Y Pwyllgor Deisebau

Petitions Committee


Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Jack Sargeant
Joel James
Mike Hedges Yn dirprwyo ar ran Buffy Williams
Substitute for Buffy Williams
Peredur Owen Griffiths

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 other Standing Order requirements remain in place. Item 1 on today's agenda: apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest. We have received apologies from Buffy Williams, and I'm pleased to say the former Chair of this committee, Mike Hedges, is with us this afternoon. Thank you, Mike. Rhys ab Owen has also sent his apologies for this meeting. I will 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-06-1381, 'Reject all plans for Road User Payments, Congestion Zones and Workplace Parking Levies in Wales'.

'At a time when people are struggling with the cost of living it is simply not feasible for people to incur more cost simply for needing to travel between and across the towns and cities of Wales.

'Schemes like the one being considered in Cardiff, for example, will disproportionately affect those already struggling, despite claims that people in poorer areas are less likely to own a car. The people of Wales would like it known that we categorically DO NOT support their implementation.'

There is additional information available for Members and members of the public, submitted by Daniel Williams, with a total of 340 signatures. I'll invite committee members to discuss this petition and any actions they may wish to take. Peredur Owen Griffiths.

Diolch, Cadeirydd, and diolch to the petitioner for bringing this petition forward. We've had some information through from the Deputy Minister on this, and he's responded quite sufficiently, I think, stating the Welsh Government's position. It also says that there are no immediate plans to introduce universal charges for motorists and that such schemes would only be introduced to tackle persistent air pollution in hotspots. So, the Welsh Government are very clear about their plans. I'm at a loss, really, as to what else we could do, as a committee, or to do anything further with this other than to thank the petitioner for bringing this to our attention, and for the responses from the Minister, and probably to close this petition down.

Thank you, Chair. I'm conscious of the Minister's response that there are no plans, but I remember questioning the Minister, back when I first got in, in 2021, maybe 2022, about the consultation that the Government was running about congestion zones, and he said at the time there were no plans whatsoever on that. The concern is that we seem to be getting more and more close to plans, if that makes sense, and, certainly here, especially if we look at proposals for Cardiff, that is going to have a disproportionate effect on where I come from, really, Rhondda Cynon Taf, and the commuters going there. The transport system isn't the greatest at the moment. I'm conscious of Peredur's comments about closing the petition, but is there anything that we can do just to highlight our concerns—should we have concerns; I don't know—that these are genuine worries for people that need to addressed and put to bed, if they're not happening.

Thank you, Joel. Given the Minister's response about no imminent plans, and I think the petition has given a platform for the petitioner too, which quite clearly says they 'categorically DO NOT support' any implementation, I think it would be hard to keep this petition open for any further work, given the Minister's response. But they're noted, your comments, I think, for the record, and it's for individual Members who have these concerns to carry on raising them in the Siambr on a weekly basis, as we do. Are Members content? Thank you.

Item 2.2, P-06-1382, 'Ban Balloon Release'.

'Balloon releases seem to be ever more common despite the harm they cause. They kill animals, litter and harm our environment. There are other less harmful ways people can honour lost loved ones. Even where bans exist, local authorities seem afraid to act on this.'

This was submitted by Charlotte Copik Phillips, with 814 signatures. I'll bring committee members in to discuss this petition and any actions they may wish to take. Joel James. 


Thank you, Chair. I'll be honest, I sympathise with the petitioner here in terms of the environmental impact that releasing balloons can have, especially in this day and age when we're meant to be more aware of our footprint. But the concern then ultimately, I think, is how we address that balance. I know from the Minister's response they're looking more at behavioural change to try and discourage, rather than an outright ban. To be honest, I'm supportive of that step. I don't know what more we can do, really, other than thank the petitioner for highlighting such as important topic, and to close the petition.

Thank you, Joel. Are Members content? I can see they are. Thank you. 

