Y Pwyllgor Deisebau

Petitions Committee


Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Jack Sargeant Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Joel James
Peredur Owen Griffiths
Rhys ab Owen

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Gareth Price Clerc
Kayleigh Imperato Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk
Mared Llwyd Ail Glerc
Second Clerk

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.

Cyfarfu’r pwyllgor yn y Senedd a thrwy gynhadledd fideo.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 14:00.

The committee met in the Senedd and by video-conference.

The meeting began at 14:00.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau
1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

Croeso cynnes ichi i gyd i gyfarfod y Pwyllgor Deisebau.

A warm welcome to you all to this meeting of the Petitions Committee.

Can I welcome everybody to today's hybrid meeting of the Senedd's Petitions Committee? As a reminder, this meeting is being broadcast live on Senedd.tv and the Record of Proceedings will be published as usual. Aside from the procedural adaptations for conducting proceedings in a hybrid format, all of our Standing Order requirements remain in place.

Item 1 on today's agenda is apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest. We have received apologies from Buffy Williams and no substitutions for today's meeting. Again, I remind committee members that they should note any declarations of interest either now or at the relevant point during today's proceedings.

2. Deisebau newydd
2. New Petitions

Item 2, new petitions. Item 2.1, P-06-1367, 'Fund the removal of quarry rocks and the restoration of sand and groynes to Llandudno North Shore'.

'In 2014 Conwy County Borough Council dumped a further 50,000 tonnes of oversized and untested quarry rocks onto North Shore. This action destroyed the beach. Access for many is almost impossible, and dangerous if people try. It's a blight on the landscape, and detrimental to our main economy Tourism.'

This was submitted by Councillor Ian Turner, with a total of 12,228 signatures. I will bring committee members in, reminding committee members that I visited—I think it was the day before this petition closed—with the local Member, Janet Finch-Saunders. I visited the beach and there was a good number of people who turned out that day—one of the busiest petition handovers I've been to in my role as committee Chair. On that note, I'll invite Members to discuss this petition and any action they may wish to take. Rhys ab Owen.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. As you noted, you can see from the number of signatures—well over 12,000—that there is strong local interest on this point. We've heard the local Member, Janet Finch-Saunders, raising this on a number of occasions in Plenary. Of course, as you noted, she met you at the beach. The Minister is clear that the placement of the rocks is a matter for the council and would not be included as part of the Welsh Government coastal risk management programme, yet due to the significant interest locally, and the fact that many local and national representatives have been raising this, I think this may be a matter on which we should make a request for a debate, Chair.

Diolch for the suggestion, Rhys. I can see Members in agreement. They are. Okay.

3. Y wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am ddeisebau blaenorol
3. Updates to previous petitions

Item 3, updates to previous petitions. Item 3.1, P-06-1217, 'Open Long Covid one stop medical hubs / clinics', submitted by Lawson Webb with 1,214 signatures in total. I'll bring committee members in to discuss this petition and any actions they may wish to take. Joel James.

Thank you, Chair. I've got to admit that I'm actually quite disappointed with this petition. Obviously it came in back in 2021, and we've been debating it for some time. I know that in 2022 the Welsh Government said that they'd make direct contact with the petitioner to discuss this, but that still hasn't happened. Given the importance of this petition and the issues it's trying to raise, I think that's quite disappointing, to be fair. I would like us as a committee to write to the Minister in the strongest terms possible, really, saying that this really is unacceptable—'You've had nearly two years now to link up with the petitioner and the representatives, so what are you doing about it?', sort of thing. If people are happy, I'd like to do that, really. We should ask them to make contact straight away—immediately, really.

Diolch, Joel. Any further comments from Members, or are Members content? I can see agreement from Members there, and again I'd agree with the Member's suggestion that we will write in the strongest terms to express disappointment that that meeting hasn't taken place yet, noting that the petitioner, or the previous petitioner, has been recently unwell, and with the new lead petitioner on this item, that we request a meeting with them to take place as soon as that can take place, with an expectation that it will be in the near future.

Item 3.2, P-06-1253, 'Ban greyhound racing in Wales', and also 3.3, P-06-1354, 'The Welsh Government should support greyhound racing in Wales'. No. 3.2 was submitted by Hope Rescue, with a total of 35,101 signatures, and 3.3 was submitted by David Tams, with 10,601 signatures in total. As they both relate to the same matter, I'd like to consider these items as one item on today's agenda, and, with that in mind, I will bring Peredur Owen Griffiths in.


Diolch, Gadeirydd. I think we know that there's a consultation ongoing on this subject and, as such, I think it would be a little bit too early to close these down. It is likely to take a bit of time, so what I would suggest that we do is that we keep both open pending the results of that consultation and not bring them back to this committee for further discussion until after we've seen the results of that consultation, and then we'll probably at that point be in a position to close them down because we'll know what the consultation has delivered.

