16/05/2017 Welsh First Minister's Questions


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Even the UK Government admits it is largest environmental threat to


public health in the UK. A cross-party group if the House of


Commons called it a public health emergency, these quality management


areas include an area of Newport Road where I have no less than three


primary schools running along it and they are breathing in toxic levels


of air at the moment. And the latest plan by the Tories, that was


published earlier this month is no more than an options paper, there is


nothing in it that even approaches a strategy. One of the options is to


have clean air zones where polluting vehicles have to pay to enter them.


Obviously, this would be the thing that would make the biggest impact


on cutting pollution, but the Tories have passed the buck to Local


Authorities with shackles on. They are not allowed to do anything along


these lines until for example all buses have been converted from


diesel to clean energy, and... Ewe need to come to a question. What is


the Welsh Government interpret from this plan and what it sees its


responsibility in ensuring that communities like mine are relieved


of this aning thing? It is important to note some of the ideas are none


devolved. The level of commitment to take action to UK Government action


sun clear but as evidence of our commitment to do what we can to


improve quality of air we have said in the UK plan within 13 months with


will consultant on the proposal for a clean air zone framework for


Wales. I commend that study. Yes you look at Germany it has been popular


in their city, reducing them by 50% in some cases. They encourage


cycling and the like, access to city areas and free parking for cleaner


vehicles, and better use of existing infrastructure, that is


redesignating for pedestrians and cyclist, I do think we should have


the ambition to declare Cardiff a clean air zone, I encourage do you


do that as soon as possible. We are encouraging local authorities to


create more cycle routes, the act is evidence of that and the proposalses


for a metro, which will lead to better and quicker journeys on


public transport, taking peel out of their cars white the Metro will


reduce emissions from the current all diesel rolling stock, clean air


zones would bring about compliance, before other measurers and in the


shortest possible time, we will set out how to ensure the effective


implementation of such zones. TRANSLATION: Thank you. Will you


confirm that it is the Welsh Government's intention that these


air quality management zones do reduce air pollution, particularly


in terms of the very small particulates that can go deep into


the lungs and are particularly dangerous to children and young


people, who walk our cycle to school. And will there be specific


targets, within your plans for these air quality zones of. This is


something which is being considered at the moment as regards air quality


management zones and it is part of the consultation that will take


place as has been noted in the British plan.


Will the First Minister make a statement on the importance of


professional sport to Wales. Professional sports brings a Umber


of important benefit tos Wales, particularly to Swansea, I know the


member, no doubt he will ask about Swansea City and their campaign to


stay in the Premier League. But of course we know the professional


sport is a catalyst not just to increase participation rates but can


give people in cities and nations a feel-good factor and of course the


euros of last year were an example of how that can happen in Wales.


Can I highlight the importance of professional sport in promoting the


identity of an area and generating wealth. I want to tress the


important of Swansea City staying in the Premier League for the area, for


tourism in the Swansea bay city region and for named recognition of


Swansea, will the First Minister join me in congratulating Swansea on


staying in the Premiership, which benefits the whole of Wales? Yes, I


do. It is usually important we have a team that not just gets into the


Premier League but stays there, also important to note of course, the


successful campaign by Newport County to stay in League Two, we all


saw the scenes whence the final goal was scored a minute for the end of


normal time, I can see the member for Newport East beaming when I


mentioned that, but it is true to say professional sport is a hugely


important economic catalyst, we know that for example Swansea's presence


from the Premier League has been hugely important in creating tourism


for the area, in terms of improving hotel rate occupancy and improving


spend by visitors to the city and beyond.


First Minister, grass roots training in football is so often crucial to


future development of I don't think players to a more professional


level. Currently however three or four Welsh police forces are


investigating allegations of historic child sexual abuse at this


level, with the FA chairman calling this the biggest crisis in football.


Firm, in North Wales there are several accusations of an historical


nature it is felt must be investigated. Steve Walters of the


offside trust and PC Mike Smith, both of whom have suffered are


leading calls for the FAW to launch a full inquiry. Will you work with


your cabinet secretary, to support those call, and in doing so provide


an environment where children seeking to fulfil their ambitions in


the sport, to a more professional level, are able to do so safely? We


know that a safe environment is crucial and young people. We know


standard were laxer than they are now, these are mares for if AAW and


the police but it is hugely important that as enough assurance


as possible can be given that any allegations in the past or indeed


the present are investigated fully, so as we can ensure our children and


young people continue to have safer environment now and in the future.


