14/02/2017 First Minister's Questions


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

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Hello and welcome to our weekly coverage of questions to the First


Minister. A little later this week because of the snooker but Carwyn


Jones has been asked about economic development, train services and the


role of the third sector in Wales. We are an Twitter and look at the


website for all the latest on Welsh politics. Let's head over to the


Senedd for the questions. TRANSLATION: The first item is


questions for the First Minister. Will the First Minister make a


statement on the scams. I do not believe that we can overestimate the


problem with scams both by phone and in person. This can have a serious


effect on people's lives and can lead to a shortening of their life.


There are devices which monitor and block phone calls, there is a firm


in my constituency that makes them. Will the Welsh government convened a


conference of all interested parties to see what can be done to address


this problem. I don't believe it can be solved but we can try to reduce


it. Scams are increasingly sophisticated, particularly online


and we are working closely with trading standards on a variety of


scams, dealing with a variety of scams relating to counterfeit goods


and illicit and illegal tobacco. There is a growing focus on


cybercrime. We're working with crime commission is on this issue. This


would be a productive use of this time and we will look to do so. One


of the other things that can be done to combat scams is the establishment


of no cold calling zones. This has been extremely successful in my own


constituency where we have imposed a townwide one. What work can we do


here to make Wales the first no cold calling nation in Britain? An


interesting idea. We have provided funding to increase the number of no


cold calling zones in Wales to protect vulnerable people from


scams. As the member has commented, we have looked to reduce the number


of cold calling and then we can declare ourselves a note cold


calling nation. Question two, Julie Morgan. We plan to invest in


high-quality infrastructure and improve economic conditions. There


has been good news on jobs recently. I welcome the fact that the EBI is


staying in Wales with an increase of numbers. That means that jobs are


leaving at the same time as there are plans for S4 seek to move to


Central Square Cardiff and to Carmarthen, at the same time there


is the tax office is planning to move to Central Square so there a


huge exodus of jobs into a very small area of the constituency. I


wonder if you have any suggestions as to what strategies can be


undertaken to make sure that area continues to be a mixed area with a


possibility of getting local jobs because this is a big change to the


job scene there. I am aware that Cardiff seeks to deliver 40,000 jobs


in the period to 2026 providing a choice of jobs, homes and supporting


infrastructure. It's today the UK cyber Security Centre is being


opened in London and the Minister will be aware of the excellent cyber


Security Academy. It's disappointing that the UK centre is going to be


located in London as if London hasn't got enough support from the


UK Government in that respect. What representations did the First


Minister make to try and get the UK centre to locate alongside the cyber


Academy in Newport so that our country could have benefited from


the jobs that will come? Looking to the future, will the First Minister


commit to designating you bought the cyber security capital of Wales so


that we can in future leveraged great opportunities to that


community. An interesting idea that I will look into. I will write to


the member regarding representations about the cyber security academy. It


is an issue in principle that we have supported. I will write with


further details as to how the Academy was established and why it


was in London. Cardiff continues to create jobs and attract many


visitors, we see more congestion on the roads. I notice that there is a


proposal to examine the feasibility of looking in the Taff and the Bay


as arterial routes around the city. Already popular for tourists, it


might have a commercial application in moving commuters. Is the


government prepared to look at it? I did see that. It's a matter for


Cardiff Council in terms of their management of the waterways. In the


summer, the service is very successful, in the winter, less so.


People see the service as a tourism service rather ban a commuting


service but there are examples elsewhere, around the world, where


water bus services have been successful. Certainly, I would look


to work with the operators and the City Council and others to see


whether the service could be future -- feature will in the future.


