Y Cyfarfod Llawn

Plenary

08/11/2023

Yn y fersiwn ddwyieithog, mae’r golofn chwith yn cynnwys yr iaith a lefarwyd yn y cyfarfod. Mae’r golofn dde yn cynnwys cyfieithiad o’r areithiau hynny.

In the bilingual version, the left-hand column includes the language used during the meeting. The right-hand column includes a translation of those speeches.

Cyfarfu'r Senedd yn y Siambr a thrwy gynhadledd fideo am 13:30 gyda'r Llywydd (Elin Jones) yn y Gadair. 

The Senedd met in the Chamber and by video-conference at 13:30 with the Llywydd (Elin Jones) in the Chair.

1. Cwestiynau i’r Gweinidog Cyllid a Llywodraeth Leol
1. Questions to the Minister for Finance and Local Government

Prynhawn da a chroeso i'r cyfarfod y prynhawn yma o'r Senedd. Yr eitem gyntaf y prynhawn yma fydd y cwestiynau i’r Gweinidog Cyllid a Llywodraeth Leol. Mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf gan Delyth Jewell.

Good afternoon and welcome to this afternoon's Plenary session. The first item will be questions to the Minister for Finance and Local Government, and the first question is from Delyth Jewell.

Gwariant Cyhoeddus y DU
UK Public Expenditure

1. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'u cael gyda Llywodraeth y DU cyn datganiad yr hydref y Canghellor i sicrhau bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn cael cyfran deg o wariant cyhoeddus y DU? OQ60204

1. What discussions has the Minister had with the UK Government ahead of the Chancellor's autumn statement to ensure the Welsh Government gets a fair share of UK public expenditure? OQ60204

Further to discussions at the Finance: Interministerial Standing Committee in September, I have written to the Chancellor and met with the Chief Secretary to the Treasury to outline the priorities for Wales at the autumn statement. It is essential that additional funding is provided to maintain vital public services and to support the most vulnerable people impacted by the cost-of-living crisis.

Yn dilyn trafodaethau yn y Pwyllgor Sefydlog Rhyngweinidogol ar Gyllid ym mis Medi, rwyf wedi ysgrifennu at y Canghellor ac wedi cyfarfod â Phrif Ysgrifennydd y Trysorlys i amlinellu’r blaenoriaethau ar gyfer Cymru yn natganiad yr hydref. Mae’n hanfodol fod cyllid ychwanegol yn cael ei ddarparu i gynnal gwasanaethau cyhoeddus hanfodol ac i gefnogi’r bobl fwyaf agored i niwed y mae’r argyfwng costau byw yn effeithio arnynt.

Thank you for that. I welcome what you’ve said. Wales should be able to expect fair funding for its own public services but also for its own infrastructure, and I’d be grateful if you could set out, in addition to what you’ve written to the UK Government, the programme of work that you expect your Government will undertake to secure that fair funding. You’ll be aware that my Plaid Cymru colleagues in Westminster have outlined the need for a fair funding Bill for Wales in their alternative King’s Speech. I’d be interested to hear if you think that that would be necessary.

The unjust underfunding of Wales has to be assessed, like the denial of funding that arises from projects like HS2, where it’s clear that the Barnett formula has just failed us. We have to change the way that Wales is funded for as long as we remain in this unequal nation, and that warrants strong demands from the UK Government. It warrants action from them, because Wales should be funded based on need, not population. So, would you support that need for that Bill? And do you agree that, whatever colour the next Government in Westminster is, they have a duty to secure a prosperous future for Wales? And how do you think the Welsh Government will pursue those demands as far as possible, please?

Diolch. Rwy'n croesawu'r hyn yr ydych wedi'i ddweud. Dylai Cymru allu disgwyl cyllid teg ar gyfer ei gwasanaethau cyhoeddus ei hun, ond hefyd ar gyfer ei seilwaith ei hun, a buaswn yn ddiolchgar pe gallech nodi, yn ychwanegol at yr hyn rydych wedi’i ysgrifennu at Lywodraeth y DU, y rhaglen waith yr ydych yn disgwyl y bydd eich Llywodraeth yn ei chwblhau i sicrhau’r cyllid teg hwnnw. Fe fyddwch yn ymwybodol fod fy nghymheiriaid o Blaid Cymru yn San Steffan wedi amlinellu’r angen am Fil ariannu teg i Gymru yn eu Haraith y Brenin amgen. Byddai gennyf ddiddordeb mewn clywed a ydych chi'n meddwl y byddai hynny’n angenrheidiol.

Mae’n rhaid asesu’r ffyrdd y mae Cymru wedi cael ei thanariannu'n anghyfiawn, fel gwrthod cyllid sy'n deillio o brosiectau fel HS2, lle mae’n amlwg nad yw fformiwla Barnett wedi gweithio i ni. Mae’n rhaid inni newid y ffordd y caiff Cymru ei hariannu cyhyd ag y byddwn yn parhau i fod yn rhan o'r genedl anghyfartal hon, ac mae hynny’n golygu galwadau cryf ar Lywodraeth y DU. Mae’n golygu camau gweithredu ganddynt, gan y dylai Cymru gael ei hariannu ar sail angen, nid poblogaeth. Felly, a fyddech yn cefnogi’r angen am y Bil hwnnw? Ac a ydych yn cytuno, ni waeth pa liw yw'r Llywodraeth nesaf yn San Steffan, fod dyletswydd arnynt i sicrhau dyfodol llewyrchus i Gymru? A sut y credwch y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn mynd ar drywydd y gofynion hynny i'r graddau mwyaf posibl, os gwelwch yn dda?

I’m very grateful for the questions. I’m sure that we do have a lot of common ground on this issue in terms of ensuring that Wales gets its fair share. The current UK funding arrangements, set out in the statement of funding policy, are imposed by the UK Government and that’s done with little meaningful consultation with the devolved Governments and they’re certainly not jointly agreed.

We set out in ‘Reforming our Union’ in 2021 the need for a new, principles-based approach to UK funding and fiscal networks, enshrined within a new fiscal agreement, overseen and operated by a body that would be independent of the UK Government. As a matter of principle, we believe the allocation of resources across the UK should be based on relative need to enable all parts of the union to provide an equivalent level of public service, taking into account the relative needs of the population, and that would involve replacing the Barnett formula with a new rules-based funding system, as part of creating a new fiscal arrangement jointly agreed by all four nations. So, I’m sure there is plenty of common ground between us.

Diolch yn fawr am eich cwestiynau. Rwy’n siŵr fod gennym lawer o dir cyffredin ar y mater hwn o ran sicrhau bod Cymru’n cael ei chyfran deg. Mae trefniadau ariannu presennol y DU, a nodir yn y datganiad polisi cyllido, yn cael eu gosod gan Lywodraeth y DU, a hynny heb fawr o ymgynghori ystyrlon â’r Llywodraethau datganoledig, ac yn sicr, ni chytunir arnynt ar y cyd.

Yn 'Diwygio ein Hundeb’ yn 2021 fe wnaethom nodi'r angen am ddull newydd sy'n seiliedig ar egwyddorion o gyllido a gweithredu rhwydweithiau cyllidol y DU, wedi’i ymgorffori mewn cytundeb cyllidol newydd, wedi’i oruchwylio a’i weithredu gan gorff a fyddai’n annibynnol ar Lywodraeth y DU. Fel mater o egwyddor, credwn y dylai dyraniad adnoddau ar draws y DU fod yn seiliedig ar angen cymharol i alluogi pob rhan o’r undeb i ddarparu lefel gyfatebol o wasanaeth cyhoeddus, gan ystyried anghenion cymharol y boblogaeth, a byddai hynny’n cynnwys creu system gyllido newydd sy'n seiliedig ar reolau yn lle fformiwla Barnett, fel rhan o'r broses o greu trefniant cyllidol newydd y cytunir arno ar y cyd gan y pedair gwlad. Felly, rwy’n siŵr fod digon o dir cyffredin rhyngom.

Of course, what we’ve seen over the last 24 hours in the inaugural King’s Speech from the UK Conservative Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, is bold leadership in tackling some of the biggest issues facing the UK as a whole in 2023. And all Keir Starmer, the Labour Party in Wales and Plaid Cymru can do is continue to snipe from the sidelines while the Conservatives are delivering and getting on with the job. And for every £1 spent in England, Wales gets £1.20. So, it’s shocking to see Welsh Labour once again cutting the health budget and compelling health boards to make difficult decisions when they are already struggling, after nearly 25 years of Labour running our NHS into the ground. So, what further discussions and collaborative work will the Minister undertake with No. 10, the Treasury, the Wales Office and other relevant UK Government departments, to enhance Wales’s prospects in devolved areas so that we can improve the lives of the people of Wales rather than continue with the current status quo of failure and blame-gaming?

Wrth gwrs, yr hyn rydym wedi'i weld dros y 24 awr ddiwethaf yn Araith gyntaf y Brenin gan Brif Weinidog Ceidwadol y DU, Rishi Sunak, yw arweinyddiaeth feiddgar wrth fynd i'r afael â rhai o'r problemau mwyaf sy'n wynebu'r DU gyfan yn 2023. A'r cyfan y gall Keir Starmer, y Blaid Lafur yng Nghymru a Phlaid Cymru ei wneud yw parhau i feirniadu o'r cyrion tra bo'r Ceidwadwyr yn cyflawni ac yn bwrw ymlaen â'r gwaith. Ac am bob £1 a werir yn Lloegr, mae Cymru'n cael £1.20. Felly, mae’n syfrdanol gweld Llafur Cymru unwaith eto yn torri’r gyllideb iechyd ac yn gorfodi byrddau iechyd i wneud penderfyniadau anodd pan fyddant eisoes o dan bwysau, ar ôl bron i 25 mlynedd o Lafur yn dinistrio ein GIG. Felly, pa drafodaethau pellach a gwaith cydweithredol y bydd y Gweinidog yn ei wneud gyda Rhif 10, y Trysorlys, Swyddfa Cymru ac adrannau perthnasol eraill o Lywodraeth y DU, i wella rhagolygon Cymru mewn meysydd datganoledig fel y gallwn wella bywydau pobl Cymru yn hytrach na pharhau gyda'r status quo presennol o fethiant a thaflu bai?

I have less in common with this Member’s contribution this afternoon. And I just want to correct the record, because I do think it is wrong that the Welsh Conservatives do, week after week, mislead the Welsh public. It is not the case that we have cut the Welsh budget; we sat here just a week or so ago and I announced another £425 million going into the Welsh NHS as a result of the severe pressures that public services are facing in Wales. This Welsh Government will always work to protect the Welsh NHS and public services.

Now, if the UK Government wants to do something useful, it has that opportunity on the twenty-second of this month. It has a fiscal event; it’s got the autumn statement—an opportunity to invest in public services. But I’m not hopeful. The UK Government has had dozens of fiscal events since 13 years ago, and, at every one of those, it could have had the opportunity to invest in public services. It’s time to right that wrong now and start investing so that we’re able to provide the NHS with the funding it so desperately needs.

Mae gennyf lai yn gyffredin â chyfraniad yr Aelod hwn y prynhawn yma. A hoffwn gywiro'r cofnod, gan y credaf fod y Ceidwadwyr Cymreig ar fai yn camarwain y cyhoedd yng Nghymru wythnos ar ôl wythnos. Nid yw’n wir ein bod wedi torri cyllideb Cymru; buom yn eistedd yma tua wythnos yn ôl yn unig, a chyhoeddais £425 miliwn arall i GIG Cymru o ganlyniad i'r pwysau difrifol y mae gwasanaethau cyhoeddus yn eu hwynebu yng Nghymru. Bydd y Llywodraeth hon yng Nghymru bob amser yn gweithio i ddiogelu GIG Cymru a gwasanaethau cyhoeddus.

Nawr, os yw Llywodraeth y DU am wneud rhywbeth defnyddiol, mae ganddi gyfle ar yr ail ar hugain o’r mis hwn. Mae ganddi ddigwyddiad cyllidol; mae ganddi ddatganiad yr hydref—cyfle i fuddsoddi mewn gwasanaethau cyhoeddus. Ond nid wyf yn obeithiol. Mae Llywodraeth y DU wedi cael dwsinau o ddigwyddiadau cyllidol dros y 13 mlynedd diwethaf, ac ym mhob un o’r rheini, gallai fod wedi achub ar y cyfle i fuddsoddi mewn gwasanaethau cyhoeddus. Mae’n bryd unioni hynny a dechrau buddsoddi fel ein bod yn gallu darparu’r cyllid y mae ei angen yn daer ar y GIG.

13:35
Y Dreth Gyngor
Council Tax

2. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am ddatblygiad y diwygiadau arfaethedig i'r dreth gyngor a fydd yn cael eu cyflwyno yn 2025? OQ60201

2. Will the Minister provide an update on the development of the proposed council tax reforms set to be introduced in 2025? OQ60201

I will be making a statement to the Senedd next week, on 14 November, providing an update on our important work to make council tax fairer.

Byddaf yn gwneud datganiad i’r Senedd yr wythnos nesaf, ar 14 Tachwedd, yn rhoi’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am ein gwaith pwysig i wneud y dreth gyngor yn decach.

Diolch, Gweinidog. I was pleased to see that there's going to be a statement next week. As you're well aware, the valuation of almost all properties in Wales is based on 2003 prices—that's well before the 2008 financial crisis, Brexit, COVID-19, and even many years before this place was even called the 'Senedd'. We've heard already this afternoon yet again of the huge pressures on public bodies, and, since 2010, local authorities have really been struggling due to Westminster austerity, and now the high interest rates have worsened this crisis. According to analysis by the Wales Governance Centre, by 2027 we can expect a funding gap of £744 million for local authorities, which is bound to impact the most vulnerable in our society. Their report suggests that one answer to this is a rise of 5 per cent in council tax. Will the Welsh Government then commit to reforming the council tax bands as soon as possible to assist struggling local authorities? Diolch yn fawr.

Diolch, Weinidog. Roeddwn yn falch o weld y bydd datganiad yr wythnos nesaf. Fel y gwyddoch yn iawn, mae prisiad bron i bob eiddo yng Nghymru yn seiliedig ar brisiau 2003—mae hynny ymhell cyn argyfwng ariannol 2008, Brexit, COVID-19, a hyd yn oed flynyddoedd lawer cyn i’r lle hwn gael ei alw’n ‘Senedd’. Rydym eisoes wedi clywed y prynhawn yma unwaith eto am y pwysau enfawr ar gyrff cyhoeddus, ac ers 2010, mae awdurdodau lleol wedi'i chael hi’n anodd iawn oherwydd cyni San Steffan, a nawr, mae’r cyfraddau llog uchel wedi gwaethygu’r argyfwng hwn. Yn ôl dadansoddiad gan Ganolfan Llywodraethiant Cymru, erbyn 2027, gallwn ddisgwyl bwlch ariannu o £744 miliwn i awdurdodau lleol, sy’n siŵr o effeithio ar y rhai mwyaf agored i niwed yn ein cymdeithas. Mae eu hadroddiad yn awgrymu mai un ateb i hyn yw cynnydd o 5 y cant yn y dreth gyngor. A wnaiff Llywodraeth Cymru ymrwymo felly i ddiwygio bandiau'r dreth gyngor cyn gynted â phosibl, i gynorthwyo awdurdodau lleol sy’n ei chael hi’n anodd? Diolch yn fawr.

I'll begin by saying and recognising the fact that we are working on 2003 valuations for properties at the moment. That can't be right, to be working on a system that is 20 years out of date. But, that said, in England and Scotland they're working on valuations based from 1991, so we have come a step further, but I think that now is the time to start making some real progress in terms of making council tax fairer. I do want to take this opportunity to emphasise the point that the overall aim of the exercise is not to raise a single penny more overall. I know that lots of people are concerned because, as the Member sets out, the value of their property has increased over the last 20 years. They're concerned that that means that the amount that they'd be expected to pay in council tax will also increase. That's not necessarily the case—what matters is the value of your property relative to all other properties in Wales. So, I think it's important just to set that out and just to be clear with everybody in those terms.

One of the things that we are looking at, of course, alongside the new revaluation, is band redesign, and it's the intention in the consultation document, which I'll be launching next week, to say a bit more about how we might go about redesigning those bands. I'd be very keen to hear from the Member, and all other interested Members in the Chamber, what they think about the potential ways forward that we're demonstrating next week. It will be accompanied by a really insightful report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies, and that gives some more detail to those proposals, setting out potential increases to council tax in certain bands or decreases in others. It really puts some flavour on the options that we'll be looking at, and it sets out as well some of the distributional impact in geographical terms. So, I know that all colleagues will have a keen interest in that.

Fe ddechreuaf drwy ddweud a chydnabod y ffaith ein bod yn gweithio ar brisiadau 2003 ar gyfer eiddo ar hyn o bryd. Ni all hynny fod yn iawn, gweithio ar system sy'n 20 mlwydd oed. Ond wedi dweud hynny, yn Lloegr a'r Alban, maent yn gweithio ar brisiadau sy'n seiliedig ar brisiau 1991, felly rydym wedi dod gam ymhellach, ond credaf mai nawr yw'r amser i ddechrau gwneud cynnydd gwirioneddol o ran gwneud y dreth gyngor yn decach. Hoffwn achub ar y cyfle hwn i bwysleisio’r pwynt nad nod cyffredinol yr ymarfer yw codi'r un geiniog yn fwy. Gwn fod llawer o bobl yn pryderu gan fod gwerth eu heiddo, fel y mae’r Aelod yn ei nodi, wedi cynyddu dros yr 20 mlynedd diwethaf. Maent yn pryderu bod hynny'n golygu y byddai'r dreth gyngor y byddai disgwyl iddynt ei thalu hefyd yn cynyddu. Nid yw hynny'n wir o reidrwydd—yr hyn sy'n bwysig yw gwerth eich eiddo o gymharu â phob eiddo arall yng Nghymru. Felly, credaf ei bod yn bwysig nodi hynny, a bod yn glir gyda phawb yn y termau hynny.

Un o'r pethau yr ydym yn edrych arnynt, wrth gwrs, ochr yn ochr â'r ailbrisiad newydd, yw ailgynllunio'r bandiau, a'r bwriad yn y ddogfen ymgynghori, y byddaf yn ei lansio'r wythnos nesaf, yw dweud ychydig yn rhagor am sut y gallem fynd ati i ailgynllunio'r bandiau hynny. Rwy'n awyddus iawn i glywed barn yr Aelod, a phob Aelod arall yn y Siambr sydd â diddordeb, am y dulliau gweithredu posibl y byddwn yn eu dangos yr wythnos nesaf. I gyd-fynd â hynny, cawn adroddiad craff iawn gan y Sefydliad Astudiaethau Cyllid, ac mae hwnnw'n rhoi rhagor o fanylion am y cynigion hynny, gan nodi’r cynnydd posibl i’r dreth gyngor mewn bandiau penodol, neu ostyngiadau mewn bandiau eraill. Mae'n rhoi lliw i'r opsiynau y byddwn yn edrych arnynt, ac mae hefyd yn nodi peth o'r effaith ddosbarthiadol mewn termau daearyddol. Felly, gwn y bydd gan bob un o fy nghyd-Aelodau gryn ddiddordeb yn hynny.

If I could, to start, I'd like to say 'hello' to my old comprehensive school, Bryn Celynnog, which are in the public gallery as I speak. I met with them earlier and I'd just like to say 'hello' again.

Minister, I'm keen to know whether or not your proposed reforms will look at the vast sums of money that are currently lying dormant in local authority bank accounts. As you know, Minister, the three councils within my region of South Wales Central have almost £0.5 billion in combined usable reserves, yet they continuously plead poverty and raise their council tax rates year upon year. Minister, I fail to see how this is fair on hard-working, hard-pressed families within my region. So, with this in mind, what commitments will you give to look into this aspect of local authority financing when looking into council tax reform? Thank you.

Os caf, hoffwn ddweud 'helo' i ddechrau wrth fy hen ysgol gyfun, Bryn Celynnog, sydd yn yr oriel gyhoeddus ar hyn o bryd. Cyfarfûm â nhw yn gynharach, a hoffwn ddweud 'helo' eto.

Weinidog, hoffwn wybod a fydd eich diwygiadau arfaethedig yn edrych ar y symiau enfawr o arian sy'n segur ar hyn o bryd yng nghyfrifon banc awdurdodau lleol. Fel y gwyddoch, Weinidog, mae gan y tri chyngor yn fy rhanbarth i, Canol De Cymru, bron i £0.5 biliwn mewn cronfeydd wrth gefn cyfunol y gellir eu defnyddio, ac eto maent o hyd yn honni eu bod yn brin o arian ac yn codi cyfraddau'r dreth gyngor flwyddyn ar ôl blwyddyn. Weinidog, ni allaf weld sut y mae hyn yn deg ar deuluoedd gweithgar sydd o dan bwysau yn fy rhanbarth. Felly, gyda hyn mewn golwg, pa ymrwymiadau y byddwch yn eu gwneud i ymchwilio i'r agwedd hon ar gyllid awdurdodau lleol wrth edrych ar ddiwygio'r dreth gyngor? Diolch.

I'm not going to conflate the two issues of local government reserves with council tax reform. I think that that would be a dangerous thing to do, because I think that it is important to keep the two things separate. Council tax reserves are in many ways a reflection of the decisions taken by councils over a number of years, and I think that respecting that local autonomy is really important. But we also need to consider reserves in relation to the overall budget for local government. So, at an all-Wales level, the level of general or unallocated reserves would cover just 10 days of the costs of delivering local government. So, I think that we do need to keep it in perspective. Reserve levels are not taken into account when determining funding in England either, and we have to recognise as well that reserves in England have increased by 50 per cent over the last two years. And I think that's a reflection of the extraordinary couple of years that we've had.

Nid wyf yn mynd i gyfuno mater cronfeydd wrth gefn llywodraeth leol â mater diwygio’r dreth gyngor. Credaf y byddai hynny’n beth peryglus i’w wneud, gan y credaf ei bod yn bwysig cadw’r ddau beth ar wahân. Mewn sawl ffordd, mae cronfeydd wrth gefn awdurdodau lleol yn adlewyrchiad o’r penderfyniadau a wneir gan gynghorau dros nifer o flynyddoedd, a chredaf fod parchu’r ymreolaeth leol honno’n wirioneddol bwysig. Ond mae angen i ni hefyd ystyried cronfeydd wrth gefn mewn perthynas â’r gyllideb gyffredinol ar gyfer llywodraeth leol. Felly, ar lefel Cymru gyfan, ni fyddai lefel y cronfeydd wrth gefn cyffredinol neu heb eu dyrannu ond yn ddigon i dalu am 10 diwrnod o gostau cynnal llywodraeth leol. Felly, credaf fod angen inni gadw hynny mewn persbectif. Nid yw lefelau cronfeydd wrth gefn yn cael eu hystyried wrth bennu cyllid yn Lloegr ychwaith, ac mae'n rhaid inni gydnabod hefyd fod cronfeydd wrth gefn yn Lloegr wedi cynyddu 50 y cant dros y ddwy flynedd diwethaf. A chredaf fod hynny'n adlewyrchiad o'r ychydig flynyddoedd anarferol yr ydym wedi'u cael.

13:40
Cwestiynau Heb Rybudd gan Lefarwyr y Pleidiau
Questions Without Notice from Party Spokespeople

Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr nawr i ofyn cwestiynau gan lefarwyr y pleidiau. Peter Fox. 

Questions from party spokespeople now. The Welsh Conservative spokesperson, Peter Fox. 

Diolch, Llywydd. Minister, I'll start by building on, perhaps, the first question you had today, and a conversation in here between Rhun ap Iorwerth and the First Minister yesterday. We know that, in 2016, the current First Minister, then finance Minister, signed the revised fiscal framework for Wales, which included the Holtham review recommendation for a needs-based element to be included in the Barnett formula for Welsh Government settlements from 2018 onwards. The formula has resulted in Wales receiving, as we've heard, around £1.20 for every £1 spent on health and education in England, but this needs-based factor—we keep hearing there is no needs-based factor—recognises that the people of Wales are deemed to be at a higher need for funding and public services. We all agree. With this in mind, do you, Minister, agree with the First Minister when, in your role, he said, and I quote:

'I am pleased we have been able to reach agreement about a new fiscal framework which puts our funding on a stable and long-term footing. This is an agreement which is fair to Wales and the rest of the UK'?

Diolch, Lywydd. Weinidog, dechreuaf drwy adeiladu, efallai, ar y cwestiwn cyntaf a gawsoch heddiw, a sgwrs yma rhwng Rhun ap Iorwerth a’r Prif Weinidog ddoe. Yn 2016, gwyddom fod y Prif Weinidog presennol, y Gweinidog cyllid ar y pryd, wedi llofnodi’r fframwaith cyllidol diwygiedig i Gymru, a oedd yn cynnwys argymhelliad adolygiad Holtham i gynnwys elfen sy'n seiliedig ar anghenion yn fformiwla Barnett ar gyfer setliadau Llywodraeth Cymru o 2018 ymlaen. Fel y clywsom, mae’r fformiwla wedi arwain at Gymru’n cael oddeutu £1.20 am bob £1 a werir ar iechyd ac addysg yn Lloegr, ond mae’r ffactor hwn sy’n seiliedig ar anghenion—rydym yn clywed o hyd nad oes ffactor sy’n seiliedig ar anghenion—yn cydnabod y ffaith y bernir bod mwy o angen cyllid a gwasanaethau cyhoeddus ar bobl Cymru. Mae pob un ohonom yn cytuno. Gyda hyn mewn golwg, a ydych chi, Weinidog, yn cytuno â’r hyn a ddywedodd y Prif Weinidog pan oedd yn eich rôl chi, sef:

'Rydw i’n falch ein bod ni wedi gallu dod i gytundeb am fframwaith cyllidol newydd sy’n rhoi sylfaen tymor hir a sefydlog i’n cyllid ni. Dyma gytundeb sy’n deg i Gymru ac i weddill y DU'?

I'm grateful for the question, and I think that one of the important things there to recognise is that that agreement was made back in 2016. But the framework and the statement of funding policy haven't evolved to meet those challenges and to recognise all the changes that have happened since that date. And I say that because, when you look at the Wales reserve, for example, that was set at £350 million back in 2016. It would have grown, if it had grown in line with inflation, by 17 per cent in this year, and that would give us much more flexibility to manage our budget.

And I would say the same also for borrowing. So, those tools that we have haven't moved in line with inflation and with the changes that we've seen. And, of course, the Scottish Government has just undertaken a review of its fiscal agreement with the UK Government, and it's agreed—the UK Government has agreed—that Scotland is able now to borrow in line with inflation. It's able to have its reserve increased in line with inflation. Those are simple things that the UK Government should also give to us, and we'd really welcome cross-party support for those simple, pragmatic tools. 

Rwy’n ddiolchgar am y cwestiwn, a chredaf mai un o’r pethau pwysig i’w cydnabod yw bod y cytundeb hwnnw wedi’i wneud yn ôl yn 2016. Ond nid yw’r fframwaith a’r datganiad polisi cyllido wedi esblygu i ateb yr heriau hynny ac i gydnabod yr holl newidiadau sydd wedi digwydd ers y dyddiad hwnnw. A dywedaf hynny oherwydd, pan edrychwch ar gronfa wrth gefn Cymru, er enghraifft, cafodd ei gosod ar £350 miliwn yn ôl yn 2016. Pe bai wedi tyfu yn unol â chwyddiant, byddai wedi cynyddu 17 y cant eleni, a byddai hynny’n rhoi llawer mwy o hyblygrwydd inni reoli ein cyllideb.

A buaswn yn dweud yr un peth hefyd am fenthyca. Felly, nid yw'r arfau sydd gennym wedi tyfu yn unol â chwyddiant a chyda'r newidiadau a welsom. Ac wrth gwrs, mae Llywodraeth yr Alban newydd gynnal adolygiad o'i chytundeb cyllidol gyda Llywodraeth y DU, ac mae wedi cytuno—mae Llywodraeth y DU wedi cytuno—fod yr Alban bellach yn gallu benthyca yn unol â chwyddiant. Mae'n gallu cynyddu ei chronfa wrth gefn yn unol â chwyddiant. Mae’r rheini’n bethau syml y dylai Llywodraeth y DU eu rhoi i ninnau hefyd, a byddem yn croesawu cefnogaeth drawsbleidiol i’r arfau syml, pragmatig hynny'n fawr.

Well, thank you for that, Minister. It's surprising, actually, that the Government at that time were making that forward assessment, thinking that there was enough going forward, and, clearly now, it seems that we need to revise that again, and I hope that will be something you'll be taking forward, then, if that is the case. 

But, Minister, I've repeatedly raised my concerns regarding the failure of successive Welsh Governments to fully fund our NHS here in Wales according to its need. In my mind, it seems strange, then, that it's recognised that there is a higher needs base for funding on health and social care in Wales compared to the rest of the United Kingdom, but the Welsh Government's spending priorities do not reflect this. If you'd spent even a fraction more of the funding provided on health and social care in Wales on a needs-based assessment, we'd have a far more resilient health service, which would not be facing an £800 million deficit, albeit you've reduced that deficit by some £425 million. Going forward, as you plan your next budget, what consideration is the Welsh Government giving to gradually increasing spending to reflect the needs of people in Wales?

Wel, diolch am hynny, Weinidog. Mae'n syndod, mewn gwirionedd, fod y Llywodraeth bryd hynny yn gwneud y blaenasesiad hwnnw, gan feddwl bod digon wrth symud ymlaen, ac yn amlwg, bellach, ymddengys bod angen inni adolygu hynny eto, ac rwy'n gobeithio y bydd hynny'n rhywbeth y byddwch yn bwrw ymlaen ag ef, felly, os yw hynny'n wir.

Ond Weinidog, rwyf wedi codi fy mhryderon dro ar ôl tro ynghylch methiant Llywodraethau Cymru olynol i ariannu ein GIG yn llawn yma yng Nghymru yn ôl ei angen. I mi, mae'n rhyfedd, felly, y cydnabyddir bod sylfaen anghenion uwch ar gyfer cyllid iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol yng Nghymru o gymharu â gweddill y Deyrnas Unedig, ond nid yw blaenoriaethau gwariant Llywodraeth Cymru yn adlewyrchu hyn. Pe baech wedi gwario hyd yn oed ffracsiwn yn fwy o’r cyllid a ddarperir i iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol yng Nghymru ar asesiad sy'n seiliedig ar anghenion, byddai gennym wasanaeth iechyd llawer mwy cydnerth, na fyddai’n wynebu diffyg o £800 miliwn, er eich bod wedi lleihau'r diffyg hwnnw oddeutu £425 miliwn. Wrth symud ymlaen, wrth ichi gynllunio eich cyllideb nesaf, pa ystyriaeth y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei rhoi i gynyddu gwariant yn raddol i adlewyrchu anghenion pobl Cymru?

I'd be very keen for the UK Conservative Government to answer that question through increased funding for Wales in the autumn statement on the twenty-second of this month, because, at the end of the day, we only have a finite amount of money available to us to meet all of those needs. And we've seen that, in the health service, there is increasing demand all the time. We're seeing the impact of inflation in the NHS service, particularly on pay. We've had lots of discussions in this Chamber about how important it is to pay our public sector workers with respect, and also to ensure that they have decent pay settlements. But all of that now we have to pay for. The majority, actually, of the funding that goes to the NHS goes to pay, so even a 1 per cent increase causes huge pressures, and we've obviously seen much higher increases than that. So, now is the time that we have to focus in on how we go about paying for that. That's one of the reasons why we undertook that cross-Government piece of work to reallocate funding towards the NHS—an additional £425 million. Demand in the NHS is ever growing. I don't think it's fair to make a direct comparison across the border with England, partly because we measure things differently here in Wales and we take a much more joined-up and integrated—where we can—approach to health and social care. 