TRANSLATION: Thank you very much. I was delighted that the assembly


unanimously supported a Plaid Cymru amendment to the public Health Bill


which will mean there will be a government strategy to tackle


obesity and that will be on the face of the bill. I am grateful to


members for supporting that, does the First Minister agree that clubs


and professional sporting organisations, as well as grass


roots sport, have to feed in now to create that strategy, in order to


ensure that we have a strategy that can truly tackle the greatest


problem perhaps faces us in terms of public health? Yes, that is is


right, because although sports in the community is vital to ensure


that people are active within the community, professional teams can


give an example, especially to young people, they see their heroes coming


to talk to them and telling them how important healthy living is, so


there is a vital role for professional clubs as regards


ensuring that we do address obesity. Swansea City and Newport County FC,


they are both important focuses in their communities, and community


morale will work in those places as a result of these teams' success,


proproblem we have sometimes is that they tend now to be foreign owned,


two of the three Football League clubs, well, no, I understand it is


not going to be an EU thing, sometimes they become distant from


their fan base whereas they are also important assets in the community. I


wondered is there any way in which the Welsh Government can help to


preserve them this their role as assets in the community? Swansea


City did that successfully, Cardiff City, we want to see them back in


the Premier League next year, before long, I will have to go round Wales


an mention several clubs and wish them success s and all other


football clubs in Wales and any sporting clubs playing at any level,


the best of luck for next year, he is right, it is hugely important


that fans are given the opportunity to own their clubs. Bayern mew snick


a model of a club that is fan owned. I worry that where there is is a


lack of commitment by some owners, I don't mention Cardiff City, but in


some clubs, the question has to be asked are the owners properly


committed to the clubs in the way fans could be. We saw the


resurrection of Swansea City because of the dedication of supporters who


were were willing to put the money in and so it is strongly embedded in


the community: Thank you presiding officer, could I welcome back the


Cabinet secretary for rural affairs who makes a welcome return to


chamber and I wish you hosepipefully in getting over the recent tall you


had cabinet secretary. First Minister, you said at the end of


April, that Jeremy Corbyn needed to prove himself if he were to become


the Prime Minister at the end of this general election, the


relationship between the First Minister of Wales, or Scotland or


Northern Ireland and the Prime Minister is a very important


relationship, and indeed intergovernmentmental relationship.


Last week at the campaign launch you failed to mention his name. Last


week when the manifesto was leaked out to the press you put a press


release out to say it was not your manifesto, then within a couple of


hours' time, it was Redacted and changed. Do you believe that Jeremy


Corbyn will be the Prime Minister on June 9th That is what I want to see.


I have dealt with Theresa May. I see no evidence of strong leader sip


from her, she can't answer a straight question. Leadership is


about doing lewder debates. We know that in chamber, leadership is about


talking to people rather than going to stage-managed events and


question, that is what true leadership is about. Those of us,


there are receive of us who have had expense of that, that is what


leadership is about. I want to make sure we have somebody who is willing


to engage in the public not someone who shuts herself off from public.


Gaving a straight answer is probably not your strongest card to be stand


on to be fair as anyone who has asked you a question in this chamber


could attest to. The manifesto of the Labour Party, it talks of


establishing tuition fees. Yet your education spokesperson, cabinet


secretary said last week, that actually it is not tuition fees that


is the problems it is living cost, she said through a press spokesman


that Jeremy Corbyn would not be the Prime Minister, how on earth can you


have any joined up thinking in your Government, when you have such a


dislocate between the message that in the the manifesto and the


spending commitments that your sideling up to, day in, day out.


