Present (via Teams)
- Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford MS (Chair)
- Rebecca Evans MS
- Vaughan Gething MS
- Lesley Griffiths MS
- Julie James MS
- Eluned Morgan MS
- Jeremy Miles MS
- Ken Skates MS
- Kirsty Williams MS
- Jane Hutt MS
- Hannah Blythyn MS
- Julie Morgan MS
- Dafydd Elis Thomas MS
- Lee Waters MS
- Shan Morgan, Permanent Secretary
- Des Clifford, Director General Office of the First Minister
- Carys Evans, Principal Private Secretary to the First Minister
- Will Whiteley, Deputy Director Cabinet Division
- Toby Mason, Head of Strategic Communications
- Jane Runeckles, Special Adviser
- Madeleine Brindley, Special Adviser
- Alex Bevan, Special Adviser
- Dan Butler, Special Adviser
- Ian Butler, Special Adviser
- Kate Edmunds, Special Adviser
- Sara Faye, Special Adviser
- Paul Griffiths, Special Adviser
- Clare Jenkins, Special Adviser
- Andrew Johnson, Special Adviser
- Gareth Williams, Special Adviser
- Mitch Theaker, Special Adviser
- Tom Woodward, Special Adviser
- Christopher W Morgan, Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
- Damian Roche, Cabinet Secretariat
- Jonathan Scourfield, Specialist Policy Adviser
- Dewi Knight, Specialist Policy Adviser
- Tracey Burke, Director General, Education and Public Services
- Andrew Goodall, Director General, Health
- Andrew Slade, Director General ESNR
- Reg Kilpatrick, Director General, COVID-19 Crisis Coordination
- Frank Atherton, CMO
- Tracey Breheny, Deputy Director of Mental Health, Substance Misuse & Vulnerable Groups
- Matt Downton, Head of Mental Health and Vulnerable Groups
- Liz Lalley, Deputy Director Recovery
- Cathy Weatherup, CMO’s office
- Ffion Thomas, CMO’s office
Item 1: Minutes of the previous meeting
1.1 Cymeradwyodd y Cabinet gofnodion y 25 Ionawr / Cabinet approved the minutes of 25 January.
Item 2: Senedd business
2.1 Cabinet considered the Plenary forward schedule and noted the scheduled voting times of 18:15 on Tuesday and 16:55 on Wednesday.
Item 3: Third Supplementary Budget
3.1 The Minister for Finance and Trefnydd informed Ministers that it had been the intention to publish the Third Supplementary Budget 2020-21 on 9th February. That timescale was based on an expectation that progress on settling the Welsh Government’s Budget for 2020-21 with the UK Government would be sufficiently advanced to allow Cabinet to take the required decisions today.
3.2 Therefore, given the uncertainty of the overall budget position and the impact this would have on making effective decisions to manage the in-year position, the publication of the Third Supplementary Budget would be delayed by up to one week, but no later than 16th February. This would be during the next Senedd recess.
3.3 Both the Northern Ireland and Scottish Governments had been impacted by the UK government’s delay to confirm the budget settlements. Northern Ireland intended publishing its budget revision on 12th February, and Scotland had delayed its budget revision to 25th February.
3.4 The Supplementary Budget motion would be moved on 9th March, allowing for 3 weeks of scrutiny as required under Standing Orders. Approval of this motion would provide the authority for the Government to draw funds from the Welsh Consolidated Fund. Any further delay would risk the ability of Welsh Ministers to meet their cash requirements and would have an impact on meeting payment commitments.
3.5 In terms of Senedd scrutiny, as the period would encompass one week of recess, the Chair of the Senedd’s Finance Committee would be advised that it was the Government’s intention to aim to publish the Third Supplementary Budget earlier than the 16th February, if at all possible.
3.6 It was noted that Cabinet would be asked to approve the Budget at its meeting the following week.
Item 4: Mental Health Impact Response
4.1 The Minister for Mental Health, Well-being and the Welsh Language introduced the paper, which asked Cabinet to strengthen action within all Ministerial portfolios to address the wider socio-economic impacts of the pandemic and their effects on mental health.
4.2 Good mental health had been identified as one of the 6 priority areas within Prosperity for All, and had the greatest potential contribution to the long term prosperity and wellbeing of communities and the nation. The paper illustrated that many of the actions, which were protective of good mental health and helped prevent problems from deepening, were outside the health and social care system.
4.3 There had already been a significant amount of cross-government work, with a 10 year, all age, Together for Mental Health Strategy already in place and in January 2020 the latest Mental Health Delivery Plan had been published.
4.4 The pandemic had demonstrated that the cross-portfolio actions contained within the Delivery Plan were more important than ever, and a refreshed Delivery Plan had been published in October 2020.
4.5 Many of the actions in key areas such as employability, the economy, debt advice, education, housing and homelessness had been strengthened. It also recognised that the pandemic was disproportionately affecting the mental health of key groups such as children and young people, those on low income, middle-aged men and those within Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and LGBTQ+ communities.
4.6 However, given the scale of the challenge there was a need to further strengthen the government’s response.
4.7 Cabinet welcomed the paper and agreed that many Third Sector agencies, with significant expertise, had a very important role in supporting people that required help with their mental health.
4.8 Cabinet approved the paper.