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Written Assembly Questions tabled on 11 February 2016 for answer on 18 February 2016

R - Signifies the Member has declared an interest.
W - Signifies that the question was tabled in Welsh.

(Self-identifying Question no. shown in brackets)

Written Questions must be tabled at least five working days before they are to be answered. In practice, Ministers aim to answer within seven/eight days but are not bound to do so. Answers are published in the language in which they are provided, with a translation into English of responses provided in Welsh.

To ask the Minister for Natural Resources

Russell George (Montgomeryshire): Will the Minister state how much of the total funding allocated to the Technology, Agriculture and Greater efficiencies (TAG) project was spent on

a)            the development of a central linking database

b)            equipment

c)            equipment for auctions

d)            ancillary items

e)            Menter a Busnes staff costs

f)             other staff costs

(WAQ69793)

Answer received on 17 February 2016

The Deputy Minister for Farming and Food (Rebecca Evans): The costs of developing a database to support this work were £648,427.53.  In addition £411,452.26 of project equipment was funded of which £15,000.00 was used to facilitate auctions.  There were no additional ancillary costs however £76,173.10 was allocated towards an evaluation of the project delivery.

Some £915,897.02 was allocated towards staff salaries with a further £108,490.85 allocated towards Overheads, T&S costs and Recruitment.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Will the Minister consider changing the rules regarding Canada geese so that they are classed as pests as opposed to wildfowl? (WAQ69794)R

Answer received on 19 February 2016

Rebecca Evans: I have no plans to change the law regarding Canada geese.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Given the fact that there are currently discrepancies between counties as to whether you can shoot wildfowl on Sunday, will the Minister consider simplifying the rules so that it is permitted to shoot wildfowl 7 days a week across the whole of Wales? (WAQ69795)R

Answer received on 19 February 2016

Rebecca Evans: I have no plans to change the law so that it is permitted to shoot wildfowl 7 days a week across the whole of Wales.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Does the Minister have any plans to change the law which currently prohibits farmers selling Canadian geese shot on their land? (WAQ69796)R

Answer received on 19 February 2016

Rebecca Evans: I have no plans to change the law relating to Canada geese

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): How many building, roofing and maintenance projects in Wales have been stopped or disrupted in the past 3 years because of gulls nesting, and what was the cost of this disruption? (WAQ69797)R

Answer received on 19 February 2016

The Minister for Natural Resources (Carl Sargeant): We have no records of building, roofing and maintenance projects in Wales which have been stopped or disrupted in the past 3 years because of gulls nesting. Therefore we have no records of cost disruption.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Will the Minister confirm what previous roles Professor Harris has held and the potential impact this might have on the impartiality of the Welsh Government's review of wild animals in circuses? (WAQ69798)

Answer received on 17 February 2016

Rebecca Evans: It is for Professor Harris to answer any comments raised on his previous activities. Professor Harris has put in place a two part review process. Firstly to determine what evidence was available, and secondly to conduct a statistical process on the information that has been presented.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): How much money is involved in the Welsh Government's review of wild animals in circuses? (WAQ69799)

Answer received on 19 February 2016

Rebecca Evans: The total contract is approximately £8,000. That includes the cost of three researchers, meetings with the researchers and the production of a final report.  

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Will the Minister detail the process undertaken by the Welsh Government in relation to the appointment of Professor Harris for the Welsh Government's review of wild animals in circuses? (WAQ69800)

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What preparatory work was undertaken in relation to the Welsh Government's review on wild animals in circuses? (WAQ69801)

Answer received on 17 February 2016

Rebecca Evans: We have received numerous requests to consider banning the use of wild animals in circuses that visit Wales. Despite discussions at official and Ministerial level, the UK Government has consistently failed to implement plans to implement a ban on an England and Wales basis.