Isn't it the case if people vote for Jeremy Corbyn on June 8th you


through have a coalition of chaos, as opposed to the strong and stable


leadership of Theresa May? I wonder if the leader of the Welsh


Conservatives believe Theresa May is a strong leader. When asked on the


radio, whether she was supportive of him in his position, she said he is


the leader -- testify Welsh Conservatives. Stunningly true as a


fact but hardly a great vote of confidence in him. We are proud of


the manifesto that we are standing on, it offers great hope for our


people, one thing we note is that the diamond review, has put students


in Wales ahead of those in England. What we know of course, is that if


the Tories won the general election students would be hammered harder,


they will be forced to pay more, so one thing we know is that the


students will never be in a position where they are better off under the


Conservatives. You cut off the quote which you went


on to say what a good job I am doing. Doing. She went. If you look


at who the offer is on June 8th, it is an offer from the Welsh


Conservatives today, to establish, to establish Severn Bridge tolls an


deliver a shot in the arm of ?100 million to the Welsh economy. ?100


million. Against the fiscal illiteracy we see coming out of


Labour, that I notice the First Minister has not signed up to or


committed to today yet he sat in a meeting of the National Executive


and put his hand up to spend billions that this country has not


got. It St a fact that if you want to get rid of Severn Bridge tolls


and put ?100 million into the Welsh economy you need to vote for the


Welsh Conservatives under the strong and stable leadership of Theresa


May, unlike the coalition of chaos Jeremy Corbyn...


I am generous to the leader of the Welsh kith. I want him to stay as


their leader. Theresa May doesn't. Theresa May doesn't. So I will


offer, he is right, I want him to stay, but Theresa May doesn't, and


that is chaos for you, he stands there, within the chutzpah to claim


that establishing the Severn Bridge toll is his idea and his party's


idea. For how many years have we stood here and demand the end of


toll? Be were told by his party it was too expensive. We saw estimated


between 20 and ?120 million a year of how much it would cost. Now it is


7 million. I welcome their conversion, I welcome their


conversion, but at the end of the day, let us face it, the


Conservatives would not have established the Severn Bridge tolls


if it wasn't for the action taken by this Welsh Government.


The Shadow exit secretary was in Wales a few days ago and I see that


he said Conservative Brexit negotiations posed a danger to the


successful campaign to recruit more doctors in Wales. Can the first


secretary tell us how many extra doctors from the EU this campaign


has managed to recruit? We know that 5.8% of our staff are from the EU.


