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Written Assembly Questions tabled on 18 March 2016 for answer on 25 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

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): On how many occasions has the delivery unit advised Welsh Government Ministers that they are failing to deliver on a specific programme? (WAQ70209)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

The First Minister (Carwyn Jones): None

To ask the Minister for Natural Resources

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): Will the Minister make a statement on nitrate-vulnerable zones in Pembrokeshire? (WAQ70169W)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

The Minister for Natural Resources (Carl Sargeant): The Welsh Government will issue a consultation on the implementation of the Nitrates Directive in 2016.  This will include a potential NVZ designation in Pembrokeshire.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the utilisation of the Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2015 across Wales? (WAQ70172)

Answer received on 24 March 2016

The Deputy Minister for Farming and Food (Rebecca Evans): In the first 12 months since the Control of Horses (Wales) Act 2014 came into force 11 local authorities in Wales have reported using the powers to seize some 460 horses. Not all local authorities in Wales have had problems with fly grazing and abandonment of horses so consequently have not had occasion to use the Act. A commitment has been given to undertake a review of the Act and its usage within 3 years of it coming into force which would see a review in 2017.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the accessibility of wildlife law to enforcement bodies in Wales? (WAQ70173)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

The Minsiter for Natural Resources (Carl Sargeant): I have recently met with Chief Constable Prince (Association of Chief Police Officers lead on wildlife and rural crime) and Natural Resources Wales to consider   further opportunities for enforcement regarding wildlife crime in Wales. The Chief Constable is also the chair of Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime (PAW) UK and Wales Wildlife Enforcement Group (WWEG). My officials are represented on PAW UK and WWEG.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): How many abattoirs in Wales have CCTV in operation, to monitor welfare standards? (WAQ70174)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Rebecca Evans:

Of twenty six slaughterhouses in Wales, currently eight operational premises have CCTV. All slaughterhouses that are supplying the multiple retailers are required to use CCTV as part of their animal welfare management system.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What consideration does the Welsh Government give to animal welfare standards when procuring produce? (WAQ70175)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Carl Sargeant:

Welsh Government's contract for catering provision across its administrative estate sets high standards in relation to local and ethical food sourcing.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Will the Minister confirm the level of investment to flood and coastal erosion risk management made over the course of the fourth Assembly, and to where this investment has been directed? (WAQ70176)

Answer received on 5 April 2016

Carl Sargeant: Over the lifetime of this Government, we have invested £285 million in flood and coastal erosion risk management in Wales.

The below table sets out investment by this Government, split into local authority areas.  This is the total capital grant provided to Natural Resources Wales and local authorities. It does not include revenue to Natural Resources Wales or partnership funding. 

Local Authority AreaTotal
Blaenau Gwent£683,835
Bridgend£1,749,478
Caerphilly£3,660,802
Cardiff£4,342,472
Carmarthenshire£5,267,120
Ceredigion£21,993,902
Conwy£26,167,555
Denbighshire£19,825,958
Flintshire£3,843,093
Gwynedd£24,400,474
Isle of Anglesey£2,312,109
Merthyr Tydfil£738,199
Monmouthshire£3,372,116
Neath Port Talbot£1,709,073
Newport£11,780,530
Pembrokeshire£3,190,870
Powys£5,416,620
RCT£5,855,073
Swansea£15,480,983
Torfaen£426,302
Vale of Glamorgan£1,997,316
Wrexham£617,834
TOTAL£164,831,714
  

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Have greenhouse gas emissions in areas of devolved competence been reduced over the course of the fourth Assembly, and what figures can the Welsh Government provide to prove this? (WAQ70177)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Carl Sargeant:

Greenhouse gas emissions in areas of devolved competence so far have reduced by 14.7% over the course of the fourth Assembly.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Will the Welsh Government confirm the number of businesses who have signed up to the Welsh Government's Sustainable Development Charter in each year of the fourth Assembly? (WAQ70186)

Answer received on 5 April 2016

Carl Sargeant:

As of 22 March 2016 there were 390 signatories to the Sustainable Development Charter. The table below indicates the number of businesses who have signed up to the SD Charter in each year of the fourth Assembly. A full list of signatories can be found on the SD charter website http://www.sd-charter.net/

Assembly YearNumber of businesses that signed up to the Sustainable Development Charter
May 2011 – 31 March 20123
1 April 2012 – 31 March 201314
1 April 2013 – 31 March 201472
1 April 2014 – 31 March 201553
1 April 2015 – 22 March 20164

 

Mark Isherwood (North Wales): Following concerns expressed by a constituent farmer who advises that he, nor other farmers in the area have not received their basic (single) farm payments, what is the delay and when will they be paid? (WAQ70212)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Rebecca Evans: Basic Payment Scheme (BPS) payments are not late, as the EC payment window is 1 December 2015 to 30 June 2016.  As of 29 March, 94.5% eligible farm businesses have been paid their BPS part payment. We will start making final instalments in April and full payments to those not already paid.

Farm businesses not paid by the end of March will receive a personalised letter explaining why they have not been paid.

 

To ask the Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): Will the Minister make a statement on the process of creating a business improvement district in Carmarthen? (WAQ70171W)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

The Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty (Lesley Griffiths): Any area can explore and develop a Business Improvement District (BID) in line with current legislation. The Welsh Government has provided £203k to support the development of ten BIDs across Wales. To date seven areas have been successful at ballot one of which was Llanelli.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Will the Welsh Government confirm the percentage of empty private properties in Wales, as a percentage of total private stock? (WAQ70205)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

The Minister for Communities and Tackling Poverty (Lesley Griffiths): As at April 2014, the latest date for which figures are available, 2.2% of all private sector dwellings were empty.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Over the course of the fourth Assembly, how many empty homes have been brought back into use? (WAQ70206)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Lesley Griffiths: Since the beginning of this term of Government, 7,560 empty residential properties were brought back into use. This is 2,560 or 151% over the original target of 5,000 for this term of Government and represents a significant achievement.  This is even more impressive when you consider the figures for the current year, to March 2016, are still to be collected and taken into account.

 

Suzy Davies (South Wales West): Why is the Welsh Government not publishing details of a report into the Tai Cantref housing association? (WAQ70214)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Lesley Griffiths: The Welsh Government does not intend to publish details of the report by Campbell Tickell into the affairs of Tai Cantref as doing so would  be likely to prejudice commercial interests.

 

Suzy Davies (South Wales West): Having recognised public interest in publishing a report into the Tai Cantref housing association, what efforts is the Welsh Government undertaking to inform the public of the nature of the contents of this report? (WAQ70215)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Lesley Griffiths: The Welsh Government plans to publish a Regulatory Opinion report setting out issues requiring further regulatory assurance later this year.

 

Suzy Davies (South Wales West): Will the Welsh Government confirm the nature of mismanagement identified at Tai Cantref as part of a recent report prepared concerning the housing association? (WAQ70216)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Lesley Griffiths: The Welsh Government does not intend to confirm any details of the report by Campbell Tickell into the affairs of Tai Cantref as doing so would be likely to prejudice commercial interests

 

Suzy Davies (South Wales West): Why would publication of a report into the Tai Cantref housing association prejudice commercial interests and what are the nature of those interests? (WAQ70217)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Lesley Griffiths: Following a freedom of information request, the Welsh Government has previously published a full explanation as to why publishing the report would prejudice commercial interests. The response can be found here:

http://gov.wales/about/foi/responses/2016/Feb16/atisn10048/?lang=en

 

Suzy Davies (South Wales West): How much was paid to consultancy firm Campbell Tickell for the undertaking of a report into the Tai Cantref housing association? (WAQ70218)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Lesley Griffiths: The amount paid to Campbell Tickell for carrying out the Statutory Inquiry was £39,958.30 (Excluding VAT).

