Y Cyfarfod Llawn

Plenary

17/01/2024

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 Newid Hinsawdd
1. Questions to the Minister for Climate Change

Prynhawn da a chroeso, bawb, i'r Cyfarfod Llawn. Y cwestiynau y prynhawn yma fydd gyntaf yw'r cwestiynau i'r Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd, ac mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf gan Jenny Rathbone.

Good afternoon and welcome, all, to this Plenary meeting. The first item will be questions to the Minister for Climate Change, and the first question is from Jenny Rathbone.

Datgarboneiddio Cartrefi
Decarbonising Homes

1. Pa gynnydd y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'i wneud wrth weithio gydag awdurdodau lleol i fanteisio i'r eithaf ar gyfleoedd i ddatgarboneiddio cartrefi? OQ60521

1. What progress has the Minister made in working with local authorities to maximise opportunities to decarbonise homes? OQ60521

Under the optimised retrofit programme, local authorities have received around £28 million. ORP supports a test-and-learn approach to decarbonise homes in the most efficient and cost-effective way. The net-zero carbon hwb was recently launched to help local authorities connect with industry players to share learnings and experiences.

O dan y rhaglen ôl-osod er mwyn optimeiddio, mae oddeutu £28 miliwn wedi'i ddarparu i awdurdodau lleol. Mae'r rhaglen ôl-osod er mwyn optimeiddio yn cefnogi dull profi a dysgu o ddatgarboneiddio cartrefi yn y ffordd fwyaf effeithlon a chosteffeithiol. Lansiwyd yr hwb carbon sero net yn ddiweddar i helpu awdurdodau lleol i gysylltu â gweithredwyr y diwydiant i rannu profiadau a gwersi a ddysgwyd.

Thank you. Twenty-eight million pounds is a lot of money, but I appreciate that it doesn't go that far when you're talking about decarbonising homes. There are now several large windfarms operating in Wales, all generating community benefits, including, Pen y Cymoedd with its 78 turbines, generating a very welcome income for the 188,000 residents who live in that area. What analysis has the Government made of how the relevant local authorities have jumped on this opportunity to help the local community to decarbonise their homes by advising them on the best strategy for their individual properties?

Equally, in the same year, the ECO Flex scheme started, which gave local authorities another source of funding coming from the UK Government. I know that both Bristol, London, and many other English local authorities, have started bidding into the ECO Flex schemes and are, even now, actually having things happen. So, how many local authorities in Wales have used that funding to support local populations to decarbonise their homes? And how can we ensure that local authorities are really being proactive in meeting the target that was originally 2033 for social homes?

Diolch. Mae £28 miliwn yn llawer o arian, ond rwy’n sylweddoli nad yw’n mynd mor bell â hynny pan soniwch am ddatgarboneiddio cartrefi. Erbyn hyn, mae sawl fferm wynt fawr yn gweithredu yng Nghymru, pob un yn creu buddion cymunedol, gan gynnwys Pen y Cymoedd gyda’i 78 o dyrbinau, sy'n cynhyrchu incwm derbyniol iawn i’r 188,000 o drigolion sy’n byw yn yr ardal honno. Pa ddadansoddiad y mae’r Llywodraeth wedi’i wneud o sut mae’r awdurdodau lleol perthnasol wedi achub ar y cyfle hwn i helpu’r gymuned leol i ddatgarboneiddio eu cartrefi drwy eu cynghori ar y strategaeth orau ar gyfer eu heiddo unigol?

Yn yr un modd, yn yr un flwyddyn, dechreuodd cynllun ECO Flex, a roddodd ffynhonnell arall o gyllid i awdurdodau lleol gan Lywodraeth y DU. Gwn fod Bryste a Llundain, a llawer o awdurdodau lleol eraill yn Lloegr, wedi dechrau gwneud ceisiadau ar gyfer cynlluniau ECO Flex a’u bod yn gweld pethau’n digwydd yn barod. Felly, faint o awdurdodau lleol yng Nghymru sydd wedi defnyddio’r cyllid hwnnw i gefnogi poblogaethau lleol i ddatgarboneiddio eu cartrefi? A sut y gallwn sicrhau bod awdurdodau lleol yn mynd ati'n rhagweithiol iawn i gyrraedd y targed a osodwyd yn wreiddiol sef 2033 ar gyfer cartrefi cymdeithasol?

Yes, thank you, Jenny. So, we support local authorities to leverage Great Britain-wide capital funding into local communities by rolling out, as you say, the local authority Flex schemes associated with ECO4 and the Great British insulation scheme, which used to be called ECO+. They can publish a joint statement of intent for ECO4 and for the Great British insulation scheme and develop partnerships with both suppliers and installers. So, we’ve been supporting the local authorities to develop the statements and we’re encouraging the regional collaborations where these result in more efficient delivery, because they have to link together with the Welsh Energy Service surveys that we’ve been doing, and you know that we’ve been rolling out our community scheme to look at where energy efficiency is most needed and to try and take the fabric worst-first approach. So, we’ve been trying to make sure that, where they cross borders and stuff, there isn’t an invisible force field because you come to the edge of a local authority area, and that we actually do it as a community scheme where that’s appropriate.

The Nest advice service signposts the Great British insulation scheme and other initiatives, including things like the boiler upgrade scheme and the ECO4, as complementary schemes to Welsh Government-funded, demand-led schemes. So, we’re trying to get the new advice service to strengthen that and lead to a referral arrangement so that people understand that, having had one, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have the other, and you can do a combination one. Householders, owner-occupiers and those in social and private-rented homes can check eligibility and apply directly through the energy suppliers for that.

In terms of Pen y Cymoedd and other windfarms, and the very large community benefits packages that come out of those, those aren’t done through the local authorities, they’re done through community consortia. We’ve been working with the developer industry and I met with RenewableUK Cymru just before Christmas at the Celtic Manor, at their conference there, to discuss what more we could do for the community benefit schemes. There are some restrictions: you cannot use a community benefit scheme to simply reduce an energy bill, for example. That’s not allowed inside the rules. But there is absolutely nothing to stop you using a community benefit scheme to retrofit houses in order to make them more energy efficient. But it is a matter for the local community to come to that conclusion. So, what we’ve been doing is using, through Ynni Cymru and other initiatives, local enablers to get communities to come together to understand what’s possible and what the retrofit might bring and to use the community benefit schemes in those ways. Because all over Wales we have beautifully outfitted village halls and sports teams and all the rest of it—all of which are great things, but they haven’t got the longevity of some of the other schemes. I was very pleased that the developers were very happy and are developing something they call 'the gold-plated service', to put those kinds of initiatives into the community benefit schemes. But they would complement all this other funding—one doesn’t preclude the other.

Ie, diolch, Jenny. Felly, rydym yn cefnogi awdurdodau lleol i drosglwyddo cyllid cyfalaf a ddarparwyd ar gyfer Prydain gyfan i gymunedau lleol drwy gyflwyno, fel y dywedwch, y cynlluniau Flex awdurdodau lleol sy'n gysylltiedig ag ECO4 a chynllun inswleiddio Great British Insulation, a arferai gael ei alw'n ECO+. Gallant gyhoeddi datganiad o fwriad ar y cyd ar gyfer ECO4 ac ar gyfer cynllun inswleiddio Great British Insulation a datblygu partneriaethau gyda chyflenwyr a gosodwyr. Felly, rydym wedi bod yn cefnogi’r awdurdodau lleol i ddatblygu’r datganiadau, ac rydym yn annog cydweithio rhanbarthol lle mae hynny'n arwain at gyflawni mwy effeithlon, gan fod yn rhaid iddynt gysylltu â'r arolygon Gwasanaeth Ynni Cymru y buom ni yn eu gwneud, ac fe wyddoch ein bod wedi bod yn cyflwyno ein cynllun cymunedol i ganfod ble mae fwyaf o angen effeithlonrwydd ynni ac i geisio defnyddio dull gweithredu 'tai gwaethaf yn gyntaf'. Felly, rydym wedi bod yn ceisio sicrhau, lle maent yn croesi ffiniau ac ati, nad oes maes grym anweledig am eich bod yn cyrraedd ffin ardal awdurdod lleol, a'n bod yn gwneud hyn fel cynllun cymunedol lle bo hynny'n briodol.

Mae gwasanaeth cynghori Nyth yn cyfeirio at gynllun inswleiddio Great British Insulation a mentrau eraill, gan gynnwys pethau fel y cynllun uwchraddio boeleri ac ECO4, fel cynlluniau ategol i gynlluniau a ariennir gan Lywodraeth Cymru, sy’n cael eu harwain gan y galw. Felly, rydym yn ceisio sicrhau bod y gwasanaeth cynghori newydd yn cryfhau hynny ac yn arwain at drefniant atgyfeirio fel bod pobl yn deall, ar ôl cael un, nad yw'n golygu na allwch gael y llall, ac y gallwch gael cyfuniad. Gall deiliaid tai, perchen-feddianwyr a’r rheini mewn cartrefi cymdeithasol a chartrefi rhent preifat wirio eu cymhwysedd a gwneud cais yn uniongyrchol drwy’r cyflenwyr ynni.

O ran Pen y Cymoedd a ffermydd gwynt eraill, a’r pecynnau mawr iawn o fuddion cymunedol a ddaw yn eu sgil, nid yw’r rheini’n cael eu gwneud drwy’r awdurdodau lleol, fe’u gwneir drwy gonsortia cymunedol. Rydym wedi bod yn gweithio gyda’r diwydiant datblygwyr, a chyfarfûm â RenewableUK Cymru cyn y Nadolig yng ngwesty'r Celtic Manor, yn eu cynhadledd yno, i drafod beth arall y gallem ei wneud ar gyfer y cynlluniau budd cymunedol. Mae rhai cyfyngiadau: ni allwch ddefnyddio cynllun budd cymunedol i leihau bil ynni yn unig, er enghraifft. Ni chaniateir hynny o fewn y rheolau. Ond nid oes unrhyw beth o gwbl i'ch atal rhag defnyddio cynllun budd cymunedol i ôl-osod tai er mwyn eu gwneud yn fwy effeithlon o ran ynni. Ond mater i'r gymuned leol yw dod i'r casgliad hwnnw. Felly, drwy Ynni Cymru a mentrau eraill, rydym wedi bod yn defnyddio galluogwyr lleol i annog y cymunedau i ddod ynghyd i ddeall beth sy’n bosibl a beth y gallai’r gwaith ôl-osod ei gynnig ac i ddefnyddio’r cynlluniau budd cymunedol yn y ffyrdd hynny. Oherwydd ledled Cymru, mae gennym waith ardderchog wedi'i wneud ar neuaddau pentref a thimau chwaraeon a phopeth arall—mae hynny'n wych, ond nid oes ganddynt hirhoedledd rhywfaint o’r cynlluniau eraill. Roeddwn yn falch iawn fod y datblygwyr yn hapus iawn ac yn datblygu rhywbeth y maent yn ei alw'n ‘wasanaeth safon aur’, i roi’r mathau hynny o fentrau yn y cynlluniau budd cymunedol. Ond byddent yn ategu’r holl gyllid arall—nid yw’r naill yn atal y llall.

I refer Members to my declaration of interest in terms of property ownership, and I understand I'm not the only one who should be declaring. As you know, Minister, there are thousands—

Cyfeiriaf yr Aelodau at fy natganiad o fuddiant ynghylch perchnogaeth eiddo, a deallaf nad fi yw'r unig un a ddylai fod yn datgan. Fel y gwyddoch, Weinidog, mae miloedd—

13:35

You don't need to refer to other people's declarations; just refer to your own, please.

Nid oes angen ichi gyfeirio at ddatganiadau pobl eraill; cyfeiriwch at eich datganiadau eich hun, os gwelwch yn dda.

I seem to be the only Member at the moment, though, actually making these declarations.

As you know, Minister, there are thousands of empty properties that could be made into lovely homes. The Leasing Scheme Wales programme provides support to landlords entering the scheme, with additional funding to improve the decarbonisation of those privately rented homes. Now, only 16 local authorities have signed up over the last two financial years, and only 60 grants have been awarded—that's less than three a month. Property owners and, indeed, private landlords have made it very clear to me that they would happily refurb properties into homes and to include the decarbonisation scheme if they were helped by Welsh Government. Will you help to maximise the take-up of Leasing Scheme Wales and other ECO schemes available, and provide more funding as part of your recent increased funding in the budget to homeless prevention? Diolch.

Ond ymddengys mai fi yw'r unig Aelod, ar hyn o bryd, sy'n gwneud y datganiadau hyn.

Fel y gwyddoch, Weinidog, ceir miloedd o eiddo gwag y gellid eu troi’n gartrefi hyfryd. Mae rhaglen Cynllun Lesio Cymru yn rhoi cymorth i landlordiaid sy’n ymuno â’r cynllun, gyda chyllid ychwanegol i wella mesurau datgarboneiddio’r tai rhent preifat hynny. Nawr, dim ond 16 o awdurdodau lleol sydd wedi ymuno â'r cynllun dros y ddwy flynedd ariannol ddiwethaf, a dim ond 60 o grantiau a roddwyd—mae hynny'n llai na thri y mis. Mae perchnogion eiddo, ac yn wir, landlordiaid preifat wedi dweud wrthyf yn glir iawn y byddent yn fwy na pharod i adnewyddu eiddo'n gartrefi ac i gynnwys y cynllun datgarboneiddio pe baent yn cael cymorth gan Lywodraeth Cymru. A wnewch chi helpu i sicrhau bod cynifer o bobl â phosibl yn manteisio ar Gynllun Lesio Cymru a chynlluniau ECO eraill sydd ar gael, a darparu mwy o gyllid fel rhan o’ch cynnydd diweddar mewn cyllid yn y gyllideb i atal digartrefedd? Diolch.

So, we've actually had a couple more authorities join Leasing Scheme Wales very recently. Of course, the very welcome uplift of the local housing allowance in April will really help, because the way that Leasing Scheme Wales works is that we guarantee the local housing amount for rent to the landlord. The landlord then hands over the property to the local authority, or to an RSL locally, and we run it as if it's a social home. It's a minimum of five years; we'd prefer the 10 or 15-year period, though, for obvious reasons. The landlord then gets back a house where they've had an income all the way through that period, but which comes back to them in a better state than when they gave it over. We very much want to encourage people to do that. I will say, Janet, that we have not yet got any indication at all whether the local housing allowance will be uplifted in April for one year or for more years, and that makes a real difference. So, actually, one of the biggest barriers we've got is not understanding whether the LHA will continue to rise with inflation, which would make it a lot more attractive, or whether, actually, it's going to get frozen again. So, that is a bit of a barrier. So, I'm currently working with the UK Government to try and get some clarity on that—there hasn't been, so if you can assist with that, that would be helpful.

Felly, mewn gwirionedd, mae dau awdurdod arall newydd ymuno â Chynllun Lesio Cymru yn ddiweddar iawn. Wrth gwrs, bydd y codiad calonogol iawn yn y lwfans tai lleol ym mis Ebrill yn gymorth mawr, gan mai'r ffordd y mae Cynllun Lesio Cymru yn gweithio yw drwy warantu swm y lwfans tai lleol ar gyfer rhent i’r landlord. Yna, mae’r landlord yn trosglwyddo’r eiddo i’r awdurdod lleol, neu i landlord cymdeithasol cofrestredig lleol, ac rydym yn ei redeg fel pe bai’n gartref cymdeithasol. Mae'n isafswm o bum mlynedd; byddai'n well gennym gyfnod o 10 neu 15 mlynedd, serch hynny, am resymau amlwg. Yna, mae'r landlord yn cael tŷ yn ôl lle maent wedi cael incwm drwy gydol y cyfnod hwnnw, ond sy'n dod yn ôl iddynt mewn gwell cyflwr na phan gafodd ei drosglwyddo. Rydym yn awyddus iawn i annog pobl i wneud hynny. Janet, rwyf am ddweud nad ydym wedi cael unrhyw arwydd o gwbl eto a fydd y lwfans tai lleol yn cael ei godi ym mis Ebrill am flwyddyn neu am fwy o flynyddoedd, ac mae hynny’n gwneud gwahaniaeth gwirioneddol. Felly, mewn gwirionedd, un o'r rhwystrau mwyaf sy'n ein hwynebu yw diffyg dealltwriaeth ynglŷn ag a fydd y lwfans tai lleol yn parhau i godi gyda chwyddiant, a fyddai'n ei wneud yn llawer mwy deniadol, neu a yw'n mynd i gael ei rewi unwaith eto. Felly, mae hynny’n dipyn o rwystr. Felly, rwy'n gweithio gyda Llywodraeth y DU ar hyn o bryd i geisio rhywfaint o eglurder ar hynny—ni chafwyd unrhyw eglurder hyd yn hyn, felly os gallwch gynorthwyo gyda hynny, byddai hynny'n ddefnyddiol.

Gorsaf Drenau Rhiwabon
Ruabon Railway Station

2. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am gynlluniau i wella gorsaf drenau Rhiwabon? OQ60504

2. Will the Minister provide an update on plans to improve Ruabon railway station? OQ60504

Yes. Thank you to Ken Skates, who has been a consistent champion of Ruabon station, and we agree it has great potential, serving a wide area and is the rail gateway to the world heritage site at Pontcysyllte. We continue to press the UK Government for funding of the delivery of a new Access for All bridge at the station.

Iawn. Diolch i Ken Skates, sydd wedi bod yn hyrwyddwr cyson ar ran gorsaf Rhiwabon, ac rydym yn cytuno bod ganddi botensial mawr, gan ei bod yn gwasanaethu ardal eang ac fel porth ar gyfer trenau i safle treftadaeth y byd ym Mhontcysyllte. Rydym yn parhau i bwyso ar Lywodraeth y DU i ariannu’r gwaith o ddarparu pont Mynediad i Bawb newydd yn yr orsaf.

Thank you, Minister. I commend you for your perfect pronunciation of the world heritage site. As you know, the Welsh Government has worked incredibly hard, and you personally, to try to get the improvements necessary at Ruabon station. But, back in November, there was the announcement of six stations in Wales that will receive upgrades, and Ruabon was not amongst them. Could you identify the reasons why you believe Ruabon station has not yet benefited from the upgrades that so many passengers require of the station? Is it a problem with Network Rail or the UK Government, because I do understand that Transport for Wales has been pretty consistent in supporting the necessary works? Diolch.

Diolch, Weinidog. Rwy'n eich canmol am eich ynganiad perffaith o enw'r safle treftadaeth y byd. Fel y gwyddoch, mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi gweithio’n anhygoel o galed, a chithau’n bersonol, i geisio gwneud y gwelliannau angenrheidiol yng ngorsaf Rhiwabon. Ond yn ôl ym mis Tachwedd, cafwyd cyhoeddiad am chwe gorsaf yng Nghymru a fydd yn cael eu huwchraddio, ac nid oedd Rhiwabon yn eu plith. A allech chi nodi’r rhesymau pam y credwch nad yw gorsaf Rhiwabon wedi elwa eto o’r gwaith uwchraddio y mae cymaint o deithwyr angen iddo fynd rhagddo yn yr orsaf? A yw’n broblem gyda Network Rail neu Lywodraeth y DU, gan y deallaf fod Trafnidiaeth Cymru wedi cefnogi’r gwaith angenrheidiol yn gyson? Diolch.

Thank you for the question. I can confirm that Ruabon station is one of our top priorities for delivery in Wales through the UK Government's Access for All scheme. Transport for Wales are working closely with Network Rail on that, and a final outline design is due at the end of March. So, I think we're doing everything we can at our end. But I think the fact of the matter is just that the UK Government is not standing up for north Wales when it comes to key infrastructure investment. A new accessible bridge at Ruabon would make a significant difference there, but we can only take it forward if the UK Government funds it. Rail is not devolved to Wales; it is a UK responsibility, and I'm bound to ask what are all those Tory MPs in north Wales doing if they can't deliver funding for a modest investment like this. Now, thankfully, there is investment in rail in north Wales, but it's from the Welsh Labour Government. The majority of services at Ruabon are now operated using our new class 197 trains, which is a result of our £800 million investment in new fleets. But, again, we are worried that their performance could well be undermined by the UK Government, through Network Rail, cutting its maintenance budgets for the years ahead, which will directly impact on the reliability of trains and their ability to stick to the timetable. So, despite our efforts, there's a danger that's being undermined.

Now, the UK Government set out, through its union connectivity review, led by Lord Peter Hendy, a recommendation that we look at the whole north Wales corridor in terms of transport. And we've done that, and, just recently, Lord Burns and his north Wales transport commission published its detailed recommendations—some 60 recommendations. A number of those relating to rail are the responsibility of the UK Government, and we now want to work with the UK Government on a pipeline of schemes that can be funded, some by us, some by them, to improve transport across north Wales. And the recommended upgrade at Chester station, to allow five trains per hour, including an express service into north Wales, is a critical part of that.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn. Gallaf gadarnhau bod gorsaf Rhiwabon yn un o’n prif flaenoriaethau ar gyfer cyflawni yng Nghymru drwy gynllun Mynediad i Bawb Llywodraeth y DU. Mae Trafnidiaeth Cymru yn gweithio’n agos gyda Network Rail ar hynny, a disgwylir cynllun amlinellol terfynol ddiwedd mis Mawrth. Felly, credaf ein bod yn gwneud popeth a allwn yn ein pen ni. Ond credaf mai’r gwir amdani yw nad yw Llywodraeth y DU yn cyflawni ar ran gogledd Cymru o ran buddsoddi mewn seilwaith allweddol. Byddai pont hygyrch newydd yn Rhiwabon yn gwneud gwahaniaeth sylweddol yno, ond ni allwn fwrw ymlaen â'r gwaith hwnnw oni bai fod Llywodraeth y DU yn ei ariannu. Nid yw rheilffyrdd wedi’u datganoli i Gymru; maent yn gyfrifoldeb i’r DU, ac mae'n rhaid imi ofyn beth mae’r holl ASau Torïaidd hynny yng ngogledd Cymru yn ei wneud os na allant ddarparu cyllid ar gyfer buddsoddiad cymedrol o'r fath. Nawr, diolch byth, mae buddsoddiad yn cael ei wneud mewn rheilffyrdd yn y gogledd, ond mae'n cael ei wneud gan Lywodraeth Lafur Cymru. Mae’r rhan fwyaf o'r gwasanaethau yn Rhiwabon bellach yn cael eu gweithredu gan ddefnyddio ein trenau dosbarth 197 newydd o ganlyniad i’n buddsoddiad o £800 miliwn mewn fflydoedd newydd. Ond unwaith eto, rydym yn poeni y gallai eu perfformiad gael ei danseilio'n hawdd gan Lywodraeth y DU, wrth i Network Rail dorri eu cyllidebau cynnal a chadw ar gyfer y blynyddoedd i ddod, a fydd yn cael effaith uniongyrchol ar ddibynadwyedd trenau a’u gallu i gadw at yr amserlen. Felly, er gwaethaf ein hymdrechion, mae perygl fod hynny'n cael ei danseilio.

Nawr, mae Llywodraeth y DU, drwy ei hadolygiad o gysylltedd yr undeb, o dan arweiniad yr Arglwydd Peter Hendy, wedi nodi argymhelliad ein bod yn edrych ar goridor gogledd Cymru yn ei gyfanrwydd o ran trafnidiaeth. Ac rydym wedi gwneud hynny, ac yn ddiweddar, mae'r Arglwydd Burns a'i gomisiwn trafnidiaeth gogledd Cymru wedi cyhoeddi eu hargymhellion manwl—oddeutu 60 o argymhellion. Mae nifer o’r rheini sy’n ymwneud â rheilffyrdd yn gyfrifoldeb i Lywodraeth y DU, ac rydym yn dymuno gweithio gyda Llywodraeth y DU ar gyfres o gynlluniau y gellir eu hariannu, rhai gennym ni, rhai ganddynt hwy, i wella trafnidiaeth ar draws gogledd Cymru. Ac mae'r gwaith uwchraddio a argymhellir yng ngorsaf Caer, i ganiatáu pum trên yr awr, gan gynnwys gwasanaeth cyflym i ogledd Cymru, yn rhan hollbwysig o hynny.

13:40

Thank you, Llywydd, for the opportunity to respond to the Deputy Minister's response there. I'm very disappointed to hear the Deputy Minister so easily forget that the UK Government has committed £1 billion of rail investment to north Wales. So, rather than standing there slating the lack of investment from the UK Government, there's £1 billion on the table, which will make such a difference to residents that I represent.

Specifically in relation to Ruabon station, the Deputy Minister will be aware, of course, that it is an important part of the north Wales metro, which you referenced, I guess, in your response to Ken Skates. But, of course, the north Wales metro currently has around £50 million earmarked from the Welsh Government, whereas the south Wales metro has around £700 million earmarked for it. So, I guess, if there was a real desire to see things improve in north Wales, there'd be a further commitment from Welsh Government to improve areas in north Wales with the metro. But, going back to Ruabon station specifically, I wonder, Deputy Minister, if you could outline which meetings you have been having with the UK Government to help see that investment accelerated at Ruabon station so that my residents and, in particular, people with disabilities will have easy access to the station. 

Diolch am y cyfle i ymateb i ymateb y Dirprwy Weinidog yno, Lywydd. Rwy’n siomedig iawn o glywed y Dirprwy Weinidog yn anghofio mor hawdd fod Llywodraeth y DU wedi ymrwymo £1 biliwn o fuddsoddiad mewn rheilffyrdd yng ngogledd Cymru. Felly, yn hytrach na sefyll yno'n cwyno am y diffyg buddsoddiad gan Lywodraeth y DU, mae £1 biliwn ar y bwrdd, a fydd yn gwneud cymaint o wahaniaeth i'r trigolion rwy'n eu cynrychioli.

Yn benodol mewn perthynas â gorsaf Rhiwabon, bydd y Dirprwy Weinidog yn ymwybodol, wrth gwrs, ei bod yn rhan bwysig o fetro gogledd Cymru, fel y nodwyd gennych yn eich ymateb i Ken Skates. Ond wrth gwrs, ar hyn o bryd, mae oddeutu £50 miliwn wedi'i glustnodi gan Lywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer metro gogledd Cymru, tra bo oddeutu £700 miliwn wedi'i glustnodi ar gyfer metro de Cymru. Felly, pe bai gwir awydd i weld pethau'n gwella yn y gogledd, byddai ymrwymiad pellach gan Lywodraeth Cymru i wella ardaloedd o ogledd Cymru gyda'r metro. Ond gan ddychwelyd at orsaf Rhiwabon yn benodol, Ddirprwy Weinidog, tybed a allech amlinellu pa gyfarfodydd rydych wedi bod yn eu cael gyda Llywodraeth y DU i helpu i gyflymu’r buddsoddiad yng ngorsaf Rhiwabon fel bod fy nhrigolion, ac yn enwedig, pobl ag anableddau yn cael mynediad hawdd i'r orsaf.

Well, I give Sam Rowlands top marks for brass neck there. Rail infrastructure is not devolved to Wales. It is the responsibility of the UK Government, and they simply are not delivering for Wales in general, and north Wales in particular. Now, he says that the Prime Minister has committed £1 billion for rail in north Wales through the electrification of the main line. Now, first of all, he hasn't, because he simply said it was an example of the sort of money that could be spent. Secondly, we'll remember their promise to electrify the railway line in south Wales, which they broke the promise of. So, I don't think we can put any store on that at all. And our cynicism can be further deepened by the fact that there is no preparatory work at all behind this eye-catching announcement. So, it's complete fantasy. Network Rail haven't done any preparation work. The Department for Transport hasn't done any preparation work. This is a fantasy that he is quite happy to latch onto for electioneering purposes, knowing full well it ain't gonna happen under this Government, and, in fact, some of the things that we have agreed with the Department for Transport are priorities, like the upgrade at Chester, which would bring help for north Wales passengers in the short term, simply are being ignored by the UK Government. So, I'm afraid, nice try, but not supported by the facts.

Wel, marciau llawn i Sam Rowlands am hyfdra. Nid yw seilwaith rheilffyrdd wedi’i ddatganoli i Gymru. Mae'n gyfrifoldeb i Lywodraeth y DU, ac yn syml iawn, nid ydynt yn cyflawni dros Gymru yn gyffredinol, a gogledd Cymru yn benodol. Nawr, dywed fod Prif Weinidog y DU wedi ymrwymo £1 biliwn ar gyfer rheilffyrdd yn y gogledd drwy drydaneiddio’r brif linell reilffordd. Nawr, yn gyntaf oll, nid yw wedi gwneud hynny, gan mai'r unig beth a wnaeth oedd dweud bod hynny'n enghraifft o'r math o arian y gellid ei wario. Yn ail, byddwn yn cofio eu haddewid i drydaneiddio’r rheilffordd yn ne Cymru, addewid y gwnaethant ei dorri. Felly, ni chredaf y gallwn fod ag unrhyw hyder o gwbl yn hynny. Ac mae ein sinigiaeth yn dyfnhau ymhellach am nad oes unrhyw waith paratoi o gwbl y tu ôl i’r cyhoeddiad deniadol hwn. Felly, mae'n ffantasi llwyr. Nid yw Network Rail wedi gwneud unrhyw waith paratoi. Nid yw'r Adran Drafnidiaeth wedi gwneud unrhyw waith paratoi. Mae hon yn ffantasi y mae'n ddigon parod i'w defnyddio at ddibenion etholiadol, gan wybod yn iawn na fydd yn digwydd o dan y Llywodraeth hon, ac mewn gwirionedd, mae rhai o'r pethau yr ydym wedi cytuno arnynt gyda'r Adran Drafnidiaeth fel blaenoriaethau, fel y gwaith uwchraddio yng Nghaer, a fyddai’n darparu cymorth i deithwyr gogledd Cymru yn y tymor byr, yn cael eu hanwybyddu gan Lywodraeth y DU. Felly, mae arnaf ofn, ymgais lew, ond nid un a gefnogir gan y ffeithiau.

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

Cwestiynau nawr gan lefarwyr y pleidiau. Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr heddiw, Natasha Asghar. 

Questions now from the party spokespeople. The Conservative spokesperson, Natasha Asghar. 