Although the Welsh revenue authority is being created, nearly all the


staff are being recruited in London because we don't have skilled people


here in Wales and this is a persistent problem. It begs the


question about what your government has been doing about skills and


training over the last 17 years. The Welsh revenue authority was not even


a twinkle in the eye 17 years ago. This has never been performed in


Wales before. We should not be afraid of bringing in skills from


elsewhere to set up the authority and train our own people in order


that they are able to provide those skills in the future. To criticise


others for not having the foresight 17 years ago, in terms of


establishing an authority that no one ever thought would be


established I think it is stretching things too far. Questions now from


the party leaders. Do you support the aspiration to achieve a million


Welsh speakers by 2050 and how would you intend to meet that aspiration?


She knows I do. It is a manifesto commitment on the part of my party.


One of the ways is making sure that the Welsh education strategic plans


across authorities deliver what they should be doing. I agree that the


aspiration is a good one. I'm glad that you have mentioned education.


In your consultation on creating a million Welsh speakers you explain


how education must play a central role, your main objective and what


you are asking local authorities to achieve is" a significant increase


in the number of children and young people educated through the medium


of Welsh or bilingually in order to create more Welsh speakers" and that


they should "Move schools along with the language to increase the


availability of Welsh medium school places". Do you accept it is


government policy and that means local authorities have to increase


the number of Welsh medium schools and Welsh medium school places in


their area? They are expected to show how they will do that by their


strategic plans. Those plans are subject to approval by ours. We


intend to make sure that those plans are robust and will deliver. You


will know that national policy has informed the position in Ysgol


Llangennech to convert a school from dual stream into Welsh medium. That


decision needs a decision from you and calm explanation to residents. I


have serious concerns that the frankly toxic atmosphere that has


emerged on this question and am aware that a group of residents


campaigning against the decision, there are some people standing for


the Labour Party in Llangennech and claim to be working with Ukip


checking... Can we hear the question please? Is it acts double --


acceptable to you that Labour Party candidates are working closely with


Ukip on the question of Welsh medium education and do you agree with me


that the campaign against Carmarthenshire County Council


decision has become toxic and unacceptable and will you outline


what action you will take regarding Labour Party members working with


Ukip to undermine your own Welsh language policies? I agree that the


situation in Llangennech has become toxic. I do not think that the words


used by the leader of Plaid Cymru have helped the situation in terms


of turning this into a party political issue. Some comments have


been made that I do not agree with. I think it is hugely important now


that calm prevails that the toxicity and some of that which we last saw


some years ago is now reduced and that the council is able to explain


to people in Llangennech... It is your policy. It was implemented by


the council. She may want to listen to the answer to the question. She


has rightly said that the toxicity needs to be reduced. The council has


been trying to explain what its policy is with regard to Llangennech


but it is not for us to explain, it is for the Council to explain and it


is for us, of course, as a government to enable local


authorities to produce Welsh in strategic plans to continue to


support the language, as we do, and we continue on our quests to make


sure we have a million Welsh speakers by 2020. The leader of the


Welsh Conservatives. There is an urgent question coming on the


finding of the Kancoat report. I want to ask something else on this


particular issue given that you were the First Minister when these


decisions were taken, as that is an important consideration. Even the


warnings that were given, that there was a week business plan, that due


diligence was ignored, that the finance was an acceptably high risk,


what an earth would you suspect possessed the then business and


enterprise minister to agree to the release of this money, despite all


the lights flashing on the dashboard showing that this was such a risky


investment? It has to be remembered that the investment panel


recommended approval of the investment. At the First Minister


was guided by that information. This money was released over time. Time


and time again, those lights were flashing on the dashboard, ?3.4


million was released to this company and it has been lost, in effect. No


jobs were safeguarded, that site is now empty, you as a government-held


liability for that site because the lease was offered as security


against the loan made available, the government is on the line to turn


that site back, ready for the landlord to take possession, so


there is ongoing liabilities, as I said, ?3.4 million were lost. Every


indication shows that it was, in the first place, the decision might have


been taken in the best interests of securing that business but as


applications were made to release more money, more and more warning


lights were coming on and yet the decision was taken to release more


money into this company. Do not think taxpayers are owed an apology


for the loss of money and in particular the inability to


safeguard any jobs by the 3.4 million put into this company?