Item 2.3, P-06-1387, 'Provide humanitarian aid to Gaza'.

'Gaza and the Palestinian people are facing a humanitarian crisis as bombs rain down indiscriminately on residential buildings, schools, hospitals, mosques, churches, and refugee camps. Thousands of innocent civilians, including more than 3,500 children, have been killed, with many more seriously injured or displaced. The Welsh Government has previously provided humanitarian aid to Ukraine following the Russian invasion in 2022. It should now do all it can to provide aid to the Palestinian people.'

This was submitted by Sam Swash, with a total of 1,795 signatures. Before I bring committee members in to discuss this petition, I just want to say I know Councillor Swash, for the record, and therefore I'll remove myself from any decision on this. Mike Hedges.

First of all, can I thank the petitioners for this? It's almost like a case of déjà vu, because my view on support for a ceasefire is very well known. I know that the Minister for Social Justice has responded, and the Welsh Government has called for a renewed sense of urgency amongst the international community to deliver a full and permanent ceasefire to end the intolerable levels of violence and human suffering as soon as possible, calling for a longer term and determined political process.

The Minister has confirmed that, in the past, the Welsh Government has donated to a number of appeals run by the Disasters Emergency Committee, and the Disasters Emergency Committee has not yet—I would say unfortunately—decided that this meets their criteria. But the Welsh Government will focus on areas they have responsibility for, including attacking Islamophobia and antisemitism, to ensure all communities can live together in Wales peacefully and with mutual respect. 

There's an event, I believe, taking place in the Senedd and organised by Oxfam shortly. What I would suggest we do is we ask the Minister to confirm whether, in the event of DEC launching an appeal, she would consider providing humanitarian aid, and that's probably as far as we can go. 

Thank you, Mike. Any comments further? I'll bring in Peredur Owen Griffiths and then Joel James. 

I agree with Mike, as somebody who's been, in the same way as Mike, talking quite openly about the fact that we need peace and an end to the violence and a permanent ceasefire as a way of doing that. Having spoken to some of the humanitarian aid charities, raising money without being able to spend it in Gaza is one of the issues at the moment—having an appeal where you're not able to spend the money on the ground. That's one of the reasons why they haven't launched it to date. But it's something that they want to do. I have also been speaking to Oxfam about the event in the Senedd, which could be a precursor to the launching of an appeal. I wonder if we could write to the Minister and ask her to support that appeal, when it happens—and I'm sure it will happen—but also to maybe make time, if she's able, to meet up with the humanitarian charities that are based here in Wales that will be involved in the DEC appeal going forward. I'd be happy to meet up with her as well about this.


Peredur touched upon something that I was going to bring up anyway about the difficulty charities have in terms of spending that money in Palestine. But the concern I'd also want to emphasise is—. I think it was just an hour ago the European Union released the news saying it's demanding an audit of all aid being spent in Palestine, to see where it is actually going. We hear the stories about how Hamas are intercepting the aid. We've also heard this week about how members of the United Nations official aid agency out there have been dismissed because of their involvement in terrorist activities, or supposed involvement in terrorist activities. So, I would only just like to urge caution, if we do pursue this, that we make sure that if the Welsh Government does send aid, it goes to those who need it, rather than those who don't.

Thank you. I think there's an agreement from the committee to certainly write to the Minister noting the caution Joel James mentioned. I'm aware as well that the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport and International Relations Committee have done some work around this topic, and I'm aware the Welsh Government considers each appeal on a case-by-case basis. So, in writing to the Welsh Government, I'll ask the clerks to have a conversation with the culture committee team as well, so we can get the fullest information to share with the Minister. Thank you.

Item 2.4, P-06-1388, 'Remove the requirement for farmers to have at least 10% tree cover to access the new Sustainable Farming Scheme'.