There is interest from the UK and abroad. Every single health system


competes in the world market. It is folly to think somehow the UK can


train and recruit all of its own doctors in the UK. What we need are


fewer doctors and nurses from abroad, nobody said that, it is


vital it is still seen as a welcoming place to people. I agree


with that. Seven extra doctors have been recruited this year compared to


last year. None of whom perhaps will have come from the EU. Therefore


this seems rather irrelevant to the whole subject of the Brexit


negotiations. Keir Starmer seem to be trying to instil some sort of


fear into the minds of those who might be susceptible to his words,


that after Brexit, we will turn away potential doctors and nurses from


United Kingdom. I'm sure the First Minister knows in his heart of


hearts that this is a preposterous idea and four example in Australia,


they have strict immigration system is based on points, awarded in order


to fill various skills gaps in the economy at the United Kingdom are


just the same. So why did you get bored with the Brexit negotiations


and try to make a success, instead of being obstacle to progress all


the time? But handled badly, doctors and nurses will get the impression


that the UK does not want them. It is already there, because the issue


of mutual recognition of residency has not yet been dealt with. Nobody


wants to see people not being able to stay in the UK or UK citizens


unable to stay in the EU but there is no agreement on it yet. It needs


to be dealt with as possible. -- it needs to be dealt with as quickly as


possible. My fear is that we end up with a cap on immigration every


year. That there is a cap in each sector, that the city gets the


lion's share, to protect banking and finance, and because of that cap, we


are unable to recruit doctors and nurses into Wales. I think that


would be a foolish way of dealing with it. Any cap introduced will


work in such a way to prevent NHS filling skills gaps, that is not


true. There was an in-depth study of the impact of migration at wage


levels and at the lower end of the scale, people like waiting staff and


cleaners in the health service, it concluded that unlimited immigration


from the EU and other parts of the world or unskilled and semiskilled


workers, reduces wages by a factor of 2%, in relation to a 10% rise in


the proportion of immigrants in those sectors. What is happening is


that wage levels are being compressed for the people who can


least afford it while there is no danger, as a result of the Brexit


negotiations, the number of doctors and nurses being recruited from


outside the UK. If there is to be a cap, a cap is a cap. We need to


avoid it. 80,000 EU citizens in Wales at 3 million people saw a tiny


proportion of the population. I take your point that many feel wages are


being depressed as a result. Part of that lives in the failure to


prosecute for minimum wage legislation. No prosecution at all


as far as I'm concerned. His former parties were against the minimum


wage and that would have driven wages down even further. There is


exploitation. I have heard stories of exploitation of EU citizens


coming to Wales. That needs to be cracked down on and prosecuted. In


the same way that those who tried to employ people below the minimum


wage, trying to get around employment legislation, should be


prosecuted according to the law at the law should be strengthened to


make sure no one is exploited in the future. Last week of the successful


time to change campaign launched a pilot scheme in nine schools to


tackle mental health discrimination and stigma. If this scheme is


successful, we should see more young people coming forward to seek help


for problems that they might have. Can you tell us what additional


funds you have made available for school councillors and for training


for teachers to deal with this? Every school has a school


councillor. We have ring-fenced funding for help and put more money


into it and we have seen a massive reduction in waiting times. We have


not seen a massive reduction in waiting times. You can fairly say


waiting times are no worse than they were before but you can't say they


are improved. It is not clear at all what those improved outcomes are


from this extra spending. What we do know is that the number of children


requiring counselling is going up and that's a good thing because


hopefully that means the problems can be prevented before they become


severe and require specialist help. However, we know that many schools


do not have enough councillors or teachers with trading to help those


pupils who may need it. Also, we have seen a reduction in local


authority youth workers, a staggering 40% in that workforce, as


a decrease. This is clearly going to have an impact on whether the


children experiencing the low-level mental health problems are going to


be able to get the support that they need, particularly as your


Government has raised the threshold for access in specialist cams


services. I spoke recently to someone who works with care levers,


who told me that they are only able to refer young people who are at


risk of suicide. They have no capacity in the system to work on


mental health prevention. If that situation acceptable to you? When is


there going to be an early intervention service that is so


badly needed? There is a councillor in each secondary school in Wales


and health boards have committed to reach the target by the end of


March. They have made great strides to reduce waiting times. We have


seen the potential of cams referrals seen within 28 days ago from 21%


last year to 84.5% in February this year. That's an enormous improvement


in the time required to get a first appointment. The money we put in,


together with the counselling available in schools, is paying for


it. It is true to say that the waiting lists are no worse than


before and overall, you cannot say, throughout Wales, that they are


better. Children and young people with mental health difficulties go


an average of ten years, ten years, before they receive specialist help.


These are the people who are likely to be the most ill and also who cost


our service is the most money. It didn't have to happen this way. We


have the kind of teenage mental health early intervention scheme,


that we don't have that we badly need. We know that self harm is the


second biggest killer of teenage girls globally. Are we going to have


to wait for 16-year-olds to have the vote before the mental health of our


children and young people get the proper priority it deserves? Some of


us do have children and I have a 16-year-old daughter so I know the


pressures that exist on the young, particularly through social media,


something that didn't exist when I was 16. I know some of the things


that said online and I know that when youngsters are at their most


vulnerable in terms of their confidence, they can deeply affected


by it. You didn't listen to the figures I gave. The percentage of


cams... She can shout as much as she once, she has had three questions


already. Betsy is an example of what has happened around Wales and the


levels of cams referrals around Wales there has gone up. The figures


needed to improve, we knew more buddy had to be put in as the


demands on the service grew and we are delivering young people. Could


the First Minister make a statement on the progress of the Welsh


Government commitment to raise the capital limit for those entering


residential care? We aren't delivering this, commitment is


underway, we have provided local authorities with ?4.5 million in


2017 - 18 to deliver that increase. I commend the Welsh Government of


taking early steps to deliver on this pledge to raise the capital


limit to more than double over the life of this Assembly term to


?50,000. We now offer that the only asset our constituents have is that


home so more than doubling it is a disproportionately great benefit on


what they can pass on to their relatives at some point. There is


also to be a full disregard of the disablement pension being introduced


in Wales which means Welsh veterans no longer have to use any part of


this to pay for the care they need. This is part of us honouring our


covenant with those who put their lives on the line for the country.


