Here are five things to look out for in the National Assembly for Wales this week.
The Welsh and Scottish governments have come together to table identical motions for debate in the National Assembly for Wales and Scottish Parliament on Tuesday afternoon. The motions call on the UK Government to take a no-deal Brexit off the table, with Mark Drakeford telling journalists on Monday that he hopes exerting the pressure of two devolved administrations will persuade the Prime Minister against pursuing a course of action he argues would be damaging to the UK. Statements on apprenticeships and flood management were pushed back a week to make room for the 90-minute debate, which looks set to receive the backing of the Assembly as Plaid Cymru are co-submitters of the government’s motion.
The Assembly’s Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee will be kicking off its inquiry into the role of arts and culture in addressing poverty and social exclusion on Wednesday. AMs will hear from representatives from Prince’s Trust Cymru and Voluntary Arts Wales on how cultural activities can enrich people’s overall lives. The Welsh Government’s Fusion programme was established to make it easier for people to get involved in cultural activities, recognising the potential for cultural activities to improve physical and mental health, facilitate learning and deliver skills.
On Wednesday afternoon Plaid Cymru AMs will lead a debate calling for a substantial increase in the scale of social house building in Wales. Last week the party’s housing spokesperson, Leanne Wood, said there is a crisis in the social housing sector and asserted Wales needs 2,500-3,500 more social homes annually to meet demand. The Welsh Conservatives have also criticised the government on its housebuilding strategy, publishing a rival approach last year. Elsewhere, the Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee will continue taking evidence on its inquiry into the barriers facing small home-building firms on Thursday morning.
As part of a wider inquiry on ‘Rethinking Food in Wales’, the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee will begin taking oral evidence to inform its inquiry into food branding and processing, taking evidence from red meat sector body Hybu Cig Cymru on Wednesday morning. Last year the committee published a report on food procurement, which called for a strategic vision for the Welsh food sector, particularly in the context of Brexit.
On Wednesday afternoon AMs will debate the inter-institutional agreement between the National Assembly for Wales and Welsh Government. The agreement has been developed off the back of the committee’s work on UK governance post-Brexit and provides a framework for the Assembly to scrutinise intergovernmental relations the Welsh Government enters post-Brexit.
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Featured image: Tiocfaidh ár lá 1916 via Flickr