'Welsh Government is designing a new scheme to support farmers called the Sustainable Farming Scheme (SFS). The most controversial Universal Action needed to join the scheme is the requirement for a farmer to have 10% tree cover, excluding hedgerows, plus 10% habitat. Many farmers for various reasons cannot plant 10% of their land with trees. The percentage of tree cover required to enter the scheme should be lowered to an attainable level to allow as many farmers as possible to be able to join.'

There is further information available. This was submitted by Alexandra Jane Higgs, with 1,047 signatures in total. I'll bring committee members in to discuss this petition. Peredur Owen Griffiths.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. I've spoken a lot to the farming unions in particular about this, and farmers in my region. It is a hot topic at the moment. Obviously, as the consultation is going ahead on the SFS, it's something that we need to be mindful of. It's supporting biodiversity, and farmers will definitely be doing that. I would urge that the Ministers do discuss regularly with the unions and find a way forward with this.

As part of what we could potentially do as a committee, I think we could write to the Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee to highlight this petition, because I think there's going to be a one-day inquiry into Farming Connect coming up on 22 February. So, we could bring this to their attention, so that they can see some evidence there, to be a part of that. We could also write to the Chair of the Climate Change, Environment and Infrastructure Committee to highlight this petition and request that this can be considered as part of their work, as they are working through the SFS, and to work out the best way forward.

Thank you, Pred. I should say as well that I substituted on the Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee during the scrutiny session on the draft budget, when the Minister for rural affairs was in front of the committee. This came under some scrutiny, as it has, I think, in the Chamber as well; opposition spokespersons quite often go in on this topic during their allotted time. Are Members content to write to the two Chairs of the committees? I can see they are. I will suggest that we do that but we also close this petition at the same time, if Members are content for that to happen. Thank you.

Item 2.5, P-06-1389, 'Introduce a 30mph limit on the trunk road through the villages of Eglwys Fach and Ffwrnais'.

'Many residential areas in Wales now benefit from a 20mph speed limit, with a strong evidence based rationale from Welsh Government. We do not feel it is safe that our villages of Eglwys Fach & Ffwrnais still suffer a 40mph limit. For over 30 years we have been campaigning for safer pedestrian access in these villages, with 2 fatalities during that time. We want Welsh Government to review the 40mph limits through the villages to enable residents to walk safely and improve well being.'

There is additional information available to the committee and members of the public. This was submitted by Catherine Ruth Stevenson, with a total of 419 signatures. I'll bring Joel James in to discuss this petition. 


Thank you, Chair. Unfortunately, this petition highlights the issues and concerns residents have with the rationale behind the new 20 mph roll-out. And as you can see, this is an area that is crying out for that but hasn't been included, and they want to know why. I know that the Minister has come back to say that they're consulting on new policies for the local authority and how they can deal with this, but the petitioners want to know why the current policies can't deal with it. And so what I was wondering, if the rest of the committee is mindful, is if we could write to the Deputy Minister again asking why their concerns couldn't have been taken on board under current legislation, current policies, and what the timescale is, I suppose, for the new policies that are being consulted on. 

Two very brief comments. The first one is that there's a large number of people who are being enthused by the Conservative Party who do not believe that we should have any speed limits at all: 'We are experienced drivers and we don't need a speed limit. We'll drive to the road conditions'. I think that going through villages where there's no pavement should be 20 mph. That's got to be everywhere. We've had the Conservatives put forward the ending of all 20 mph speed limits across Wales. It seems strange that Joel is supporting this. I'm quite happy with the recommendation, but, really, we need some level of consistency. 

Thank you for that, Mike, and thank you, Chair, for allowing me to come back in. I think there's a misunderstanding there in terms of our policy. We're not against 20 mph zones where needed outside schools, libraries and maybe in cases such as this. The concern that we have is that blanket roll-out of the default limit from 30 mph to 20 mph.

Mike was a councillor—you'll know that numerous times when you try to get speed limits, the council would probably come back to say, 'Oh, well, the lampposts indicate the speed, there's no need for signage, there's no need for safety measures'. And that's the concern that I have. We're just changing the goalposts. We're not necessarily addressing the situation.