 

Suzy Davies (South Wales West): Will the Welsh Government publish a summary of the findings of a report into the Tai Cantref housing association? (WAQ70219)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Lesley Griffiths: The Welsh Government does not intend to publish a summary of the findings of the report by Campbell Tickell into the affairs of Tai Cantref as doing so would be likely to prejudice commercial interests. The Welsh Government plans to publish a Regulatory Opinion report setting out issues requiring further regulatory assurance later this year.

 

To ask the Minister for Education and Skills

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Will the Welsh Government confirm how many employees have been supported by the Wales Union Learning Fund in each calendar year over the course of the fourth Assembly? (WAQ70183)

Answer received on 24 March 2016

The Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology (Julie James): The number of employees supported by the Wales Union Learning Fund over the course of the fourth Assembly are detailed in the table below:

Calendar Year20112012201320142015
Number of Employees Supported9,64716,02515,10914,19310,194

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Will the Welsh Government confirm the number of secondary school and further education colleges in Wales with a dedicated nurse; and how this has changed over the course of the fourth Assembly? (WAQ70201)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

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

All secondary schools have an identified school nurse.

The staffing of further education colleges is a matter for individual colleges and Welsh Government does not hold this information.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What assessment has the Welsh Government made of how accessible the National School Categorisation System is to parents and guardians in Wales? (WAQ70202)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

The Minister for Education and Skills (Huw Lewis):

All school related results, including categorisation outcomes, are currently published online via the award winning My Local School website. This is the main portal for parents to access such information and can be found at http://mylocalschool.wales.gov.uk

My Local School was developed to assist parents in identifying how schools within their locality compare and to help them see how schools are performing by providing a range of accessible performance and contextual data. The site was awarded second place in a national award by the Royal Statistical Society in 2013 in their annual awards in the category for public sector presentation and communication and has received 1,531,896 page visits since its public launch in February 2013.

Following feedback, we have recently refreshed and revised all National School Categorisation supporting documentation, including the guide for Parents and Carers.  These documents are available on the My Local School website and the Welsh Government webpages along with a detailed Frequently Asked Questions booklet:

 http://gov.wales/topics/educationandskills/schoolshome/raisingstandards/schoolcategorisation/?lang=en

The revised guidance has been widely distributed via schools through the Dysg newsletter and generally via twitter and Facebook.  Schools have been actively encouraged to add a link to their own web pages.   

 

To ask the Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport

Janet Finch-Saunders (Aberconwy): Will the Minister advise of her involvement with Conwy County Borough Council, Bus Users Cymru and bus companies, in relation to the new number 19 service for the Conwy Valley, run by Llew Jones? (WAQ70154)

Answer received on 23 March 2015

The Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport (Edwina Hart): My officials provided Conwy County Borough Council with technical advice. A new commercial bus service has now been registered by Llew Jones to operate via Rowen and Henryd and will start on 3 May 2016.

 

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): What discussions has the Minister held to ensure that Carmarthen town benefits from moving S4C to the area? (WAQ70160W)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Edwina Hart: Prior to the decision to move S4C's headquarters, Welsh Government officials from a number of departments held discussions with S4C, to understand the linguistic, cultural and economic benefits of any decision by S4C to relocate. That dialogue is ongoing.

 

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): What discussions has the Minister held regarding using satellite broadband to ensure fair broadband services in rural Wales? (WAQ70161W)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

The Deputy Minister for Skills and Technology (Julie James): Officials have held a number of meetings with providers of satellite broadband solutions.  Satellite broadband is an eligible technology under the Access Broadband Cymru scheme.

 

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): What discussions has the Minister held regarding improving broadband services in rural Wales? (WAQ70162W)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Julie James:

Regular discussions are held with BT regarding the continued roll-out of the  Superfast Cymru project which continues to bring superfast broadband connectivity (30Mbps and above) to rural areas which would not otherwise have received it. 