Buaswn yn awyddus iawn i Lywodraeth Geidwadol y DU ateb y cwestiwn hwnnw drwy gynyddu’r cyllid i Gymru yn natganiad yr hydref ar yr ail ar hugain o’r mis hwn, oherwydd, yn y pen draw, dim ond swm cyfyngedig o arian sydd ar gael i ni allu diwallu’r holl anghenion hynny. Ac rydym wedi gweld, yn y gwasanaeth iechyd, fod y galw'n cynyddu'n barhaus. Rydym yn gweld effaith chwyddiant yng ngwasanaeth y GIG, yn enwedig ar gyflogau. Rydym wedi cael llawer o drafodaethau yn y Siambr hon ynghylch pa mor bwysig yw parchu gweithwyr ein sector cyhoeddus, a sicrhau hefyd eu bod yn cael setliadau cyflog teilwng. Ond mae'n rhaid inni dalu am hynny oll nawr. Mewn gwirionedd, mae'r rhan fwyaf o'r cyllid sy'n mynd i'r GIG yn mynd ar gyflogau, felly mae hyd yn oed cynnydd o 1 y cant yn achosi pwysau enfawr, ac rydym yn amlwg wedi gweld codiadau llawer uwch na hynny. Felly, nawr yw’r adeg inni ganolbwyntio ar sut yr awn ati i dalu am hynny. Dyna un o'r rhesymau pam y gwnaethom y gwaith trawslywodraethol i ailddyrannu cyllid i'r GIG—£425 miliwn ychwanegol. Mae’r galw yn y GIG yn cynyddu’n barhaus. Ni chredaf ei bod yn deg gwneud cymhariaeth uniongyrchol ar draws y ffin â Lloegr, yn rhannol am ein bod yn mesur pethau'n wahanol yma yng Nghymru ac mae gennym ddull llawer mwy cydgysylltiedig ac integredig—lle bo modd—o weithredu iechyd a gofal cymdeithasol.

13:45

Well, thank you for that. But, clearly, the needs-based elements of the formula were enabling money—more money—to be invested in those areas, which are now lacking, and it all comes—. Governance comes down to making choices and prioritising, and clearly the Welsh Government is willing to find money to pay for certain things at the cost of others.

I have to mention the concerns around the cost of 20 mph zones and that is not a people's choice. Four hundred and sixty thousand people told you that. Irrespective of whether or not then you agree with the policy, the fact remains that this policy will have deep and long-term financial repercussions. Many councils, now—we know they're already doing it—will be planning to undo this default speed limit on many stretches of their roads, but this will run into millions of pounds of cost to do so. So, with this in mind, Minister, and recognising that Welsh Government's put the councils in these positions, who will foot the bill for reverting specific 20 mph roads back to 30 mph? Is it the local authorities? And, if so, what funding is the Welsh Government making available to councils to make these changes?

Wel, diolch am hynny. Ond yn amlwg, roedd yr elfennau o'r fformiwla a oedd yn seiliedig ar anghenion yn galluogi arian—mwy o arian—i gael ei fuddsoddi yn y meysydd hynny, sydd bellach yn ddiffygiol, a daw'r cyfan—. Mae llywodraethu yn golygu gwneud dewisiadau a blaenoriaethu, ac yn amlwg, mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn fodlon dod o hyd i arian i dalu am rai pethau ar draul eraill.

Mae'n rhaid imi sôn am y pryderon ynghylch cost parthau 20 mya ac nad yw'n ddewis y bobl. Dywedodd 460,000 o bobl hynny wrthych. Boed eich bod yn cytuno â’r polisi ai peidio, erys y ffaith y bydd gan y polisi hwn ôl-effeithiau ariannol dwys a hirdymor. Mae llawer o gynghorau, bellach—gwyddom eu bod eisoes yn gwneud hyn—yn bwriadu dadwneud y terfyn cyflymder diofyn hwn ar lawer o rannau o'u ffyrdd, ond bydd hyn yn costio miliynau o bunnoedd. Felly, gyda hyn mewn golwg, Weinidog, a chan gydnabod bod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi rhoi'r cynghorau yn y sefyllfaoedd hyn, pwy fydd yn talu'r bil ar gyfer newid ffyrdd 20 mya penodol yn ôl i 30 mya? Ai'r awdurdodau lleol? Ac os felly, pa gyllid y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei ddarparu i gynghorau i wneud y newidiadau hyn?

Well, the area where I would agree is that there will be long-term financial impacts, and we'll see those impacts in the £93 million a year that the NHS is going to save in terms of dealing with the awful aftermath of car accidents. So, we will continue to see the benefits of this policy: £93 million going back into the NHS every year as a result. And we've just heard the initial questions from the opposition spokesperson—all concerned about money going back into the NHS. Well, here's a policy that puts money back into the NHS.

Wel, y peth y buaswn yn cytuno â chi yn ei gylch yw y bydd effeithiau ariannol hirdymor, a byddwn yn gweld yr effeithiau hynny yn y £93 miliwn y flwyddyn y bydd y GIG yn ei arbed yn ymdrin â chanlyniadau ofnadwy damweiniau ceir. Felly, byddwn yn parhau i weld manteision y polisi hwn: £93 miliwn yn mynd yn ôl i'r GIG bob blwyddyn o ganlyniad. Ac rydym newydd glywed y cwestiynau cychwynnol gan lefarydd yr wrthblaid—pob un yn ymwneud ag arian yn mynd yn ôl i mewn i'r GIG. Wel, dyma bolisi sy'n rhoi arian yn ôl i'r GIG.

Llefarydd Plaid Cymru, Peredur Owen Griffiths. 

Plaid Cymru spokesperson, Peredur Owen Griffiths.  

Diolch, Llywydd. I'd like to start today with the recent update on the Government's budgetary readjustments. We were initially informed about the £900 million gap in the Welsh Government's budget back in August, and that that matter had been discussed at a Cabinet meeting at the beginning of that month. The accompanying statement also mentioned that the Cabinet would be working throughout the summer to mitigate these budgetary pressures. Given the apparent magnitude of the deficit, I would have assumed that this would have entailed regular discussions of the matter at all subsequent Cabinet meetings.

It came as something of a surprise, therefore, as confirmed by a freedom of information request submitted recently, that the issue of budgetary pressures was not discussed again until the Cabinet meeting on 11 September, and then on 18 September. Given the unprecedented nature of the financial challenge facing the Welsh Government, as well as the cross-cutting implications of mid-year budgetary adjustments to each portfolio, I would have expected some effort to organise more regular Cabinet decisions during that time. Furthermore, there were no further Cabinet discussions on the matter from 18 September until the Senedd announcement on 17 October, which gives the impression that it was not really a priority for the Cabinet agenda during the first month of the new term either.

This was in stark contrast to the urgency and panic in the public sector, where the real prospect of in-year cuts was raised with me by anxious senior staff after the announcement was made to the press. Could you therefore confirm the number of times the Cabinet met between 1 August and 17 October, and why the matter of budgetary pressures was only discussed on three separate occasions?

Diolch, Lywydd. Hoffwn ddechrau heddiw gyda’r diweddariad diweddar ar ailaddasiadau cyllidebol y Llywodraeth. Cawsom ein hysbysu i ddechrau am y bwlch o £900 miliwn yng nghyllideb Llywodraeth Cymru yn ôl ym mis Awst, a bod y mater hwnnw wedi’i drafod mewn cyfarfod Cabinet ar ddechrau’r mis hwnnw. Roedd y datganiad a oedd yn mynd gyda hynny yn nodi hefyd y byddai'r Cabinet yn gweithio drwy gydol yr haf i liniaru'r pwysau cyllidebol hwn. O ystyried maint honedig y diffyg, buaswn wedi tybio y byddai hyn wedi golygu trafodaethau rheolaidd ar y mater ym mhob un o gyfarfodydd dilynol y Cabinet.

Roedd yn dipyn o syndod, felly, fel y cadarnhawyd gan gais rhyddid gwybodaeth a gyflwynwyd yn ddiweddar, na chafodd mater pwysau cyllidebol ei drafod eto tan gyfarfod y Cabinet ar 11 Medi, ac yna ar 18 Medi. O ystyried natur ddigynsail yr her ariannol sy’n wynebu Llywodraeth Cymru, yn ogystal â goblygiadau trawsbynciol addasiadau cyllidebol canol-blwyddyn i bob portffolio, buaswn wedi disgwyl rhywfaint o ymdrech i drefnu penderfyniadau Cabinet mwy rheolaidd yn ystod y cyfnod hwnnw. Yn ogystal, ni fu unrhyw drafodaethau Cabinet pellach ar y mater rhwng 18 Medi a chyhoeddiad y Senedd ar 17 Hydref, sy’n rhoi’r argraff nad oedd yn flaenoriaeth go iawn ar agenda’r Cabinet yn ystod mis cyntaf y tymor newydd ychwaith.

Roedd hyn mewn cyferbyniad llwyr â’r brys a’r panig yn y sector cyhoeddus, lle cododd uwch staff pryderus y posibilrwydd gwirioneddol o doriadau yn ystod y flwyddyn gyda mi ar ôl i’r cyhoeddiad gael ei wneud i’r wasg. A allech gadarnhau, felly, sawl gwaith y cyfarfu’r Cabinet rhwng 1 Awst a 17 Hydref, a pham mai dim ond ar dri achlysur gwahanol y trafodwyd mater pwysau cyllidebol?

I think that you answered that question in your question, in the sense that you referred to Cabinet making decisions and Cabinet discussing with a view to making decisions. Well, that's what the purpose of Cabinet is. There are so many other meetings that go on outside of those Cabinet meetings. I have bilateral meetings regularly with my colleagues, and particularly so with those who have the biggest spending areas. So, I meet very regularly with the health Minister, for example, the Minister for Climate Change, to discuss the pressures and opportunities and so on within their particular portfolios.

I've also been quite clear with everybody that we knew, even going in to this financial year, that things were going to be difficult in terms of managing and balancing the budget because of the impact of inflation, and I had early discussions with officials. We've been monitoring it very, very carefully as we go through the financial year, and then we decided this the point at which we need to take active action collectively. But just because we're not discussing those things in a Cabinet meeting, doesn't mean that work is not going on in huge amounts outside of those meetings. And that's the point of those Cabinet meetings, to discuss and to decide, whereas the work that goes on in terms of individual portfolios going right through their budgets, looking for areas where they're able to release funding, ideally in the first instance because they're finding underspends, but otherwise just the simple act of reprioritisation, all of that work is very intense. It goes on. Individual Ministers will be meeting and having detailed discussions with their officials as well. So, I just don't want to give the impression that this piece of work was just done in a few conversations; it was a huge piece of work involving lots of people and over a long period of time. 

Credaf ichi ateb y cwestiwn hwnnw yn eich cwestiwn, yn yr ystyr ichi gyfeirio at y Cabinet yn gwneud penderfyniadau a’r Cabinet yn trafod gyda’r bwriad o wneud penderfyniadau. Wel, dyna ddiben y Cabinet. Mae cymaint o gyfarfodydd eraill yn cael eu cynnal y tu allan i'r cyfarfodydd Cabinet hynny. Rwy’n cael cyfarfodydd dwyochrog yn rheolaidd gyda fy nghyd-Aelodau, ac yn arbennig felly gyda’r rhai sydd â’r meysydd gwariant mwyaf. Felly, rwy’n cyfarfod yn rheolaidd iawn â’r Gweinidog iechyd, er enghraifft, y Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd, i drafod y pwysau a’r cyfleoedd ac ati o fewn eu portffolios penodol.

Rwyf hefyd wedi dweud yn gwbl glir wrth bawb ein bod yn gwybod, hyd yn oed wrth fynd i mewn i’r flwyddyn ariannol hon, fod pethau’n mynd i fod yn anodd o ran rheoli a mantoli’r gyllideb oherwydd effaith chwyddiant, a chefais drafodaethau cynnar â swyddogion. Rydym wedi bod yn monitro’r sefyllfa'n ofalus iawn wrth inni fynd drwy’r flwyddyn ariannol, ac yna, fe wnaethom benderfynu mai dyma'r adeg pan fo angen inni gymryd camau gweithredol ar y cyd. Ond nid yw'r ffaith nad ydym yn trafod y pethau hynny mewn cyfarfod Cabinet yn golygu nad oes llawer iawn o waith yn mynd rhagddo y tu allan i'r cyfarfodydd hynny. A dyna ddiben y cyfarfodydd Cabinet hynny, trafod a phenderfynu, tra bo'r gwaith sy'n mynd rhagddo ar bortffolios unigol yn mynd drwy eu holl gyllidebau, yn chwilio am feysydd lle gallant ryddhau cyllid, yn ddelfrydol yn y lle cyntaf am eu bod yn dod o hyd i danwariant, ond fel arall, y weithred syml o ailflaenoriaethu, mae'r holl waith hwnnw'n ddwys iawn. Mae'n mynd rhagddo. Bydd Gweinidogion unigol yn cyfarfod ac yn cael trafodaethau manwl gyda'u swyddogion hefyd. Felly, nid wyf am roi'r argraff i'r gwaith hwn gael ei gwblhau mewn ychydig sgyrsiau; roedd yn waith enfawr, a oedd yn cynnwys llawer o bobl a thros gyfnod hir o amser.

13:50

Diolch am yr ateb yna ac am roi syniad i ni o beth sy'n digwydd. 

Thank you for that response and for giving us an idea of what is happening. 

I'd like to explore a little bit more the timing of the announcement, which was just before the Eisteddfod this year. That was less than two months after the publication of the first supplementary budget for 2023-24. I'm struggling to understand what changed between the first supplementary budget and that announcement at the beginning of August. It's worrying that the Government waited until then, and maybe were blind-sided by the significance of the budget black hole. That miscalculation raises some question marks about the latest information that was provided about the budget. With that in mind, can you categorically state that the extra money announced for Transport for Wales and the NHS, which amounts to not an insignificant £550 million, will not be baked into next year's bottom line as a result of miscalculations? And, if it's going to be a regular thing, will it cause further budgetary issues and accounting problems for the Government?

And, looking at the net position from the documentation, it says that you've found an extra £409 million. So, if there was a £900 million gap and you're able to find an extra £409 million to pump into the NHS and into Transport for Wales, does that mean that there's now a gap of £1.3 billion?

Hoffwn archwilio mewn mwy o fanylder amseriad y cyhoeddiad, a wnaed ychydig cyn yr Eisteddfod eleni. Roedd hynny lai na deufis ar ôl cyhoeddi’r gyllideb atodol gyntaf ar gyfer 2023-24. Rwy’n ei chael hi'n anodd deall beth a newidiodd rhwng y gyllideb atodol gyntaf a’r cyhoeddiad hwnnw ar ddechrau mis Awst. Mae'n destun pryder fod y Llywodraeth wedi aros tan hynny, ac efallai nad oeddent wedi disgwyl twll du mor fawr yn y gyllideb. Mae'r camgyfrifiad hwnnw'n codi rhai cwestiynau am yr wybodaeth ddiweddaraf a ddarparwyd am y gyllideb. Gyda hynny mewn golwg, a allwch ddatgan yn ddiamod na fydd yr arian ychwanegol a gyhoeddwyd ar gyfer Trafnidiaeth Cymru a’r GIG, cyfanswm o £550 miliwn, sy'n ffigur sylweddol, yn cael ei gynnwys yng nghyllideb sylfaenol y flwyddyn nesaf o ganlyniad i gamgyfrifiadau? Ac os yw’n mynd i fod yn rhywbeth rheolaidd, a fydd yn achosi rhagor o broblemau cyllidebol a phroblemau cyfrifyddu i’r Llywodraeth?

Ac o edrych ar y sefyllfa net yn y ddogfennaeth, mae'n dweud eich bod wedi dod o hyd i £409 miliwn ychwanegol. Felly, os oedd bwlch o £900 miliwn a'ch bod wedi gallu dod o hyd i £409 miliwn ychwanegol i'w roi i'r GIG ac i Trafnidiaeth Cymru, a yw hynny'n golygu bod bwlch o £1.3 biliwn bellach?

Thank you for the questions. Just to confirm that—I think you used the word 'blind-sided', but we absolutely weren't; we saw this coming in terms of there being severe pressures on the budget before we even entered this financial year. So, I think that it's important to recognise that. And then also to recognise how early within the financial year we started to take action, because we recognised that the size of the challenge wasn't something that we could just manage through our normal in-year budget management processes. We knew that we had to take some positive action to address it. And that's the work, then, that we were looking to do over the summer and which we've updated the Chamber on.

It is important to recognise as well that that is a snapshot. So, that's a snapshot of where we were within the financial year, but we knew that the changes were so significant, it was only the right thing to do to bring that to the Senedd, and I also look forward to coming to the committee for scrutiny on that as well. But I really do think that we did act transparently and we acted early, and I know that this is a problem affecting other Governments in the UK, and they'll be dealing with it in their own ways as well. But I do think that the transparency that we've brought to this and the way in which we've acted early is actually in our favour.  

Diolch am eich cwestiynau. Dim ond i gadarnhau—credaf ichi awgrymu nad oeddem wedi disgwyl hyn, ond nid yw hynny'n wir o gwbl; roeddem wedi gweld hyn yn dod drwy'r ffaith bod pwysau difrifol ar y gyllideb cyn i ni hyd yn oed ddechrau'r flwyddyn ariannol hon. Felly, credaf ei bod yn bwysig cydnabod hynny. A chydnabod hefyd pa mor gynnar yn y flwyddyn ariannol y gwnaethom ddechrau cymryd camau gweithredu, gan ein bod yn cydnabod nad oedd maint yr her yn rhywbeth y gallem ymdrin ag ef drwy ein prosesau arferol ar gyfer rheoli'r gyllideb yn ystod y flwyddyn. Roeddem yn gwybod bod yn rhaid inni gymryd rhai camau cadarnhaol i fynd i’r afael â'r mater. A dyna'r gwaith, felly, yr oeddem yn bwriadu ei wneud dros yr haf ac yr ydym wedi rhoi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf i'r Siambr yn ei gylch.

Mae’n bwysig cydnabod hefyd mai ciplun yw hwnnw. Felly, mae'n giplun o ble roeddem arni o fewn y flwyddyn ariannol, ond roeddem yn gwybod, gan fod y newidiadau mor sylweddol, mai'r peth iawn i’w wneud oedd dod â hynny gerbron y Senedd, ac edrychaf ymlaen hefyd at ddod gerbron y pwyllgor craffu mewn perthynas â hynny hefyd. Ond rwy'n credu'n wirioneddol inni weithredu'n dryloyw ac yn gynnar, a gwn fod hon yn broblem sy'n effeithio ar Lywodraethau eraill yn y DU, ac y byddant yn ymdrin â hi yn eu ffyrdd eu hunain hefyd. Ond credaf fod y tryloywder yr ydym wedi'i gyflwyno i hyn a'r ffordd yr ydym wedi gweithredu'n gynnar o fantais i ni mewn gwirionedd.

Cyd-bwyllgorau Corfforedig
Corporate Joint Committees

3. Pa asesiad y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i wneud o gynnydd yng ngwaith cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig mewn llywodraeth leol? OQ60195

3. What assessment has the Welsh Government made of progress in the work of corporate joint committees in local government? OQ60195

I remain grateful to local authority partners for their work and progress in establishing corporate joint committees. The Welsh Government is working closely with CJCs to support their ongoing implementation, both in relation to their statutory planning duties and economic well-being power. 

Rwy’n parhau i fod yn ddiolchgar i bartneriaid yn yr awdurdodau lleol am eu gwaith a’u cynnydd yn sefydlu cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig. Mae Llywodraeth Cymru'n gweithio’n agos gyda chyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig i gefnogi eu gweithrediad parhaus, mewn perthynas â’u dyletswyddau cynllunio statudol a'u pŵer llesiant economaidd.

Thank you for that, Minister. I think it's two and a half years ago now that corporate joint committees were established, and obviously where they work together, local authorities within the CJCs, if it works as it should, they will add value to whatever area of activity is concerned in that CJC area. And I just wonder, Minister, what your assessment is of how well the south-east Wales corporate joint committee is working in terms of economic development issues, and to what extent Welsh Government works with the CJCs and that CJC in terms of taking that economic strategy and policy forward effectively. Is it really adding value across the area?

Diolch, Weinidog. Credaf fod dwy flynedd a hanner wedi bod bellach ers sefydlu'r cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig, ac yn amlwg, lle maent yn gweithio gyda’i gilydd, awdurdodau lleol o fewn y cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig, os yw pethau’n gweithio fel y dylent, byddant yn ychwanegu gwerth at ba faes gweithgarwch bynnag sy'n berthnasol i'r cyd-bwyllgor corfforedig hwnnw. A thybed, Weinidog, beth yw eich asesiad o ba mor dda y mae cyd-bwyllgor corfforedig de-ddwyrain Cymru yn gweithio mewn perthynas â materion datblygu economaidd, ac i ba raddau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn gweithio gyda'r cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig a'r cyd-bwyllgor corfforedig hwnnw ar roi'r polisi a'r strategaeth economaidd honno ar waith yn effeithiol. A yw'n ychwanegu gwerth mewn gwirionedd ar draws yr ardal?

I'm very grateful for the question. My own role in respect of CJCs is really in terms of the establishment and the governance of CJCs, but of course, I work very closely with my colleagues who have those portfolio interests. Myself, the Minister for Climate Change, the Minister for Economy and the Deputy Minister for Climate Change all met with the chairs of the CJCs earlier on this year to talk about their planning, economic and transport functions.

I know that the Minister for Economy has recently set out the progress made in order to have that stronger economic development across Wales. In doing so, he talked about support for CJCs. He said that he welcomed the south-east Wales CJC undertaking a lift-and-shift exercise to bring the Cardiff capital region growth deal governance arrangements alongside the other strategic planning for the region, and that seems like a very sensible thing to do.

I know that he was also talking in the Chamber yesterday about the Welsh Government's work on investment zones. Again, I think that that was an area where he recognised the good work of CJCs and opportunities there to manage those kinds of interdependencies between economic investment programmes and ensuring that those investment zones are delivering for those communities. So, I think that these are still very early days, but I think that we can be pleased with the progress. 

Rwy'n ddiolchgar iawn am eich cwestiwn. Mae fy rôl i mewn perthynas â chyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig yn ymwneud â sefydlu a llywodraethu cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig, ond wrth gwrs, rwy'n gweithio'n agos iawn gyda fy nghyd-Aelodau sydd â'r diddordebau portffolio hynny. Cyfarfu'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd, Gweinidog yr Economi, y Dirprwy Weinidog Newid Hinsawdd a minnau â chadeiryddion y cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig yn gynharach eleni i drafod eu swyddogaethau cynllunio, economaidd a thrafnidiaeth.

Yn ddiweddar, gwn fod Gweinidog yr Economi wedi nodi'r cynnydd a wnaed er mwyn cael datblygiad economaidd cryfach ledled Cymru. Wrth wneud hynny, soniodd am gefnogaeth i'r cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig. Dywedodd ei fod yn croesawu ymarfer codi a symud cyd-bwyllgor corfforedig de-ddwyrain Cymru i ddod â threfniadau llywodraethu bargen twf prifddinas-ranbarth Caerdydd ochr yn ochr â'r cynlluniau strategol eraill ar gyfer y rhanbarth, ac mae hynny i'w weld yn beth synhwyrol iawn i’w wneud.

Gwn iddo siarad hefyd yn y Siambr ddoe am waith Llywodraeth Cymru ar barthau buddsoddi. Unwaith eto, credaf fod hwnnw’n faes lle roedd yn cydnabod gwaith da'r cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig a chyfleoedd yno i reoli’r mathau hynny o ryngddibyniaethau rhwng rhaglenni buddsoddi economaidd a sicrhau bod y parthau buddsoddi hynny’n cyflawni ar gyfer y cymunedau hynny. Felly, credaf ei bod yn ddyddiau cynnar iawn o hyd, ond rwy'n credu y gallwn fod yn falch o’r cynnydd.

13:55

Minister, the corporate joint committees support and encourage greater collaboration between local authorities. To date, there has been little evidence of that, particularly when it comes to promoting the economic well-being of their area. Across my region, which is split across two CJCs, there has been very little progress. Minister, do we actually need this additional involvement of local government, which does little more than duplicate functions and dilute democratic accountability? 

Weinidog, mae’r cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig yn cefnogi ac yn annog mwy o gydweithio rhwng awdurdodau lleol. Hyd yn hyn, prin yw’r dystiolaeth o hynny, yn enwedig o ran hyrwyddo llesiant economaidd eu hardal. Ar draws fy rhanbarth, sydd wedi’i rannu ar draws dau gyd-bwyllgor corfforedig, ychydig iawn o gynnydd a wnaed. Weinidog, a oes arnom angen yr ymglymiad ychwanegol hwn gan lywodraeth leol, nad yw’n gwneud fawr mwy na dyblygu swyddogaethau a gwanhau atebolrwydd democrataidd?

Well, I would disagree that it duplicates functions. Instead, it puts those functions into a structure and framework where those functions are best deployed. I think that it is important to give local authorities the ability to work across those local authority boundaries for the interests of their communities. It seems to me obvious that land use and transport and economic development are three really important functions where they are, perhaps, best delivered on that more regional footprint to allow authorities to work together and develop that shared vision for the future.

I think that the comments that I mentioned in relation to the question asked by John Griffiths, when I talked about what the economy Minister has been saying lately, do show that there is real value to CJCs. These are still really, really early days—I have to emphasise that. We have been working with the UK Government, I have to say, to ensure that CJCs are treated at the same VAT status as local authorities, for example. That required the UK Government to lay some legislation, which it has done. So, I think that, again, that gives CJCs more confidence now to plan for the future.  

Wel, buaswn yn anghytuno ei fod yn dyblygu swyddogaethau. Yn hytrach, mae'n rhoi'r swyddogaethau hynny mewn strwythur a fframwaith lle mae'r swyddogaethau hynny'n cael eu defnyddio orau. Credaf ei bod yn bwysig rhoi’r gallu i awdurdodau lleol weithio ar draws ffiniau’r awdurdodau lleol hynny er budd eu cymunedau. Mae'n ymddangos yn amlwg i mi fod defnydd tir a thrafnidiaeth a datblygu economaidd yn dair swyddogaeth wirioneddol bwysig lle maent, efallai, yn cael eu cyflawni orau ar yr ôl troed mwy rhanbarthol hwnnw er mwyn caniatáu i awdurdodau gydweithio a datblygu'r weledigaeth honno a rennir ar gyfer y dyfodol.

Credaf fod y sylwadau a grybwyllais mewn perthynas â’r cwestiwn a ofynnwyd gan John Griffiths, pan siaradais am yr hyn y mae Gweinidog yr Economi wedi bod yn ei ddweud yn ddiweddar, yn dangos bod gwerth gwirioneddol i gyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig. Mae’n dal i fod yn ddyddiau cynnar iawn, mewn gwirionedd—mae'n rhaid imi bwysleisio hynny. Rydym wedi bod yn gweithio gyda Llywodraeth y DU, mae’n rhaid imi ddweud, i sicrhau bod cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig yn cael eu trin ar yr un statws TAW ag awdurdodau lleol, er enghraifft. Roedd hynny’n ei gwneud yn ofynnol i Lywodraeth y DU gyflwyno rhywfaint o ddeddfwriaeth, ac mae wedi gwneud hynny. Felly, unwaith eto, credaf fod hynny’n rhoi mwy o hyder i gyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig nawr i gynllunio ar gyfer y dyfodol.

Mae cwestiwn 4 [OQ60192] wedi'i dynnu yn ôl. Cwestiwn 5, Sam Rowlands. 

Question 4 [OQ60192] has been withdrawn. Question 5, Sam Rowlands.

Datganoli Pellach i Awdurdodau Lleol a Chyrff Rhanbarthol
Further Devolution to Local Authorities and Regional Bodies

5. Pa gynlluniau sydd gan y Gweinidog ar gyfer datganoli pellach o Lywodraeth Cymru i awdurdodau lleol a chyrff rhanbarthol? OQ60185

5. What plans does the Minister have for further devolution from the Welsh Government to local authorities and regional bodies? OQ60185

The Welsh Government believes in the principle of subsidiarity, that Government responsibilities should be allocated to the most local level at which they can be performed effectively and efficiently. The relevant portfolio Ministers will always, therefore, consider any proposals from local government for the devolution of powers to CJCs or to local authorities.

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn credu yn egwyddor sybsidiaredd, y dylid dyrannu cyfrifoldebau’r Llywodraeth i’r lefel fwyaf lleol y gellir eu cyflawni’n effeithiol ac yn effeithlon. Bydd y Gweinidogion portffolio perthnasol bob amser, felly, yn ystyried unrhyw gynigion gan lywodraeth leol ar gyfer datganoli pwerau i gyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig neu i awdurdodau lleol.

Thank you, Minister, for your response. I would certainly agree with you that power lies best where it is closest to the people making those decisions. Interestingly, yesterday, I was at an event talking about community assets and the potential, perhaps, for town and community councils to be more involved in acquiring some of those community assets. I know that that is something that you would be likely to support as well.

I just wanted to pick up a point that you made in a response to John Griffiths earlier about the corporate joint committees, and the announcement yesterday from the Minister for Economy on the two investment zones supported by the Welsh Government. As you said, the current trend thought seems to be that the corporate joint committees, the CJCs, would be the most likely forum for that governance to take place.

It may not always make sense for those investment zones to be governed within the corporate joint committees. In particular, at the moment, at CJCs, the voting rights there sit with the local authority leaders. The involvement of business is fairly limited. So, I wonder whether you would be open to looking at alternative focused governance arrangements for investment zones, perhaps in line with the free-port structures that are in place at the moment in Wales also, to make sure that there is real focus from a business side as well for those investment zones, so that we see the best possible outcomes. Is that something you'd be open to discussing?

Diolch am eich ymateb, Weinidog. Rwy'n sicr yn cytuno â chi mai gorau po agosaf yw pŵer at y bobl sy’n gwneud y penderfyniadau hynny. Yn ddiddorol, ddoe, roeddwn mewn digwyddiad yn sôn am asedau cymunedol a’r potensial, efallai, i gynghorau tref a chymuned gymryd mwy o ran yn y broses o gaffael rhai o’r asedau cymunedol hynny. Gwn fod hynny’n rhywbeth y byddech chi'n debygol o’i gefnogi hefyd.

Hoffwn sôn am bwynt a wnaethoch mewn ymateb i John Griffiths yn gynharach am y cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig, a’r cyhoeddiad ddoe gan Weinidog yr Economi ar y ddau barth buddsoddi a gefnogir gan Lywodraeth Cymru. Fel y dywedoch chi, ymddengys mai’r farn bresennol yw mai’r cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig fyddai’r fforwm mwyaf tebygol i’r llywodraethu hwnnw allu digwydd ynddo.

Efallai nad yw bob amser yn gwneud synnwyr i’r parthau buddsoddi hynny gael eu llywodraethu o fewn y cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig. Yn fwyaf arbennig, ar hyn o bryd, mewn cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig, arweinwyr yr awdurdodau lleol sy’n gyfrifol am yr hawliau pleidleisio yno. Mae cyfranogiad busnes yn weddol gyfyngedig. Felly, tybed a fyddech yn agored i edrych ar drefniadau llywodraethu â ffocws amgen ar gyfer parthau buddsoddi, efallai yn unol â'r strwythurau porthladdoedd rhydd sydd ar waith ar hyn o bryd yng Nghymru hefyd, i sicrhau y ceir ffocws gwirioneddol o'r ochr fusnes hefyd ar gyfer y parthau buddsoddi hynny, fel ein bod yn gweld y canlyniadau gorau posibl. A yw hynny'n rhywbeth y byddech yn agored i'w drafod?

14:00

I think that that's really a question to my colleague the Minister for Economy, who will be making those choices, but I'm more than happy to make that case on your behalf in the discussions that I will have with him.

I just also should mention the work that the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is doing with the Welsh Government, and also with the regions and delivery partners, to help enhance the governance of regional development and public investment in Wales. That includes through the CJCs. That work will be supported by action plans, then, to help CJCs and local authorities achieve their aims, so I think that anything that we can do to support and bolster the governance in those bodies is going to be really important, and I think the work with the OECD is going to be really instructive in terms of how we get the best governance for bodies, going forward.

Credaf fod hwnnw'n gwestiwn i fy nghyd-Aelod, Gweinidog yr Economi, a fydd yn gwneud y dewisiadau hynny, ond rwy'n fwy na pharod i gyflwyno'r achos hwnnw ar eich rhan yn y trafodaethau y byddaf yn eu cael gydag ef.