The latest UK Government-commissioned independent report, ‘Wild Animals in Travelling Circuses: The Report of the Chairman of the Circus Working Group’ (commonly referred to as the ‘Radford Report’) was published more than eight years ago and I felt now was the time to review all the science and available literature from within the UK, Europe and further afield. Given the shortness of the Review and the limited number of appropriate academics in this field, officials took advice from other academics and several names were mentioned. After further officials discussion, Professor Harris was approached to discuss the terms with officials and Veterinary Advisors. He was duly appointed after terms and conditions of a contract were reviewed.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Will the Minister detail the exact terms of reference laid out for the Welsh Government's review of wild animals in circuses? (WAQ69802)

Answer received on 19 February 2016

Rebecca Evans: I will write to you as the terms were detailed and set out in a standard Welsh Government contract.  In brief, the review will assess the evidence available, including a systematic literature review, of whether the welfare, both physical and mental, of wild and/or non domesticated animals is sub optimal in travelling and non-travelling circuses.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Have any safety concerns been raised to the Welsh Government in relation to the proposed site for a new school in Cwmaman? (WAQ69803)

Answer received on 19 February 2016

Carl Sargeant: No such concerns have been raised.  The site selection and planning processes are matters for the local authority to consider.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What planning reports and/or investigations have been made by the Welsh Government in relation to the proposed primary school built on a former colliery site in Cwmaman? (WAQ69804)

Answer received on 19 February 2016

Carl Sargeant: The Welsh Government has had no involvement in the site selection or planning processes for the proposed primary school in Cwmaman.

 

To ask the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty

Angela Burns (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire): Will the Minister outline any plans to strengthen the Welsh Government's parenting action plan? (WAQ69790)

Angela Burns (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire): Will the Minister outline plans to develop a national parenting strategy? (WAQ69791)

Answer received on 24 February 2016

The Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty (Lesley Griffiths): Providing good quality parenting support remains a priority for this Government. In September 2014, we published 'Parenting in Wales: guidance on engagement and support'.  It sets out the Welsh Government's expectations on how parenting support should be provided.

We continue to provide support, information and advice to parents to strengthen their parenting capacity  Through a universal provision and our targeted programmes, such as Flying Start and Families First. Our campaign, 'Parenting. Give it time', offers tips and advice to parents on positive approaches to raising children.

I have no plans to develop a national parenting strategy at this stage in the Assembly term. 

 

Angela Burns (Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire): Will the Minister outline the Welsh Government's plans to support looked-after children and young parents to get access to money skills advice and support? (WAQ69792)

Answer received on 24 February 2016

Lesley Griffiths:

We are considering consultation responses to our draft Financial Inclusion Strategy, which is a universal strategy for everyone in Wales. It contains three core themes, with one being Building Financial Understanding and Capability. Once the Final Strategy is published in March, we will be working on developing a Delivery Plan to implement work in this area.

 

Mark Isherwood (North Wales): Will the Minister provide a statement on the recent figures by the National House-Building Council showing a 2 per cent decrease in new house builds in Wales during 2015-16? (WAQ69806)

Answer received on 24 February 2016

Lesley Griffiths: Although the overall figures from the National House Building Council show a 2% decrease on their registrations from the previous year, there is a long-term positive trend in Welsh house building with 20% more houses started in 2014-15 compared to the previous year. In addition, between July and September 2015 a total of 1,736 new homes were completed, which is a 17% increase on the same quarter of 2014.

 

Mark Isherwood (North Wales): Will the Minister provide a breakdown of homelessness in Wales during the years 2011-2012, 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-2015 by local authority? (WAQ69807)

Answer received on 24 February 2016

Lesley Griffiths:

Information on households accepted as eligible, unintentionally homeless and in priority need by individual local authority is available via the attached link: https://statswales.wales.gov.uk/v/BSC_

 

Mark Isherwood (North Wales): Will the Minister make a statement on the Assistance for Housing Improvement figures for 2014-15? (WAQ69808)

Answer received on 24 February 2016

Lesley Griffiths:

These figures confirm Local Authority spending in this area has reduced by less than 1% compared to the previous year.  This reflects the importance the Welsh Government and Local Authorities place on the importance of housing improvements despite the continuing pressure on their resources due to the UK Government's budget reductions.

 

Mark Isherwood (North Wales): Will the Minister provide a breakdown of how the £20 million in support for housing and regeneration announced in the 2016/17 budget will be allocated? (WAQ69809)

Answer received on 24 February 2015

Lesley Griffiths: Financial transactions (repayable loans and equity investment) of £20m will support housing and regeneration projects across Wales through:

  • £10m investment in the Land for Housing Scheme, which will provide recyclable loan funding to registered social landlords to purchase land to support housing supply; and
  • £10m investment in the Town Centre Loan Fund, which will expand the current scheme to invest in empty and under utilised buildings by at least 40 initiatives.