I know, for example, right by where I live—. I'm on a 20 mph street. For about 10 yards it goes to 30 mph, and from then it goes into national speed limit country lanes. And my concern there is whether or not that should have been addressed as well. 

So, I'm happy if residents want to come together, because it's all about giving residents local choice, rather than mandating policies from above. 

Thank you, both, for that. I think the views of individuals and political groups have been well voiced in these debates. Members, are you content to write to the Minister, as suggested, for this particular petition? Yes. Thank you. 

Item 2.6, P-06-1390, 'Stop all subsidies on food in the Senedd and for Welsh Government staff in general'.

'Given the recent announcement that Welsh Government is considering removing certain items from meal deals, in a bid to force the Welsh public what to eat, this petition calls for an end to subsidising food for Welsh MSs and their staff.'

There is further information on this petition available. It was submitted by David Morgan, with a total of 436 signatures. I will bring committee Members in to discuss this petition and any actions. Mike Hedges.


Can I thank the petitioners for bringing this forward? I very rarely eat in the Senedd. I was going to say that I never eat in the Senedd, but I'm sure that, some time in the last 12 months, I've actually done so, but it's a very rare occurrence. And if they think the meals are cheap in the Senedd, I suggest that they go to local restaurants and cafes and compare, because I find that I look at the prices sometimes when I use the lift to bring boxes up and I find that the prices are more expensive than I would expect to pay eating out in Swansea. So, I think perhaps we ought to let people know what you get and for how much. It's like a lot of places, isn't it, and I've seen them there, you can have something and something, but the 'and something' adds on another couple of pounds. So, I think that it is something that we need to let people know about. It's not a cheap place to eat—well, not to people like me, it isn't a cheap place to eat. Can I make two suggestions? As catering services in the Welsh Government and the Senedd estate are provided by external contractors, we take it up with the Welsh Government and with the Senedd Commission, and also that we ask them to publish how much they're subsidising food.

Thank you, Mike. I can see that Members are happy with those suggestions, so we will write, both to the Welsh Government and to the Senedd Commission, with the points raised by Mike Hedges and the petitioner.

Item 2.7, P-06-1393, 'Empowering Parental Choice: Opt-Out Rights and Inclusive Involvement in the RSE Program'.

'This petition advocates for parental choice and inclusive involvement in the Relationship and Sex Education...program. It highlights the importance of respecting diverse beliefs, safeguarding parental rights, and enabling an opt-out option. The petition aims to foster understanding, respect, and prevent discrimination.'

There is additional information on this petition available for members of the committee and members of the public. This was submitted by Mohamed Mostafa, with 1,756 signatures. I'll invite committee members in to discuss this petition and any actions they may wish to take. Peredur Owen Griffiths.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. I thank the petitioner for bringing this forward. It's obviously a sensitive topic; it's been discussed widely and consulted upon widely and, obviously, there have also been some court cases involving this and judgments have been made. I think it would be best if we definitely acknowledge the genuine concerns that the RSE curriculum has raised, and that, as I said earlier, it's been extensively consulted upon and scrutinised in many different committees and on the floor of the Chamber. So, I think the committee don't have anything further that we're able to do on this, other than to suggest that parents liaise with their individual schools, boards of governors and local authorities regarding their concerns about effective and informative communication about the delivery of the curriculum, so that it's on a more localised basis.

I've actually attended an RSE lesson for 10-year-olds and I'm not quite sure what people are finding difficult about it. It compared the way Harry Potter was treated by his uncle and aunt and his cousin with the way that Charlie of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, whose surname I can't remember, was treated by his family. I think what we should be asking is, if schools have people who are interested and concerned, they actually put on a demonstration lesson for parents, because there were people who attended, as I did, who came in concerned, but it was really all about how relationships inside families—. I'll finish on this, but Charlie's family were obviously poor, but they were poor and loving, and Harry Potter's aunt and uncle were obviously rich, but they were rich and unloving and treated him abysmally. Personally, I think that under the stairs is not a good place to put a child. But I think it is important that parents know what it's about. There's a lot of scaremongering going on there about three-year-olds being told about penetrative sex, and that is nothing like what's happening.