To date the Superfast Cymru project has provided access to superfast broadband speeds to over 565,000 residential homes and business across all 22 local authorities in Wales

 

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): Will the Minister make a statement on the review of the impact of the Cleddau bridge tolls on businesses in Pembrokeshire? (WAQ70163W)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Edwina Hart: My officials are currently finalising a review into this issue. A decision on the future of the tolls will be made on the basis of the findings.

 

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): What discussions has the Minister held regarding securing superfast broadband services in Meidrim? (WAQ70164W)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Julie James:

Regular discussions are held with BT around the prompt roll-out of superfast broadband to all parts of Wales including Meidrim.  Work continues within the area to bring superfast connectivity to residential and business properties at the earliest opportunity.   

 

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): What discussions has the Minister held regarding re-establishing a railway line between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen? (WAQ70165W)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Edwina Hart: I agreed to fund an initial study on the potential of reopening the railway between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth. This study has been concluded and the report was published on 22 December 2015.

Following this, my officials held a review workshop attended by the community interest groups, railway industry and local authorities.  I am currently considering the next steps.

 

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): What assessment has the Minister made of safety on the A477? (WAQ70166W)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Edwina Hart: We routinely monitor collisions across the trunk road network, and cluster sites where safety improvements could be made.

The A477 was also assessed as part of our Trunk Road Safety Review, the results of which can be found at the following link:

http://www.traffic-wales.com/Trunkroadsafetyreview.aspx.

 

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): What safety assessment has been undertaken in relation to the new Llanddowror bypass? (WAQ70167W)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Edwina Hart: Stage 1, 2, 3 and 4 Road Safety Audits have been undertaken on the A477 St Clears to Red Roses Improvement Scheme. In view of feedback received, we have installed additional advance warning signs on the approach to the Red Roses junction and are monitoring the junction as part of a 28 day safety inspection to determine if any further work is required.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What Welsh Government strategies are in place aimed at stimulating the manufacturing sector in Wales; and what assessment has been made of their successes over the fourth Assembly? (WAQ70178)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Edwina Hart: The Welsh Manufacturing Forum's 2011 "Manufacturing in Wales" strategy informs the Welsh Government's sector strategies, with activity monitored by the Board of Industry Wales.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): How many meetings has the Minister had concerning whether the business rates multiplier should be split in Wales? (WAQ70179)

Answer to follow.

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Have all Welsh businesses obtaining Welsh Government support over the course of the fourth Assembly formally signed up to the Government's principles of corporate social responsibility? (WAQ70180)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Edwina Hart: Businesses seeking support is expected to take up our principles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CCR). We work with businesses to deliver this commitment through our approach to promoting corporate social responsibility.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What steps has the Welsh Government taken over the fourth Assembly to review what entrepreneurial support is needed by small firms? (WAQ70181)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Edwina Hart: I appointed a Micro-Business Task and Finish group to undertake a review.  The report is published at: http://gov.wales/topics/businessandeconomy/how-we-support-businesses/micro-business-report/?lang=en

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): How is the Welsh Government monitoring entrepreneurial culture in Wales, and how has this progressed over the fourth Assembly? (WAQ70182)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Edwina Hart: The information requested is not readily available.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What progress has been made over the fourth Assembly in reducing the entrepreneurial gender gap, and at what level does this gap currently stand? (WAQ70184)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Edwina Hart: We continue to work with key organisations to increase the number of women accessing business support and are encouraging women to start up in business through the Business Wales service. It was encouraging to see girls making up over 65 per cent of the participants in the National Final of the Enterprise Troopers Primary school competition on Tuesday 22 March. Results from the annual Global Entrepreneurship Monitoring (GEM) study show female entrepreneurship in Wales increased to 4.9 per cent in 2014 (UK 5.7 per cent) a rise from 4.0 per cent in 2012.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Will the Welsh Government confirm the percentage of Arriva Trains Wales trains arriving on time, for each calendar year, over the course of the fourth Assembly? (WAQ70185)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Edwina Hart: Arriva Trains Wales achieved the following percentage of trains arriving on time over the course of the fourth Assembly:

YearPercentage of services achieving Public Performance MeasurePercentage of right time arrivals
201592.8%82.7%
201492.4%83.0%
201393.3%86.3%
201293.5%85.9%

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): How many railway stations in Wales currently have CCTV? (WAQ70187)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Edwina Hart: There are 88 rail stations served by the Wales and Borders franchise with CCTV, 81 of these stations are in Wales

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Will the Welsh Government confirm the number of bus journeys made across Wales over the course of the fourth Assembly, for each calendar year? (WAQ70188)

Answer received on 24 March 2016

The Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport (Edwina Hart): This information can be found at Public Service Vehicles 2014-15, Welsh Government http://gov.wales/statistics-and-research/public-service-vehicles/?lang=en

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What percentage of trunk roads in Wales currently require maintenance? (WAQ70189)

Answer received on 24 March 2016

Edwina Hart: The whole motorway and trunk road network is continuously monitored and maintenance is carried out as and when required. Safety-related defects are treated as a matter of urgency.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What assessment has the Welsth Government made of whether all consumers and businesses in Wales have access to a first class digital infrastructure? (WAQ70190)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Julie James:

Ofcom is the communications regulator in the UK. Ofcom regulates several sectors including fixed line telecommunications, mobile communications and the airwaves over which wireless devices operate. Ofcom has a legal duty to ensure that the UK has a wide range of electronic communications services, including high-speed services such as broadband. Ofcom regularly reports on all aspects of the UK communications market, including infrastructure and services in Wales.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What assessment has the Welsh Government made of its success in extending the tourism season in Wales? (WAQ70191)

Answer received on 24 March 2016

The Deputy Minister for Culture, Sport and Tourism (Ken Skates): There have been successive annual increases in visitor volumes and expenditure, both in the GB and international markets. In 2014, the number of overnight visits to Wales by GB residents broke the 10 million mark for the first time, while interim figures for 2015 indicate that related expenditure has already exceeded the record of £1.735 billion set in 2014.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What proportion of the UK population is aware of Visit Wales marketing, and how has this changed over the course of the fourth Assembly? (WAQ70192)

Answer received on 24 March 2016

Ken Skates: This data can be found at the following address: http://gov.wales/about/programmeforgov/data?code=TR006&lang=en

Our measurable results show an improvement of 24% in performance in additional spend generated through our marketing campaigns between 2013 and 2014, showing that our marketing is becoming highly targeted, and effective.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What representations has the Welsh Government made to the NFL, and on what dates, about the possibility of hosting a future NFL fixture in Wales? (WAQ70207)

Answer received on 24 March 2016

Ken Skates: The National Football League (NFL), the body responsible for professional (American) football in the US, had been exploring options in 2011 for extending their International Series of regular season matches outside the US. 

However, the Millennium Stadium were informed at the beginning of February 2012 by the NFL that they had elected to renew their deal with Wembley Stadium as part of their mid term ambitions to establish a UK market based franchise.  The NFL has also since extended its deal to stage at least two regular-season games a year at Wembley until 2020.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): How many meetings has the Welsh Government had with Cardiff Council over the course of the fourth Assembly concerning the feasibility of bidding to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games, and on what date were those meetings? (WAQ70208)

Answer received on 24 March 2016

Ken Skates: The City of Cardiff Council is one of the key stakeholders represented on the Commonwealth Games 2026 Steering Group.  During the fourth Assembly the Steering Group has met formally 15 times, including two workshops, and there are ongoing detailed discussions with all stakeholders in relation to the development of a five case business model to inform any potential bid.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Will the Welsh Government confirm the level of funding provided via the bus services support grant for 2016-2017, and how this has compared to support for bus services in previous years; including via the Regional Transport Services Grant? (WAQ70210)

Answer received on 24 March 2016

Edwina Hart: I have approved funding of £25m for the Bus Services Support Grant scheme during 2016-17. A total of £25m was awarded in 2013/14, 2014/15 and 2015/16.