Thank you so much, Presiding Officer. Deputy Minister, it might be a new year, but, as expected, the enormous level of anger, frustration and opposition to your costly 20 mph project continues to grow. Despite nearly 0.5 million people signing a petition to have the £33 million-venture axed, and countless protests taking place, including the one outside the Welsh Parliament here today, Labour Ministers are still refusing to do the right thing. Messages coming from Labour Ministers, particularly around enforcement and prosecution, have been, as my leader so perfectly put it, clear as mud. Presiding Officer, the Deputy Minister might try to blame the Welsh Conservatives for causing confusion over this policy—as he did last week—but the truth of the matter is the blame firmly lies at his door. Yet again, instead of accepting responsibility for his mistakes, the Deputy Minister points the blame elsewhere. Quite frankly, the roll-out of this vanity project has been nothing short of a shambolic process, with the Welsh Government continuing to cause complete confusion. So, Deputy Minister, being a new year, will you kick the new year off the right way and give the people of Wales what they want by rescinding this ridiculous 20 mph vanity project?

Diolch yn fawr, Lywydd. Ddirprwy Weinidog, efallai ei bod yn flwyddyn newydd, ond yn ôl y disgwyl, mae lefel aruthrol y dicter, y rhwystredigaeth a’r gwrthwynebiad i’ch prosiect 20 mya costus yn parhau i dyfu. Er bod bron i 0.5 miliwn o bobl wedi llofnodi deiseb i ddiddymu'r fenter £33 miliwn, a phrotestiadau di-rif wedi'u cynnal, gan gynnwys yr un yma heddiw y tu allan i Senedd Cymru, mae Gweinidogion Llafur yn dal i wrthod gwneud y peth iawn. Mae'r negeseuon gan Weinidogion Llafur, yn enwedig ynghylch gorfodi ac erlyn, wedi bod, fel y dywedodd fy arweinydd mor berffaith, mor glir â mwd. Lywydd, efallai y bydd y Dirprwy Weinidog yn ceisio beio’r Ceidwadwyr Cymreig am beri dryswch ynghylch y polisi hwn—fel y gwnaeth yr wythnos diwethaf—ond y gwir amdani yw mai ef sydd ar fai. Unwaith eto, yn hytrach na derbyn cyfrifoldeb am ei gamgymeriadau, mae’r Dirprwy Weinidog yn taflu'r bai ar eraill. A dweud y gwir, mae cyflwyno’r prosiect porthi balchder hwn wedi bod yn broses hynod anhrefnus, gyda Llywodraeth Cymru yn parhau i achosi dryswch llwyr. Felly, Ddirprwy Weinidog, a hithau’n flwyddyn newydd, a wnewch chi ddechrau'r flwyddyn newydd yn y ffordd iawn a rhoi’r hyn y mae pobl Cymru ei eisiau iddynt drwy ddiddymu'r prosiect porthi balchder 20 mya hurt?

Well, a happy new year to Natasha Asghar as well. I was reminded, listening to that, of the article in today's Nation.Cymru, which talks about the very high turnover of staff in the Conservative office. But the quote that really stuck out to me was about Andrew R.T. Davies—and I think it may apply to her as well—where an ex-staffer is quoted as saying he's not the 

'kind of politician who's interested in getting practical policies worked up. What he loves most of all is having a go at the Welsh Government over issues like the 20mph speed limit'.

And I think that is spot on, and she has given exhibit A for the prosecution today.

As we discussed last week, there was cross-party support in this Senedd for taking a default speed limit approach. Rather than doing a street-by-street approach, which was not practical and much more expensive, the expert panel that we established recommended a whole-area approach, and that was supported in this Senedd, including by Laura Anne Jones, by Russell George and by a number of other Welsh Conservatives. [Interruption.] Now, Laura Anne Jones is trying to run away from the record but, if she looks at the motion she supported, it makes it very clear that it supported the approach of the Phil Jones report, which backed a default speed limit. And Laura Anne Jones is now telling the Chamber that I am misleading, which I am not, Llywydd, and I resent that; it's a matter of record.

Wel, blwyddyn newydd dda i Natasha Asghar hefyd. Cefais fy atgoffa, wrth wrando ar hynny, o’r erthygl ar Nation.Cymru heddiw, sy’n sôn am y trosiant uchel iawn o staff yn swyddfa’r Ceidwadwyr. Ond roedd y dyfyniad a arhosodd gyda mi yn ymwneud ag Andrew R.T. Davies—a chredaf y gallai fod yn berthnasol iddi hithau hefyd—lle dyfynnir cyn-aelod o staff yn dweud nad yw Andrew R.T. Davies

'y math o wleidydd sydd â diddordeb mewn llunio polisïau ymarferol. Yr hyn y mae'n ei garu yn fwy na dim yw ymosod ar Lywodraeth Cymru am faterion fel y terfyn cyflymder 20mya'.

A chredaf fod hynny'n hollol gywir, ac mae hi wedi arddangos hynny'n glir heddiw.

Fel y buom yn ei drafod yr wythnos diwethaf, cafwyd cefnogaeth drawsbleidiol yn y Senedd hon i fabwysiadu dull terfyn cyflymder diofyn. Yn hytrach na dull gweithredu fesul stryd anymarferol a drytach o lawer, argymhellodd y panel arbenigol a sefydlwyd gennym ddull gweithredu ardal gyfan, a chefnogwyd hynny yn y Senedd hon, gan gynnwys gan Laura Anne Jones, gan Russell George, a chan nifer o Geidwadwyr Cymreig eraill. [Torri ar draws.] Nawr, mae Laura Anne Jones yn ceisio dianc rhag y cofnod, ond pe bai'n edrych ar y cynnig a gefnogodd, mae’n dangos yn glir iawn ei fod yn cefnogi dull adroddiad Phil Jones, a oedd yn cefnogi terfyn cyflymder diofyn. Ac mae Laura Anne Jones yn dweud wrth y Siambr nawr fy mod yn camarwain, ac nid wyf yn gwneud hynny, Lywydd, ac mae hynny'n fy nigio; mae hyn wedi'i gofnodi.

13:45

Allow the Deputy Minister to respond.

Gadewch i’r Dirprwy Weinidog ymateb.

It is a matter of record—the approach taken in the recommendation of a motion in this Chamber, which was supported by the Conservatives, as it was supported by other parties. Now, we've moved on to the next phase of that, of working up the detail of that, and we have much rehearsed these arguments in this Chamber, and the position stands. We accept that the implementation of this in every community is not as it will end up being, I am sure, because local authorities will want to take advantage of four months of experience of living with the speed limit to revise some of the roads. So, for example, I was driving on the weekend in Cardiff, down Lloyd George Avenue, and I was surprised to see that Lloyd George Avenue is a 20 mph road. Now, the guidelines say that a street within 200m of housing would be expected to be 20 mph unless there was a good case otherwise. Now, of course, Lloyd George Avenue is within 200m of houses, and so you can see why, in a very literal interpretation of the guidance, that decision has been made. But, of course, there is a large hedge, there is a very wide pavement, there is a cycle lane. Now, from my point of view and of the sniff test that I've previously discussed, that would seem to me to be a prime candidate for revision, and there'll be examples like that across Wales, I'm sure. We want to get to a point where this policy settles down, where people get used to it. People are already driving slower, and as part of that process, there will be streets, of course, where councils will want to make changes, and that's as it should be. But that's a serious policy, that's a debate about implementation; it's not a debate about slogans, and it's not a debate about generating social media traffic, encouraged by Conservative colleagues in England. 

Mae hyn wedi'i gofnodi—y dull gweithredu a ddefnyddiwyd yn dilyn argymhelliad mewn cynnig yn y Siambr hon, a gefnogwyd gan y Ceidwadwyr, fel y’i cefnogwyd gan bleidiau eraill. Nawr, rydym wedi symud ymlaen i'r cam nesaf yn hynny o beth, a gweithio ar y manylion, ac rydym wedi cael y dadleuon hyn sawl tro yn y Siambr, ac mae'r safbwynt yr un fath. Rydym yn derbyn nad yw hyn ar waith ym mhob cymuned fel y bydd ar waith yn y pen draw, mae’n siŵr, gan y bydd awdurdodau lleol yn awyddus i fanteisio ar bedwar mis o brofiad o fyw gyda’r terfyn cyflymder i adolygu rhai o’r ffyrdd. Felly, er enghraifft, roeddwn yn gyrru ar y penwythnos yng Nghaerdydd, ar Rodfa Lloyd George, ac roeddwn yn synnu wrth weld bod Rhodfa Lloyd George yn ffordd 20 mya. Nawr, mae'r canllawiau'n dweud y byddai disgwyl i stryd o fewn 200m i dai fod yn 20 mya oni bai fod achos da fel arall. Nawr, wrth gwrs, mae Rhodfa Lloyd George o fewn 200m i dai, ac felly gallwch weld pam, mewn dehongliad llythrennol iawn o’r canllawiau, y gwnaed y penderfyniad hwnnw. Ond wrth gwrs, ceir perth fawr, ceir palmant llydan iawn, ceir lôn feicio. Nawr, o'm rhan i a'r prawf synnwyr cyffredin a drafodais yn flaenorol, ymddengys i mi y byddai'r ffordd honno'n enghraifft berffaith o ffordd y dylid ei hadolygu, a bydd enghreifftiau o'r fath i'w cael ledled Cymru, rwy'n siŵr. Hoffem gyrraedd pwynt lle mae’r polisi hwn yn ymsefydlu, lle mae pobl yn dod i arfer ag ef. Mae pobl eisoes yn gyrru’n arafach, ac fel rhan o’r broses honno, bydd yna strydoedd, wrth gwrs, lle bydd cynghorau'n dymuno gwneud newidiadau, ac felly y dylai fod. Ond mae hwnnw'n bolisi difrifol, mae honno'n ddadl ynglŷn â gweithredu; nid yw’n ddadl am sloganau, ac nid yw’n ddadl am gynhyrchu traffig ar y cyfryngau cymdeithasol, wedi’i hannog gan Geidwadwyr yn Lloegr.

Wow. I don't even know where to begin with that, Deputy Minister. Firstly, I am fully aware that you have got a leadership contest happening amongst your party members. But for the record, you are the Deputy Minister of transport, not the Deputy Minister or Minister for human resources, God help our souls, so that's not going to be happening. For now, let me just carry on with transport, which is what we're here to discuss today. 

Now, I was very disappointed about the answer that you just gave. Fear not, though, because the Labour Government has ordered a review into this disastrous 20 mph scheme. And which open-minded individual have they talked about leading this review? Unbelievably, Phil Jones, the same man who recommended the Welsh Government introduce this policy in the first place. You really couldn't make this up if you wanted to. This is simply a case of the Welsh Government marking its own homework when it comes to this policy. As far as I am concerned, we don't need a review. We need this policy scrapped, as we can already see the huge damage it's inflicting on Wales with a £9 billion blow to the economy, hampering people's livelihoods, damaging public transport networks and slowing down our emergency services. Regardless of what you're going to argue with me, Deputy Minister, it's the truth. But nevertheless, Deputy Minister, how on earth do you think this looks to the public—the public outside of this Chamber—that you've instructed a man who was instrumental in introducing this major policy, which has proved to be extremely controversial, to actually lead this review going forward? 

Waw. Nid wyf yn gwybod ble i ddechrau gyda hynny, Ddirprwy Weinidog. Yn gyntaf, rwy'n gwbl ymwybodol fod gennych gystadleuaeth arweinyddiaeth ar y gweill ymhlith aelodau eich plaid. Ond ar gyfer y cofnod, chi yw’r Dirprwy Weinidog trafnidiaeth, nid y Dirprwy Weinidog na’r Gweinidog adnoddau dynol, Duw a'n helpo, felly nid yw hynny’n mynd i ddigwydd. Am y tro, gadewch imi barhau â thrafnidiaeth, sef yr hyn rydym yma i'w drafod heddiw.

Nawr, roeddwn yn siomedig iawn gyda'r ateb rydych newydd ei roi. Na phoener, serch hynny, gan fod y Llywodraeth Lafur wedi gorchymyn adolygiad o’r cynllun 20 mya trychinebus hwn. A pha unigolyn diduedd y maent wedi awgrymu y gallai arwain yr adolygiad hwn? Yn anghredadwy, Phil Jones, yr un dyn a argymhellodd y dylai Llywodraeth Cymru gyflwyno’r polisi hwn yn y lle cyntaf. Ni allech greu stori o'r fath pe baech yn ceisio. Mater yw hwn o Lywodraeth Cymru yn marcio ei gwaith cartref ei hun mewn perthynas â’r polisi hwn. Yn fy marn i, nid oes angen adolygiad arnom. Mae angen diddymu'r polisi hwn, gan y gallwn eisoes weld y niwed enfawr y mae’n ei wneud i Gymru, gydag ergyd o £9 biliwn i’r economi, gan amharu ar fywoliaeth pobl, niweidio rhwydweithiau trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus ac arafu ein gwasanaethau brys. Ni waeth beth yw eich dadl, Ddirprwy Weinidog, dyna'r gwir. Ond serch hynny, Ddirprwy Weinidog, sut ar y ddaear y credwch y mae hyn yn edrych i’r cyhoedd—y cyhoedd y tu allan i’r Siambr hon—eich bod wedi cyfarwyddo dyn a oedd yn allweddol wrth gyflwyno’r polisi pwysig hwn, sydd wedi bod yn hynod ddadleuol, i arwain yr adolygiad hwn wrth symud ymlaen?

Well, you are impugning the reputation of a highly regarded professional across the transport industry in the UK with no basis at all. So, for the record, Phil Jones did not recommend the policy to the Welsh Government. The Welsh Government's policy was set. We asked Phil Jones to look into how it would best be implemented, working with a range of stakeholders and the people who would be charged with making this work in practice, and the clear mission was to come up with something that was workable. And he spent over a year coming up with that report and it recommended a default approach, which was endorsed in principle by the Conservatives in this Senedd Chamber. [Interruption.] Now, as soon as we start—[Interruption.]—as soon as we start then looking at how this is implemented in practice, of course there are people who are going to be disagreeing with that and, of course, the Conservatives seize a chance to again inflame opinion and try and get some popularity to disguise the fact their Government in the UK has wrecked the UK economy. So, again we're having smoke and mirror tactics from the Conservative benches. They have no constructive suggestions of their own about how to tackle road safety. They have no constructive suggestions of their own of how to achieve modal shift. They have no constructive suggestions of their own how to reduce noise pollution in communities. And despite all her claims that this is a deeply unpopular policy, cars are driving slower, people are complying with the spirit of the new law. This is popular in many streets and, in fact, some streets that have been exempted and kept at 30 mph—there are people living on those streets who are making the case to their local authority to reduce them to 20 mph.

So, this is going to be a period of flex and flux, as we look at looking at the implementation and how we iron out any inconsistencies. That's a normal process for any large-scale change. It was always our intention—in fact, we announced it some time ago—that we review this as it went along. Local authorities have the power, at any time. In fact, Neath Port Talbot Council have already carried out a review of its roads in the light of experience, and we encourage others to do the same, just as we encourage members of the public to feed back to local authorities which roads they think need looking at again. This can be done in a sensible, measured, responsible way, but, as the quote from the ex-staffer said, this is not about getting practical policies worked up, this is about having a go at the Welsh Government—because that's all the Welsh Conservatives are able to do.

Wel, rydych yn taflu amheuaeth ar enw da gweithiwr proffesiynol uchel ei barch ar draws y diwydiant trafnidiaeth yn y DU a hynny heb unrhyw sail o gwbl. Felly, ar gyfer y cofnod, ni wnaeth Phil Jones argymell y polisi i Lywodraeth Cymru. Roedd polisi Llywodraeth Cymru eisoes wedi'i osod. Gofynasom i Phil Jones edrych ar y ffordd orau o’i roi ar waith, gan weithio gydag amrywiaeth o randdeiliaid a’r bobl a fyddai’n gyfrifol am wneud i hyn weithio’n ymarferol, a’r genhadaeth glir oedd meddwl am rywbeth a oedd yn ymarferol. A threuliodd dros flwyddyn yn llunio'r adroddiad hwnnw, ac argymhellodd ddull diofyn, a gymeradwywyd mewn egwyddor gan y Ceidwadwyr yn Siambr y Senedd hon. [Torri ar draws.] Nawr, cyn gynted ag y byddwn yn dechrau—[Torri ar draws.]—cyn gynted ag y byddwn yn dechrau edrych wedyn ar sut y caiff hyn ei roi ar waith yn ymarferol, bydd rhai pobl yn anghytuno â hynny wrth gwrs, ac wrth gwrs, mae’r Ceidwadwyr yn bachu ar gyfle, unwaith eto, i gynhyrfu pobl a cheisio ennill rhywfaint o boblogrwydd i guddio’r ffaith bod Llywodraeth y DU wedi dinistrio economi’r DU. Felly, unwaith eto, rydym yn cael tactegau twyllodrus ar feinciau'r Ceidwadwyr. Nid oes ganddynt unrhyw awgrymiadau adeiladol ynglŷn â sut i fynd i'r afael â diogelwch ar y ffyrdd. Nid oes ganddynt unrhyw awgrymiadau adeiladol ar sut i newid dulliau teithio. Nid oes ganddynt unrhyw awgrymiadau adeiladol ynghylch sut i leihau llygredd sŵn mewn cymunedau. Ac er ei holl honiadau fod hwn yn bolisi hynod amhoblogaidd, mae ceir yn gyrru'n arafach, mae pobl yn cydymffurfio ag ysbryd y gyfraith newydd. Mae hyn yn boblogaidd ar lawer o strydoedd, ac mewn gwirionedd, mae rhai strydoedd wedi'u heithrio ac wedi'u cadw ar 30 mya—mae yna bobl yn byw ar y strydoedd hynny sy'n dadlau'r achos i'w hawdurdod lleol dros eu gostwng i 20 mya.

Felly, bydd hwn yn gyfnod o hyblygrwydd ac addasu, wrth inni edrych ar y ffordd y caiff ei roi ar waith a sut i gael gwared ar unrhyw anghysondebau. Mae honno'n broses arferol ar gyfer unrhyw newid ar raddfa fawr. Ein bwriad bob amser—a dweud y gwir, fe wnaethom ei gyhoeddi beth amser yn ôl—oedd adolygu hyn wrth iddo fynd rhagddo. Mae gan awdurdodau lleol bŵer i wneud hynny, ar unrhyw adeg. Mewn gwirionedd, mae Cyngor Castell-nedd Port Talbot eisoes wedi cynnal adolygiad o’i ffyrdd yng ngoleuni profiad, ac rydym yn annog eraill i wneud yr un peth, yn union fel rydym yn annog aelodau’r cyhoedd i roi adborth i awdurdodau lleol ynghylch y ffyrdd y credant fod angen edrych arnynt eto. Gellir gwneud hyn mewn ffordd synhwyrol, bwyllog, gyfrifol, ond fel y dywedodd y dyfyniad gan y cyn-aelod o staff, nid yw hyn yn ymwneud â llunio polisïau ymarferol, mae'n ymwneud ag ymosod ar Lywodraeth Cymru—oherwydd dyna'r cyfan y gall y Ceidwadwyr Cymreig ei wneud.

13:50

Right, Deputy Minister, once again let's go back to transport, because that's what we're here to do, not talk about human resources matters.

Now, you spoke about spirit. Let's talk about spirit now: what about the spirit of the 20 mph protesters that have been outside this particular Senedd in sun, rain, hail, you name it? How many times have you gone to meet them? None. Show me some spirit today, Deputy Minister, and go and speak to them today and see what the real view is on the ground, because you've been neglecting everyone who's opposed this so far and literally buried your head in the sand since this policy was introduced.

Now, coming back to my question. We all know that your blanket 20 mph project forms part of this Government's aggressive anti-motorist agenda. As well as the 20 mph speed limits, plans are also being drawn up to punish drivers further by congestion and road charges. And we now find that these anti-driver attacks aren't just coming from Labour Ministers in Cardiff Bay, with your Labour colleagues in Monmouthshire County Council wanting to kick the boot in further. Hidden away, on page 42, to be precise, of the council's local transport plan, is the idea of reintroducing the tolls on the Severn bridge. They believe that this move will, and I quote now,

'reduce journeys to/from Bristol by private car and subsequently would reduce traffic on the M4 and M48.'

End quote. I believe this move would have a devastating impact on residents, businesses and drivers, and would be the final nail in the coffin for the Welsh economy. So, Deputy Minister, out of sheer interest, do you support the return of the tolls on the M4 Severn bridge, and will you put pressure on your Labour colleagues at the council to make sure that this horrendous idea is a non-starter from day one?

Iawn, Ddirprwy Weinidog, gadewch inni fynd yn ôl at drafnidiaeth, gan mai dyna rydym yma i'w wneud, nid sôn am faterion adnoddau dynol.

Nawr, fe sonioch chi am ysbryd. Gadewch inni sôn am ysbryd nawr: beth am ysbryd y protestwyr 20 mya sydd wedi bod y tu allan i'r Senedd hon yn yr haul, glaw, cenllysg, ym mhob tywydd? Sawl gwaith yr aethoch chi i gyfarfod â nhw? Dim unwaith. Dangoswch rywfaint o ysbryd i mi heddiw, Ddirprwy Weinidog, ac ewch i siarad â nhw heddiw a gweld beth yw’r farn go iawn ar lawr gwlad, gan eich bod wedi bod yn esgeuluso pawb sydd wedi gwrthwynebu hyn hyd yma ac wedi claddu eich pen yn y tywod yn llythrennol ers i'r polisi hwn gael ei gyflwyno.

Nawr, i ddod yn ôl at fy nghwestiwn. Gŵyr pob un ohonom fod eich prosiect 20 mya cyffredinol yn rhan o agenda wrth-fodurwyr ymosodol y Llywodraeth hon. Yn ogystal â'r terfynau cyflymder 20 mya, mae cynlluniau hefyd yn cael eu llunio i gosbi gyrwyr ymhellach gyda chynlluniau codi tâl am ddefnyddio ffyrdd a thaliadau atal tagfeydd. A gwelwn bellach nad gan Weinidogion Llafur ym Mae Caerdydd yn unig y daw’r ymosodiadau gwrth-yrwyr hyn, gydag awydd eich cyd-bleidwyr Llafur yng Nghyngor Sir Fynwy i gosbi gyrwyr ymhellach. Wedi'i guddio, ar dudalen 42 i fod yn fanwl gywir, o gynllun trafnidiaeth lleol y cyngor, ceir y syniad o ailgyflwyno'r tollau ar bont Hafren. Maent yn credu y bydd y newid hwn, a dyfynnaf,

'yn lleihau nifer y siwrneiau i/o Fryste mewn ceir preifat, a byddai hynny wedyn yn lleihau traffig ar yr M4 a'r M48.'

Diwedd y dyfyniad. Credaf y byddai’r newid hwn yn cael effaith ddinistriol ar drigolion, busnesau a gyrwyr, ac yn hoelen olaf yn arch economi Cymru. Felly, Ddirprwy Weinidog, o ddiddordeb pur, a ydych chi'n cefnogi ailgyflwyno'r tollau ar bont Hafren yr M4, ac a wnewch chi roi pwysau ar eich cyd-bleidwyr Llafur yn y cyngor i sicrhau nad yw'r syniad erchyll hwn yn cael ei roi ar waith?

Well, heaven forbid the day arrives where Natasha Asghar finds herself as transport Minister, because she clearly has no grasp of the practicalities of how transport decisions are made.

We have a responsibility to set out a regional transport plan; every part of the country has to do that. As part of that, they have to look at a range of options and do an options appraisal—that's exactly what Monmouthshire council has done, as they are legally required to do, and as part of that, they look at a whole series of things that could be applied, and they concluded, in the case of this one, that it was not a desirable way to go forward. She knows that full well. There are no plans to reintroduce tolls on the Severn bridge. There never have been plans, and it was simply looking at all the options, as is responsible to do so, and they would be failing in their job of doing a proper assessment, had they not looked at those options.

Now, we can have a serious conversation about how we tackle congestion, how we reduce carbon emissions, how we reduce deaths on the road, or we can have knockabout, where everything is twisted and taken out of context in order to wind people up. Because Natasha Asghar and the Conservatives, I'm afraid, have nothing serious or constructive to say about transport in Wales. We simply get soundbites designed to mobilise dissent.

Now, in terms of the people who are protesting against the 20 mph speed limit, I completely understand this was never going to be a universally popular policy, as the other changes to roads policy, over the years, have not been. I was only reading the other day about the protests about the Belisha beacons that were introduced in the 1930s—protests as there were, and indeed death threats, to the transport Minister, Barbara Castle, who introduced the breathalyser, and about the protests of the seat belt law that was changed. And if you looked at those online, you will see very similar arguments that we are hearing today.

And so, of course, there are going to be people who do not like the idea of having to drive slower. We want to look at the impact it has on the people who live in streets, not just those people who drive through the streets, and this is an area where there has been consensus. We've had a number of Conservative Members making the case for 20 mph in their areas, and we've had the Conservative group here in the last Senedd endorsing the principle of a default approach. I'm afraid this Conservative group just simply wants to create headlines and distort the truth in order to get people worked up, and there is no basis in fact to it.

Wel, gobeithio i'r nefoedd na fydd Natasha Asghar byth yn Weinidog trafnidiaeth, gan ei bod yn amlwg nad oes ganddi unrhyw grap ar sut y caiff penderfyniadau trafnidiaeth eu gwneud yn ymarferol.

Mae gennym gyfrifoldeb i bennu cynllun trafnidiaeth rhanbarthol; mae'n rhaid i bob rhan o'r wlad wneud hynny. Yn rhan o hynny, mae’n rhaid iddynt edrych ar ystod o opsiynau a gwneud arfarniad o opsiynau—dyna’n union y mae cyngor sir Fynwy wedi’i wneud, fel y mae’n ofynnol iddynt ei wneud yn ôl y gyfraith, ac yn rhan o hynny, maent yn edrych ar gyfres gyfan o bethau y gellid eu rhoi ar waith, a daethant i'r casgliad yn yr achos hwn nad oedd yn ffordd ddymunol o fwrw ymlaen. Mae'n gwybod hynny'n iawn. Nid oes unrhyw gynlluniau i ailgyflwyno tollau ar bont Hafren. Ni fu cynlluniau erioed, ac roedd yn ymwneud ag edrych ar yr holl opsiynau, fel sy’n gyfrifol, a byddent yn methu yn eu cyfrifoldeb i gynnal asesiad cywir pe na baent wedi ystyried yr opsiynau hynny.

Nawr, gallwn gael sgwrs ddifrifol ynglŷn â sut yr awn i'r afael â thagfeydd, sut i leihau allyriadau carbon, sut i leihau marwolaethau ar y ffyrdd, neu gallwn gael anhrefn, lle mae popeth yn cael ei gamddehongli a'i dynnu allan o'i gyd-destun er mwyn cynhyrfu pobl. Oherwydd mae arnaf ofn nad oes gan Natasha Asghar a’r Ceidwadwyr unrhyw beth difrifol nac adeiladol i’w ddweud am drafnidiaeth yng Nghymru. Ni chawn unrhyw beth ond sylwadau bachog sydd wedi'u cynllunio i ysgogi gwrthdaro.

Nawr, o ran y bobl sy’n protestio yn erbyn y terfyn cyflymder o 20 mya, rwy’n deall yn llwyr nad oedd hwn byth yn mynd i fod yn bolisi poblogaidd gan bawb, dim mwy nag y bu’r newidiadau eraill i bolisi ffyrdd dros y blynyddoedd. Y diwrnod o’r blaen, roeddwn yn darllen am y protestiadau yn erbyn y goleuadau croesi Belisha a gyflwynwyd yn y 1930au—a'r protestiadau, ac yn wir, y bygythiadau i fywyd y Gweinidog trafnidiaeth, Barbara Castle, a gyflwynodd yr anadlennydd, a phrotestiadau yn erbyn y gyfraith gwregysau diogelwch a newidiwyd. A phe baech yn edrych ar y rheini ar-lein, byddech yn gweld dadleuon tebyg iawn i'r rhai a glywn heddiw.

Ac felly, wrth gwrs, bydd yna rai pobl nad ydynt yn hoffi'r syniad o orfod gyrru'n arafach. Rydym am edrych ar yr effaith y mae hynny’n ei chael ar y bobl sy’n byw ar strydoedd, nid yn unig y bobl sy’n gyrru ar y strydoedd, ac mae hwn yn faes lle cafwyd consensws. Rydym wedi cael nifer o Aelodau Ceidwadol yn dadlau’r achos dros 20 mya yn eu hardaloedd, a chawsom grŵp y Ceidwadwyr yma yn y Senedd ddiwethaf yn cymeradwyo egwyddor y dull diofyn. Mae arnaf ofn mai'r cyfan y mae grŵp y Ceidwadwyr am ei wneud yw creu penawdau ac ystumio'r gwirionedd er mwyn cynhyrfu pobl, ac nid oes unrhyw sail ffeithiol iddo.

13:55

Llefarydd Plaid Cymru, Delyth Jewell. 

Plaid Cymru spokesperson, Delyth Jewell. 

Diolch, Llywydd. Since October Transport for Wales has received a total of £236 million in additional funding. Now, the total figure of cuts made to the draft budget for 2024-25, compared with indicative budget figures, is just under £270 million, so there has been a significant shift in funding towards TfW. The Welsh Government's justification for this has been that the pandemic created a major shortfall in actual ticket sales compared with, in the term put forward by the Welsh Government, the 'ambitious' revenue projections underpinning KeolisAmey's bid for the TfW franchise in 2018. So, that information that led to those projections from KeolisAmey I think has significant public interest value, but when we submitted a freedom of information request for that information, we were told it's not currently held by the Welsh Government. So, could you, Minister, please explain why that is the case, and in the interests of transparency, would you commit to acquiring and publishing that information, please?

