10/01/2017 First Minister's Questions


10/01/2017

Full coverage of AM's questions to the first minister from the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.


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Transcript


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Good afternoon and a very warm welcome to a new programme

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covering questions to the First Minister.

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AMs are back in Cardiff Bay after their Christmas break

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Today we can expect questions on economic growth, energy

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and the interests of children and young people.

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We're also on Twitter - @walespolitics,

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where you can follow the latest developments as they happen.

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Well, business in the Siambr is already underway

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so let's see today's questions to the First Minister.

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I call the National Assembly to order and may I begin by wishing you

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all a very happy New Year and we will move onto our first item,

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questions to First Minister. Will the First Minister outline his

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proposals for supporting economic growth during 2017 in South Wales

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West? The priorities include supporting businesses to grow,

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investing in high quality infrastructure and improving

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conditions for business. Steel-making is a critical element

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of the economy in South Wales West and is the heart of the economy in

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Aberavon. As the challenges have eased, they have not gone away. I

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applaud the Welsh government in honouring its commitment in

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supporting the industry with the financial support announced in

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December. I am dismayed that the UK Government has done nothing. Before

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Christmas, I met with the Chief Executive Officer of Tata Steel UK

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and he made it quite clear that the joint venture was still on the

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agenda even if the deal is accepted by the trade unions at the end of

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this month. With consolidation of the industry and the pension

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problems as well, what discussions will you be having with Tata to

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ensure that Welsh steelworkers have a more secure future? Any support we

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provide will be conditional on economic activity in Wales. Our

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financial support will be subject to Tata agreeing to legally binding

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conditions and no funding will be drawn down by Tata unless those

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conditions are agreed. It is important that workers understand

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that the money that has been made available or will be made available

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to Tata is conditional. We want to ensure that the money ensures that

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we keep those jobs in Wales. Importantly, we have two blast

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furnaces. Suzy Davies. Assembly Members finally managed to get a

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formal meeting with chief executives and council leaders to discuss the

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Swansea Bay city region and it is clear that they see the investment

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in transport as a key driver for the economic prospects of the region. Do

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you think that Wales' second city, at the heart of this regional

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expansion, is ambitious enough to look simply beyond buses, which was

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recently suggested by Stuart Cole? I think that transport solutions can

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work in any number of different forms of transport. What is

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important is that the city deal is approved and receives funding from

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the UK Government. Bethan Jenkins. First Minister, in the past you have

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recognised the importance of pensions in the economy when I have

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raised issues with regards to Christian and the campaign that many

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of us were involved in in relation to the South Wales West economy and

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if those pensions were threatened in some way, how that would affect the

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economy. I am wondering if we could have a discussion on the Tata

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pension situation because far be it from us to be criticised for butting

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out of this debate, I think it is integral that politicians are part

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of this debate so that we can lead on this agenda and I think it is

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important therefore for us to have a debate on this that we can

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understand what contingency plans your government will put in place on

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a number of outcomes that are possible, for example if the deal is

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accepted or if it is rejected, the Welsh government will have do have a

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view on that, will it not? I think it's unfortunate you use that as an

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example because it closed. Unions are looking to represent their

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members' best interests. That is a matter for them. What is hugely

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important is that there is an understanding that at this moment in

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time there is nothing else on the table. If they were genuine

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alternatives, that is something we would consider further, but that is

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not the case at the moment so we have do consider that fact, that the

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UK Government are not prepared to nationalise the industry. Therefore,

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the only package that is on the table at this moment in time is the

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package that Tata have placed their for the workers and it is up to the

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workers and the trade unions to come to their own conclusions regarding

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the future. First Minister, one of the biggest challenges facing the

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economy in my region during 2017 continues to be poor infrastructure.

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A thriving economy is dependent upon good transport links. With the rail

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network and electrification, businesses in South Wales West are

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at the mercy of the traffic flows on the M4. What plans does your

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government have to reduce congestion on the M4 over the coming months? We

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want to see the UK Government making good on its commitment to Elektra

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fibre line between Cardiff Central and West Wales. They have not given

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a date on that. The original plan was to Elektra five from Cardiff to

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Bridgend and then to Swansea. But at the moment there is no date for the

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electrification of the line. We need to have that date so we can proceed

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with the modernisation of the rail networks we know will take more cars

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off the road. Question two. Will the First Minister made a statement on

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the Welsh government's priorities for children and young people in

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Torfaen? I have set up my priorities in the new programme for government,

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Taking Wales Forward. I want every child to have the best start in life

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and to recognise that focus. I'm sure that you will be aware of my

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concern that the decision was taken to end schools challenge country in

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the draft budget and that this decision was taken before the Welsh

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government received the evaluation of this scheme and it is clear that

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lots of areas have seen very significant benefits through the

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programme but it is also clear that there is more work to be done in

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areas like my own where we have a number of challenge schools. Can I

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ask whether you have any plans to make continued additional funding

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available to schools which were benefiting under the programme but

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have yet to make further progress? And how will we make sure that the

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good practice that has happened in the other parts of Wales can be