 

Russell George (Montgomeryshire): Will the Minister provide a breakdown of costs for works carried out on trunk roads in Wales for each financial quarter for the past three years? (WAQ70213)

Answer received on 24 March 2016

Edwina Hart: We do not hold this information in the format requested.

 

To ask the Minister for Finance and Government Business

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): What discussions has the Minister held with Pembrokeshire County Council regarding securing more public contracts for Welsh businesses? (WAQ70170W)

Answer to follow.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): How does the Welsh Government ensure spending in the area of central services and administration is transparent, and monitored for value for money? (WAQ70203)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

The Minister for Finance and Government Business (Jane Hutt):

Responsibility for the monitoring and management of the Central Services and Administration Main Expenditure Group is delegated to the Permanent Secretary.  I have regular meetings with the Permanent Secretary given his responsibilities for both the Central Services and Administration Budget and as Principle Accounting Officer for the Welsh Government.

 

To ask the Minister for Health and Social Services

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): What recent discussions has the Welsh Government's health department had about increasing services in Withybush Hospital? (WAQ70157W)

Answer received on 5 April 2016

The Minister for Health and Social Services (Mark Drakeford): Regular discussions take place between the Welsh Government and Hywel Dda University Health Board concerning services at Withybush Hospital.

Both the Welsh Government and the health board are committed to the future of Withybush Hospital.

The Welsh Government has made significant investment in the hospital over the last few years, including £8m for the new dialysis unit; £2.5m to refurbish the pathology department and £600,000 for a new, single photon emission CT multi-modal scanner to improve patient experience and service effectiveness.

 

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): What recent discussions has the Welsh Government's health department had regarding increasing the number of GPs in south Pembrokeshire? (WAQ70158W)

Answer received on 5 April 2016

Mark Drakeford:

We hold regular discussions with health boards and other partners on recruiting GPs across Wales.

We are also taking action to make it easier for GPs who have left the workforce to return to it and for those who wish to take a step back from full time work to be retained in the workforce on a different basis. We are reforming the performers list to make it easier for doctors to come to work in Wales; reforming the incentives regime to try to retain more of those who train in general practice in Wales to stay in the Welsh workforce; making training programmes more attractive for GPs to work in rural areas of Wales and we are improving occupational health support for GPs.

In 2015-16 we provided a national primary care fund of £40m to help achieve service sustainability, improve access and move services out of hospital. To boost cluster development across Wales, we allocated a further £6m for Wales' 64 primary care clusters to implement their local priorities. We have provided funding for Hywel Dda University Health Board for investment in over 40 additional primary care posts, including a number of nursing posts and practice managers to support clusters.

We have also made funding available to support GP fellowship programmes across Wales, based upon the successful South Wales Valleys scheme introduced previously.

 

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): Will the Minister make a statement on ambulance response times in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire? (WAQ70159W)

Answer received on 5 April 2016

The Deputy Minister for Health (Vaughan Gething):

The latest available information shows the average response time in the Hywel Dda University Health Board area for people with an immediately life-threatening condition in January 2016 was five minutes and 36 seconds.

The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust is working closely with the Hywel Dda University Health Board, the Chief Ambulance Services Commissioner and other partners to achieve sustainable improvements in ambulance responsive times.

 

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): What discussions has the Minister held regarding reopening the minor injuries unit in Tenby? (WAQ70168W)

Answer received on 5 April 2016

Mark Drakeford:  A dedicated service with minor injuries continues to be provided at Tenby when justified by demand.

Since 2013, the British Red Cross has provided a successful service at weekends and bank holidays over Easter and summer holidays in Tenby.

Hywel Dda University Health Board is piloting a walk-in nurse-led service for residents and visitors who require treatment for minor ailments at Tenby Hospital this Easter. The service, which is run by a team of advanced nurse practitioners and healthcare assistants, will be open from 10am to 6pm daily until 3 April.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Are all Local Health Boards in Wales producing a strategy for specialist services, on what dates were these first published, and how frequently have they been updated? (WAQ70193)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Mark Drakeford:  The seven health boards in Wales commission specialist services for their population through a joint committee – the Welsh Health Specialist Services Committee (WHSSC), which was established in 2010. The chief executives of each of the health boards are members of the joint committee.  