Diolch, Lywydd. Ers mis Hydref, mae Trafnidiaeth Cymru wedi cael cyfanswm o £236 miliwn mewn cyllid ychwanegol. Nawr, mae cyfanswm y toriadau a wnaed i’r gyllideb ddrafft ar gyfer 2024-25, o gymharu â ffigurau dangosol y gyllideb, ychydig yn llai na £270 miliwn, felly bu newid sylweddol yn y cyllid i Trafnidiaeth Cymru. Cyfiawnhad Llywodraeth Cymru am hyn yw bod y pandemig wedi creu diffyg sylweddol yn nifer y tocynnau sy'n cael eu gwerthu o gymharu, i ddefnyddio'r term a ddefnyddiwyd gan Lywodraeth Cymru, â’r rhagamcanion refeniw ‘uchelgeisiol’ a oedd yn sail i gais KeolisAmey ar gyfer masnachfraint Trafnidiaeth Cymru yn 2018. Felly, credaf fod gan yr wybodaeth a arweiniodd at y rhagamcanion gan KeolisAmey werth sylweddol o ran budd y cyhoedd, ond pan wnaethom gyflwyno cais rhyddid gwybodaeth am yr wybodaeth honno, dywedwyd wrthym nad yw'n cael ei chadw gan Lywodraeth Cymru ar hyn o bryd. Felly, a allech chi esbonio pam, Weinidog, ac er budd tryloywder, a wnewch chi ymrwymo i gaffael a chyhoeddi'r wybodaeth honno, os gwelwch yn dda?

Thank you for that. I think we've explained the underlying assumption of KeolisAmey's bid belonged to KeolisAmey. We simply do not have them, but our understanding is they had a very optimistic and ambitious set of assumptions based on a not unreasonable judgment that by introducing far more frequent and far more attractive trains, they would be able to dramatically increase passenger numbers. Now, that was not able to be put to the test because COVID came along, blew apart all those economic assumptions, and, indeed, resulted in KeolisAmey not being able to continue with the contract. So, you can say they were too optimistic in their figures, but, in a sense, it's a rather academic point, because COVID came along and made that all moot. 

Now, of course, as a result of that, TfW's financial assumptions have had to be adjusted. We know the cost of building the metro and the so-called Cardiff Valleys line section, the CVL, has gone up, as indeed has every single construction project in the country because of materials and because of the cost of Brexit. So, there's obviously been an increased bill there that we've had to meet, and on top of that there is the gap in the accountancy underpinnings of the budget of TfW that was no longer there, and we had to fill it. Otherwise, we would have had to shut the railway, which wasn't a choice that we thought we could realistically make. So, we had to make that adjustment.  

Diolch. Credaf ein bod wedi egluro mai KeolisAmey yn unig a ŵyr beth oedd y rhagdybiaethau a oedd yn sail i gais KeolisAmey. Yn syml, nid yw'r wybodaeth honno gennym, ond yn ôl ein dealltwriaeth, roedd ganddynt gyfres optimistaidd ac uchelgeisiol iawn o ragdybiaethau yn seiliedig ar syniad digon rhesymol y byddent, drwy gyflwyno trenau llawer amlach a llawer mwy deniadol, yn gallu cynyddu nifer y teithwyr yn sylweddol. Nawr, ni fu modd profi hynny gan i COVID gyrraedd, gan chwalu'r holl ragdybiaethau economaidd hynny, a chan arwain yn wir at fethiant KeolisAmey i barhau â'r contract. Felly, gallwch ddweud eu bod yn rhy optimistaidd yn eu ffigurau, ond ar un ystyr, mae'n bwynt academaidd braidd, oherwydd daeth COVID a gwneud hynny i gyd yn amherthnasol.

Nawr, wrth gwrs, o ganlyniad i hynny, bu’n rhaid addasu rhagybiaethau ariannol Trafnidiaeth Cymru. Gwyddom fod cost adeiladu’r metro a darn rheilffordd Cymoedd Caerdydd fel y’i gelwir wedi cynyddu, fel sy'n wir am bob prosiect adeiladu yn y wlad oherwydd deunyddiau ac oherwydd cost Brexit. Felly, mae'n amlwg ein bod wedi gorfod wynebu bil uwch, ac ar ben hynny, roedd bwlch yn seiliau cyfrifyddu cyllideb Trafnidiaeth Cymru nad oedd yno mwyach, a bu'n rhaid i ni ei lenwi. Fel arall, byddem wedi gorfod cau'r rheilffordd, nad oedd yn ddewis y credem y gallem ei wneud yn realistig. Felly, bu'n rhaid inni wneud yr addasiad hwnnw.

Thank you for that, Minister. I don't think it is just an academic question, because of this really significant effect it's had and the implications for the rest of the budget. So, I would press you again, please, to acquire and to publish that information. Now, in terms of what you've been setting out about the effect of the pandemic, I wouldn't dispute it. I don't think anyone here would dispute that, in so many ways, the way in which that affected transport would have been unexpected, largely. TfW was far from unique amongst UK rail operators in experiencing a decrease in passenger numbers because of lockdowns and other behavioural changes.

Where TfW does appear rather anomalous, though, is the level of Government funding it continues to receive to manage that fallout, when compared especially with other publicly owned rail franchises like ScotRail. Despite the fact that ScotRail passenger numbers experienced a bigger hit in absolute and proportional terms compared with TfW because of the pandemic, the Scottish Government has been able to reduce its spending on ScotRail by 11 per cent, and they say that that's because of continued recovery in passenger revenue. Can you explain why TfW is apparently so less cost-effective compared with similar franchises, and when do you expect those numbers to recover?

Now, I would say, Llywydd—I know I'm out of time—I support public investment in rail hugely. I'm just trying to find out where these discrepancies are and what can be done to address them. Diolch.

Diolch, Weinidog. Ni chredaf mai cwestiwn academaidd yn unig yw hwn, oherwydd yr effaith sylweddol iawn y mae wedi'i gael a'r goblygiadau i weddill y gyllideb. Felly, hoffwn bwyso arnoch eto, os gwelwch yn dda, i gaffael a chyhoeddi'r wybodaeth honno. Nawr, ar yr hyn a nodwyd gennych am effaith y pandemig, ni fuaswn yn dadlau â hynny. Ni chredaf y byddai unrhyw un yma'n dadlau na fyddai’r ffordd yr effeithiodd hynny ar drafnidiaeth mewn cymaint o ffyrdd yn annisgwyl, i raddau helaeth. Roedd Trafnidiaeth Cymru ymhell o fod yn unigryw ymhlith gweithredwyr rheilffyrdd y DU wrth weld gostyngiad yn nifer y teithwyr oherwydd y cyfyngiadau symud a newidiadau eraill mewn ymddygiad.

Fodd bynnag, ymddengys bod Trafnidiaeth Cymru yn anomaledd o ran lefel y cyllid y mae’n parhau i’w gael gan y Llywodraeth i reoli canlyniadau hynny, o gymharu’n arbennig â masnachfreintiau rheilffyrdd eraill sy’n eiddo cyhoeddus fel ScotRail. Er bod niferoedd teithwyr ScotRail wedi cael ergyd fwy mewn termau absoliwt a chymesurol o gymharu â Trafnidiaeth Cymru yn sgil y pandemig, mae Llywodraeth yr Alban wedi gallu lleihau ei gwariant ar ScotRail 11 y cant, a dywedant fod hynny oherwydd adferiad parhaus mewn refeniw teithwyr. A allwch chi egluro pam fod Trafnidiaeth Cymru, i bob golwg, gymaint yn llai costeffeithiol o gymharu â masnachfreintiau tebyg, a phryd y disgwyliwch i’r niferoedd hynny godi i'r lefelau blaenorol?

Nawr, hoffwn dweud, Lywydd—gwn fod fy amser ar ben—fy mod yn cefnogi buddsoddiad cyhoeddus yn y rheilffyrdd yn frwd iawn. Rwy'n ceisio darganfod ble mae'r anghysondebau hyn a beth y gellir ei wneud i fynd i'r afael â nhw. Diolch.

14:00

Well, we're constantly challenging Transport for Wales on their performance and upon their budget numbers. That is an intense process that I’m part of, and also the board of TfW are empowered to do. It’s my understanding that their performance is not wildly out of kilter with the other franchise arrangements, which of course have all been handed back to the Department for Transport. So, the model of privatisation the Conservatives imposed on us has fallen apart, as indeed many people said at the time, and we see no humility again from the Conservatives. We’ve seen the failure of bus privatisation, which is leading to the cuts we’re seeing now. We’ve seen a failure of rail privatisation, which has seen the situation we’re facing, with lack of investment and poor performance and maintenance of the railway network.

I’m happy to look at the exact parallel that Delyth Jewell makes on ScotRail and to respond to her about that. That’s not my understanding of the situation, but I’ll pledge to find out more.

Wel, rydym yn herio Trafnidiaeth Cymru yn gyson mewn perthynas â'u perfformiad a ffigurau eu cyllideb. Mae honno'n broses ddwys yr wyf yn rhan ohoni, ac mae bwrdd Trafnidiaeth Cymru wedi'i rymuso i'w wneud. Yn ôl yr hyn rwy'n ei ddeall, nid yw eu perfformiad yn llawer gwaeth na'r trefniadau masnachfraint eraill, sydd wrth gwrs wedi cael eu trosglwyddo'n ôl i'r Adran Drafnidiaeth. Felly, mae'r model o breifateiddio y mae'r Ceidwadwyr wedi'i orfodi arnom wedi cwympo'n ddarnau, fel y dywedodd llawer o bobl ar y pryd, ac unwaith eto nid ydym wedi gweld unrhyw ostyngeiddrwydd gan y Ceidwadwyr. Rydym wedi gweld y camau i breifateiddio bysiau yn methu, sy'n arwain at y toriadau a welwn nawr. Rydym wedi gweld y camau i breifateiddio rheilffyrdd yn methu, sydd wedi arwain at y sefyllfa rydym yn ei hwynebu, gyda diffyg buddsoddiad, perfformiad gwael a gwaith cynnal a chadw gwael ar y rhwydwaith rheilffyrdd.

Rwy'n hapus i edrych ar yr union gymhariaeth y mae Delyth Jewell yn ei wneud gyda ScotRail ac i ymateb iddi ynglŷn â hynny. Nid dyna fy nealltwriaeth i o'r sefyllfa, ond rwy'n ymrwymo i ddarganfod mwy.

Mesur Teithio gan Ddysgwyr (Cymru)
The Learner Travel (Wales) Measure

3. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am yr adolygiad diweddaraf o'r Mesur Teithio gan Ddysgwyr (Cymru)? OQ60526

3. Will the Minister provide an update on the latest review of the Learner Travel (Wales) Measure? OQ60526

Diolch. I'm currently reviewing a recommendations report based on the recent internal analysis and evaluation exercise and engagement with young people.

Diolch. Ar hyn o bryd rwy'n adolygu adroddiad argymhellion yn seiliedig ar yr ymarfer dadansoddi a gwerthuso mewnol diweddar a'r ymgysylltiad a gafwyd â phobl ifanc.

Mae'r Mesur yn rhoi dyletswydd ar awdurdodau lleol i wneud asesiad o anghenion teithio dysgwyr, ac mae'r Llywodraeth yn ystyried diogelwch fel rhan o'r anghenion hynny, ac mae'r canllawiau gweithredol yn awgrymu asesiadau risg o lwybrau cerdded lle bod hynny yn briodol. Y broblem yw dyw awdurdodau lleol ddim yn dehongli hynny fel gofyniad statudol, ac mae hynny yn broblem fawr, yn arbennig mewn ardal gwledig lle mae yna lawer iawn o blant yn gorfod cerdded i fannau casglu, yn aml iawn yn eithaf hir, ond hefyd ar hyd lonydd cul, ac, yn ystod y gaeaf, wrth gwrs, pan fo'n dywyll. Felly, fel rhan o'r adolygiad sydd wedi digwydd, ydy'r cwestiwn yma o sicrhau bod yna asesiadau risg, gan gynnwys o lwybrau cerdded, yn cael ei wneud yn ofyniad statudol, nid lleiaf, wrth gwrs, achos bod rhagflaenydd i chi, Edwina Hart, wedi dweud bod peidio â gwneud yr asesiadau risg yma yn dramgwydd yn erbyn Confensiwn y Cenhedloedd Unedig ar Hawliau'r Plentyn?

The Measure does impose a duty on local authorities to make an assessment of the transport needs of learners, and the Government considers safety as part of those needs, and the guidance does suggest risk assessments of the walking routes where that's appropriate. The problem is that local authorities don't interpret that as a statutory requirement, and that is a major problem, particularly in rural areas where many children do have to walk to gathering points, very often long distances, but also along narrow roads, and, during the winter, of course, when it's dark. So, as part of that review that has happened, is that question of ensuring that risk assessments are done, including of the walking routes, being made a statutory requirement, not least because one of your predecessors, Edwina Hart, said that not doing that risk assessment would be a breach of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child?

Thank you. I do know that local authorities do take this very seriously, regardless of whether it’s a statutory responsibility or not. The approach that we’re trying to take here is to try and see the journey to school not simply as a stand-alone but as part of the wider way that we approach transport across our community. So, for example, we’re investing heavily in improvements to active travel routes for walking and cycling, we’re having enhancements through regular reviews and planning of future routes to make all pedestrians feel comfortable and safe to walk for short journeys. And most young people are making relatively short journeys to school.

There are of course issues there. I, some time ago now, went on a journey from his home village of Tumble to Maes y Gwendraeth school with some schoolchildren, carrying their bags and their guitar for them, on a fairly long walking trip along a path, and I must say my back was sore by the end of it. So, I’m very sympathetic to those people who are keen to have free bus travel when they’re very close to the threshold. The reality is that we simply do not have the money to put more money into school transport at a time when our whole bus network is under incredible pressure, and also, in franchising, we want to take again a whole-community approach to this. Over a quarter of school budgets are spent on the cost of running school buses. Those buses are then not available to the rest of the community for the rest of the day, and I think it makes far more sense for us, when we are looking at planning for franchising, that we look at the whole bus network for all people, including for school pupils, and we have a coherent network that runs for all passengers, rather than trying to silo it out. Now, that is part of the ongoing work that we’re doing as we prepare for the bus Bill, and we’ll be publishing a route-map towards franchising over the coming months.

We are close to a point where we can publish the learner travel Measure review, which has been a complex and long piece of work. And I think there's much that we can do there, even within the current system, and within the current funding, that can improve the school experience for young people. But I do want, rather than simply looking at school transport in isolation, to look at the broader problems we have about travel in Wales. 

Diolch. Rwy'n gwybod bod awdurdodau lleol o ddifrif ynglŷn â hyn, ni waeth a yw'n gyfrifoldeb statudol ai peidio. Y dull rydym yn ceisio ei fabwysiadu yma yw peidio ag edrych ar y daith i'r ysgol fel rhywbeth ar ei ben ei hun yn unig, ond yn hytrach fel rhan o'n hymagwedd ehangach tuag at deithio ar draws ein cymuned. Felly, er enghraifft, rydym yn buddsoddi'n helaeth mewn gwelliannau i lwybrau teithio llesol ar gyfer cerdded a beicio, rydym yn gweld gwelliannau drwy adolygiadau rheolaidd a chynllunio llwybrau yn y dyfodol i wneud i bob cerddwr deimlo'n gyfforddus ac yn ddiogel i gerdded pellteroedd byr. Ac mae'r rhan fwyaf o bobl ifanc yn gwneud teithiau cymharol fyr i'r ysgol.

Wrth gwrs, mae yna broblemau yno. Beth amser yn ôl erbyn hyn, euthum ar daith o'i bentref genedigol ef, y Tymbl, i ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth gyda phlant ysgol, a chario eu bagiau a'u gitâr iddynt, ar daith gerdded weddol hir ar hyd llwybr, ac mae'n rhaid imi ddweud bod fy nghefn yn brifo erbyn diwedd y daith. Felly, rwy'n cydymdeimlo'n fawr â'r bobl sy'n awyddus i deithio am ddim ar fysiau pan fyddant yn agos iawn at y trothwy. Y gwir amdani yw nad oes gennym arian i roi mwy o arian tuag at gludiant i'r ysgol ar adeg pan fo ein rhwydwaith bysiau cyfan o dan bwysau anhygoel, a hefyd, wrth fasnachfreinio, rydym eisiau mabwysiadu agwedd cymuned gyfan tuag at hyn. Mae dros chwarter cyllidebau ysgolion yn cael eu gwario ar gost rhedeg bysiau ysgol. Nid yw'r bysiau hynny ar gael i weddill y gymuned am weddill y dydd, ac rwy'n credu ei fod yn gwneud llawer mwy o synnwyr i ni, pan fyddwn yn edrych ar gynllunio ar gyfer masnachfreinio, ein bod yn edrych ar y rhwydwaith bysiau cyfan i bawb, gan gynnwys ar gyfer disgyblion ysgol, a sicrhau bod gennym rwydwaith cydlynol ar gyfer pob teithiwr, yn hytrach na cheisio gweithio mewn seilos. Nawr, mae hynny'n rhan o'r gwaith parhaus a wnawn wrth i ni baratoi ar gyfer y Bil bysiau, a byddwn yn cyhoeddi map llwybr tuag at fasnachfreinio dros y misoedd nesaf.

Rydym yn agos at bwynt lle gallwn gyhoeddi adolygiad y Mesur teithio gan ddysgwyr, sydd wedi bod yn waith cymhleth a hir. Ac rwy'n credu bod llawer y gallwn ei wneud yno, hyd yn oed o fewn y system bresennol, ac o fewn y cyllid presennol, a all wella profiad yr ysgol i bobl ifanc. Ond yn hytrach nag edrych ar gludiant i'r ysgol ar ei ben ei hun, rwyf eisiau edrych ar y problemau ehangach sydd gennym mewn perthynas â theithio yng Nghymru. 

14:05

Deputy Minister, it's been years now since the learner travel Measure review and recommendations were published and I have real concerns about the direction of travel that school transport is going in. And I reiterate the calls that Adam Price just made for risk assessments to be made about children going on buses, as well as the walk routes, particularly in rural areas. Whereas putting all children on public transport in urban areas might work and might suit, it won't suit all rural areas. And there simply aren't—. No. 1, there simply aren't enough buses for children to get on where you're seeing a wraparound where children are having to wait 45 minutes before school and after school to actually get on a bus, and that, of course, has safeguarding issues, waiting in the cold and the dark, as well as the other safeguarding issues attached to that. But it's essential that we get things in place by September. We cannot repeat the mess there was at the beginning of the last school year that made many parents and many children and young people very anxious because they didn't know how they were going to get to school. So, can you reassure this Senedd, today, that you will have things in place and you will actually address and bring the recommendations to the floor of the Senedd so we can debate it? Thank you. 

Ddirprwy Weinidog, mae blynyddoedd wedi mynd heibio bellach ers cyhoeddi adolygiad ac argymhellion y Mesur teithio gan ddysgwyr ac mae gennyf bryderon gwirioneddol am y cyfeiriad y mae cludiant i'r ysgol yn mynd iddo. Ac rwy'n ailadrodd y galwadau a wnaeth Adam Price i gynnal asesiadau risg mewn perthynas â phlant yn mynd ar fysiau, yn ogystal â'r llwybrau cerdded, yn enwedig mewn ardaloedd gwledig. Er y gallai rhoi pob plentyn ar drafnidiaeth gyhoeddus mewn ardaloedd trefol weithio ac er y gallai fod yn addas, ni fydd yn addas ar gyfer pob ardal wledig. Ac yn syml, nid oes—. Yn gyntaf, nid oes digon o fysiau i blant fynd arnynt lle rydych yn gweld gorgyffwrdd, lle mae plant yn gorfod aros 45 munud am fws cyn ac ar ôl yr ysgol, ac mae cwestiynau diogelu yn gysylltiedig â hynny wrth gwrs, aros yn yr oerfel a'r tywyllwch, yn ogystal â materion diogelu eraill sy'n gysylltiedig â hynny. Ond mae'n hanfodol ein bod yn cael pethau yn eu lle erbyn mis Medi. Ni allwn ailadrodd y llanast a welwyd ar ddechrau'r flwyddyn ysgol ddiwethaf pan oedd llawer o rieni a llawer o blant a phobl ifanc yn bryderus iawn am nad oeddent yn gwybod sut roeddent yn mynd i gyrraedd yr ysgol. Felly, a allwch chi sicrhau'r Senedd hon heddiw y byddwch yn rhoi pethau yn eu lle ac y byddwch yn mynd i'r afael â'r argymhellion ac yn dod â nhw i lawr y Senedd fel y gallwn eu trafod? Diolch. 

Well, I reject the characterisation of last September. In fact, a huge amount of work went on throughout last year, which I led, to make sure that the new arrangements that we had in place for the bus system did not adversely affect on school transport routes, and worked closely with the education Minister on making sure that was the case. And it went smoothly. 

In terms of the dangers of travelling on public transport in rural areas, I'm not sure there's a great deal of evidence for that. In fact, Monmouthshire County Council have a very effective system that they are running for school transport and we are keen to work with them to learn from that and from the rest of Wales.

And in terms of the broader point, then I'd be very keen to get a practical set of recommendations from Laura Anne Jones that are affordable within the austerity budgets that we have been handed down from her Government that meet the challenges that we face. Because, otherwise, this is simply hot air.  

Wel, nid wyf yn derbyn eich disgrifiad o fis Medi diwethaf. Yn wir, digwyddodd llawer iawn o waith drwy gydol y llynedd, o dan fy arweiniad i, i wneud yn siŵr nad oedd y trefniadau newydd a oedd gennym ar waith ar gyfer y system fysiau yn effeithio'n andwyol ar lwybrau cludiant i'r ysgol, a gweithiais yn agos gyda'r Gweinidog addysg i sicrhau hynny. Ac fe weithiodd popeth yn llyfn. 

Ar beryglon teithio ar drafnidiaeth gyhoeddus mewn ardaloedd gwledig, nid wyf yn siŵr fod llawer iawn o dystiolaeth ar gyfer hynny. Yn wir, mae gan Gyngor Sir Fynwy system effeithiol iawn y maent yn ei rhedeg ar gyfer cludiant i'r ysgol ac rydym yn awyddus i weithio gyda nhw i ddysgu o hynny a chan weddill Cymru.

Ac ar y pwynt ehangach, buaswn yn awyddus iawn i gael set ymarferol o argymhellion gan Laura Anne Jones sy'n fforddiadwy o fewn y cyllidebau cyni y mae ei Llywodraeth wedi'u trosglwyddo i ni ac sy'n goresgyn yr heriau sy'n ein hwynebu. Oherwydd fel arall, nid yw hyn yn ddim mwy na siarad gwag.  

Tai Digonol a Rhent Teg
Adequate Housing and Fair Rent

4. Pa waith y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i wneud i sicrhau tai digonol a rhent teg i bobl Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr a Phorthcawl? OQ60528

4. What work has the Welsh Government undertaken to secure adequate housing and fair rent for the people of Bridgend and Porthcawl? OQ60528

Thank you very much for the question. I'm delighted to say that Bridgend County Borough Council has just joined the Welsh Government’s Leasing Scheme Wales. This is the £30 million programme providing grants to local authorities to secure and manage safe and affordable accommodation from the private sector, including properties that were previously empty.

Diolch yn fawr iawn am y cwestiwn. Rwy'n falch iawn o ddweud bod Cyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr newydd ymuno â Chynllun Prydlesu Cymru Llywodraeth Cymru. Dyma'r rhaglen £30 miliwn sy'n darparu grantiau i awdurdodau lleol i sicrhau a rheoli llety diogel a fforddiadwy gan y sector preifat, yn cynnwys eiddo a arferai fod yn wag.

Thank you, Minister. That's wonderful to hear. As you know, housing being one of the biggest concerns for people across Wales, the publication of the Welsh Government's Green Paper on housing adequacy and fair rents has been welcomed and has been said to be a huge step forward by many. As we know, there are many factors needed for securing a path towards adequate housing, including fair rents and affordability, and the Bevan Foundation and many others have always said that increasing the provision of social housing is vital.

So, I am pleased that, as part of the regeneration of Porthcawl, including shops and restaurants that you visited with us over the summer, community parks and toilets, a new primary school—it's a long list—I'm really pleased that, with the help of Welsh Government and Bridgend County Borough Council, land has been secured to ensure that, as part of the planned housing development, there'll be low-carbon housing, up to half of which will be singled out to be affordable, and social housing will be prioritised.

So, Minister, will you join with me in also welcoming this opportunity to reduce pressure on our social housing waiting lists, increase opportunities for young and new home owners to remain in Porthcawl near their families if they would like to, as well as help us meet all of our low-carbon social homes targets for Wales? Diolch. 

Diolch yn fawr, Weinidog. Mae hynny'n wych i'w glywed. Fel y gwyddoch, o gofio mai tai yw un o'r pryderon mwyaf i bobl ledled Cymru, mae cyhoeddi Papur Gwyrdd Llywodraeth Cymru ar ddigonolrwydd tai a rhenti teg wedi cael ei groesawu ac mae llawer wedi dweud ei fod yn gam enfawr ymlaen. Fel y gwyddom, mae angen llawer o ffactorau i sicrhau llwybr tuag at dai digonol, gan gynnwys rhenti teg a fforddiadwyedd, ac mae Sefydliad Bevan a llawer o rai eraill wedi dweud bob amser fod cynyddu darpariaeth tai cymdeithasol yn hanfodol.

Felly, fel rhan o'r cynlluniau i adfywio Porthcawl, gan gynnwys siopau a bwytai y gwnaethoch ymweld â nhw gyda ni dros yr haf, parciau cymunedol a thoiledau, ysgol gynradd newydd—mae'n rhestr hir—rwy'n falch iawn, gyda chymorth Llywodraeth Cymru a Chyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr, fod tir wedi'i gaffael i sicrhau, fel rhan o'r datblygiad tai arfaethedig, y bydd yna dai carbon isel, a bydd hyd at hanner y rheini'n cael eu clustnodi fel rhai fforddiadwy, a bydd tai cymdeithasol yn cael blaenoriaeth.

Felly, Weinidog, a wnewch chi hefyd ymuno â mi i groesawu'r cyfle hwn i leihau'r pwysau ar ein rhestrau aros tai cymdeithasol, i gynyddu cyfleoedd i berchnogion tai ifanc a newydd aros ym Mhorthcawl yn agos at eu teuluoedd os ydynt yn dymuno gwneud hynny, yn ogystal ag i helpu i gyrraedd ein holl dargedau cartrefi cymdeithasol carbon isel ar gyfer Cymru? Diolch. 

Thank you very much, Sarah. I'm absolutely delighted to join you in welcoming the opportunity. Our priority is to deliver more truly affordable homes within the social sector and to deliver 20,000 additional social homes for rent. Working with partners in Bridgend County Borough Council, we're currently seeking a master planning consultancy to design the redevelopment of the wider Porthcawl area in public sector ownership. It really is a very exciting opportunity to deliver significant benefits to the community of Porthcawl. We had a very nice visit there, as I recollect, which I really enjoyed. We acquired the land just after that visit, actually, in 2023 to advance the use for housing. Working with the council, the aim is to obtain a planning permission in 2025 to deliver a mixed-use residential development, which will be around 900 dwellings, with 50 per cent of them being social and affordable. It's ambitious and challenging—we make no apology for that. We will work very closely with the council to make sure that the social housing is prioritised. We've allocated record levels of funding to the social housing grant to achieve this right across Wales, doubling the budget from 2020-21 to £300 million in 2022-23 and to £330 million in the current year, including £30 million for the transitional accommodation programme, and £325 million in 2024-25.

The latest statistical releases show that additional affordable housing of 3,369 affordable units was delivered across Wales, which is a 26 per cent increase on the previous year and the second highest total since the data was first recorded. So, I'm delighted that Bridgend will play a very pivotal part in achieving that target, and I think, actually, in regenerative language, if you like, the whole development is a really good example of what a mixed-use, including residential, development can do to completely transform an area and give local people the very high-quality housing that they both need and deserve, so I'm delighted to welcome that. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Sarah. Rwy'n falch iawn o ymuno â chi i groesawu'r cyfle. Ein blaenoriaeth yw darparu mwy o gartrefi gwirioneddol fforddiadwy yn y sector cymdeithasol a darparu 20,000 o gartrefi cymdeithasol ychwanegol i'w rhentu. Gan weithio gyda phartneriaid yng Nghyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr, rydym ar hyn o bryd yn chwilio am ymgynghoriaeth uwchgynllunio i lunio ailddatblygiad ardal ehangach Porthcawl sy'n eiddo i'r sector cyhoeddus. Mae'n gyfle cyffrous iawn i sicrhau manteision sylweddol i gymuned Porthcawl. Rwy'n cofio inni gael ymweliad braf iawn yno a fwynheais yn fawr. Fe wnaethom gaffael y tir ychydig ar ôl yr ymweliad hwnnw yn 2023 i ddatblygu'r defnydd ar gyfer tai. Gan weithio gyda'r cyngor, y nod yw cael caniatâd cynllunio yn 2025 i gyflawni datblygiad preswyl defnydd cymysg, a fydd yn cynnwys oddeutu 900 o anheddau, gyda 50 y cant ohonynt yn dai cymdeithasol a fforddiadwy. Mae'n uchelgeisiol ac yn heriol—nid ydym yn ymddiheuro am hynny. Byddwn yn gweithio'n agos iawn gyda'r cyngor i sicrhau bod y tai cymdeithasol yn cael blaenoriaeth. Rydym wedi dyrannu'r lefelau uchaf erioed o gyllid i'r grant tai cymdeithasol i gyflawni hyn ledled Cymru, gan ddyblu'r gyllideb o 2020-21 i £300 miliwn yn 2022-23 ac i £330 miliwn yn y flwyddyn gyfredol, gan gynnwys £30 miliwn ar gyfer y rhaglen llety trosiannol, a £325 miliwn yn 2024-25.

Mae'r datganiadau ystadegol diweddaraf yn dangos bod 3,369 o unedau fforddiadwy ychwanegol wedi'u darparu ledled Cymru, sy'n gynnydd o 26 y cant ar y flwyddyn flaenorol a'r ail gyfanswm uchaf ers dechrau cofnodi'r data. Felly, rwy'n falch iawn y bydd Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr yn chwarae rhan ganolog iawn wrth gyflawni'r targed hwnnw, ac rwy'n credu, mewn iaith adfywiol, os mynnwch, fod y datblygiad cyfan yn enghraifft dda iawn o'r hyn y gall datblygiad defnydd cymysg, gan gynnwys datblygiadau preswyl, ei wneud i drawsnewid ardal yn llwyr a darparu'r tai o ansawdd uchel iawn y mae pobl leol eu hangen ac yn eu haeddu, felly rwy'n falch iawn o groesawu hynny. 