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ruled out everywhere? It is certainly the case that most schools

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have benefited from the scheme. They no longer need that support, they

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are able to stand on their own two feet. There are some schools not in

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that position and we are looking at how we can help those schools that

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have not done as well to make sure they are not left behind and to make

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sure that best practice found in other schools is passport did to

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those schools that haven't done as well as we would want in order for

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them to be able to succeed in future. Mohammad Asghar. Happy New

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Year to everybody here. The Welsh government is committed to created

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conditions to give every child the best chance in life in Wales. Will

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the First Minister advise how cancelling the scheme offering 16-18

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years old a third of their bus pass travel will help young people in

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Wales to access jobs or training? The current scheme is coming to a

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natural end. It's right to say the uptake of the scheme has not been as

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substantial as was originally intended. Nevertheless, the Minister

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has been in discussions with the bus and coach companies in order for

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them to come forward with a suitable alternative school -- scheme by

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April this year. It is not a case of the scheme coming to an end with

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nothing to replace it, we are looking at making it more effective.

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Questions from the party leaders. Leader of Plaid Cymru, Leanne Wood.

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As we start the New Year, the familiar waiting time problems in

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Accident and Emergency and ambulances showed no sign of

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dissipating but there is an urgent question on that so I want to ask

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you about a crisis in waiting times that doesn't often get the attention

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it deserves. At the start of last term, I asked you about waiting

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times for children and adolescent mental health services. You said at

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that time the resources have been put in and I fully expect the

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waiting times and the numbers to go down as those resources work through

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the system. First Minister, have the waiting times gone down? If we look

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at waiting times in terms of mental health admissions, we know they were

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9570 admissions in the year ending 21st of March 20 16. 1400 resident

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patients in hospital and units across Wales. So we know that the

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number of admissions has stayed steady and we now expect to see the

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money, ?8 million extra that has been put into children's mental

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health services, help to cut waiting lists, waiting times, I beg your

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pardon. The answer to the question I asked you is that waiting times have

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not improved. The numbers of people waiting for over 16 weeks got

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slightly worse, over the course of the year, and as well as stagnating

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over the past year, the waiting times remain substantially worse

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than they were three years ago. One explanation that you have given for

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this is that there are too many children being referred. For

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example, in November 2015, you said, evidence suggests that around a

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third of young people referred to specialists have no mental illness

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and you said a further third have low-level difficulties that wouldn't

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reach the threshold for treatment by a specialist service. These

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sentiments were echoed by your previous Health Minister. Do you

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stand by that do? Yes. There is no evidence whatsoever that children

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are being added to waiting lists without reason. The children and

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young People's committee report of 2014 highlighted that many children

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have to wait until their condition worsens to access support and the

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charity Young Mines have said many children and young people tell us

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they have been frequently turned away from accessing services because

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the threshold for treatment is too high for them. The evidence is

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growing that there aren't enough services for young people with

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mental health problems. I will ask you the same question as I asked you

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in September last year, when can people expect to see improvements in

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the waiting lists which you have promised to this Assembly time and

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time again? Cambs is an acute service. I would not expect them to

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be referred to them automatically. I would expect young people to see

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their GP and the GP to refer if necessary. Every secondary school

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has a counsellor and those services are available for those who require

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it. I wouldn't expect everyone to be referred. We have made significant

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investments, there is no dispute about that. We expect to see further

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significant progress over the course of this year. I will have two right

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to the Leader of the Opposition in terms of the evidence that we have

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of the nature of referrals to Cambs and I will provide that information

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to her. Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies.

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Over the Christmas period and over the last couple of days, there has

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been considerable speculation over the merits or not as the case may be

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of the deal before the steelworkers at Port Talbot and the other plants

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across Wales. Before we broke for the Christmas recess, you clearly

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said to me in a line of questioning, this is a very good deal and it was

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a deal we can endorse and it provides a future for the plan. Does

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that still the thinking that the First Minister has around the deal

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because I am unaware of any plan B. I am aware there are concerns around

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the pension scheme but I have to say that I do not see there is any other

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alternative on the table and so although it is a matter for workers

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to make their own decisions, the proposal that is on the table is I

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believe one that will preserve the steel industry in south Wales. There

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is no plan B. Thank you for the charity because it is important to

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understand the gravity of the decision that the steelworkers do

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face. And it is their decision because they are being asked to give

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up something in return for assurances around the long-term

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future of the steel industry in Wales. We understand from Plaid

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Cymru that it is there opinion that this deal should be rejected. What

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do you think will be the consequences if this deal is

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rejected for the long-term and medium-term future of those plans

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that occupied so much of the political agenda as well as the

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community agenda in those communities through the whole of

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2016? I understand the concerns of members. But as I have said before,

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there is no other alternative on the table. The other consortia who were

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interested in taking over were all concerned about the pension scheme

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as well so the issue is never going to go away. The alternative is the

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UK Government could nationalise the industry. Your party made it very

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clear you will not do that. So it seems to me that it is this plan at

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the moment or no plan. That is what the workers have to consider. It is