Dylwn sôn hefyd am y gwaith y mae'r Sefydliad ar gyfer Cydweithrediad a Datblygiad Economaidd yn ei wneud gyda Llywodraeth Cymru, a hefyd gyda'r rhanbarthau a'r partneriaid cyflawni, i helpu i wella'r gwaith o lywodraethu datblygiad rhanbarthol a buddsoddiad cyhoeddus yng Nghymru. Mae hyn yn cynnwys drwy'r cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig. Bydd y gwaith hwnnw'n cael ei gefnogi gan gynlluniau gweithredu i helpu cyd-bwyllgorau corfforedig ac awdurdodau lleol i gyflawni eu nodau, felly credaf y bydd unrhyw beth y gallwn ei wneud i gefnogi a chryfhau'r llywodraethu yn y cyrff hynny yn bwysig iawn, ac rwy'n credu y bydd y gwaith gyda'r Sefydliad ar gyfer Cydweithrediad a Datblygiad Economaidd yn addysgiadol iawn o ran sut i sicrhau'r llywodraethu gorau i gyrff wrth symud ymlaen.

Cymorth Ariannol i Lywodraeth Leol
Financial Support for Local Government

6. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'u cael gyda chydweithwyr yn y Cabinet ynghylch cymorth ariannol i lywodraeth leol? OQ60180

6. What discussions has the Minister had with Cabinet colleagues regarding financial support for local government? OQ60180

I discuss support for local government with Cabinet colleagues regularly, most recently as part of the in-year budget reprioritisation exercise and as part of the work on the Welsh budget for 2024-25.

Rwy'n trafod cefnogaeth i lywodraeth leol gyda chyd-Aelodau yn y Cabinet yn rheolaidd, yn fwyaf diweddar fel rhan o'r gwaith o ailflaenoriaethu'r gyllideb yn ystod y flwyddyn ac fel rhan o'r gwaith ar gyllideb Cymru ar gyfer 2024-25.

That's good to hear. My question is to ask the Minister to continue that dialogue, because there is no doubt that none of us in this Chamber can ignore the fact that the last 10, 12, 13 years have hollowed out aspects of local government. And this isn't just the potholes and the pathways or the town centre investments; it is crucial services such as children's services, social services, the ability to invest in youth services and in communities that face real disadvantage. So, could I seek her assurance that as we face another budget round and some very difficult decisions, the Welsh Government will, in concert with local government partners across the whole of Wales, in every part of Wales, try and make sure that we get the investment, even in difficult times, going to those services? They're often the services that many people do not see, but they are the services that hold our communities together, so anything the Minister can do in concert with Cabinet colleagues to keep that investment going would be very welcome indeed, and life-saving to my communities.

Mae'n dda clywed hynny. Hoffwn ofyn i'r Gweinidog barhau â'r sgwrs honno, oherwydd nid oes amheuaeth na all yr un ohonom yn y Siambr hon anwybyddu'r ffaith bod y 10, 12, 13 mlynedd diwethaf wedi dihysbyddu agweddau ar lywodraeth leol. Ac mae'n ymwneud â mwy na thyllau yn y ffyrdd a'r llwybrau neu'r buddsoddiadau canol y dref; mae'n ymwneud â gwasanaethau hanfodol fel gwasanaethau plant, gwasanaethau cymdeithasol, y gallu i fuddsoddi mewn gwasanaethau ieuenctid ac mewn cymunedau sydd dan anfantais go iawn. Felly, a gaf fi ofyn am sicrwydd ganddi, wrth inni wynebu cylch cyllideb arall a phenderfyniadau anodd iawn, y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru, ar y cyd â phartneriaid llywodraeth leol ledled Cymru gyfan, ym mhob rhan o Gymru, yn ceisio sicrhau bod buddsoddiad yn mynd i'r gwasanaethau hynny hyd yn oed mewn cyfnod anodd? Yn aml, dyna'r gwasanaethau nad oes llawer o bobl yn eu gweld, ond dyna'r gwasanaethau sy'n dal ein cymunedau at ei gilydd, felly byddai unrhyw beth y gall y Gweinidog ei wneud, ar y cyd â chyd-Aelodau yn y Cabinet, i barhau'r buddsoddiad hwnnw yn cael ei groesawu'n fawr ac yn achubiaeth i bobl yn fy nghymunedau.

I'm very, very grateful for the question. Obviously, protecting public services is always right at the heart of everything that we seek to do, and particularly so through our budget choices. I think, though, that there are other ways in which we can help local authorities as well, and one of those is through reducing the administrative burden on local authorities. When we did a piece of work asking treasurers and others what they felt the main burdens were, it was of course all around grants, and perhaps requiring, potentially, too much information in terms of monitoring grants—perhaps excessively so, they felt, in terms of some grants. And then they saw opportunities for amalgamating other grants. You might get a number of grants dealing with the same issue—tackling poverty, say, for example—so they would ask us then, 'Are there ways in which you can amalgamate some of those grants?' So, that's a piece of work that we've been doing recently. The intention is, at the draft budget, just to provide details of those grants as we normally would, because I want to be transparent with local government, but then at the final budget, hopefully through the partnership council's finance sub-group, to come to an arrangement where we can put some of those individual grants into the revenue support grant, or, in other cases, perhaps amalgamate some grants into a larger grant. So, even though that doesn't involve more money for local authorities, it certainly will allow them to be looking at ways of being more efficient with the money that they do have.

Rwy'n ddiolchgar iawn am y cwestiwn. Yn amlwg, mae diogelu gwasanaethau cyhoeddus bob amser wrth wraidd popeth y ceisiwn ei wneud, ac yn arbennig felly drwy ein dewisiadau cyllidebol. Fodd bynnag, credaf fod ffyrdd eraill y gallwn helpu awdurdodau lleol hefyd, ac un o'r rheini yw drwy leihau'r baich gweinyddol ar awdurdodau lleol. Pan wnaethom waith yn gofyn i drysoryddion ac eraill beth y teimlent oedd y prif feichiau, roedd yr holl ymatebion yn ymwneud â grantiau, wrth gwrs, ac efallai'r ffaith bod angen gormod o wybodaeth o bosibl wrth fonitro grantiau—yn ormodol felly, roeddent yn teimlo, o ran rhai grantiau. Ac yna fe welsant gyfleoedd i gyfuno grantiau eraill. Efallai fod nifer o grantiau yn ymdrin â'r un mater—mynd i'r afael â thlodi, dyweder, er enghraifft—felly byddent yn gofyn i ni wedyn, 'A oes yna ffyrdd y gallwch uno rhai o'r grantiau hynny?' Felly, mae hwn yn waith rydym wedi bod yn ei wneud yn ddiweddar. Y bwriad, yn y gyllideb ddrafft, yw darparu manylion am y grantiau hynny fel y byddem yn ei wneud fel arfer, oherwydd rwyf eisiau bod yn dryloyw gyda llywodraeth leol, ond yna yn y gyllideb derfynol, drwy is-grŵp cyllid y cyngor partneriaeth gobeithio, y bwriad yw ceisio dod i drefniant lle gallwn roi rhai o'r grantiau unigol hynny yn y grant cynnal refeniw, neu, mewn achosion eraill, uno rhai grantiau i greu grant mwy. Felly, er nad yw hynny'n golygu mwy o arian i awdurdodau lleol, bydd yn sicr yn caniatáu iddynt ystyried ffyrdd o fod yn fwy effeithlon gyda'r arian sydd ganddynt.

Bridgend County Borough Council—Labour run—continues to increase council tax, year after year after year. In doing so, they blame a lack of financial support from the Welsh Government as the rationale for doing that. But I wanted to focus specifically on our town and community councils, because they're often the hidden bit, if you like, of the council tax bill that comes in every year. I wanted to highlight the independent-run Bridgend Town Council, which charges £106.20 a year, the highest, or one of the highest, in Wales. Meanwhile, neighbouring Brackla Community Council charges just £42. And I'll declare an interest in that last statement, Llywydd, because I led Brackla Community Council. We froze council tax year after year after year. I wonder, from your assessment, Minister, and working with local government, do you think it's fair that councils, and particularly town and community councils, continue to make up shortfalls in their budgets by putting it on the back of council tax payers?

Mae Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr—dan arweiniad y Blaid Lafur—yn parhau i gynyddu'r dreth gyngor, flwyddyn ar ôl blwyddyn. Maent yn dweud mai diffyg cefnogaeth ariannol gan Lywodraeth Cymru yw eu rheswm dros wneud hynny. Ond roeddwn eisiau canolbwyntio'n benodol ar ein cynghorau tref a chymuned, oherwydd yn aml, nhw yw'r rhan gudd, os mynnwch, o fil y dreth gyngor a gyflwynir bob blwyddyn. Roeddwn eisiau tynnu sylw at Gyngor Tref Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr sy'n cael ei arwain yn annibynnol ac sy'n codi £106.20 y flwyddyn, yr uchaf, neu un o'r rhai uchaf, yng Nghymru. Yn y cyfamser, nid yw cyngor cymuned cyfagos Bracla ond yn codi £42. Ac rwyf am ddatgan diddordeb mewn perthynas â'r datganiad diwethaf hwnnw, Lywydd, oherwydd roeddwn yn arfer arwain Cyngor Cymuned Bracla. Roeddem yn rhewi'r dreth gyngor flwyddyn ar ôl blwyddyn. O'ch asesiad chi, Weinidog, ac o weithio gyda llywodraeth leol, a ydych chi'n credu ei bod hi'n deg fod cynghorau, ac yn enwedig cynghorau tref a chymuned, yn parhau i dalu am ddiffygion yn eu cyllidebau drwy eu trosglwyddo i dalwyr y dreth gyngor?

That's a very bizarre way of looking at how we fund local government here in Wales. We fund local government here in Wales through the RSG and through specific grants, and then local authorities also raise council tax. That's just part of the way in which local authorities are accountable to their local communities. It is through council tax, and it does give people that tie to their local services, and we'll talk about that more next week when we talk about making council tax fairer. I will say that the amount of council tax that local authorities and town and community councils decide to charge really is a matter for them. The Welsh Government will only step in if we believe increases to be palpably excessive. I do think that the setting of council tax locally is an important part of local democracy, and it would only be in more extreme circumstances where we would look to exercise powers.

Mae honno'n ffordd ryfedd iawn o edrych ar sut rydym yn ariannu llywodraeth leol yma yng Nghymru. Rydym yn ariannu llywodraeth leol yma yng Nghymru drwy'r grant cynnal refeniw a thrwy grantiau penodol, ac yna mae awdurdodau lleol hefyd yn codi treth gyngor. Mae'n rhan o'r ffordd y mae awdurdodau lleol yn atebol i'w cymunedau lleol. Mae hynny'n digwydd drwy'r dreth gyngor, ac mae'n cysylltu pobl â'u gwasanaethau lleol, a byddwn yn siarad mwy am hynny yr wythnos nesaf pan fyddwn yn sôn am wneud y dreth gyngor yn decach. Rwyf am ddweud mai mater i'r awdurdodau lleol a chynghorau tref a chymuned yw penderfynu faint o dreth gyngor i'w chodi. Ni fydd Llywodraeth Cymru ond yn camu i mewn os credwn fod y cynnydd yn amlwg yn ormodol. Rwy'n credu bod gosod y dreth gyngor yn lleol yn rhan bwysig o ddemocratiaeth leol, ac ni fyddem ond yn ystyried arfer pwerau mewn amgylchiadau mwy eithafol.

14:05
Llifogydd
Flooding

7. Pa ddyraniadau ychwanegol y bydd y Gweinidog yn eu gwneud i'r portffolio newid hinsawdd i gynorthwyo awdurdodau lleol i gefnogi cymunedau sydd mewn perygl o ddioddef llifogydd? OQ60188

7. What additional allocations will the Minister make to the climate change portfolio to aid local authorities in supporting communities affected by the risk of flooding? OQ60188

The Welsh Government is already investing £75 million as part of our flood programme for 2023-24, with £5.25 million revenue funding available to local authorities. We've also made £12 million capital funding available to support the development and delivery of construction works, for which local authorities can submit applications.

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru eisoes yn buddsoddi £75 miliwn fel rhan o'n rhaglen llifogydd ar gyfer 2023-24, gyda £5.25 miliwn o gyllid refeniw ar gael i awdurdodau lleol. Rydym hefyd wedi sicrhau bod £12 miliwn o gyllid cyfalaf ar gael i gefnogi'r gwaith o ddatblygu a chyflawni gwaith adeiladu, y gall awdurdodau lleol gyflwyno ceisiadau ar ei gyfer.

Can I thank the Minister for that answer? The Minister will know that communities in Alyn and Deeside were flooded during storm Babet a few weeks ago. This is the second time some home owners were impacted in the last three years. I understand from what you've just said, Minister, that Welsh Government support is available and allocated through funding bids from local authorities as the risk management authority. This means that local councillors do have a key role in advocating for funding bids. Will you use your office to work with Flintshire County Council to ensure the maximum support is sought and granted?

A gaf fi ddiolch i'r Gweinidog am yr ateb hwnnw? Bydd y Gweinidog yn gwybod bod cymunedau yn Alun a Glannau Dyfrdwy wedi dioddef llifogydd yn ystod storm Babet ychydig wythnosau yn ôl. Dyma'r ail dro i rai perchnogion tai gael eu heffeithio yn ystod y tair blynedd diwethaf. Rwy'n deall o'r hyn rydych newydd ei ddweud, Weinidog, fod cymorth Llywodraeth Cymru ar gael ac yn cael ei ddyrannu drwy geisiadau cyllido gan awdurdodau lleol fel yr awdurdod rheoli risg. Mae hyn yn golygu bod gan gynghorwyr lleol rôl allweddol yn dadlau dros geisiadau am gyllid. A wnewch chi ddefnyddio'ch swyddfa i weithio gyda Chyngor Sir y Fflint i sicrhau bod y cymorth mwyaf posibl yn cael ei geisio a'i ddarparu?

I would always encourage local authorities to apply for any of our flood schemes where they think it would be of benefit to their communities. And then, of course, we have the emergency financial assistance scheme, which is available for local authorities should they experience an emergency above that which they would normally be expected to respond to. So, again, I'd just remind colleagues of that.

And then, for individual households, of course, we still have our discretionary assistance fund. So, it might be that people are eligible for an emergency assistance payment to help meet some essential costs if they have been affected by an incident such as a flood and they are experiencing severe financial hardship.

Buaswn bob amser yn annog awdurdodau lleol i wneud cais am unrhyw un o'n cynlluniau llifogydd os ydynt yn credu y byddai o fudd i'w cymunedau. Ac yna, wrth gwrs, mae gennym y cynllun cymorth ariannol brys, sydd ar gael i awdurdodau lleol pe baent yn profi argyfwng sydd y tu hwnt i'r hyn y byddai disgwyl iddynt ymateb iddo fel arfer. Felly, unwaith eto, hoffwn atgoffa cyd-Aelodau o hynny.

Ac yna, ar gyfer aelwydydd unigol, wrth gwrs, mae gennym ein cronfa cymorth dewisol o hyd. Felly, efallai fod pobl yn gymwys i gael taliad cymorth mewn argyfwng i helpu i dalu costau hanfodol os ydynt wedi cael eu heffeithio gan ddigwyddiad fel llifogydd  ac os ydynt yn profi caledi ariannol difrifol.

Although the UK Government has announced support to help communities in England recover from storm Babet of up to £500 for flooded households for immediate costs and up to £5,000 to make their homes more resilient, with funding from existing budgets, for which the Welsh Government also received consequential funding at the time, the Welsh Government hasn't announced any additional funding for Wales. And as you know, Minister, there's a difference between departmental budgets and new Treasury money.

Responding at the Broughton flooding public meeting, at which Jack Sargeant was also present, 11 days ago, a Flintshire council official stated they'd be submitting bids to the Welsh Government for both a Mold flood alleviation scheme following a 2017 study and subsequent modular work on this within the council, and for works identified by the section 19 flood investigation they're now launching with other agencies after properties in Broughton and Bretton were again flooded. Again, both Jack and I pledged to raise this with you. So, what prospect, given the resources you have available, do such bids, if properly drafted, worked up and evidenced, have of being successful?

Er bod Llywodraeth y DU wedi cyhoeddi cymorth i helpu cymunedau yn Lloegr i adfer yn dilyn storm Babet, sy'n cynnwys hyd at £500 ar gyfer aelwydydd sydd wedi dioddef llifogydd ar gyfer costau uniongyrchol a hyd at £5,000 i wneud eu cartrefi'n fwy gwydn, gyda chyllid o'r cyllidebau presennol, y derbyniodd Llywodraeth Cymru gyllid canlyniadol ohono ar y pryd hefyd, nid yw Llywodraeth Cymru wedi cyhoeddi unrhyw gyllid ychwanegol i Gymru. Ac fel y gwyddoch, Weinidog, mae gwahaniaeth rhwng cyllidebau adrannol ac arian newydd o'r Trysorlys.

Wrth ymateb yng nghyfarfod cyhoeddus llifogydd Brychdyn, lle roedd Jack Sargeant hefyd yn bresennol, 11 diwrnod yn ôl, dywedodd swyddog o Gyngor Sir y Fflint y byddent yn cyflwyno ceisiadau i Lywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer cynllun lliniaru llifogydd yn yr Wyddgrug yn dilyn astudiaeth yn 2017 a gwaith modiwlaidd dilynol ar hyn o fewn y cyngor, ac ar gyfer gwaith a nodwyd gan ymchwiliad llifogydd adran 19 y maent bellach yn ei lansio gydag asiantaethau eraill ar ôl i eiddo ym Mrychdyn a Bretton ddioddef llifogydd eto. Unwaith eto, addawodd Jack a minnau godi hyn gyda chi. Felly, o ystyried yr adnoddau sydd gennych ar gael, pa obaith sydd gan geisiadau o'r fath o lwyddo, os cânt eu drafftio a'u paratoi'n briodol, a bod tystiolaeth briodol i gyd-fynd â nhw?

I think that would be more a question for the Minister for Climate Change, in whose portfolio the funding for flooding sits. But I can say that we are providing £34 million in capital funding to our risk management authorities this financial year as part of our commitment to ongoing sustained investment in flood and coastal risk management. And as part of our multi-year settlement in 2021, we agreed a three-year capital budget, totalling £102 million, and that allows us to better plan our investment across those three financial years to support at-risk communities. But I probably shouldn't comment on the merits of individual schemes because I know that they'll go through the proper application process.

Credaf fod hwnnw'n gwestiwn mwy priodol i'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd, sydd â'r cyllid ar gyfer llifogydd yn ei phortffolio. Ond gallaf ddweud ein bod yn darparu £34 miliwn o gyllid cyfalaf i'n hawdurdodau rheoli risg yn ystod y flwyddyn ariannol hon fel rhan o'n hymrwymiad i gynnal buddsoddiad parhaus mewn rheoli perygl llifogydd ac arfordiroedd. Ac fel rhan o'n setliad aml-flwyddyn yn 2021, fe wnaethom gytuno ar gyllideb gyfalaf tair blynedd, cyfanswm o £102 miliwn, ac mae hynny'n ein galluogi i gynllunio ein buddsoddiad yn well ar draws y tair blynedd ariannol hynny i gefnogi cymunedau sydd mewn perygl. Ond mae'n debyg na ddylwn wneud sylw ar rinweddau cynlluniau unigol oherwydd rwy'n gwybod y byddant yn mynd drwy'r broses ymgeisio briodol.

Gwasanaeth Fflecsi Bwcabus
The Fflecsi Bwcabus Service

8. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'u cael gyda'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd ynghylch sicrhau bod cyllid ychwanegol ar gael i gadw rhaglenni fel gwasanaeth Fflecsi Bwcabus? OQ60199

8. What discussions has the Minister had with the Minister for Climate Change regarding making additional funding available to retain programmes like the Fflecsi Bwcabus service? OQ60199

The Fflecsi Bwcabus service was introduced as a European funded initiative. Unfortunately, as the UK Government has not maintained its commitment to replace this funding, and budgets continue to squeeze, we will be unable to support many initiatives previously supported through EU funding.

Cyflwynwyd gwasanaeth Fflecsi Bwcabus fel menter a ariannwyd gan Ewrop. Yn anffodus, gan nad yw Llywodraeth y DU wedi cynnal ei hymrwymiad i sicrhau arian yn lle'r cyllid hwn, a chan fod cyllidebau'n parhau i fod dan bwysau, ni fyddwn yn gallu cefnogi nifer o fentrau a gâi eu cefnogi'n flaenorol drwy gyllid yr UE.

14:10

Fel y byddwch yn ymwybodol, Weinidog, mae sefyllfa Fflecsi Bwcabus wedi codi yn y Siambr yma gan sawl Aelod—gan Cefin Campbell yn fwyaf diweddar—a'r ymateb dŷn ni wedi'i gael gan y Dirprwy Weinidog hyd yma yw ei fod e'n cydnabod pa mor bwysig yw'r gwasanaeth, ei fod e am ei gadw fe, ond nad oes gyda fe'r arian i wneud ar hyn o bryd. Dywedodd e efallai mai un opsiwn byddai i awdurdodau lleol i ddod o hyd i'r cyllid. Yn gwisgo'ch het arall, Weinidog, wrth gwrs, mi fyddwch chi'n gwybod pa mor heriol yw'r sefyllfa gyllidol gyda llywodraeth leol ar hyn o bryd. Hynny yw, dim ond yr wythnos yma roedd Cyngor Sir Gaerfyrddin yn dweud bod gyda nhw £120 miliwn yn llai mewn termau real o gymharu gyda 10 mlynedd yn ôl. Oni ddylid, efallai, cydnabod mai cyfrifoldeb cenedlaethol yw hyn oherwydd pwysigrwydd trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus ac ymlyniad y Llywodraeth i fuddsoddi mewn trafnidiaeth mewn ardaloedd gwledig? Pe bai yna gynnig yn dod yn sgil y trafodaethau sy'n mynd ymlaen rhwng y Dirprwy Weinidog, y Gymdeithas Cludiant Cymunedol a'r awdurdodau lleol, a fyddai'r Gweinidog yn fodlon ailedrych ar y sefyllfa i weld os gallwn ni ffeindio datrysiad?

As you will be aware, Minister, the Fflecsi Bwcabus situation has been raised in this Siambr by several Members—by Cefin Campbell most recently—and the response that we've received from the Deputy Minister to date is that he acknowledges how important the service is, that he wants to retain it, but that he doesn't have the funding to do so at the moment. He said perhaps one option would be for local authorities to source that funding. Wearing your other hat, Minister, you'll know how challenging the fiscal situation for local government is. Only this week, Carmarthenshire County Council said that they had £120 million less in real terms as compared to 10 years ago. Shouldn't we recognise, perhaps, that this is a national responsibility, because of the importance of public transport and the Government commitment to investment in rural transport? If there were a proposal following the discussions ongoing between the Deputy Minister, the Community Transport Association and local authorities, would the Minister be willing to look again at the situation, to see whether we can find a solution?

I'm very grateful for the question. I don't want to mislead colleagues as to thinking that there is any funding available at the centre now within the Welsh Government in order to provide funding for new—I appreciate this is a continuation of an initiative—things that we're not currently planning to fund. I say that because we've talked already about the gap that we have in our Welsh Government budget as a result of inflation, and the extraordinary work that we've had to do to try and provide additional funding for the rail services and then also for the NHS. Even with all of that work that I've described previously, there are still risks. So, we still don't know yet how much additional funding we'll get from the UK Government in respect of NHS pay. We made some assumptions in the work that we did to try and close that £900 million gap, but that remains a risk. There's also, I think, a risk around whether or not the health boards are going to be able to deliver what we've asked them to do; we've asked them to do very, very stretching things, despite the additional overall funding that's going into the NHS. And, of course, there remains a risk in respect of whether or not the UK Government is going to agree to the capital-to-revenue switch. So, I think it would be irresponsible of me to try and agree to additional funding, no matter how worthy the cause, given the overall state of finances and the opportunity, I suppose, that there is to find out more at the autumn statement. So we can look again if there's news there. But, unfortunately, it will be February before we actually get our final total of our budget for this financial year, and I think that's quite late then to start making allocations. 

Rwy'n ddiolchgar iawn am y cwestiwn. Nid wyf eisiau camarwain cyd-Aelodau i feddwl bod yna unrhyw gyllid ar gael yn ganolog o fewn Llywodraeth Cymru nawr i allu darparu cyllid ar gyfer pethau newydd—rwy'n derbyn bod hyn yn ymwneud â pharhad menter—nad ydym yn bwriadu eu hariannu ar hyn o bryd. Rwy'n dweud hynny oherwydd ein bod eisoes wedi siarad am y bwlch sydd gennym yng nghyllideb Llywodraeth Cymru o ganlyniad i chwyddiant, a'r gwaith eithriadol y bu'n rhaid i ni ei wneud i geisio darparu cyllid ychwanegol ar gyfer y gwasanaethau rheilffyrdd ac yna hefyd i'r GIG. Hyd yn oed gyda'r holl waith a ddisgrifiais yn flaenorol, mae yna risgiau o hyd. Felly, nid ydym yn gwybod eto faint o gyllid ychwanegol y byddwn yn ei gael gan Lywodraeth y DU mewn perthynas â chyflogau'r GIG. Fe wnaethom rai rhagamcanion yn y gwaith a wnaethom i geisio cau'r bwlch o £900 miliwn, ond mae'n parhau i fod yn risg. Rwy'n credu bod risg hefyd ynghlwm wrth allu byrddau iechyd i gyflawni'r hyn yr ydym wedi gofyn iddynt ei gyflawni; rydym wedi gofyn iddynt wneud pethau anodd iawn yn ariannol, er gwaethaf y cyllid cyffredinol ychwanegol sy'n mynd i'r GIG. Ac wrth gwrs, mae'r risg yn parhau o ran a fydd Llywodraeth y DU yn cytuno i'r newid cyfalaf i refeniw ai peidio. Felly, rwy'n credu y byddai'n anghyfrifol i mi geisio cytuno i gyllid ychwanegol, ni waeth pa mor deilwng yw'r achos, o ystyried y sefyllfa ariannol gyffredinol a'r cyfle, mae'n debyg, i gael gwybod mwy yn natganiad yr hydref. Felly, gallwn edrych ar y sefyllfa eto os bydd yna newyddion yn hwnnw. Ond yn anffodus, bydd hi'n fis Chwefror cyn inni gael ein cyfanswm terfynol ar gyfer cyllideb y flwyddyn ariannol hon, ac rwy'n credu bod hynny'n eithaf hwyr i ddechrau gwneud dyraniadau bryd hynny. 

I'm grateful to Adam Price for submitting this question. Expanding the theme on bus services ever so slightly, I've had a number of constituents contacting me with concerns with regard to bus services for their children to access Welsh-medium education in their preferred location and school. So, can I ask what conversations you're having with the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language in ensuring that there is enough provision for schoolchildren to be able to access bus services to get to the school that they wish to get to? Diolch, Llywydd.

Rwy'n ddiolchgar i Adam Price am gyflwyno'r cwestiwn hwn. Gan ehangu'r thema ar wasanaethau bysiau rhywfaint, rwyf wedi cael nifer o etholwyr yn cysylltu â mi gyda phryderon ynghylch gwasanaethau bysiau i'w plant gael mynediad at addysg cyfrwng Cymraeg mewn lleoliad ac ysgol o'u dewis. Felly, a gaf fi ofyn pa sgyrsiau rydych chi'n eu cael gyda Gweinidog y Gymraeg ac Addysg i sicrhau bod digon o ddarpariaeth i blant ysgol allu cael mynediad at wasanaethau bws i gyrraedd yr ysgol y maent eisiau ei chyrraedd? Diolch, Lywydd.

That would, I think, really be a matter for discussion between the education Minister and the Minister for transport; that's where the budgets sit for these particular discussions to be had. Of course, I have individual meetings with all of my colleagues, and they raise a whole range of pressures within their portfolios at those meetings, but I think that, to do the question justice, it should be probably asked to one of my colleague Ministers.

Credaf fod hwnnw'n fater i'r Gweinidog addysg a'r Gweinidog trafnidiaeth ei drafod; nhw sy'n gyfrifol am y cyllidebau mewn perthynas â'r trafodaethau penodol hyn. Wrth gwrs, rwy'n cael cyfarfodydd unigol gyda fy holl gyd-Aelodau, ac maent yn codi ystod eang o bryderon o fewn eu portffolios yn y cyfarfodydd hynny, ond rwy'n credu, er mwyn gwneud cyfiawnder â'r cwestiwn, mae'n debyg y dylid ei ofyn i un o fy nghyd-Weinidogion.

Y Sector Gofal Plant
The Childcare Sector

9. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'u cael gyda'r Gweinidog Iechyd a Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol ynghylch cymorth ariannol Llywodraeth Cymru i'r sector gofal plant? OQ60207

9. What discussions has the Minister had with the Minister for Health and Social Services regarding Welsh Government financial support for the childcare sector? OQ60207

We provided increases of £100 million to support capital and revenue programmes supporting both childcare and Flying Start for the current three-year budget period. I continue to engage regularly with the Deputy Minister for Social Services, who is responsible for childcare, as part of the ongoing budget-setting process.

Fe wnaethom ddarparu cynnydd o £100 miliwn i gefnogi rhaglenni cyfalaf a refeniw sy'n cefnogi gofal plant a Dechrau'n Deg ar gyfer y cyfnod cyllidebol presennol o dair blynedd. Rwy'n parhau i ymgysylltu'n rheolaidd â'r Dirprwy Weinidog Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol, sy'n gyfrifol am ofal plant, fel rhan o'r broses barhaus o bennu cyllideb.

Diolch yn fawr iawn am yr ymateb.

Thank you very much for the response.

Thank you very much for the response. It's great to hear that there are those discussions around the funding gap, because at just £5 an hour, Wales has the lowest funded hourly rate for childcare for three to four-year-olds across all four UK nations. With the overheads rising faster than wider inflation, the modest uplift announced last year has really already been rendered inadequate. The same survey found a shocking 88 per cent of nurseries are expected to either barely break even or make a loss this year. In our childcare report, 'Minding the future: The childcare barrier facing working parents', which we released earlier this year—which we're very happy to send you a signed copy of, of course—we aimed to do just that, by calling for the rising of the hourly rate to £7 an hour, with biannual reviews to track against inflation and staffing ratios. The funding gap, as it stands, does put a strain on these small businesses, which is what they are, which are the bedrock of our childcare system. So, therefore, could I just ask you what are you able to do further, to address that funding gap within the budgetary preparation for the forthcoming year? Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Diolch yn fawr iawn am yr ymateb. Mae'n wych clywed bod y trafodaethau hynny mewn perthynas â'r bwlch cyllido yn mynd rhagddynt, oherwydd, ar £5 yr awr yn unig, Cymru sydd â'r gyfradd isaf yr awr o gyllid ar gyfer gofal plant i blant tair i bedair oed o bedair gwlad y DU. Gyda'r gorbenion yn codi'n gyflymach na chwyddiant ehangach, mae'r codiad cymedrol a gyhoeddwyd y llynedd eisoes wedi profi'n annigonol. Yn ôl yr un arolwg, mae disgwyl i 88 y cant o feithrinfeydd naill ai fantoli'r cyfrifon neu wneud colled eleni. Yn ein hadroddiad gofal plant, 'Gwarchod y dyfodol: Y rhwystr gofal plant sy’n wynebu rhieni sy’n gweithio', a ryddhawyd gennym yn gynharach eleni—ac rydym yn hapus iawn i anfon copi wedi'i lofnodi atoch, wrth gwrs—roeddem yn anelu at wneud yn union hynny, drwy alw am godi'r gyfradd yr awr i £7 yr awr, gydag adolygiadau bob dwy flynedd i olrhain yn erbyn chwyddiant a chymarebau staffio. Mae'r bwlch cyllido, fel y mae, yn rhoi straen ar y busnesau bach hyn, a busnesau bach ydynt, sef sylfaen ein system gofal plant. Felly, a gaf fi ofyn i chi beth arall y gallwch chi ei wneud i fynd i'r afael â'r bwlch cyllido hwnnw o fewn y paratoadau cyllidebol ar gyfer y flwyddyn sydd i ddod? Diolch yn fawr iawn.