14:10

It's great to know about Bridgend; it is on the right track. Minister, Wales is in a housing crisis, with some 100,000 homes completely vacant. Your Government has consistently failed to meet house building targets, currently building less than half the amount of houses needed. You have recently cut £19 million from the empty homes scheme, mounting further pressure on councils to use hotels for temporary accommodation. Concerns have also been raised about the unintended consequences of a vacant land tax, which could hinder new developments. So, Minister, what action will you take to incentivise house building and to bring empty homes back into use to provide people in Wales with homes they desperately need? 

Mae'n wych cael gwybod am Ben-y-bont ar Ogwr; mae ar y trywydd iawn. Weinidog, mae Cymru mewn argyfwng tai, gydag oddeutu 100,000 o gartrefi yn hollol wag. Mae eich Llywodraeth wedi methu cyrraedd targedau adeiladu tai yn gyson, gan adeiladu llai na hanner y tai sydd eu hangen ar hyn o bryd. Yn ddiweddar, rydych wedi torri £19 miliwn o'r cynllun cartrefi gwag, gan gynyddu pwysau pellach ar gynghorau i ddefnyddio gwestai ar gyfer llety dros dro. Mae pryderon hefyd wedi'u codi am ganlyniadau anfwriadol treth ar dir gwag, a allai rwystro datblygiadau newydd. Felly, Weinidog, pa gamau y byddwch chi'n eu cymryd i gymell pobl i adeiladu tai a dod â thai gwag yn ôl i ddefnydd i ddarparu cartrefi y mae eu gwir angen ar bobl yng Nghymru? 

Well, I just simply don't recognise that characterisation. We exceeded our target by a considerable proportion at the end of the last Senedd term, and I've literally just read you the statistics showing us on target for this term, so I just—. Well, I mean it's just, basically, not fact based, what you've just said. So, I'll just read it to you again: the latest statistical release to show progress towards the 20,000 homes target was published on 7 November. The key statistic is that in 2022-23, 3,369 additional affordable housing units were delivered across Wales. This is a 26 per cent increase—693 units—on the previous year and the second highest total since data was ever recorded, which was in 2007-08. I think those facts speak for themselves, Llywydd.

Wel, yn syml, nid wyf yn cydnabod y disgrifiad hwnnw. Fe wnaethom ragori ar ein targed o gyfran sylweddol ar ddiwedd tymor diwethaf y Senedd, ac yn llythrennol rwyf newydd ddarllen yr ystadegau sy'n dangos ein bod ar y trywydd cywir ar gyfer y tymor hwn, felly rwy'n—. Wel, yn y bôn, nid yw'r hyn rydych newydd ei ddweud yn seiliedig ar ffeithiau. Felly, rwyf am ei ddarllen i chi eto: cyhoeddwyd y datganiad ystadegol diweddaraf i ddangos cynnydd tuag at y targed o 20,000 o gartrefi ar 7 Tachwedd. Yr ystadegyn allweddol yw bod 3,369 o unedau tai fforddiadwy ychwanegol wedi'u darparu ledled Cymru yn 2022-23. Dyna gynnydd o 26 y cant—693 o unedau—ar y flwyddyn flaenorol a'r ail gyfanswm uchaf ers dechrau cadw cofnodion data yn 2007-08. Rwy'n credu bod y ffeithiau hynny'n siarad drostynt eu hunain, Lywydd.

Gwaith Ôl-osod mewn Tai Cymdeithasol
Retrofitting in Social Housing

5. Beth mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei wneud i gyflwyno gwaith ôl-osod mewn tai cymdeithasol? OQ60534

5. What is the Welsh Government doing to deliver retrofitting in social housing? OQ60534

Thank you very much, Jayne Bryant. The challenge to retrofit Welsh social homes is vast. We are supporting social housing landlords to understand their stock and the retrofit requirements to help us achieve the ambitious Welsh housing quality standard with programmes such as the optimised retrofit programme, through which £190 million has been allocated to date.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Jayne Bryant. Mae'r her i ôl-osod cartrefi cymdeithasol Cymru yn enfawr. Rydym yn cefnogi landlordiaid tai cymdeithasol i ddeall eu stoc a'r gofynion ôl-osod i'n helpu i gyrraedd safon ansawdd tai uchelgeisiol Cymru gyda rhaglenni fel y rhaglen ôl-osod er mwyn optimeiddio, lle mae £190 miliwn wedi'i ddyrannu hyd yma.

Thank you for that answer, Minister. Housing associations across Wales are taking innovative action to tackle the climate emergency, including Pobl, Linc Cymru and Newport City Homes in my constituency. Whilst carbon savings are very welcome, I want to focus on the health and well-being benefits of those measures. The current cold temperatures and cost of energy bills once again highlight the importance of heated, well-insulated homes. Increasing the number of retrofitted homes across Wales will undoubtedly improve public health, yet not all residents are aware of the health benefits of retrofitting or what exactly the process might involve. The short-term disruption of building work can also be a deterrent for people offered work by their housing provider. Minister, what more can be done to engage residents in the decision-making process for retrofitting their homes, helping them to understand and take advantage of available support?

Diolch am yr ateb hwnnw, Weinidog. Mae cymdeithasau tai ledled Cymru yn cymryd camau arloesol i fynd i'r afael â'r argyfwng hinsawdd, gan gynnwys Pobl, Linc Cymru a Chartrefi Dinas Casnewydd yn fy etholaeth. Er bod arbedion carbon i'w croesawu, rwyf eisiau canolbwyntio ar fuddion iechyd a llesiant y mesurau hynny. Mae'r tymheredd oer cyfredol a chost biliau ynni unwaith eto yn tynnu sylw at bwysigrwydd cael cartrefi sydd wedi'u gwresogi ac wedi'u hinswleiddio'n dda. Heb os, bydd cynyddu nifer y cartrefi a ôl-osodwyd ar draws Cymru yn gwella iechyd y cyhoedd, ond nid yw pob preswylydd yn ymwybodol o fanteision iechyd ôl-osod na beth yn union y gallai'r broses ei olygu. Gall tarfu tymor byr a achosir gan waith adeiladu hefyd fod yn rhwystr i bobl sy'n cael cynnig gwaith gan eu darparwr tai. Weinidog, beth arall y gellir ei wneud i gynnwys preswylwyr yn y broses o wneud penderfyniadau ar gyfer ôl-osod eu cartrefi, gan eu helpu i ddeall a manteisio ar y cymorth sydd ar gael?

It's an excellent question, Jayne. The underlying principle of both the Welsh quality housing standard and the optimised retrofit programme is to deliver improved social, economic and well-being outcomes for tenants and for their whole communities. We actively engage with and encourage social landlords to undertake clear, targeted stakeholder engagement to outline the benefits and successes of the retrofit work to date. The idea is that the social landlords, who we fund and who have selections of housing that they can look at, will be able to tech and test exactly what you've just said—how long does this take, what's the outcome, what is the disruption and how can we minimise it—with a view to, through the Warm Homes energy hub, giving advice out to people in other sectors for how to go about that and what the programmes are. And in answering Jenny Rathbone earlier, I spoke a little bit about the ECO programmes and the boiler replacement programme from the British Government, which we signpost through our Warm Homes scheme. Unfortunately, because of the way the programme works, I haven't been able to announce it yet, but I am hoping very shortly to announce the outcome of the new Warm Homes programme procurement. The websites are active already, to give that information. The information is real and practical, because it's coming out of the optimised retrofit programme, which has literally tested it out on homes and then on people living in those homes, to make sure that what's claimed for the tech actually comes out the other side.

We also pick up tech from the innovative housing programme, which has been running for seven years now, so that we are able to recommend to people things that we know work. We've tested these out; some products didn't do what they said, other products have been fantastic and we're able to roll those out. We're also able to roll them out into our new build programme, so that when we build our new housing, it is low carbon, highly energy efficient and brings all the health benefits.

Llywydd, if you don't mind indulging me for one second, I will say that I did meet a lady in Ammanford in Adam Price's constituency, actually, who had recently moved into one of the new low-carbon homes. Her son had been using inhalers for his asthma in very large quantities for a very long time. When I met her, she'd lived in that new social home for about four months and her son wasn't using an inhaler at all. So, that is the evidence of what happens if you live in a well-heated, well-insulated home. It has massive health and social benefits, as well as the energy efficiency and money benefits that it brings.

Cwestiwn ardderchog, Jayne. Egwyddor sylfaenol safon tai ansawdd Cymru a'r rhaglen ôl-osod er mwyn optimeiddio yw sicrhau gwell canlyniadau cymdeithasol, economaidd a llesiant i denantiaid ac i'w cymunedau cyfan. Rydym yn mynd ati i ymgysylltu â landlordiaid cymdeithasol a'u hannog i ymgysylltu â rhanddeiliaid mewn modd clir, wedi'i dargedu, i amlinellu manteision a llwyddiannau'r gwaith ôl-osod hyd yma. Y syniad yw y bydd y landlordiaid cymdeithasol, yr ydym yn eu hariannu ac sydd â detholiadau o dai y gallant edrych arnynt, yn gallu ystyried technoleg a phrofi'n union beth rydych newydd ei ddweud—pa mor hir y mae hyn yn ei gymryd, beth yw'r canlyniad, faint o darfu y mae'n ei olygu a sut y gallwn ei leihau—gyda golwg ar roi cyngor i bobl mewn sectorau eraill, drwy hyb ynni Cartrefi Clyd, ynglŷn â sut i fynd ati i wneud hynny a beth yw'r rhaglenni. Ac wrth ateb Jenny Rathbone yn gynharach, siaradais ychydig am raglenni ECO a'r rhaglen newid boeleri gan Lywodraeth Prydain yr ydym yn cyfeirio pobl ati drwy ein cynllun Cartrefi Clyd. Yn anffodus, oherwydd y ffordd y mae'r rhaglen yn gweithio, nid wyf wedi gallu ei chyhoeddi eto, ond rwy'n gobeithio cyhoeddi canlyniad caffael y rhaglen Cartrefi Clyd newydd yn fuan iawn. Mae'r gwefannau eisoes yn weithredol, i ddarparu'r wybodaeth honno. Mae'r wybodaeth yn real ac yn ymarferol, oherwydd mae'n deillio o'r rhaglen ôl-osod er mwyn optimeiddio, sydd wedi ei phrofi, yn llythrennol, ar gartrefi ac yna ar bobl sy'n byw yn y cartrefi hynny, i sicrhau bod yr hyn a honnir o ran y dechnoleg yn cael ei wireddu.

Rydym hefyd yn casglu gwybodaeth dechnolegol o'r rhaglen dai arloesol, sydd wedi bod ar y gweill ers saith mlynedd bellach, fel ein bod yn gallu argymell pethau y gwyddom eu bod yn gweithio i bobl. Rydym wedi profi'r rhain; nid oedd rhai cynhyrchion yn gwneud yr hyn a honnwyd, ond mae cynhyrchion eraill wedi bod yn wych ac rydym yn gallu cyflwyno'r rheini. Rydym hefyd yn gallu eu cyflwyno yn ein rhaglen adeiladu newydd, ac felly pan fyddwn yn adeiladu ein tai newydd, byddant yn dai carbon isel, yn effeithlon o ran eu defnydd o ynni ac yn cynnig yr holl fanteision iechyd.

Lywydd, os caf, hoffwn ddweud fy mod wedi cyfarfod â dynes yn Rhydaman yn etholaeth Adam Price, a oedd wedi symud yn ddiweddar i un o'r cartrefi carbon isel newydd. Roedd ei mab wedi bod yn gwneud defnydd helaeth o anadlyddion ar gyfer ei asthma ers amser maith. Pan gyfarfûm â hi, roedd hi wedi byw yn y cartref cymdeithasol newydd hwnnw ers tua phedwar mis ac nid oedd ei mab yn defnyddio anadlydd o gwbl. Felly, dyna'r dystiolaeth o'r hyn sy'n digwydd os ydych chi'n byw mewn cartref sydd wedi'i gynhesu'n dda ac wedi'i inswleiddio'n dda. Mae iddo fuddion iechyd a chymdeithasol enfawr, yn ogystal â'r manteision effeithlonrwydd ynni ac ariannol a ddaw yn ei sgil.

14:15

Minister, no-one can doubt that we need to make our social homes more sustainable and not just our social homes but our private homes as well, to make them carbon neutral, to make our homes warmer and to keep energy bills low for the people who live in them. Many of the social homes in my constituency are also in the national park and within conservation areas. These areas have very, very strict planning laws when it comes to altering external windows, external insulation and other energy efficiency measures. So, can you outline today, Minister, how you work with national parks and within conservation areas to make sure that everybody can benefit from the schemes that the Welsh Government is providing?

Weinidog, ni all unrhyw un wadu bod angen inni wneud ein cartrefi cymdeithasol yn fwy cynaliadwy, ac nid ein cartrefi cymdeithasol yn unig, ond ein cartrefi preifat hefyd, i'w gwneud yn garbon niwtral, i wneud ein cartrefi'n gynhesach ac i gadw biliau ynni'n isel i'r bobl sy'n byw ynddynt. Mae llawer o'r cartrefi cymdeithasol yn fy etholaeth hefyd yn ardal y parc cenedlaethol ac o fewn ardaloedd cadwraeth. Mae gan yr ardaloedd hyn ddeddfau cynllunio llym iawn a gyfer newid ffenestri allanol, inswleiddio allanol a mesurau effeithlonrwydd ynni eraill. Felly, a allwch chi amlinellu heddiw, Weinidog, sut rydych chi'n gweithio gyda pharciau cenedlaethol ac o fewn ardaloedd cadwraeth i sicrhau y gall pawb elwa o'r cynlluniau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn eu darparu?

Yes. It's an excellent question, because what we need to be able to do is find a solution for every type of house that we have in Wales, and that's very much what we've been trying to do. So, there's no point in a one-size-fits-all approach; we have seen the outcome of that. So, with the last iteration of the Welsh housing quality standard, for example, most homes, the vast majority of them—well up into the 90 per cent—have benefited from that, but there was a percentage of them that experienced really bad condensation and so on, because the one-size-fits-all approach just didn't match the kind of home that they had and wouldn't have worked in a conservation area, for example. So, the point of the ORP programme is to take every kind of house that we have and test out what can be done, working with our national parks and our planning authorities, for what is allowable, and to do it in a way that becomes a practical piece of advice for people who live in other tenures who can access it. 

I've also been working with the Development Bank of Wales for some time to figure out a way that we can do a decent loans programme and, as I said in answer to Jenny Rathbone, also talking to some of the renewable generators across Wales about how their community asset programme—'community benefit programme', I should say, not 'asset programme'—could be used to help people understand what retrofit needs they have, particularly in areas like that, so that we can get a bespoke solution for each of those people. And in addition, what the optimised retrofit programme does is it skills a workforce that can do it, because even if you know what the solution is, it can be hard to find somebody who can actually do it. So, I'm very keen that the optimised retrofit programme produces a skilled workforce as well as the tech solutions that would help people in houses such as those.

Gallaf. Mae'n gwestiwn ardderchog, oherwydd yr hyn y mae angen inni allu ei wneud yw dod o hyd i ateb ar gyfer pob math o dŷ sydd gennym yng Nghymru, a dyna'n union y buom yn ceisio ei wneud. Felly, nid oes pwynt cael un dull sy'n addas i bawb; rydym wedi gweld canlyniadau hynny. Felly, gyda'r iteriad olaf o safon ansawdd tai Cymru, er enghraifft, mae'r rhan fwyaf o gartrefi, y mwyafrif helaeth ohonynt—ymhell dros 90 y cant—wedi elwa o hwnnw, ond roedd yna ganran ohonynt a oedd yn dioddef o lefelau gwael iawn o anwedd ac yn y blaen, oherwydd nid oedd y dull un ateb sy'n addas i bawb yn addas ar gyfer y math o gartref a oedd ganddynt ac ni fyddai wedi gweithio mewn ardal gadwraeth, er enghraifft. Felly, pwynt y rhaglen ôl-osod er mwyn optimeiddio yw cymryd pob math o dŷ sydd gennym a phrofi'r hyn y gellir ei wneud, gan weithio gyda'n parciau cenedlaethol a'n hawdurdodau cynllunio, i wneud yr hyn a ganiateir, a'i wneud mewn ffordd sy'n dod yn gyngor ymarferol i bobl sy'n byw mewn mathau eraill o ddeiliadaeth sy'n gallu cael mynediad ato. 

Rwyf hefyd wedi bod yn gweithio gyda Banc Datblygu Cymru ers peth amser i ddarganfod ffordd o sefydlu rhaglen fenthyciadau addas, ac fel y dywedais mewn ymateb i Jenny Rathbone, rwyf hefyd wedi bod yn siarad â rhai o'r cynhyrchwyr ynni adnewyddadwy ledled Cymru ynglŷn â sut y gellid defnyddio eu rhaglen asedau cymunedol—'rhaglen budd cymunedol', dylwn ddweud, nid 'rhaglen asedau'—i helpu pobl i ddeall pa anghenion ôl-osod sydd ganddynt, yn enwedig mewn ardaloedd felly, fel y gallwn gael ateb pwrpasol i bob un o'r bobl hynny. Ac yn ogystal, yr hyn y mae'r rhaglen ôl-osod er mwyn optimeiddio yn ei wneud yw darparu sgiliau i weithlu sy'n gallu ei wneud, oherwydd hyd yn oed os ydych chi'n gwybod beth yw'r ateb, gall fod yn anodd dod o hyd i rywun a all ei wneud mewn gwirionedd. Felly, rwy'n awyddus iawn i weld y rhaglen ôl-osod er mwyn optimeiddio yn cynhyrchu gweithlu medrus yn ogystal â'r atebion technoleg a fyddai'n helpu pobl mewn tai fel y rheini.

Ansawdd Dŵr
Water Quality

6. Pa gamau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn eu cymryd i wella ansawdd dŵr ym Mhreseli Sir Benfro? OQ60499

6. What steps is the Welsh Government taking to improve water quality in Preseli Pembrokeshire? OQ60499

Thank you for the question, Paul Davies. Preseli Pembrokeshire is home to 14 designated bathing waters, all achieving the highest classification of 'excellent'. It is also home to the Cleddau, a special area of conservation river known for its array of wildlife. Our approach focuses on multisector co-operation and nature-based solutions to improve water quality across the catchment.

Diolch am y cwestiwn, Paul Davies. Mae Preseli Sir Benfro yn gartref i 14 o ddyfroedd ymdrochi dynodedig, gyda phob un yn cyflawni'r dosbarthiad uchaf sef 'rhagorol'. Mae hefyd yn gartref i'r Cleddau, afon ardal cadwraeth arbennig sy'n enwog am ei hamrywiaeth o fywyd gwyllt. Mae ein dull o weithredu yn canolbwyntio ar gydweithredu aml-sector ac atebion sy'n seiliedig ar natur i wella ansawdd dŵr ar draws y dalgylch.

Thank you for that response, Minister, and for the information that you've provided to me in correspondence this morning on the issues around the Cardigan waste water treatment works. Now, residents across Preseli Pembrokeshire continue to raise water pollution incidents and discharges from combined sewer overflows, highlighting the impact on the environment, but also the safety of water users. I know that there has been some investment from Dŵr Cymru in parts of my constituency, and there are projects that will be taking place over the next few months, which is, of course, welcome. But can you tell us what support the Welsh Government is offering to help expedite any improvement work in Pembrokeshire? And can you also tell us how the Welsh Government and, indeed, Natural Resources Wales are monitoring this work and holding Dŵr Cymru to account?

Diolch am eich ateb, Weinidog, ac am yr wybodaeth a roesoch i mi mewn gohebiaeth y bore yma ar y materion sy'n ymwneud â gwaith trin dŵr gwastraff Aberteifi. Nawr, mae trigolion ar draws Preseli Sir Benfro yn parhau i godi digwyddiadau llygredd dŵr a gollyngiadau o orlifoedd carthffosiaeth gyfun, gan dynnu sylw at yr effaith ar yr amgylchedd, a diogelwch defnyddwyr dŵr hefyd. Rwy'n gwybod bod rhywfaint o fuddsoddiad wedi bod gan Dŵr Cymru mewn rhannau o fy etholaeth, ac mae yna brosiectau a fydd yn digwydd dros y misoedd nesaf, sydd i'w groesawu, wrth gwrs. Ond a allwch chi ddweud wrthym pa gymorth y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei gynnig i helpu i gyflymu unrhyw waith gwella yn sir Benfro? Ac a allwch chi ddweud wrthym hefyd sut mae Llywodraeth Cymru, a Cyfoeth Naturiol Cymru yn wir, yn monitro'r gwaith hwn ac yn dwyn Dŵr Cymru i gyfrif?

14:20

Thank you very much. It's a very good question, and the answer is a little bit complex, because it involves us engaging all sectors that have a role to play. We've been doing that for some considerable time. I hope Paul Davies has noticed the Teifi demonstrator project that's happening. That is a very good example of the complexity of what we're trying to deal with, but also the solution-based outcomes we're looking at. That is a source-to-sea project on a river that engages all of the landowners all the way along, and all of the players, including the water companies, the agricultural landowners and other landowners, house builders, et cetera, to find a bespoke solution for each part of the river. The river has had to have some re-meandering as it's called, a great term, where hard old flood prevention measures have actually, we know now, narrowed the river and increased its flow and a number of things—and not just the Teifi, I'm talking more generally about rivers across Wales. It's pleasing to see such strong engagement from representatives from across a variety of sectors in getting to grips with that project, because what we're trying to do is figure out what works in a very practical way.

I do think it's important and I absolutely welcome the public scrutiny on this. It is something that we really need to have, and we need to have our feet held to the collective fire, if you like—if that's not a bad analogy for water—to make this happen. But I also think it's important to get the facts across. So, 98 per cent of designated bathing waters across Wales met the most stringent bathing water quality standards. In Preseli Pembrokeshire, all 14 bathing waters received the 'excellent' classification. That doesn't mean we couldn't even do better than that, because there have been discharges, as you say. But I just want to reassure people that it is safe to bathe in Preseli Pembrokeshire. You know very well, Paul, that's one of my favourite things to do, so I'm very personally invested in being able to do that. It's my absolute favourite spot, if I can manage to get a break, to sea bathe. It's fantastic, isn't it, to be able to do that.

But we are absolutely determined to work with all stakeholders across Wales to make sure that all of our SAC rivers get back into good conservation status by bringing to bear all of the levers that each sector of that complex web of people can do. The call has been, and people have answered it magnificently, not to point the finger at other sectors, but to see what your sector can do to contribute to this. So, the water company to see what it can do, farmers and the agricultural sector to see what they can do, house builders to see what they can do, everyone to play their part in making sure that their own industry and their contribution to water pollution is minimised and then turned around. I think we've got a very good process under way and, with any luck and the commitment that everyone has shown, the action plan will work and we will get that sorted. The Teifi will be an excellent demonstrator of how that works.

Diolch yn fawr iawn. Mae'n gwestiwn da iawn, ac mae'r ateb ychydig yn gymhleth, oherwydd y gwir amdani yw ein bod yn ymgysylltu â phob sector sydd â rôl i'w chwarae. Rydym wedi bod yn gwneud hyn ers cryn dipyn o amser. Rwy'n gobeithio bod Paul Davies wedi sylwi ar brosiect arddangos Teifi sy'n mynd rhagddo. Mae hwnnw'n enghraifft dda iawn o gymhlethdod yr hyn rydym yn ceisio mynd i'r afael ag ef, ond hefyd y canlyniadau sy'n seiliedig ar atebion rydym yn edrych arnynt. Mae hwnnw'n brosiect o'r tarddiad i'r môr ar afon sy'n ymgysylltu â'r holl dirfeddianwyr ar hyd yr afon, a'r holl weithredwyr, gan gynnwys y cwmnïau dŵr, y tirfeddianwyr amaethyddol a pherchnogion tir eraill, adeiladwyr tai ac ati, i ddod o hyd i ateb pwrpasol ar gyfer pob rhan o'r afon. Bu'n rhaid newid peth ar ystum yr afon, lle gwyddom bellach fod hen fesurau atal llifogydd caled wedi culhau'r afon ac wedi cynyddu ei llif a nifer o bethau—ac nid afon Teifi yn unig, rwy'n siarad yn fwy cyffredinol am afonydd ledled Cymru. Mae'n braf gweld ymgysylltiad mor gryf gan gynrychiolwyr ar draws amrywiaeth o sectorau wrth fynd i'r afael â'r prosiect hwnnw, oherwydd rydym yn ceisio darganfod beth sy'n gweithio mewn ffordd ymarferol iawn.

Rwy'n credu ei bod yn bwysig cael gwaith craffu cyhoeddus ar hyn, ac rwy'n croesawu hynny'n fawr. Mae'n rhywbeth y mae gwir angen i ni ei gael, ac mae angen i ni gael ein dwyn i gyfrif ar y cyd i wneud i hyn ddigwydd. Ond rwy'n credu ei bod hi'n bwysig cyfleu'r ffeithiau hefyd. Felly, roedd 98 y cant o ddyfroedd ymdrochi dynodedig ledled Cymru yn cyrraedd y safonau ansawdd dŵr ymdrochi mwyaf llym. Ym Mhreseli Sir Benfro, derbyniodd pob un o'r 14 o ddyfroedd ymdrochi ddosbarthiad 'rhagorol'. Nid yw hynny'n golygu na allem wneud yn well na hynny hyd yn oed, oherwydd fe gafwyd gollyngiadau, fel y dywedwch. Ond rwyf eisiau sicrhau pobl ei bod hi'n ddiogel i ymdrochi ym Mhreseli Sir Benfro. Rydych chi'n gwybod yn iawn, Paul, mai dyna un o fy hoff bethau i'w gwneud, felly mae gennyf fuddsoddiad personol iawn mewn gallu gwneud hynny. Dyna fy hoff fan, os llwyddaf i gael seibiant, i ymdrochi yn y môr. Mae'n wych gallu gwneud hynny, onid yw?

Ond rydym yn gwbl benderfynol o weithio gyda'r holl randdeiliaid ledled Cymru i sicrhau bod ein holl afonydd ardaloedd cadwraeth arbennig yn dychwelyd i statws cadwraeth da drwy ddefnyddio'r holl ysgogiadau y gall pob sector o'r we gymhleth honno o bobl eu gwneud. Mae'r alwad wedi bod, ac mae pobl wedi ei hateb yn wych, nid pwyntio'r bys ar sectorau eraill, ond i weld beth y gall eich sector chi ei wneud i gyfrannu at hyn. Felly, y cwmni dŵr i weld beth y gall wneud, y ffermwyr a'r sector amaethyddol i weld beth y gallant hwy ei wneud, adeiladwyr tai i weld beth y gallant hwy ei wneud, pawb i chwarae eu rhan i sicrhau bod eu diwydiant eu hunain a'u cyfraniad at lygredd dŵr yn cael ei leihau ac yna'n cael ei wrthdroi. Rwy'n credu bod gennym broses dda iawn ar y gweill, a chyda lwc, a'r ymrwymiad y mae pawb wedi'i ddangos, bydd y cynllun gweithredu yn gweithio a byddwn yn datrys hynny. Bydd afon Teifi yn arddangos yn ardderchog sut mae hynny'n gweithio.

Argaeledd Tai Cymdeithasol
Availability of Social Housing

7. Pa gamau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn eu cymryd i gynyddu argaeledd tai cymdeithasol yng Nghwm Cynon? OQ60497

7. What action is the Welsh Government taking to increase the availability of social housing in Cynon Valley? OQ60497

Thank you for the question, Vikki Howells. This Government remains committed to delivering 20,000 homes for rent in the social sector this Senedd term. To support this commitment, record levels of funding have been provided through the social housing grant. Rhondda Cynon Taf has been allocated nearly £20 million, actually £19,975,226 to be precise, for social housing in 2023-24.

Diolch am y cwestiwn, Vikki Howells. Mae'r Llywodraeth hon yn parhau i fod wedi ymrwymo i ddarparu 20,000 o gartrefi i'w rhentu yn y sector cymdeithasol yn y tymor seneddol hwn. Er mwyn cefnogi'r ymrwymiad hwn, darparwyd y lefelau uchaf erioed o gyllid drwy'r grant tai cymdeithasol. Dyrannwyd bron i £20 miliwn i Rondda Cynon Taf, sef £19,975,226 i fod yn fanwl gywir, ar gyfer tai cymdeithasol yn 2023-24.

Thank you for that answer, Minister. Trivallis housing association gave 10 RCT families an early Christmas present last year, presenting them with keys to newly renovated family homes. These empty properties had been brought back into use through the transitional accommodation capital programme, transforming these families' lives, but also improving communities by bringing derelict properties back into use. I know Trivallis are keen to scale up this work, so whilst appreciating the pressures upon Government finances, I'd be keen to know how Welsh Government is working with social landlords, councils and other partners to bring specifically empty properties back to life and provide warm, safe, quality homes.

Diolch am yr ateb hwnnw, Weinidog. Rhoddodd cymdeithas dai Trivallis anrheg Nadolig cynnar i 10 teulu yn Rhondda Cynon Taf y llynedd, gan gyflwyno allweddi i gartrefi teuluol a oedd newydd gael eu hadnewyddu. Cafodd y tai gwag hyn eu dwyn yn ôl i ddefnydd drwy'r rhaglen gyfalaf ar gyfer llety dros dro, gan drawsnewid bywydau'r teuluoedd hyn, a gwella cymunedau hefyd drwy ddod ag eiddo adfeiliedig yn ôl i ddefnydd. Rwy'n gwybod bod Trivallis yn awyddus i gynyddu'r gwaith hwn, felly, gan gadw'r pwysau ar gyllid y Llywodraeth mewn cof, hoffwn wybod sut mae Llywodraeth Cymru'n gweithio gyda landlordiaid cymdeithasol, cynghorau a phartneriaid eraill i roi bywyd newydd i eiddo gwag yn benodol a darparu cartrefi cynnes a diogel o ansawdd da.

