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Present

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

Via video link

  • Rebecca Evans MS
  • Julie James MS
  • Lesley Griffiths MS
  • Eluned Morgan MS
  • Ken Skates MS
  • Kirsty Williams MS
  • Jeremy Miles MS
  • Jane Hutt MS
  • 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)
  • Alex Bevan, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Ian Butler, Special Adviser (via video link)
  • Kate Edmunds, 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)
  • Piers Bisson, Director European Transition (via video link)
  • Simon Brindle, Director COVID-19 project team (via video link)
  • Christopher Warner, Deputy Director CAIGR (via video link)
  • Emma Spear, Deputy Director for the Transformation Programme (via video link)
  • Liz Lalley, COVID -19 project team (via video link)
  • Gillian Richardson, Senior Professional Advisor Health (via video link)
  • Chrishan Kamalan, CMO’s Office (via video link)

Item 1: Minutes of the previous meeting

  1. Cabinet approved the minutes of 14 September.

Item 2: First Minister’s items

​​​COVID-19 – local restrictions

  1. The First Minister informed Cabinet that there had been a need for urgent action to combat the spread of the virus in four more Local Authority areas: Blaenau Gwent; Bridgend; Merthyr Tydfil; and Newport. From 6pm the following day, residents within these Local Authority areas would be subject to the same restrictions as those living in Rhondda Cynon Taf. 
  1. In addition, licensed premises within Caerphilly County would be required to close from 11pm, bringing it into line with neighbouring authorities that were under such restrictions. Initial reports suggested that the measures in Caerphilly County were having the desired impact on the rate of infection but further data was required.
  1. The First Minister would be meeting the Leaders and Chief Executives of local authorities, representatives from the Local Health Boards and the Police from the South East Wales area the following day to discuss how the local restrictions were having an impact on neighbouring authorities, such as Cardiff and Torfaen.  The Leaders of Neath, Port Talbot and Swansea had also been invited.

COVID-19 wider impact

  1. The First Minister advised Cabinet that he had a brief, but constructive, telephone conversation with the Prime Minister earlier that day to discuss a number of measures being considered to control the rapid spread of the virus across the UK. This included potential changes to licensing arrangements and the earlier closing of the hospitality sector.
  1. It appeared that the UK Government was planning to reverse its decision to call people back to work and the First Minister encouraged the Prime Minister to ask the population of England to follow the Welsh Government’s strategy and encourage individuals to work from home wherever possible.
  1. The First Minister had also had a telephone conversation with the First Minister of Scotland.
  1. There would be a COBR meeting the following morning where all four Governments would be able to share experiences of responding to the recent increase of COVID-19 cases, before taking decisions on how best to respond to the situation within their administrative areas. Ministers would also be able to discuss enforcement issues, particularly measures to combat persistent and deliberate offenders.
  1. The First Minister had also had a conversation with the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster over the weekend where it was confirmed that there would be a consequential as a result of the introduction of a £500 self-isolation payment for the low paid in England. 

Penally

  1. The First Minister informed Cabinet that the Home Office had responded to his concerns about the housing of asylum seekers at the Penally Military Training Camp, near Tenby. A junior minister in the Home Office had declined extra financial assistance for the Local Authority or the Local Health Board, but had indicated that Dyfed Powys Police could apply for limited support to help manage any protests.

Item 3: Senedd business

  1. Cabinet considered the Plenary forward schedule and noted that the Minister for Health and Social Services would be making a statement the following day on the additional local COVID-19 restrictions.

Item 4: Constitutional Affairs and Intergovernmental Relations CAB(20-21)03

  1. The First Minister introduced the paper, which described the challenging constitutional context. It also asked Ministers to endorse the direction of travel with the joint intergovernmental relations review and agree constitutional priorities for the next six months.
  1. Cabinet approved the paper and noted that a statement to the Senedd had been scheduled for 6th October.   

Item 5: A Healthier Wales – Two years on CAB(20-21)02

  1. The Minister for Health and Social Services introduced the paper, which provided a progress report and set the future direction for the Government’s long term plan for transforming health and social services in Wales.
  1. The foundation of a Healthier Wales had strengthened partnerships and collaboration across both organisational and geographical boundaries, which was a testament to the collective commitment of public services to respond to community needs. 
  1. COVID-19 had accelerated the transformational change in how health and social care services were being delivered and the response to the pandemic had brought forward the implementation of a number of long term plans. There had been impressive levels of partnership and collaboration across both organisational and geographical boundaries, with Health and Social Care partners at the forefront of new ways of working and the delivery of services. 
  1. Furthermore, significant and accelerated investment had enabled the transformation of services and had put in place the infrastructure and systems required to enable video consultations with clinicians, which had been well received. Furthermore, a video conferencing facility had been rolled out for Local Health Boards.
  1. Some new models of care supported through the Transformational Fund had been important with the regional response to COVID-19, this included rapid discharge from hospitals to home and admission avoidance models. There had also been some work on the mapping of partnership structures, delivery mechanisms and funding streams.
  1. As the response to COVID-19 moved to the stabilisation and reconstruction phase there was now a need to focus on a number of priority areas, that had been outlined within the paper.  It was also important to pause and reflect to ensure that the plan was relevant within the current climate.
  1. Ministers noted the paper.