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Written Assembly Questions tabled on 18 September 2017 for answer on 25 September 2017

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 Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure

Mike Hedges (Swansea East): What assessment has been made of the risk associated with the proposed transfer of ownership of the Valley Lines to the Welsh Government? (WAQ74190)

Answer received on 25 September 2017

The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure (Ken Skates): As part of ongoing development of Welsh Government's proposals for the Core Valley Lines, Transport for Wales are working with Network Rail to ascertain information regarding, staff and the infrastructure to assess the current condition of the network and current and future risks associated with it and ways in which these can be managed.
 
Mike Hedges (Swansea East): What assessment has been made of the costs associated with the transfer of risk related to the proposed transfer of ownership of the Valley Lines to the Welsh Government? (WAQ74191)

Answer received on 25 September 2017

Ken Skates: As part of ongoing development of our proposal for the Core Valley Lines, we are working with the UK Government and Network Rail to agree the funding, debt and associated liabilities. This work is ongoing.
 
Mike Hedges (Swansea East): Has the Welsh Government made an assessment of the current condition of the Valley Lines network including latent defects, and if not by when will such an assessment be made? (WAQ74192)

Answer received on 25 September 2017

Ken Skates: As part of ongoing development of Welsh Government's proposals for the Core Valley Lines, Transport for Wales are working with Network Rail to ascertain information regarding, staff and infrastructure to assess the current condition of the network and current and future risks associated with it.
 
Mike Hedges (Swansea East): What assessment has been made of future liabilities resulting from the proposed transfer Valley Lines to the Welsh Government for a) the UK Government, b) Network Rail, and c) Welsh Government? (WAQ74193)

Answer received on 25 September 2017

Ken Skates: An assessment of future liabilities is being taken forward as part of the negotiations between Network Rail and the UK Government regarding the Core Valley Lines. 
 
Mike Hedges (Swansea East): What assessment has been made of the impact of the proposed transfer of the Valley Lines to the Welsh Government on a) funding, b) debt, c) liability for the Valley Lines? (WAQ74194)

Answer received on 25 September 2017

Ken Skates: As part of ongoing development of our proposal for the Core Valley Lines, we are working with the UK Government and Network Rail to agree the funding, debt and associated liabilities. This work is ongoing.

Mike Hedges (Swansea East): As the result of any transfer of the Valley Lines to the Welsh Government will a proportion of Network Rails debt also be transferred and if so how much? (WAQ74195)

Answer received on 25 September 2017

Ken Skates: We are making progress on the transfer of ownership of the Valley Lines to the Welsh Government. We have engaged with the UK Government to develop the principles of the asset transfer. Negotiations are still underway between the UK Government and the Welsh Government and will continue over the coming months.

If a proportion of Network Rail's debt transfers to the Welsh Government as part of the transfer of asset ownership, then we will require an equivalent transfer of funding to service that debt. 
 
Mike Hedges (Swansea East): Is the Welsh Government aware of any assessment that Network Rail has made of the current condition of the Valley Lines network, including latent defects? (WAQ74196)

Answer received on 25 September 2017

Ken Skates: As part of ongoing development of Welsh Government's proposals for the Core Valley Lines, Transport for Wales are working with Network Rail to ascertain information regarding, staff and infrastructure to assess the current condition of the network and current and future risks associated with it.

Darren Millar (Clwyd West): Will the Cabinet Secretary explain why the draft tender specification and instructions to tenderers (ITT) for the upcoming renewal of the Wales and borders franchise are confidential while such information is publically available from the UK Department for Transport for other rail franchises? (WAQ74199)

Answer received on 22 September 2017

The Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure (Ken Skates): I will publish a summary of the key requirements the Welsh Government is expecting for future Wales and Borders rail service with sufficient detail to allow the plans to be understood. The level of detail we are able to publish will have regard to the competitive dialogue process undertaken by Transport for Wales, where we have a duty to treat bidders fairly and equally, adhere to procurement legislation, and achieve value for money for public expenditure from the procurement.

I also intend to publish a version of the entire contract post award, along with the tender specification.

To ask the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport

Mohammad Asghar (South Wales East): How many patients have received sacral nerve stimulation therapy through the NHS in Wales in the last year for which records are available? (WAQ74197)

Mohammad Asghar (South Wales East): Will the Cabinet Secretary make a statement on the availability of sacral nerve stimulation therapy on the NHS in Wales? (WAQ74198)

Answer received on 26 September 2017

The Cabinet Secretary for Health, Well-being and Sport (Vaughan Gething): NHS Wales Health Boards have provided funding for 36 patients to receive sacral nerve stimulation at specialist centres outside of Wales. A small number of patients received this treatment in Welsh Health Boards but the numbers are not recorded nationally.
The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has recommended sacral nerve stimulation as possible management for faecal incontinence following the failure of conservative treatment and advises the procedure should be undertaken in specialised units.
A multidisciplinary task and finish group, chaired by Ms. Julie Cornish, consultant colorectal surgeon at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, who is a specialist in this work, is being established to explore the options for developing Wales-wide services for women with faecal incontinence and Welsh Government officials are working with Ms. Cornish to develop terms of reference and a reporting timeframe for this group.

 

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