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A focus on the arts

Arts and culture will take a front seat this week as AMs debate proposals for a national contemporary art gallery and a national sports museum on Tuesday. There are currently seven national museums across Wales, and these proposals have been backed by feasibility studies commissioned by the Welsh Government. On Wednesday, AMs will debate the Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee’s report on non-public funding of the arts, which looked into ways of making arts and culture more sustainable by diversifying their income streams.

Pictured: AMs will debate proposals for a national contemporary art gallery (StockSnap via

Second stage of the additional renting fees bill

The Renting Homes (Fees etc.) (Wales) Bill will go through the stage two scrutiny process at the hands of the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee on Thursday morning. This will involve the housing minister, Rebecca Evans, and AMs on the committee proposing amendments to the Bill. The legislation is designed to restrict the additional fees letting agents can charge to tenants and has been backed by tenants’ associations and groups like the Welsh National Union of Students.

Endoscopy under the microscope

On Thursday the Health, Social Care and Sport Committee will be holding a one-day inquiry into Welsh endoscopy services, taking evidence from stakeholders including the Bowel Cancer UK, Public Health Wales, health boards and NHS Wales chief executive Dr Andrew Goodall. Endoscopy is the medical practice of looking inside a person’s body for diagnostic purposes. Expect questions on the adequacy of the workforce and waiting times.

New rail operator scrutinised

Transport for Wales is just over a month into its running of the Wales and borders rail franchise and has already come under criticism from the public and AMs over reduced services. Last week it issued a public apology in the Western Mail citing the impact of Storm Callum and the age of the fleet of trains inherited from former operator Arriva. Opposition parties were quick to pounce on this in the Senedd but the government insists change to the oft-derided rail network will take time.

Plaid pressure government on M4

Having scored a rare victory over the government on further education funding last week, Plaid Cymru will lead a debate calling for the decision over the proposed new M4 motorway to be made by Carwyn Jones’ successor. The highly contentious relief road has been mooted for decades and would be the biggest infrastructure project of the devolution era. On Sunday, Mr Jones admitted that the decision might be made by the next First Minister, telling the BBC that it should not be rushed.

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