- Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford MS (Chair)
Via video link
- Rebecca Evans MS
- Vaughan Gething MS
- Julie James MS
- Jeremy Miles MS
- Lesley Griffiths MS
- Eluned Morgan 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 (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, Deputy Director 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 Policy Adviser (via video link)
- Uzo Iwobi, Specialist Policy Adviser (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)
- Emma Williams, Director Housing and Regeneration (via video link)
- Clare Severn, Head of Building Safety Programme (via video link)
- Andy Fraser, Deputy Director Flood and Water (via video link)
- Lori Frater, Head Coal Tip Safety Taskforce (via video link)
- Claire Bennett, Director Communities and Tackling Poverty (via video link)
- Ayanna Mathurine, Head of Race, Faith, Disability & Engagement (via video link)
- Usha Ladwa-Thomas, Development Manager, Local Delivery (via video link)
Item 1: Minutes of the previous meeting
- Cymeradwyodd y Cabinet gofnodion y 16 a 19 Tachwedd / Cabinet approved the minutes of 16 and 19 November.
Item 2: Senedd business
Cabinet noted the Plenary forward schedule.
Item 3: Building Safety White Paper
- The Minister for Housing and Local Government introduced the paper, which asked Cabinet to note the full scope of the proposed reforms to improve the systems that supported the design, construction and residence of multi-occupied buildings in Wales.
- Following the fire at Grenfell Tower, the UK government had commissioned an independent review of building regulations and fire safety, with the final report and recommendations published in May 2018. It highlighted that the current system of regulatory control was complicated and there was a need for those who undertook development to be more responsible for ensuring that buildings were designed and constructed to a suitable standard, while ensuring the safety of residents. The Welsh Government’s Building Safety Expert Group had also provided a steer on priorities for Wales.
- The ongoing Inquiry into Grenfell was expected to provide further evidence to support change. The report from Phase 1 of the Inquiry, which considered events on the night of the fire, contained 14 recommendations that would require legislative change. Phase 2, which was considering the underlying causes, was likely to make many further recommendations, but was not expected to report before the second half of 2021.
- Welsh Government officials were continuing to work with their Whitehall counterparts and the Fire Safety Bill set out limited but significant improvements to fire safety law in multi-occupied residential buildings in England and Wales. In addition, the UK government’s draft Building Safety Bill was due to be introduced shortly to Parliament, and thought was being given to whether some of the provisions could apply to Wales, particularly those in relation to reforms of the 1984 Building Act, which were technical in nature.
- The White Paper would be launched after the Christmas recess.
- Cabinet approved the paper.
Item 4: A Race Equality Action Plan CAB(20-21)21
- The Deputy Minister and Chief Whip introduced the paper, which asked Cabinet to agree to the development of a Wales Race Equality Action Plan that would set out a framework for improving the life chances and outcomes of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) citizens in Wales.
- This would fulfil a commitment following the launch of the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy for public appointments in Wales. Radical improvements in public appointments were needed and the Race Equality Action Plan would help achieve this.
- It was recognised that the pandemic had a disproportionate adverse impact on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities, particularly given that they were on the frontline of delivering health and social care, retail and transport. The adverse impact of the virus exposed stark socio-economic inequalities and the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic COVID-19 Advisory Group had performed a vital role in driving the Government’s response to the impact of the pandemic on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people. This had been led by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic clinicians and academics, while supported by health and equalities officials.
- Lord Simon Woolley, the Advisory Chair of the Race Disparity Unit had already delivered anti-racist training to the Steering group, which had been established to oversee development of the action plan.
- There was a need to co-construct the Plan with Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people, to draw in as wide a range of views and perspectives to ensure that it was shaped by the lived experience. The paper outlined some examples of race inequality and impact of racism in Wales, which highlighted the cumulative disadvantages that resulted in deep inequality of outcomes from pre-natal through to education, entrenched experiences of bullying, under attainment, poor housing along with a disproportionate over representation within the criminal justice system.
- It was therefore, important for a cross-Government approach to the development of the action plan.
- Cabinet welcomed the paper and recognised the important work of Professor Charlotte Williams, who had helped improve the teaching of themes relating to Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities in all parts of the school curriculum. In addition, Gaynor Legall’s appointment as Chair of the task and finish group that was auditing every statue, building and street name with a link to the slave trade was welcomed.
- Cabinet approved the paper.
Item 5: Any other business
COVID-19 – Winter planning
- The First Minister advised Cabinet that there would be a need for a discussion at the Ministerial call the following morning on whether further restrictions should be put in place in Wales in the coming weeks. This would help to guarantee a common approach across the 4 nations to allow families to get together over the Christmas period.
- Over the weekend the trend in the decrease in COVID-19 cases had been reversed, with an increase in the spread of the virus amongst young people. It was inevitable that this would spread to older generations in due course and put added pressure on the NHS.