    Both schemes operate application rounds and applicants will be applying for the funding.

To ask the Minister for Health and Social Services

David Melding (South Wales Central): How is the Welsh Government working to reduce the number of patients in need of end-of-life care who received unnecessary or unwanted emergency admissions to hospitals? (WAQ69805)

Answer received on 24 February 2016

The Minister for Health and Social Services (Mark Drakeford):

Concerted action is being taken to ensure that end-of-life care does not involve unnecessary or unwanted emergency admissions to hospitals.

The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust (WAST) has made a number of changes to improve care for people at the end of their lives. This includes:

  • WAST staff can access Canisc (Cancer Network Information System Cymru) and the work of the end-of-life care team;
  • The end-of-life care team and WAST are working together to explore how to highlight the people's end-of-life care wishes documents. This will provide WAST personnel with key information relating to the existence of Do Not Attempt Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation; advance decisions to refuse treatment and advance care plans and where these documents are held; 
  • WAST is introducing end-of-life care to its mandatory continuing professional development training for staff.

The End-of-Life Care Delivery Plan sets out when patients and their families will be supported at the end of life, providing high-quality care in all settings for people of all ages. The plan's aim is for:

  • People in Wales to have a healthy realistic approach to dying, planning appropriately for the event;
  • People dying in Wales to have access to high-quality care wherever they live and die whatever their underlying disease or disability, devoid of any prejudice in relation to their personal situation;
  • To ensure systems are in place to allow more people to receive care and die in the place of their choice.

£6.4m has been invested annually over the past few years, which has allowed Wales to provide seven-day, 24-hour specialist services to ensure advice is available for professionals caring for patients in their homes, in hospices and in hospitals across Wales.

The second annual report, published in November, shows the percentage of people dying in hospital has fallen from 62.6% in 2008-09 to 56.2% in 2014-15.

To support an increase in hospice-at-home services and reduce admissions to acute wards for end-of-life care, the Welsh Government is investing more than £900,000 to expand hospice at home provision across Wales. Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has worked in partnership with Marie Curie to establish a hospice-at-home service covering Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan. Cwm Taf University Health Board, together with Marie Curie, is developing a hospice-at-home model. Rural areas within the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board area will be targeted to increase the capacity of the hospice at home service.

The Welsh Government is investing £3m to expand inpatient palliative care service for terminally-ill patients and their families at St David's Hospice, Newport. The new £5m specialist 15-bed hospice will be run by St David's Hospice Care, working in partnership with Aneurin Bevan University Health Board and Newport City Council. This will provide more support to those at the end of their lives and their families.

 

Janet Finch-Saunders (Aberconwy): Will the Minister make a statement on the implementation of the SARCALL system across Wales? (WAQ69809)

Janet Finch-Saunders (Aberconwy): Will the Minister make a statement on the number of Health Boards who are signed up to the use and implementation of the SARCALL System during any particular emergency situation? (WAQ69810)

Answer received on 24 February 2016

The Deputy Minister for Health (Vaughan Gething): Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust currently have a system in north Wales whereby they will receive a notification when the Mountain Rescue Team is called to an incident.  I have been advised that there are currently no plans to implement the SARCALL system across Wales, although I am assured that Health boards and the Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust are committed to working closely with their emergency service partners and will continue to consider all opportunities to improve collaborate working.

 

To ask the Minister for Public Services 

Aled Roberts (North Wales): Following on from the Welsh Government's support for No Cold Calling Zones in Wales during a debate on 25/6/2014, will the Minister provide an update on the number of zones now in operation in Wales and what funding has since been made available to assist more local authorities to promote and implement such areas? (WAQ69811)

Answer received on 24 February 2016

The Minister for Public Services (Leighton Andrews):

In November 2013, we invited Local Authorities to bid for one-off funding to support the creation of additional No Cold Caller Zones.  12 Local Authorities requested funding and £35,000 was provided.  This resulted in a further 15,000 homes being covered by No Cold Caller Zones in Wales.  In March 2015 a post code exercise was carried out to establish the numbers of homes covered, rather than the number of zones, and this was confirmed as 53,000 homes.  I have no plans for further funding for No Cold Calling Zones.

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