WHSSC produces a strategy for specialist services on behalf of the health boards as part of its integrated medium-term plan (IMTP). IMTPs are refreshed each year. 

WHSSC's first IMTP was produced in 2014 and it has produced a plan every year since. WHSSC is currently in the process of developing an IMTP for 2016-17.

Prior to this WHSSC agreed specialist services arrangements on a speciality by speciality basis using contractual and service level agreement arrangements.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What assessment has the Welsh Government made of its success in introducing 50+ health checks to identify health problems earlier, over the course of the fourth Assembly? (WAQ70194)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Mark Drakeford: An evaluation of the early implementation of Add to Your Life was published in January 2015. The learning from this and feedback from users was used to develop phase two of Add to Your Life, which went live in April 2015.

Add to Your Life has been successful in engaging more than 24,000 people. Public Health Wales continues to develop this over-50 health check as part of its wider approach to extend tailored information to key population groups.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): How many over 50s have benefitted from a health check in each year of the fourth Assembly? (WAQ70195)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Mark Drakeford:  Since it was rolled out nationally in April 2014, 24,369 people have engaged with Add to Your Life

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): On how many occasions over the course of the fourth Assembly has the Welsh Government identified localised problems in relation to access to dentists, and what action has been taken to rectify this? (WAQ70196)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Mark Drakeford:

Welsh Government officials maintain an open dialogue with health boards and meet regularly to discuss a wide range of operational issues including access to NHS dental services.

Access to NHS dentistry has increased significantly over the course of the fourth Assembly. Additional resources have been targeted at areas of need and the latest available information shows more than 45,000 additional people were treated by NHS dental services in the two years ending September 2015 than at the time of the last Assembly election (two years ending June 2011).

Together for Health: A National Oral Health Plan for Wales outlines how our Programme for Government commitments in relation to oral health and dentistry are being met. A key requirement of the plan has been for health boards to  publish local oral health plans to address the oral health needs of their local populations, ensuring effective commissioning and delivery of all NHS dental services.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What percentage of surgeries in Wales offer online repeat prescriptions, and how has this figure developed each year over the course of the fourth Assembly? (WAQ70197)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Mark Drakeford: At February 2016, 71% (320) GP practices in Wales offer online repeat prescriptions.

Information about the percentage of surgeries in Wales which offer repeat prescriptions has been available from March 2015, when 37% (172) practices offered repeat prescriptions online.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What percentage of the population in Wales is considered obese, how has this changed each year over the course of the fourth Assembly, and what assessment has the Welsh Government made of its record in reducing obesity in Wales? (WAQ70198)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Mark Drakeford: Reducing the prevalence of obesity is a priority for the Welsh Government and we have taken a multi-faceted approach to addressing the issue including through the introduction the All Wales Obesity Pathway, the Change 4 Life campaign and the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013.

The 2014 Welsh Health Survey showed that obesity levels have stabilised when compared to the increases seen previously. The 2014 survey classified 22% of adults as obese, which is unchanged since 2011."

The Childhood Measurement Programme in Wales found that 12% of reception year children aged four to five have a body mass index classified as obese in 2013-14. 

The Welsh Government is supporting Public Health Wales' 10 Steps to a Healthy Weight programme which focuses on the early years to keep children at a healthy weight.

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What is the percentage of seasonal flu immunisation uptake rate in people aged 65 or over, and how has this changed over the course of the fourth Assembly? (WAQ70199)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Mark Drakeford: At 16 March 2016, 423,796 or 66.6% of people aged 65 and over in Wales had received the flu vaccine. Data for the season as a whole is still being collected and will be published by Public Health Wales.

Over the course of this Assembly, the percentage of the population aged 65 and over who have the flu vaccine has remained stable. However, in line with population growth, the number of people who are immunised has increased.