If the First Minister has any idea what sort of numbers we can be


talking about of those who may benefit from this excellent policy?


The initial increased to 30,000 will benefit around 250 people, the


increased to 50,000 will benefit around a thousand people. We support


the improvement in this policy, particularly the part relating to


the veterans this regard, but is this savings camp really the best


you can do for people who have tried very hard. In order for people to


save more? Jeremy Corbyn has recently said that he is not


wealthy, despite earning more than ?138,000 each year and House prices


in Wales are averaging ?175,000 a year. Don't you agree that the


?100,000 cap pledge by Welsh Conservatives probably reflects more


realistically the Hardwick people have put in turning this money


during the course of their lives? The pledge the Welsh Conservatives


have was not costed properly. There is a cost to how much such a policy


would cost. 25% roughly of care home residents in Wales will benefit from


this policy. It's another example of a Welsh Government keeping its


promises as we have done for the past six years. Will be First


Minister make a statement of the progress made on the Welsh


Government's industrial strategy? We will beat publishing our strategy


before the summer recess. I know the Government understands the


importance of manufacturing and engineering industries. They are


strengths within the Welsh economy. But the UK Government seems to


recognise the same thing and places steel towards the bottom of it. We


need to attract more manufacturing. We need to provide more premises of


a larger footprint, 25,000 square feet plus to make sure those


factories are there for them to come into. What are you doing to make


sure there are sufficient numbers of buildings to attract both inward


investment in manufacturing and also to allow industries to expand? We


work with manufacturers and others to look at buildings as they become


available. Aston Martin, it happened there and that was very useful. In


terms of being able to attract them. We worked closely with all


businesses to assess their needs in terms of future expansion. Where


they seek to do that, we usually are able to work within the source


buildings. First Minister, Jeremy Corbyn has set out plans for


sweeping Government intervention in our industry, including taking parts


of Britain's energy industry into public ownership alongside the


railways and Royal Mail. That is the biggest state intervention in our


economy for decades. Do you endorse Jeremy Corbyn's approach, which I


certainly believe would take Wales back to the 1970s, and do you agree


with your party leader when he says that private transport operators


cannot be trusted with having passengers' best interests at heart?


Anyone who says the energy market is good for consumers must be living in


a different universe to the rest of us. Time and time again, governments


have recognised the current system doesn't work. Energy was cheaper


proportionally in the 1970s and we had major investments. He talks


about the railways, the last major investment in intercity helped in


1977. It was under a Labour Government. Since then, no major


investment in the mainline. We are still waiting for electrification.


Still waiting for electrification to Cardiff and Swansea, where has that


gone? Not delivered by the party opposite. No sign yet from the


Conservatives. No one can argue the railways presently are delivering


value for money. They cost more for the taxpayer now that they did when


they were nationalised because of the way it was done. There needs to


be more reality from the Conservatives and above all, they


need to deliver on their promises for energy and railed and they had


been an abject failure in that sense.