14:15

Thank you for the question. I'd be very keen to have a copy of the report to which you referred, to study it more carefully. You do mention the increase to £5, which was an increase, I think, of 11 per cent at the time, and we have committed to reviewing the rate at least every three years. I appreciate that we're still early on into this three-year period. We have taken a number of other steps, though, to try and support the sector where we can, so, for example, in trying to reduce the overhead costs, through the extension of 100 per cent business rates relief for registered childcare premises. The extension of the rates relief now is until March 2025, and that will save registered childcare providers in Wales £9.7 million in overhead costs. So, I think that that was a creative way in which we were able to support the sector. But I do look forward to reading the report.

Diolch am y cwestiwn. Rwy'n awyddus iawn i gael copi o'r adroddiad y gwnaethoch chi gyfeirio ato, i'w astudio'n fwy gofalus. Rydych yn sôn am y cynnydd i £5, a oedd yn gynnydd, rwy'n credu, o 11 y cant ar y pryd, ac rydym wedi ymrwymo i adolygu'r gyfradd bob tair blynedd fan lleiaf. Rwy'n derbyn ei bod yn dal i fod yn ddyddiau cynnar arnom yn y cyfnod hwn o dair blynedd. Fodd bynnag, rydym wedi rhoi nifer o gamau eraill ar waith i geisio cefnogi'r sector lle gallwn, felly, er enghraifft, i geisio lleihau costau gorbenion, drwy ymestyn rhyddhad ardrethi busnes 100 y cant i safleoedd gofal plant cofrestredig. Mae'r rhyddhad ardrethi bellach wedi'i ymestyn hyd at fis Mawrth 2025, a bydd hynny'n arbed £9.7 miliwn mewn costau gorbenion i ddarparwyr gofal plant cofrestredig yng Nghymru. Felly, rwy'n credu bod honno'n ffordd greadigol y gallwn gefnogi'r sector. Ond rwy'n edrych ymlaen at ddarllen yr adroddiad.

Diolch, Llywydd. I'm pleased this subject has been raised this afternoon, as I quite often speak about it, and against the Welsh Government's ambition to eliminate private childcare provision for looked-after children in Wales, in this Senedd term, in an ideological vendetta against a sector that makes up 88 per cent of childcare provision across the country. And the additional disappointment of this policy has been the lack of engagement from the Welsh Government with the sector on how it intends to deliver on its plan, resulting in anxiety amongst sector leaders and people who have made a significant personal investment into these businesses over many years and decades. So, what assessment has the Minister made on the potential financial impact of this measure in terms of the increase in public money needed to fund this policy, given the current financial pressures, and what discussions are you having with the Deputy Minister for Social Services to make sure that the finances would be available to nationalise looked-after children's care? And if it can't be afforded, will you indeed scrap this policy and let the private businesses get on with the job?

Diolch, Lywydd. Rwy'n falch fod y pwnc hwn wedi'i godi'r prynhawn yma, gan fy mod yn siarad amdano'n aml ac yn erbyn uchelgais Llywodraeth Cymru i ddileu darpariaeth gofal plant preifat ar gyfer plant sy'n derbyn gofal yng Nghymru, yn nhymor y Senedd hon, mewn fendeta ideolegol yn erbyn sector sy'n ffurfio 88 y cant o'r ddarpariaeth gofal plant ledled y wlad. A pheth arall sydd wedi peri siom yn y polisi hwn yw diffyg ymgysylltiad Llywodraeth Cymru â'r sector ar sut mae'n bwriadu cyflawni ei chynllun, gan arwain at bryder ymhlith arweinwyr y sector a phobl sydd wedi gwneud buddsoddiad personol sylweddol i'r busnesau hyn dros flynyddoedd a degawdau lawer. Felly, pa asesiad y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'i wneud o effaith ariannol bosibl y mesur hwn o ran y cynnydd sydd ei angen mewn arian cyhoeddus i ariannu'r polisi hwn, ac o ystyried y pwysau ariannol presennol, a pha drafodaethau rydych chi'n eu cael gyda'r Dirprwy Weinidog Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol i sicrhau y byddai'r cyllid ar gael i wladoli gofal plant sy'n derbyn gofal? Ac os na ellir ei fforddio, a wnewch chi ddileu'r polisi hwn a gadael i'r busnesau preifat fwrw ymlaen â'r gwaith?

Well, I know this is an area where the Member takes a very different view of the provision of care to the most vulnerable children in Wales, as compared to the Welsh Government. I think the question, again, I'm afraid, is best given to the Minister for Social Services, who is leading on this piece of work, and she will have much more in-depth knowledge than I do of the impact assessments that she has undertaken, because that's her role in the sense of being responsible for the policy. I think it's difficult for me to answer that question when I'm not responsible for it.

Wel, rwy'n gwybod bod hwn yn faes lle mae'r Aelod yn arddel safbwynt gwahanol iawn ar ddarpariaeth gofal i'r plant mwyaf agored i niwed yng Nghymru, o'i gymharu â Llywodraeth Cymru. Mae arnaf ofn fy mod yn credu unwaith eto y byddai'n fwy priodol gofyn y cwestiwn hwn i'r Gweinidog Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol, sy'n arwain ar y gwaith hwn, a bydd ganddi wybodaeth lawer mwy manwl na minnau am yr asesiadau effaith y mae hi wedi'u cyflawni, oherwydd dyna yw ei rôl yn yr ystyr mai hi sy'n gyfrifol am y polisi. Rwy'n credu ei bod hi'n anodd i mi ateb y cwestiwn hwnnw pan nad wyf yn gyfrifol amdano.

Diolch i'r Gweinidog.

I thank the Minister.

And may I congratulate her on answering all the tabled and all the supplementary questions put forward today? A 100 per cent record.

A gaf fi ei llongyfarch ar ateb yr holl gwestiynau a gyflwynwyd a'r holl gwestiynau atodol a gyflwynwyd heddiw? Llwyddiant 100 y cant.

2. Cwestiynau i’r Gweinidog Materion Gwledig a Gogledd Cymru, a’r Trefnydd
2. Questions to the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd

Eitem 2: cwestiynau i’r Gweinidog Materion Gwledig a Gogledd Cymru, a’r Trefnydd. Cwestiwn 1, Huw Irranca-Davies.

Item 2 is questions to the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd. Question 1, Huw Irranca-Davies.

Llygredd Dŵr
Water Pollution

1. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'u cael â'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd ynghylch lleihau effeithiau amaethyddiaeth ar lygredd dŵr? OQ60181

1. What discussions has the Minister had with the Minister for Climate Change about reducing the impacts of agriculture on water pollution? OQ60181

Member
Lesley Griffiths 14:18:56
Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd

I work very closely with the Minister for Climate Change in addressing water pollution affecting the environment across the whole of Wales. This includes working in partnership on relieving pressures on special areas of conservation river catchments, to protect these important habitats and support the delivery of affordable housing.

Rwy'n gweithio'n agos iawn gyda'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd i fynd i'r afael â llygredd dŵr sy'n effeithio ar yr amgylchedd ledled Cymru gyfan. Mae hyn yn cynnwys gweithio mewn partneriaeth i leddfu'r pwysau ar ddalgylchoedd afon ardaloedd cadwraeth arbennig i ddiogelu'r cynefinoedd pwysig hyn a chefnogi'r gwaith o ddarparu tai fforddiadwy.

Thank you, Minister. On 10 October 2023, you issued a written statement, Nutrient management'—Managing the application of livestock manure sustainably'. It's fair to say—. I mean, I've read through that statement, and I've had a lot of correspondence now from not only farmers who are very committed to reducing livestock, but also from environmental organisations saying that—I'm trying to state this diplomatically—they have a high level of concern that what we've done is kicked things further down the road once again. And we've even diluted the approach to tackling what is a clear issue that we need to do, alongside sewage outfalls, alongside many other sources of river pollution, but we need to tackle this.

I wonder, Minister—you do state within that statement that you will continue to welcome proposals to deliver the outcomes we seek at any time. So, can I ask you genuinely, for those out there who are concerned that in delaying and diluting some of the measures here—which is what is proposed as a result of the co-operation agreement discussions, I've no doubt, and we want to see farming on a sustainable footing for the future, of course, but we need to see our rivers having a sustainable future as well—how do those organisations now seek to influence these proposals, and how long-lasting are these proposals? Can they be strengthened? Can they, working with farmers and others, actually be strengthened so that we save the rivers that we all love? 

Diolch yn fawr, Weinidog. Ar 10 Hydref 2023, fe wnaethoch chi gyhoeddi datganiad ysgrifenedig, 'Rheoli maethynnau—Rheoli taenu tail da byw yn gynaliadwy'. Mae'n deg dweud—. Hynny yw, rwyf wedi darllen drwy'r datganiad hwnnw, ac rwyf wedi cael llawer o ohebiaeth nawr nid yn unig gan ffermwyr sydd wedi ymrwymo i leihau da byw, ond hefyd gan sefydliadau amgylcheddol yn dweud—rwy'n ceisio dweud hyn mewn ffordd ddiplomataidd—eu bod yn bryderus mai'r hyn rydym wedi'i wneud yw gohirio pethau unwaith eto. Ac rydym hyd yn oed wedi gwanhau'r dull o fynd i'r afael â mater sy'n amlwg yn un y mae'n rhaid i ni ymdrin ag ef, ochr yn ochr â gollwng carthion, ochr yn ochr â llawer o ffynonellau llygredd afonydd eraill, ond mae angen inni fynd i'r afael â hyn.

Weinidog—rydych yn datgan yn y datganiad hwnnw y byddwch yn parhau i groesawu cynigion i gyflawni'r canlyniadau a geisiwn ar unrhyw adeg. Felly, a gaf fi ofyn yn garedig i chi, i'r rhai sy'n bryderus ynglŷn ag oedi a gwanhau rhai o'r mesurau hyn—sef yr hyn a gynigir o ganlyniad i drafodaethau'r cytundeb cydweithio, nid oes gennyf amheuaeth, ac rydym eisiau gweld ffermio ar sail gynaliadwy ar gyfer y dyfodol, wrth gwrs, ond mae angen inni sicrhau dyfodol cynaliadwy i'n hafonydd hefyd—sut mae'r sefydliadau hynny'n ceisio dylanwadu ar y cynigion hyn nawr, a pha mor hirhoedlog yw'r cynigion hyn? A ellir eu cryfhau? A ellir eu cryfhau drwy weithio gyda ffermwyr ac eraill fel y gallwn achub yr afonydd y mae pawb ohonom yn eu caru? 

14:20

Thank you very much. Obviously, we have been out to consultation, and the written statement to which you refer, and the enhanced nutrient management approach announced within it, is consistent with the proposed licence conditions that we did consult on. So, anybody—any stakeholder, any partner, any environmental non-governmental organisation—could have, obviously, put a response into that consultation. What we want to do is absolutely minimise the environmental risks associated with higher levels of manure being applied to our land, and, as you say, I'm working in close partnership with Cefin Campbell as part of the co-operation agreement in relation to this. 

I think the principles that we did consult on were overwhelmingly supported by those responding to the consultation, and that did include the majority of environmental sector representatives. I took on board the feedback that we had via the consultation and enhanced the environmental controls, where appropriate. Farms applying higher levels of livestock manure will be required to notify Natural Resources Wales of the intention to do so, and submit supporting evidence to demonstrate the crop need for nutrients within the manure. I think that's a much more pragmatic approach. It does ensure that resources are dedicated to the enforcement of the regulations, rather than having to look at issuing licences.

So, in my mind, I think that will help things along the way, but you're quite right—I'm very interested if there are alternative proposals. Officials have had a few submitted and have worked through those, but we are open to any ideas, because, as you say, the outcome that we want is better water quality; that's what we all want. So, I'm very keen to continue this conversation. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn. Yn amlwg, rydym wedi bod yn ymgynghori, ac mae'r datganiad ysgrifenedig y cyfeiriwch ato, a'r dull rheoli maetholion ar lefel uwch a gyhoeddwyd ynddo, yn gyson ag argymhellion amodau'r drwydded y gwnaethom ymgynghori arnynt. Felly, yn amlwg, gallai unrhyw un—unrhyw randdeiliad, unrhyw bartner, unrhyw sefydliad anllywodraethol amgylcheddol—fod wedi ymateb i'r ymgynghoriad hwnnw. Rydym eisiau lleihau'n fawr y risgiau amgylcheddol sy'n gysylltiedig â lefelau uwch o dail yn cael ei wasgaru ar ein tir, ac fel y dywedwch, rwy'n gweithio mewn partneriaeth agos â Cefin Campbell fel rhan o'r cytundeb cydweithio mewn perthynas â hyn. 

Rwy'n credu bod yr egwyddorion y gwnaethom ymgynghori arnynt wedi cael eu cefnogi i raddau helaeth iawn gan y rhai a ymatebodd i'r ymgynghoriad, ac roedd hynny'n cynnwys mwyafrif y cynrychiolwyr o'r sector amgylcheddol. Cymerais sylw o'r adborth a gawsom drwy'r ymgynghoriad a gwella'r rheolaethau amgylcheddol, lle bo hynny'n briodol. Bydd yn ofynnol i ffermydd sy'n defnyddio lefelau uwch o dail da byw hysbysu Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru o'r bwriad i wneud hynny, a chyflwyno tystiolaeth ategol i arddangos angen cnydau am faetholion yn y tail. Rwy'n credu bod hwnnw'n ddull llawer mwy pragmatig. Mae'n sicrhau bod adnoddau'n cael eu neilltuo i orfodi'r rheoliadau, yn hytrach na gorfod edrych ar ddarparu trwyddedau.

Felly, yn fy marn i, rwy'n credu y bydd hynny'n helpu'r sefyllfa, ond rydych chi'n hollol iawn—mae gennyf ddiddordeb mawr mewn gweld a oes yna gynigion amgen. Cafodd rhai eu cyflwyno i swyddogion, ac maent wedi gweithio drwy'r rheini, ond rydym yn agored i unrhyw syniadau, oherwydd, fel y dywedwch, y canlyniad yr ydym ei eisiau yw ansawdd dŵr gwell; dyna mae pawb ohonom ei eisiau. Felly, rwy'n awyddus iawn i barhau â'r sgwrs hon. 

We're all wanting better water quality. However, though—and it's a result of this co-operation agreement—it's disappointing that a Member of the same party of our Government brings into question the actions of our farmers, who are facing a really tough time at the moment. Now, I've had some of my farmers raise concerns with me about the frequency of the closed periods for—I know it as muck spreading. So, from 1 August 2024, the spreading of slurry will be prohibited during the following periods: on sandy or shallow soil, grassland, 1 September to 31 December; tillage land, 1 August to 31 December; and other soils, grassland, 15 October to 15 January; and tillage land, 1 October to 31 January—quite a lot of that out of the calendar year. Now, we all know that as a result of climate change, arbitrary dates such as this, for what is important work for our farmers, are impractical and not based on any science. So, Minister, we can't judge the seasons now with climate change. Will you look again at the requirements of these closed periods or, better still, could you perhaps adopt a more balanced approach and work with our farmers better to allow greater flexibility in the spreading of manure? Diolch.

Rydym i gyd eisiau ansawdd dŵr gwell. Fodd bynnag—ac mae'n ganlyniad i'r cytundeb cydweithio hwn—mae'n siomedig fod Aelod o'r un blaid â'n Llywodraeth yn codi amheuon am weithredoedd ein ffermwyr, sy'n wynebu cyfnod anodd iawn ar hyn o bryd. Nawr, mae rhai o fy ffermwyr wedi lleisio pryderon wrthyf ynglŷn ag amlder y cyfnodau gwaharddedig ar gyfer—yr hyn rwy'n ei alw'n wasgaru tail. Felly, o 1 Awst 2024, gwaherddir gwasgaru slyri yn ystod y cyfnodau canlynol: ar bridd tywodlyd neu fas, glaswelltir, 1 Medi i 31 Rhagfyr; tir âr, 1 Awst i 31 Rhagfyr; a phriddoedd eraill, glaswelltir, 15 Hydref i 15 Ionawr; a thir âr, 1 Hydref i 31 Ionawr—mae cryn dipyn o hynny y tu hwnt i'r flwyddyn galendr. Nawr, rydym i gyd yn gwybod, o ganlyniad i newid hinsawdd, fod dyddiadau mympwyol fel hyn, ar gyfer yr hyn sy'n waith pwysig i'n ffermwyr, yn anymarferol ac nid ydynt yn seiliedig ar unrhyw wyddoniaeth. Felly, Weinidog, ni allwn wahaniaethu rhwng tymhorau nawr gyda newid hinsawdd. A wnewch chi edrych eto ar ofynion y cyfnodau gwaharddedig hyn neu, yn well byth, a allech chi fabwysiadu dull mwy cytbwys a gweithio gyda'n ffermwyr yn well er mwyn caniatáu mwy o hyblygrwydd ar gyfer gwasgaru tail? Diolch.

As Huw Irranca-Davies alluded to, there isn't one area that causes pollution to our waters. I think you were implying that we are picking on farmers. I will just say we are still getting just under three substantiated agricultural pollution incidents a week—a week. Three a week. That hasn't improved over a decade. So, I absolutely recognise that water pollution comes from many different sources, and that's—. I think the original question did ask me what discussions I have with the Minister for Climate Change because, obviously, it's really important that we work together. So, as you say, it is part of the co-operation agreement, and I do work very closely with the designated Member in this area. We have looked very closely at closed periods, and these are the regulations that have now been brought forward. 

Fel y crybwyllodd Huw Irranca-Davies, nid oes un maes penodol sy'n achosi llygredd i'n dyfroedd. Rwy'n credu eich bod chi'n awgrymu ein bod ni'n pigo ar ffermwyr. Rwyf am ddweud bod ychydig o dan dri achos o lygredd amaethyddol yn cael eu cadarnhau bob wythnos—bob wythnos. Tri yr wythnos. Nid yw hynny wedi gwella dros ddegawd. Felly, rwy'n cydnabod yn llwyr fod llygredd dŵr yn dod o lawer o wahanol ffynonellau, a dyna—. Rwy'n credu bod y cwestiwn gwreiddiol wedi gofyn i mi pa drafodaethau rwy'n eu cael gyda'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd oherwydd, yn amlwg, mae'n bwysig iawn ein bod yn gweithio gyda'n gilydd. Felly, fel y dywedwch, mae'n rhan o'r cytundeb cydweithio, ac rwy'n gweithio'n agos iawn gyda'r Aelod dynodedig yn y maes hwn. Rydym wedi edrych yn ofalus iawn ar gyfnodau gwaharddedig, a dyma'r rheoliadau sydd wedi'u cyflwyno nawr. 

Lles Anifeiliaid Anwes
The Welfare of Companion Animals

2. Sut mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn gwella lles anifeiliaid anwes? OQ60196

2. How is the Welsh Government improving the welfare of companion animals? OQ60196

14:25

Our priorities for animal welfare are set out in 'Our Animal Welfare Plan for Wales'. We are working to launch a 12-week public consultation before the end of the year to fulfil a programme for government commitment to develop a national model for the regulation of animal welfare.

Mae ein blaenoriaethau ar gyfer lles anifeiliaid wedi'u nodi yn 'Ein Cynllun Lles Anifeiliaid i Gymru'. Rydym yn gweithio i lansio ymgynghoriad cyhoeddus 12 wythnos cyn diwedd y flwyddyn i gyflawni ymrwymiad yn y rhaglen lywodraethu i ddatblygu model cenedlaethol ar gyfer rheoleiddio lles anifeiliaid.

Thank you, Minister, for that answer. Now, last week the UK Government provided an update regarding the banning of American XL bully dogs across England and Wales, confirming that it will be illegal to own a dog of this breed unless it has exemptions that are applied for and followed from 1 February 2024. Now, this has come following many abhorrent attacks and deaths involving this breed. Considering the brutality of these attacks, I believe the steps taken by the UK Government are appropriate and necessary to safeguard the public and other animals. The exemption list needed to be allowed to keep an XL bully is that they must be microchipped, neutered and muzzled. This will allow them to see out the rest of their lives. However, it is sadly likely that many owners may choose to abandon their dogs rather than comply with this new law. So, Minister, what additional resources are being made available to ensure that, when the new law is enacted, it is enforced here in Wales, and if we see this likely rise in abandonments, that local authorities and charities such as the RSPCA are supported by the Welsh Government accordingly. Diolch, Llywydd. 

Diolch am yr ateb hwnnw, Weinidog. Nawr, yr wythnos diwethaf darparodd Llywodraeth y DU ddiweddariad ynghylch gwahardd cŵn bully XL Americanaidd ledled Cymru a Lloegr, gan gadarnhau y bydd yn anghyfreithlon bod yn berchen ar gi o'r brîd hwn oni bai bod ganddynt eithriadau y maent wedi gwneud cais amdanynt ac y maent yn eu dilyn o 1 Chwefror 2024 ymlaen. Daw hyn yn dilyn llawer o ymosodiadau ffiaidd a marwolaethau yn gysylltiedig â'r brid hwn. O ystyried creulondeb yr ymosodiadau hyn, credaf fod y camau a gymerwyd gan Lywodraeth y DU yn briodol ac yn angenrheidiol i ddiogelu'r cyhoedd ac anifeiliaid eraill. Er mwyn cael caniatâd i gadw ci bully XL, mae'r rhestr o eithriadau yn dweud bod yn rhaid iddynt gael microsglodyn a safnffrwyn a bod yn rhaid iddynt gael eu niwtro. Bydd hyn yn eu galluogi i fyw gweddill eu bywydau. Fodd bynnag, mae'n debygol y bydd llawer o berchnogion yn dewis cefnu ar eu cŵn yn hytrach na chydymffurfio â'r gyfraith newydd hon. Felly, Weinidog, pa adnoddau ychwanegol sy'n cael eu darparu i sicrhau, pan fydd y gyfraith newydd yn dod i rym, ei bod yn cael ei gorfodi yma yng Nghymru, ac os gwelwn y cynnydd tebygol mewn perchnogion yn cefnu ar eu cŵn, fod awdurdodau lleol ac elusennau fel yr RSPCA yn cael eu cefnogi'n briodol gan Lywodraeth Cymru. Diolch, Lywydd. 

I should point out this is a wholly reserved matter, and you may have seen the announcement that was made by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs last week, that they are offering £200—I think the word they use is 'compensation'; I don't particularly like that word in relation to this—towards the cost of having a dog euthanised. There is no funding, as far as I know, that is coming forward in relation to enforcement. Whilst I do welcome this announcement—it’s something that you know very well I have been lobbying for for a long time—because we have seen, as you say, very brutal and sometimes fatal attacks in relation to XL bullies, I was concerned that the announcement came—. I met with the DEFRA Secretary of State, I think, on the Wednesday of the week that the announcement came from the Prime Minister on the Friday, back in September. It’s really important that our officials work closely together on this, because obviously, as you say, it’s going to have a massive impact on Wales. I do have a meeting in the diary—I don’t think it’s until the beginning of next month—with Richard Benyon to discuss this, because I am concerned about unintended consequences, and you’ve just related some. There are others as well. What about puppies? What about breeding bitches that are currently pregnant? I’m not sure it has been thought through in the way it should have been, and it has all been very rushed, I think it’s fair to say.

So, whilst I do welcome it, I am concerned about unintended consequences. Both the chief veterinary officer and his other officials in his office try and attend as many meetings as we’re invited to to discuss this further, but I’ll be very happy to keep colleagues updated on this very important issue.

Dylwn dynnu sylw at y ffaith bod hwn yn fater a gedwir yn ôl, ac efallai eich bod wedi gweld y cyhoeddiad a wnaed gan Adran yr Amgylchedd, Bwyd a Materion Gwledig yr wythnos diwethaf, eu bod yn cynnig £200—rwy'n credu mai'r gair y maent yn ei ddefnyddio yw 'iawndal'; nid wyf yn arbennig o hoff o'r gair hwnnw mewn perthynas â hyn—tuag at y gost o gael ci wedi'i ewthaneiddio. Nid oes unrhyw gyllid i ddod, hyd y gwn, mewn perthynas â gorfodi. Er fy mod i'n croesawu'r cyhoeddiad hwn—fel y gwyddoch, mae'n rhywbeth rwyf wedi bod yn lobïo drosto ers amser maith—oherwydd fel y dywedwch, rydym wedi gweld ymosodiadau creulon iawn ac angheuol weithiau yn gysylltiedig â chŵn bully XL, roeddwn yn poeni bod y cyhoeddiad wedi dod—. Cyfarfûm ag Ysgrifennydd Gwladol DEFRA, ar y dydd Mercher, rwy'n credu, o'r wythnos y daeth y cyhoeddiad gan y Prif Weinidog ar y dydd Gwener, yn ôl ym mis Medi. Mae'n bwysig iawn fod ein swyddogion yn cydweithio'n agos ar hyn, oherwydd yn amlwg, fel y dywedwch, bydd yn cael effaith enfawr ar Gymru. Mae gennyf gyfarfod wedi'i nodi yn y dyddiadur—ddechrau'r mis nesaf rwy'n credu—gyda Richard Benyon i drafod hyn, oherwydd rwy'n poeni am ganlyniadau anfwriadol, ac rydych newydd grybwyll rhai. Mae yna rai eraill hefyd. Beth am gŵn bach? Beth am y geist bridio sy'n cario rhai bach ar hyn o bryd? Nid wyf yn siŵr ei fod wedi cael ei ystyried yn y ffordd y dylai fod wedi cael ei ystyried, ac rwy'n credu ei bod yn deg dweud bod y cyfan wedi digwydd yn frysiog iawn.

Felly, er fy mod yn ei groesawu, rwy'n poeni am ganlyniadau anfwriadol. Mae'r prif swyddog milfeddygol a'r swyddogion eraill yn ei swyddfa yn ceisio mynychu cymaint o gyfarfodydd ag y cawn ein gwahodd iddynt i drafod hyn ymhellach, ond byddaf yn hapus iawn i roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf i gyd-Aelodau ar y mater pwysig hwn.

Cwestiynau Heb Rybudd gan Lefarwyr y Pleidiau
Questions Without Notice from Party Spokespeople

Cwestiynau gan lefaryddion y pleidiau nawr. Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr, Samuel Kurtz.

Questions from the party spokespeople now. Conservative spokesperson, Samuel Kurtz. 

Diolch yn fawr, Llywydd. Roeddwn i'n meddwl y byddai rhywun yn dod i mewn â supplement ar y cwestiwn ynglŷn â chŵn. 

Thank you very much, Llywydd. I thought someone would come in with a supplementary on the question on dogs.

Minister, my analysis of the Habitat Wales scheme, the replacement to Glastir, hasn’t changed since I questioned the First Minister on it a couple of weeks ago. It has been a shambles. That certainly was my takeaway, too, from the NFU Cymru conference last week. This has been further backed up by the fact that, in a written answer, you confirmed that no economic modelling was done to inform the development of the scheme—pretty poor, really, if you ask me. But what really caused me concern was the reference made in the same written question to the apparent engagement your officials had with stakeholders during the development of this scheme, something that is fiercely contested by stakeholders. So, Minister, can you confirm what engagement you or your team had with the farming unions not after, but during the development of the Habitat Wales scheme?

Weinidog, nid yw fy nadansoddiad o gynllun Cynefin Cymru, y cynllun a ddaeth yn lle Glastir, wedi newid ers i mi holi'r Prif Weinidog yn ei gylch ychydig wythnosau yn ôl. Mae wedi bod yn draed moch. Yn sicr, dyna oedd fy nghasgliad innau hefyd o gynhadledd NFU Cymru yr wythnos diwethaf. Mae hyn wedi cael ei ategu ymhellach gan y ffaith eich bod, mewn ateb ysgrifenedig, wedi cadarnhau na wnaed unrhyw waith modelu economaidd i lywio datblygiad y cynllun—sy'n eithaf gwael, mewn gwirionedd, os gofynnwch i mi. Ond yr hyn a achosodd bryder mawr i mi oedd y cyfeiriad a gafwyd yn yr un cwestiwn ysgrifenedig at yr ymgysylltiad ymddangosiadol a gafodd eich swyddogion â rhanddeiliaid yn ystod y broses o ddatblygu'r cynllun hwn, rhywbeth y mae rhanddeiliaid yn ei wadu'n ffyrnig. Felly, Weinidog, a allwch chi gadarnhau pa ymgysylltiad a gawsoch chi neu eich tîm gyda'r undebau ffermio, nid ar ôl, ond yn ystod y broses o ddatblygu cynllun Cynefin Cymru?

So, I disagree with you completely that it's a shambles. This was something that, actually, the farming unions, particularly NFU Cymru, wanted me to bring forward, and I remember having an initial conversation when we all recognised—and everybody in this Chamber recognised—that Glastir would be coming to an end on 31 December this year. I haven't withdrawn it, I haven't cancelled it: Glastir came to an end, let's be very realistic here, because we left the European Union, and that funding ended. If people wanted a seven-year predictable budget, then they should have stayed in the European Union, because that's what we had when we were in the EU and we had that funding year on year, and I could roll it over, and I could extend it. That's gone—that flexibility has gone. 

So, the reason there was no economic analysis was because we did it very quickly, because I was asked to do it very quickly. It was in discussions with NFU Cymru that the idea for the Habitat Wales scheme—I don't think that was the name of it—came forward. So, I believe that officials engaged frequently over the summer recess period. I certainly had discussions with the farming unions over the summer during the agricultural show season and those conversations carried on into this term of Government. It closes on Friday, the applications. I think it's really important to say we've had over 1,600—I think it's 1,600— applications now. What really pleases me is that 40 per cent of those applications are from farmers who were not in Glastir. Over the past few years, I've heard a lot of, 'We haven't been able to join Glastir'. Everybody can try and join this scheme and, as I say, we've had over 1,600 applications.

Rwy'n anghytuno'n llwyr â chi ei fod yn draed moch. Roedd hwn yn rhywbeth yr oedd yr undebau ffermio, yn enwedig NFU Cymru, eisiau i mi ei gyflwyno, ac rwy'n cofio cael sgwrs gychwynnol lle roeddem i gyd yn cydnabod—a phawb yn y Siambr hon yn cydnabod—y byddai Glastir yn dod i ben ar 31 Rhagfyr eleni. Nid wyf wedi'i ddiddymu, nid wyf wedi'i ddileu: daeth Glastir i ben, gadewch inni fod yn realistig iawn yma, oherwydd ein bod wedi gadael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, a daeth y cyllid hwnnw i ben. Os oedd pobl eisiau cyllideb ragweladwy o saith mlynedd, dylent fod wedi aros yn yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, oherwydd dyna oedd gennym pan oeddem yn yr UE ac roeddem yn cael y cyllid hwnnw flwyddyn ar ôl blwyddyn, a gallwn ei gario ymlaen, a gallwn ei ymestyn. Mae hwnnw wedi mynd—mae'r hyblygrwydd hwnnw wedi mynd. 

Felly, y rheswm pam na chafwyd dadansoddiad economaidd oedd oherwydd ein bod wedi ei wneud yn gyflym iawn, oherwydd gofynnwyd i mi ei wneud yn gyflym iawn. Cafodd y syniad ar gyfer cynllun Cynefin Cymru—nid wyf yn credu mai dyna oedd yr enw arno—ei gyflwyno mewn trafodaethau gydag NFU Cymru. Felly, credaf fod swyddogion wedi ymgysylltu'n aml dros doriad gwyliau'r haf. Yn sicr, cefais drafodaethau gyda'r undebau ffermio dros yr haf yn ystod tymor y sioeau amaethyddol ac fe wnaeth y sgyrsiau hynny barhau i mewn i'r tymor hwn. Mae'r cyfnod ymgeisio'n cau ddydd Gwener. Rwy'n credu ei bod hi'n bwysig iawn dweud ein bod ni bellach wedi cael dros 1,600—rwy'n credu mai 1,600 ydyw—o geisiadau. Yr hyn sy'n galonogol i mi yw bod 40 y cant o'r ceisiadau hynny gan ffermwyr nad oeddent yn rhan o Glastir. Dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf, rwyf wedi clywed llawer o bobl yn dweud, 'Nid ydym wedi gallu ymuno â Glastir'. Gall pawb geisio ymuno â'r cynllun hwn ac fel y dywedaf, rydym wedi cael dros 1,600 o geisiadau.

14:30

Thank you for that answer, Minister. You mentioned that Glastir couldn't have been rolled over. Within your powers, you could have continued Glastir. We've seen that in Scotland; we've seen that in England. That post-EU funding—okay, not maybe available from the EU, but the scheme itself could easily have been rolled over maybe at a 50 per cent, 60 per cent, 70 per cent funding rate. And that's something that the unions were actually calling for.