Thank you, Mike. Are Members content to—? Joel James, sorry.

Again, I recognise the concerns of the petitioner here, and I agree, to some extent, with what Mike was saying about how disinformation can feed a lot of this. There's not much more we can do as a committee, because I know it's been debated extensively in the Chamber, and I have my own concerns about it as well. So, I'll go with what the committee says. And just for the record, it's Bucket, Charlie's surname. [Laughter.]

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

Moving on, item 3, updates to previous petitions. Item 3.1, P-06-1353, 'Devolve responsibilities and budgets for trunk roads in North Wales to North Wales', submitted by Askar Sheibani, with a total of 330 signatures. Again, before I bring committee members in to discuss this petition and any actions they may wish to take, to note for the record, I know Askar Sheibani well. I know his commitment to this campaign will continue in the way he does—a prominent campaigner in north Wales for these types of things. On that point, I'll bring Joel James in.

Thank you, Chair. Unfortunately, I don't know what we can do as a committee. The Deputy Minister has been quite thorough in his response, albeit a brief response, and has basically said that they're not going to be devolving responsibilities to north Wales. So, the only thing I could really think about is, maybe, if we just thank the petitioner and close it, unless the committee has a mind to do something alternative.

Thank you, Joel. I can see Members are content with your suggestion to close this petition at this point, but, certainly, thank the petitioner. As I said, I know Askar well, and I believe his campaign will carry on in other forums.

Item 3.2, P-06-1345, 'Make conservation management plans compulsory for scheduled monuments at risk such as Ruperra Castle'. This petition was submitted by the Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust, with a total of 10,555 signatures collected. Members will be aware that we held a debate on the petition back in October 2023, and I was pleased that, as part of the debate, the Deputy Minister, Dawn Bowden, agreed to meet with Ruperra castle campaigners, with local Member Hefin David MS, and Cadw representatives. I was pleased to see the announcement on 11 January of this year where the Ruperra Castle Preservation Trust announced that Cadw is contributing a grant towards a structural survey and level 4 historic building record for Ruperra castle. Can I congratulate all of the team for getting to this stage? I think the petitions process, and they will feel that the petitions process, helped them in getting to that stage. So, on that point, I'd like to suggest that we thank the petitioners and close this petition and congratulate them once again. Indeed, I know Rhys ab Owen isn't with us at this time, but he looks forward to a visit again to see the castle—in better health, I hope. Are Members content? Joel James.

Thank you, Chair. I agree with what you said, but, because I know in the past we have talked about visiting, I don't know if it's something that the committee wants to do before closing it, or if there's any need to do it. I don't know. But, if not, I'm happy with your suggestion.

Thank you. I think we'd take the point of closing this petition at this stage, but, again, I'm sure we can, from the clerking side, pass the details of the petitioners to individual Members who might be able to arrange that, if their diaries allow. Thank you.

Item 3.3, P-06-1348, 'Commission suitable NHS services in Wales for people with EDS or hypermobility spectrum disorders'. This was submitted by Natasha Evans-Jones with a total of 1,122 signatures, and I'll bring Mike Hedges in to discuss this petition and any actions we may wish to take.


Diolch, Cadeirydd. First of all, I chair the cross-party group on rare diseases. Rare diseases are individually rare, but, collectively, they affect about 7 per cent to 8 per cent of the Welsh population, and I can understand the concerns that people with rare diseases like this have. We've all had the rare diseases we know about, and the ones that we have personal involvement and interest in, but I think it really is important that we engage with people who have concerns about rare diseases. I note the petitioner has welcomed the progress and opportunities to work with the national strategy network for musculoskeletal conditions and rare disease implementation network. I know they have some further questions. Would it be possible to send those further questions on to the Minister?