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a matter of regret that the UK Government, things were different

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under the previous Prime Minister, have not taken an interest in the

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steel industry in Wales. They have not addressed the issue of energy

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prices properly. They have had no discussion with us on the future of

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the steel industry since the new Prime Minister came into place. I

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regret that. I noted carefully what Theresa May said yesterday about

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intervening in the market but we see no evidence of that Indians of help

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for the Welsh steel industry. I believe you have a very supportive

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UK Government. An Stephen Kinnock. I can hear the

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deputy minister champing from a different position but he might like

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to listen to the question first to give an answer to inform his

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constituents and the other people in Wales. Do you agree? Can we allow

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the leader of the Conservative Party to be heard, please? Do you agree

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that the proposals put forward on the table by Tata Steel are

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impressive proposals and actually, these do unlock significant

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investment for the steel plants across Wales and all for a secure

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future, certainly in the short and medium term for the many thousands

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of jobs that depend on this investment being unlocked? 7000

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jobs... I did ask for the leader of the Conservative Party to be heard

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and I intend to be listened to when I ask that. 7000 jobs depend upon

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the steel, do you agree with that? In the absence from anything from

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the UK Government and the lack of interest from the UK Government

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since the last Prime Minister left his office, I believe this is the

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only deal that is on the table, we provided a substantial amount of

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money, the UK Government provided nothing and we believe it will

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demand that that package secures the jobs in the steel industry in Wales.

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Neil Hamilton. Can I welcome the First Minister back from his trip to

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Norway and perhaps he could tell us what conclusions he arrived at as a

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result of that. Is he aware that 70% of the Norwegian people are still

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adamantly opposed to membership of the EU? Regarding membership of the

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EEE, will begin from that Norway is a member of the Schengen Agreement

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and so unfettered access to the single market, which the First

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Minister has always advocated, that will require also unfettered access

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to the UK for unlimited numbers of EU immigrants? People in Norway,

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your rightly point out that they do not support EU membership, but they

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strongly supported EEE membership and freedom of movement, but there

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is a difference and I believe this is an issue which is a profitable

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route for us to pursue in the UK. Freedom of movement in Norway allows

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freedom of movement to work, it is not unlimited, there are some rules

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surrounding how people can look for work if they lose their job but it

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is not an unfettered right of freedom of movement. All the

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actually do is follow the European rules to the letter, which the UK

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did not do. UK was more liberal in its approach and went beyond what

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was required by the rules. If that is what is required in order to

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access single market, I would have thought people would have found that

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perfectly reasonable. We discovered the answer to that question with the

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result of the referendum itself because it was overwhelmingly, the

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result of which, was motivated by fears about unfettered migration...

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Yes, that is correct. All of the evidence shows... All of the

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evidence shows that that was the clinching factor in the result.

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Plaid Cymru, of course, are not only in favour of full membership of the

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single market, they also favour full membership of the customs union

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which would prevent us entering into deals with third-party countries as

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well, at least the Labour Party has not gone that far in its arguments

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to EU membership! The reality is, I did not, First Minister, that 508

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million people currently have arrived being EU citizens in this

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country to work and everyone members of the IEEE that led to all intents

:19:39.:19:42.

and purposes be the same as it is at the moment? No, because if you

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interpret the rules strictly, that is what you get, I believe people

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will accept that. If people believe that someone was coming to a job

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that they had, that would be reasonable, a reasonable position to

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adopt. We must also remember that the UK will have an open border. It

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will have an open border in Ireland which will not be in any way police

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or monitored. Whenever this is mentioned in discussion by UK

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ministers it is like an ostrich plunging its head into the sand,

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they continue to tell us it will be fine, but the reality is that given

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the fact it will be an open border with the EU, given the fact that the

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UK Government will want to monitor what someone has the right to work

:20:22.:20:26.

in the UK, how does an individual proof that right? Passports and

:20:27.:20:30.

driving licences are optional, but you end up with a compulsory system,

:20:31.:20:41.

there is no other way of doing it, it has the right to work in the UK,

:20:42.:20:44.

how does an individual proof that right? Passports and driving

:20:45.:20:46.

licences are optional, but you end up with a compulsory system, there

:20:47.:20:49.

is no other way of doing it, it is not properly been thought through

:20:50.:20:52.

and there are many question Jet2 be answered by the UK Government. In

:20:53.:20:54.

the nicest possible way I would like to encourage the First Minister to

:20:55.:20:57.

spend more time abroad and going to other countries where they can learn

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something about how the world operates outside of the EU, and in

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particular, I would like to encourage him to go to South Korea,

:21:02.:21:04.

not just because it is about as far away... Via Los Angeles, possibly!