You mentioned that 1,600 farmers have signed up. Three thousand Glastir contracts in Wales; 17,000 registered farms in Wales—1,600 applicants is a damning indictment of the status of this Habitat Wales scheme at the moment. And what I think really happened, Minister, was that your officials presented a scheme as a fait accompli to stakeholders, having not actively worked with them to design something that would have avoided some of the glaringly obvious mistakes that we’ve seen, such as the mapping errors. And I know that this is a feeling that is shared by the farming unions.

But I’m really worried, Minister, by that low amount of farmers who’ve signed up to the scheme, firstly, because of the lack of support Welsh agriculture will have to achieve agri-environmental targets, but also that the Welsh Government may use this perceived lack of interest and lack of take-up as a reason to further cut the agricultural budget in the future. And because we’ve yet to see what the final budget will be for the Habitat Wales scheme, can you confirm today that you will allocate at least as much funding to the Habitat Wales scheme as was allocated to the Glastir schemes that preceded it?

Diolch ichi am yr ateb hwnnw, Weinidog. Fe sonioch chi na ellid bod wedi cario Glastir drosodd. O fewn eich pwerau, gallech fod wedi parhau â Glastir . Rydym wedi gweld hynny yn yr Alban; rydym wedi gweld hynny yn Lloegr. Gallai’r cyllid hwnnw ar ôl gadael yr UE—iawn, efallai nad yw ar gael gan yr UE, ond gallai'r cynllun ei hun fod wedi’i gario drosodd yn hawdd, efallai ar gyfradd ariannu o 50 y cant, 60 y cant, 70 y cant. Ac mae hynny'n rhywbeth yr oedd yr undebau yn galw amdano mewn gwirionedd.

Fe sonioch chi fod 1,600 o ffermwyr wedi arwyddo. Ceir 3,000 o gontractau Glastir yng Nghymru; ceir 17,000 o ffermydd cofrestredig yng Nghymru—mae 1,600 o ymgeiswyr yn feirniadaeth ddamniol o statws y cynllun Cynefin Cymru ar hyn o bryd. Ac rwy'n credu mai’r hyn a ddigwyddodd mewn gwirionedd, Weinidog, oedd bod eich swyddogion wedi cyflwyno’r cynllun fel fait accompli i randdeiliaid, ar ôl iddynt beidio â gweithio’n weithredol gyda nhw i lunio rhywbeth a fyddai wedi osgoi rhai o’r camgymeriadau hynod amlwg a welsom, megis y gwallau mapio. A gwn fod yr undebau ffermio yn rhannu’r farn hon.

Ond Weinidog, mae’r nifer isel o ffermwyr sydd wedi ymuno â'r cynllun yn fy ngwneud yn bryderus iawn, yn gyntaf, oherwydd y diffyg cefnogaeth a fydd yna i amaethyddiaeth yng Nghymru gyrraedd targedau amaeth-amgylcheddol, ond hefyd y gallai Llywodraeth Cymru ddefnyddio’r diffyg diddordeb canfyddedig hwn a’r niferoedd isel i dorri’r gyllideb amaethyddol ymhellach yn y dyfodol. A chan ein bod eto i weld beth fydd y gyllideb derfynol ar gyfer cynllun Cynefin Cymru, a allwch gadarnhau heddiw y byddwch yn dyrannu o leiaf yr un faint o gyllid i gynllun Cynefin Cymru ag a ddyrannwyd i'r cynlluniau Glastir a'i rhagflaenodd?

So, I completely disagree with your assessment of what took place. I told you what took place. If you don’t choose to believe me, that’s your choice. But I am telling you what happened. I cannot confirm the budget yet—you’re aware of the budget and the financial difficulties we have as a Government—I will only be able to do that once discussions with my Cabinet colleagues have finished.

Rwy’n anghytuno’n llwyr â’ch asesiad o’r hyn a ddigwyddodd. Rwyf wedi dweud wrthych beth ddigwyddodd. Os nad ydych yn dewis fy nghredu, eich dewis chi yw hynny. Ond rwy'n dweud wrthych beth ddigwyddodd. Ni allaf gadarnhau’r gyllideb eto—rydych chi'n ymwybodol o'r gyllideb a'r anawsterau ariannol sydd gennym fel Llywodraeth—ni fyddaf yn gallu gwneud hynny hyd nes y bydd y trafodaethau gyda fy nghyd-Aelodau yn y Cabinet wedi dod i ben.

It's depressing, really, the situation that Welsh Government have put farmers in. I mean, if the Welsh Government want to achieve their own targets around climate, nature and biodiversity restoration, then they need to support farmers accordingly to achieve this. The irony is that, by not supporting farmers, Welsh Government will fail to meet the targets that it has set itself. And it's not just the environmental benefits of supporting farmers; it's supporting the highest quality food producers here in the United Kingdom and the wider economic benefits that come from a vibrant agricultural industry. Every £1 spent in Welsh agriculture is worth £9 to the wider community, and I challenge anyone to find a better return on public investment than that.

So, Minister, you've been unable to commit to the Habitat Wales scheme having the same funding as the Glastir schemes that came before it, but can you provide at least some certainty to the industry by confirming today if the basic payment scheme budget for next year, 2024, will be maintained at current levels?

Mae'r sefyllfa y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi rhoi ffermwyr ynddi yn ddigalon iawn. Hynny yw, os yw Llywodraeth Cymru am gyrraedd eu targedau eu hunain ar gyfer hinsawdd, natur ac adfer bioamrywiaeth, mae angen iddynt gefnogi ffermwyr yn unol â hynny er mwyn eu cyflawni. Yr eironi yw, drwy beidio â chefnogi ffermwyr, bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn methu cyrraedd y targedau y mae wedi’u gosod iddi’i hun. Ac mae a wnelo â mwy na'r manteision amgylcheddol o gefnogi ffermwyr; mae a wnelo â chefnogi cynhyrchwyr bwyd o’r safon uchaf yma yn y Deyrnas Unedig a’r manteision economaidd ehangach sy’n dod o ddiwydiant amaethyddol ffyniannus. Mae pob £1 sy’n cael ei gwario ar amaethyddiaeth yng Nghymru yn werth £9 i’r gymuned ehangach, ac rwy’n herio unrhyw un i ddod o hyd i elw gwell a hynny ar fuddsoddiad cyhoeddus.

Felly, Weinidog, nid ydych wedi gallu ymrwymo i sicrhau bod cynllun Cynefin Cymru yn cael yr un cyllid â’r cynlluniau Glastir a’i rhagflaenai, ond a allwch chi roi rhywfaint o sicrwydd o leiaf i’r diwydiant drwy gadarnhau heddiw a fydd cyllideb cynllun y taliad sylfaenol ar gyfer y flwyddyn nesaf, 2024, yn cael ei chynnal ar y lefelau presennol?

Well, let's look at your perceived lack of support, shall we, for farmers. So, I've protected the BPS. What have they done in the UK Government? [Interruption.] What have they done in the UK Government? They've cut BPS by—[Interruption.] They have cut BPS in England by 55 per cent.

Now, you were at the NFU conference last Thursday where you heard farmers say how glad they were that they were in Wales, not in England, so, let's just think about that, shall we? What about the number of schemes that the UK Government promised to open for farmers that have now been just quietly shelved, to one side? So, this perceived lack of support for farmers, I really don't recognise. 

I have protected BPS. I know—[Interruption.] When discussions have finished—[Interruption.] If you let me answer the question, I will answer the question, rather than shouting more questions at me. Next year's BPS is obviously subject to next year's budget, and I am doing all I can to make sure that we can protect BPS, because that, I believe, is the best way of supporting farmers, because farmers tell me that that's what they look to for that stability and that security that, frankly, leaving the European Union has taken away from them.

Wel, gadewch inni edrych ar eich canfyddiad o ddiffyg cefnogaeth i ffermwyr. Rwyf wedi diogelu cynllun y taliad sylfaenol. Beth a wnaethant yn Llywodraeth y DU? [Torri ar draws.] Beth a wnaethant yn Llywodraeth y DU? Maent wedi torri cynllun y taliad sylfaenol—[Torri ar draws.] Maent wedi torri 55 y cant oddi ar gynllun y taliad sylfaenol yn Lloegr.

Nawr, roeddech yng nghynhadledd Undeb Cenedlaethol yr Amaethwyr ddydd Iau diwethaf lle clywsoch ffermwyr yn dweud pa mor falch oeddent eu bod yng Nghymru, nid yn Lloegr, felly, beth am inni feddwl am hynny. Beth am y cynlluniau niferus yr addawodd Llywodraeth y DU eu hagor i ffermwyr a gafodd eu rhoi o’r neilltu yn dawel bach. Felly, nid wyf yn cydnabod y diffyg cefnogaeth canfyddedig hwn i ffermwyr o gwbl.

Rwyf wedi diogelu cynllun y taliad sylfaenol. Rwy'n gwybod—[Torri ar draws.] Pan fydd trafodaethau wedi dod i ben—[Torri ar draws.] Fe atebaf y cwestiwn os gadewch imi wneud hynny, yn hytrach na gweiddi mwy o gwestiynau arnaf. Mae cynllun y taliad sylfaenol y flwyddyn nesaf yn amlwg yn amodol ar gyllideb y flwyddyn nesaf, ac rwy’n gwneud popeth yn fy ngallu i wneud yn siŵr ein bod yn gallu diogelu cynllun y taliad sylfaenol, oherwydd rwy’n credu mai dyna’r ffordd orau o gefnogi ffermwyr, oherwydd mae ffermwyr yn dweud wrthyf mai dyna lle maent yn edrych am y sefydlogrwydd a’r sicrwydd y mae gadael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, a bod yn onest, wedi eu hamddifadu ohonynt.

Llefarydd Plaid Cymru, Llyr Gruffydd.

Plaid Cymru spokesperson, Llyr Gruffydd.

Diolch, Llywydd. Minister, you've disputed the earlier description of the Habitat Wales scheme as a shambles, so, let's be kind: you have to admit that it's been rather discombobulated, shall we say, certainly in terms of the way that some of the mapping issues have played out; there have been concerns about the levels of funding, and all that. And frankly, one person's shambles is another person's non-shambles—that doesn't work in my book, really. We know, just working it out briefly from the figures that you've quoted in terms of applications—the 1,600, 40 per cent are from outside of Glastir—that means, I think, that around about only a quarter of those currently in Glastir have applied to be in the Habitat Wales scheme. Now, we know that the potential income from that will be 45 per cent lower, but it actually means that three quarters of those who are currently in Glastir are not applying to the Habitat Wales scheme. What does that tell you about the Habitat Wales scheme, and what impact will that have on the decades of investment in agri-environmental work that has happened previously, that is now, clearly, just going down the pan?

Diolch, Lywydd. Weinidog, rydych wedi dadlau yn erbyn y disgrifiad cynharach o gynllun Cynefin Cymru fel un sy’n draed moch, felly, gadewch inni fod yn garedig: mae’n rhaid ichi gyfaddef ei fod braidd yn ddryslyd, gawn ni ddweud, yn sicr o ran rhai o'r problemau gyda mapio; cafwyd pryderon ynghylch lefelau cyllid, a hynny i gyd. Ac a dweud y gwir, mae traed moch un person yn rhywbeth nad yw'n draed moch i rywun arall—nid yw hynny'n gweithio i mi, a dweud y gwir. O'i gyfrifo’n gryno o'r niferoedd o geisiadau a ddyfynnwyd gennych—y 1,600, a 40 y cant o'r tu allan i Glastir—mae hynny’n golygu, rwy’n credu, mai dim ond tua chwarter y rhai sydd yn Glastir ar hyn o bryd sydd wedi gwneud cais i fod yn y cynllun Cynefin Cymru. Nawr, fe wyddom y bydd yr incwm posibl o hynny 45 y cant yn is, ond mewn gwirionedd mae'n golygu nad yw tri chwarter y rhai sydd ar hyn o bryd yn Glastir yn gwneud cais i gynllun Cynefin Cymru. Beth mae hynny'n ei ddweud wrthych chi am gynllun Cynefin Cymru, a pha effaith fydd hynny'n ei chael ar y degawdau o fuddsoddi mewn gwaith amaeth-amgylcheddol sydd wedi digwydd yn flaenorol, sy’n amlwg yn cael ei golli nawr?

14:35

Well, I think there are two ways of looking at it. What you have to remember is that farmers are very aware that their Glastir contracts, which they signed whenever they took them out—so, seven years ago, we rolled them over a few years, so maybe they've had it for eight years, maybe they've had it for 11 years—they knew that that contract was coming to an end on 31 December 2023. So, it could be that that's all been part of their business plan. So, I think that that's one way of looking at it. I'm very pleased that 1,600—. I absolutely take on board what you say about the criticism about mapping. We could have paused it, but I thought it was really important to continue so that we can open the windows and look at that in the beginning of January, so we don't have that gap between Glastir finishing and the Habitat Wales scheme beginning in January, because you'll be very well aware that UK Climate Change Committee, that was one of their recommendations to us.

Wel, rwy’n meddwl bod dwy ffordd o edrych arno. Yr hyn y mae'n rhaid ichi ei gofio yw bod ffermwyr yn ymwybodol iawn fod eu contractau Glastir, y gwnaethant eu harwyddo pryd bynnag y gwnaethant ymuno—felly, saith mlynedd yn ôl, fe wnaethom eu cario dros ychydig flynyddoedd, felly efallai eu bod wedi eu cael ers wyth mlynedd, efallai eu bod wedi eu cael ers 11 mlynedd—roeddent yn gwybod bod y contract hwnnw'n dod i ben ar 31 Rhagfyr 2023. Felly, mae’n bosibl fod hynny i gyd yn rhan o'u cynllun busnes. Felly, credaf mai dyna un ffordd o edrych arno. Rwy'n falch iawn fod 1,600—. Rwy’n derbyn yn llwyr yr hyn a ddywedwch am y feirniadaeth am fapio. Gallem fod wedi oedi, ond roeddwn yn meddwl ei bod yn bwysig iawn parhau er mwyn inni allu agor y cyfnodau ymgeisio ac edrych ar hynny ddechrau mis Ionawr, fel nad oes gennym fwlch rhwng gorffen Glastir a chynllun Cynefin Cymru yn dechrau ym mis Ionawr, oherwydd fe fyddwch yn ymwybodol iawn o Bwyllgor y DU ar y Newid yn yr Hinsawdd, dyna oedd un o'u hargymhellion i ni.

The question in my mind is: where does this leave us now in terms of the sustainable farming scheme? Because the FUW have told us that they estimate that 70 per cent of the Habitat Wales scheme forms that they've analysed include serious errors in terms of habitat mapping, and there are serious capacity issues, I believe—and you can correct me if I'm wrong—in terms of being able to process those contracts, in terms of correcting some of the errors and faults that have been discovered. So you can tell me whether it's capacity or incompetence that has led us to where we are in relation to much of this. But what does that tell us, or how does that give us confidence, moving forward? Because the sustainable farming scheme, of course, is 12 months away from being, or needing to be, operationally ready. So, can I ask how confident are you that we won't be facing similar discombobulation, or shambles, depending on which way you want to look at it, when it comes to the sustainable farming scheme? What additional capacity, if any, will you have, because obviously the scale of that is going to be considerably more substantial than what you're struggling with at the moment? And when exactly will we see the long-awaited next consultation, which is to be launched before, I believe, the end of this year?

Y cwestiwn yn fy meddwl i yw: ble mae hyn yn ein gadael ni nawr o ran y cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy? Oherwydd mae’r FUW wedi dweud wrthym eu bod yn amcangyfrif bod 70 y cant o’r ffurflenni cynllun Cynefin Cymru y maent wedi’u dadansoddi yn cynnwys gwallau difrifol o ran mapio cynefinoedd, ac mae yna broblemau capasiti difrifol, rwy’n credu—a gallwch fy nghywiro os wyf yn anghywir—o ran gallu prosesu'r contractau hynny, o ran cywiro rhai o'r gwallau a'r diffygion a ganfuwyd. Felly gallwch ddweud wrthyf ai capasiti neu anghymhwysedd sydd wedi ein harwain at ble rydym ni arni mewn perthynas â llawer o hyn. Ond beth mae hynny’n ei ddweud wrthym, neu sut mae hynny’n rhoi hyder inni ar gyfer y dyfodol? Oherwydd mae’r cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy, wrth gwrs, 12 mis i ffwrdd o fod, neu o fod angen bod yn barod yn weithredol. Felly a gaf fi ofyn pa mor hyderus ydych chi na fyddwn ni'n wynebu dryswch tebyg, neu draed moch, yn dibynnu ar ba ffordd rydych chi am edrych arno, gyda'r cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy? Pa gapasiti ychwanegol, os o gwbl, a fydd gennych, oherwydd yn amlwg mae maint hwnnw’n mynd i fod gryn dipyn yn fwy sylweddol na’r hyn rydych chi’n cael trafferth gydag ef ar hyn o bryd? A phryd yn union y gwelwn yr ymgynghoriad nesaf hirddisgwyliedig, sydd i’w lansio cyn diwedd y flwyddyn hon, rwy’n credu?

So, in relation to the second part of your question, we will be launching the final consultation, I'm hoping, mid December—certainly before we finish for the Christmas recess. I've had several meetings, just in the last week, around making sure the consultation document—again, speaking with Cefin Campbell, as the designated Member. I think, in some ways, we need to learn lessons from what's happened with Habitat Wales, and, as you say, the mapping. I don't think it's incompetence. When you say about capacity, obviously, we can all have bigger capacity, can't we, we'd all welcome bigger capacity, but I've been reassured that that is not an issue. But I think that we do need to learn lessons, because, as you say, SFS is going to be so much bigger, and I think that's what officials will do.

Felly, mewn perthynas ag ail ran eich cwestiwn, rwy’n gobeithio y byddwn yn lansio'r ymgynghoriad terfynol ganol mis Rhagfyr—yn sicr cyn inni ddod at doriad y Nadolig. Rwyf wedi cael sawl cyfarfod, yn ystod yr wythnos ddiwethaf yn unig, ynghylch gwneud yn siŵr fod y ddogfen ymgynghori—unwaith eto, gan siarad â Cefin Campbell, fel yr Aelod dynodedig. Rwy'n meddwl, mewn rhai ffyrdd, fod angen inni ddysgu gwersi o'r hyn sydd wedi digwydd gyda Cynefin Cymru, a’r mapio, fel y dywedwch—nid wyf yn credu mai anghymhwysedd ydyw. Pan soniwch am gapasiti, yn amlwg, gallwn i gyd gael mwy o gapasiti, oni allwn, byddem i gyd yn croesawu mwy o gapasiti, ond rwyf wedi cael sicrwydd nad yw hynny'n broblem. Ond credaf fod angen inni ddysgu gwersi, oherwydd, fel y dywedwch, mae’r cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy yn mynd i fod gymaint yn fwy, a chredaf mai dyna fydd swyddogion yn ei wneud.

Cefnogi Ffermwyr
Supporting Farmers

3. Sut fydd cynllun Cynefin Cymru yn cefnogi ffermwyr yn Sir Drefaldwyn? OQ60193

3. How will the Habitat Wales scheme support farmers in Montgomeryshire? OQ60193

Thank you. The Habitat Wales scheme is available to all eligible farmers to apply. Scheme payments will support them to maintain and protect key habitats already under management, as well as new areas of semi-natural habitat not previously under active management. I encourage all those interested to apply by 10 November.

Diolch. Mae cynllun Cynefin Cymru ar gael i bob ffermwr cymwys wneud cais amdano. Bydd taliadau'r cynllun yn eu cefnogi i gynnal a gwarchod cynefinoedd allweddol sydd eisoes yn cael eu rheoli, yn ogystal ag ardaloedd newydd o gynefin lled-naturiol nad oeddent yn cael eu rheoli'n weithredol o'r blaen. Rwy’n annog pawb sydd â diddordeb i wneud cais erbyn 10 Tachwedd.

Thank you, Minister, for your reply. I met with FUW officers and officials last week, and the frustration and concerns around the Habitat Wales scheme were made clear to me. Additional to some of the other points that have been raised today, issues were raised around mapping errors, reduced payment rates, and, as they put it, a cliff edge for organic producers, making it difficult for farmers to make use of this scheme. Now, those in Glastir are facing cuts in their payments, I'm told, of between 65 per cent and 90 per cent if they decide to apply to the scheme, which, as you just pointed out, must be done by 10 November. So, with that in mind, Minister, how will the Welsh Government ensure that farmers in Montgomeryshire are offered effective support to continue with their environmental work and sustainable farming practices ahead of the launch of the sustainable farming scheme?

Diolch am eich ateb, Weinidog. Cyfarfûm â swyddogion a swyddogion FUW yr wythnos diwethaf, a thynnwyd fy sylw at y rhwystredigaeth a’r pryderon ynghylch cynllun Cynefin Cymru. Yn ogystal â rhai o’r pwyntiau eraill a godwyd heddiw, codwyd materion ynghylch gwallau mapio, cyfraddau talu is, ac ymyl y dibyn, fel y’i galwant, i gynhyrchwyr organig, gan ei gwneud yn anodd i ffermwyr ddefnyddio’r cynllun hwn. Nawr, yn ôl yr hyn a ddywedir wrthyf, mae’r rhai yn Glastir yn wynebu toriadau yn eu taliadau o rhwng 65 a 90 y cant os byddant yn penderfynu gwneud cais i’r cynllun, fel y mae’n rhaid ei wneud erbyn 10 Tachwedd, fel rydych chi newydd ei nodi. Felly, gyda hynny mewn golwg, Weinidog, sut y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn sicrhau bod ffermwyr yn sir Drefaldwyn yn cael cynnig cymorth effeithiol i barhau â’u gwaith amgylcheddol a’u harferion ffermio cynaliadwy cyn lansio’r cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy?

14:40

Thank you. Well, I don't think I can say any more on the mapping issues; I think I answered both Sam Kurtz and Llyr Huws Gruffydd in relation to that, and on the budget also. I think the point you raise about organic is a fair one, and I've asked officials to look to see what we can do specifically for organic farming. I'm trying to identify a separate pot of money, if you like, specifically for organic farmers to apply for, and I'm very hopeful that that will happen, because I've been able to find some funding for that.

I think it's fair to say—and our farming unions recognise this—that we all knew Glastir was ending this year. I've made no secret of that. You will have not heard me say anywhere that Glastir wasn't ending. We couldn't extend it; we didn't have the European funding. And, as I say, if people wanted to stay in Glastir, then they should have stayed in the European Union.

Diolch. Wel, nid wyf yn meddwl y gallaf ddweud mwy am y materion mapio; rwy'n meddwl imi ateb Sam Kurtz a Llyr Huws Gruffydd mewn perthynas â hynny, ac ar y gyllideb hefyd. Rwy’n meddwl bod y pwynt a godwch am ffermio organig yn un teg, ac rwyf wedi gofyn i swyddogion edrych i weld beth y gallwn ei wneud yn benodol ar gyfer ffermio organig. Rwy'n ceisio nodi cronfa ar wahân o arian, os mynnwch, i ffermwyr organig yn benodol wneud cais amdani, ac rwy'n obeithiol iawn y bydd hynny'n digwydd, oherwydd rwyf wedi gallu dod o hyd i rywfaint o gyllid ar gyfer hynny.

Rwy'n meddwl ei bod yn deg dweud—ac mae ein hundebau ffermio'n cydnabod hyn—ein bod i gyd yn gwybod bod Glastir yn dod i ben eleni. Nid wyf wedi cadw hynny’n gyfrinach. Ni fyddwch wedi fy nghlywed yn dweud yn unman nad oedd Glastir yn dod i ben. Ni allem ei ymestyn; nid oedd gennym y cyllid Ewropeaidd. Ac fel y dywedaf, os oedd pobl am aros yn Glastir, dylent fod wedi aros yn yr Undeb Ewropeaidd.

Good afternoon, Minister. I'm afraid it is the Habitat Wales-fest this afternoon, because I did want to follow up on the question asked by Russell George. Many of us living in rural areas have had the opportunity to hear from farmers. I've met quite a few; they've asked for a meeting. I met one female farmer and her daughter, and she was in tears, because she and her daughter are really not sure how they're going to keep the staff and the community that they live in, given that they are losing such a high degree of funding. I have to say that that farmer volunteered to me how she had voted in the EU referendum, which was to remain, and how frustrated she felt that losing the EU funding meant that she was going to be significantly affected.

You've answered a lot of questions on this, and I've been crossing out a lot of my questions to you as we've been going along this afternoon. But the one thing that I have raised previously is that my understanding is that you can't amend the expression of interest that farmers have put in. It's a very complex scheme. It's a significantly lengthy document, and, as well as the stress that farmers are feeling, to then commit themselves to what they understand may now be a permanent scheme going forward is a significant stress for them. So, I just wonder: are there any flexibilities? Is there anything that, certainly cross-party, we could be thinking of, working with you, within the constraints, to really help those farmers, some of whom are really feeling that they are going to lose their business and are going to be laying off quite a few people? Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Prynhawn da, Weinidog. Mae arnaf ofn mai Cynefin Cymru yw’r thema y prynhawn yma, oherwydd roeddwn am fynd ar drywydd y cwestiwn a ofynnwyd gan Russell George. Mae llawer ohonom sy’n byw mewn ardaloedd gwledig wedi cael cyfle i glywed gan ffermwyr. Rwyf wedi cyfarfod â chryn dipyn ohonynt; maent wedi gofyn am gyfarfod. Cyfarfûm ag un ffermwraig a’i merch, ac roedd hi yn ei dagrau, oherwydd nid yw hi na’i merch yn siŵr sut y gallant gadw’r staff a’r gymuned y maent yn byw ynddi, o ystyried eu bod yn colli cymaint o gyllid. Rhaid imi ddweud bod y ffermwraig honno wedi dweud wrthyf sut y gwnaeth hi bleidleisio yn refferendwm yr UE, sef o blaid aros, a pha mor rhwystredig y teimlai fod colli cyllid yr UE yn golygu ei bod yn mynd i gael ei heffeithio’n sylweddol.

Rydych chi wedi ateb llawer o gwestiynau ar hyn, ac rwyf wedi bod yn rhoi llinell drwy lawer o fy nghwestiynau i chi wrth inni fynd yn ein blaenau y prynhawn yma. Ond yr un peth a godais o'r blaen yw mai fy nealltwriaeth i yw na allwch newid y mynegiant o ddiddordeb y mae ffermwyr wedi'i wneud. Mae'n gynllun cymhleth iawn. Mae'n ddogfen hirfaith iawn, ac yn ogystal â'r straen y mae ffermwyr yn ei deimlo, mae ymrwymo wedyn i'r hyn y deallant y gallai fod yn gynllun parhaol nawr ar gyfer y dyfodol yn straen sylweddol arnynt. Felly, tybed: a oes unrhyw hyblygrwydd? A oes unrhyw beth, yn sicr yn drawsbleidiol, y gallem fod yn meddwl amdano, gan weithio gyda chi, o fewn y cyfyngiadau, i helpu'r ffermwyr hynny, y mae rhai ohonynt yn teimlo o ddifrif eu bod yn mynd i golli eu busnes ac yn mynd i orfod diswyddo cryn dipyn o bobl? Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Thank you. I don't underestimate the issues. Everybody's facing financial difficulties—it's every Government, it's every individual, I think it's every business. Obviously, everybody is affected by it. And I'm afraid, coming out of the European Union, this is the new world we're living in, and I've been trying to ensure that everybody within my portfolio, all the stakeholders, absolutely recognise the difficulties that we're all facing. But this is the new world and we have to get on with it. So, I'm very sorry; I can only imagine—. And I've had farmers say the same to me, 'We now recognise'—whether they voted leave, whether they voted remain, they absolutely recognise that this is the new world we're living in. 

As I think I previously answered to you, there is no flexibility. This is a scheme we've had to bring forward very quickly. We tried to make it as simple as possible, but, when you come to allocating public money, you know yourself, it's a very complex area; you have to make sure that every 'i' is dotted and every 't' is crossed. But I think the simpler—. One of the things that farmers said to me was they wanted to leave the European Union—not all of them, obviously—when we had the vote back in June 2016 because of the bureaucracy. So, I really believe it's imperative that we as a Government make life simpler when it comes to form filling et cetera. But I'm afraid—. This is, hopefully, a scheme that will help with that gap, and I do hope that the farmer and her daughter that you referred to do apply to be in this scheme. 

Diolch. Nid wyf yn bychanu'r problemau. Mae pawb yn wynebu anawsterau ariannol—pob Llywodraeth, pob unigolyn, pob busnes. Yn amlwg, mae pawb yn cael eu heffeithio ganddo. Ac mae arnaf ofn, wrth ddod allan o'r Undeb Ewropeaidd, mai dyma'r byd newydd yr ydym yn byw ynddo, ac rwyf wedi bod yn ceisio sicrhau bod pawb yn fy mhortffolio, yr holl randdeiliaid, yn llwyr gydnabod yr anawsterau y mae pawb ohonom yn eu hwynebu. Ond dyma'r byd newydd ac mae'n rhaid i ni fwrw ymlaen ag ef. Felly, mae'n ddrwg iawn gennyf; ni allaf ond dychmygu—. Ac rwyf wedi cael ffermwyr yn dweud yr un peth wrthyf 'Rydym yn cydnabod yn awr'—pa un a wnaethant bleidleisio dros adael neu dros aros, maent yn cydnabod yn llwyr mai dyma'r byd newydd yr ydym yn byw ynddo.

Fel y credaf imi eich ateb yn flaenorol, nid oes unrhyw hyblygrwydd. Mae hwn yn gynllun yr ydym wedi gorfod ei gyflwyno'n gyflym iawn. Ceisiwyd ei wneud mor syml â phosibl, ond pan ddaw’n fater o ddyrannu arian cyhoeddus, fe wyddoch eich hun ei fod yn faes cymhleth iawn; mae’n rhaid ichi wneud yn siŵr fod pob manylyn yn cael sylw. Ond po symlaf—. Un o’r pethau a ddywedodd ffermwyr wrthyf oedd eu bod am adael yr Undeb Ewropeaidd—nid pob un ohonynt, yn amlwg—pan gawsom y bleidlais yn ôl ym mis Mehefin 2016, oherwydd y fiwrocratiaeth. Felly, rwy’n credu o ddifrif ei bod yn hollbwysig ein bod ni fel Llywodraeth yn gwneud bywyd yn symlach o ran llenwi ffurflenni, ac ati. Ond mae arnaf ofn—. Gobeithio bod hwn yn gynllun a fydd yn helpu i gau’r bwlch hwnnw, ac rwy’n gobeithio y bydd y ffermwraig a’i merch y cyfeirioch chi atynt yn gwneud cais i fod yn y cynllun hwn.

14:45
Cynllun Glastir
Glastir Scheme

4. Pa asesiad y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i wneud o effaith diwedd y cynllun Glastir ar ffermwyr sy'n derbyn arian ohono? OQ60203

4. What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the impact of the end of the Glastir scheme on farmers who receive funding from it? OQ60203

Thank you. No assessment has been made on the impact of the end of Glastir on farmers who receive funding from it, because Glastir participants signed a contract with the Welsh Government with an end date aligned to the end of the rural development programme, and we are adhering to those contract terms. 

Diolch. Nid oes asesiad wedi'i wneud ar effaith diwedd Glastir ar ffermwyr sy'n derbyn cyllid ohono, oherwydd llofnododd cyfranogwyr Glastir gontract gyda Llywodraeth Cymru gyda dyddiad gorffen sy'n cyd-fynd â diwedd y rhaglen datblygu gwledig, ac rydym yn cadw at y telerau contract hynny. 

Thank you, Minister, and you've answered lots of questions already on this today, and I want to pick up on the theme that my colleague Russell George made. Minister, I wrote to you in September around one organic farmer. I'm yet to receive that reply, but I'm sure it's on it's way. But I've been in contact now with another constituent, who farms organically, striving to deliver everything you wanted for a sustainable farming system, and he's been adamant to do that and he's done a brilliant job. Now he feels this is totally under threat. He's broken on it. The financial support that Habitat Wales is offering him he feels is just an insult—an absolute insult. His farm will receive around £700 from the Habitat scheme and you've got to jump through hoops to get that. Whereas, prior to this, on Glastir and Glastir Organic, he would receive £16,000, so being paid out at about £69 per hectare. How can this farmer afford to continue as an organic producer and keep his employee? Minister, I'm pleased to hear that there will be some sort of funding possibly available for organic farmers to bid for, but what this farmer told me is it takes at least two years to turn the ship around. And, whilst there is an end to the contract, it's been accepted that it's being rolled on, and not enough notice—. This guy is switched on and he just feels so let down. So, Minister, given your environmental commitments, what advice can you offer an organic farmer in Wales who faces a cliff edge, especially when his neighbours in England still get organic support and he has to compete against them?