Generally, we deal with heavy goods and businesses. Some of them fold.


We cannot possibly say that every business we help can be successful.


No banker could do that and it is the same for any government. Of the


projects that we have supported, only 2.4% of them have failed to


deliver on the objectives that were attached to their request for


financial support. We have a success rate of well over 90% in supporting


businesses. That means there are some businesses that are not


exceptional but they are the exception. We should not continually


review the way that we do due diligence. It needs to be put into


context. The vast majority of businesses we have helped our


successful which is why unemployment in Wales is so low. You will be


First Minister at the time and I do accept these decisions are based on


risk and some will go wrong. The point I had made with the two


questions, there were numerous warnings highlighting the risk to


the government and to the taxpayer by releasing the money into this


company. Finance Wales which is a lender of last resort said it was


too risky to release the money on a lonely business from themselves. The


remit of operation is to be a lender of last resort after commercial


banking has been exhausted. I do take that point that ultimately


there is an element of risk in all decisions you take. It is a fact


that ?3.4 million has been lost. Not one job guaranteed or protected. And


the taxpayer is out of pocket and the Welsh Government have


liabilities. Do you think there should be an apology on your behalf


from the Welsh Government to the Welsh taxpayer. I offer that


opportunity again. Will you apologise for this loss of the money


that is taxpayers money in this instance when so many warnings were


made and so many warnings were ignored by your then Minister and


ultimately the taxpayers lost out? I accept what the leader of the Welsh


Conservatives has said, he understood the situation in terms of


the initial grant of support. This was a start-up business which is


inherently risky. There must be risk by government or else we would not


support anything. It is the same for commercial banks. They will find


themselves in that situation from time to time. This organisation, the


business was set up at the time when the economic security -- economic


situation was precarious in the near aftermath of the financial crisis.


The Cabinet Secretary will go into detail in terms of the timetable. I


can say that we are proud to say that unemployment in Wales is so


low. It is lower than Scotland and Northern Ireland. Historically that


is a tremendous achievement. We have supported over 1000 businesses to


bring jobs to Wales, to bring investment to Wales. The best


figures for 30 years. It is correct to say that on occasion businesses


will fail and the decision is then for the money to be returned to


government. 97.6% of the businesses we support our successful in


providing jobs for the people of Wales.


It is quite clear that the policies of the American government is going


to change in many respects as a result of the election of President


Trump. Not least in respect of policies on climate change. The


nominee has been removed from the climate change website for America.


Given that the United States, China and India between them are


responsible for more than half of the carbon dioxide emissions in the


world and China have not signed up to any absolute reduction in levels


of those omissions, regardless of the view of whether climate change


is man-made or not, does it make sense for Britain and Wales in


particular, which is responsible for only 0.05% of world carbon dioxide


emissions, to be saddled with an energy policy that is a millstone


around the neck of manufacturing industry, with the steel in


particular? I look at the weight of evidence. It is overwhelmingly in


favour of showing that the climate change is happening and that human


activity is causing it to happen or to be ex-aspirate -- exacerbated.


I look at the weight of evidence and it is clear to me... He was a lawyer


once, he knows to look at the weight of evidence and not select what best


support your argument when it flies in the face of scientific reality.


It is right to say that China and India faced challenges. China is up


to the challenge and is investing heavily in alternative fuel sources,


it knows it has a problem. Anybody who has been to Chinese cities knows


that is a problem with air pollution and the Chinese government recognise


this. That is why they are looking for alternative fuel sources. They


know they can not continue with the current situation. Whilst they are


going in the right direction, my fear is the US will go in the


opposite direction of flying in the face of scientific evidence. My


question is not to do with the argument about whether man-made


climate change is a reality are not. My question relates to what


difference does it make if we sign up to targets that are going to


impose enormous costs upon us, not just in costs for industry but also


on ordinary people. Nearly one quarter of the households in Wales


are in fuel poverty, spending 10% of the income is keeping themselves


warm and the winter. This is a burden on poor and vulnerable


people. It makes no difference to the terms of global emissions, by


degrees saddled ourselves with these enormous bills? China and India are


not signed up to reduce the absolute level of the omissions, they have


signed up to the Jews energy intensity. That takes into account


the rate at which they expect the economies to grow, and they will go


to a greater extent than reducing the field intensity. Emissions will


increase in China and India and the full stack are paying the bills.