Thank you, Mike. I can see Members nodding in agreement. Sorry, Joel James.

Just for the record, I have family members with EDS.

Thank you, Joel. Certainly noted for the record, and we'll seek to send the questions from the petitioner to the Minister and gain a response to those questions.

Item 3.4, P-06-1352, 'Approve the construction of the Third bridge over the Menai Strait', submitted by Emyr Owen with 362 signatures collected. I will bring Members in to discuss this petition and any actions they may wish to take. Peredur Owen Griffiths.

Having lived on Anglesey for a while growing up, a third crossing would be beneficial, in my humble opinion, but that's not what we're here to discuss; it's more about the petition before us, and I'd like to thank Emyr Owen for this petition. Currently, the North Wales Transport Commission has been set up by the Welsh Government's roads review. Obviously, there's a report with, I think, 16 recommendations for action. These include lower speed limits and layout changes to improve safety and getting to and from the island. And I have family members on the island as well, so I probably should declare that as well. I think, at the moment, there's no action for us to take, but I would be minded to keep this open until we get a response, and then return to it once we've responded.

Just to declare an interest: my daughter crosses it every day because she lives in Bangor and she teaches in Amlwch, so I have a personal interest in it, but I agree with everything Peredur just said.

Noted, and I can see Members here are content to go with the recommendations from Peredur to keep this open, and review again.

Item 3.5, P-06-1357, 'Draw up a new Microplastics Action Plan for Wales', submitted by Friends of the Earth Cymru with 3,258 signatures in total, and I would invite Members to discuss this petition and any actions they may wish to take. Joel James.

Thank you, Chair, and I just wanted to highlight again how important this petition is, really, and thank the petitioners, Friends of the Earth Cymru, for submitting it. I think there's not really much more we can do, but we could look at keeping it open to see if this outcome of the meeting with officials—it's not been clear yet, from the correspondence we've had back and forwards with the various departments—just to see what the outcome is, and then I think, after that, depending on what that response is, we look to close, then.

I was talking to Members of Friends of the Earth Cymru on Saturday, actually, about this particular—not this petition, but this particular topic and some of the work that's going on in the community with microplastics and testing, and so it is a live issue, so I would urge us to keep it open until we've had that information back, to see where that leaves us.

Thank you, Peredur, thank you, Joel, for those. We'll seek to keep this open and seek an update in due course.

Item 3.6, P-06-1366, 'Reinstate funding for Taf Valley Coaches 351 (Tenby to Pendine) and 352 (Tenby to Kilgetty) services', submitted by Melanie Mallin with 1,697 signatures in total. I will bring committee members in to discuss this petition and any actions they may wish to take. Mike Hedges.


Well, Pembrokeshire County Council have made arrangements to provide an alternative bus service under contract linking Tenby to Pendine via Saundersfoot, and this is numbered 351. The service operates on weekdays over the winter months and, during the summer, additional journeys are provided on Saturdays. So, I think that's good news. I think that one of the problems, as a former member of this committee, is that sometimes by the time that petitions get before us, action has been taken to resolve most or all of their problem. So, I'm very pleased to see that they've reinstated some of the services that were feared to be lost. I don't think there's any more we can do in relation to this petition, so I would thank the petitioners and suggest we close the petition.

Thank you, Mike. I can see Members are content with that suggestion. And you're right, this is, again, an example where a petition has aided a campaign to reinstate bus services. We've had a number of public transport petitions and, just for the record, our next meeting on 19 February will be a private session with stakeholders and experts from the sector as we, as a committee, inform ourselves and make a decision on what we do with the petitions that we've had regarding the transport sector in Wales, or the public transport sector in Wales. 