Diolch i chi, Weinidog, ac rydych chi wedi ateb llawer o gwestiynau eisoes ar hyn heddiw, ac rwyf am drafod yr un thema â fy nghyd-Aelod, Russell George. Weinidog, ysgrifennais atoch ym mis Medi ynghylch un ffermwr organig. Nid wyf wedi derbyn ateb eto, ond rwy'n siŵr ei fod ar ei ffordd. Ond rwyf wedi bod mewn cysylltiad ag etholwr arall nawr, sy'n ffermio'n organig, gan ymdrechu i gyflawni popeth yr oeddech ei eisiau ar gyfer system ffermio gynaliadwy, ac mae wedi bod yn benderfynol o wneud hynny ac mae wedi gwneud gwaith gwych. Nawr mae'n teimlo bod hynny dan fygythiad yn llwyr. Mae wedi'i dorri ganddo. Mae'n teimlo bod y gefnogaeth ariannol y mae Cynefin Cymru yn ei gynnig iddo'n sarhad llwyr. Bydd ei fferm yn derbyn tua £700 o'r cynllun Cynefin ac mae'n rhaid i chi fynd drwy'r felin i gael hynny. Cyn hyn, gyda Glastir a Glastir Organig, byddai'n derbyn £16,000, felly byddai'n cael ei dalu tua £69 yr hectar. Sut gall y ffermwr hwn fforddio parhau fel cynhyrchydd organig a chadw ei weithiwr? Weinidog, rwy'n falch o glywed y bydd rhyw fath o gyllid ar gael o bosibl i ffermwyr organig wneud cais amdano, ond yr hyn a ddywedodd y ffermwr wrthyf yw ei bod yn cymryd o leiaf ddwy flynedd i droi pethau o gwmpas. Ac er bod diwedd i'r contract, derbyniwyd ei fod yn cael ei gario ymlaen, ac nad oes digon o rybudd—. Mae'r dyn hwn yn deall ei bethau ac mae'n teimlo ei fod wedi cael cam. Felly, Weinidog, o ystyried eich ymrwymiadau amgylcheddol, pa gyngor y gallwch ei gynnig i ffermwr organig yng Nghymru sy'n wynebu ymyl dibyn, yn enwedig pan fo'i gymdogion yn Lloegr yn dal i gael cymorth organig a bod yn rhaid iddo gystadlu yn eu herbyn?

I disagree that they didn't get enough notice. As I say, this was a contract that every farmer will have signed with the Welsh Government and the end date was 31 December this year. So, I completely disagree with you that not enough notice was given. There will be some specific funding for organic farmers. I absolutely recognise the case that they put forward to me, and I have been able to identify a small pot of money, which I do hope will help. But, as I say, the assessment—you asked what assessment had been done about the end of Glastir—was done at the beginning when we signed those contracts with farmers and they all knew, unfortunately, when they were going to end. I wish I had the same amount of money that we had when we were in the European Union; I simply don't.

Rwy'n anghytuno na chawsant ddigon o rybudd. Fel y dywedais, roedd hwn yn gontract y bydd pob ffermwr wedi'i arwyddo gyda Llywodraeth Cymru a'r dyddiad gorffen oedd 31 Rhagfyr eleni. Felly, rwy'n anghytuno'n llwyr â chi na roddwyd digon o rybudd. Bydd rhywfaint o gyllid penodol ar gyfer ffermwyr organig. Rwy'n cydnabod yn llwyr yr achos a gyflwynwyd ganddynt i mi, ac rwyf wedi gallu neilltuo pot bach o arian, a gobeithio y bydd hyn yn helpu. Ond fel rwy'n dweud, cafodd yr asesiad—roeddech yn gofyn pa asesiad a wnaed o ddiwedd Glastir—ei wneud ar y dechrau pan wnaethom arwyddo'r contractau hynny gyda ffermwyr ac roeddent i gyd yn gwybod, yn anffodus, pryd y byddent yn dod i ben. Hoffwn pe bai gennyf yr un swm o arian ag a oedd gennym pan oeddem yn yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, ond nid yw hynny'n wir.

Dwi'n derbyn llawer o gyswllt gan ffermwyr yn Ynys Môn sydd mor bryderus ynglŷn â'r cynllun newydd fel eu bod nhw'n ystyried peidio gwneud cais o gwbl. Felly, beth ydy neges y Gweinidog iddyn nhw i'w perswadio nhw fod yna fodd o arbed y cynllun yma? Ond dyma fy mhrif gwestiwn i: dŷn ni'n clywed gan y Gweinidog eto heddiw y neges yma fod ffermwyr yn gwybod bod Glastir yn dod i ben, a dŷn ni hefyd yn clywed y Llywodraeth yn dweud eu bod nhw wedi gorfod cyflwyno'r newid yma ar frys. Wel, siawns fod gan y Llywodraeth hefyd ddigon o flaen rybudd i fod wedi gallu rhoi cynllun gwell mewn lle. All y Llywodraeth ddim ei chael hi'r ddwy ffordd. 

I receive a lot of contact from farmers in Anglesey who are so concerned about the new scheme that they're considering not applying at all. So, what's the Minister's message to them to persuade them that there is a means of saving this scheme? But this is my main question: we hear from the Minister once again today that farmers knew that Glastir was coming to an end, and we're also hearing the Government saying that they had to introduce this change in a hurry. Well, surely then the Government had enough forewarning in order to put a better scheme in place. The Government can't have it both ways.

Well, it's not a matter of having it both ways, is it? If I had the same budget, I could have done it. I have had to identify that budget from somewhere else. There's no funding. There's no domestic funding, is there, because the UK Government didn't give us the same amount of money. You remember 'not a penny less'—[Interruption.]—not a penny less. No, that wasn't your question. Not a penny less. I'm telling you, and you know, the UK Government did not give us the amount of funding that we would have had had we remained in the European Union. So, I accept what—. I said that we had to do the scheme quickly over the summer; we didn't have to do a scheme at all. I was asked to do a scheme and we did a scheme—[Interruption.] Well, I didn't, did I, because I have prioritised the basic payment scheme. I wish I could have carried on with Glastir with the amount of funding—. And if the UK Government had given us the funding that they promised they would, I could have done it. So, this is the issue. We did it quickly because we were asked to do something, so as not to have a gap between Glastir and the sustainable farming scheme coming in. I really wish I could have that same funding to carry on. I simply don't have it, and I don't know why nobody recognises in this Chamber on the opposition benches that that is the case. If we'd stayed in the European Union, we would have had that funding: predictable, every year, seven-year budget—every year. And I'm sure you recognise it on this side, but they don't recognise it over on the Welsh Conservative benches.

I've had to find that funding, and what we all have to realise is that predictability of budget has gone. And any domestic funding that now comes through for the agricultural sector will be on a year-by-year basis. We are completely beholden, aren't we, to the UK Government giving us the funding. They've let us down in the first few years. Who's to say what the funding will be next year? I have to work out my basic payment scheme budget on what I assume I'm going to get. I don't know yet what I'm going to get, and this is why I'm having those conversations. But, this is the reality. This is the new world, and the sooner people grasp it, the better.

Nid yw'n fater o'i chael hi y ddwy ffordd. Pe bai gennyf yr un gyllideb, gallwn fod wedi ei wneud. Bu'n rhaid imi neilltuo'r gyllideb honno o rywle arall. Nid oes unrhyw gyllid. Nid oes unrhyw arian domestig oherwydd ni roddodd Llywodraeth y DU yr un faint o arian i ni. Fe gofiwch 'yr un geiniog yn llai'—[Torri ar draws.]—yr un geiniog yn llai. Na, nid dyna oedd eich cwestiwn. Yr un geiniog yn llai. Rwy'n dweud wrthych, ac rydych chi'n gwybod, na wnaeth Llywodraeth y DU roi'r swm o gyllid y byddem wedi'i gael pe byddem wedi aros yn yr Undeb Ewropeaidd. Felly, rwy'n derbyn beth—. Dywedais fod yn rhaid inni wneud y cynllun yn gyflym dros yr haf; nid oedd raid inni wneud cynllun o gwbl. Gofynnwyd i mi wneud cynllun ac fe wnaethom gynllun—[Torri ar draws.] Wel, ni wneuthum hynny oherwydd rwyf wedi blaenoriaethu cynllun y taliad sylfaenol. Hoffwn pe bawn i wedi gallu parhau gyda Glastir gyda'r swm o gyllid—. A phe bai Llywodraeth y DU wedi rhoi'r cyllid i ni fel y gwnaethant ei addo, gallwn fod wedi'i wneud. Felly, dyma'r broblem. Fe'i gwnaethom yn gyflym oherwydd gofynnwyd inni wneud rhywbeth er mwyn peidio â chael bwlch rhwng Glastir a dechrau'r cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy. Hoffwn yn fawr pe gallwn gael yr un arian i barhau, ond ni allaf, ac nid wyf yn gwybod pam nad oes neb yn cydnabod yn y Siambr hon ar feinciau'r wrthblaid mai felly y mae. Pe byddem wedi aros yn yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, byddem wedi cael yr arian hwnnw: arian rhagweladwy, bob blwyddyn, cyllideb saith mlynedd—bob blwyddyn. Ac rwy'n siŵr eich bod chi'n ei gydnabod ar yr ochr hon, ond nid ydynt yn ei gydnabod draw ar feinciau'r Ceidwadwyr Cymreig.

Rwyf wedi gorfod dod o hyd i'r cyllid hwnnw, a'r hyn sy'n rhaid i bawb ohonom ei sylweddoli yw bod rhagweladwyedd y gyllideb wedi mynd. A bydd unrhyw gyllid domestig sy'n dod drwodd nawr i'r sector amaethyddol yn digwydd ar sail flynyddol. Rydym yn dibynnu'n llwyr, onid ydym, ar fod Llywodraeth y DU yn rhoi'r cyllid i ni. Maent wedi gwneud cam â ni yn y blynyddoedd cyntaf. Pwy sydd i ddweud beth fydd y cyllid y flwyddyn nesaf? Mae'n rhaid imi gyfrifo fy nghyllideb ar gyfer cynllun y taliad sylfaenol ar yr hyn y tybiaf y byddaf yn ei gael. Nid wyf yn gwybod eto beth a gaf, a dyna pam rwy'n cael y sgyrsiau hynny. Ond dyna'r realiti. Dyma'r byd newydd, a gorau po gyntaf y bydd pobl yn dirnad hynny.

14:50
Atal Llifogydd
Flood Prevention

5. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'u cael gyda'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd ynghylch cefnogi cynghorau yng ngogledd Cymru i atal llifogydd? OQ60189

5. What discussions has the Minister had with the Minister for Climate Change about supporting councils in north Wales to prevent flooding? OQ60189

Thank you. I speak regularly with the Minister for Climate Change about a range of issues, including the impacts from recent storms across Wales and the support available to local authorities to reduce the impact of flooding.

Diolch. Rwy'n siarad yn rheolaidd â'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd am ystod o faterion, gan gynnwys effeithiau stormydd diweddar ledled Cymru a'r cymorth sydd ar gael i awdurdodau lleol i leihau effaith llifogydd.

Can I thank the Minister for her answer and the conversations that she does have with Cabinet colleagues? The Minister will be well aware that, three years ago, homes in Sandycroft, Mancot and Broughton in my constituency were flooded, and, following that, a series of steps were agreed from various agencies including National Resources Wales, including the local authority as the risk management authority, and including Welsh Water, and they were agreed to ensure work was carried out to protect these communities. But last month, sadly, again, during storm Babet, these communities were flooded for the second time in three years. At the public meeting that followed storm Babet, residents expressed their frustration that the work that was previously agreed by these various agencies had not been fully completed in the time necessary. Minister, will you, or will the Welsh Government—if it's not your portfolio, but the Minister for Climate Change's perhaps—contact all key stakeholders, including NRW, and express the need for this work to be carried out as quickly as possible?

A gaf fi ddiolch i'r Gweinidog am ei hateb a'r sgyrsiau y mae'n eu cael gyda chyd-Weinidogion yn y Cabinet? Bydd y Gweinidog yn ymwybodol iawn fod cartrefi yn Sandycroft, Mancot a Brychdyn yn fy etholaeth i wedi dioddef llifogydd dair blynedd yn ôl, ac yn dilyn hynny, cytunwyd ar gyfres o gamau gan amrywiol asiantaethau gan gynnwys Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru, gan gynnwys yr awdurdod lleol fel yr awdurdod rheoli risg, a chan gynnwys Dŵr Cymru, a chytunwyd arnynt i sicrhau bod gwaith yn cael ei wneud i ddiogelu'r cymunedau hyn. Ond fis diwethaf, yn anffodus, unwaith eto, yn ystod storm Babet, cafodd y cymunedau hyn lifogydd am yr eildro mewn tair blynedd. Yn y cyfarfod cyhoeddus a ddilynodd storm Babet, mynegodd trigolion eu rhwystredigaeth nad oedd y gwaith y cytunwyd arno'n flaenorol gan yr asiantaethau amrywiol hyn wedi'i gwblhau'n llawn yn yr amser angenrheidiol. Weinidog, a wnewch chi, neu a wnaiff Llywodraeth Cymru—os nad eich portffolio chi ydyw, ond y Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd efallai—gysylltu â'r holl randdeiliaid allweddol, gan gynnwys CNC, a mynegi'r angen i'r gwaith hwn gael ei wneud cyn gynted â phosibl?

Thank you. I know the Minister's officials are in regular contact with risk management authorities to provide that advice and guidance on the application process, for instance, for Welsh Government funding. It is for each RMA to put forward proposed schemes for that funding. As you know, the Minister for Climate Change provided significant funding and almost doubled revenue funding for each local authority to £225,000 each, and I know that she's maintaining that amount again. It's very distressing when you're flooded and I can only imagine, when you're flooded for the second time in three years, how distressing that is.

Diolch. Rwy'n gwybod bod swyddogion y Gweinidog mewn cysylltiad rheolaidd ag awdurdodau rheoli risg i ddarparu cyngor ac arweiniad ar y broses ymgeisio, er enghraifft, ar gyfer cyllid Llywodraeth Cymru. Mater i bob awdurdod rheoli risg yw cyflwyno cynlluniau arfaethedig ar gyfer y cyllid hwnnw. Fel y gwyddoch, darparodd y Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd gyllid sylweddol ac fe wnaeth ddyblu'r cyllid refeniw, bron iawn, ar gyfer pob awdurdod lleol i £225,000 yr un, a gwn ei bod yn cynnal y swm hwnnw eto. Mae'n ofidus iawn pan fyddwch chi wedi dioddef llifogydd a gallaf ddychmygu pa mor ofidus yw hynny pan fyddwch chi'n dioddef llifogydd am yr eildro mewn tair blynedd. 

Ground-floor flats in Mold were affected by storm Babet, roughly the seventh flood in seven years, with the most recent in 2021. Yet, a 2017 Mold flood alleviation scheme study, commissioned by Flintshire council, recommended that the report be submitted to the Welsh Government for confirmation that £5.5 million of funding was available. When I raised this at the Broughton flooding public meeting 11 days ago, a council official stated that they'd broken this down into modules on which they were working, prior to submitting bids to the Welsh Government. After I pursued flooding issues in Broughton on behalf of affected residents in 2021, I had to wait 19 months for a full response from Flintshire council. But that included, and I quote,

'Where possible, the Council will give priority to elderly and vulnerable residents, and to known flooding black spots'.

However, after storm Babet, I was contacted by, and on behalf of, elderly and vulnerable residents living in known flooding black spots who'd been unable to get through to the council or to access resources, including sandbags, who'd been flooded again. At the public meeting,a council official stated they were now working with other agencies to develop a section 19 flood investigation report prior to submitting a bid to the Welsh Government. So, what discussions, following my question to the finance Minister earlier, have you had with the climate change Minister regarding how timely and promptly the Welsh Government will respond to such bids, and the sufficiency of funding for them?

Effeithiwyd ar fflatiau llawr gwaelod yn yr Wyddgrug gan storm Babet, tua'r seithfed llifogydd mewn saith mlynedd, gyda'r mwyaf diweddar yn 2021. Ac eto, argymhellodd astudiaeth cynllun lliniaru llifogydd yn 2017 yn yr Wyddgrug, a gomisiynwyd gan Gyngor Sir y Fflint, y dylid cyflwyno'r adroddiad i Lywodraeth Cymru i gael cadarnhad bod £5.5 miliwn o gyllid ar gael. Pan godais hyn yng nghyfarfod cyhoeddus llifogydd Brychdyn 11 diwrnod yn ôl, dywedodd un o swyddogion y cyngor eu bod wedi rhannu hyn yn fodiwlau yr oeddent yn gweithio arnynt, cyn cyflwyno ceisiadau i Lywodraeth Cymru. Ar ôl i mi fynd ar drywydd problemau llifogydd ym Mrychdyn ar ran trigolion yr effeithiwyd arnynt yn 2021, bu'n rhaid i mi aros 19 mis am ymateb llawn gan Gyngor Sir y Fflint.  Ond roedd hynny'n cynnwys, ac rwy'n dyfynnu,

'Lle bo'n bosibl, bydd y Cyngor yn rhoi blaenoriaeth i drigolion oedrannus a bregus, ac i fannau y gwyddys eu bod yn agored i berygl llifogydd.'

Fodd bynnag, ar ôl storm Babet, cysylltwyd â mi gan ac ar ran trigolion oedrannus a bregus sy'n byw mewn mannau y gwyddys eu bod yn agored i berygl llifogydd nad oeddent wedi gallu mynd drwodd at y cyngor na chael gafael ar adnoddau, gan gynnwys bagiau tywod, ar ôl dioddef llifogydd eto. Yn y cyfarfod cyhoeddus, dywedodd swyddog o'r cyngor eu bod bellach yn gweithio gydag asiantaethau eraill i ddatblygu adroddiad ymchwiliad llifogydd adran 19 cyn cyflwyno cais i Lywodraeth Cymru. Felly, yn dilyn fy nghwestiwn i'r Gweinidog cyllid yn gynharach, pa drafodaethau rydych chi wedi'u cael gyda'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd ynghylch pa mor amserol a chyflym y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn ymateb i geisiadau o'r fath, a bod cyllid digonol ar eu cyfer?

Well I haven't had a specific discussion with the Minister for Climate Change on the points that you raised, but I will certainly bring your question to the Minister for Climate Change's attention and ask her to write to you. I think that's probably better than me giving you the answer that's in front of me. I think it's a very specific question you ask, so I'll ask her to write to you.

Wel, nid wyf wedi cael trafodaeth benodol gyda'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd ar y pwyntiau a godwyd gennych, ond byddaf yn sicr yn tynnu sylw'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd at eich cwestiwn ac yn gofyn iddi ysgrifennu atoch. Rwy'n credu bod hynny'n well yn ôl pob tebyg na fy mod i'n rhoi'r ateb sydd o fy mlaen i chi. Rwy'n credu eich bod yn gofyn cwestiwn penodol iawn, felly fe ofynnaf iddi ysgrifennu atoch.

14:55
Y Sector Amaethyddol
The Agricultural Sector

6. Pa asesiad y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'i wneud o'r effaith y bydd y toriadau arfaethedig i gyllideb Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei chael ar y sector amaethyddol? OQ60186

6. What assessment has the Minister made of the impact that proposed Welsh Government budget cuts will have on the agricultural sector? OQ60186

The Welsh Government prioritised the £238 million basic payment scheme budget, which supports over 16,200 farmers in Wales. Funding reprioritised from rural affairs budgets relates to updated forecasts, resulting in minimal implications to the delivery of current established schemes, and no impact to any beneficiary where an agreement is already in place.

Rhoddodd Llywodraeth Cymru flaenoriaeth i gyllideb cynllun y taliad sylfaenol gwerth £238 miliwn, sy'n cefnogi dros 16,200 o ffermwyr yng Nghymru. Mae cyllid a ailflaenoriaethwyd o gyllidebau materion gwledig yn ymwneud â rhagolygon wedi'u diweddaru, gan arwain at fawr iawn o oblygiadau i ddarparu cynlluniau sefydledig presennol, a dim effaith i unrhyw fuddiolwr lle mae cytundeb eisoes ar waith.

Thank you, Minister, for that initial response. We've already heard this afternoon a number of concerns about budget cuts more generally. You mentioned the rural affairs budget cut there, which is going to be a £37.5 million cut, and there are farmers in rural communities out there who are concerned about this £37.5 million cut. Naturally, this risks having a negative impact on relations within communities and puts pressure on farms and farmers. And, as you would acknowledge, certainly, they do a huge amount of good work not just in feeding our nation, but also managing about 80 per cent of the land area of Wales. I had some other questions, perhaps, but just taking into context some of the questions that have already been asked today and the overall picture around funding that you are dealing with, and absolutely understanding some of the difficult decisions that Government is having to take with competing pressures, are you comfortable that our rural communities and our farmers seem to be disproportionately affected by Welsh Government funding decisions? 

Diolch am yr ymateb cychwynnol hwnnw, Weinidog. Y prynhawn yma, rydym eisoes wedi clywed am nifer o bryderon am doriadau cyllidebol yn fwy cyffredinol. Fe sonioch chi am y toriad yn y gyllideb materion gwledig yno, sy'n mynd i fod yn doriad o £37.5 miliwn, ac mae yna ffermwyr mewn cymunedau gwledig sy'n poeni am y toriad hwn o £37.5 miliwn. Yn naturiol, mae'n creu perygl o effaith negyddol ar gysylltiadau o fewn cymunedau ac yn rhoi pwysau ar ffermydd a ffermwyr. Ac fel y byddech chi'n cydnabod, yn sicr, maent yn gwneud llawer iawn o waith da nid yn unig yn bwydo ein cenedl, ond hefyd ar reoli tua 80 y cant o arwynebedd tir Cymru. Roedd gennyf rai cwestiynau eraill, ond o ystyried cyd-destun rhai o'r cwestiynau sydd eisoes wedi'u gofyn heddiw a'r darlun cyffredinol o gyllid rydych chi'n ymdrin ag ef, a chan ddeall yn llwyr rai o'r penderfyniadau anodd y mae'r Llywodraeth yn gorfod eu gwneud gyda gwahanol fathau o bwysau'n cystadlu, a ydych chi'n gyfforddus ei bod hi'n ymddangos bod penderfyniadau cyllido Llywodraeth Cymru yn effeithio'n anghymesur ar ein cymunedau gwledig a'n ffermwyr? 

Well, I really don't think that's the case. Do I want to make cuts in-year in my own budget? Absolutely not. Do any of my colleagues want to make in-year cuts to their budgets? Absolutely not. But I think the First Minister and all of my ministerial colleagues have been very open about the serious financial situation that the Welsh Government faces. It's not just the Welsh Government; the UK Government will be making the same decisions and the Scottish Government will be making the same decisions as well. I think this is the toughest financial situation we've had since devolution back in 1999.

So, absolutely, I don't want to make cuts to my budget—of course I don't. I've only been able to do it by reprioritising funding, looking at our capital funding, and you heard the Minister for Finance and Local Government say in her questions that we still don't know if that's possible yet; it's up to the UK Treasury to decide on that. But this is the way I had to look, to make sure that not just farmers, as I've got fishers in my portfolio—. You know you can have an animal disease outbreak very quickly, and I have to always make sure that there is funding in that area. I've got food and drink in my portfolio, and we've seen the success that we've had there and that needs supporting as well. So, it's not just farmers; it's all parts of my portfolio. Where would I take that funding from? I had to find it. We have a collective responsibility as Ministers, each of us, to find reductions in year. It's very, very difficult. I've never had to make in-year cuts to my budget in the way that I've had to this year.

Wel, nid wyf yn credu bod hynny'n wir. A wyf fi eisiau gwneud toriadau yn fy nghyllideb fy hun yn ystod y flwyddyn? Nac ydw, yn bendant. A oes unrhyw un o fy nghyd-Weinidogion eisiau gwneud toriadau yn eu cyllidebau nhw yn ystod y flwyddyn? Nac ydynt, yn bendant. Ond rwy'n credu bod y Prif Weinidog a fy nghyd-Weinidogion i gyd wedi bod yn agored iawn am y sefyllfa ariannol ddifrifol y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei hwynebu. Nid Llywodraeth Cymru yn unig sy'n ei hwynebu; bydd Llywodraeth y DU yn gwneud yr un penderfyniadau a bydd Llywodraeth yr Alban yn gwneud yr un penderfyniadau hefyd. Rwy'n credu mai dyma'r sefyllfa ariannol anoddaf i ni ei chael ers datganoli nôl yn 1999.

Felly, yn bendant, nid wyf yn awyddus i wneud toriadau i fy nghyllideb—wrth gwrs nad wyf fi. Dim ond drwy ailflaenoriaethu cyllid y gallais ei wneud, drwy edrych ar ein cyllid cyfalaf, a chlywsoch y Gweinidog Cyllid a Llywodraeth Leol yn dweud yn ei chwestiynau nad ydym yn gwybod o hyd a yw hynny'n bosibl eto; Trysorlys y DU sydd i benderfynu ar hynny. Ond dyma'r ffordd yr oedd yn rhaid imi edrych, i wneud yn siŵr nad ffermwyr yn unig, gan fod gennyf bysgotwyr yn fy mhortffolio—. Rydych chi'n gwybod y gall clefyd anifeiliaid ddod i'r amlwg yn gyflym iawn, ac mae'n rhaid imi bob amser sicrhau bod cyllid ar gyfer hynny. Mae gennyf fwyd a diod yn fy mhortffolio, ac rydym wedi gweld y llwyddiant a gawsom yno ac mae angen cefnogi hynny hefyd. Felly, nid ffermwyr yn unig mohono; mae'n cynnwys pob rhan o fy mhortffolio. O ble y buaswn yn mynd â'r arian hwnnw? Roedd yn rhaid imi ddod o hyd iddo. Mae gennym gyfrifoldeb ar y cyd fel Gweinidogion, pob un ohonom, i ddod o hyd i ostyngiadau yn ystod y flwyddyn. Mae'n anodd tu hwnt. Nid wyf erioed wedi gorfod gwneud toriadau yn fy nghyllideb yn ystod y flwyddyn yn y ffordd y bu'n rhaid imi ei wneud eleni.

Diogelu Pysgodfeydd Mewndirol ac Arfordirol
Protecting Inland and Coastal Fisheries

7. Pa gamau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'u cymryd i ddiogelu pysgodfeydd mewndirol ac arfordirol? OQ60198

7. What action has been taken by the Welsh Government to protect inland and coastal fisheries? OQ60198

The Welsh Government continues to work with Natural Resources Wales to implement a plan of action to restore salmon and sea trout stocks. Building on recently introduced adaptive management measures, the Welsh Government has embarked on an ambitious programme of fisheries management plans, the first of which we plan to publish before Christmas.

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn parhau i weithio gyda Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru i weithredu cynllun gweithredu i adfer stociau eogiaid a sewin. Gan adeiladu ar fesurau rheoli addasol a gyflwynwyd yn ddiweddar, mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi dechrau ar raglen uchelgeisiol o gynlluniau rheoli pysgodfeydd, a bwriadwn gyhoeddi'r cyntaf cyn y Nadolig.

Thank you, Minister. Of course, the best action the Welsh Government could take would be to clamp down on untreated sewage entering our waterways. The fact that Welsh Water has been able to continually release sewage into rivers such as Towy and Ogwr is bad enough, but when they get away with it scot-free, with no enforcement by the Welsh Government, what kind of message does that send? Minister, what assurance will you now give to the people who fish the rivers and beaches of my region that you're doing everything in your power to stop discharges and protect our fisheries?

Diolch yn fawr, Weinidog. Wrth gwrs, y camau gorau y gallai Llywodraeth Cymru eu cymryd fyddai atal carthion heb eu trin rhag mynd i mewn i'n dyfrffyrdd. Mae'r ffaith bod Dŵr Cymru wedi gallu rhyddhau carthion yn barhaus i afonydd fel Tywi ac Ogwr yn ddigon drwg, ond pan allant wneud hynny heb eu cosbi, heb unrhyw orfodaeth gan Lywodraeth Cymru, pa fath o neges y mae hynny'n ei chyfleu? Weinidog, pa sicrwydd a roddwch nawr i'r bobl sy'n pysgota afonydd a thraethau fy rhanbarth eich bod yn gwneud popeth yn eich gallu i atal gollyngiadau a diogelu ein pysgodfeydd?

Well, this matter falls within the Minister for Climate Change's portfolio. I don't think she will let them get off scot-free; we all know the Minister for Climate Change and I don't think that that will happen. I will continue to have discussions. You heard in my earlier answer to Huw Irranca-Davies that pollution of our waters is cross-Government. I work very closely with the Minister for Climate Change, and it's really important that we treat every source of pollution.

Wel, mae'r mater hwn yn dod o fewn portffolio'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd. Nid wyf yn meddwl y bydd hi'n gadael iddynt beidio â chael eu cosbi; rydym i gyd yn adnabod y Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd ac nid wyf yn credu y bydd hynny'n digwydd. Byddaf yn parhau i gael trafodaethau. Clywsoch yn fy ateb cynharach i Huw Irranca-Davies fod llygredd ein dyfroedd yn fater trawslywodraethol. Rwy'n gweithio'n agos iawn gyda'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd, ac mae'n bwysig iawn ein bod yn trin pob ffynhonnell llygredd.

Yn olaf, cwestiwn 8, Rhys ab Owen.

Finally, question 8, Rhys ab Owen.

15:00
Gwahardd Cŵn Bully XL Americanaidd
American Bully XL Ban

8. Pa asesiad y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'i wneud o effaith gwaharddiad Llywodraeth y DU o gŵn Bully XL Americanaidd ar y sector achub anifeiliaid yng Nghymru? OQ60200

8. What assessment has the Minister made of the impact of the UK Government’s upcoming ban of American Bully XLs on the animal rescue sector in Wales? OQ60200

Full details of how the ban will be implemented by the UK Government are yet to be finalised. I am aware there will be an impact on rescue centres, and my officials will work closely with the third sector in Wales to minimise the impact of any unintended consequences of this legislation.

Nid yw'r manylion llawn ynglŷn â sut y bydd y gwaharddiad yn cael ei weithredu gan Lywodraeth y DU wedi'u cwblhau eto. Rwy'n ymwybodol y bydd effaith ar ganolfannau achub, a bydd fy swyddogion yn gweithio'n agos gyda'r trydydd sector yng Nghymru i leihau effaith unrhyw ganlyniadau anfwriadol o'r ddeddfwriaeth hon.

Diolch, Gweinidog. As you're well aware, animal rescue shelters, local authorities and police forces are under increased financial pressure. As you're also aware, last Tuesday, it was announced that these pressures were going to get even worse with the XL bully ban by the end of this year. It's the statutory duty of local authorities to pick up stray dogs, and with this ban coming into force, we can probably expect more abandoned XLs roaming our streets. Many dog shelters are already full, they have little space to expand, to have larger kennels to accommodate the size of this breed. This probably means that many local authorities may be required to euthanise these dogs. Is the Minister aware that either the UK Government or the Welsh Government will be providing extra resources for animal rescue shelters and local authorities to ensure that they can continue with their duties and support them during the introduction of this ban? Diolch yn fawr.