Thank you very much for that question. It’s a really excellent one and it’s been great to see the Trivallis programme running out. As you rightly said, it’s part of the transitional accommodation capital programme that we established in 2022. The TACP programme, as it’s called—we love an acronym in the Welsh Government—provides funding to social landlords for a wide range of projects to deliver more homes at pace, and that includes, as you rightly say, Vikki, bringing void properties back into use. During the 2022-23 financial year, the programme provided funding to bring 374 voids, as they’re called, or empty properties, back into use to provide better quality, longer term accommodation for those currently living in poor-quality temporary accommodation. Applications to bring voids back into use are again being supported in this year, 2023-24. We work extensively with local authorities and registered social landlords to share good practice in relation to TACP, including the use of voids, and to support them to maximise available funding to bring forward good-quality homes at pace.

There are a number of other measures and funding packages in place to reduce the number of long-term empty homes in Wales. There’s £30 million, as I’ve said a couple of times in answer to other Members this afternoon, over the next five years for the leasing scheme Wales programme to support improvements to accommodation to bring them into the scheme, and an investment of £50 million is being made available to bring up to 2,000 long-term empty properties back into use through our empty homes grant scheme. The funding will accelerate our work to bring empty properties back into use and to complement our existing schemes. It does include nearly £43 million of recyclable funding we’ve provided to local authorities to enable them to provide interest-free property loans for landlords and home owners, for home improvements or to renovate empty properties and bring them back into use. Those loans have been used to bring around 1,850 units into use from empty properties across Wales and to improve around 1,700 occupied homes, which have now been brought up to standard.

And again, Llywydd, if you’ll indulge me for one second, I did meet a member of the public who’d taken advantage of those loans in your area, Vikki, a couple of years ago—I know you know the home owner in question—and not only had they got a home for themselves, but the entire street was lifted by it, and there was a real community feel to this empty home coming back into use, and taking away a blight on the street and replacing it with a lovely young family that had brought vibrancy to the community, and it was a joy to see. So, it really does work both for communities and for homes.

Diolch yn fawr iawn am y cwestiwn hwnnw. Mae'n un ardderchog ac mae wedi bod yn wych gweld rhaglen Trivallis yn mynd rhagddi. Fel y dywedoch chi'n gywir, mae'n rhan o'r rhaglen gyfalaf ar gyfer llety dros dro a sefydlwyd gennym yn 2022. Mae'r rhaglen gyfalaf ar gyfer llety dros dro yn darparu cyllid i landlordiaid cymdeithasol ar gyfer ystod eang o brosiectau i ddarparu mwy o gartrefi yn gyflym, ac mae hynny'n cynnwys dod ag eiddo gwag yn ôl i ddefnydd, fel y dywedwch, Vikki. Yn ystod blwyddyn ariannol 2022-23, darparodd y rhaglen gyllid i sicrhau bod 374 o unedau gwag, fel y'u gelwir, neu eiddo gwag, yn cael eu defnyddio unwaith eto i ddarparu llety mwy hirdymor o ansawdd gwell i'r rhai sy'n byw mewn llety dros dro o ansawdd gwael. Mae ceisiadau i ddod ag unedau gwag yn ôl i ddefnydd yn cael eu cefnogi eto eleni, 2023-24. Rydym yn gweithio'n helaeth gydag awdurdodau lleol a landlordiaid cymdeithasol cofrestredig i rannu arferion da mewn perthynas â'r rhaglen gyfalaf ar gyfer llety dros dro, gan gynnwys defnyddio unedau gwag, ac i'w cefnogi i sicrhau'r cyllid mwyaf posibl i gyflwyno cartrefi o ansawdd da yn gyflym.

Mae nifer o fesurau eraill a phecynnau ariannu ar waith i leihau nifer y cartrefi gwag hirdymor yng Nghymru. Mae £30 miliwn wedi'i ddyrannu i gynllun prydlesu Cymru dros y pum mlynedd nesaf, fel y dywedais un neu ddwy o weithiau wrth ymateb i Aelodau eraill y prynhawn yma, i gefnogi gwelliannau llety er mwyn iddynt gael eu cynnwys yn y cynllun, ac mae buddsoddiad o £50 miliwn ar gael i ddod â hyd at 2,000 eiddo gwag hirdymor yn ôl i ddefnydd drwy ein cynllun grant cartrefi gwag. Bydd y cyllid yn cyflymu ein gwaith i ddefnyddio eiddo gwag unwaith eto ac i ategu ein cynlluniau presennol. Mae'n cynnwys bron i £43 miliwn o gyllid ailgylchadwy a ddarparwyd gennym i awdurdodau lleol i'w galluogi i ddarparu benthyciadau eiddo di-log i landlordiaid a pherchnogion tai, ar gyfer gwelliannau i'r cartref neu adnewyddu eiddo gwag a'u defnyddio unwaith eto. Defnyddiwyd y benthyciadau hynny i ddod ag oddeutu 1,850 o unedau gwag ledled Cymru yn ôl i ddefnydd ac i wella tua 1,700 o gartrefi â feddiennir, sydd bellach yn cyrraedd y safon.

Ac unwaith eto, Lywydd, os caf, fe wneuthum gyfarfod ag aelod o'r cyhoedd a oedd wedi manteisio ar y benthyciadau hynny yn eich ardal chi ychydig flynyddoedd yn ôl, Vikki—rwy'n gwybod eich bod chi'n adnabod y perchennog dan sylw—a chawsant gartref iddynt eu hunain, a chafodd y stryd gyfan ei gwella o ganlyniad i hynny, ac roedd yna ymdeimlad cymunedol go iawn wrth i'r cartref gwag hwn gael ei ddefnyddio unwaith eto, gan gael gwared ar falltod ar y stryd, a rhoi teulu ifanc hyfryd yn ei le a ddaeth â bywiogrwydd i'r gymuned, ac roedd yn bleser gweld hynny. Felly, mae'n gweithio ar gyfer cymunedau ac ar gyfer cartrefi.

14:25

Ac yn olaf, cwestiwn 8, Mabon ap Gwynfor.

And finally, question 8, Mabon ap Gwynfor.

Gwasanaethau Bws TrawsCymru
The TrawsCymru Bus Services

8. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am wasanaethau bws TrawsCymru? OQ60517

8. Will the Minister make a statement on TrawsCymru bus services? OQ60517

We continue to invest heavily in our TrawsCymru strategic bus network and we have funded new services, including cleaner, newer buses, simplified and more affordable ticketing and improved frequencies.

Rydym yn parhau i fuddsoddi'n helaeth yn rhwydwaith bysiau strategol TrawsCymru ac rydym wedi ariannu gwasanaethau newydd, gan gynnwys bysiau glanach, mwy newydd, tocynnau symlach a mwy fforddiadwy a gwasanaeth mwy mynych.

Diolch i’r Dirprwy Weinidog am yr ateb yna. Wel, mi fydd y Dirprwy Weinidog, dwi’n siŵr, yn ymwybodol fy mod i wedi bod yn codi achos y T2 a’r T3 yn gyson. Yn achos y T2, mae Garndolbenmaen wedi colli gwasanaeth gwerthfawr iawn, ac hefyd myfyrwyr ar hyd y ffordd yna sydd yn mynd i ddysgu yn Nolgellau. Yn achos y T3, rydyn ni wedi gweld llefydd fel Llanuwchllyn a Llandderfel yn colli allan ar gyswllt hollbwysig i bobl y gymuned yno. Rŵan, o edrych ar eich dogfen chi, 'National Transport Delivery Plan 2022 to 2027', o dan 'What we will deliver—Bus' ar dudalen 59, a dwi’n dyfynnu’n Saesneg, mae'n dweud:

I thank the Deputy Minister for that response. The Deputy Minister, I’m sure, will be aware that I’ve been raising the case of the T2 and T3 services regularly. In the case of the T2, Garndolbenmaen has lost a very valued service, and students across that route going to educational institutions in Dolgellau. In the case of the T3, we’ve seen places like Llanuwchllyn and Llandderfel losing out on a crucial connection for the people in the communities there. Now, in looking at your document, 'National Transport Delivery Plan 2022 to 2027', under 'What we will deliver—Bus' on page 59, and I quote in English, it says:

'Strategic approach to service design.... We will also consult on any future changes, with local authorities, and user groups before making major changes.'

'Dull strategol o ddylunio gwasanaethau.... Byddwn hefyd yn ymgynghori ag awdurdodau lleol a grwpiau defnyddwyr ynghylch unrhyw newidiadau yn y dyfodol cyn gwneud unrhyw newidiadau mawr.'

Wel, mae defnyddwyr y T2 a’r T3 o'r farn bod y newidiadau yna yn cyfrif fel newidiadau sylweddol, major changes, ond doedd yna ddim ymgynghoriad o gwbl efo trigolion lleol, defnyddwyr y bysus, nag unrhyw un arall ynghylch y newidiadau. Felly, a gaf fi ofyn ichi, a ydych chi'n meddwl ei bod hi'n iawn bod Trafnidiaeth Cymru ddim wedi ymgynghori efo defnyddwyr y bysus a’r cymunedau hynny, ac a wnewch chi edrych eto i sicrhau bod cymunedau Garndolbenmaen, Llanuwchllyn, Llandderfel ac eraill yn cael y gwasanaeth llawn yna sydd ei angen arnyn nhw?

Well, users of the T2 and T3 believe that those are major changes to the service, but there was no consultation whatsoever with bus users, people in the local community, or anyone else about these changes. So, can I ask you whether it’s right that Transport for Wales did not consult with bus users and those communities, and will you look again to ensure that the communities of Garndolbenmaen, Llanuwchllyn, Llandderfel and others do get that full service that they need?

Well, can I just first of all apologise to the people of Garndolbenmaen for the interruption that there has been in their bus service? TfW were working with Gwynedd Council for some two years, planning on changes to the network to provide better coverage, in fact, on the corridor between Caernarfon and Blaenau Ffestiniog. It was decided to supplement the T2 with another service, the T22, which will in fact operate from the village and offer some similar journey times. Now, unfortunately, Gwynedd Council had real difficulty getting the operation up and running because the electric vehicles that were needed couldn’t be mobilised in time and the charging stations couldn't be got online. As a result of that, there's been a slight delay in the new T22 service coming online. In the meantime, the council had provided alternatives. I'm pleased to say that the new T22 will come into service on 12 February and will serve Garndolbenmaen on six return journeys a day between Caernarfon, Porthmadog and Blaenau Ffestiniog. It will also enhance the frequency on the common sections of the route between Caernarfon and Porthmadog to hourly. So, there have been some hiccups there, for which I do apologise. I hope people understand why that has happened. We have worked very closely with the council. I think it will produce a much better overall service for passengers and, hopefully, increase passenger numbers.

Wel, a gaf fi ymddiheuro yn gyntaf i bobl Garndolbenmaen am yr tarfu a fu ar eu gwasanaeth bysiau? Roedd Trafnidiaeth Cymru yn gweithio gyda Chyngor Gwynedd am oddeutu dwy flynedd, yn cynllunio newidiadau i'r rhwydwaith i ddarparu gwasanaeth gwell ar y coridor rhwng Caernarfon a Blaenau Ffestiniog. Yn ogystal â T2, penderfynwyd cael gwasanaeth arall, y T22, a fydd mewn gwirionedd yn gweithredu o'r pentref ac yn cynnig amseroedd teithio tebyg. Nawr, yn anffodus, cafodd Cyngor Gwynedd anhawster gwirioneddol i roi'r cynlluniau ar waith am nad oedd modd defnyddio'r cerbydau trydan angenrheidiol mewn pryd a chael y mannau gwefru'n weithredol. O ganlyniad i hynny, cafwyd ychydig o oedi cyn i wasanaeth newydd T22 ddechrau. Yn y cyfamser, roedd y cyngor wedi darparu dewisiadau amgen. Rwy'n falch o ddweud y bydd gwasanaeth newydd T22 yn dod yn weithredol ar 12 Chwefror ac yn gwasanaethu Garndolbenmaen ar chwe thaith ddwyffordd y dydd rhwng Caernarfon, Porthmadog a Blaenau Ffestiniog. Bydd hefyd yn cynyddu amlder gwasanaethau ar rannau cyffredin y llwybr rhwng Caernarfon a Phorthmadog i bob awr. Felly, mae rhai problemau wedi bod yno, ac rwy'n ymddiheuro amdanynt. Rwy'n gobeithio bod pobl yn deall pam fod hynny wedi digwydd. Rydym wedi gweithio'n agos iawn gyda'r cyngor. Rwy'n credu y bydd yn cynhyrchu gwasanaeth llawer gwell yn gyffredinol i deithwyr, a gobeithio y bydd yn cynyddu niferoedd teithwyr.

14:30

Diolch i'r Dirprwy Weinidog a'r Gweinidog am yr eitem yna.

I thank the Deputy Minister and the Minister for that item. 

2. Cwestiynau i Weinidog y Gymraeg ac Addysg
2. Questions to the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language

Yr eitem nesaf, felly, bydd y cwestiynau i Weinidog y Gymraeg ac Addysg. Mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf gan Janet Finch-Saunders.

We now move to item 2, questions to the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language. The first question is from Janet Finch-Saunders.

Myfyrwyr Ysgol ag Anghenion Dysgu Ychwanegol
School Students with Additional Learning Needs

1. Pa gamau y mae'r Gweinidog yn eu cymryd i gefnogi myfyrwyr ysgol ag anghenion dysgu ychwanegol? OQ60508

1. What steps is the Minister taking to support school students with additional learning needs? OQ60508

I'm deeply committed to delivering the ALN reforms that aim to enable learners with additional learning needs to have the right support and opportunity to reach their potential. That's why I have significantly increased ALN funding and protected this investment in the draft budget.

Rwyf wedi ymrwymo'n bendant i gyflawni'r diwygiadau ADY gyda'r nod o alluogi dysgwyr ag anghenion dysgu ychwanegol i gael y gefnogaeth a'r cyfle cywir i gyrraedd eu potensial. Dyna pam fy mod wedi cynyddu cyllid ADY yn sylweddol ac wedi diogelu'r buddsoddiad hwn yn y gyllideb ddrafft.

Thank you. You’ll recall that, last year, last summer, I raised the fact that my colleague shadow Minister Laura Anne Jones had accompanied me to Ysgol San Siôr, and they’re not the only school that have raised with me their concerns about there not being enough money for this ALN agenda.

The additional learning needs resource budget allocation has been slashed by 86 per cent from £25 million to £3.5 million. Simultaneously, in Conwy county, schools are having to continue operating despite the current year’s education budget being slashed by 5 per cent, a likely further cut in the education budget for 2024-25, and the local authority cabinet recently deciding to charge cash-strapped schools interest on bridging loans.

Our hard-working teachers in Aberconwy are being left with fewer resources to support children with ALN. Thanks to Senedd scrutiny here by these benches, we know the pressures facing our schools in delivering the new ALN system. So, what impact, as the Minister—and, indeed, as the leader-in-waiting, perhaps—do you think cuts to school budgets will have on the ability of schools to transition effectively from special educational needs to the new ALN system? Diolch.

Diolch. Fe gofiwch, y llynedd, yr haf diwethaf, fy mod wedi codi'r ffaith bod fy nghyd-Aelod, Gweinidog yr wrthblaid Laura Anne Jones wedi ymweld ag Ysgol San Siôr gyda mi, ac nid nhw yw'r unig ysgol sydd wedi lleisio eu pryderon wrthyf nad oes digon o arian ar gyfer yr agenda ADY.

Mae dyraniad y gyllideb ar gyfer adnoddau anghenion dysgu ychwanegol wedi'i dorri 86 y cant o £25 miliwn i £3.5 miliwn. Ar yr un pryd, yn sir Conwy, mae'n rhaid i ysgolion barhau i weithredu er bod cyllideb addysg y flwyddyn bresennol wedi'i thorri 5 y cant, a bod toriad pellach yn debygol yn y gyllideb addysg ar gyfer 2024-25, ac yn ddiweddar fe wnaeth cabinet yr awdurdod lleol benderfynu codi llog ar fenthyciadau pontio ysgolion sy'n brin o arian.

Mae gan ein hathrawon gweithgar yn Aberconwy lai o adnoddau i gefnogi plant ag ADY. Diolch i graffu gan y Senedd yma gan y meinciau hyn, rydym yn gwybod am y pwysau sy'n wynebu ein hysgolion wrth iddynt gyflwyno'r system ADY newydd. Felly, fel y Gweinidog—ac yn wir, fel y darpar arweinydd, efallai—pa effaith y credwch chi y bydd toriadau i gyllidebau ysgolion yn ei chael ar allu ysgolion i drosglwyddo'n effeithiol o anghenion addysgol arbennig i'r system ADY newydd? Diolch.

Teachers in her constituency will want to know that she has misread the Government’s draft budget. As I made clear in my opening response, we have in fact increased in previous years and protected in this budget the ALN investment. That is the actual position. Her point is misrepresenting the budget in that respect and I hope that she will accept that.

She makes a fair point about the pressures in schools in relation to the transition to the new additional learning needs reforms. You could even say that now is the point of maximum pressure, because schools are operating two systems: the new reforms that are coming in and the older reforms for older children. So, it is a time of pressure and there are young children presenting in schools with increasingly complex needs. That is why it’s been so important to be increasing the budget to facilitate the reforms over recent years, and that’s why it has been so important to protect that in this year’s budget.

She will know as well that we are undertaking a review of the approaches taken across Wales to allocating additional learning needs funding to schools. There is a level of variation between local authorities. You’d expect to see some variation, but we want to understand quite why that variation exists. I’ll be happy to share the conclusions of that review with the Chamber in due course.

Bydd athrawon yn ei hetholaeth am wybod ei bod wedi camddarllen cyllideb ddrafft y Llywodraeth. Fel y dywedais yn glir yn fy ymateb agoriadol, rydym wedi cynyddu buddsoddiad ADY mewn blynyddoedd blaenorol ac wedi ei ddiogelu yn y gyllideb hon. Dyna'r sefyllfa mewn gwirionedd. Mae ei phwynt yn camliwio'r gyllideb yn hynny o beth ac rwy'n gobeithio y bydd hi'n derbyn hynny.

Mae'n gwneud pwynt teg am y pwysau mewn ysgolion mewn perthynas â'r newid i'r diwygiadau anghenion dysgu ychwanegol newydd. Gallech ddweud hyd yn oed mai nawr yw'r pwynt lle mae'r pwysau ar ei fwyaf, oherwydd bod ysgolion yn gweithredu dwy system: y diwygiadau newydd sy'n dod i mewn a'r diwygiadau hŷn i blant hŷn. Felly, mae'n gyfnod o bwysau ac mae plant ifanc yn dod i'r ysgolion gydag anghenion cynyddol gymhleth. Dyna pam y mae wedi bod mor bwysig cynyddu'r gyllideb i hwyluso'r diwygiadau dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf, a dyna pam y mae wedi bod mor bwysig diogelu hynny yn y gyllideb eleni.

Fe fydd hi'n gwybod hefyd ein bod yn cynnal adolygiad o'r dulliau ledled Cymru o ddyrannu cyllid anghenion dysgu ychwanegol i ysgolion. Mae yna lefel o amrywiaeth rhwng awdurdodau lleol. Fe fyddech chi'n disgwyl gweld rhywfaint o amrywiaeth, ond rydym eisiau deall yn iawn pam mae'r amrywio hwnnw'n bodoli. Rwy'n hapus i rannu casgliadau'r adolygiad hwnnw gyda'r Siambr maes o law.

Minister, Mark Isherwood and I have previously raised the holiday club support at Ysgol Pen Coch in Flintshire in questions to you here in the Senedd, and I was grateful for your intervention. It was an intervention that made a real difference to the students. Can I also thank the school, the parents at the school, Flintshire County Council and colleagues in the Welsh Government too for the innovative way in which they found a solution? It did make a real difference to the well-being of the students, I must say. 

Minister, I'm seeking your support once again to ask that Welsh Government officials do have a further conversation with Flintshire colleagues and relevant stakeholders so that they can enable the school to have a year-round support hub and provide that year-round support for the students with those needs. Therefore, can I ask you to engage your officials, and ask them to speak with the council, speak with the relevant stakeholders, to discuss this further? It's an ambition shared by all colleagues who represent the Flintshire authority here in the Senedd. Diolch.

Weinidog, mae Mark Isherwood a minnau wedi codi cefnogaeth y clwb gwyliau yn Ysgol Pen Coch yn sir y Fflint yn y gorffennol mewn cwestiynau i chi yma yn y Senedd, ac roeddwn yn ddiolchgar am eich ymyrraeth. Roedd yn ymyrraeth a wnaeth wahaniaeth gwirioneddol i'r myfyrwyr. A gaf fi hefyd ddiolch i'r ysgol, y rhieni yn yr ysgol, Cyngor Sir y Fflint a chyd-Aelodau yn Llywodraeth Cymru hefyd am y ffordd arloesol y daethant o hyd i ateb? Fe wnaeth wahaniaeth go iawn i lesiant y myfyrwyr, mae'n rhaid imi ddweud. 

Weinidog, rwy'n ceisio eich cefnogaeth unwaith eto i ofyn am sgwrs bellach rhwng swyddogion Llywodraeth Cymru a chydweithwyr yn sir y Fflint a rhanddeiliaid perthnasol fel y gallant alluogi'r ysgol i gael hyb cymorth drwy gydol y flwyddyn a darparu'r cymorth hwnnw drwy gydol y flwyddyn i'r myfyrwyr sydd â'r anghenion hynny. Felly, a gaf fi ofyn i chi ymgysylltu â'ch swyddogion, a gofyn iddynt siarad â'r cyngor, siarad â'r rhanddeiliaid perthnasol, i drafod hyn ymhellach? Mae'n uchelgais a rennir gan bob un o'r cyd-Aelodau sy'n cynrychioli awdurdod sir y Fflint yma yn y Senedd. Diolch.

14:35

I thank Jack Sargeant for that supplementary question. He has, of course, raised Ysgol Pen Coch with me previously, and I'm glad that that opportunity created some ability to engage with the school in relation to the provision. I think he's right to say that the solution that they discovered was innovative. It's really important, isn't it, to try and find innovative approaches to all sorts of provision, right across Wales, and that can be an example to others as well. I'll be very happy to ask my officials to facilitate a further meeting between Ysgol Pen Coch and Flintshire County Council, to understand their position and any potential plans for a year-round support hub.

Diolch i Jack Sargeant am y cwestiwn atodol hwnnw. Wrth gwrs, mae wedi dwyn Ysgol Pen Coch i fy sylw o'r blaen, ac rwy'n falch fod y cyfle hwnnw wedi creu gallu i ymgysylltu â'r ysgol mewn perthynas â'r ddarpariaeth. Rwy'n credu ei fod yn iawn i ddweud bod yr ateb a ganfuwyd ganddynt yn arloesol. Mae'n hynod o bwysig ceisio dod o hyd i ddulliau arloesol o ymdrin â phob math o ddarpariaeth ledled Cymru, a gall hynny fod yn esiampl i eraill hefyd. Rwy'n hapus iawn i ofyn i fy swyddogion drefnu cyfarfod pellach rhwng Ysgol Pen Coch a Chyngor Sir y Fflint, i ddeall eu safbwynt ac unrhyw gynlluniau posibl ar gyfer hyb cymorth drwy gydol y flwyddyn.

Cynorthwywyr Addysgu
Teaching Assistants

2. Beth mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei wneud i gefnogi cynorthwywyr addysgu mewn ysgolion? OQ60498

2. What is the Welsh Government doing to support teaching assistants in schools? OQ60498

We are committed to continuing to enable teaching assistants to improve their skills and to help them to engage with professional learning. We are working closely with our partners to facilitate clearer learning pathways, including pathways to achieve the status of higher level teaching assistant.

Rydym wedi ymrwymo i barhau i alluogi cynorthwywyr addysgu i wella eu sgiliau a'u helpu i gymryd rhan mewn dysgu proffesiynol. Rydym yn gweithio'n agos gyda'n partneriaid i hwyluso llwybrau dysgu cliriach, gan gynnwys llwybrau i gyflawni statws cynorthwyydd addysgu lefel uwch.

I thank the Minister for his answer. We had a long discussion about this in committee this morning, about teaching assistants. But a lot of the teaching assistants who I speak to—. They are vital in delivering the new Curriculum for Wales, but a lot of them do say they don't get enough training on delivery of the curriculum or upskilling themselves to be able to help the teachers in the classroom. So, I'd be interested to know what the Welsh Government is doing to upskill our teaching assistants in the classroom, and educate them on the new curriculum and how they can best deliver that to the pupils in our classrooms.

Diolch i'r Gweinidog am ei ateb. Cawsom drafodaeth hir am hyn yn y pwyllgor y bore yma, am gynorthwywyr addysgu. Ond mae llawer o'r cynorthwywyr addysgu y siaradaf â nhw—. Maent yn hanfodol i gyflwyno'r Cwricwlwm i Gymru newydd, ond mae llawer ohonynt yn dweud nad ydynt yn cael digon o hyfforddiant ar gyflwyno'r cwricwlwm neu uwchsgilio eu hunain i allu helpu'r athrawon yn yr ystafell ddosbarth. Felly, hoffwn wybod beth mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei wneud i wella sgiliau ein cynorthwywyr addysgu yn yr ystafell ddosbarth, a'u haddysgu am y cwricwlwm newydd a sut y gallant ei gyflwyno yn y ffordd orau i'r disgyblion yn ein hystafelloedd dosbarth.

I thank James Evans for that question. We did have, I thought, a very productive discussion in the committee this morning in relation to this. He will recall that I outlined to him how important this is to me. Can I also take the opportunity of thanking Unison, who presented me recently with the response to their survey, which sought to take the views of teaching assistants in relation to training generally, but training in relation to the curriculum specifically? As I mentioned this morning, we have introduced the new national entitlement to professional learning, which is an entitlement that teaching assistants have, as teachers have. That's probably a year in now, and there have been high levels of engagement with it, but we obviously want to promote that even further, in particular to teaching assistants. He will also be aware of the teaching assistant learning pathway, which is designed to support the professional learning of all teaching assistants, and he will know of the investment that we make every year into that pathway.

In my discussions with teaching assistants and their representatives in relation to this, what has emerged is that the training that is available to professionals generally in relation to the curriculum is often targeted at and communicated to teachers but not to teaching assistants. So, in those discussions, I've already committed to looking again at how we promote, sometimes how we describe, the resources that are available, so that they are readily identifiable by teaching assistants as being something that they will benefit from as well as teachers. So, there are practical things that we can do in that way, and we have also been discussing how much more we can do to make sure that INSET days are deployed to provide training for teaching assistants alongside teachers. There is some good practice, but there is more that we can do. We can support schools to roll that out further, and I think that would be a very important priority.

Diolch i James Evans am y cwestiwn hwnnw. Cawsom drafodaeth gynhyrchiol iawn yn y pwyllgor y bore yma mewn perthynas â hyn. Fe fydd yn cofio fy mod wedi dweud wrtho pa mor bwysig yw hyn i mi. A gaf fi hefyd fanteisio ar y cyfle i ddiolch i Unsain, a gyflwynodd yr ymateb i'w harolwg i mi yn ddiweddar, arolwg a aeth ati i nodi barn cynorthwywyr addysgu mewn perthynas â hyfforddiant yn gyffredinol, ond hyfforddiant mewn perthynas â'r cwricwlwm yn benodol? Fel y soniais y bore yma, rydym wedi cyflwyno'r hawl genedlaethol newydd i ddysgu proffesiynol, sy'n hawl i gynorthwywyr addysgu, fel i athrawon. Mae'n debyg fod tua blwyddyn ers i hynny ddechrau, a gwelwyd lefelau uchel o gyfranogiad, ond yn amlwg, rydym eisiau hyrwyddo hynny hyd yn oed ymhellach, yn enwedig i gynorthwywyr addysgu. Fe fydd hefyd yn ymwybodol o'r llwybr dysgu i gynorthwywyr addysgu, sydd wedi'i gynllunio i gefnogi dysgu proffesiynol yr holl gynorthwywyr addysgu, ac fe fydd yn gwybod am y buddsoddiad a wnawn bob blwyddyn yn y llwybr hwnnw.

Yn fy nhrafodaethau gyda chynorthwywyr addysgu a'u cynrychiolwyr mewn perthynas â hyn, daeth yn amlwg fod yr hyfforddiant sydd ar gael i weithwyr proffesiynol yn gyffredinol mewn perthynas â'r cwricwlwm yn aml yn cael ei dargedu a'i gyfleu i athrawon ond nid i gynorthwywyr addysgu. Felly, yn y trafodaethau hynny, rwyf eisoes wedi ymrwymo i edrych eto ar sut rydym yn hyrwyddo, weithiau sut rydym yn disgrifio, yr adnoddau sydd ar gael, fel eu bod yn hawdd i gynorthwywyr addysgu eu hadnabod fel rhywbeth y byddant hwy, yn ogystal ag athrawon, yn elwa ohono. Felly, mae pethau ymarferol y gallwn eu gwneud yn y ffordd honno, ac rydym hefyd wedi bod yn trafod faint mwy y gallwn ei wneud i sicrhau bod diwrnodau hyfforddiant mewn swydd yn cael eu defnyddio i ddarparu hyfforddiant i gynorthwywyr addysgu ochr yn ochr ag athrawon. Mae yna rywfaint o ymarfer da, ond mae mwy y gallwn ei wneud. Gallwn gefnogi ysgolion i gyflwyno hynny ymhellach, a chredaf y byddai honno'n flaenoriaeth bwysig iawn.

Minister, teaching assistants, as we know, play a really important role in schools, and we also know that they often form very close relationships with children, often working with them on a one-to-one basis, which is crucial. Lots of teaching assistants tell me they absolutely love their jobs—working hard every day to improve the lives of our young people in Wales. Everyone agrees that they are valued as an integral part of the school workforce, and an important role as part of a high-quality education profession. Teaching assistants have long been highlighting concerns in relation to their roles in schools, though, so I'm pleased that, as part of the Welsh Government's social partnership approach, their concerns are currently being considered by a group made up of Welsh Government officials, local authorities, who employ teaching assistants, and education trade unions. I know, for example, that GMB and Unison—and I'm a member of both of those trade unions—have played a big part in this work. As you've identified, knowing your rights, Minister, and knowing the terms and conditions and your entitlements is crucial. You've launched this Hwb website, and I was wondering if you could give us an update on how that social partnership work is going, and also the engagement that you've had through that information on Hwb.