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Because South Korea has actually managed to negotiate a free trade

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agreement with the EU, it is not part of the single market, but it

:21:13.:21:16.

has all of the trade benefits of the membership as part of a single

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market without any of the problems with the freedom of movement of

:21:22.:21:24.

people. As this has been lauded by the trade Commissioner of the EU, in

:21:25.:21:31.

these terms, she says, the evidence of the agreement with South Korea

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should help convince the unconvinced of Europe that there is great

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benefits to be had by this way. It creates jobs. I am sure that the

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First Minister and I are in agreement on that point and

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therefore it would be very helpful for the UK in general if he were to

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add his considerable weight to the argument for more free trade

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agreements with the rest of the world, something we could negotiate

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on outside the customs union and outside of the EU. I will try to be

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optimistic by what he means! The reality is this, the free trade

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agreements take many years to negotiate, the UK will not have such

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agreements within two years. When I have spoken to officials involved in

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such discussions they find it laughable that we would even suggest

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that, it takes almost two years to send up a framework for discussions.

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The concern I have is then that two years the UK will have fallen off

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the edge of the cliff and we will have deals with no one because there

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will be no transitional arrangements and they are absolutely crucial

:22:33.:22:36.

beyond March 2019, otherwise they will be nothing. He mentioned South

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Korea, I do not want the UK to become a European kind of North

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Korea that is cut off from the rest of the world and has no trade deals

:22:45.:22:47.

with anyone, that cannot be in the interest of anyone. We must be

:22:48.:22:51.

realistic. It has been said that the world will follow the fate of the

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UK, I do not believe that. The UK is small compared to other trading

:22:55.:23:00.

blocs, we must be realistic and enter negotiations with an open

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mind. We also have to understand that as far as market access is

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concerned, there is a quid pro quo, we cannot demand from the European

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Union everything they want and expect to get it, that is not going

:23:12.:23:15.

to happen that way. For me, there is a choice. Either UCB will limit

:23:16.:23:18.

immigration which is impossible because of the order -- open border,

:23:19.:23:24.

UCB will have access to the single market, that is absolutely the most

:23:25.:23:27.

important issue for us in Wales and therefore anything else can be

:23:28.:23:33.

compromised on. If we say to the people of Wales that there is the

:23:34.:23:37.

freedom of movement to work, that is something that most will accept as

:23:38.:23:43.

perfectly sensible. Will you make a statement on the

:23:44.:23:46.

importance of economic development to achieve the government's target

:23:47.:23:53.

of a million Welsh speakers by 2050? Well, we have consultations in or

:23:54.:23:56.

craft to achieve that figure by 2050. The finalised document will

:23:57.:24:02.

discuss the relationship between the Welsh language and economic

:24:03.:24:04.

government and we will publish the final strategy later this year. --

:24:05.:24:08.

draft. Thank you, Plaid Cymru strongly

:24:09.:24:12.

believe that they must have social activity and economic prosperity in

:24:13.:24:16.

the Welsh speaking areas of Welsh language is to be strengthened. We

:24:17.:24:23.

believe developing urban areas. Do you agree that we need to take all

:24:24.:24:31.

possible opportunities to involve national institutions in areas with

:24:32.:24:33.

the Welsh national out the strong as part of the strategy and do you

:24:34.:24:39.

agree that creating the new financing body that will be required

:24:40.:24:44.

to administer taxation in Wales will be an excellent opportunity to

:24:45.:24:47.

create high-quality bilingual jobs in an area such as the Menai area of

:24:48.:24:53.

north-west Wales and may I suggest some ideal locations because the

:24:54.:25:00.

government has a half empty building they are already which is ready for

:25:01.:25:04.

use and the establishment of the revenue authority there would be a

:25:05.:25:07.

great boost to the Welsh language both locally and nationally. That is

:25:08.:25:14.

a very important question, I understand why the member supports

:25:15.:25:18.

the Carmarthen bed, but that is something I have asked officials to

:25:19.:25:24.

consider. The point raised is whether it really possible to ensure

:25:25.:25:27.

that there is prosperity to have skills in those less urban areas and

:25:28.:25:31.

that is an open question at the moment but I do understand where

:25:32.:25:36.

anybody is created, a new public body in that regard, we should look

:25:37.:25:40.

beyond Cardiff and look beyond the south to see whether there is a way

:25:41.:25:45.

to ensure that that can be located somewhere else in Wales. This is

:25:46.:25:48.

something we are currently considering.

:25:49.:26:00.

Evidence from the review suggested there were differences between how

:26:01.:26:07.

SMEs and larger businesses use the Welsh language with many SMEs saying

:26:08.:26:12.

that the Welsh language was a cost, rather than a benefit since the

:26:13.:26:16.

review was published three years ago, can I ask what practical

:26:17.:26:19.

support the Welsh Government has provided to specifically help SMEs

:26:20.:26:26.

increase the commercial advantages of operating bilingually? Two

:26:27.:26:31.

points, firstly, it is an opportunity for businesses, the

:26:32.:26:35.

businesses seem to provide a service in Welsh, it will be receive more

:26:36.:26:38.

favourably by the community, there is no question of that in my mind.

:26:39.:26:42.

Secondly, only more practical point, there is a pilot project that has

:26:43.:26:47.

been operating in Don Valley operating local businesses to help

:26:48.:26:50.

them provide a service in the Welsh language and help them understand

:26:51.:26:54.

the economic benefits to members of business by operating bilingually.

