adeiladau o ran ynni a chadw ynni, ac mae yna sgil effeithiau posib yn deillio o hynny. Wrth gwrs, mae’r Ddeddf i fod i’n galluogi ni i wneud hyn yn y cyfanswm, so nid ydych chi’n newid rheoliadau jest at un pwrpas, heb ystyried y pwrpas arall. Mae i fod yn ffordd o’i wneud e. Felly, dyna beth roeddwn i’n trio cyrraedd ato gyda’r cwestiynau blaenorol: ble ydych chi nawr yn newid yr hyn rydych chi’n ei wneud yn eich adran eich hunain yng ngoleuni’r Ddeddf i sicrhau eich bod chi’n cydymffurfio a gyda’r golwg ar y targedau cenedlaethol? Nid ydw i’n credu ein bod ni’n eu galw nhw’n ‘dargedau’. Nid ydw i cweit yn siŵr beth yw’r gair amdanyn nhw erbyn hyn—yr indicators, rydw i’n meddwl ydyn nhw, ie?


Simon Thomas: Thank you, Chair. There is a link, of course, here, because what I was trying to do previously was trying to get specific examples from you of the way the future generations Act is changing policy, and what we have just been discussing now is an example of that. You are trying to improve the performance of buildings in relation to energy and conserving energy and, of course, there are possible side effects to that. The Act, of course, is supposed to enable us to do this in the round, so you don’t change regulations for one reason without considering the other implications. There should be a way of doing it. That’s what I was trying to get to with my previous questions: where are you now changing what you’re doing in your department in the light of this Act to make sure that you are conforming and with an eye on the national targets? I’m not sure we do call them ‘targets’, do we? What is the word for them by now? The ‘indicators’ I think, yes?

[228]   Mr Slade: Goals and indicators.


[229]   Simon Thomas: Goals ac indicators, ie, yn hytrach na thargedau. So, rydw i jest eisiau deall cwpwl o enghreifftiau. Roeddwn i wedi dechrau gofyn am y carbon budgeting fel un—jest cwpwl o enghreifftiau o le mae hwn yn digwydd nawr—dim pethau sydd wedi digwydd yn y gorffennol, ond pethau sydd yn digwydd nawr.


Simon Thomas: Goals and indicators, yes, rather than targets. So, I just want to understand a couple of examples. I started asking about carbon budgeting as one, but maybe you could give me some examples of where that’s happening now—not what’s happened in the past, but what’s happening now.

[230]   Lesley Griffiths: Okay. I suppose one area, to give an example, is around aligning ‘Planning Policy Wales’ with the well-being Act around certain themes that have the same well-being goals in common. So, as you know, we’re currently reviewing ‘Planning Policy Wales’, so I think that’s one example where we’re aligning with the legislation.


[231]   Mr Hemington: So, in ‘Planning Policy Wales’, we’re looking around the things that come out of the Act: so, how we can join together housing, retailing, and communities for sustainable communities, how we can think about places rather than just discrete topic areas. It’s also impacting on our decision-making process, so, if there’s a ministerial decision on a planning application, that is considered against the goals and the ways of working and, similarly, local authorities are doing the same. So, it is driving planning decisions and planning policy to look at a whole suite of issues, not just a discrete issue.


[232]   Lesley Griffiths: So, we are currently testing that one out with the future generations commissioner.


[233]   Simon Thomas: Does the Act trump other Acts in this regard?


[234]   Lesley Griffiths: Does it trump it? Well, it’s just—


[235]   Mr Slade: It’s the framework for—


[236]   Lesley Griffiths: It’s the framework, yes. I was going to say. It doesn’t trump it.


[237]   Mr Hemington: Because it doesn’t give you an answer in terms of the Act itself. It is a way of working, so there are other considerations that come into the process as well.


[238]   Simon Thomas: I thought Prys might want—.


[239]   Mr Davies: I was just going to suggest some examples. You mentioned specifically the work on carbon budgeting. So, we’ve been working very closely with the future generations commissioner’s office around the development of our policies, so we’ve done some significant decisions around the accounting framework. We’re now moving into interim target and budget setting, and that’s the call for evidence that the Minister alluded to a minute ago, but we’ve also been, as well as putting the framework in place, trying to accelerate change. So, we made a recent announcement around a call for evidence across the public sector, which is a change, I suspect, in the way that we’re approaching our thinking and our expectations about the role and the contribution the public sector across Wales can make. We’re also, for instance, working not only across Government on a whole range of policy areas, but also with the finance Minister’s officials, thinking about how we really mesh carbon budgets and financial budgets together, so that they talk to each other and that the financial budget-setting process takes account of the carbon-setting process. That work will continue as we put the framework in place.