That view can only be accepted if you're happy to see environmental


degradation and air quality reducing. I remember the era in


Salford being flammable. And the river would have different colours


in my hometown depending on what had been thrown into it. The journey


away from seeing climate change is unimportant is seeing the


environment is not important. People do not accept climate change is


happening and do not accept there is the need for environmental


regulation. This is not something we can dismiss. We cannot say it is


something we can put to one side. Nor do I accept that it imposes


costs. I had heard him argue for more coal-fired power stations. The


call would have to be imported. There are issues of energy security.


Should we not invest in wind power offshore or tidal energy? Rather


than over relying on energy sources that have to be imported into


Britain. Energy security and mitigating climate change, to be


imported into Britain. Energy security and mitigating climate


change, toonie, run hand-in-hand. The First Minister is refusing to


address the issue behind my question. Wales is responsible for


0.05% of global carbon dioxide emissions. It is not a flammable


gas. What he said about the air quality in Peking is irrelevant.


Salford omissions are completely different. The argument about


particular it everybody accepts. -- Salford. Everybody is in favour of


the clean air act. This is a different question. My point is that


Wales is one of the poorest parts of Western Europe. We have nearly one


quarter of households in full -- fuel poverty. They have to spend


hundreds of pounds they can ill afford every year paying for our


renewable obligations under EU directives. If the United States is


now going to move away from commitments to reduce emissions. If


China and India are not signed up to it anyway, what is the sense in us


making a small difference to the amount of carbon dioxide emitted in


the world? It is an obligation which is causing real harm and a real


poverty in the households in Wales. I do not think I said that the era


in Beijing was flammable. I do not think the hydrogen or oxygen content


is so high that the ear would catch fire or explored. I was referring to


the river, the contacts of which is well known. I do not accept that


regulations for the environment is a burden on industry. The wind is


free. The tide will be there as long as there is the Britain in the sky.


Once the infrastructure to generate energy in place, the generating


costs are very low. He talks about call. He did his best to wreck the


coal industry. We will never produce enough coal in Britain now to suck


ply our energy needs. We would have to imported from Australia. We would


have to import natural gas from countries not looking to do us a


favour. Whilst I know the energy mix in the UK is going to continue in


the future. 25% of natural gas in the UK... That'll continue in the


future. I do not see the wisdom in seeing what we need to do is go back


to the technology of yesterday with the pollution of yesterday and look


to ignore the overwhelming weight of scientific evidence and put our


heads in the sand. He is somebody who he says is proud to be British.


Let him display his pride by saying he wants the UK to lead the way when


it comes to dealing with climate change.


Will the First Minister make a statement on what the Welsh


Government is doing to help economic activity in south Wales Central? We


are delivering a range of actions to help new and existing businesses to


help to grow and support. Advice, support and investment in digital


transport infrastructure. I am not sure why the backbenches are


muttering. I have commended the Welsh


Government previously for the money they have made available for


transitional relief around the business rates scheme. They made an


announcement on December the 17th of an additional ?10 million to assist


in the revaluation exercise for businesses in South West Central and


across Wales. No more information has came from the Welsh Government


about how that money will be delivered despite us on these


benches and others and the chamber pressing for more information. We


were told that information would come out in early February. That


information has not been forthcoming from the Welsh Government. When will


the Welsh Government be coming forward as to how you will


distribute that money so that businesses can make decisions ahead


of the new financial year? By the end of this week. In the climate


change committee we have evidence that businesses who have done the


right thing and put solar panels on their roofs have been charged


additional business rates. My question is, what levers does the


Welsh Government have to support businesses that have a positive


social and environmental impact? Such is healthy food establishments.


