While meetings will still be held in hybrid formats, next week sees the Senedd return to something approaching business as usual. With ministerial question times and party debates back on the agenda, policy committees reconvening, and the first FMQs in almost six months set for Tuesday, here’s a rundown of the week ahead.
Monday sees Welsh Government ministers and officials giving evidence in the Senedd. Environment minister Lesley Griffiths will appear before the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee for a session on the greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme. Meanwhile, the Finance Committee will question Julie James about the Renting Homes (Amendment) Bill and Rebecca Evans on Land Transaction Tax regulations. Over in the Public Accounts Committee, MSs will quiz Andrew Slade, director-general for the economy group, on public procurement. The Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee will be meeting in private to consider its forthcoming report on the Renting Homes Bill. Also meeting behind closed doors on Monday is the Senedd’s Business Committee, which will examine arrangements for the autumn term.
On Tuesday morning, MSs will examine the latest mixed bag of public petitions. In the afternoon, with plenary back in its usual 1.30pm slot, Mark Drakeford will be in the Siambr for the first FMQs since mid-March. The First Minister will face questions on coronavirus, constitutional matters, and Brexit. MSs will also question deputy minister Jane Hutt on her volunteering, equality and justice portfolio. Kirsty Williams will then give a statement on reopening schools, before Vaughan Gething provides an update on the NHS winter protection plan and Julie James concludes the day’s business with a statement on housing, poverty, and communities.
On Wednesday, the health and economy committees will focus on coronavirus, with the Technical Advisory Group to give evidence. In plenary, Julie James and Lesley Griffiths will face questions on their respective housing and environment briefs. Time has also been allotted for topical questions and 90-second statements before motions to appoint a new chair of the Wales Audit Office and establish a new Llywydd’s Committee to oversee the Electoral Commission’s functions in Wales. MSs will then debate a committee report on benefits in Wales. The Conservatives will lead a debate on Covid-19 prevention measures and the Brexit Party has tabled a motion on the controversial Internal Market Bill. Finally, David Melding will hold a short debate on the need for a fire safety fund in Wales to help leaseholders.
Thursday sees four policy committees meet. The Children, Young People and Education Committee continues its work on the Curriculum and Assessment Bill, with witnesses from Estyn, Qualifications Wales and the early years sector. The Culture, Welsh Language and Communications Committee, Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee and the External Affairs and Additional Legislation Committee are also scheduled to meet.