Diolch, Weinidog. Fel y gwyddoch, mae llochesau achub anifeiliaid, awdurdodau lleol a heddluoedd o dan bwysau ariannol cynyddol. Fel y gwyddoch hefyd, ddydd Mawrth diwethaf, cyhoeddwyd bod y pwysau hyn yn mynd i waethygu eto gyda gwaharddiad cŵn bully XL erbyn diwedd eleni. Mae'n ddyletswydd statudol ar awdurdodau lleol i gasglu cŵn crwydr, a chyda'r gwaharddiad hwn yn dod i rym, mae'n debyg y gallwn ddisgwyl gweld rhagor o gŵn XL wedi'u gadael yn crwydro ein strydoedd. Mae llawer o lochesau cŵn eisoes yn llawn, ychydig iawn o le sydd ganddynt i ehangu, i gael cytiau mwy i ddarparu ar gyfer maint y brîd hwn. Mae'n debyg fod hyn yn golygu y gallai fod yn ofynnol i lawer o awdurdodau lleol ewthaneiddio'r cŵn hyn. A yw'r Gweinidog yn gwybod a fydd naill ai Llywodraeth y DU neu Lywodraeth Cymru yn darparu adnoddau ychwanegol i lochesau achub anifeiliaid ac awdurdodau lleol i sicrhau y gallant barhau â'u dyletswyddau a'u cefnogi wrth gyflwyno'r gwaharddiad hwn? Diolch yn fawr.

Thank you. You will have heard me say in my earlier answer to Sam Kurtz that I am very concerned about the unintended consequences of this legislation, and the last thing we want is XL bullies roaming the streets because they've been abandoned. So, it is really important that the UK Government work out the details of this ban. As I say, I very much welcome the statement, but I would have liked a bit more contact between myself and Ministers. The DEFRA Ministers, clearly, I think, were caught by surprise as well. It is a wholly reserved matter, and they will be bringing forward the £200 support cost or compensation. I think we need to have further conversations around will they be giving further funding so that this can be enforced, because any new piece of legislation—when the Welsh Government brings forward a piece of legislation, you look at the enforcement costs.

You may be aware, I know many colleagues attended and are also very aware, I had a summit on responsible dog ownership a couple of weeks ago, and speaking to the police who were present at the summit, speaking to our rural crime and wildlife co-ordinator, these are real concerns now going forward. So, I do have a meeting with Richard Benyon, who's the Minister in DEFRA in relation to this matter, next month, where I will be pursuing these points. They are bringing forward statutory instruments; I think they're bringing forward three statutory instruments, and each one will set out far more detail about the ban, but the devil as always is in the detail, isn't it, and we really need to see that.

Diolch. Byddwch wedi fy nghlywed yn dweud yn fy ateb cynharach i Sam Kurtz fy mod yn bryderus iawn am ganlyniadau anfwriadol y ddeddfwriaeth hon, a'r peth olaf yr ydym ei eisiau yw cŵn bully XL yn crwydro'r strydoedd oherwydd eu bod wedi cael eu gadael. Felly, mae'n bwysig iawn fod Llywodraeth y DU yn gweithio ar fanylion y gwaharddiad hwn. Fel y dywedais, rwy'n croesawu'r datganiad yn fawr, ond byddwn wedi hoffi ychydig mwy o gyswllt rhyngof fi a Gweinidogion. Yn amlwg, cafodd Gweinidogion DEFRA eu synnu hefyd, rwy'n credu. Mae'n fater sydd wedi'i gadw'n ôl yn gyfan gwbl, a byddant yn cyflwyno'r gost gymorth neu iawndal o £200. Rwy'n credu bod angen inni gael sgyrsiau pellach ynglŷn ag a fyddant yn rhoi rhagor o gyllid fel bod modd gorfodi hyn, oherwydd bod unrhyw ddarn newydd o ddeddfwriaeth—pan fydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn cyflwyno darn o ddeddfwriaeth, rydych yn edrych ar y costau gorfodi.

Efallai eich bod yn ymwybodol, rwy'n gwybod bod llawer o gyd-Aelodau wedi mynychu ac yn ymwybodol iawn hefyd, fy mod wedi cael uwchgynhadledd ar berchnogaeth gyfrifol ar gŵn ychydig wythnosau'n ôl, ac o siarad gyda'r heddlu a oedd yn bresennol yn yr uwchgynhadledd, a siarad gyda'n cydgysylltydd troseddau cefn gwlad a bywyd gwyllt, mae'r rhain yn bryderon gwirioneddol wrth symud ymlaen. Felly, mae gennyf gyfarfod â Richard Benyon, sef y Gweinidog yn DEFRA mewn perthynas â'r mater hwn, fis nesaf, lle byddaf yn mynd ar drywydd y pwyntiau hyn. Maent yn cyflwyno offerynnau statudol; rwy'n credu eu bod yn cyflwyno tri offeryn statudol, a bydd pob un yn nodi llawer mwy o fanylion am y gwaharddiad, ond y manylion sy'n bwysig bob amser, onid e, ac mae gwir angen inni eu gweld.

I can just squeeze in question 9. Joyce Watson.

Gallaf wasgu cwestiwn 9 i mewn. Joyce Watson.

Deddf Hela 2004
The Hunting Act 2004

9. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am roi Deddf Hela 2004 ar waith yng Nghymru? OQ60208

9. Will the Minister make a statement on the implementation of the Hunting Act 2004 in Wales? OQ60208

The Welsh Government does not have legislative competence over the Hunting Act 2004; it is a non-devolved issue and a matter for the UK Government. The Welsh Government would strongly support strengthening the Act to tackle its known deficiencies and enable it to succeed in preventing unnecessary and cruel hunting.

Nid oes gan Lywodraeth Cymru gymhwysedd deddfwriaethol dros Ddeddf Hela 2004; mae'n fater sydd heb ei ddatganoli ac yn fater i Lywodraeth y DU. Byddai Llywodraeth Cymru yn cefnogi cryfhau'r Ddeddf yn gryf er mwyn mynd i'r afael â'i diffygion hysbys a'i galluogi i lwyddo i atal hela diangen a chreulon.

I thank you for that answer, Minister. It's nearly 20 years since the UK Labour Government banned fox hunting, but all the evidence suggests that some hunts circumvent the law behind the smokescreen of trail hunting. Because of this loophole, chief superintendent Matt Longman, the National Police Chiefs Council lead on fox hunting, has said that

'The Hunting Act is not working effectively and illegal hunting is still common practice.'

Wales and the Welsh Government, of course, have a proud and progressive record on animal welfare, and trail hunting has been banned on land owned by Natural Resources Wales for two years. But do you agree with me, Minister, that all persecution of animals in the name of sport should be banned, and will you therefore urge the UK Ministers to strengthen the 2004 Act to end hunting with hounds in Wales for good?

Diolch am yr ateb hwnnw, Weinidog. Mae bron i 20 mlynedd ers i Lywodraeth Lafur y DU wahardd hela llwynogod, ond mae'r holl dystiolaeth yn awgrymu bod rhai helfeydd yn osgoi'r gyfraith y tu ôl i len fwg o hela llwybrau. Oherwydd y man gwan hwn, mae'r prif uwch-arolygydd Matt Longman, arweinydd Cyngor Cenedlaethol Penaethiaid yr Heddlu ar hela llwynogod, wedi dweud:

'Nid yw'r Ddeddf Hela yn gweithio'n effeithiol ac mae hela anghyfreithlon yn arfer cyffredin o hyd.'

Mae gan Gymru a Llywodraeth Cymru, wrth gwrs, hanes balch a blaengar ar les anifeiliaid, ac mae hela llwybrau wedi cael ei wahardd ar dir sy'n eiddo i Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru ers dwy flynedd. Ond a ydych chi'n cytuno, Weinidog, y dylid gwahardd pob math o erlid anifeiliaid yn enw chwaraeon, ac a wnewch chi felly annog Gweinidogion y DU i gryfhau Deddf 2004 i roi diwedd ar hela gyda helgwn yng Nghymru am byth?

I certainly would urge the UK Government to strengthen it. The deficiencies of the Hunting Act are quite often brought to my attention, and I'm sure that Joyce Watson is aware that the Hunting with Dogs (Scotland) Bill was passed in January 2023, and it became an Act, I think, two months later. I have asked my officials to liaise with Scottish officials to discuss the process that was undertaken.

I wish I had the powers to strengthen the Act. I go back to the conversations I had at the responsible dog ownership summit, where we talked about the too many livestock attacks we've had, and then it always goes on into hunting as well; it's just a natural progression. And I don't think there was anybody in the room that didn't think that the Act needed strengthening. So, I will continue to speak to DEFRA Ministers—I think Michael Gove was the first Minister I raised this with—because they do have the powers to do it; I wish I did.

Buaswn yn sicr yn annog Llywodraeth y DU i'w chryfhau. Mae diffygion y Ddeddf Hela yn aml yn cael eu dwyn i fy sylw, ac rwy'n siŵr fod Joyce Watson yn ymwybodol fod Bil Hela gyda Chŵn (Yr Alban) wedi ei basio ym mis Ionawr 2023, a daeth yn Ddeddf, rwy'n credu, ddeufis yn ddiweddarach. Rwyf wedi gofyn i fy swyddogion gysylltu â swyddogion yr Alban i drafod y broses a ddilynwyd.

Hoffwn pe bai gennyf bwerau i gryfhau'r Ddeddf. Rwy'n mynd yn ôl at sgyrsiau a gefais yn yr uwchgynhadledd ar berchnogaeth gyfrifol ar gŵn, lle buom yn siarad am y nifer gormodol o ymosodiadau ar dda byw a gawsom, ac mae hynny bob amser yn arwain at drafod hela hefyd; mae'n ddilyniant naturiol. Ac nid wyf yn credu bod unrhyw un yn yr ystafell nad oedd yn credu bod angen cryfhau'r Ddeddf. Felly, byddaf yn parhau i siarad â Gweinidogion DEFRA—rwy'n credu mai Michael Gove oedd y Gweinidog cyntaf imi godi hyn gydag ef—oherwydd bod ganddynt bwerau i'w wneud; hoffwn pe bai gennyf bwerau o'r fath.

15:05

Diolch i'r Gweinidog.

I thank the Minister.

I only wish that the rural affairs Minister of 2009 could have foreseen this session when she introduced Glastir nearly 15 years ago, and was given a pretty rough time in this Chamber, only to have, 15 years later, its demise decried in such a way in this session.

Hoffwn pe gallai'r Gweinidog materion gwledig yn 2009 fod wedi rhagweld y sesiwn hon pan gyflwynwyd Glastir ganddi bron i 15 mlynedd yn ôl, a phan gafodd amser eithaf caled yn y Siambr hon, a'r gwrthwynebiad i'w ddiwedd 15 mlynedd yn ddiweddarach yn y fath fodd yn y sesiwn hon.

That's politics for you. [Laughter.]

Dyna yw gwleidyddiaeth. [Chwerthin.]

3. Cwestiynau Amserol
3. Topical Questions

Felly, y cwestiynau amserol nawr. Russell George sydd â'r cwestiwn cyntaf, i'w ateb gan y Gweinidog iechyd.

So, topical questions now. Russell George, who has the first question to be answered by the Minister for health.

Ysbyty Athrofaol Cymru
The University Hospital of Wales

Diolch, former Minister—[Laughter.]—and Presiding Officer.

Diolch, gyn Weinidog—[Chwerthin.]—a Llywydd.

1. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am y sefyllfa o ran Ysbyty Athrofaol Cymru yn cyhoeddi rhybudd du ynghylch galw andwyol sylweddol a pharhaus ar wasanaethau? TQ902

1. Will the Minister provide an update on the University Hospital of Wales issuing a black alert regarding a significant and sustained adverse demand on services? TQ902

Yes. Cardiff and Vale University Health Board yesterday reported a business continuity incident. This was triggered by increases in demand for patients with complex needs and challenges with patient flow. I made an unannounced visit to the site last night, and saw first-hand that the organisation is managing the position well and they will de-escalate when ready.

Gwnaf. Ddoe, fe wnaeth Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Caerdydd a'r Fro gyhoeddi 'digwyddiad parhad busnes'. Sbardunwyd hyn gan gynnydd yn y galw gan gleifion ag anghenion cymhleth a heriau gyda llif cleifion. Fe gynhaliais ymweliad dirybudd â'r safle neithiwr, a gwelais yn uniongyrchol fod y sefydliad yn rheoli'r sefyllfa'n dda a byddant yn isgyfeirio pan fyddant yn barod.

Thank you, Minister, for your answer, and of course this is, I’m sure you would agree, an extremely concerning situation, because we’re not yet in the depths of winter and perhaps we would have expected this to happen later in the season, so there is, of course, that concern. And it would seem that staff will now be diverted away from planned operations to support the current position. So, I wonder, Minister, if you could outline what that actually means in practice. And of course, we’re aware of the wider issues here: we’ve got one in four patient pathways already on an NHS waiting list, so how will that impact in that regard?

But also, Minister, the health board has said itself that prolonged patient stays in hospital are contributing to the adverse demand on services at the hospital. So, it’s clear that that situation does need to come under control. I was pleased to hear that you did pay that unannounced visit to the health board. But can you set out, Minister, specifically what does it mean in this regard for this situation? What does a black alert actually mean? How is the Welsh Government supporting the health board? What demands are there on other organisations, either being made by the Welsh Government or the health board, and, for example, will the military be asked to assist in some way, either by you or by the health board, or will other organisations be called in to help with this situation?

Diolch am eich ateb, Weinidog, ac wrth gwrs mae hyn, rwy'n siŵr y byddech yn cytuno, yn sefyllfa bryderus iawn, oherwydd nid ydym ynghanol y gaeaf eto ac efallai y byddem wedi disgwyl i hyn ddigwydd yn ddiweddarach yn y tymor, felly, mae'r pryder hwnnw'n bodoli, wrth gwrs. Ac mae'n ymddangos y bydd staff nawr yn cael eu dargyfeirio oddi wrth lawdriniaethau wedi'u cynllunio i gefnogi'r sefyllfa bresennol. Felly, Weinidog, tybed a allech chi amlinellu'r hyn y mae hynny'n ei olygu'n ymarferol. Ac wrth gwrs, rydym yn ymwybodol o'r problemau ehangach yma: mae gennym un o bob pedwar llwybr cleifion eisoes ar restr aros y GIG, felly, sut y bydd hynny'n cael ei effeithio?

Ond hefyd, Weinidog, mae'r bwrdd iechyd wedi dweud ei hun bod arosiadau hir cleifion yn yr ysbyty yn cyfrannu at y galw niweidiol ar wasanaethau yn yr ysbyty. Felly, mae'n amlwg fod angen i'r sefyllfa honno ddod dan reolaeth. Roeddwn yn falch o glywed eich bod wedi gwneud yr ymweliad dirybudd hwnnw â'r bwrdd iechyd. Ond Weinidog, a wnewch chi nodi'n benodol yr hyn y mae'n ei olygu ar gyfer y sefyllfa hon? Beth mae rhybudd du yn ei olygu mewn gwirionedd? Sut mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn cefnogi'r bwrdd iechyd? Pa ofynion sydd ar sefydliadau eraill, naill ai'n cael eu gwneud gan Lywodraeth Cymru neu'r bwrdd iechyd, ac er enghraifft, a fyddwch chi neu'r bwrdd iechyd yn gofyn i'r fyddin gynorthwyo mewn rhyw ffordd, neu a fydd sefydliadau eraill yn cael eu galw i mewn i helpu gyda'r sefyllfa hon?

Thanks very much. Well, I was very pleased to see last night that, actually, the situation was relatively calm, but in fact, there were only about 80 or so patients, which was in contrast to the about 160 waiting in the emergency department the previous evening. The situation was quite calm; there were only two ambulances there. One had only just come in, so a very, very different situation from I think what they'd had the previous day.

What they are obviously doing is following an escalation framework. That’s done for a reason: it’s done in order to make sure that you don’t get to a place where the system falls over. So, what you do is you make sure that you pull people in and divert them from perhaps other work that they were doing. So, the health board is obviously considering a number of elements. They still haven’t de-escalated and they won’t de-escalate until they are confident that they won’t revert to that escalation any time after that.

So, the kinds of questions that they’re asking are: do the predicted discharge levels allow them to stop the prolonged waits in the emergency unit, and to de-escalate the volumes in the emergency unit? Can they maintain sufficient specialist capacity to admit patients like stroke patients and vascular patients? Have they got a line of sight in terms of a robust weekend plan? So, it is not unusual to have more pressure on a Monday, so they just want to make sure that they don't see a repeat of this the following Monday. So, they just want to make sure it's all belt and braces, so you don't bounce straight back into that. And, have they put in place sufficient changes to ensure reverting to business as usual doesn't result in the same outcome? So, those are the kinds of issues that they are considering before they come out of that business continuity situation, and there is no plan at all to involve the military.

Diolch yn fawr. Wel, roeddwn yn falch iawn o weld neithiwr fod y sefyllfa'n gymharol dawel, ond mewn gwirionedd, dim ond tua 80 o gleifion oedd yno, a oedd yn wahanol i'r tua 160 a oedd yn aros yn yr adran achosion brys y noson flaenorol. Roedd y sefyllfa'n eithaf tawel; dim ond dau ambiwlans oedd yno. Dim ond un oedd newydd ddod i mewn, felly, sefyllfa wahanol iawn i'r hyn a oedd ganddynt y diwrnod cynt, rwy'n meddwl.

Maent yn amlwg yn dilyn fframwaith uwchgyfeirio. Mae hynny'n cael ei wneud am reswm: mae'n cael ei wneud er mwyn sicrhau nad ydych yn cyrraedd man lle mae'r system yn methu. Felly, rydych yn sicrhau eich bod yn tynnu pobl i mewn a'u dargyfeirio o waith arall yr oeddent yn ei wneud. Felly, mae'r bwrdd iechyd yn amlwg yn ystyried nifer o elfennau. Nid ydynt wedi isgyfeirio o hyd ac ni fyddant yn isgyfeirio nes eu bod yn hyderus na fyddant yn dychwelyd i sefyllfa uwchgyfeirio ar ôl hynny.

Felly, y mathau o gwestiynau y maent yn eu gofyn yw: a yw'r lefelau rhyddhau o'r ysbyty a ragwelir yn caniatáu iddynt atal yr amseroedd aros hir yn yr uned frys, ac i leihau'r niferoedd yn yr uned frys? A allant gynnal digon o allu arbenigol i dderbyn cleifion fel cleifion strôc a chleifion fasgwlaidd? A oes ganddynt gynllun penwythnos clir a chadarn? Felly, nid yw'n anarferol cael mwy o bwysau ar ddydd Llun, felly maent am wneud yn siŵr nad yw hyn yn ailadrodd y dydd Llun canlynol. Felly, maent am wneud yn siŵr fod popeth yn gadarn iawn, fel nad ydych yn dychwelyd yn syth at hynny. Ac a ydynt wedi rhoi digon o newidiadau ar waith i sicrhau nad yw dychwelyd i fusnes fel arfer yn arwain at yr un canlyniad? Felly, dyna'r mathau o bethau y maent yn eu hystyried cyn iddynt ddod allan o'r sefyllfa parhad busnes, ac nid oes unrhyw gynllun o gwbl i gynnwys y fyddin.

15:10

At the end of December last year, we witnessed the unprecedented situation whereby all seven Welsh health boards were at the highest level of escalation. It's no exaggeration to say that our health service faced an existential crisis at that time, from which it has yet to fully recover. As such, the declaration of a black alert at the University Hospital of Wales—the first such incident of the winter—should act as a clear warning sign to the Government of the inevitable and profound challenges that lie ahead in the coming months. Yesterday, we heard Judith Paget, the NHS Wales chief executive, predict that winter pressures could reach similar levels to those experienced last year. Rowena Christmas, the chair of the Royal College of General Practitioners in Wales, has echoed this by expressing her fears of a brutally hard winter for our NHS.

We've known for some time about the scale and complexity of Wales's particular health needs—our ageing population, the high prevalence of long-term sickness rates and the gaps in the workforce. What the people of Wales expect and deserve is a response from the Government that's proactive in mitigating these challenges and which shows an awareness to learn from previous mistakes to ease the immense strains that are being imposed on front-line services. On this basis, I'd be grateful therefore if the Minister could give an update on the roll-out of urgent primary care centres and same-day emergency care services across Wales. How many have been established so far and what is the expectation of the total number that will be in operation by the end of this year?

There's also the issue of finance. We've learned today that as part of the Welsh Government's re-budgeting exercise, health boards have been asked to make further cuts of £64 million to the current spending levels. As the health Minister has readily acknowledged, this may have a knock-on effect on the availability of extra beds at hospitals, which was a contributing factor to the declaration of the black alert at the University Hospital of Wales yesterday. So, what is the Minister's assessment of the impact of the re-budgeting exercise on the capacity of front-line services to manage workloads over the winter months?

Ddiwedd mis Rhagfyr y llynedd, gwelsom y sefyllfa ddigynsail lle roedd pob un o'r saith bwrdd iechyd yng Nghymru ar y lefel uchaf o uwchgyfeirio. Nid wyf yn gor-ddweud wrth ddweud bod ein gwasanaeth iechyd wedi wynebu argyfwng dirfodol bryd hynny, ac nid yw wedi gwella'n llawn o hynny eto. Fel y cyfryw, dylai'r datganiad o rybudd du yn Ysbyty Athrofaol Cymru—y digwyddiad cyntaf o'r fath y gaeaf hwn—weithredu fel rhybudd clir i'r Llywodraeth o'r heriau anochel a dwys sydd o'n blaenau yn y misoedd nesaf. Ddoe, clywsom Judith Paget, prif weithredwr GIG Cymru, yn rhagweld y gallai pwysau'r gaeaf gyrraedd lefelau tebyg i'r rhai a brofwyd y llynedd. Mae Rowena Christmas, cadeirydd Coleg Brenhinol yr Ymarferwyr Cyffredinol yng Nghymru, wedi adleisio hyn drwy fynegi ei hofnau am aeaf caled iawn i'n GIG.

Rydym wedi gwybod ers peth amser am raddfa a chymhlethdod anghenion iechyd penodol Cymru—ein poblogaeth sy'n heneiddio, lefel uchel o gyfraddau salwch hirdymor a'r bylchau yn y gweithlu. Mae pobl Cymru yn disgwyl ac yn haeddu ymateb gan y Llywodraeth sy'n rhagweithiol i liniaru'r heriau hyn ac sy'n dangos ymwybyddiaeth o'r angen i ddysgu o gamgymeriadau blaenorol i leddfu'r straen aruthrol sy'n cael eu gosod ar wasanaethau rheng flaen. Ar y sail hon, buaswn yn ddiolchgar, felly, pe gallai'r Gweinidog roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am gyflwyno canolfannau gofal sylfaenol brys a gwasanaethau gofal argyfwng yr un diwrnod ledled Cymru. Faint sydd wedi'u sefydlu hyd yma a beth yw'r disgwyl o ran y nifer a fydd yn weithredol erbyn diwedd eleni?

Mae mater arian yn codi hefyd. Rydym wedi dysgu heddiw, fel rhan o ymarfer ail-gyllidebu Llywodraeth Cymru, fod gofyn i fyrddau iechyd wneud toriadau pellach o £64 miliwn i'r lefelau gwariant presennol. Fel y mae'r Gweinidog iechyd wedi bod yn barod i gydnabod, gallai hyn gael effaith ganlyniadol ar argaeledd gwelyau ychwanegol mewn ysbytai, a oedd yn ffactor a gyfrannodd at ddatgan y rhybudd du yn Ysbyty Athrofaol Cymru ddoe. Felly, beth yw asesiad y Gweinidog o effaith yr ymarfer ail-gyllidebu ar gapasiti gwasanaethau rheng flaen i reoli llwythi gwaith dros fisoedd y gaeaf?

Thanks very much. Well, what we know is that there is a huge pressure on the NHS, and we're expecting that pressure to be great again this winter. There was a time, for one week in December last year, where we saw GPs and GP practices seeing 400,000 people in one week; so, the pressure is intense. Let's not forget that, actually, huge and significant measures have already been put in place to try and divert people away from accident and emergency. So, the 111 service, for example, has diverted 75,000 callers directly away from A&E; about 15 per cent of those are then sent to A&E, so that's a huge number that are diverted. We know that about 15 per cent of ambulances now do not convey people to hospital, but they treat them and they deal with them in their homes.

We know that those urgent primary care centres are also making a difference. What we know is that activity has gone up by 9 per cent since last year, so I think that is significant. Ten thousand people a month are being seen in those urgent primary care centres. There is one, at least, for each area. I think it's a different model in the rural areas, though, because they are not necessarily appropriate in the same way in rural areas, so they have a different kind of system, but they're not necessarily—. They're just not called urgent primary care centres.

In terms of the same-day emergency care centres, there are 16 hospitals that now have same-day emergency care centres. There are 24 of them in total across Wales—that's two more since April last year—and two more are opening in November this year. And the great news is that what we're seeing—. One of the things that we did explicitly say that we wanted to see this winter was an extension in terms of the opening hours. I'm pleased to say that, now, we have got 91 additional hours of SDEC open since April 2023.

These were some of the questions that I was asking to them in the emergency department in the Heath yesterday: what difference is SDEC making? What difference is the urgency department making? What difference is 111 making? They were all united in their view that they are making a difference, and that they acknowledge that people are being diverted. But there are still a lot of sick people in our communities. What we do know is that respiratory viruses increase during winter, and we do have to take account of that.  

Diolch yn fawr. Wel, yr hyn a wyddom yw bod pwysau enfawr ar y GIG, ac rydym yn disgwyl i'r pwysau fod yn fawr eto y gaeaf hwn. Roedd yna adeg, am wythnos ym mis Rhagfyr y llynedd, lle roedd meddygon teulu a meddygfeydd yn gweld 400,000 o bobl mewn wythnos; felly, mae'r pwysau'n ddwys. Gadewch inni beidio ag anghofio bod mesurau enfawr a sylweddol eisoes wedi'u rhoi ar waith i geisio dargyfeirio pobl oddi wrth adrannau damweiniau ac achosion brys. Felly, mae'r gwasanaeth 111, er enghraifft, wedi dargyfeirio 75,000 o alwyr yn uniongyrchol oddi wrth adrannau damweiniau ac achosion brys; mae tua 15 y cant o'r rheini'n cael eu hanfon i adrannau damweiniau ac achosion brys, felly, mae hwnnw'n nifer enfawr sy'n cael eu dargyfeirio. Gwyddom nad yw tua 15 y cant o ambiwlansys bellach yn cludo pobl i'r ysbyty, ond maent yn eu trin ac maent yn eu trin yn eu cartrefi.

Gwyddom fod y canolfannau gofal sylfaenol brys hynny hefyd yn gwneud gwahaniaeth. Gwyddom fod gweithgarwch wedi cynyddu 9 y cant ers y llynedd, felly, rwy'n credu bod hynny'n arwyddocaol. Mae 10,000 o bobl y mis yn cael eu gweld yn y canolfannau gofal sylfaenol brys hynny. Mae un, o leiaf, ar gyfer pob ardal. Rwy'n meddwl ei fod yn fodel gwahanol yn yr ardaloedd gwledig, serch hynny, gan nad ydynt o reidrwydd yn briodol yn yr un ffordd mewn ardaloedd gwledig, felly mae ganddynt fath gwahanol o system, ond nid ydynt o reidrwydd—. Nid ydynt yn cael eu galw'n ganolfannau gofal sylfaenol brys.

O ran y canolfannau gofal argyfwng yr un diwrnod, bellach mae gan 16 ysbyty ganolfannau gofal argyfwng yr un diwrnod. Mae 24 ohonynt i gyd ar draws Cymru—sef dwy yn rhagor ers mis Ebrill y llynedd—ac mae dwy arall yn agor ym mis Tachwedd eleni. A'r newyddion gwych yw bod yr hyn a welwn—. Un o'r pethau y dywedasom yn benodol ein bod am eu gweld y gaeaf hwn oedd ymestyn oriau agor. Rwy'n falch o ddweud, nawr, fod y canolfannau gofal argyfwng yr un diwrnod ar agor am 91 awr yn ychwanegol ers mis Ebrill 2023.

Dyma rai o'r cwestiynau yr oeddwn yn eu gofyn iddynt yn yr adran frys yn y Mynydd Bychan ddoe: pa wahaniaeth y mae'r canolfannau gofal argyfwng yr un diwrnod yn ei wneud? Pa wahaniaeth y mae'r adran frys yn ei wneud? Pa wahaniaeth y mae 111 yn ei wneud? Roeddent i gyd yn unfrydol eu bod yn gwneud gwahaniaeth, a'u bod yn cydnabod bod pobl yn cael eu dargyfeirio. Ond mae llawer o bobl sâl yn ein cymunedau o hyd. Gwyddom fod firysau anadlol yn cynyddu yn ystod y gaeaf, ac mae'n rhaid inni ystyried hynny.  

15:15

Minister, I'm very pleased that you went to the hospital of Wales yesterday in Cardiff. I'm sure that that was much appreciated by all of the dedicated staff. I am alarmed, I have to say, that the Heath hospital is getting into this much difficulty, given that they have done brilliant work on not keeping ambulances waiting in the past. Also, the patient flow has, in the past, been assisted by the pink army of social care workers, both in the emergency department and on the wards. So, are you able to shed any further light on why the patient flow has suddenly become so sclerotic?

Weinidog, rwy'n falch iawn eich bod wedi mynd i ysbyty Cymru ddoe yng Nghaerdydd. Rwy'n siŵr fod hynny wedi'i werthfawrogi'n fawr gan yr holl staff ymroddedig. Mae'n frawychus, mae'n rhaid imi ddweud, fod ysbyty'r Mynydd Bychan yn cael y trafferthion mawr hyn, o gofio eu bod wedi gwneud gwaith gwych ar beidio â chadw ambiwlansys yn aros yn y gorffennol. Hefyd, mae llif cleifion, yn y gorffennol, wedi cael ei gynorthwyo gan fyddin binc o weithwyr gofal cymdeithasol, yn yr adran frys ac ar y wardiau. Felly, a ydych chi'n gallu taflu unrhyw olau pellach ar pam mae llif cleifion wedi arafu i'r fath raddau yn sydyn?

Thanks very much. You are quite right. I think that the Heath has been an exemplar in terms of emergency department activity. They have been occasionally getting below the four-hour target in terms of the numbers of people being seen within that target. So, they have been really impressive. We have been sending people in there, but there has obviously been something going wrong with the flow in relation to this particular weekend.

It is something that, I think, hospitals are going to need to think about, recognising that flow out of hospitals on the weekend, because local authorities are not there to support that flow out of hospitals—that, actually, you do need to recognise that you do need to try and get more people out at the beginning of the weekend, in the knowledge that it is going to be difficult to maintain the position until Sunday.

I think that there will be some lessons for Cardiff to learn as a result of this. Certainly, what I can tell you is that the executive board have decided to remain in business continuity for the remainder of today and tonight. So, I would encourage the public not to use the emergency department in Cardiff unless it's absolutely necessary. 

Diolch yn fawr. Rydych chi'n hollol gywir. Rwy'n credu bod y Mynydd Bychan wedi bod yn esiampl o weithgarwch adran argyfwng. O bryd i'w gilydd, maent wedi bod yn gostwng yn is na'r targed pedair awr o ran nifer y bobl sy'n cael eu gweld o fewn y targed hwnnw. Felly, maent wedi bod yn wirioneddol drawiadol. Rydym wedi bod yn anfon pobl yno, ond yn amlwg mae rhywbeth wedi mynd o'i le gyda'r llif y penwythnos penodol hwn.

Mae'n rhywbeth y bydd rhaid i ysbytai feddwl amdano, rwy'n credu, cydnabod y llif allan o ysbytai dros y penwythnos, oherwydd nid yw awdurdodau lleol yno i gefnogi'r llif hwnnw allan o ysbytai—fod angen cydnabod yr angen i geisio cael rhagor o bobl allan ar ddechrau'r penwythnos, gan wybod ei bod hi'n mynd i fod yn anodd cynnal y sefyllfa tan ddydd Sul.

Rwy'n credu y bydd rhai gwersi i Gaerdydd eu dysgu o ganlyniad i hyn. Yn sicr, gallaf ddweud wrthych fod y bwrdd gweithredol wedi penderfynu aros yn y sefyllfa parhad busnes am weddill heddiw a heno. Felly, hoffwn annog y cyhoedd i beidio â defnyddio'r adran frys yng Nghaerdydd oni bai bod hynny'n gwbl angenrheidiol. 

Diolch i'r Gweinidog. Yr eitem nesaf fydd y cwestiwn amserol gan Heledd Fychan, i'w ateb gan Weinidog y Gymraeg ac Addysg.

I thank the Minister. The next item will be the question from Heledd Fychan, to be answered by the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language.