And discourage businesses with the negative impacts such as betting


shops, payday lenders and other organisations that were raised


earlier by Mike Hedges. The procurement policy for Wales


encourages the public sector to apply approaches for social


benefits. Social clauses are important to criteria. The contract


awards can be verbose suppliers were strong evidence of is the loving


towards social requirements. It can be an effective tool in encouraging


good business practice. First Minister, the real question


you should be cancelling is what you are going to do to try to restore


some credibility in the Welsh Government after getting the


business community in Wales this reasons to lose faith in you. At


least ?53 million is how much your your government has lost in gross


incompetence with business support and land deals. ?53 million lost at


least. When will a thorough investigation take place?


97.6% of the businesses we support our successful and that is an


excellent record. Will the First Minister make a statement on how the


Welsh government is promoting job creation in Newport? We are


safeguarding quality jobs in Newport and through the whole of Wales. A


data science campus is being opened in March which will act as a hub for


the analysis of big data allowing collaborative work between


academics, government, the public sector and third sector partners who


wish to push the boundaries of delivering services providing rich


informed measurement and analysis on the economy, the global environment,


wider society and the campus will become a world-class facility. The


aspiration to create a Silicon Valley for Wales is the intention


and it will be a hub for innovative data science research and create


jobs and attract investment. Will the Welsh government work with


partners and the ONS to create a Silicon Valley for Wales? Yes, we


will. We know that where there is existing expertise, clustering new


businesses and new innovations in that area helps everybody and


Newport is acquiring very rapidly a good reputation for the software and


more generally. It is something we aim to encourage in the future.


Newport is one of the worst performing towns or cities in the


United Kingdom when it comes to empty shops. More than a quarter of


shops in the city were empty in the first half of 2016, according to a


local data company. What scheme does the Welsh government offer to


provide an incentive in terms of tax break to open new businesses in


areas where there are large numbers of empty shops, such as Newport to


create jobs and regenerate our city centres? Councils do a good job of


encouraging businesses but landlords have to play their part. Landlords


have to understand that the days of charging unrealistic rents for


long-term leases are gone. It's important that landlords are


flexible and look to encourage pop-ups, businesses that want to


test the market for three months but don't want to get involved with long


leases. Landlords will find that by doing that they will potentially


fill their swaps. -- shops. It's also important that landlords work


flexibly to provide opportunities for businesses for the 21st-century.


Will the First Minister make a statement on the role of the third


sector in Wales? The third sector plays an important roles in Wales,


there are over 3000 organisations providing services. Are you aware


that public affairs Cymru that lobbyists have been asked


not to say certain things that the Welsh government does not agree


with? I and fought lobbyists had no contact with the government. Your


government is leaning on organisations and is undemocratic.