Okay, item 3.7, P-06-1370, 'Save overnight minor injuries provision at Nevill Hall Hospital in Abergavenny', submitted by Richard John, with 5,181 signatures in total. I'll invite Members to discuss this petition and any action they may wish to take. Peredur Owen Griffiths. 

Diolch, Cadeirydd. This is something that I've been asking quite a few questions on in the Chamber of the Minister as well, not only for Nevill Hall, but also for Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr. It's something that is very important to people in my region. And I'd like to thank Richard John for bringing it forward for us. The Minister has been quite robust in her responses when we've been talking about it in the Chamber, and the petitioner has written back to us saying, 

'I’m very grateful for the time and consideration of members of the Petitions Committee and to all those Senedd Members who offered their support to the campaign to keep it open. I am disappointed that the Welsh Government has failed to intervene and I remain concerned that this will have harmful consequences for residents in north Monmouthshire as well as in neighbouring local authorities.'

He notes that, given the board's decision, the campaign has reached the end of the road as it is. So, I'd like to echo his thoughts there. But, as he says, it has come to the end of the road, so I think probably we thank him and the people who have signed the petition for a very strong campaign, thank them for their kind words and bring this petition to a natural close. 

Diolch yn fawr, Peredur. Are Members content? I can see they are. And, as you said, thanks to Richard John for using the petitions process we have in the Senedd as part of his campaign. 

Item 3.8, P-06-1373, 'Stop Welsh Government Wasting £4million on Skyline private development Kilvey Hill, Swansea', submitted by Neil Jones with a total of 3,051 signatures collected. I will invite Members in to discuss this petition and any actions they may wish to take. Joel James. 

Thank you, Chair. I'm conscious that it's in Swansea, so Mike might want to say more on it than I do, but I'm conscious also that it's now a live planning application, so I think the only thing we might be able to do, really, is maybe to wait to see the outcome of that and then make a decision on what more to do, really. 

Well, I'm on public record in both the South Wales Evening Post and Nation.Cymru opposing the Welsh Government spending money on a tourist attraction. My view on tourist attractions is: good idea, but the people building them ought to be able to fund them themselves. If they can't fund them, their business model doesn't work and I don't see why public money should be moved in there. And I've also said publicly that the cost per job is something in excess of £40,000, and that's not necessarily full-time equivalents. But I think that Joel's absolutely right, it's now a live planning application and we shouldn't get involved in live planning applications. But this idea of pumping public money into commercial activities, in terms of leisure facilities, because they can't work without public money; if they can't work without public money, they don't work at all.


Thank you, Mike. I can see Members in agreement, and your views are very much well aired today and in the Senedd Chamber as well.

4. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 17.42(ix) i benderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod ac o'r cyfarfod ar 19 Chwefror
4. Motion under Standing Order 17.42(ix) to resolve to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting and from the meeting on 19 February


bod y pwyllgor yn penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o weddill y cyfarfod ac o'r cyfarfod ar 19 Chwefror yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 17.42(ix).


that the committee resolves to exclude the public from the remainder of the meeting and for the meeting on 19 February in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(ix).

Cynigiwyd y cynnig.

Motion moved.

Okay, that brings us to item 4 on our agenda; it does conclude today's public business. Can I propose to committee Members, in accordance with Standing Order 17.42(ix), that the committee resolves to meet in private for the remainder of this meeting and for our next meeting on 19 February, where, as I said before, we will hold a round-table discussion with experts in the industry—the public transport sector and industry representatives? Are Members content? I can see they are. Can I thank everybody for their support again for the committee today and to Mike for substituting on our committee? You're always very welcome back, but thank you for your support today. On that note, we'll be back in public session on 4 March. Diolch yn fawr. Meeting closed.

Derbyniwyd y cynnig.

Daeth rhan gyhoeddus y cyfarfod i ben am 14:42.

Motion agreed.

The public part of the meeting ended at 14:42.