:26:55.:26:58.

That project is important in terms of being able to gather the evidence

:26:59.:27:02.

as to what might work in a future in terms of helping SMEs to develop

:27:03.:27:06.

their language for a spot of the business.

:27:07.:27:13.

What recent discussions has the First Minister had with Cabinet

:27:14.:27:16.

Secretary is regarding the Environment and Sustainability

:27:17.:27:21.

Committee of the fourth assembly report, a smarter energy future for

:27:22.:27:25.

Wales? I know that the Cabinet Secretary has given great

:27:26.:27:28.

consideration to this and has led on this and given her response on

:27:29.:27:32.

energy matters and there were complaints of response to this

:27:33.:27:35.

report was to work across government and is available on the web page.

:27:36.:27:40.

Thank you for that answer. He will know that a new year is often a time

:27:41.:27:45.

for New Year resolutions as well. Could I ask the First Minister

:27:46.:27:49.

whether he and the very able Cabinet Secretary will undertake and resolve

:27:50.:27:51.

to work with the assembly and across government to take forward as many

:27:52.:27:56.

of possible as those 19 recommendations which included a

:27:57.:28:00.

commitment to near zero carbon homes, which included a commitment

:28:01.:28:06.

to driving forward a revolution towards community and localised

:28:07.:28:09.

energy that would tackle the monopoly of the big energy

:28:10.:28:12.

providers, using planning and other policy tools and horrible boost

:28:13.:28:17.

immunity energy, and the drive that revolution as well within clean,

:28:18.:28:21.

green energy jobs, right across Wales, urban and rural, likewise. A

:28:22.:28:28.

hallmark of that government and its assembly in successive

:28:29.:28:31.

administrations has been a commitment to champion the

:28:32.:28:35.

environment and real sustainability. Will this be the parliament and will

:28:36.:28:38.

this be the assembly that will be -- and will this be the government that

:28:39.:28:44.

makes this a reality, a real green M Georgi -- a real, green energy

:28:45.:28:49.

revolution and the jobs boost for the future of Wales? I believe so.

:28:50.:28:55.

The 19 recommendations we are willing to accept 12 of in full in

:28:56.:28:59.

principle. In terms of how this is being taken forward we have seen the

:29:00.:29:07.

success of a locally owned wind farm that was featured on the Money Box

:29:08.:29:12.

programme this weekend. There was an event on Friday is being posted.

:29:13.:29:19.

Ofgem are making sure that Welsh voices will be heard on a smart

:29:20.:29:24.

flexible energy system. I commend this excellence --

:29:25.:29:33.

excellent report. It is important the drug worked hard on reflect on

:29:34.:29:36.

the importance and success of previous reports. I know you will

:29:37.:29:39.

return to this. But about ambition, we want that ambition reflected in

:29:40.:29:43.

the government's programme and there is a real chance year, the Welsh

:29:44.:29:47.

economy was built on more or less a single source of energy and we

:29:48.:29:54.

suffered for that after the 1920s with the replacement of coal with

:29:55.:29:57.

oil. New opportunities are before us and those opportunities could help

:29:58.:29:59.

us to transform the Welsh economy and make it much more greener and

:30:00.:30:04.

resultant and locally controlled. Wind is there, the tie will always

:30:05.:30:07.

be there as long as the wind is a nice guy. These are truly renewable

:30:08.:30:12.

resources if properly harness can drive our energy consumption and

:30:13.:30:17.

energy exports infinitely, potentially, these are issues we

:30:18.:30:22.

must move forward with. We will, of course, in the Wales Bill have more

:30:23.:30:28.

powers over energy consenting but the financial aspect of energy

:30:29.:30:31.

development remains with the UK Government. We of course look

:30:32.:30:34.

forward to see what the Henry review will tell us in terms of the tidal

:30:35.:30:39.

lagoons and bebop with the UK Government to ensure that we do have

:30:40.:30:44.

renewable energy that is and has a very low energy and revenue cost in

:30:45.:30:49.

terms of generation and is there for the foreseeable future.

:30:50.:30:53.

Simon Thomas. May I recommend to Assembly Members that if they want a

:30:54.:31:02.

vision of the future that is anticipated any committee report

:31:03.:31:07.

that they visit the solar village in Pembrokeshire where new social

:31:08.:31:11.

housing has been opened by the Cabinet Secretary and I was also in

:31:12.:31:15.

attendance last Thursday and those are the kind of developments that

:31:16.:31:18.

are possible now in Wales and we should see far more of that

:31:19.:31:22.

developed here. But specifically the committee recommendation made on

:31:23.:31:28.

energy suggests the creation of a not-for-profit energy company for

:31:29.:31:32.

the whole of Wales to be an umbrella body for developments such as those

:31:33.:31:38.

that you have just listed. Developments that bring people

:31:39.:31:43.

together and get the best possible deal for the customer as well as the

:31:44.:31:48.

environment and the government. What steps are you taking to undertake

:31:49.:31:52.

that sort of development? Discussions have taken place between

:31:53.:31:55.