Weinidog, fel y gwyddom, mae cynorthwywyr addysgu yn chwarae rhan bwysig iawn mewn ysgolion, ac rydym hefyd yn gwybod eu bod yn aml yn ffurfio perthynas agos iawn â phlant, gan weithio'n aml gyda nhw ar sail un i un, sy'n hanfodol. Mae llawer o gynorthwywyr addysgu yn dweud wrthyf eu bod yn dwli ar eu swyddi—yn gweithio'n galed bob dydd i wella bywydau ein pobl ifanc yng Nghymru. Mae pawb yn cytuno eu bod yn cael eu gwerthfawrogi fel rhan annatod o weithlu'r ysgol, ac yn rôl bwysig fel rhan o broffesiwn addysg o ansawdd uchel. Mae cynorthwywyr addysgu wedi bod yn tynnu sylw at bryderon ers tro mewn perthynas â'u rolau mewn ysgolion, felly rwy'n falch fod eu pryderon, fel rhan o ddull partneriaeth gymdeithasol Llywodraeth Cymru, yn cael eu hystyried ar hyn o bryd gan grŵp sy'n cynnwys swyddogion Llywodraeth Cymru, awdurdodau lleol sy'n cyflogi cynorthwywyr addysgu, ac undebau llafur y byd addysg. Er enghraifft, rwy'n gwybod bod GMB ac Unsain—ac rwy'n aelod o'r ddwy undeb—wedi chwarae rhan fawr yn y gwaith hwn. Fel y nodwyd gennych, mae gwybod eich hawliau, Weinidog, a gwybod y telerau a'r amodau a'ch hawliau yn hanfodol. Rydych chi wedi lansio'r wefan Hwb, ac roeddwn i'n meddwl tybed a allech chi roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf i ni ynglŷn â sut mae'r gwaith partneriaeth cymdeithasol hwnnw'n mynd rhagddo, a hefyd yr ymgysylltiad a gawsoch drwy'r wybodaeth ar Hwb.

I thank Sarah Murphy for that question. Can I actually echo the point that she made about how central teaching assistants are to the provision of education in our schools? They do incredible work. When I became Minister, I met early on with groups of teaching assistants, via both Unison and GMB, to discuss with them their first-hand experiences, and some of the concerns that, as Sarah Murphy said, they'd been sharing for some time. From those meetings, we developed a broad-based work programme to try and move forward some of the issues that they had been flagging, as I say, for some time.

There's a piece of work that has been led very substantially by teaching assistants themselves, working with heads, on job roles, to try and move to a position where there's a more common set of job roles across the 22 authorities in Wales. I thank the authorities that have engaged with them in that process as well. But alongside that, there's work on guidance in relation to deployment, guidance in relation to professional learning, a representation or a voice for teaching assistants on the governing bodies of schools, and I think, in each of these areas, we've been able to make quite substantial progress.

We had a meeting only yesterday of the social partners to discuss the progress, in particular, that had been done in relation to job roles, and I think it was, if I may say, an exemplar illustration of how you can make real strides forward to try to resolve some of these challenges when you're able to work in that open, collaborative, respectful way that social partnership provides. I look forward to completing this comprehensive work programme in the same way. 

Diolch i Sarah Murphy am y cwestiwn. A gaf fi ategu'r pwynt a wnaeth am ba mor ganolog yw cynorthwywyr addysgu i ddarparu addysg yn ein hysgolion? Maent yn gwneud gwaith anhygoel. Yn fuan wedi i mi ddod yn Weinidog, cefais gyfarfod â grwpiau o gynorthwywyr addysgu, trwy Unsain a GMB, i drafod eu profiadau uniongyrchol â nhw, a rhai o'r pryderon a fu ganddynt ers peth amser, fel y dywedodd Sarah Murphy. O'r cyfarfodydd hynny, fe wnaethom ddatblygu rhaglen waith eang i geisio sicrhau cynnydd ar rai o'r materion roeddent wedi bod yn tynnu sylw atynt ers peth amser, fel rwy'n dweud.

Mae yna waith, dan arweiniad cynorthwywyr addysgu eu hunain i raddau helaeth, yn gweithio gyda phenaethiaid, ar rolau swydd, i geisio symud i sefyllfa lle ceir set fwy cyffredin o rolau swyddi ar draws y 22 awdurdod yng Nghymru. Diolch hefyd i'r awdurdodau sydd wedi ymwneud â nhw yn y broses honno. Ond ochr yn ochr â hynny, mae gwaith ar ganllawiau mewn perthynas â gweithredu, canllawiau mewn perthynas â dysgu proffesiynol, cynrychiolaeth neu lais i gynorthwywyr addysgu ar gyrff llywodraethu ysgolion, a chredaf ein bod, ym mhob un o'r meysydd hyn, wedi gallu gwneud cynnydd eithaf sylweddol.

Ddoe ddiwethaf cawsom gyfarfod i'r partneriaid cymdeithasol i drafod y cynnydd, yn arbennig, a wnaed mewn perthynas â rolau swyddi, ac os caf ddweud, rwy'n credu ei fod yn dangos yn glir sut y gallwch chi gymryd camau breision ymlaen i geisio datrys rhai o'r heriau hyn pan fyddwch chi'n gallu gweithio yn y ffordd agored, gydweithredol a pharchus sy'n bosibl drwy bartneriaeth gymdeithasol. Edrychaf ymlaen at gwblhau'r rhaglen waith gynhwysfawr hon yn yr un modd. 

14:40
Cwestiynau Heb Rybudd gan Lefarwyr y Pleidiau
Questions Without Notice from Party Spokespeople

Cwestiynau nawr gan lefarwyr y pleidiau. Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr, Laura Anne Jones. 

Questions now from the party spokespeople. The Conservative spokesperson, Laura Anne Jones. 

Diolch, Llywydd. Minister, I recently read your piece in LabourList—a first for me, I must admit. But it had an interesting quote:

'Over time the funding spent on schools will increase as a percentage of the Welsh Government's budget. In fact, actually it builds on the work that I've already been doing.'

Minister, I did a double take when I read your quote. Was that just an attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of your own Labour members or your failure in office? I would love to know what this work is that you're building on, because it sure isn't an increase in funding. The facts are clear: you have cut the education budget this year in cash terms by £56 million. In real terms, that represents a £140 million reduction, and this on top of a cash and real-terms cut last year.

Mark Drakeford as First Minister has failed to prioritise education, just like his predecessors. Will you now, on record, say that, if you were First Minister, you would, at the very least, drop these pet projects of blanket 20 mph and hundreds of millions of pounds spent on more politicians, and plough that money where it is needed, in our children's education in Wales?

Diolch, Lywydd. Weinidog, darllenais eich darn ar LabourList—y tro cyntaf i mi wneud, rhaid imi gyfaddef. Ond roedd ynddo ddyfyniad diddorol:

'Dros amser, bydd y cyllid sy'n cael ei wario ar ysgolion yn cynyddu fel canran o gyllideb Llywodraeth Cymru. Mewn gwirionedd, mae'n adeiladu ar y gwaith y bûm yn ei wneud eisoes.'

Weinidog, fe gefais syndod pan ddarllenais eich dyfyniad. Ai ymgais i daflu llwch i lygaid eich aelodau Llafur eich hun yn unig oedd hynny neu eich methiant yn y swydd? Fe hoffwn yn fawr wybod beth yw'r gwaith rydych chi'n adeiladu arno, oherwydd yn sicr ddigon nid yw'n gynnydd mewn cyllid. Mae'r ffeithiau'n glir: rydych chi wedi torri £56 miliwn oddi ar y gyllideb addysg eleni yn nhermau arian parod. Mewn termau real, mae hwnnw'n ostyngiad o £140 miliwn, a hyn ar ben toriad yn nhermau arian parod ac mewn termau real y llynedd.

Mae Mark Drakeford fel Prif Weinidog Cymru wedi methu blaenoriaethu addysg, yn union fel ei ragflaenwyr. A wnewch chi ddweud ar goedd nawr, pe baech chi'n Brif Weinidog, y byddech chi fan lleiaf yn cael gwared ar hoff brosiectau fel y 20 mya cyffredinol a'r cannoedd o filiynau o bunnoedd a werir ar fwy o wleidyddion, a chyfeirio'r arian hwnnw at ble mae ei angen, ar addysg ein plant yng Nghymru?

Might I suggest the Member focus her scrutiny efforts on my current role as education Minister? Might I also suggest that she reads rather more closely what she’s been finding in LabourList? But I’m sure LabourList will be very pleased to hear the extent of their reach.

As she will know from the discussions we’ve had in the committee and elsewhere, the Government has protected, in the Welsh Government budget, the sums that go to schools, both in the very difficult set of choices that we had to make in relation to in-year reductions last year, and in relation to the choices we’ve had to make to deal with the pressures in the 2024-25 budget. She will know that the grants we pay to schools have retained their value in both of those years. Indeed, the approach that we are taking now, which is to make those grants more flexible, more easily deployed by schools, is intended to make them even more valuable, and put trust in the hands of local authorities and teachers about how best to reach the outcomes that we have as shared priorities with them.

A gaf fi awgrymu bod yr Aelod yn canolbwyntio ei hymdrechion craffu ar fy rôl bresennol fel Gweinidog addysg? A gaf fi awgrymu hefyd ei bod hi'n darllen yn fanylach yr hyn y mae hi wedi bod yn ei ganfod ar LabourList? Ond rwy'n siŵr y bydd LabourList yn falch iawn o glywed pa mor eang yw eu cyrhaeddiad.

Fel y bydd hi'n gwybod o'r trafodaethau a gawsom yn y pwyllgor ac mewn mannau eraill, yng nghyllideb Llywodraeth Cymru, mae'r Llywodraeth wedi diogelu'r symiau sy'n mynd i ysgolion, yn y set anodd iawn o ddewisiadau y bu'n rhaid inni eu gwneud mewn perthynas â gostyngiadau yn ystod y flwyddyn y llynedd, ac mewn perthynas â'r dewisiadau y bu'n rhaid inni eu gwneud i ymdopi â'r pwysau yng nghyllideb 2024-25. Fe fydd hi'n gwybod bod y grantiau a dalwn i ysgolion wedi cadw eu gwerth yn y ddwy flynedd fel ei gilydd. Yn wir, bwriad y dull a fabwysiadir gennym nawr, sef gwneud y grantiau hynny'n fwy hyblyg a haws eu defnyddio gan ysgolion, yw eu gwneud hyd yn oed yn fwy gwerthfawr, ac ymddiried yn yr awdurdodau lleol ac athrawon ynghylch y ffordd orau o gyflawni'r canlyniadau sydd gennym fel blaenoriaethau a rannwn gyda nhw.

Minister, on the back of consecutive years of education budget cuts, it is clear that you’re now trying to claim that there is extra money going into education via local government budgets. But the reality is that councils such as the Labour-run Monmouthshire, for example, are actually proposing to cut their education budget to the tune of nearly £1 million. We see similar cuts from Caerphilly County Borough Council and other councils across Wales. Your words simply don’t match the reality on the ground. The money that has been diverted to the local government budget, and promised to schools by you, is simply just going to plug the gaps from council cuts, which means there is absolutely no guarantee that money will get where it’s urgently needed in our schools. Minister, you claim there is an increase in funding to education. With the cuts at Senedd and council level, how will this equate to an increase in funding?

Weinidog, ar ôl blynyddoedd olynol o doriadau i'r gyllideb addysg, mae'n amlwg eich bod yn ceisio honni nawr fod arian ychwanegol yn mynd tuag at addysg drwy gyllidebau llywodraeth leol. Ond y gwir amdani yw bod cynghorau fel sir Fynwy sy'n cael ei redeg gan Lafur, er enghraifft, yn argymell torri bron i £1 filiwn oddi ar eu cyllideb addysg. Rydym yn gweld toriadau tebyg gan Gyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Caerffili a chynghorau eraill ar draws Cymru. Nid yw eich geiriau'n cyd-fynd â'r realiti ar lawr gwlad. Mae'r arian sydd wedi'i ddargyfeirio i gyllideb llywodraeth leol, ac a addawyd gennych chi i ysgolion, yn mynd i lenwi bylchau yn sgil toriadau cynghorau, sy'n golygu nad oes sicrwydd o gwbl y bydd arian yn cyrraedd lle mae ei angen ar frys yn ein hysgolion. Weinidog, rydych chi'n honni bod yna gynnydd mewn cyllid i addysg. Gyda'r toriadau ar lefel y Senedd a'r cynghorau, sut y bydd hyn yn gynnydd mewn cyllid?

I actually said that schools grants had been preserved, rather than increased, so let’s have some regard to what I actually said in response to your earlier questions. The truth is councils right across Wales, heads right across Wales, managing difficult budgets, will know what is at the heart of that, and it is the fact that we have a Conservative Government in Westminster handing out austerity budgets to us in Wales and other parts of the UK. They understand very well what is at the heart of this challenge. [Interruption.] There is no pulling the wool—there is no pulling the wool—over their eyes in the way that the Member is seeking to do. And she will know very well that, day in, day out, teachers are doing their best to manage very challenging budgets, and I commend them for that in very difficult circumstances. What we need is a Labour Government in Westminster prepared to invest in public services, as we do here in Wales.

Yr hyn a ddywedais mewn gwirionedd oedd fod grantiau ysgolion wedi cael eu cynnal, yn hytrach na'u cynyddu, felly gadewch inni roi sylw i'r hyn a ddywedais mewn ymateb i'ch cwestiynau cynharach. Y gwir amdani yw y bydd cynghorau ledled Cymru, penaethiaid ar draws Cymru sy'n rheoli cyllidebau anodd, yn gwybod beth sydd wrth wraidd hynny, sef bod gennym Lywodraeth Geidwadol yn San Steffan yn dosbarthu cyllidebau cyni i ni yng Nghymru a rhannau eraill o'r DU. Maent yn deall yn iawn beth sydd wrth wraidd yr her hon. [Torri ar draws.] Nid oes lluchio llwch—nid oes lluchio llwch—i'w llygaid yn y ffordd y mae'r Aelod yn ceisio ei wneud. Ac fe fydd hi'n gwybod yn iawn fod athrawon yn gwneud eu gorau o un diwrnod i'r llall i reoli cyllidebau heriol iawn, ac rwy'n eu canmol am hynny mewn amgylchiadau anodd iawn. Yr hyn sydd ei angen arnom yw Llywodraeth Lafur yn San Steffan sy'n barod i fuddsoddi mewn gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, fel y gwnawn ni yma yng Nghymru.

14:45

Yet, Minister, education standards have gone up in England significantly, haven't they, yet they've gone down in Wales, and the rest of the UK have all gone up, apart from Wales. Your time as education Minister can only be characterised by one word: failure. You now enter a leadership campaign promising the world, like in LabourList—I'll name-check them again—but, in reality, you have failed the next generation at every turn. Minister, I once again found myself perplexed by reading your leadership bid comments. You said, and I quote, 

'Under my leadership, we will have unapologetically high expectations in education'.

And this is coming from a man who's presided over Wales's worst ever PISA results, the worst educational outcomes in the UK on record. Minister, this Labour Government has refused to apologise for decades of failure in education, which has put Wales on the bottom of every education league table. And, to make matters worse, you refuse to set a target for the next set of PISA results in three years' time, or even the one after, to be held accountable against. Minister, you risk our children and young people's future by failing to tackle the teacher recruitment crisis; you have failed to end violence in schools, in fact, letting it spiral out of control; you have failed ALN students by refusing to meet their demands, those that are deaf, those who have sight problems, those with speech and language issues, who are simply not getting what they need, and you know it. You have piled directive after directive, pressure after pressure on our teachers, on our schools, and have not followed it with the money to deliver. This may be your last education Minister questions. Can you, on record, say that you are genuinely proud of your record in office? Will you, as one of your potentially last acts as education Minister, finally commit to setting a target for the next set of PISA results, as part of your commitment to unapologetically high standards, and show some actual ambition to try and drag Wales up to at least the level of the rest of the UK, if not, hopefully, above?

Ac eto, Weinidog, mae safonau addysg wedi codi'n sylweddol yn Lloegr, onid ydynt, ond maent wedi gostwng yng Nghymru, ac mae gweddill y DU i gyd wedi codi, ar wahân i Gymru. Dim ond un gair y gellir ei ddefnyddio i ddisgrifio eich amser fel Gweinidog addysg: methiant. Rydych chi nawr yn dechrau ar ymgyrch arweinyddiaeth gan addo'r byd, fel yn LabourList—fe roddaf sylw iddynt eto—ond mewn gwirionedd, rydych chi wedi gwneud cam dro ar ôl tro â'r genhedlaeth nesaf. Weinidog, roeddwn mewn penbleth unwaith eto wrth ddarllen eich sylwadau yn eich cais am yr arweinyddiaeth. Fe wnaethoch chi ddweud, 

'O dan fy arweinyddiaeth i, bydd gennym ddisgwyliadau uchel ar gyfer addysg ac nid ydym yn ymddiheuro am hynny'.

A hyn gan ddyn sydd wedi llywyddu dros ganlyniadau PISA gwaethaf Cymru erioed, y canlyniadau addysgol gwaethaf a gofnodwyd erioed yn y DU. Weinidog, mae'r Llywodraeth Lafur hon wedi gwrthod ymddiheuro am ddegawdau o fethiant mewn addysg, sydd wedi rhoi Cymru ar waelod pob tabl cynghrair addysgol. Ac i wneud pethau'n waeth, rydych chi'n gwrthod gosod targed ar gyfer y set nesaf o ganlyniadau PISA ymhen tair blynedd, neu hyd yn oed yr un ar ôl hynny, i'ch dwyn i gyfrif yn eu herbyn. Weinidog, rydych chi'n peryglu dyfodol ein plant a'n pobl ifanc drwy fethu mynd i'r afael â'r argyfwng recriwtio athrawon; rydych chi wedi methu rhoi diwedd ar drais mewn ysgolion, gan adael iddo waethygu allan o reolaeth mewn gwirionedd; rydych chi wedi gwneud cam â myfyrwyr ADY drwy wrthod bodloni eu gofynion, y rhai sy'n fyddar, y rhai sydd â phroblemau gyda'u golwg, y rhai â phroblemau lleferydd ac iaith, nad ydynt yn cael yr hyn sydd ei angen arnynt, ac rydych chi'n gwybod hynny. Rydych chi wedi pentyrru cyfarwyddeb ar ben cyfarwyddeb, pwysau ar ben pwysau ar ein hathrawon, ar ein hysgolion, ac nid ydych wedi rhoi arian i ddilyn hynny er mwyn gallu cyflawni. Efallai mai dyma fydd eich cwestiynau olaf fel Gweinidog addysg. A allwch chi ddweud ar goedd eich bod yn wirioneddol falch o'ch cyflawniad yn y swydd? A wnewch chi, fel un o'ch gweithredoedd olaf fel Gweinidog addysg o bosibl, ymrwymo o'r diwedd i osod targed ar gyfer y set nesaf o ganlyniadau PISA, fel rhan o'ch ymrwymiad nad ydych chi'n ymddiheuro yn ei gylch i safonau uchel, a dangos rhywfaint o uchelgais go iawn i geisio llusgo Cymru i fyny i lefel gweddill y DU fan lleiaf, ac yn uwch, gobeithio?

Well, by the looks of the benches behind the Member, the fact that she's reading my speeches with quite such detail isn't doing her own leadership ambitions any good at all [Laughter.] She, as always, makes the comparison between Wales and England. England, Conservative England, in which schools are crumbling—in which schools are crumbling—which saw seven days lost to strikes last year, which has education spending lower than it is in Wales, which has the unit rate of free school meals lower than it is for Wales, which has—  

Wel, wrth edrych ar y meinciau y tu ôl i'r Aelod, nid yw'r ffaith ei bod yn darllen fy areithiau mor fanwl yn gwneud unrhyw les i'w huchelgais ei hun i arwain. [Chwerthin.] Mae hi, fel bob amser, yn gwneud y gymhariaeth rhwng Cymru a Lloegr. Lloegr, Lloegr Geidwadol, lle mae ysgolion yn adfeilio—lle mae ysgolion yn adfeilio—a welodd saith diwrnod yn cael eu colli i streiciau y llynedd, sydd â gwariant addysg is nag yng Nghymru, sydd â chyfradd uned prydau ysgol am ddim is nag yng Nghymru, sydd wedi—  

I allowed the Member to have a very long time to ask her question. I now need the Minister to be heard in his answer. Thank you, Minister.  

Gadewais i'r Aelod gael amser hir iawn i ofyn ei chwestiwn. Nawr mae angen i'r Gweinidog gael ei glywed yn ei ateb. Diolch, Weinidog.  

Llywydd, I'll begin again, if I may, because I don't think the benches opposite heard this: school buildings crumbling in England compared to Wales; strikes in England in schools for seven days, compared to two days in Wales; education spending lower in England than it is in Wales—[Interruption.]—absolutely; support for students lower in England than it is for Wales. In any of these measures, I would be embarrassed to be highlighting Conservative England to us as an example in Wales. 

Lywydd, fe ddechreuaf eto, os caf, oherwydd nid wyf yn credu bod y meinciau gyferbyn wedi clywed hyn: adeiladau ysgol yn adfeilio yn Lloegr o gymharu â Chymru; streiciau yn Lloegr mewn ysgolion am saith diwrnod, o'i gymharu â dau ddiwrnod yng Nghymru; gwariant addysg sy'n is yn Lloegr nag yng Nghymru—[Torri ar draws.]—yn hollol; cymorth i fyfyrwyr sy'n llai yn Lloegr nag yng Nghymru. Ar unrhyw un o'r mesurau hyn, byddai gennyf gywilydd o dynnu sylw at Loegr Geidwadol fel esiampl i ni yng Nghymru. 

Llefarydd Plaid Cymru, Sioned Williams.  

The Plaid Cymru spokesperson, Sioned Williams. 

Diolch, Llywydd. Bydd cyllideb ddrafft Llywodraeth Cymru yn gwneud toriadau sylweddol i addysg ôl-16, gyda rhai o'r toriadau mwyaf amlwg i gyllid ar gyfer cefnogi myfyrwyr ôl-raddedig. Does dim dwywaith y bydd symud i system fenthyciadau yn unig ar gyfer myfyrwyr ôl-raddedig yn cynyddu lefelau angydraddoldeb o ran mynediad i addysg uwch, yn enwedig o ystyried bod myfyrwyr wedi eu bwrw yn hynod o galed gan yr argyfwng costau byw. Mae Undeb Cenedlaethol Myfyrwyr Cymru wedi clywed gan nifer o fyfyrwyr ôl-radd yng Nghymru sy'n dweud na fyddent wedi medru ymgymryd â'u hastudiaethau oni bai am yr elfen grant o'u cefnogaeth ariannol. Er enghraifft, dywedodd un myfyriwr ym Mhrifysgol Caerdydd, sy'n rhiant sengl, na fyddai'n gallu astudio a chadw to uwchben ei phlentyn heb y grant. Dychwelodd y myfyriwr yma i'r brifysgol i ailsgilio ar gyfer gyrfa mewn treftadaeth, rhywbeth ddylai Cymru, fel cenedl ail gyfle, ei ddathlu a'i annog. Rwy'n gwybod eich bod chi'n cytuno bod addysg yn medru trawsnewid bywydau a helpu dileu tlodi dros genedlaethau. Sut ydych chi, felly, am liniaru effaith hyn ar ein myfyrwyr mwyaf disglair sy'n dod o'r cefndiroedd mwyaf difreintiedig? Ydych chi'n derbyn y bydd y toriadau yma'n cynyddu anghydraddoldeb economaidd-gymdeithasol o fewn mynediad at addysg uwch?

Thank you, Llywydd. The Welsh Government’s draft budget will make significant cuts to post-16 education, with some of the most prominent cuts to education being in funding for postgraduate studies. There is no doubt that moving to a loan-only system for postgraduate students will increase levels of inequality in terms of access to higher education, especially given that students have been hit extremely hard by the cost-of-living crisis. NUS Wales has heard from a number of postgraduate students in Wales who say that they would not have been able to undertake their studies if it were not for the grant element of their financial support. For example, one student at Cardiff University, who’s a single parent, said that she would not be able to study and keep a roof over her child’s head without the grant. This student returned to university to reskill for a career in heritage, something that Wales, as a second-chance nation, should celebrate and encourage. I know that you agree that education can transform lives and help eradicate poverty across generations. So, how are you going to mitigate the impact of this on our brightest students who come from the most disadvantaged backgrounds? And do you accept that these cuts will increase socioeconomic inequality in terms of access to higher education?

14:50

Wel, mae'r penderfyniadau yma'n rhai tu hwnt o anodd, ac mae'r her mae'r Aelod yn codi yn gwestiwn digon teg. Dydyn nhw ddim yn benderfyniadau hawdd i'w gwneud. Y dewis sydd gennym ni fel Gweinidogion yw sut ydyn ni'n mynd i ddefnyddio'r gyllideb brin sydd gyda ni a pha ffyrdd sy'n mynd i gael yr effaith fwyaf positif, fwyaf blaengar i gynyddu cydraddoldeb, ffyniant a llesiant ein cymunedau ni. A'r dewis y bu'n rhaid i fi wneud yn y cyd-destun hwn yw a fuaswn i'n parhau i gynnig grantiau i griw cymharol gyfyngedig o bobl ar ddiwedd siwrnai academaidd, neu a fuaswn i'n defnyddio'r arian hynny i sicrhau bod pob plentyn ym mhob ysgol yng Nghymru yn cael y gefnogaeth sydd ei hangen ar gyfer y sgiliau craidd hynny.

Ac o ran y pwynt mae'r Aelod yn gwneud o ran sicrhau bod gennym ni gymdeithas hafal â phob cyfle i unigolyn allu ffynnu, rŷn ni'n gwybod o'r dystiolaeth po gyntaf yn y siwrnai addysg rydych chi'n gwario'r arian hynny, y mwyaf positif mae'r effaith dros gwrs bywyd rhywun. Felly, dyna sydd wrth wraidd y penderfyniad rwyf wedi gorfod ei wneud i flaenoriaethu'r cyfnod tan 16 a defnyddio peth o'r arian o'r grantiau ôl-raddedig er mwyn gwneud hynny. Rŷn ni'n dal i gynnig y system fwyaf cefnogol ym Mhrydain i gefnogi graddedigion am y tro cyntaf, ac rŷn ni'n falch iawn o wneud hynny. 

Well, these decisions are exceptionally difficult, and the challenge raised by the Member is fair. They are not easy decisions to make. The choice we have as Ministers is how we can use the scarce resources that we have and what will have the most positive, progressive impact in enhancing equality, prosperity and well-being within our communities, and the choice that I had to make in this context was to consider whether we would continue to provide grants to a relatively limited group of people at the end of an academic journey or whether we would use those funds to ensure that every child in every school in Wales gets the support that they need for those core skills.

And on the point that the Member makes in terms of ensuring that we have an equal society, providing every opportunity for individuals to prosper, we know from evidence that the earlier in the education journey that you spend that money, the more positive the impact will be over the course of one's life. So, that is what's at the core of the decision that I've had to make to prioritise the pre-16 sector and use some of the postgraduate grant funding in order to do that. We still offer the most supportive system in Wales in supporting first-time graduates, and we're very pleased to be doing that. 

Diolch. Wrth gwrs, mae'r sgiliau uwch yna a'r angen i ailsgilio yn rhywbeth sy'n gyrru cau y bwlch, onid yw e, o ran anghydraddoldebau o ran y bwlch cyflogau, o ran y bwlch cyrhaeddiad, a hefyd ein heconomi ni yn y pen draw. Ac mae dadansoddiad y Llywodraeth ei hun yn dangos y bydd y toriadau i grantiau a bwrsariaethau ôl-raddedig yn cael effaith anghymesur ar grwpiau penodol o fewn cymdeithas, er enghraifft menywod sydd am astudio pynciau STEMM a hefyd siaradwyr Cymraeg. Dywedodd un myfyriwr sy'n dilyn cwrs MSc ym Mhrifysgol Aberystwyth, er enghraifft, na fyddai wedi medru cwrdd â chostau byw sylfaenol heb y fwrsariaeth yna gan Lywodraeth Cymru. 

Mae cyrsiau Meistr yn darparu'r sgiliau uwch yna sy'n hanfodol i ddatblygiad ein meysydd ni, ein sefydliadau ni ac, fel dywedais i, ein heconomi ni drwy arloesedd ac ymchwil, ac mae dileu'r bwrsariaethau sy'n cefnogi astudiaethau ôl-radd wedi eu haddysgu trwy'r Gymraeg hefyd yn tanseilio'r angen dybryd i sicrhau'r sgiliau Cymraeg yna ymhlith y rhai sy'n arwain o fewn ein gweithluoedd. Ydych chi'n derbyn bod y Llywodraeth, drwy gyflwyno'r toriadau hyn, yn debyg o ehangu'r bwlch cyflog rhywedd a thanseilio'r nod, efallai, yng nghynllun gweithredu 'Cymraeg 2050' o ddatblygu'r gweithlu cyfrwng Cymraeg, achos heb gefnogi myfyrwyr ôl-radd cyfrwng Cymraeg, pwy sy'n mynd i ddatblygu'r adnoddau a'r dechnoleg angenrheidiol sydd eu hangen arnom ni i gynyddu nifer y siaradwyr, cynyddu'r defnydd yna o'r Gymraeg a chreu amodau ffafriol i'r Gymraeg?

Thank you. Of course, those higher skills and the need to reskill is something that closes the equality gap in terms of wages and attainment, and also as regards our economy as well. And the Government's own analysis shows that the cuts to postgraduate grants and bursaries will have a disproportionate impact on specific groups within society. For example, women who want to study STEMM subjects and also Welsh speakers. One student who is pursuing an MSc course at Aberystwyth, for example, said that she would not have been able to meet basic living costs without the bursary from the Welsh Government.

Master's courses provide those advanced skills that are essential to the development of those fields or institutions and, as I said, our economy, through innovation and research. And the removal of those bursaries that support postgraduate studies taught through the medium of Welsh also undermines the urgent need to ensure Welsh language skills among those who lead within our workforces. Do you accept that, by introducing these cuts, the Government is likely to widen the gender pay gap and undermine the goal, perhaps, in the 'Cymraeg 2050' action plan to develop the Welsh-medium workforce, because if we don't support Welsh-medium postgraduate students, who is going to develop the necessary resources and technology that we need to increase the number of Welsh speakers, increase the use of the Welsh language and create favourable conditions for the Welsh language?

