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Written Assembly Questions tabled on 3 March 2016 for answer on 10 March 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 First Minister

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): Has the First Minister had any discussions with the UK Government regarding refugees being placed in Penally military camp in Pembrokeshire? (WAQ69955)

Answer received on 8 March 2016

The First Minister (Carwyn Jones): No, I have not had any discussions with the UK Government on this issue.

To ask the Minister for Natural Resources

Suzy Davies (South Wales West): What decontamination costs have been identified and who will be paying them should planning permission be given for housing on the ALCOA site in Swansea? (WAQ69961)

Answer received on 11 March 2016

The Minsiter for Natural Resources (Carl Sargeant):

As no planning application has been made it is not possible to quantify any costs relating to any possible decontamination. This would be a matter for Swansea City Council to consider as any planning application would be made to them in the first instance.


To ask the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty

Janet Finch-Saunders (Aberconwy): Further to WAQ69725, will the Minister detail how the returned Communities First funding monies are allocated? (WAQ69954)

Answer received on 8 March 2016

The Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty (Lesley Griffiths):

Any grant funding returned is considered, both on a portofolio-wide basis and across Welsh Government, with any reallocations being made on a priority and value for money basis.


To ask the Minister for Education and Skills

Aled Roberts (North Wales): Following on from the Written Statement of 14 July 2015 announcing a review into the future role and function of the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, can the Minister confirm that the report and the Welsh Government's response will be published prior to dissolution? (WAQ69953)

Answer received on 11 March 2016

The Minsiter for Education and Skils (Huw Lewis):

I can confirm that Professor Hazelkorn's report on the oversight and regulation of post-compulsory education and training in Wales has been published today and is available on the Welsh Government's website.  It will be for the new Government installed following the Assembly elections in May to consider her report and recommendations and determine its response.


Aled Roberts (North Wales): What update can the Minister provide on issues arising out of provision and funding at the Cardiff campus of the West London Vocational Training College? (WAQ69962)

Derbyniwyd ateb ar 11 Mawrth 2016

Huw Lewis:

Following my Written Statement of 27 November 2015 announcing suspension of student support payments to students attending the College's Cardiff campus, the South Wales Police and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) commenced formal investigations. The decision to suspend payments was taken in the public interest with a view to safeguarding substantial amounts of taxpayers' monies in a situation where there were serious allegations of fraud. That decision will be reviewed when the results of the investigations are available.

The Police investigation of the alleged fraud is likely to continue into the 2016/17 academic year although the QAA may be in a position to report to me next month on matters of standards and quality.

From 21 January 2016, in respect of new applications for the designation of courses capable of attracting student support from the Welsh Government, institutions will have to satisfy new criteria which include having charitable status.


To ask the Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport

Russell George (Montgomeryshire): Will the Minister confirm whether structural surveys have been carried out on the two bridges in Llanymynech (bridge over the river and bridge over the canal) in respect of transporting wind farm components to the Tirgwynt wind farm? (WAQ69952)

Answer received on 8 March 2016

The Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport (Edwina Hart): The wind farm developer is responsible for ensuring that a preliminary evaluation of any structures is carried out to determine if further structural assessment is required. The evaluation process is currently being carried out.


Suzy Davies (South Wales West):

What criteria were considered in deciding whether or not to re-open the coil coating line at the old ALCOA site in Swansea, and in particular, what potential was identified for the deployment of former Tata workers to this work? (WAQ69956)

Suzy Davies (South Wales West): What steps were taken to find a buyer for the ALCOA site in Swansea for (a) industrial purpose; and (b) other purpose, and what costs were incurred in these processes? (WAQ69957)

Suzy Davies (South Wales West): How much in grant aid was (a) paid to and (b) recovered from the previous owner/lessee of the ALCOA site in Swansea? (WAQ69958)

Suzy Davies (South Wales West): What are the demolition costs at the ALCOA site in Swansea? (WAQ69959)

Suzy Davies (South Wales West): What discussions has the Minister and/or her officials had with representatives of Kancoat Ltd regarding the ALCOA site in Swansea? (WAQ69960)

Answer received on 11 March 2016

The Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport (Edwina Hart): On the matter of the sale of the ALCOA site, this is a commercial transaction in which the Welsh Government is not involved.  We have not provided any grant aid to ALCOA.  Demolition of the site is a commercial matter for the company. 

On the matter for Kancoat Ltd., my Officials have had several discussions with the company and continue to do so.  We have provided £788k in grant aid to Kancoat Ltd.  The company is in administration and we are working with all parties to ensure the best outcome.  The re-opening of the coil coating line is not a matter for the Welsh Government, but rather a commercial decision for any company which wants to re-start the line.  If such a buyer is found, the information will be fed into the Training and Skills work stream of my Tata Task Force.

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