YearPercentage Uptake

Number of people 65 and over recorded as receiving the flu vaccine

 

2011-1267.7%392,051
2012-1367.7%408.149
2013-1468.3%401,456
2014-1568.0%425,552

 

Simon Thomas (Mid and West Wales): Will the Minister make a statement on the NHS Dental Service in Narberth, Pembrokeshire? (WAQ70211)

Answer received on 4 April 2016

Mark Drakeford: The dental practice at Narberth Health Centre will cease providing NHS dental services from 31 March. The practice is informing its patients to contact Hywel Dda University Health Board's dental team to be signposted to alternative services available

When a dental practice ceases to provide NHS services, the funding to provide that service remains with the health board, allowing it to re-provide NHS dentistry for the local population.

Hywel Dda University Health Board is currently tendering the contract for general dental services in the South Pembrokeshire area.

New NHS dental services opened in Pembroke in January 2016. Together these two contracts will result in an overall increase of £360,000 investment in NHS dentistry in South Pembrokeshire, providing NHS dental services for 6,500 patients and improving access for people seeking routine dental care.

 

To ask the Minister for Public Services

Janet Finch-Saunders (Aberconwy): What involvement has the Minister had with Conwy County Borough Council, regarding the proposed new PFI-funded Council office building in Colwyn Bay? (WAQ70155)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

The Minister for Public Services (Leighton Andrews):

Conwy County Borough Council is implementing changes to its estate as part of a wider modernisation programme. These do not involve Private Finance Initiative funding. I have issued a capitalisation direction allowing the Council to use capital resources to cover some revenue related expenditure arising from the delivery of the programme.  

 

Janet Finch-Saunders (Aberconwy): Will the Minister make a statement on how the proposed new PFI-funded Conwy County Borough Council office building in Colwyn Bay fits in with either of the proposals for North Wales local authority mergers, as detailed in the Draft Local Government (Wales) Bill? (WAQ70156)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Leighton Andrews:

Conwy County Borough Council is implementing changes to its estate as part of a wider modernisation programme. These do not involve Private Finance Initiative funding.  All Local Authorities should be considering their existing estate to identify opportunities for securing better value for money now and in the future. This can include rationalisation, greater collaboration and divestment of surplus assets. 

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): Will the Minister provide a list of local government outcome agreements that have been put in place over the course of the fourth Assembly, confirm which of these have been met, and the level of grant funding attached to each of these? (WAQ70200)

Answer received on 30 March 2016

Leighton Andrews: The first round of Outcome Agreements ran from 1 April 2010 to 31 March 2013.  They were replaced by Successor Outcome Agreements introduced on 1 April 2013 and will conclude on 31 March 2016. All 22 Local Authorities have had Outcome Agreements in place for the duration of the fourth Assembly term. Outcome Agreement self-assessments were submitted to the Welsh Government from all Local Authorities for their performance each year.

£31.1 million was allocated to the Outcome Agreement grant each year from the Welsh Government Settlement and was distributed to Local Authorities on a pro rata basis. Their entitlement to the grant was dependent on performance against their Outcome Agreements.

The following Local Authorities did not receive full payment of the grant during the fourth Assembly term either due to performance against the Outcome Agreement or because it was top sliced to cover costs associated with Ministerial intervention and support packages:

 

  • Isle of Anglesey
  • Blaenau Gwent
  • Ceredigion
  • Merthyr Tydfil
  • Pembrokeshire

 

Andrew RT Davies (South Wales Central): What action has the Welsh Government taken to tackle disruptive cold calling? (WAQ70204)

Answer received on 24 March 2016

The Minister for Public Services (Leighton Andrews):

We have provided funding to Local Authorities to increase the number of No Cold Caller Zones in Wales which help to protect vulnerable people from scams.  We also provided funding to support Age Cymru's scams awareness project and developed our own information and advice service to tackle cold calling and scams around energy efficiency.

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