[240]   Mike Hedges: Jenny, you—


[241]   Lesley Griffiths: Sorry, can I just say—? The other example that I mentioned initially is around the Brexit discussions, so that long-term vision working with stakeholders, the collaborative approach, the involvement of stakeholders. I think that probably wouldn’t have taken place without thinking about that legislation. So, again, it doesn’t trump everything, but it just makes you think in a different way, and, certainly, what Prys was saying about carbon budgeting and financial budgeting, Mark Drakeford is very keen to align those two much more closely, and I’m sure when we come back after summer recess and we’re all in front of committees on our budget scrutiny, that will come through very clearly for the first time.


[242]   Mike Hedges: Thank you. Jenny, you wanted to ask something.


[243]   Jenny Rathbone: You mention in your paper, Cabinet Secretary, that the UK is about to issue a new draft air quality plan, which is obviously good, because the one produced in May was pretty unimpressive. It was a plan for a plan. In the context of Wales, what work are we doing to clean up our air, and particularly around things like—? England has a clean bus technology fund, which local authorities can apply to. I’m not aware that we have anything similar in Wales, but this is a major contributor to the poor quality of our air in our cities, and I just wondered if that specific, No. 1—and, No. 2, technology is moving at speed in terms of the development of electric cars, and the grid is already screaming anxiety about surges in demand, and I just wondered what Government is doing (a) to ensure that we have electric points across Wales, because at the moment you can’t get beyond Brecon, and (b) to ensure that we have the community energy projects throughout Wales to ensure that people can plug their electric cars in, that the electricity exists in the places where it’s needed.


[244]   Lesley Griffiths: Okay, so there were several questions there. Starting with guidance to local authorities, I wrote to all local authorities on Clean Air Day on 15 June issuing new statutory guidance to local authorities, because I think—. Certainly, in my discussions with local authorities, they regard local air quality management as something to be carried out primarily as a sort of public protection function within their organisation, but obviously it depends on local and regional transport policies for instance, so we’re trying to encourage local authorities to look at it more holistically.


[245]   If I can just pick up your point first about electric points: Prys knows this is a really sore point with me, because, I think you’re right, we don’t have enough in Wales, and if you look across Wales—because you can access on a website the number of charging points—it would be really difficult to get from north to south—




[246]   Jenny Rathbone: Impossible, I think.


[247]   Lesley Griffiths: —or east to west, and it’s going to have an impact on tourism. So, I’ve had that conversation with Ken Skates, because it’s not going to be long until we’re not going to have diesel cars and petrol cars. So, we really need to be thinking forward. So, a discussion I’m also having with the public sector—. So what I’ve done—. We’re just procuring it at the moment, which has caused me a few headaches, but we’ve got some funding to put—. We’re going to put one electric car charging point in every Welsh Government building, and then I want to roll that out to give a little bit of funding to local authority just to try and kick-start it and make them realise that this is something that’s going to overtake us, unless we—pardon the pun—grasp that now.


[248]   In relation to the grid, I met with National Grid about two weeks ago to discuss this, because, clearly, again, it’s another issue in making sure that we’re ready for what’s coming. I would very much like to set a target for when we can get rid of diesel cars in Wales.


[249]   Jenny Rathbone: Do local authorities have the powers to ban diesel cars from areas where the air quality is a public health danger?


[250]   Lesley Griffiths: Well, that’s something they can certainly look at, and, again, it’s about the way they manage their developments, because, again, that can have an impact on the developments.


[251]   Mike Hedges: We’ve managed to go over time. If the Cabinet Secretary will give us an extra four minutes to take us to 10:50, I’ve got two very short questions, I’m assured, by Sian Gwenllian and David Melding. Sian, do you want to go first?


[252]   Sian Gwenllian: Mae eich papur chi’n sôn am y gwaith rydych chi’n gwneud i gefnogi ynni adnewyddadwy lleol, ond mae yna fygythiad i gynlluniau hydrogymunedol ar hyn o bryd, sef y cynnydd anferth mewn trethi busnes. Roeddwn i jest eisiau gwybod pa gamau rydych chi wedi bod yn eu cymryd er mwyn helpu’r sector yma yn yr argyfwng maen nhw ynddo fo ar hyn o bryd?