officials and several bodies with regards to developing schemes to

:31:56.:32:00.

establish a green energy company for Wales and we have to be clear about

:32:01.:32:03.

what the purpose of such a company would be before we move forward. But

:32:04.:32:07.

those discussions have taken place. Mike Hedges. Will the First Minister

:32:08.:32:15.

make a statement on primary care provision? Health boards are

:32:16.:32:18.

collaborating with partners to invest in primary care as the

:32:19.:32:22.

mainstay of our health and care system, working in communities to

:32:23.:32:26.

tackle poor health and to do what matters and to diagnose and treat

:32:27.:32:34.

problems with a occur. I received a number of complaints since Christmas

:32:35.:32:38.

regarding primary care provision basically in two practices within

:32:39.:32:42.

Swansea East, one about not being able to make an appointment, being

:32:43.:32:48.

told to phone back the next morning, difficulty getting vaccinations, and

:32:49.:32:51.

unwillingness to make home visits. I also know that the other surgeries

:32:52.:32:56.

cavilling my constituency. What can the government do to standardise the

:32:57.:33:01.

care and bring all doctors surgeries up to the level of the best? It is a

:33:02.:33:08.

point I hear from people on occasion. They ask why the services

:33:09.:33:13.

are not consistent. Those services are provided by health boards and

:33:14.:33:17.

are consistent but we know that most GPs are independent contractors and

:33:18.:33:20.

that is what the situation will be for some years to come. It is

:33:21.:33:24.

important for the public to be able to access services when they need

:33:25.:33:28.

them. I expect local GP practices and health boards will be focusing

:33:29.:33:35.

on them. There is money on the table. The primary care fund of ?43

:33:36.:33:42.

million. That is there in order to improve ways of delivering services,

:33:43.:33:46.

for example developing the role of nurses so people don't feel they

:33:47.:33:52.

have to visit their GP or the time. And placing pharmacists,

:33:53.:33:54.

physiotherapists and social workers alongside GP teams. Then they can

:33:55.:33:59.

get the right professional that they need. Angela Burns. You make the

:34:00.:34:09.

absolutely fundamentally correct point about needing more of the

:34:10.:34:14.

Allied health care professionals in place in general practices in order

:34:15.:34:18.

to help to maintain a good quality service. My question is, last year,

:34:19.:34:25.

there was an absolutely right focus on getting more doctors into Wales,

:34:26.:34:28.

whether it was secondary or primary care. This year will you be able to

:34:29.:34:31.

look at how we may recruit more people into the allied health

:34:32.:34:35.

professions, how we might have adequate training creations --

:34:36.:34:40.

places for them, how we might encourage young people that this

:34:41.:34:44.

might be a real career path for them and show them there is a real career

:34:45.:34:47.

development because we are not going to solve our primary care issues

:34:48.:34:52.

without having that broad structure of competent individuals offering

:34:53.:34:56.

holistic services to people. We launched the first phase of the

:34:57.:34:59.

national and international recruitment campaign last October,

:35:00.:35:04.

attracting doctors, but Italy GPs, to live and train in Wales, and the

:35:05.:35:09.

numbers of applications have increased, including in those areas

:35:10.:35:13.

where we have introduced an incentive -based approach. I can say

:35:14.:35:16.

that the Cabinet Secretary has agreed plans for phase two of the

:35:17.:35:20.

recruitment campaign earlier this week aimed at other health care

:35:21.:35:23.

professionals in primary care. Rhun ap Iorwerth. Thank you. With

:35:24.:35:30.

emergency departments in our hospitals in crisis, the words of

:35:31.:35:38.

the Royal College of medicine is -- the Royal College of Emergency

:35:39.:35:40.

Medicine, would the First Minister agreed that the erosion there has

:35:41.:35:45.

been in the percentage of NHS funding provided to primary care and

:35:46.:35:51.

the stress that places on our GPs surgeries, then that causes problems

:35:52.:35:57.

for our A departments. And there's the First Minister agreed,

:35:58.:35:59.

therefore, that it is now time to look again at how health funding is

:36:00.:36:04.

allocated in Wales in order to ensure fair funding for primary care

:36:05.:36:09.

in order to maintain a sustainable NHS the future? Two things. I don't

:36:10.:36:15.

think it is just about having more and more doctors. We need to make

:36:16.:36:19.

sure that people do go to the relevant professional for them. That

:36:20.:36:24.

could be a pharmacist or it could be a nurse or a physiotherapist. It is

:36:25.:36:28.

right to say that we need to ensure that we do maintain the right number

:36:29.:36:32.

of doctors but it is not just about having doctors. It is important that

:36:33.:36:38.

people don't remain in hospital for too long. We have seen the problems

:36:39.:36:42.

that have arisen in England because they have cut back on expenditure

:36:43.:36:45.

for social services and social care in particular. In Wales, we

:36:46.:36:51.

maintained the level of funding to ensure that didn't happen. It is

:36:52.:36:55.

true to say that there are pressures in our health service, that happens

:36:56.:37:00.

