- Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford MS (Chair)
Via video link
- Rebecca Evans MS
- Vaughan Gething MS (from item 4)
- 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)
- 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)
- 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)
- Tim Render, Director, Land Nature and Food (via video link)
- James Owen, Deputy Director, Land Management Reform (via video link)
- Karin Philips, Deputy Director Community Safety Division (via video link)
- Steve Pomeroy, Head of Fire and Rescue Services Branch (via video link)
Item 1: Minutes of the previous meeting
- Cabinet approved the minutes of 29 October and 1 and 2 November.
Item 2: Senedd business
- Cabinet considered the Plenary forward schedule and noted that stage three of the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Bill, scheduled for Tuesday, was expected to take around five hours to complete. Voting would be taking place all through the debate and Ministers would need to be present throughout, whether they were participating physically or virtually.
- Cabinet discussed the physical presence of Ministers in the Siambr, given that the fire-break was over, and agreed that the starting point should be to follow the expectation that the Government was placing on others and work from home whenever possible.
Item 3: Agriculture White Paper
- The Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs introduced the paper, which asked Cabinet to approve the direction of travel set out in the proposed Agriculture White Paper.
- In June, Cabinet had agreed to the development of a policy framework based on the principles of Sustainable Land Management. The agriculture sector was on the front line of the climate and ecological emergency and was likely to face a more challenging trading environment at the end of the EU transition period. Farmers would need to be supported to help them adapt to meet those challenges.
- The Agriculture White Paper was an important step in taking this forward. It set out wide ranging legislative proposals and paved the way for a Bill to be introduced in the first year of the next Senedd.
- The Bill would provide the necessary powers to establish a farm support scheme to replace the current arrangements under the Common Agricultural Policy. This would reward farmers appropriately for the production of environmental outcomes, such as clean air and clean water, whilst supporting the production of food in a sustainable way. Support would also extend ‘beyond the farm gate’ to the wider industry and downstream supply chains to overcome barriers and maximise opportunities that would promote Sustainable Land Management.
- The Bill would also consolidate relevant UK and EU law into a coherent set of National Minimum Standards, the intention was to reduce regulatory complexity and provide a clear baseline, which would apply to all farmers and land managers in Wales.
- The intention was to publish the White Paper in mid-December, which would allow a 12 week consultation prior to the pre-election period, but this may change given the issues with the pandemic and the ongoing Trade discussions between the UK Government and the EU. Nevertheless, it was important to maintain momentum due to the need to tackle the climate and ecological emergencies.
- Cabinet welcomed the paper and agreed that work should continue at pace to ensure that the next Welsh Government was able to introduce a Bill as early as possible in the next Senedd.
- Cabinet approved the paper. It was noted that the contents of the White Paper may need to be updated to reflect the outcome of the discussions between the UK Government and EU on trade matters.
Item 4: Broadening the role of firefighters CAB(20-21)15
- The Deputy Minister for Housing and Local Government introduced the paper, which asked Cabinet to agree that work should continue with partners to develop proposals for a broader role for firefighters in Wales, particularly in relation to supporting the NHS.
- It was recognised that Fire and Rescue Services personnel (FRS) had wide-ranging skills and capabilities, which could be deployed to deal with non-fire threats to health. There had been a sustained reduction in the incidence of fire in recent years, which could not safely be matched by a reduction in FRS capacity. Therefore, there was scope to formally expand the role of FRS to encompass a wider range of tasks, in particular to support the NHS.
- A Working Group of senior representatives from the FRS and NHS had been established to develop a specification for a broader role, and to assess the likely costs and benefits. The paper set out a series of possible components for a broader role, which included responding to certain medical emergencies, such as cardiac arrests, and non-injury fallers. There was also the potential to expand further the FRS safety messaging and prevention activity.
- Cabinet welcomed the paper and recognised that firefighters had undertaken broader duties during the first wave of COVID-19, under a UK-wide agreement between employers, the Union and the National Fire Chiefs Council.
- The additional valuable work delivered by the service was recognised, including the close work with the Police service throughout Wales when investigating and reducing the incidence of arson attacks; alongside invaluable work on insurance fraud and road traffic collisions.
- Cabinet approved the paper.