Wel, rwy'n deall pam mae'r Aelod yn gofyn y cwestiwn, ond fyddwn i ddim yn cytuno mai dyna yw effaith hyn. Mae'r bwrsariaethau yma'n rhai pwysig, ond maen nhw'n dod ar ben system o gefnogi myfyrwyr sydd gyda'r mwyaf cefnogol o unrhyw ran o'r Deyrnas Gyfunol. Felly, mae hynny'n ystyriaeth bwysig yn hyn o beth—hynny yw, arian ychwanegol ar ben system sydd eisoes yn un sy'n gefnogol iawn ac yn un sy'n cyrraedd nifer prin iawn o bobl. Felly, yn yr un ffordd ag yr oeddwn i'n gorfod gwneud y penderfyniad o ran symud o grantiau i fenthyciadau ar gyfer ôl-raddedigion, yr un syniadaeth sydd wrth wraidd hwn. 

Mae hi'n gofyn y cwestiwn, 'A ydy hyn yn cael effaith anghymesur?' Mae e os edrychwch chi ar y gronfa, ar y ffynhonnell hon o arian, ond fy nadl i fyddai os nad ydych chi'n blaenoriaethu'r blynyddoedd cynharach, mae hwnna'n mynd i gael effaith sy'n fwy anghymesur fyth. Felly, yn yr her sydd gennym ni, yn y broses sydd ohoni o gloriannu effaith un toriad yn erbyn toriad arall, fy mhenderfyniad i yw sicrhau ein bod ni'n blaenoriaethu'r blynyddoedd ysgol oherwydd ein bod ni'n gwybod pa mor bwysig yw'r rheini i allu cynnig cyfleoedd yn hwyrach mewn bywyd i bobl yn gyffredinol.  

I understand why the Member asks the question, but I don't agree that that's the impact of this. These bursaries are important, but they are in addition to a student support system that is among the most generous of any part of the UK. So, that's an important consideration here. This is additional funding on top of a system that is already very supportive and reaches a small number of people. So, just as I had to make a decision in terms of moving from grants to loans for postgraduates, it's the same thinking that's behind this. 

She asked the question as to whether this will have a disproportionate impact. Well, it will if you look at this particular source of funding, but my argument would be that if you do not prioritise those earlier years, then that will have an even more disproportionate impact. And therefore, given the challenge that we face and the process that we have of balancing the impact of one cut against another, my decision is to ensure that we prioritise school years, because we do know just how important they are in providing opportunities later in life to people generally. 

Y Celfyddydau Creadigol
The Creative Arts

3. Sut mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn cefnogi plant ysgol i gymryd rhan yn y celfyddydau creadigol? OQ60533

3. How is the Welsh Government supporting school children to engage in the creative arts? OQ60533

The expectation of the Curriculum for Wales is that all learners develop their creativity, and expressive arts is one of the six mandatory areas. Both the Creative Learning through the Arts programme and the National Music Service give learners important opportunities to engage in the creative arts.

Disgwyliad y Cwricwlwm i Gymru yw bod pob dysgwr yn datblygu eu creadigrwydd, ac mae'r celfyddydau mynegiannol yn un o'r chwe maes gorfodol. Mae'r rhaglen Dysgu Creadigol drwy'r Celfyddydau a'r Gwasanaeth Cerddoriaeth Cenedlaethol yn rhoi cyfleoedd pwysig i ddysgwyr gymryd rhan yn y celfyddydau creadigol.

14:55

Diolch, Weinidog. As the chair of the Senedd's cross-party group on arts and health, I'm keen to raise awareness of the benefits that the arts can bring to health and well-being. That's, of course, for all ages, including children and young people. On a recent visit to the amazing Ballet Cymru, who are based in my constituency, I heard about their Duets programme. A unique scholarship programme, Duets is specifically designed to identify talent and open up progression pathways for young people who would not usually have that opportunity to access and engage with dance. The programme is delivered in partnership with primary schools, community dance organisations and freelance professionals. Ballet Cymru are now looking to expand the programme to more schools, supporting more young people to get involved in the creative industries. Minister, would you accept an invitation to visit a school delivering the Duets programme with Ballet Cymru and me so that you can see for yourself the brilliant work that they do with young people through the Duets programme?

Diolch, Weinidog. Fel cadeirydd grŵp trawsbleidiol y Senedd ar y celfyddydau ac iechyd, rwy'n awyddus i godi ymwybyddiaeth o'r manteision y gall y celfyddydau eu cynnig i iechyd a llesiant. Mae hynny ar gyfer pob oedran wrth gwrs, gan gynnwys plant a phobl ifanc. Ar ymweliad diweddar â Ballet Cymru sy'n sefydliad anhygoel ac wedi'i leoli yn fy etholaeth, clywais am eu rhaglen Duets. Rhaglen ysgoloriaeth unigryw yw Duets, wedi'i chynllunio'n benodol i adnabod talent ac agor llwybrau cynnydd i bobl ifanc na fyddent fel arfer yn cael cyfle i ymwneud â dawns. Cyflwynir y rhaglen mewn partneriaeth ag ysgolion cynradd, sefydliadau dawns cymunedol a gweithwyr llawrydd. Mae Ballet Cymru yn bwriadu ehangu'r rhaglen i fwy o ysgolion nawr, a chefnogi mwy o bobl ifanc i gymryd rhan yn y diwydiannau creadigol. Weinidog, a fyddech chi'n derbyn gwahoddiad i ymweld gyda mi ag ysgol sy'n cyflwyno'r rhaglen Duets gyda Ballet Cymru er mwyn i chi allu gweld drosoch eich hun y gwaith gwych y maent yn ei wneud gyda phobl ifanc drwy'r rhaglen Duets?

Well, can I thank the Member for the work that she has done—and has done for, I think, the entirety of her time in the Senedd—to promote the benefits of arts in health? It's an interest and a commitment that I share with her. It's great to hear about her visit to Ballet Cymru, and the Duets programme in particular, and I would be more than happy to visit Ballet Cymru with her and see the excellent work that they are doing with young people.

Wel, a gaf fi ddiolch i'r Aelod am y gwaith y mae hi wedi'i wneud—ac wedi ei wneud dros ei holl amser yn y Senedd—ar hyrwyddo manteision y celfyddydau mewn iechyd? Mae'n ddiddordeb ac yn ymrwymiad rwy'n ei rannu gyda hi. Mae'n wych clywed am ei hymweliad â Ballet Cymru, a'r rhaglen Duets yn enwedig, ac rwy'n fwy na pharod i ymweld â Ballet Cymru gyda hi a gweld y gwaith rhagorol y maent yn ei wneud gyda phobl ifanc.

Minister, National Theatre Wales plays a pivotal role in getting schoolchildren involved in theatre and the arts, which is an incredibly important sector. Some of the work that they do engage in with young people includes workshops, performance opportunities and projects within schools and universities. The overarching aim of this is to give young people opportunities to grow their confidence and to explore a future in the theatre or the arts sector—incredibly important work, as I'm sure you'll agree, Minister. However, National Theatre Wales has had its funding axed by 100 per cent and, as a result, there have been stark warnings that it will not be able to survive beyond April 2024. Minister, what assessment has the Welsh Government made about the impact that these cuts will have on schoolchildren accessing the creative arts and what will the Welsh Government be doing to bridge this gap? So, Minister, out of interest, do you support—? My apologies; that's it. [Laughter.]

Weinidog, mae National Theatre Wales yn chwarae rhan ganolog yn annog plant ysgol i gymryd rhan ym myd y theatr a'r celfyddydau, sy'n sector hynod o bwysig. Mae peth o'r gwaith y maent yn ei wneud gyda phobl ifanc yn cynnwys gweithdai, cyfleoedd perfformio a phrosiectau mewn ysgolion a phrifysgolion. Nod trosfwaol hyn yw rhoi cyfleoedd i bobl ifanc feithrin eu hyder ac archwilio dyfodol yn y theatr neu'r sector celfyddydau—gwaith hynod bwysig, fel y byddwch yn cytuno rwy'n siŵr, Weinidog. Fodd bynnag, mae 100 y cant o gyllid National Theatre Wales wedi ei dorri ac o ganlyniad, cafwyd rhybuddion clir na fydd yn gallu goroesi y tu hwnt i fis Ebrill 2024. Weinidog, pa asesiad y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i wneud o'r effaith y bydd y toriadau hyn yn ei chael ar fynediad plant ysgol at y celfyddydau creadigol a beth fydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei wneud i bontio'r bwlch hwn? Felly, Weinidog, o ddiddordeb, a ydych chi'n cefnogi—? Ymddiheuriadau; dyna fe. [Chwerthin.]

I know that the Deputy Minister will have considered very, very carefully all the implications of the challenging budget settlement, including the effects on the national theatre. There are many, many ways in which our young people are able to access a range of creative experiences both in theatre and, indeed, in other media—we just heard of an important contribution that Jayne Bryant was telling us about—and I think it's really important that schools are able to take advantage of a range of organisations and the services and facilities they provide, and it's really important from the perspective of access to experiences that, actually, many young people wouldn't otherwise have—so, a general benefit in terms of access to creativity and to learning, but that specific benefit of having the opportunity to be in a live theatre setting or a live music setting. Many of us will have taken that for granted over the years; I don't think we should. Many young people don't otherwise have access to those, so I'd like to thank all the organisations that support schools to do that.

Gwn y bydd y Dirprwy Weinidog wedi ystyried yn ofalus iawn holl oblygiadau'r setliad cyllideb heriol, gan gynnwys yr effeithiau ar y theatr genedlaethol. Mae yna lawer iawn o ffyrdd y gall ein pobl ifanc fanteisio ar ystod o brofiadau creadigol yn y theatr, ac yn wir, mewn ffyrdd eraill—clywsom am gyfraniad pwysig yr oedd Jayne Bryant yn sôn wrthym amdano—a chredaf ei bod yn bwysig iawn fod ysgolion yn gallu manteisio ar ystod o sefydliadau a'r gwasanaethau a'r cyfleusterau y maent yn eu darparu, ac mae'n bwysig iawn o safbwynt mynediad at brofiadau na fyddai llawer o bobl ifanc yn eu cael fel arall—felly, o fudd cyffredinol o ran mynediad at greadigrwydd ac at ddysgu, ond y budd penodol o gael cyfle i fod mewn lleoliad theatr fyw neu leoliad cerddoriaeth fyw. Bydd llawer ohonom wedi cymryd hynny'n ganiataol dros y blynyddoedd; nid wyf yn credu y dylem. Mae llawer o bobl ifanc yn cael eu hamddifadu o fynediad at y rheini fel arall, felly hoffwn ddiolch i'r holl sefydliadau sy'n cynorthwyo ysgolion i wneud hynny.

Toriadau Addysg
Education Cuts

4. Pa gamau y mae'r Gweinidog yn eu cymryd i sicrhau nad yw'r toriadau addysg a nodir yng nghyllideb ddrafft y Llywodraeth yn effeithio'n anghymesur ar y plant mwyaf agored i niwed? OQ60500

4. What steps is the Minister taking to ensure that the education cuts set out in the Government's draft budget don't disproportionately impact the most vulnerable children? OQ60500

Mae cefnogi ein dysgwyr mwyaf agored i niwed a mynd i'r afael ag effeithiau tlodi ar gyrhaeddiad yn ganolog i genhadaeth ein cenedl. Mae ein cyllideb ddrafft yn ceisio diogelu cyllid i ysgolion ac i raglenni fel y grant datblygu disgyblion, gan sicrhau bod cymorth ar gael i'r rhai sydd ei angen fwyaf.

Supporting our most vulnerable learners and tackling the impacts of poverty on attainment is central to our national mission. Our draft budget seeks to protect funding for schools and for programmes like the pupil development grant, ensuring support is available to those who need it most.

Diolch am yr ateb, Weinidog. Rŷch chi'n gwybod yn well na neb yn y Senedd yma am impact toriadau difrifol i'r gyllideb. Yn dilyn y toriadau i'ch cyllideb chi, mae yna gonsýrn nawr am gyllido anghenion dysgu ychwanegol. Wrth fod sôn am grantiau anghenion dysgu ychwanegol yn symud i gyllideb ehangach grantiau, dwi wedi clywed consýrn y bydd toriadau i'r grantiau pwysig yma. Fe wnaeth Laura Anne Jones a Peredur Owen Griffiths godi hyn gyda'r Gweinidog Cyllid a Llywodraeth Leol cyn y Nadolig. Yn wir, fe gododd Peredur Owen Griffiths yr hen dric o guddio toriadau wrth symud i bot mwy oherwydd bod costau gweinyddol llai. A oes modd i chi, Weinidog, roi addewid na fydd toriadau i’r grantiau anghenion dysgu ychwanegol, sydd mor bwysig i blant a theuluoedd?

Thank you for that response, Minister. You know better than anyone in this Senedd the impact that serious cuts to the budget will have. Following the cuts to your own budget, there is concern now about funding additional learning need. As there is talk of grants shifting to the broader grants budget pot, I have heard concern that cuts to these important grants in ALN will have an impact. Laura Anne Jones and Peredur Owen Griffiths raised this with the Minister for Finance and Local Government before Christmas. Indeed, Peredur Owen Griffiths raised the old trick of hiding cuts by moving to a larger pot so that administrative costs are cut. Minister, can you give us a pledge that there won't be cuts to the additional learning need grants that are so important to children and families?

15:00

Wel, fe wnaf i gymryd y cyfle i ddweud eto: does dim toriad i'r gyllideb honno.

Well, I will take the opportunity to state again that there is no cut to that budget.

Following on from that same theme, actually, and I won't rehearse everything Rhys said—. Basically, whilst we know—. The perceived £22.1 million, which was the perceived ALN cut, has now entered the reformed local authority education grant, and it's in theory to support ALN. With that in mind, Minister, can we be reassured, building on what Rhys said, that that £22.1 million dedicated to ALN as we knew it won't be lost within that reformed grant and diverted from its original purpose, to help those young people who have ALN? Is it your expectation that local authorities use all of that resource to implement your legislative changes? I'm just conscious of the pressure councils are going to be facing, as they have to potentially mobilise resources from many other sources. It's so important that that ALN allocation, wherever it sits, is used for its purpose.

Yn dilyn y thema honno, ac nid wyf am ailadrodd popeth a ddywedodd Rhys—. Yn y bôn, er y gwyddom—. Mae'r £22.1 miliwn canfyddedig, sef y toriad canfyddedig i ADY, bellach wedi mynd i mewn i'r grant addysg diwygiedig i awdurdodau lleol, ac mewn egwyddor, mae yno i gefnogi ADY. Gyda hynny mewn golwg, Weinidog, a gawn ni sicrwydd, gan adeiladu ar yr hyn a ddywedodd Rhys, na fydd y £22.1 miliwn a neilltuwyd ar gyfer ADY yn ôl ein dealltwriaeth, yn cael ei golli o fewn y grant diwygiedig hwnnw a’i ddargyfeirio o’i ddiben gwreiddiol, sef helpu pobl ifanc ag ADY? Ai eich disgwyliad yw bod awdurdodau lleol yn defnyddio’r holl arian hwnnw i roi eich newidiadau deddfwriaethol ar waith? Rwy'n ymwybodol o'r pwysau y mae cynghorau'n mynd i'w wynebu, wrth iddynt orfod defnyddio adnoddau o lawer o ffynonellau eraill o bosibl. Mae mor bwysig fod y dyraniad ADY hwnnw, lle bynnag y mae, yn cael ei ddefnyddio at ei ddiben priodol.

Yes, I'm certain it will be used for its purpose and I know that in a previous life I'm sure he would have welcomed the partnership approach and the collaborative approach that underpin the changes that we're making to these grants, so that we can work with authorities to deliver the outcomes that we both have in common as priorities. As I've said in my responses to many questions today, over £53.6 million is protected in the draft budget for next year, and I'm glad that that's the case. It's a very important priority for the Government. We've already discussed today the pressures on schools in relation to the reforms themselves. That's why protecting the budget and providing authorities the level of flexibility to deploy that, perhaps even more creatively or more innovatively than the current arrangements allow, is a really important way to focus on the outcomes that we are trying to achieve.

Ydw, rwy'n sicr y bydd yn cael ei ddefnyddio at ei ddiben priodol, ac mewn bywyd blaenorol, rwy'n siŵr y byddai wedi croesawu'r dull partneriaeth a'r dull cydweithredol sy'n sail i'r newidiadau a wnawn i'r grantiau hyn, fel y gallwn weithio gydag awdurdodau i gyflawni’r canlyniadau sy'n flaenoriaethau a rennir gennym. Fel y dywedais yn fy ymatebion i lawer o gwestiynau heddiw, mae dros £53.6 miliwn wedi’i ddiogelu yn y gyllideb ddrafft ar gyfer y flwyddyn nesaf, ac rwy’n falch o hynny. Mae’n flaenoriaeth bwysig iawn i’r Llywodraeth. Rydym eisoes heddiw wedi trafod y pwysau ar ysgolion mewn perthynas â'r diwygiadau eu hunain. Dyna pam fod diogelu'r gyllideb a rhoi lefel o hyblygrwydd i awdurdodau ei defnyddio, hyd yn oed yn fwy creadigol neu arloesol nag y mae'r trefniadau presennol yn ei ganiatáu efallai, yn ffordd bwysig iawn o ganolbwyntio ar y canlyniadau y ceisiwn eu cyflawni.

The pressures on budgets because of the deeply unsatisfactory settlement from the UK Government is intense right across the UK and right across Welsh Government in every department. But one of the big successes that we have had is the focus in recent years on making sure that those pupils in those communities that face the greatest disadvantage have the right measures put in place to protect them, so things such as the joint work with Plaid Cymru on things such as free school meals, but the free school breakfast as well, for primary schools; the school essentials grant; the rise in the educational maintenance allowance; the assistance with school uniforms—all of these things really matter to constituents in some of the most disadvantaged situations within my community. So, can I just get his assurance that even when faced with really difficult choices across budgets at the moment, he will work with local education authorities to make sure that we can continue to line up those measures that will give that hand up to pupils and to families who face the greatest challenges?

Mae’r pwysau ar gyllidebau oherwydd y setliad hynod annigonol gan Lywodraeth y DU yn ddwys ledled y DU ac ar draws Llywodraeth Cymru ym mhob adran. Ond un o’r llwyddiannau mawr a gawsom yw’r ffocws yn y blynyddoedd diwethaf ar sicrhau bod disgyblion yn y cymunedau sy’n wynebu’r anfantais fwyaf yn cael y mesurau cywir wedi’u rhoi ar waith i’w diogelu, felly pethau fel y gwaith ar y cyd â Phlaid Cymru ar bethau fel prydau ysgol am ddim, ond y brecwast ysgol am ddim hefyd, ar gyfer ysgolion cynradd; y grant hanfodion ysgol; y cynnydd yn y lwfans cynhaliaeth addysg; y cymorth gyda gwisg ysgol—mae'r holl bethau hyn yn wirioneddol bwysig i etholwyr yn rhai o'r sefyllfaoedd mwyaf difreintiedig yn fy nghymuned. Felly, a gaf fi ei sicrwydd, hyd yn oed wrth iddo wynebu dewisiadau anodd iawn ar draws cyllidebau ar hyn o bryd, y bydd yn gweithio gydag awdurdodau addysg lleol i sicrhau y gallwn barhau i lunio'r mesurau a fydd yn rhoi'r cymorth hwnnw i'r disgyblion a'r teuluoedd sy'n wynebu'r heriau mwyaf?

Yes, I will absolutely give that assurance to Huw Irranca-Davies. He makes very important points. If you look through the budget, despite horrendously difficult choices that we've had to make—and all Ministers have been in that situation—we've been able to protect the pupil development grant. We've been able to protect the school holiday enrichment programme. We've been able to protect the increased level of education maintenance allowance, as you were saying. We've been able to protect the increased level of the financial contingency fund, which further education colleges use to support learners who are eligible for free school meals. There have been other areas that have had to be cut in order to make these choices to protect these important elements in the budget, and I know, as he will, that our local authorities are doing all they can to try and find ways in which they themselves can protect the same cohort of learners, who will be having a very, very challenging time, and I give him the commitment that I will continue to work with our local authorities on that shared priority.

Gwnaf, yn sicr, fe roddaf y sicrwydd hwnnw i Huw Irranca-Davies. Mae'n gwneud pwyntiau pwysig iawn. Os edrychwch drwy'r gyllideb, er gwaethaf y dewisiadau ofnadwy o anodd y bu'n rhaid i ni eu gwneud—ac mae pob Gweinidog wedi bod yn y sefyllfa honno—rydym wedi gallu diogelu'r grant datblygu disgyblion. Rydym wedi gallu diogelu rhaglen gwella gwyliau’r haf. Rydym wedi gallu diogelu lefel uwch y lwfans cynhaliaeth addysg, fel roeddech chi'n dweud. Rydym wedi gallu diogelu lefel uwch y gronfa ariannol wrth gefn, y mae colegau addysg bellach yn ei defnyddio i gefnogi dysgwyr sy’n gymwys i gael prydau ysgol am ddim. Cafwyd meysydd eraill y bu’n rhaid eu torri er mwyn gwneud y dewisiadau hyn i ddiogelu’r elfennau pwysig hyn yn y gyllideb, ac rwy'n gwybod, fel gŵyr yntau, fod ein hawdurdodau lleol yn gwneud popeth a allant i geisio dod o hyd i ffyrdd y gallant hwy eu hunain ddiogelu'r un garfan o ddysgwyr, a fydd yn cael amser heriol iawn, ac rwy'n rhoi ymrwymiad iddo y byddaf yn parhau i weithio gyda’n hawdurdodau lleol ar y flaenoriaeth honno a rannwn.

Cwestiwn 5, Laura Anne Jones.

Question 5, Laura Anne Jones.

You have a question on the order paper, Laura Anne Jones—question 5.

Mae gennych gwestiwn ar y papur trefn, Laura Anne Jones—cwestiwn 5.

I need to see what question it is.

Mae angen imi weld pa gwestiwn ydyw.

I don't think you're ready to do your question. I'll move on and give somebody else the opportunity.

Ni chredaf eich bod yn barod i ofyn eich cwestiwn. Fe symudaf ymlaen, a rhoi cyfle i rywun arall.

Ni ofynnwyd cwestiwn 5 [OQ60525].

Question 5 [OQ60525] not asked.

15:05
Cymorth Ariannol i Fyfyrwyr
Financial Support for Students

I'm grateful to you, Presiding Officer.

Rwy’n ddiolchgar i chi, Lywydd.

6. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am gymorth ariannol i fyfyrwyr addysg uwch ac addysg bellach yn y dyfodol? OQ60518

6. Will the Minister make a statement on future financial support for higher and further education students? OQ60518

Statutory student support remains available to eligible students commencing higher education in the academic year 2024-25. For younger learners in further education, we are maintaining our education maintenance allowance scheme at £40 per week and, for those over 19, our Welsh Government learning grant further education scheme at £1,500 a year.

Mae cymorth statudol i fyfyrwyr yn parhau i fod ar gael i fyfyrwyr cymwys sy’n dechrau addysg uwch yn ystod blwyddyn academaidd 2024-25. Ar gyfer dysgwyr iau mewn addysg bellach, rydym yn cadw ein cynllun lwfans cynhaliaeth addysg ar £40 yr wythnos, ac ar gyfer rhai dros 19 oed, cynllun grant dysgu addysg bellach Llywodraeth Cymru ar £1,500 y flwyddyn.

I'm grateful to the Minister for that response and, of course, it is fundamental to people's ability to partake in education and post-16 education that there is financial support available for them, and that goes to the heart of making education available as a real choice for everybody, including the poorest and most vulnerable students in the country. Will the Minister make a commitment this afternoon that he will continue to ensure that this area is protected, that the level of the EMA, which he has protected, will continue to be protected, and that future financial support will continue to be available for students to enable everybody, not just the richest, but the poorest people, to benefit from education?

Rwy’n ddiolchgar i’r Gweinidog am ei ymateb, ac wrth gwrs, mae’n hollbwysig i allu pobl i gymryd rhan mewn addysg ac addysg ôl-16 fod cymorth ariannol ar gael iddynt, ac mae hynny’n mynd at wraidd sicrhau bod addysg ar gael fel dewis real i bawb, gan gynnwys y myfyrwyr tlotaf a mwyaf agored i niwed yn y wlad. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ymrwymo y prynhawn yma y bydd yn parhau i sicrhau bod y maes hwn yn cael ei ddiogelu, y bydd lefel y lwfans cynhaliaeth addysg, a ddiogelwyd ganddo, yn parhau i gael ei diogelu, ac y bydd cymorth ariannol yn parhau i fod ar gael i fyfyrwyr yn y dyfodol er mwyn galluogi pawb, nid y bobl gyfoethocaf yn unig, ond y bobl dlotaf, i elwa ar addysg?

Yes, we're very pleased to have been able to increase the education maintenance allowance, and as he will know, I don't need to remind him, in other parts of the UK, Conservative England have abolished that a long time ago. So, I think it's a very important way in which we can remove that extra pressure on students after the age of 16. We were hearing very clearly from people that people were making the choice not to go on to college or stay on at college because they couldn't afford to do that. So, I'm very proud that we've been able to do that, and we will maintain that.

I mentioned earlier a number of other ways in which we have been supporting students in my answer to Huw Irranca-Davies, and alongside EMA, of course, we have the financial contingency fund, which colleges draw on to be able to provide that extra support to learners who need some financial support. It's really important, as he says, that we make a reality of that promise that we made to young people that cost shouldn't be a barrier to study, and shouldn't be a barrier to success, and it's one of many ways in which we've been able to do that through the education budget.

Rydym yn falch iawn ein bod wedi gallu cynyddu'r lwfans cynhaliaeth addysg, ac fel y bydd yn gwybod, nid oes angen imi ei atgoffa, mewn rhannau eraill o'r DU, fod Lloegr Geidwadol wedi diddymu hwnnw ers amser maith. Felly, credaf ei bod yn ffordd bwysig iawn inni allu cael gwared ar y pwysau ychwanegol ar fyfyrwyr ôl-16. Roeddem yn clywed yn glir iawn gan bobl fod pobl yn gwneud y dewis i beidio â mynd i’r coleg neu aros yn y coleg am na allent fforddio gwneud hynny. Felly, rwy'n falch iawn ein bod wedi gallu gwneud hynny, a byddwn yn cynnal hynny.

Soniais yn gynharach am nifer o ffyrdd eraill y buom yn cefnogi myfyrwyr yn fy ateb i Huw Irranca-Davies, ac ochr yn ochr â'r lwfans cynhaliaeth addysg wrth gwrs, mae gennym y gronfa ariannol wrth gefn, y mae colegau’n ei defnyddio i allu darparu cymorth ychwanegol i ddysgwyr sydd angen cymorth ariannol. Mae'n wirioneddol bwysig, fel y dywed, ein bod yn gwireddu'r addewid a wnaethom i bobl ifanc na ddylai cost fod yn rhwystr i astudio, ac na ddylai fod yn rhwystr i lwyddiant, ac mae'n un o lawer o ffyrdd y gallasom wneud hynny drwy'r gyllideb addysg.

Minister, financial support for higher and further education students is not only vital, but is also an important tool to incentivise students to undertake studies that benefit the nation. For example, the bursaries provided to those studying a career in medicine can encourage students to enter the field. Minister, have you discussed with Cabinet colleagues the possibility of paying the tuition fees of all students who commit to serve in the Welsh NHS for a minimum of five years?

Weinidog, nid yn unig fod cymorth ariannol i fyfyrwyr addysg uwch ac addysg bellach yn hanfodol, mae hefyd yn ffordd bwysig o gymell myfyrwyr i ymgymryd ag astudiaethau sydd o fudd i’r genedl. Er enghraifft, gall y bwrsariaethau a ddarperir i'r rhai sy'n astudio gyrfa mewn meddygaeth annog myfyrwyr i ddod i mewn i'r maes. Weinidog, a ydych chi wedi trafod gyda chyd-Aelodau o'r Cabinet y posibilrwydd o dalu ffioedd dysgu’r holl fyfyrwyr sy’n ymrwymo i wasanaethu yn GIG Cymru am o leiaf bum mlynedd?

Well, as the Member will know, we already provide particular support for students who commit to serve in the NHS. We would always look at ways in which a joined-up approach across the Welsh Government's budget is able to meet our common ambitions, and I think the experience that we've had over the last few months of looking at very difficult budget choices has, I think, enabled Ministers to look very closely at that sense of 'one public sector, one public service', where funding in one area can support activity in another, and I think that is a very good way of proceeding.

Wel, fel y gŵyr yr Aelod, rydym eisoes yn darparu cymorth arbennig i fyfyrwyr sy’n ymrwymo i wasanaethu yn y GIG. Byddem bob amser yn edrych ar ffyrdd y gall dull cydgysylltiedig ar draws cyllideb Llywodraeth Cymru gyflawni'r uchelgeisiau a rennir gennym, a chredaf fod y profiad a gawsom dros yr ychydig fisoedd diwethaf o edrych ar ddewisiadau cyllidebol anodd iawn wedi galluogi Gweinidogion i edrych yn fanwl iawn ar yr ymdeimlad o 'un sector cyhoeddus, un gwasanaeth cyhoeddus’, lle gall cyllid mewn un maes gefnogi gweithgarwch mewn maes arall, a chredaf fod honno’n ffordd dda iawn o symud ymlaen.

Pwysau Ariannol sy'n wynebu Ysgolion
Financial Pressures facing Schools

7. Pa asesiad y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'i wneud o'r pwysau ariannol sy'n wynebu ysgolion yn y flwyddyn i ddod? OQ60516

7. What assessment has the Minister made of the financial pressures facing schools in the forthcoming year? OQ60516

We recognise the cost-of-living crisis is putting schools under significant pressure and that there are no easy answers to resolving these issues. We've prioritised protecting core front-line public services, including schools, through protecting the indicative rise for the local government settlement and prioritising funding that goes directly to schools.