We certainly need new ideas when it comes to economic strategy because


the old ideas haven't worked, have they? We are poorer now, relative to


the rest of the UK, than when Labour first took office in 1997 at


Westminster and here in the Assembly in 1999. So can the First Minister


explain what new ideas Labour has to transform our economy and given the


fact that you've been in power in Wales for almost 20 years and for a


good proportion of that time in Westminster as well, what's kept


you? Where have those transformational ideas been up until


now? Where was his party when for four years his party was in charge


of the economy in Wales? I don't... That is something they would rather


forget about, conveniently. He asked for new ideas, the vallis task force


is moving forward with new ideas for the valleys. We are looking how we


develop ourselves as an international presence again,


because we know we have to look outside to new countries for


investment. The Airlink is extremely important. Major investment such as


Aston Martin, General dynamics, coming to Wales. The next challenge


will cause is to improve GDA. He is correct about that but certainly as


far as job creation is concerned, as far as reaching out to the world is


concerned, as far as getting investment income of the best


figures for 30 years last year, this Welsh Government is delivering. Will


the First Minister outline the Welsh Government's approach to investing


in capital infrastructure projects against Wales? It is a focus on


maximising the resources we have available and targeting these on the


areas where they have the biggest impact in boosting the economy,


supporting our communities and connecting all parts of Wales. It


was welcome news that the finance secretary stated ?1 billion mutual


investment model will be used to fund infrastructure projects in


Wales. This includes social infrastructure and 21st century


schools programme, but also the final of the a 40592, vital for my


own constituency. How does the Welsh Government plan to use similar


approaches to invest in infrastructure and benefit the


people of Wales in the future? We are facing unprecedented challenges


to public finances so it is vitally important we unlock all


opportunities to boost infrastructure investment. As well


as the ?1 billion in capital infrastructure investment we are


committed to delivering through the innovative finance model, we are


also using innovative ways of funding capital investment to the


250 million extension to the housing grant and 150 million coastal risk


management programme and they are in addition to the ?1 billion of direct


capital borrowing as a result of the Wales act 2014. First Minister, last


year's UK budget provided a valuable boost to capital infrastructure


spending in Wales and shows what can be achieved when Welsh and UK


governments work together. Do you agree with me that the projects that


you mentioned, the welcome agreement on a Cardiff City deal and today's


announcement on the scrapping of the Severn Bridge tolls shows what can


be achieved and the Welsh Government and yourself are much better working


with Theresa May than Jeremy Corbyn? There is some truth to that question


and I give you credit for that but the answer is quite simply no, I


would rather work with Jeremy Corbyn. But secondly, yes, I think


it is right that at a time when there is no election and Welsh and


UK governments are able to work together, city deal is an example of


that but when it comes to the Severn Bridge tolls, we have been pushing


for this for years. An example of working together is we have made the


case and hallelujah, the UK Government has converted, I welcome


that as well but it does show how important it is to have a strong


team here in the Welsh Government to keep on pushing a Tory Government so


they deliver things such as the ending of the Severn Bridge toll,


which we have called for four years. In terms of the three stage process


for assessing proposals the new railway stations in Wales, you are


no doubt aware that some campaigners are calling for the reopening of


certain stations which failed to make the second stage and feel


aggrieved, including members of action groups. In light of that, and


in the interest of transparency, will your Government be prepared to


share the results of the cost benefit analysis in moving from


stage one to stage two? I see no difficulty in doing that, it is


important it is shared so we can see what the methodology is. Will the


First Minister make a statement on the Welsh medium stream back in high


school? I cannot comment further on those proposals the change because


there is a potential role for the Welsh Government and that position


cannot be... I of course understand. This is the opposite to the


situation which we faced, weather was parental opposition to the


changing of the status of the school to a medium school. There is a


feeling in the locality in Brecon that this proposal for closure has


become a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy, because the council has


for many years had a proposal to close down and provided free


transport to alternative schools for parents so it is not surprising that


parents who want to have their children taught through the medium


of Welsh are exploring other opportunities, but the school rolls


levels. I hold back then it hope the levels. I hold back then it hope the


First Minister would agree I have tried to be honest and nonpartisan


and helpful, so what I would like to ask the First Minister is in


addition to the acknowledged policy, which I think is a correct one,


bringing parents with us and going with the grain, is it not the case


of where they want their children taught through the medium of Welsh


to make it as easy as possible for them and requiring children to go on


a bus journey of over an hour in each direction each day is not


likely to bring more parents into the net of wanting to have their


children taught through the medium of Welsh? Without commenting on this


individual case, what can the First Minister do to make it easier for


parents in this situation that we find in Brecon to have their wishes


satisfied? If I can speak generally, the leader of Ukip is correct in


that in many parts of Wales, the length of the journey time to get to


a Welsh medium school puts parents. Particularly true in some parts of


Wales weather is a Welsh medium primary school but a substantial


journey to the secondary school. Monmouthshire is an example that


springs to mind. Steps must be taken to ensure they are able to access


secondary education, particularly more locally. Generally, local


authorities have to produce their strategic plans. We look at those


plans and if we judge them to be inadequate, we do not approve those


plans. It is for local authorities all across Wales to show they are


providing sufficient access to Welsh medium education in order that those


plans to be effective. The Welsh Government has an ambition to see a


million Welsh speakers by the year 2050. In order to reach that target,


we need to get as many children as possible starting their education


through the medium of Welsh and as you have said, it is difficult for


you to discuss this individual issue but as a matter of general




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