In the light of these scandalous allegations, why won't you


investigate this matter? I don't know if he is suggesting that the


third sector is involved in this. The question was to do with the


third sector. I think this is mainly in his own mind, what evidence is


given to a committee is for them to consider. Not to say in the middle


of an enquiry, it is not appropriate to comment on the process ongoing in


the middle of an enquiry. As far as we are concerned, we don't tell


organisations what they should or should not say, otherwise there


would be little point having organisations whose job it is to


hold governments to account, as well as this assembly. Will the First


Minister join me in celebrating the recent anniversary of one of the


leading third sectors organisations in my constituency, tiddlywinks,


which is the first of its kind in Wales and is now a self-sustaining


social enterprise. I was with the Minister for lifelong learning


yesterday to see them providing key childcare services and a source of


important. Willian knowledge the invaluable role of the third sector


in providing childcare both in Neath and across Wales and does he agree


that a vibrant third sector can shape policy and deliver services to


our community is making them more resilient and as he agree with me


that it is and should be a priority for the Welsh government to support


the sector? I would like to congratulate the staff, trustees and


volunteers who have been part of the journey of Tiddlywinks over the


years. I hope they are able to continue in the future. First


Minister, fair trade fortnight runs from 27th of February to the 12th of


March. We should be proud that we are a fair trade than she. 93% of


universities are fair trade status. 150 schools and 50% are registered


on the fair trade school scheme. The Welsh government has fair trade


status but concerns have been raised about ambiguity about how you are


applying the fair trade model. Will you look into this to ensure that it


isn't just a status, that there is a culture of fair trade


acknowledgement, in terms of procurement within your own


departments across the Welsh government. If the member could


provide me with further information I would be pleased to look at this


for her. The third sector and its army of volunteers save the public


purse millions of pounds each year and provide valuable services which


the public sector cannot. The third sector protectors when we go to the


beach or the run in and provide valuable research into numerous


diseases and conditions, campaign for better rights, housing and a


whole host of other services. Without the third sector, our lives


would be much poorer. What more can the Welsh government do to ensure


the third sector can continue to thrive in Wales and provide


recognition and thanks for the volunteers who drive this sector?


Research suggests that the value of the third sector employs 79,000


peoples and works with a startling number of volunteers. Nearly one in


three people in Wales volunteering in some capacity. We provided 4.4


million pounds in 2017 as core funding to voluntary councils across


Wales. We are in a good position to assist voluntary organisations in


understanding where they should go to seek financial help and that


money goes a long way in terms providing support to so many


organisations who provide so many services so many people. Will the


First Minister make a statement on rail services in south-east Wales?


We are procuring an operating and development partner for Wales and


border services in 2018. That process is includes discussions with


bidders on how services in the south-east Wales may best be


delivered as part of the Wales metro. As you are well aware, the


Newport- Ebbw Vale rail link remains a top priority for many people.


There is impatience that it is not yet established. Are you able to


provide further reassurance today that that rail link between Newport


and Ebbw Vale remains a priority for worse government and are you able to


provide any timings as to when it will be in operation? It's not


possible to give a time as to when the service might be in operation I


give the member and operation assurance that the service is being


examined as part of our project. He has emphasised over the years the


importance of the service going to Newport and that is very much part


of the developing thinking over how the Metro will operate in the


future. The renewal of the Wales and West border franchise is fast


approaching. Has the Welsh government at least begun the


process of ordering or considering ordering new rolling stock for that


franchise? I asked the question because although given it takes up


to four years to share my concern is that the new rail operator will have


two rely on existing stock at the start of the franchise and will end


up refurbishing it which would hardly be the fresh start for the


new franchise that the public would hope to see.


It would be cleared as part of the proposals that rolling stock should


be modern, not 40 years old as some stock is. That stock should provide


facilities to passengers such as Wi-Fi that is not provided at the


moment. I can give the member Anna Sheridan is that this is very much


part of the proposals for the new franchise. -- I can give the member


and assurance. Following on from the question from John Griffis, the Ebbw


Vale line is at full capacity with those wanting to travel to Cardiff.


Only a twin track through to Ebbw Vale would relieve this problem, are


there any problems to implement this option? It can be double track or


partial double track and it can be signalling which makes the


difference. The good news is that the service is so well used that


vacancy needs to be increased and these things are amongst things we


have looked at working with organisations such as network rail.