every year, especially in our emergency departments. They have

:37:01.:37:04.

been plans put in place and those have worked, despite the pressure

:37:05.:37:08.

that has been placed on doctors. May I pay tribute once again to all

:37:09.:37:12.

those who work in our health service, especially those who work

:37:13.:37:15.

in the emergency services, for the excellent they were -- work they do

:37:16.:37:22.

at this time of year. Adam Price. What plans does the Welsh government

:37:23.:37:26.

have two encourage Wells consumers to buy Welsh produced goods and

:37:27.:37:31.

services? Direct support through business Wales and we are also

:37:32.:37:34.

working alongside the national procurement service to increase the

:37:35.:37:36.

amount of Welsh produce coming into the public sector. And the food and

:37:37.:37:44.

drink industry, Welsh produce is far more, far better labelled now than

:37:45.:37:49.

it was 15 years ago. He may have the experience that I have of going into

:37:50.:37:53.

local shops and seemed that Welsh produce is first off the shelves.

:37:54.:37:59.

Norway, which he visited recently, the Republic of Ireland, the German

:38:00.:38:05.

region of Hesse, and others, all have an visual and widely recognised

:38:06.:38:09.

country of origin brand which is largely aimed at domestic consumers.

:38:10.:38:15.

If, as it seems, we are going to be rejected out of the single market by

:38:16.:38:18.

that regressive alliance of Corbin and made. --, import substitution

:38:19.:38:25.

will be even more important to us in the future so can we have a made in

:38:26.:38:31.

Wales brand as the first line of defence from the economic lunacy

:38:32.:38:36.

emanating from Westminster? This has been looked at in the past as to

:38:37.:38:40.

whether there is a need for brand for Welsh produce or whether it is

:38:41.:38:44.

better approached through having strong brand recognition for

:38:45.:38:48.

individual products. These days, most food producers to label their

:38:49.:38:53.

products as Welsh. That is seen as a great advantage to them. For some,

:38:54.:38:59.

less so, but it is certainly more prevalent than it was 15 years ago,

:39:00.:39:04.

and people are far more likely now to buy Welsh produce. I remember at

:39:05.:39:08.

the time of the foot and mouth crisis, one of the big supermarkets

:39:09.:39:12.

didn't label anything as Welsh. That has long changed and things are

:39:13.:39:16.

better for it. The domestic market in Wales is important but it is a

:39:17.:39:19.

small market. That is why we continue to make sure we have an

:39:20.:39:24.

emphasis on exports and having Welsh branded

:39:25.:39:37.

products going to export. When we look at Welsh food, the one thing we

:39:38.:39:41.

must avoid is the Norwegian situation where there is a tariff on

:39:42.:39:43.

food. They were saying to me that the tariffs are so detailed, there

:39:44.:39:46.

is one tariff for smoked salmon and one for fresh salmon, which gives

:39:47.:39:48.

you an idea how difficult trading negotiations are. But for Norway,

:39:49.:39:51.

they do have tariffs imposed on the agricultural produce going into the

:39:52.:39:53.

European market. The very last thing we need is to see the same thing

:39:54.:39:58.

happened to us. Jeremy Miles. I was pleased to hear the First Minister

:39:59.:40:02.

referred to the role of Welsh public bodies in supporting not just Welsh

:40:03.:40:07.

producers and suppliers but also in proactively supporting their local

:40:08.:40:10.

economies. What a difference it would make if all Welsh public

:40:11.:40:14.

bodies or all bodies in Wales in receipt of Welsh public funds acted

:40:15.:40:19.

deliberately proactively and collaboratively with one another to

:40:20.:40:22.

support their local economies and including fostering the development

:40:23.:40:28.

of local suppliers and local supply chains. What steps can you take to

:40:29.:40:33.

bring that about? We continue to work on marrying the risk-based

:40:34.:40:38.

approach, simplifying the process for suppliers in bidding for the

:40:39.:40:41.

public sector work and helping to ensure that all suppliers have a

:40:42.:40:45.

fair chance of winning that work? One of the issues in the food and

:40:46.:40:48.

drink sector which was a problem was that they were too small. Companies

:40:49.:40:53.

were too small to supply big organisations like the NHS is in,

:40:54.:40:58.

week out. That was overcome through the pretty woman initiatives that

:40:59.:41:01.

were put in place and we have seen far more produce now taking place

:41:02.:41:04.

locally than was the case 15 years ago. Moving local authorities away

:41:05.:41:13.

from compulsory competitive tendering, we talk about best value

:41:14.:41:18.

for local authorities, it is about making sure that as much money as

:41:19.:41:21.

possible is retained in the local economy. Nick Ramsay. I am pleased

:41:22.:41:28.

that Adam Price has raised this question. Only you could make Jeremy

:41:29.:41:33.

