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His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh, 10 June 1921 to 9 April 2021

Read about the arrangements following The Duke of Edinburgh’s death

Present

  • Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford MS (Chair)
  • Vaughan Gething MS
  • Jeremy Miles MS

Via video link

  • Rebecca Evans MS
  • Julie James MS
  • Lesley Griffiths MS
  • Eluned Morgan MS
  • Ken Skates MS
  • Kirsty Williams MS
  • Jane Hutt MS (from item 5)
  • Hannah Blythyn MS
  • Julie Morgan MS
  • Dafydd Elis Thomas MS
  • Lee Waters MS

Officials

  • Shan Morgan, Permanent Secretary (via video link)
  • Des Clifford, Director General Office of the First Minister
  • Carys Evans, Principal Private Secretary to the First Minister (via video link)
  • Will Whiteley, Head of Cabinet Division
  • Toby Mason, Head of Strategic Communications (via video link)
  • Jane Runeckles, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Madeleine Brindley, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Alex Bevan, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Dan Butler, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Ian Butler, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Kate Edmunds, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Sara Faye, Special Adviser (via video link)   
  • Paul Griffiths, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Clare Jenkins, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Andrew Johnson, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Gareth Williams, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Mitch Theaker, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Tom Woodward, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Christopher W Morgan, Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
  • Damian Roche, Cabinet Secretariat
  • Jonathan Scourfield, Specialist Policy Adviser (via video link)
  • Dewi Knight, Specialist Adviser for Education Reform (via video link)
  • Tracey Burke, Director General, Education and Public Services (via video link)
  • Andrew Goodall, Director General, Health (via video link)
  • Andrew Slade, Director General ESNR (via video link)
  • Reg Kilpatrick, Director General, COVID-19 Crisis Coordination (via video link)
  • Piers Bisson, Director European Transition (via video link)
  • Christopher Warner, Deputy Director CAIGR (via video link)
  • Dianne Dunning, Legal Services (via video link)
  • Lisa James, Deputy Director Local Government Democracy (via video link)
  • Emma Alexander, Head of Senedd Elections Policy (via video link)
  • Emma Williams, Director of Housing and Regeneration (via video link)
  • Amelia John, Deputy Director Housing Policy (via video link)
  • Sarah Rhodes, Head of Homelessness Prevention (via video link)

Item 1: Minutes of the previous meeting

  1. Cabinet approved the minutes of 5 October.

Item 2: First Minister’s items

Meetings with the UK Government  

  1. The First Minister informed Cabinet that, earlier that day, he had attended a COBR meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister, and the Winter Summit, which had been led by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster. Both the First Ministers of Scotland and Northern Ireland had been in attendance.
  1. The First Minister would discuss in detail issues raised at those meetings with Ministers the following morning. One of the items that Ministers would need to consider would be potential cross border travel restrictions, as, even with the most stringent measures being introduced in England, it was still not illegal for people to travel from a very high risk area to parts of Wales that were not in local ‘lockdowns’.

Item 3: Senedd business

  1. Cabinet considered the Plenary forward schedule and noted that the statement by the Minister for Health and Social Services on Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board had been rescheduled to later on Tuesday afternoon.

Item 4: Delivering the Senedd Election

  1. The First Minister introduced the paper, which invited Cabinet to consider what the Government could pursue in terms of adjusting arrangements for the 2021 Senedd Election, to reflect the ongoing pandemic.
  1. The Elections Planning Group, comprising of key stakeholders and Government officials, had been established in June to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the administration of the 2021 Senedd election. In particular, the group considered whether, given the running of such elections was tightly prescribed in legislation, there was a need to amend the law to enable voting to take place safely, focusing on the health and wellbeing of all those involved, while maintaining the integrity of the ballot and maximising democratic participation.
  1. The added complication was the postponement of the 2020 Police and Crime Commissioner Elections to May 2021, as these elections were held under a different franchise. There would be a need for discussions with the UK Government to explore how best to achieve coherence between the electoral arrangements.
  1. The Group had reached a consensus view on some of the potential changes, but had expressed a range of views in terms of some of the other potential issues.
  1. In terms of where there had been consensus, Cabinet agreed that the continuing aim should be for the Senedd election to be held on 6th May, as planned. However, ways to increase the flexibility and resilience of election operations should be built into the process, to reflect the public health advice at that time. In addition, voters who had previously been shielding or were in a vulnerable category should be encouraged, at an early stage, to consider applying for a postal vote.
  1. Ministers also agreed that there should be greater flexibility on who was permitted to present nomination papers, these should be allowed to be presented electronically, and there should be greater flexibility in the use of proxy votes. In addition, public health regulations enforcing local lockdowns should not inhibit the right to vote and voting should be considered a reasonable excuse for leaving the house. 
  1. The count could be conducted under an extended timeframe, if this would allow greater protection of the health and safety of those involved. The notice of election should also be brought forward to build in additional time for administrators, given the changes in the environment.

Item 5: Homelessness prevention

  1. Cabinet approved the paper.
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