Diolch, Peredur Owen Griffiths. I can see Members are content with the idea. We'll bring it back once the consultation has reported. Just to note as well, all petitioners for 3.2 and 3.3, all the signatories to those petitions as well, have been made aware of the consultation by the clerks of this committee, and I think, as we've discussed previously, certainly for those with views on both sides of the argument, that is the best place to make those arguments, with evidence behind them.

Item 3.4, P-06-1368, 'The Welsh Govt should take steps to save the Environmental Information Regulations in relation to Wales'. This was submitted by Guy Linley-Adams, with 272 signatures in total. I'll invite Members to discuss this petition and any actions they may wish to take. Rhys ab Owen.

Diolch, Gadeirydd. This is an example of a petition that has been overtaken by events. Since the passing of the Retained EU Law (Revocation and Reform) Act 2023, there is now no end date for the Environmental Information Regulations 2004. Both the Minister and the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee have noted how happy they are with the information from and involvement of the Cardiff University students, and I'd like to reiterate that. Albeit that matters have been overtaken by events, I'm sure they're happy with that conclusion. So, I thank them and suggest that we close the petition. Diolch yn fawr.

Diolch yn fawr, Rhys. I can see Members are content with that. And, again, I thank the petitioners from Cardiff University, in particular the students of Cardiff University, for their work on the issue as well, and congratulate them for making progress, but, as you say, it's been overtaken by events—I'm sure they are happy with the outcome.

Item 3.5, P-06-1333, 'Stop Natural Resources Wales from tree felling that threatens red squirrel survival', submitted by Dr Craig Shuttleworth, with 3,625 signatures. And, again, I'll bring committee members in to discuss this petition and any actions they may wish to take. Joel James.

Thank you, Chair. I'm conscious that this is probably the second time we've had a petition come in expressing concerns about NRW and its tree felling, and how that links with red squirrel management, really. What I'd like to try and do, if it's okay, is to keep this petition open and, basically, to seek updates on what NRW are doing in terms of that collaborative approach with local authorities, to try and manage red squirrel decline, really.


Diolch, Joel. Are Members content? We perhaps make a suggestion to keep it open for 12 months and bring it back to committee and see where we are after seeking those updates and where the progress is there, as well. Okay.

Item 3.6, P-06-1363, 'Save our Fire and Rescue Service', submitted by Gavin Roberts, with 1,937 signatures in total. This petition was in relation to the consultation from the North Wales Fire and Rescue Authority. I should say, for clarity and for the record, I supported the premise of this petition in my role as Member of the Senedd, and wrote to the fire authority around the outcome that the petition was seeking, plainly to save the Deeside station in my own constituency, and the Rhyl station. Positive news coming from both the petition and the wider campaign to save the services: the fire authority have now decided that the Rhyl and Deeside stations will not be downgraded following the consultation and that the current level of service and cover is set to continue. So, can I congratulate the petitioners of this petition and the wider campaigners on this matter—a very important matter for my residents, indeed? On that note, we'll close the petition. I see Members are content.

Item 3.7, P-06-1375, 'Initiate an early senedd election', submitted by Graham Bishop, with 15,439 signatures. And I will bring Members in to discuss this petition and any actions the committee may wish to take. Peredur Owen Griffiths.

Diolch, Gadeirydd. We've had a response from the First Minister, explaining the two scenarios in which the Government of Wales Act 2006 requires the Presiding Officer to arrange an extraordinary general election, neither of which would happen, I don't think, and I think the petitioner has actually agreed with that conclusion as well. So, I think the only course of action, really, that we've got with this, would be to thank the petitioner for the petition and to close this petition down.

Thank you, Chair. I'll be honest, I would love to see this come to debate, actually; I think it would be quite an exciting discussion taking place. But, ultimately, I agree with my colleague Peredur here. There are so many other petitions waiting to be debated that might actually achieve something, and, unfortunately, I think, even if we did debate this, there wouldn't be a snap Senedd selection or an early Senedd election. So, I just want to say how much I agree with Peredur and that sort of thing.

Diolch, Joel. I can see agreement on that item as well, so we'll thank the petitioner and close this particular petition.

4. Papur i’w nodi
4. Papers to Note

Moving to item 4 on today's agenda, a paper or note. We have a letter from the Minister for Climate Change to the Chair of the Children, Young People and Education Committee and to the Welsh Youth Parliament Members regarding learner transport. You will remember that colleagues from the Welsh Youth Parliament gave evidence to our committee around their work on travel, in particular learner travel, and we said at the time we would consider what we do with the number of petitions we've had around travel, and there'll be a discussion in our forward work programme to come, in the next couple of weeks. Just on the point, are you happy to note the paper that we've received from the Minister? Yes. Okay. 

5. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42(ix) i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod
5. Motion under Standing Order 17.42(ix) to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting


bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(ix).


that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(ix).

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

That does conclude today's public business. Can I propose, in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(ix), that the committee resolves to meet in private for the remainder of this meeting? Are Members content? They are. Thank you very much. We will meet again on 29 January. We'll go into a discussion on our forward work programme in private session shortly. Diolch yn fawr.


Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 14:15.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 14:15.