Corbyn and Theresa May sound like a 1960s folk group. I would rather

:41:34.:41:36.

focus on the food and drink issue that the First Minister mentioned in

:41:37.:41:42.

answering. I agree, Wales does have a great story to tell in terms of

:41:43.:41:46.

our home-grown food and drink and you are right to point out labelling

:41:47.:41:50.

as an important tool. Would you agree with me that food festivals

:41:51.:41:54.

and models such as that are very important way for us to sell Welsh

:41:55.:41:58.

produce not just a Welsh consumers, as Adam Price's question originally

:41:59.:42:03.

said, but also to English consumers coming across the border?

:42:04.:42:07.

Abergavenny I'm sure is well respected as a food festival as you

:42:08.:42:11.

will know, but he is right because the events showcase Welsh bodies.

:42:12.:42:15.

The fool hall at the Royal Welsh Show at one time was too small, it

:42:16.:42:20.

was too small, and now it is too small again. That shows the success

:42:21.:42:25.

of the Welsh food and drink industry in its diversification and the fact

:42:26.:42:28.

that so many businesses that were set up over the last decade are

:42:29.:42:32.

still there and are still able to go to the supermarket. There has been a

:42:33.:42:36.

change of heart in terms of the number of supermarkets as well,

:42:37.:42:39.

whereas in the past they prefer to purchase from larger suppliers, they

:42:40.:42:44.

have become more interested in small suppliers and local produce, which I

:42:45.:42:48.

very much welcome. But what we have to avoid more than anyone else is

:42:49.:42:52.

our biggest market, which is Europe, being either closed to us or the

:42:53.:42:56.

terms of trade with that market being less advantageous to us. The

:42:57.:43:01.

US will never replace the European market. The US is very protectionist

:43:02.:43:06.

when it comes to agriculture. Welsh farmers being able to sell on the

:43:07.:43:10.

current terms to the European market is absolutely vital to the future of

:43:11.:43:16.

Welsh farming. Joyce Watson. Will the First Minister made a statement

:43:17.:43:19.

on the outbreak of avian flu in Wales? It is a matter of serious

:43:20.:43:24.

concern. We have a strong track record of controlling animal disease

:43:25.:43:27.

outbreaks and the Cabinet Secretary will be providing an update in her

:43:28.:43:32.

oral statement this afternoon. I look forward to that statement later

:43:33.:43:37.

today. It was the case that during the Christmas break there was a type

:43:38.:43:47.

of duck that landed on Llanelli wetlands Centre and I want to praise

:43:48.:43:51.

the actions that were immediately taken by that wetland Centre to

:43:52.:43:55.

closing their doors to the public for nine days because as a

:43:56.:44:01.

consequence of that, I'm sure that they helped reduce the spread of

:44:02.:44:08.

that avian flu within that area. We do know however that it did spread

:44:09.:44:11.

and it has been an infection in that area. What we also know is that

:44:12.:44:18.

birds don't understand boundaries and I think we would be well advised

:44:19.:44:25.

to take note of the very cold and sharp spell of weather that is now

:44:26.:44:32.

happening in Eastern Europe which might, and in my opinion probably

:44:33.:44:37.

will, create further migration from birds looking for food further

:44:38.:44:41.

south. To us, that is West, of course. My question will be, and I

:44:42.:44:49.

will address it to the minister later, the Cabinet Secretary, how

:44:50.:44:53.

are we going to deal with that and how are we going to inform the

:44:54.:44:57.

public to be aware of those newly migrated birds that could possibly

:44:58.:45:00.

be a source of further infection here.

:45:01.:45:05.

Is it we of course work with the other Great Britain governments to

:45:06.:45:10.

take appropriate action. I would not encourage -- I would

:45:11.:45:18.

encourage other members to report problems to the helpline. It is

:45:19.:45:21.

updated continually, the website, with advice. I would urge all

:45:22.:45:26.

poultry keepers and those involved working with the wild of wetlands

:45:27.:45:30.

trust to check the website frequently. I know that the Cabinet

:45:31.:45:33.

Secretary will provide more information this afternoon.

:45:34.:45:40.

First Minister, in light of these cases of avian flu, what additional

:45:41.:45:44.

work are you as a government doing to assess the impact that this

:45:45.:45:48.

disease could have on the poultry sector?

:45:49.:45:52.

Well, there is of course an effect because there is a period of time.

:45:53.:46:00.

After that period it is not possible to see if poultry are free range

:46:01.:46:04.

because the fact that they have had to be kept him. We know that and we

:46:05.:46:09.

know the effect of those who do keep poultry will be. Presently what is

:46:10.:46:14.

vitally important is to ensure that there are people to deal with the

:46:15.:46:21.

issues and we must understand what the situation is in terms of poultry

:46:22.:46:25.

farmers. As the situation should continue like this.

:46:26.:46:27.

Thank you, First Minister,. There we are, that was

:46:28.:46:34.

First Minister's Questions. If you want more coverage

:46:35.:46:36.

of the National Assembly, you can go online to BBC

:46:37.:46:38.

Wales's Senedd Live page at Don't forget, for all the latest

:46:39.:46:40.

political news, watch Wales Today later today at 6:30pm

:46:41.:46:44.

on BBC One Wales and As for First Minister's Questions

:46:45.:46:47.

though, from all of us

:46:48.:46:51.