That is very much part of the thinking on the Metro and the new


franchise. We'll be First Minister make a statement on support for the


shellfish industry following the decision to leave the European


Union? We are working with the industry and Kyleakin to the UK


Government the fundamental need to secure unfettered access for Welsh


shellfish after the exit from the EU. In 2015, Emma Green agriculture


was worth ?10 million to the Welsh economy. -- Marine agriculture. It


is a big employer in my constituency and the ability to sell in a single


market without controls is and important contribution to the future


of the industry. 98% of the banger muscles produced are exported to the


Netherlands. -- 19%. Leaders who have praised the negotiations


internally in Wales since the vote but he has said that he fears the


worst for Wales because of the fact that Wales, Scotland or Northern


Ireland will not have a direct voice in the negotiations on exiting the


European Union. Can the First Minister tell us what the Welsh


Government's strategy will be to try to safeguard the future of this


industry? 90% of the fish caught in Wales are exported. Any tariff or


obstacle will be bad for the export market. We know the United Kingdom


market is too small to secure a future for them. That is why it is


so important to ensure that the United Kingdom government sticks to


its word to ensure that there is a strong voice for Wales, Scotland and


Northern Ireland over the ensuing discussions. I hope that the Cabinet


secretaries meeting in April will be fruitful in promoting shellfish to


the rest of the world, not just the European Union. The levels of


parasites in cockles are higher than expected. If we are to meet the


global demand we need our cockles to survive. The European Court of


Justice took action to limit the amount of spells in the area to


limit the rise of certain bacteria but because of the disease affects


cockles reaching maturity is still unclear. I hope the environmental


laws will go some way to protect the health of cockles after the great


repeal bill but we need some further study on the causes and prevention


of early cockle death. I can say about investigations into cockle


mortality will continue. The information will be released by


natural resources Wales. We are working with the industry to develop


the management and sustainability of the government managed cockle


fisheries as well. It is a complex issue. I remember direct shellfish


poisoning affecting the cockle beds but there was never a clear reason


for what happened. The affliction was in the cockle beds. It is


important that a thorough investigation is finished in good


time so we have an answer. Once we have answers we can provide the most


effective legislative response possible. The First Minister is a


way as Minister for fisheries and agriculture how crucial the


shellfish industry is to the Welsh coastline. The shellfish industry


was never part of the core moral fisheries policy or the common


agricultural policy. Is it reasonable to expect that this


industry could continue to sell into the European continent as it has


done for years. It is important because we know that shellfish is


important to the fisheries industry in Wales. The majority of votes that


we have are relatively small. -- boarding vessels. They do not go far


from the coast and there is a strong market in Europe. If anything was to


happen to weaken their position in that market, they do not have any


alternative means of making the same profit. That is why it is important


to ensure that the European market is open on the same terms in the


future as it is now. The 21st-century schools programme. The


local authority has over ?86 million earmarked for the 21st century


schools education programme that extends until 2019. Over ?66 million


have been approved with six projects either under construction or getting


under way. I was delighted to welcome the Cabinet Secretary for


education to officially open two new primary schools. These have been


constructed as part of the 21st-century schools programme. The


investment combined will be ?20.5 million. Will you join me in


welcoming the commitment and investment by the council and by


Welsh Government who are working in partnership to deliver first-class


education facilities for our children? Indeed. More than ?20


million invested in schools is a good example of the local authority


working with the Welsh Government to deliver the best for our children.


Another example of the Welsh Government and the Labour-controlled


local authority delivered in schools that are fit for the 21st century


and good for the children. Existing sixth forms in St Albans will be


phased out soon. Six from staff from the schools will have to compete for


jobs that the new centre. Though the First Minister advise how many


redundancies are expected as a result of this reorganisation and


what discussion his government has had with the Council in this regard?


Local authorities are responsible for the organisation of education in


the areas. They are looking to provide the best and most modern


provision possible. That was First Minister's Questions. If you want


more coverage of the National Assembly you can go online to our


Senedd live page. Let me remind you that The Wales Report will be on


tomorrow night after the Ten O'Clock News on BBC One Wales. We will not


be here next week for First Minister's Questions as the Assembly


is in recess. We will see you in two weeks' time at 1:45pm.


Make your own bottle rocket. Search BBC Terrific Scientific.


# I knew you were trouble when you walked in


# Now I'm lying on the cold, hard ground


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