Sian Gwenllian: Your paper talks about the work that you’re doing to support local sustainable energy, but there is a threat to community energy hydro projects, which is the huge increase in business rates. What steps are you taking in order to help that sector in the crisis that they face at present?

[253]   Lesley Griffiths: Did you say community ones or just—?


[254] Sian Gwenllian: Yes.


[255]   Lesley Griffiths: Community ones—because, as I say, this is something that’s been raised with me by the British Hydropower Association, and I was due to meet the local government and finance Minister yesterday to discuss this, but, unfortunately, I had a topical question so I had to pull the meeting. So, I think non-domestic rates are an issue that’s been raised with me by them. We are ensuring that we are supporting community energy projects, but, clearly, if it’s going to have a backwards step in relation to business rates, we need to make sure that we are much more aligned with that.


[256]   Sian Gwenllian: So, you’d consider a rate relief scheme for—[Inaudible.]?


[257]   Lesley Griffiths: Well, it was a discussion that I was going to have with, as I say, Mark Drakeford, yesterday—


[258]   Sian Gwenllian: That’s a step that you could take.


[259]   Lesley Griffiths: It’s a step we can look at, and I certainly hope to meet over recess.


[260]   Mike Hedges: Finally, David.


[261]   David Melding: Thank you, Chair. Your Brexit stakeholder round-table is giving you advice. Do you chair that round-table, or does the civil—?


[262]   Lesley Griffiths: I do.


[263]   David Melding: You do.


[264]   Lesley Griffiths: No, I chair it.


[265]   David Melding: And then the working groups that have been established: are they chaired by civil servants or by—?


[266]   Lesley Griffiths: They are, yes. They’re chaired by civil servants.


[267]   Mr Slade: Yes, heads of division within the team.


[268]   David Melding: Thanks for just giving that clarification. In paragraph 7 of your useful note to us, you say, and I quote:


[269]   ‘Agriculture has been fully devolved for nearly two decades and I am clear and resolute it must stay that way.’


[270]   And then a little later in the paragraph, you say, and I quote again,


[271]   ‘There is a need for UK frameworks where we have areas of commonality’—


[272]   presumably the need to maintain the UK’s single market and a way of managing externalities and setting common standards. You know, if this was a peace and reconciliation exercise, you would have thought those two statements could be reconciled, and the UK Government also has emphasised that devolved decision making will not be impaired. But this seems to be very, very contested territory. I mean, are you slapping on the war paint, or do you think the Welsh Government and the UK Government are working to what we all need, which is a reasonable way of managing these needs, especially over some form of common governance arrangement, I suppose?


[273]   Lesley Griffiths: We’ve always made it very clear that we would have a Welsh agricultural policy. As I say and you say, agriculture has been wholly devolved to this place for 18 years, and I didn’t see last year’s EU referendum as a row back on devolution, and I know that you didn’t either, David. We also said that we accepted that there would be UK frameworks. Certainly, there are examples of that now—animal health and welfare is one example where that works very well. Going back to my first fisheries council last December, the collaborative work that was undertaken across the four UK Governments was a really good example. So, I don’t think they’re contradictory. However, I will absolutely fight against any row back on devolved powers.


[274]   David Melding: Chair, I think this merits further discussion, but perhaps not this morning. [Laughter.]


[275]   Mike Hedges: Well, as we’ve gone five minutes over, which I think the Chair will be criticised for, can I thank the Cabinet Secretary for coming along today? I thank her for engaging with the committee and for bringing her officials along as well in order to help. Obviously, you’ll have a transcript of the meeting to check before publication. Again, thank you very much.


[276]   Lesley Griffiths: Thank you, Chair.




Papurau i’w Nodi
Papers to Note

[277]   Mike Hedges: We’ll move on to the next item, which is a letter from the Llywydd regarding the implementation of the Wales Act 2017. If you wish to discuss it, we will discuss it after the break. Okay, noted.


Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42 i Benderfynu Gwahardd y Cyhoedd o Weddill y Cyfarfod
Motion under Standing Order 17.42 to Resolve to Exclude the Public from the Remainder of the Meeting





bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(vi) a (ix).

that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(vi) and (ix).


Cynigiwyd y cynnig.
Motion moved.



[278]   Mike Hedges: Can I move a motion under Standing Order 17.42 to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the session?


Derbyniwyd y cynnig.
Motion agreed.



Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 10:51.
The public part of the meeting ended at 10:51.