Gwasanaeth Cwsmeriaid Dros y Ffôn yn y Gymraeg HSBC
HSBC's Welsh Language Customer Telephone Service

2. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad ynglŷn â chyhoeddiad HSBC y byddant yn dod a’u gwasanaeth cwsmeriaid dros y ffôn yn y Gymraeg i ben? TQ906

2. Will the Minister make a statement on the announcement by HSBC that they will be ending their Welsh-language customer telephone service? TQ906

Mae hyn yn siomedig iawn. Mae cynyddu defnydd o’r Gymraeg wedi bod yn flaenoriaeth glir imi, ac rwy’n gwybod i’r Aelod hefyd, o’r cychwyn cyntaf. Rydyn ni wedi bod mewn cysylltiad â swyddfa Comisiynydd y Gymraeg, ac rwy’n deall y bydd y comisiynydd yn ysgrifennu at HSBC heddiw er mwyn gweld beth ellir ei wneud am y sefyllfa.

This is very disappointing indeed. Increasing the use of the Welsh language has been a clear priority for me, as it has been for the Member, from the very outset. We have been in contact with the office of the Welsh Language Commissioner, and I understand that the commissioner will write to HSBC today in order to see what can be done about this situation.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, ac rwy’n gwerthfawrogi ein bod ni’n unedig ar hyn. Yn amlwg, mi oedd o’n siomedig dros ben derbyn e-bost y bore yma, yn uniaith Saesneg, gan HSBC, a oedd yn dweud hefyd:

Thank you very much, and I appreciate that we speak with one voice on this. Clearly, it was very disappointing to receive an e-mail this morning, in English, from HSBC, that stated also:

'We have confirmed that all customers are able to bank in English'.

'Rydym wedi cadarnhau bod pob cwsmer yn gallu bancio yn Saesneg'.

O ystyried eu gwefan nhw, sydd yn dweud y canlynol—

'Yn HSBC rydym yn ymroddedig i fywyd, diwylliant a phobl Cymru a'n nod yw croesawu'r iaith Gymraeg yn ein holl ganghennau yng Nghymru, a thrwy wneud hynny darparu gwasanaeth o'r safon uchaf i'n cwsmeriaid'—

rydw i'n meddwl bod y llythyr yn dangos, yn gyfan gwbl groes, nad oes yna ddealltwriaeth gan HBSC o ran beth ydy cynnig gwasanaeth dwyieithog, a beth ydy hawliau pobl i ddefnyddio'r Gymraeg yma yng Nghymru. Felly, rydw i'n gobeithio y gallwn ni hefyd, fel Aelodau o'r Senedd, fod yn unedig o ran ysgrifennu at a siarad gydag HSBC er mwyn sicrhau bod barn pawb rŷn ni'n eu cynrychioli yn gadarn o ran hynny.

Mi fyddwch chi’n ymwybodol, dwi’n siŵr, Weinidog, o’r adroddiad a wnaeth comisiynydd blaenorol y Gymraeg yn 2015, o ran yr adolygiad statudol o wasanaethau Cymraeg banciau’r stryd fawr yng Nghymru. Er nad ydyn nhw o dan y safonau, yn amlwg, mae nifer o sgyrsiau wedi bod ar hyd y blynyddoedd gyda’r sector hwn o ran pwysigrwydd y Gymraeg.

Un o’r pethau roedd y comisiynydd yn ei ddweud yn ôl yn 2015 oedd bod y newidiadau hyn sydd yn digwydd o fewn y sector—. Yn amlwg, wrth gau mwy o ganghennau, a chyda mwy o bobl yn defnyddio apiau ac ati i gysylltu, bydd llai o gyfleoedd yn bodoli i gwsmeriaid ddefnyddio’r iaith Gymraeg wrth iddynt ddelio â banciau, ac mae yna nifer o argymhellion yn yr adroddiad hwnnw er mwyn cynyddu'r defnydd digidol o'r Gymraeg, ond hefyd sicrhau eu bod nhw hefyd yn hyrwyddo'r gwasanaethau hyn.

Dwi'n meddwl mae'n bwysig nodi hefyd, yn ddifyr, fod y mwyafrif o gwynion a dderbyniwyd ynglŷn â gwasanaethau ffôn Cymraeg i wneud efo HSBC nôl yn 2015, felly mae yna gwestiynau i'w gofyn o ran sut gwnaethon nhw ymateb i hynny. Ond yn benodol, felly, gaf i ofyn, oes yna unrhyw drafodaethau wedi bod rhwng Llywodraeth Cymru a'r sector bancio yn sgil yr argymhellion hynny? Ac a gaf i ofyn, felly, ydych chi'n credu bod yna achos clir erbyn hyn i ymestyn dyletswyddau statudol ar yr iaith Gymraeg i fusnesau preifat megis banciau?

Bearing in mind their website, which states the following— 

'We're committed to the life, culture and people of Wales and our aim is to embrace the Welsh language throughout all our branches in Wales, and, by doing so, provide the highest quality of service to our customers'—

I think that the letter shows, entirely contrary to that, that there is no understanding among HSBC in terms of what offering a bilingual service entails, and what the rights of people are to use the Welsh language here in Wales. So, I do hope that we, as Members of the Senedd, can speak with one voice in terms of writing and speaking to HSBC, to ensure that the views of all those whom we represent are firmly shared in that regard.

I'm sure that you will be aware, Minister, of the report by the previous Welsh Language Commissioner in 2015, in terms of the statutory review of Welsh language services at high-street banks in Wales. Although they aren't subject to the standards regime, clearly, there have been a number of conversations over the years with this sector in terms of the importance of the Welsh language.

One of the things that the commissioner said back in 2015 was that these changes that are taking place within the sector—. Clearly, in closing more branches, and with more people using apps and so on to contact their banks, there will be fewer opportunities for customers to use the Welsh language as they deal with their banks, and a number of recommendations were made in that report to increase the use of Welsh digitally, but also to ensure that they promote the services that they provide.

I think it's important to note, interestingly, that the majority of complaints received with regard to Welsh language telephone services were related to HSBC back in 2015, so there are questions to be asked about how they responded to that. But specifically, may I ask whether there have been any conversations between the Welsh Government and the banking sector as a result of the recommendations made? And may I ask, therefore, whether you feel that there is a clear case to extend the statutory responsibilities with regard to the Welsh language to private businesses such as banks?

15:20

Diolch i'r Aelod am y cwestiynau pellach hynny. Mae hi'n gwybod nad oes modd gosod safonau'r Gymraeg ar fanciau—dydyn nhw ddim wedi cael eu rhestru ym Mesur y Gymraeg (Cymru) 2011 fel sector. Mae hi hefyd yn gwybod bod rhaglen waith wedi'i chytuno gyda Phlaid Cymru ynglŷn ag ymestyn trefn y safonau yn gyffredinol.

Beth fyddwn i'n dweud yw nad yw hyn ddim yn ddigon da o ran y banc. Mae datblygiadau yn digwydd ynglŷn â sut mae gwasanaethau yn cael eu darparu. Mae hynny yn rhywbeth sydd yn digwydd fel rhan o newidiadau economaidd a chymdeithasol. Ond, fel mae'n digwydd, mae datblygiadau digidol yn cynnig mwy o gyfleoedd i allu darparu'r math o wasanaeth sydd yn bwrpasol ar gyfer unigolion. Mae hynny'n gyfle, a dweud y gwir, nid yn fygythiad, a byddwn i'n disgwyl gweld busnesau o bob math yn edrych yn greadigol ar sut gallen nhw ddefnyddio'r datblygiadau hynny i gefnogi dewisiadau bancio pobl yn y cyd-destun hwn.

Dwi'n synnu, fel mae'n digwydd, bod y niferoedd sy'n defnyddio'r llinell ffôn Gymraeg mor isel â mae'r llythyr yn datgan. Gwnes i gael yr un llythyr y bore yma yn rhinwedd fy swydd fel Aelod o'r Senedd hon, nid fel Gweinidog, ac roeddwn i'n synnu i weld bod y rhifau mor isel. Tybed a ydy hynny'n dweud rhywbeth wrthym ni ynglŷn â sut mae'r gwasanaeth yn cael ei hybu a'i gynnig. Ydy hi yr un mor hawdd i gael y gwasanaeth yn y Gymraeg ag yw hi yn y Saesneg?

Felly, mae gofyn i fod yn greadigol yn y cyd-destun hwn. Dyw e ddim yn costio mwy i gyflogi rhywun sy'n siarad Cymraeg a Saesneg nag yw hi i gyflogi rhywun sy'n siarad Saesneg. Mae'r llythyr hefyd yn dweud bod hanner y banciau, hanner y canghennau yng Nghymru, yn cyflogi siaradwyr Cymraeg. Oes modd edrych yn greadigol ar y cyfraniad gallen nhw ei wneud? Felly, mae lot o bethau, a byddwn i'n gobeithio byddai cwmni gyda'r math o gapasiti a'r gallu a'r adnoddau yn edrych yn greadigol ar y ffordd gallen nhw newid y penderfyniad hwn ac edrych yn greadigol eto ar sut gallen nhw ddiwallu anghenion cwsmeriaid sy'n siarad Cymraeg.

I thank the Member for those supplementary questions. She knows that banks can't be subject to standards—they're not listed in the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 as a sector. She also knows that a work programme has been agreed with Plaid Cymru on extending the standards regime more generally.

What I would say is that this is not good enough from this particular bank. There are developments happening in terms of how services are provided. That is something that happens as a result of socioeconomic changes. But, as it happens, digital developments provide further opportunities to provide the kinds of services that are suited to individuals. That is an opportunity rather than a threat, and I would expect to see businesses of all kinds looking creatively at how they can use those developments to support people's banking choices in this context.

I am shocked, as it happens, that the numbers using the Welsh language phone line are as low as the letter states. I got the same letter this morning in light of my role as a Member of this Senedd rather than as Minister, and I was surprised to see that the numbers are so low. I wonder if that tells us something about how the service is being promoted and provided. Is it as easy to access the service through the medium of Welsh as it is in English, for example? 

So, we need to be creative in this context. It doesn't cost more to employ someone who speaks Welsh and English than it does to employ someone who works only through the medium of English. The letter says that half the branches in Wales employ Welsh speakers. Can we look creatively at the contribution that they can make, perhaps? So, there are a number of things, and I would hope that a company with the kind of capacity and reach and resources as HSBC could look creatively at the way that they can reverse this decision, and look creatively again at how they can meet the needs of Welsh-speaking customers.

Diolch ichi, Lywydd, am ganiatáu’r cwestiwn amserol hwn. Weinidog, rwy'n siomedig iawn gyda'r cyhoeddiad heddiw y bydd HSBC yn rhoi'r gorau i gynnig llinell gwasanaeth cwsmeriaid Cymraeg ym mis Ionawr, gan ddarparu gwasanaeth galw yn ôl yn unig. Mae cau banciau wedi gadael tyllau yn ein strydoedd mawr ac wedi cyflwyno nifer o heriau i rai cwsmeriaid, yn enwedig yr henoed, y rhai yng nghefn gwlad Cymru, ac yn awr, mae'n ymddangos, i'r rhai sy'n dymuno defnyddio'r Gymraeg. I fanc oedd unwaith yn disgrifio'i hun fel 'Banc lleol y byd'—'The world's local bank'—ac sy'n cynnig gwasanaethau mewn ystod o ieithoedd gwahanol o gwmpas y byd, gallai'r penderfyniad i dargedu'r Gymraeg ar gyfer toriadau gael ei ystyried yn ansensitif. Gallai'r cynnig o wasanaeth galw yn ôl, a allai gymryd hyd at dri diwrnod ar ôl yr alwad gychwynnol, gael ei weld fel dim mwy na token gesture.

Pa bwerau sydd gennych chi fel Llywodraeth Cymru, efallai drwy Gomisiynydd y Gymraeg, i sicrhau bod HSBC yn parhau i gynnig gwasanaeth i gwsmeriaid sy'n dymuno bancio drwy'r Gymraeg sy'n gyfartal â'r rhai sy'n dewis bancio drwy gyfrwng y Saesneg? A hefyd, a oedd Llywodraeth Cymru yn ymwybodol o'r penderfyniad hwn, ac os felly, pa drafodaethau ydych chi wedi eu cael gyda HSBC i ofyn iddynt newid eu meddyliau? Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd.

Thank you, Llywydd, for allowing this question. Minister, I'm very disappointed with the announcement today that HSBC will be closing its Welsh language customer telephone service in January, providing a call-back service alone. The closure of bank branches has left holes in our high streets and has posed many challenges for customers, particularly for those older people and those in rural areas of Wales, and now, it appears, for those who wish to use the Welsh language. For a bank that once described itself as 'The world's local bank' and which provides services in a range of different languages worldwide, the decision to target the Welsh language for cuts could be considered insensitive. The proposal of a call-back service, which could take up to three days after the initial call is made, could be seen as nothing else other than a token gesture.

What powers do you have as a Welsh Government, perhaps through the office of the Welsh Language Commissioner, to ensure that HSBC continues to offer a service to customers who wish to bank through the medium of Welsh on an equal basis to those who wish to bank through the medium of English? Also, was the Welsh Government aware of this decision ahead of time, and if so, what discussions have you had with HSBC to ask them to change their minds? Thank you, Dirprwy Lywydd.

Cefais i'r llythyr y bore yma. Fe gafodd bawb arall y llythyr ar yr un pryd y ces i hwnnw, felly dyna'r hysbysiad gyntaf i fi gael o'r penderfyniad gan HSBC. Mae cyrff eraill wedi—. Rŷm ni wedi cael trafodaeth yn ddiweddar yn y Siambr ynglŷn â Duolingo, onid ydym ni? Maen nhw, fel mae'n digwydd, wedi cynnig cyfarfod yn sgil y llythyr rydw i wedi'i ddanfon i weld beth mwy gallwn ni ei wneud ar y cyd er mwyn ceisio edrych ar y penderfyniad hwnnw eto. Byddaf i'n hapus i roi adroddiad i'r Senedd maes o law, wedi i'r cyfarfod hwnnw ddigwydd. Ond rŷm ni eisiau gweld cynifer o gyfleoedd inni ddefnyddio'r Gymraeg ym mhob agwedd o'm bywydau. Mae'n rhaid cofio bod lot ohonom ni yn ei chael hi'n haws i ddefnyddio'r Gymraeg yng nghyd-destun rhywbeth mor bwysig â chyllid ein cartrefi ni, felly mae cyfrifoldeb penodol i ddarparu gwasanaethau yn y cyd-destun hwnnw. Dyw gosod safonau ar y banciau ddim yn dod o fewn Mesur y Gymraeg, ond mae Comisiynydd y Gymraeg â pherthynas gyda'r sector yn y maes hwn, ac felly bydd hi'n ysgrifennu at y banc.

I received the letter this morning, as did everyone else. So, that was the first I'd heard of the decision by HSBC. Other organisations—. We've had a recent discussion in the Chamber on Duolingo. As it happens, they've agreed to a meeting in light of a letter that I wrote, to see what we can do in order to review that decision. I'd be happy to provide a report to the Senedd in due time once that meeting has taken place. But we do want to see as many opportunities to use the Welsh language in all aspects of our lives as possible. We must bear in mind that many of us find it easier to use the Welsh language in the context of something as important as our home finances, so there's a particular responsibility to provide services in that context. Setting standards on the banks isn't an option in terms of the Welsh language Measure, but the commissioner has a relationship with the sector in this area, and she will be writing to the bank.

15:25

Daeth y Dirprwy Lywydd (David Rees) i’r Gadair.

The Deputy Presiding Officer (David Rees) took the Chair.

Weinidog, I am extremely disappointed in this decision by HSBC. It's one that they should reverse immediately. In their announcement in their letter to Members of the Senedd today, they have single-handedly failed to understand the importance of Cymraeg to the people of Cymru. Cymraeg is a living language. It's the preferred choice of many when accessing banking services. Weinidog, do you agree with me that this is another example of high-street banks letting communities down, and it should be a wake-up call to them? And our message to the banking sector should be that we expect more service in Cymraeg, including in person, online and phone services. And do you agree with me further, Minister, that this makes the case stronger for a fully bilingual community bank for Cymru?

Weinidog, rwy'n hynod siomedig ynghylch y penderfyniad hwn gan HSBC. Mae'n un y mae'n rhaid iddynt ei wrthdroi ar unwaith. Yn eu cyhoeddiad yn eu llythyr at Aelodau'r Senedd heddiw, maent wedi methu deall pwysigrwydd y Gymraeg i bobl Cymru. Mae'r Gymraeg yn iaith fyw. Dyma'r dewis a ffafrir gan lawer wrth ddefnyddio gwasanaethau bancio. Weinidog, a ydych yn cytuno bod hon yn enghraifft arall o fanciau'r stryd fawr yn gwneud cam â chymunedau, ac y dylai fod yn alwad iddynt ddeffro? A'n neges i'r sector bancio yw ein bod yn disgwyl rhagor o wasanaeth yn Gymraeg, gan gynnwys gwasanaethau wyneb yn wyneb, ar-lein a dros y ffôn. Ac a ydych yn cytuno â mi ymhellach, Weinidog, fod hyn yn cryfhau'r achos dros fanc cymunedol cwbl ddwyieithog i Gymru?

I certainly agree with the last point that the Member made about the importance of a community bank for Wales able to provide the needs of customers in both languages in Wales—indeed, in a multiplicity of languages in Wales, as it happens. I do agree with him that the letter is disappointing. I think there's a challenge, isn't there, for banks to think imaginatively about how they can apply in a national context within the UK that which they are rightly so proud of delivering internationally—an ability for customers right across the world to have services in the language of their choice. That applies equally within the UK, in Wales, as it does in any of the many, many countries in which these banks operate very successfully and are very proud of the work that they do there. I think the challenge is for the bank to look again at how it can deploy the existing Welsh language workforce that it has, what thought has been given to the contribution that might be made in that context. If it is true to say, as the letter sets out, that they are getting 22 calls a day, one would not have thought that the requirement to resource that was so burdensome as to put it beyond their capacity to think creatively about this.

Yn sicr, rwy'n cytuno â'r pwynt olaf a wnaeth yr Aelod am bwysigrwydd banc cymunedol i Gymru i allu darparu anghenion cwsmeriaid yn y ddwy iaith yng Nghymru—yn wir, mewn nifer fawr o ieithoedd yng Nghymru, fel y mae'n digwydd. Rwy'n cytuno bod y llythyr yn siomedig. Rwy'n credu bod her, onid oes, i fanciau feddwl yn ddychmygus ynglŷn â sut y gallant gymhwyso mewn cyd-destun cenedlaethol o fewn y DU yr hyn y maent, yn haeddiannol, mor falch o'i gyflawni'n rhyngwladol—y gallu i gwsmeriaid ledled y byd gael gwasanaethau mewn iaith o'u dewis. Mae hynny'n berthnasol yn yr un modd yn y DU, yng Nghymru, fel y mae yn unrhyw un o'r nifer o wledydd lle mae'r banciau hyn yn gweithredu'n llwyddiannus iawn ac yn falch iawn o'r gwaith y maent yn ei wneud yno. Rwy'n credu mai'r her yw i'r banc edrych eto ar sut y gall ddefnyddio'r gweithlu Cymraeg presennol sydd ganddo, pa feddwl sydd wedi'i roi i'r cyfraniad y gellid ei wneud yn y cyd-destun hwnnw. Os yw'n wir i ddweud, fel y mae'r llythyr yn nodi, eu bod yn cael 22 galwad y dydd, ni fyddai rhywun wedi meddwl bod y gofyniad i roi adnoddau tuag at hynny mor feichus fel y byddai y tu hwnt i'w gallu i feddwl yn greadigol am hyn.

Mi wna i ddatgan budd fel cwsmer i HSBC ac un sydd yn defnyddio y llinell Gymraeg. Yn fy etholaeth i, fel ar draws Cymru, mae banciau, yn cynnwys HSBC, wedi troi eu cefn ar eu cymunedau o ran presenoldeb corfforol. Ond dim ots, meddai’r banciau, mae posib bancio ar-lein neu ar y ffôn. Yn digwydd bod, mae fy nghangen i yn dal ar agor. Dros y blynyddoedd dwi wastad wedi bancio yno yn Gymraeg, ac mae hynny'n bwysig iawn i fi. Dwi ddim yn gallu bancio ar-lein yn Gymraeg. Dwi wedi gofyn i HSBC pam ddim. Yr awgrym ydy eu bod nhw'n gweithio ar hyn. Ond mi ydw i, tan rŵan, wedi bod yn gallu bancio ar y ffôn yn Gymraeg. Does yna ddim digon ohonom ni'n gwneud hynny, meddai HSBC. I ymateb i'r sylw wnaeth y Gweinidog, nac ydy, dydy o ddim mor hawdd. Mae yna rif ar fy ngherdyn banc sut i gysylltu efo HSBC. Nid y rhif Cymraeg ydy hwnnw, ond y rhif Saesneg. Felly, mae angen gweithio ar hynny. Ond mae'r gwasanaeth yn dod i ben yn y ffordd yma:

I'll declare an interest as a customer of HSBC and one who uses the Welsh language line. In my constituency, as across Wales, banks, including HSBC, have turned their backs on their communities in terms of the physical presence. But no matter, the banks say, you can bank online or by phone. As it happens, my branch is still open. Over the years I've always banked there through the medium of Welsh, and that's very important to me. I can't bank online through the medium of Welsh. I've asked HSBC why not. The suggestion is that they're working on this. But I have, to date, been able to bank by phone through the medium of Welsh. Not enough of us do that, according to HSBC. But in response to the Minister, no, it isn't as easy. There's a number on my bank card for how to contact HSBC. That's not the Welsh language line, but the English language line. So we need to work on that. But the service is closing in this way:

'We have confirmed that all customers are able to bank in English'.

'Rydym wedi cadarnhau bod pob cwsmer yn gallu bancio yn Saesneg'.

(1) dydy o ddim yn wir—mae yna lawer o bobl sy'n llawer mwy cyfforddus yn bancio yn y Gymraeg; a (2) os mai dyna’r agwedd, pam trafferthu gwneud unrhyw beth yn y Gymraeg os ydyn ni i gyd yn gallu siarad Saesneg? Ac mae hyn yn dod gan fanc sydd â thraddodiad cryf iawn o gefnogaeth i'r Gymraeg. Y Midland, dwi'n meddwl, rhagflaenydd i HSBC, oedd yr hysbysebwr cyntaf un ar S4C, ac Emrys Evans, tu ôl i'w ddesg, yn dweud, ‘Mae Banc y Midland wedi gwneud ei orau dros Gymru dros y blynyddoedd’, os dwi'n cofio yn iawn. Dwi'n eithaf siŵr y byddai Emrys Evans yn siomedig iawn efo’r penderfyniad yma heddiw. Ydy'r Gweinidog yn cytuno efo fi bod hyn yn gam sydd yn mynd yn groes i'r neges mae'r banciau am inni ei chlywed, sef, pan ydyn nhw'n cau canghennau, eu bod nhw yn parhau i wasanaethu cymunedau mewn ffyrdd amgen?

(1) it's not true—there are some people who are far more confident banking through the medium of Welsh; and (2) if that's the attitude, why do anything through the medium of Welsh if we can all speak English? And this comes from a bank that has a very strong tradition of support for the Welsh language. The Midland, I think, the predecessor of HSBC, was the very first advertiser on S4C, and Emrys Evans, behind his desk, saying 'The Midland Bank has done its best for Wales over the years', if I remember that rightly. I'm quite sure that Emrys Evans would be very disappointed with this decision today. Does the Minister agree with me that this is a step that is contrary to the message the banks want us to hear, namely that when they close branches, that they do continue to serve the communities in alternative ways?

Rwyf yn cytuno gyda hynny. Mae hefyd yn mynd yn groes i'r nod sydd gennym ni fel Llywodraeth ac sy'n cael ei rannu’n helaeth ar draws y Senedd hon bod y Gymraeg yn perthyn i bawb, a dylai fod gan bobl y cyfle i ddefnyddio’u hiaith wrth wneud rhywbeth mor bersonol â bancio.

I do agree with that. It is also contrary to our aim as a Government, which is shared widely across this Senedd, that the Welsh language belongs to us all, and that people should have the opportunity to use the language in doing something as personal as banking.

Fel Rhun ap Iorwerth, dwi'n gwstomer i HSBC, a dwi'n siomedig gyda'r llythyr a gawson ni y bore yma—fel roedd y comisiynydd o flaen y pwyllgor, fel mae'n digwydd, yn ateb cwestiynau ar hyn i gyd. Dwi'n meddwl bod angen ymateb mewn dwy ffordd. Yn gyntaf, fel sydd wedi cael ei ddweud yn barod yn ystod y sesiwn yma, y brif ffordd o fancio ar hyn o bryd yw drwy apps ac ar-lein a dwi'n credu bod rhaid inni godi'r pwyslais i sicrhau bod yna ddwyieithrwydd yn yr apps dŷn ni yn eu defnyddio. Dwi'n credu bod hynny'n bwysicach mewn ffordd na'r llinell teleffon. 

Ac yn ail, mae'n rhaid inni gael trafodaeth ymhlith ein gilydd fel Cymry Cymraeg i ddefnyddio mwy o’r gwasanaethau sydd ar gael ar hyn o bryd. Achos un o’r issues dŷn ni'n gweld, a byddwch yn deall hyn, Gweinidog, yw bod sefydliadau’n creu gwasanaeth Cymraeg, ond dyw e ddim yn cael ei ddefnyddio. Ac mae hynny wedi digwydd dro ar ôl tro ar ôl tro, oherwydd, fel Cymry, ambell waith rŷn ni'n dewis defnyddio'r Saesneg, ac ambell waith rŷn ni'n teimlo'n fwy cyfforddus yn defnyddio'r Saesneg, ac ambell waith dŷn ni ddim yn gwybod bod y Gymraeg ar gael. Ac felly dwi'n credu bod angen inni feddwl amboutu hynny hefyd a sicrhau bod y dechnoleg rŷn ni'n ei ddefnyddio ar hyn o bryd ar gael yn y Gymraeg, a does dim ots gyda apps, teleffonau, beth bynnag ydyn nhw, pa iaith rŷn ni'n ei defnyddio, wrth gwrs, a dyna le mae'r dyfodol, dwi'n meddwl.

Like Rhun ap Iorwerth, I'm a customer of HSBC, and I'm disappointed with the letter that we received this morning—as the commissioner was before the committee answering questions on all of this, as it happens. I think we need to respond in two ways. First, as has been mentioned already during this session, the main method of banking at the moment is through apps and online and I think that we do need to emphasise the need for bilingual provision in the apps that we use. I think that's more important in a way than the telephone line.

And secondly, we need to have a discussion amongst ourselves as Welsh-speaking Welsh people to use more of the services that are currently available. Because one of the issues that we see, and you'll understand this, Minister, is that organisations provide a Welsh language service, but it isn't being used. And that's happened time and time again, because, as Welsh people, sometimes we choose to use the English language, and sometimes we feel more comfortable speaking English, and other times we don't know that the Welsh language provision is available. So, I do think we need to think about that and to ensure that the technology that we currently use is available through the medium of Welsh, and the apps, telephones and so on don't care what language you use, of course, and that's where the future lies.

15:30

Wel, rwy'n cytuno gyda'r Aelod ar hynny ac mae ei ymrwymiad ef i dechnoleg yn y Gymraeg yn rhywbeth sydd yn hysbys ac yn glir, ac rwy’n rhannu hynny. Rŷn ni'n sôn yn aml, onid ydyn ni, mai defnydd, defnydd, defnydd yw'r ffordd rŷn ni'n mynd i sicrhau ffyniant i'n hiaith ni, ac mae’n rhaid edrych ar hynny yn y ffyrdd mwyaf eang. Ac mae’r hyn y mae'r Aelod yn ei ddweud yn iawn yn hynny o beth. Mae angen inni, efallai, nid jest ddefnyddio ein Cymraeg mwy yn ein cymunedau, ond gwneud penderfyniad pwrpasol—pob un ohonon ni sy'n medru—i ddewis gwasanaethau yn y Gymraeg, fel ein bod ni'n dangos bod y math o alw sydd yn sicr yn wir ar lawr gwlad—ein bod hynny'n digwydd yn y gwasanaethau yma hefyd.

Well, I agree with the Member on that and his commitment to Welsh-medium technology is well known and clear, and I share that commitment. We talk regularly, don't we, about usage, usage, usage being the way to ensure that our language prospers, and we have to look at that in the broadest sense, and what the Member said is quite right in that regard. We perhaps need, not just to use the Welsh language in our communities, but make the conscious decision—each and every one of us who can—to choose to use services in the Welsh language so that we show that the type of demand that is certainly true on the ground—that that happens in these services as well.

Diolch, Dirprwy Lywydd. Wel, dwi hefyd yn bancio efo'r HSBC, a ddaru fi a fy nheulu fynd at y Midland bryd hynny oherwydd eu bod nhw'n darparu gwasanaethau Cymraeg ac oherwydd eu bod nhw'n gefnogol i'r Gymraeg. Felly, dwi wedi cael fy siomi’n aruthrol efo'r cyhoeddiad yma ar lefel bersonol. Ond fel y gallwch chi ddychmygu, Weinidog, yn Nwyfor Meirionydd, mae yna gymunedau Cymraeg eu hiaith efo pobl sydd eisiau bancio ac eisiau byw eu bywyd trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg.

Dŷn ni wedi clywed am fanciau yn cau drosodd a drosodd, efo'r HSBC yn dod aton ni ac yn dweud, 'Wel, peidiwch â phoeni, mi gewch chi'r ddarpariaeth yma ar y ffôn, mi gewch chi'r ddarpariaeth drwy amryfal ffyrdd eraill.' A rŵan, mae'r unig ddarpariaeth sydd ganddyn nhw trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg, sef y gwasanaeth ffôn, yn cael ei gau, felly maen nhw'n gadael ein cymunedau ni i lawr unwaith eto.

Dwi, fel mae’n digwydd, yn un o'r rheini sy’n bancio efo ap hefyd. Does yna ddim gwasanaeth Cymraeg yn fanna, felly buaswn i'n gofyn yn daer i chi gael sgyrsiau efo'r banc er mwyn rhoi pwysau arnyn nhw er mwyn darparu’r gwasanaethau yma trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg a chynnal y ddarpariaeth ffôn, yn enwedig ar gyfer pobl hŷn, oedrannus sydd yn llawer iawn mwy cyfforddus trwy gyfrwng y Gymraeg ac sydd angen y gwasanaeth yma.

Ond ymhellach i hyn, onid ydy o'n dangos bod Deddf yr Iaith Gymraeg 1993 yn wreiddiol, sydd yn cynnwys gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, yn annigonol a bod Mesur y Gymraeg (Cymru) yn 2011, felly, ddim yn ddigon cryf a bod rhaid inni addasu’r Deddfau yma er mwyn cynnwys gwasanaethau angenrheidiol ond preifat, fel bancio, a sicrhau bod banciau’n cael eu cynnwys mewn Deddfau er mwyn eu gorfodi nhw i ddarparu gwasanaethau cyfrwng Cymraeg a dwyieithog?

Thank you, Dirprwy Lywydd. Well, I too bank with HSBC, and I and my family went to the Midland at that time because they provided services through the medium of Welsh and because they were supportive of the Welsh language. So, I've been very disappointed by this announcement on a personal level. But as you can imagine, Minister, in Dwyfor Meirionydd, there are Welsh-speaking communities with people who want to bank and want to live their lives through the medium of Welsh. 

We've heard about banks closing time and time again, with HSBC coming to us to say, 'Well, don't worry, you'll have this provision on the phone, you'll have this provision through several other ways.' And now, the only provision that they have through the medium of Welsh, namely the phone service, is being closed, so they're letting our communities down once again.

I, as it happens, am one of those who banks with an app too. There is no Welsh-medium service there, so I would urge you to have a conversation with the bank to put pressure on them to provide these services through the medium of Welsh and to maintain that telephone service, particularly for those older people who feel far more comfortable banking through the medium of Welsh and who need this service.

But further to that, doesn't it show that the 1993 Welsh Language Act originally, which includes public services, is insufficient and that the Welsh Language (Wales) Measure 2011 isn't sufficiently robust and that we need to adapt this legislation to include essential services provided privately, such as banking, and ensure that banks are included in legislation to ensure that they provide Welsh-medium services and bilingual services?