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Written Assembly Questions tabled on 15 March 2016 for answer on 22 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 Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central):

Will the Minister confirm the current status of the Five Mile Lane in Barry and if this has been changed or is to be changed to a designated trunk road and, if so, why? (WAQ70060)

Answer received on 22 March 2016

The Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport (Edwina Hart): Five Mile Lane is not a trunk road. It remains the responsibility of the Vale of Glamorgan Council and we have no plans to change its status.


Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): In relation to WAQ69985 can the Minister confirm the purchase will be made at a commercial open market rate or will it be a nominal consideration? (WAQ70061)

Answer received on 22 March 2016

Edwina Hart: Aston Martin will be purchasing the property at the independently determined open market value.

To ask the Minister for Health and Social Services

Mohammad Asghar (South Wales East): Following the answer to question OAQ(4)0692(HSS), what plans does the Minister have to implement the new targeted HPV programme which has been announced for men aged 16 to 45? (WAQ70059)

Answer received on 24 March 2016

The Minister for Health and Social Services (Mark Drakeford): In December, I announced a new targeted human papillomavirus (HPV) programme for men who have sex with men (MSM) following recommendations received in November 2015 from the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation. 

The new programme will be targeted at MSM aged 16 to 45 who attend specialist sexual health clinics. Other people, who are at higher risk of HPV infection, including MSM who are over 45, sex workers, HIV-positive women and HIV-positive men who are not MSM, will be offered vaccination based on clinical judgment.

Welsh Government officials are working with Public Health Wales and service providers on delivery arrangements.


Darren Millar (Clwyd West): How many health boards have defined referral pathways in place to facilitate prompt specialist assessment and diagnosis for people with suspected inflammatory bowel disease? (WAQ70062)

Darren Millar (Clwyd West): What assessment has been made of the use of faecal calprotectin in primary care? (WAQ70063)

Darren Millar (Clwyd West): What steps are being taken to encourage the use of faecal calprotectin in primary care to facilitate prompt and appropriate referral of people with suspected inflammation of the bowel? (WAQ70068)

Answer received on 24 March 2016

Mark Drakeford:

It is important to distinguish inflammatory bowel disease  from non-IBD causes, such as irritable bowel syndrome so conditions can be appropriately managed and monitored. People with symptoms or with abnormal blood results are referred to secondary care for urgent investigation.

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence has recommended the use of faecal calprotectin as an option to support clinicians with the differential diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome in adults with recent onset lower gastrointestinal symptoms for whom specialist assessment is being considered.

Faecal calprotectin testing for the differential diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome may be offered by gastroenterology and colorectal surgery consultants in adult and paediatric medicine.

A series of pilots have been set up in Wales to assess the use of faecal calprotectin testing in primary care settings. These will evaluate changes to, and the appropriateness of, referrals to secondary care and value for money before rolling out testing across all localities.

The pilots are running in Cardiff and Vale University Health Board and are about to start in Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board.


Darren Millar (Clwyd West): How many public toilets are there currently in Wales, and could figures be provided for each of the last five years? (WAQ70064)

Darren Millar (Clwyd West): What plans does your department have to increase the take up of the community toilet scheme across Wales? (WAQ70066)

Darren Millar (Clwyd West): What plans does the Welsh Government have to utilise the community toilet scheme to support the delivery of local toilets strategies? (WAQ70067)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Mark Drakeford:

Data on the number of public toilets in Wales for the last five years is not available centrally. Local authorities reported to Welsh Government in 2014, that there were approximately 950 public toilet facilities across Wales.

The provision and maintenance of public toilets is at the discretion of Local Authorities who have a power under Section 87 of the Public Health Act 1936 to provide public conveniences. It is for individual authorities to decide whether or not to exercise these powers. Consequently, the provision of public toilets will vary from area to area.  

To support local authorities, the Public Facilities Grant Scheme was introduced in April 2009 to reimburse local authorities (up to a maximum of £17,500 per local authority per year) for payments up to £500 that they make to local businesses for allowing free public access to their toilet facilities. Since the Grant Scheme ended in 2014-15 the budget allocation (£200,000) has been distributed in equal proportions to each local authority via the Revenue Support Grant.

This contributes to the provision and upkeep of public facilities within each Authority area. The Regulatory Impact Assessment prepared for the Public Health (Wales) Bill, provided information about local authority participation in the Public Facilities Grant Scheme:

Local authorities should ensure their budget decisions take account of the relationships between the provision of discretionary services and improving outcomes for local communities and citizens. It will be for all public sector organisations to look at ways of continuing to deliver public toilet services.

The loss of the Public Health Bill on the 17 March represents a serious set back to improving the supply of toilets for use by the public  in Wales.

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