Rydym yn cydnabod bod yr argyfwng costau byw yn rhoi ysgolion dan bwysau sylweddol ac nad oes atebion hawdd i ddatrys y materion hyn. Rydym wedi rhoi blaenoriaeth i ddiogelu gwasanaethau cyhoeddus rheng flaen craidd, gan gynnwys ysgolion, drwy ddiogelu’r cynnydd dangosol ar gyfer y setliad llywodraeth leol a blaenoriaethu cyllid sy’n mynd yn uniongyrchol i ysgolion.

Diolch yn fawr iawn am yr ateb, Gweinidog.

Thank you for that response, Minister.

Within Mid and West Wales, the picture is bleak. As of November last year, current deficits—26 schools in Powys had financial problems, with a cumulative deficit of £3.5 million by March 2024, with the figure projected to be £7.9 million by March 2027. As I mentioned last week, expanding eligibility for the pupil development grant is one way we could think of addressing this funding, by providing more direct funding to schools. If students eligible for free school meals could continue to receive PDG funding for six more years, even if they lost their eligibility for free school meals, it would more equitably address the growing schools' budget crisis. I know you are protecting the PDG as it is at the moment, and I'm well aware of the budget challenges to the Welsh Government, but I wondered if you would consider expanding the PDG eligibility to more equitably tackle the escalating school deficit dilemma. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Yng Nghanolbarth a Gorllewin Cymru, mae'r darlun yn llwm. Ym mis Tachwedd y llynedd, roedd diffygion presennol—roedd gan 26 o ysgolion ym Mhowys broblemau ariannol, gyda diffyg cronnol o £3.5 miliwn erbyn mis Mawrth 2024, a rhagwelir y bydd y ffigur yn £7.9 miliwn erbyn mis Mawrth 2027. Fel y soniais yr wythnos diwethaf, mae ehangu cymhwysedd ar gyfer y grant datblygu disgyblion yn un ffordd y gallem feddwl am fynd i’r afael â’r cyllid hwn, drwy ddarparu mwy o gyllid uniongyrchol i ysgolion. Pe bai modd i fyfyrwyr sy’n gymwys i gael prydau ysgol am ddim barhau i gael cyllid y grant datblygu disgyblion am chwe blynedd arall, hyd yn oed pe baent yn colli eu cymhwysedd i gael prydau ysgol am ddim, byddai hynny’n mynd i’r afael mewn ffordd decach â’r argyfwng cynyddol yng nghyllidebau ysgolion. Rwy'n gwybod eich bod yn diogelu'r grant datblygu disgyblion fel y mae ar hyn o bryd, ac rwy'n ymwybodol iawn o'r heriau cyllidebol i Lywodraeth Cymru, ond tybed a fyddech yn ystyried ehangu meini prawf cymhwysedd y grant datblygu disgyblion i fynd i'r afael mewn ffordd decach â'r dilema cynyddol mewn perthynas â diffyg ariannol ysgolion. Diolch yn fawr iawn.

15:10

I thank Jane Dodds for that question. She will know from the discussions we've had in the Chamber today and previously that the challenge that the Government has faced has been to find the resources to meet our existing programmes of support and our existing commitments, and that in itself, in the punishing context of a reducing budget from the UK Government, has meant very, very challenging choices even to meet our existing commitments. So, whereas in ordinary times we would be looking for ways in which we can extend the support that we offer—PDG is one of those elements, but there are a range of others that I've listed in the Chamber today that we are making available through the education budget. In the current climate, it simply has not been possible to do more than meet the commitments that we already have, but we will always look for ways in which we can use the budget that we have to support those who need the most support, and I hope that she would recognise that, in many other ways, the education budget has been able to do that.

Diolch i Jane Dodds am ei chwestiwn. Fe fydd yn gwybod o’r trafodaethau rydym wedi’u cael yn y Siambr heddiw ac yn flaenorol mai’r her y mae’r Llywodraeth wedi’i hwynebu oedd dod o hyd i’r adnoddau i gyflawni ein rhaglenni cymorth presennol a’n hymrwymiadau presennol, ac mae hynny ynddo’i hun, yng nghyd-destun anodd cyllideb sy’n lleihau gan Lywodraeth y DU, wedi golygu dewisiadau heriol tu hwnt er mwyn cyflawni ein hymrwymiadau presennol hyd yn oed. Felly, er y byddem fel arfer yn edrych am ffyrdd y gallem ymestyn y cymorth a gynigiwn—mae'r grant datblygu disgyblion yn un o'r elfennau hynny, ond rydym yn darparu ystod o rai eraill a restrais yn y Siambr heddiw drwy’r gyllideb addysg. Yn yr hinsawdd sydd ohoni, yn syml iawn, ni fu’n bosibl gwneud mwy na chyflawni’r ymrwymiadau sydd gennym eisoes, ond byddwn bob amser yn edrych am ffyrdd o ddefnyddio’r gyllideb sydd gennym i gefnogi’r rhai sydd angen y cymorth mwyaf, ac rwy'n gobeithio y byddai’n cydnabod, mewn llawer o ffyrdd eraill, fod y gyllideb addysg wedi gallu gwneud hynny.

Newidiadau i Wyliau Ysgol
Changes to School Holidays

8. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am gynlluniau ar gyfer newidiadau i wyliau ysgol yng Nghymru? OQ60501

8. Will the Minister provide an update on plans for changes to school holidays in Wales? OQ60501

Proposals around the structure of the school year are subject to a public consultation that was published on 21 November last year and runs until 12 February this year.

Mae cynigion yn gysylltiedig â strwythur y flwyddyn ysgol yn destun ymgynghoriad cyhoeddus a gyhoeddwyd ar 21 Tachwedd y llynedd ac sy’n rhedeg tan 12 Chwefror eleni.

Thank you for the update, Minister. I'm sure you will acknowledge that there are deep challenges with education in Wales, and, as Laura Anne Jones pointed out earlier, some of the most recent PISA results being further evidence of that. What that points to, in my view, is the life chances of children across Wales being damaged because of those poorer educational outcomes, and it's going to take a huge endeavour to turn this system around, but instead of using every bit of energy possible to turn this system around, what we are presented with is some tinkering, trying to change the school holidays. Looking to change school holidays to try and improve educational outcomes doesn't seem to stack up. We know that much better performing European nations, like the Republic of Ireland and Estonia, who have outstanding education results, have significantly longer summer holidays than we do in Wales, with Estonia having around three months of summer holidays. That continued attempt to diverge from holidays in England—and I know you've mentioned how you felt it was embarrassing to look at English results, even though they are far more successful in terms of results and a more equitable education system than here in Wales. So, I wonder, Minister, could you convince me that your choice to look to consider changing the school holidays is not just you trying to tinker with things, and how are you actually going to tackle the real issues that our schools are facing?

Diolch am yr wybodaeth ddiweddaraf, Weinidog. Rwy’n siŵr y byddwch yn cydnabod bod heriau mawr gydag addysg yng Nghymru, ac fel y nododd Laura Anne Jones yn gynharach, mae rhai o'r canlyniadau PISA diweddaraf yn dystiolaeth bellach o hynny. Yr hyn y mae hynny’n ei ddangos, yn fy marn i, yw bod cyfleoedd bywyd plant ledled Cymru yn cael eu niweidio oherwydd y canlyniadau addysgol salach hynny, a bydd angen ymdrech enfawr i wyrdroi’r system, ond yn hytrach na defnyddio ein holl egni i wyrdroi’r system, yr hyn a wneir yw tincran, ceisio newid y gwyliau ysgol. Nid yw'n ymddangos bod ystyried newid gwyliau ysgol er mwyn ceisio gwella canlyniadau addysgol yn gwneud synnwyr. Fe wyddom fod gan wledydd Ewropeaidd sy’n perfformio’n llawer gwell, fel Gweriniaeth Iwerddon ac Estonia, sydd â chanlyniadau addysgol rhagorol, wyliau haf sylweddol hirach nag yng Nghymru, gydag Estonia'n cael oddeutu tri mis o wyliau haf. Yr ymgais barhaus honno i gael gwyliau gwahanol i Loegr—a gwn eich bod wedi dweud eich bod yn teimlo cywilydd wrth edrych ar ganlyniadau Lloegr, er eu bod yn llawer mwy llwyddiannus o ran canlyniadau a system addysg decach nag yma yng Nghymru. Felly, Weinidog, tybed a allech fy argyhoeddi nad ymgais i dincran gyda phethau'n unig yw eich dewis i ystyried newid gwyliau ysgol, a sut rydych chi'n mynd i fynd i'r afael â'r problemau gwirioneddol y mae ein hysgolion yn eu hwynebu?

Well, actually, learning loss, which, as you know, refers to learners falling behind academically during school breaks, is actually more prevalent during the summer break compared to any other break, and there's a huge amount of evidence to do that. This is an education policy, and the focus that we have here is making sure that every young learner has the best possible education. There is clear evidence that the long summer break can be very challenging for many of our learners, including and in particular, perhaps, many from the least advantaged backgrounds. He tempts me once again to draw the comparison with England. Of the, I think, five or six authorities that have most recently moved to the model that the consultation document proposes, I think, from memory, that all but one of them are Conservative authorities. I assume they'd be persuaded, as we have, that there is merit in looking at this, because it supports their young people to get the best start in life.

Wel, mae colli dysgu, sydd, fel y gwyddoch, yn cyfeirio at ddysgwyr yn llithro ar ei hôl hi yn academaidd yn ystod gwyliau ysgol, yn fwy cyffredin yn ystod gwyliau'r haf o gymharu ag unrhyw doriad arall, ac mae llawer iawn o dystiolaeth dros wneud hynny. Polisi addysg yw hwn, a’r hyn rydym yn canolbwyntio arno yma yw sicrhau bod pob dysgwr ifanc yn cael yr addysg orau bosibl. Ceir tystiolaeth glir y gall gwyliau hir dros yr haf fod yn heriol iawn i lawer o’n dysgwyr, gan gynnwys, ac yn fwyaf arbennig efallai, llawer o ddysgwyr o'r cefndiroedd lleiaf breintiedig. Mae'n fy nhemtio unwaith eto i wneud y gymhariaeth â Lloegr. O’r pum neu chwe awdurdod sydd wedi newid yn fwyaf diweddar i’r model y mae’r ddogfen ymgynghori yn ei argymell, o'r hyn rwy'n ei gofio, rwy'n credu bod pob un ond un ohonynt yn awdurdodau Ceidwadol. Rwy’n cymryd y byddent yn cael eu perswadio, fel y cawsom ninnau, ei bod yn werth edrych ar hyn, gan ei fod yn cynorthwyo eu pobl ifanc i gael y dechrau gorau mewn bywyd.

3. Cwestiynau Amserol
3. Topical Questions

Yr eitem nesaf, felly, fydd y cwestiynau amserol. Mae'r cyntaf heddiw i'w ateb gan Weinidog yr Economi, ac i'w ofyn gan Rhun ap Iorwerth.

The next item will be topical questions. The first this afternoon will be answered by the Minister for Economy, and asked by Rhun ap Iorwerth.

Cwmni Gwynedd Shipping
The Gwynedd Shipping Company

1. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad am unrhyw drafodaethau mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi eu cael mewn perthynas â dyfodol cwmni Gwynedd Shipping? TQ949

1. Will the Minister make a statement on any discussions the Welsh Government has had in relation to the future of the Gwynedd Shipping company? TQ949

Diolch am y cwestiwn. 

Thank you for the question.

My officials have been in dialogue with the business since reports emerged. They have also made contact with the administrators and union representatives representing some of the workforce, and are working closely with counterparts from the local authority, the Department for Work and Pensions and other agencies to support any affected workers.

Mae fy swyddogion wedi bod yn trafod â’r busnes ers i adroddiadau ddod i’r amlwg. Maent hefyd wedi cysylltu â’r gweinyddwyr a chynrychiolwyr undebau sy’n cynrychioli peth o’r gweithlu, ac maent yn gweithio’n agos gyda swyddogion cyfatebol o’r awdurdod lleol, yr Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau ac asiantaethau eraill i gefnogi unrhyw weithwyr yr effeithir arnynt.

Diolch yn fawr iawn am yr ymateb yna. Mae hwn yn gwmni sydd yn weithredol ers 40 mlynedd. Dwi'n meddwl mai 40 mlynedd yn ôl i eleni y cafodd Gwynedd Shipping ei sefydlu, ac mae o wedi bod yn rhywbeth rydym ni'n falch ohono fo, o weld lorïau Gwynedd Shipping ar y rhwydwaith draffyrdd ar draws y Deyrnas Unedig a thu hwnt. Ac mi ddaeth y newydd yma, yn y dyddiau diwethaf, fod y cwmni mewn trafferth, fel ergyd fawr, a'r ergyd, wrth gwrs, yn cael ei theimlo drymaf gan y rheini sy'n cael eu taro'n uniongyrchol, y rhai sydd yn gweithio i'r cwmni.

Mae hi wedi bod yn anodd iawn, rhaid dweud, ceisio dod o hyd i wybodaeth ynglŷn â'r hyn oedd yn mynd ymlaen yn union. Mae hi wedi bod yn haws cael gwybodaeth drwy ffynonellau ar y cyfryngau cymdeithasol—a dwi'n ddiolchgar i bobl sydd wedi bod yn agored drwy'r cyfryngau cymdeithasol, wedi cysylltu â fi yn sgil hynny. Dwi'n sicr ddim wedi llwyddo i gael gafael ar y cwmni yn uniongyrchol. Ac mae hi'n bwysig iawn, iawn, iawn, ar adeg fel hyn, fod cwmni yn bod mor agored â phosib ynglŷn â'i sefyllfa, ynglŷn â'r heriau y mae o yn eu wynebu, a hynny ar gyfer y gymuned yn ehangach, ond, wrth gwrs, ar gyfer y gweithwyr yn bennaf.

Thank you for that response. This is a company that's been operational for 40 years. I think it was 40 years ago this year that Gwynedd Shipping was established, and it's been something that we have taken pride in, in seeing Gwynedd Shipping lorries on the traffic network across the UK and beyond. And this news came, in the past few days, that the company was in difficulty, and that was a huge blow, and the blow was felt most by those who are directly affected, those working for the company.

It has been extremely difficult, I have to say, to try and find information about what was happening exactly. It's been easier to get information through sources on social media—and I'm grateful to those people who have been open on social media and have been in touch with me as a result of that. I certainly haven't managed to get hold of the company directly. And it is extremely important, at a time like this, that a company is as open as possible in terms of their situation and in terms of the challenges that they face, and that for the sake of the community more broadly, but also for the workforce particularly.

We've suffered jobs blow after jobs blow, of course, in my constituency—the loss of hundreds of jobs, of course, at the 2 Sisters plant in Llangefni the most recent and most well documented of those. But this, again, is a significant number of jobs. Again, it's difficult to pinpoint exactly how many, but we need to make sure that support goes now to those who find themselves without work. There are drivers in particular whose skills are very sought after; there are others working in the yard itself in Holyhead, others working on the administrative side, that will need that support too. So, can I ask the Minister what support is being put together, what package is being put together, to make sure that support is as strong as it can be for all those affected? We also need to learn what has happened here. What information does the Minister have about what led to this? Was the Government aware of pressures on the company? We need to hear now that all the different agencies are working together—I'm in contact with the council, of course—so that this other latest jobs blow on Ynys Môn is addressed and that work is found as quickly as possible for all those involved.

Rydym wedi dioddef ergyd ar ôl ergyd i swyddi yn fy etholaeth—colli cannoedd o swyddi, wrth gwrs, yn ffatri 2 Sisters yn Llangefni, oedd yr achos diweddaraf a gafodd y sylw mwyaf. Ond mae hyn, unwaith eto, yn nifer sylweddol o swyddi. Unwaith eto, mae'n anodd nodi faint yn union, ond mae angen inni sicrhau bod cymorth yn cael ei roi nawr i'r bobl sy'n colli eu gwaith. Mae galw mawr am sgiliau gyrwyr yn enwedig; mae eraill sy'n gweithio yn yr iard ei hun yng Nghaergybi, eraill sy'n gweithio ar yr ochr weinyddol, a fydd angen y cymorth hwnnw hefyd. Felly, a gaf fi ofyn i’r Gweinidog pa gymorth sy’n cael ei baratoi, pa becyn sy’n cael ei baratoi, i sicrhau bod y cymorth mor gryf ag y gall fod i bawb yr effeithir arnynt? Mae angen inni ddysgu beth sydd wedi digwydd yma hefyd. Pa wybodaeth sydd gan y Gweinidog am yr hyn a arweiniodd at y sefyllfa hon? A oedd y Llywodraeth yn ymwybodol o'r pwysau ar y cwmni? Mae angen inni glywed nawr fod yr holl asiantaethau gwahanol yn cydweithio—rwyf mewn cysylltiad â’r cyngor, wrth gwrs—er mwyn mynd i’r afael â’r ergyd ddiweddaraf hon i swyddi ar Ynys Môn, a bod modd dod o hyd i waith cyn gynted â phosibl i bawb yr effeithiwyd arnynt.

15:15

Thank you for the series of questions. I'll try and go through, as helpfully as I can, based on the information, which is limited from the Government's point of view as well. Because I saw the reports myself and I immediately asked officials what the position was. Unfortunately, the company hadn't been proactive in contacting the Government in advance, and we've yet to get significant amounts of information from the company and, indeed, the administrators. We understand that two of the businesses within the group have appointed administrators, affecting, as we understand it, the reported figure of 127 potential employees. And you're right, they're in a variety of jobs. Drivers are likely to be able to find alternative work; there's still a shortage in that sector of the economy. The challenge, though, will be, as you put it, the understanding of those people who may need more support to find alternative work. All of them will be living with real uncertainty, following the announcement that has been made, and the fact that I can't give clarity, I think, adds to the uncertainty. I'd like to be able to be much clearer about the contact between the Government, the DWP, the council and the company. We know that there are some trade union members there; it's not clear to us if there is recognition at the site. So, we are trying to work through all of those issues with both the company and, indeed, with the administrator.

In terms of the range of assistance that is available, our ReAct+ programme is the flexible programme that we offer. And in other job challenges in the past, where there have been significant unemployment events—you mentioned 2 Sisters; in south Wales, there have been others as well—what we have been able to do is to work constructively with the DWP and whichever local authority it is. That relationship is a good and practical and pragmatic one. For all of the differences we have on a political level with the UK Government, the DWP locally, I think, have always been responsive and willing partners in trying to help find people work, with the levers that they do have. What I will do is, as we get more information on how that's being pieced together, we'll be proactive about sharing that information with the public and, indeed, with the Member, about how and where that support is to be provided, if there is a need, to provide a jobs fair, and how we do that in a way that works best for the affected employees, to help them to secure alternative employment.

The more positive aspect, though, is that, whilst this is of course disappointing and will be distressing for people who face losing their employment, actually, activity within the port is somewhere we should see an increase in employment in the future. That's what we want to try to do, but that has to be balanced against, as I say, the very real concern that I'm sure a number of families are going to bed with each night until there is that clarity about the future. 

Diolch am y gyfres o gwestiynau. Fe geisiaf eu hateb mor ddefnyddiol ag y gallaf yn seiliedig ar yr wybodaeth, sy'n gyfyngedig o safbwynt y Llywodraeth hefyd. Oherwydd gwelais yr adroddiadau fy hun, a gofynnais i fy swyddogion ar unwaith beth oedd y sefyllfa. Yn anffodus, nid oedd y cwmni wedi bod mynd ati'n rhagweithiol i gysylltu â’r Llywodraeth ymlaen llaw, ac rydym eto i gael gwybodaeth o faint sylweddol gan y cwmni, ac yn wir, y gweinyddwyr. Deallwn fod dau o’r busnesau yn y grŵp wedi penodi gweinyddwyr, gan effeithio, yn ôl yr hyn a ddeallwn, ar y ffigur a adroddwyd o 127 o weithwyr posibl. Ac rydych yn iawn, maent mewn amrywiaeth o swyddi. Mae gyrwyr yn debygol o allu dod o hyd i swyddi eraill; mae prinder o hyd yn y sector hwnnw o'r economi. Yr her, fodd bynnag, fel y dywedwch, fydd deall pa bobl y gallai fod angen mwy o gymorth arnynt i ddod o hyd i waith arall. Bydd pob un ohonynt yn byw gydag ansicrwydd gwirioneddol yn dilyn y cyhoeddiad a wnaed, a chredaf fod y ffaith na allaf roi eglurder yn ychwanegu at yr ansicrwydd. Hoffwn allu bod yn llawer cliriach ynglŷn â’r cyswllt rhwng y Llywodraeth, yr Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau, y cyngor a’r cwmni. Gwyddom fod rhai aelodau o undebau llafur yno; nid yw'n glir i ni a oes cydnabyddiaeth ar y safle. Felly, rydym yn ceisio gweithio drwy'r holl faterion hynny gyda'r cwmni, ac yn wir, gyda'r gweinyddwr.

Ar yr ystod o gymorth sydd ar gael, ein rhaglen ReAct+ yw’r rhaglen hyblyg rydym yn ei chynnig. A chyda heriau eraill o ran swyddi yn y gorffennol, lle cafwyd digwyddiadau diweithdra sylweddol—fe sonioch chi am 2 Sisters; yn ne Cymru, cafwyd digwyddiadau eraill hefyd—yr hyn y gallasom ei wneud yw gweithio'n adeiladol gyda'r Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau a'r awdurdod lleol. Mae'r berthynas honno'n un dda ac ymarferol a phragmatig. Er yr holl wahaniaethau sydd gennym ar lefel wleidyddol gyda Llywodraeth y DU, rwy'n credu bod yr Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau yn lleol bob amser wedi bod yn bartneriaid ymatebol a pharod wrth geisio helpu i ddod o hyd i swyddi i bobl, gyda’r ysgogiadau sydd ganddynt. Wrth inni gael mwy o wybodaeth ynglŷn â sut y caiff hynny ei roi at ei gilydd, fe fyddwn yn rhagweithiol ynghylch rhannu'r wybodaeth honno â'r cyhoedd, ac yn wir, gyda'r Aelod, ynglŷn â sut a ble y bydd y cymorth hwnnw'n cael ei ddarparu, darparu ffair swyddi os oes angen, a sut y gwnawn hynny yn y ffordd sy’n gweithio orau i’r gweithwyr yr effeithir arnynt, i’w helpu i ddod o hyd i swyddi eraill.

Er bod hyn yn siom wrth gwrs ac yn peri gofid i'r bobl sy'n wynebu colli eu gwaith, yr agwedd fwy cadarnhaol yw bod gweithgaredd o fewn y porthladd yn rhywle y dylem weld cynnydd mewn cyflogaeth yn y dyfodol. Dyna rydym am geisio ei wneud, ond fel y dywedaf, mae’n rhaid cydbwyso hynny â'r pryder gwirioneddol y bydd nifer o deuluoedd yn ei deimlo, rwy'n siŵr, wrth fynd i’w gwelyau bob nos hyd nes y cânt eglurder ynglŷn â'r dyfodol.

15:20

Of course, Gwynedd Shipping operate from two sites in north Wales, Holyhead and Deeside, as well as from Birkenhead, Belfast and Dublin. What is your understanding of why the company filed for administration when the company's strategic review of its latest annual results for the year to May 2022, posted last February, said, quote, its directors had a reasonable expectation that the company has adequate resources to continue in operational existence for the foreseeable future, or will you be seeking and sharing this information? What is your understanding of unconfirmed reports that parts of the company are being taken over by another logistics firm, and that other local and regional hauliers were already offering some of the drivers work, or will you be seeking and sharing that information? And finally, given your comments about the DWP, what specific engagement have you and your officials had, or will you be having, with Jobcentre Plus and the DWP regarding help for those who are looking for alternative work or for retraining opportunities? 

Wrth gwrs, mae Gwynedd Shipping yn gweithredu o ddau safle yng ngogledd Cymru, Caergybi a Glannau Dyfrdwy, yn ogystal ag o Benbedw, Belffast a Dulyn. Beth yw eich dealltwriaeth ynglŷn â pham y gwnaeth y cwmni gais gweinyddu pan ddywedai adolygiad strategol y cwmni o'i ganlyniadau blynyddol diweddaraf ar gyfer y flwyddyn hyd at fis Mai 2022, a bostiwyd fis Chwefror diwethaf fod gan ei gyfarwyddwyr ddisgwyliad rhesymol fod gan y cwmni adnoddau digonol i barhau mewn bodolaeth weithredol am y dyfodol rhagweladwy, neu a fyddwch chi'n gofyn am yr wybodaeth hon ac yn ei rhannu? Beth yw eich dealltwriaeth o adroddiadau heb eu cadarnhau fod cwmni logisteg arall yn cymryd meddiant ar rannau o’r cwmni, a bod cwmnïau cludo lleol a rhanbarthol eraill eisoes yn cynnig gwaith i rai o’r gyrwyr, neu a fyddwch yn gofyn am yr wybodaeth honno ac yn ei rhannu? Ac yn olaf, o ystyried eich sylwadau am yr Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau, pa ymgysylltiad penodol a gawsoch chi a'ch swyddogion, neu y byddwch yn ei gael, â'r Ganolfan Byd Gwaith a'r Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau ynghylch cymorth i'r rhai sy'n chwilio am waith arall neu am gyfleoedd i ailhyfforddi?

In respect of the point about DWP, I think I've answered that already. We do work constructively alongside DWP. Locally, every time there has been a significant unemployment event, we have worked very constructively—and my officials are doing that now—together with DWP and the local authority. 

On the other points about unconfirmed reports, that's the point—they're unconfirmed reports—and you wouldn't expect me to add to speculation here. What I will do is, as we get information that has not been made available to us thus far, I'll share it with Members, and, crucially, to want to provide some confidence for people that are concerned about their own futures, and will be worried about their own employment futures, to make sure that the opportunities to look for alternative work are made as easily and readily available to them as possible, and to make sure that, whether they approach the local authority, or the Welsh Government or the DWP, that we are working together to make sure that there is a 'no wrong door' approach and we get them to the point where they need to be able to go, to make sure they have the right support for them.    

Ar y pwynt am yr Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau, credaf fy mod wedi ateb hwnnw eisoes. Rydym yn gweithio'n adeiladol ochr yn ochr â'r Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau. Yn lleol, bob tro y cafwyd digwyddiad diweithdra sylweddol, rydym wedi gweithio’n adeiladol iawn—ac mae fy swyddogion yn gwneud hynny nawr—gyda’r Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau a’r awdurdod lleol.

Ar y pwyntiau eraill ynglŷn ag adroddiadau heb eu cadarnhau, dyna'r pwynt—maent yn adroddiadau heb eu cadarnhau—ac ni fyddech yn disgwyl imi ychwanegu at y dyfalu. Yr hyn a wnaf, wrth inni gael gwybodaeth na fu ar gael i ni hyd yma, yw ei rhannu â’r Aelodau, ac yn hollbwysig, rwy'n awyddus i roi rhywfaint o hyder i bobl sy’n pryderu am eu dyfodol eu hunain, a'n poeni am ddyfodol eu cyflogaeth eu hunain, i sicrhau bod y cyfleoedd i chwilio am swyddi eraill ar gael mor hawdd â phosibl iddynt, ac i sicrhau, boed eu bod yn troi at yr awdurdod lleol, neu at Lywodraeth Cymru neu'r Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau, ein bod yn gweithio gyda’n gilydd i sicrhau bod dull ‘dim drws anghywir’ ar waith a’n bod yn eu cynorthwyo i gyrraedd y pwynt y mae angen iddynt allu ei gyrraedd i sicrhau eu bod yn cael y cymorth cywir ar eu cyfer.

Diolch i'r Gweinidog. Y cwestiwn nesaf i'w ateb gan Ddirprwy Weinidog y Celfyddydau, Chwaraeon a Thwristiaeth. Llyr Gruffydd i ofyn y cwestiwn. 

Thank you, Minister. The next question is to be answered by the Deputy Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism. Llyr Gruffydd to ask the question. 

S4C
S4C

2. A wnaiff y Gweinidog ddatganiad yn rhoi ymateb i argymhelliad unfrydol Pwyllgor Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu, y Gymraeg, Chwaraeon, a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol y dylai fod gan Lywodraeth Cymru rôl ffurfiol yn y broses o benodi Cadeirydd newydd ar gyfer S4C? TQ950

2. Will the Minister make a statement responding to the unanimous recommendation of the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee that the Welsh Government should have a formal role in the process of appointing a new Chair for S4C? TQ950

Thank you. The Welsh Government plays a part in the S4C board appointment process, with a senior Welsh Government official acting as a member of the appointment panel that then makes recommendations to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, who appoints. I agree, however, that the Welsh Government should have a more formal, stronger role in this process. 

Diolch. Mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn chwarae rhan yn y broses o benodi bwrdd S4C, gydag uwch swyddog o Lywodraeth Cymru yn gweithredu fel aelod o’r panel penodi sydd wedyn yn gwneud argymhellion i’r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon, sy’n gwneud penodiadau. Rwy’n cytuno, fodd bynnag, y dylai fod gan Lywodraeth Cymru rôl fwy ffurfiol a chryfach yn y broses hon.

Diolch i chi am yr ymateb. Wrth gwrs, mae Plaid Cymru a Llywodraeth Cymru yn gytûn ar y ffaith y dylai pwerau dros ddarlledu a chyfathrebu gael eu datganoli, gan gynnwys, wrth gwrs, dros S4C. Dylen nhw gael eu datganoli i'r Senedd yma. Mi fyddai hynny, wrth gwrs, yn sicrhau wedyn bod gan Lywodraeth Cymru ran uniongyrchol i'w chwarae ym mhenodi cadeirydd newydd S4C. Ond mi fyddwn i'n hoffi, os caf i, Ddirprwy Weinidog, ychydig fwy o eglurder ynglŷn â sylwadau gafodd eu gwneud gan Ysgrifennydd Gwladol Cymru wythnos diwethaf ar raglen Y Byd yn ei Le ar S4C. Mi ddywedodd yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol ei fod e wedi cael cyfarfod gyda chi wythnos diwethaf i drafod sefyllfa S4C, a'ch bod chi wedi methu dweud wrtho fe beth fyddech chi na Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i wneud yn wahanol ynglŷn â sefyllfa S4C. Byddai diddordeb gyda fi i wybod os ydy hynny yn wir. 

Ond a gaf i hefyd ofyn a wnaethoch chi achub ar y cyfle i ddefnyddio hwn fel enghraifft i wneud yr achos dros ddatganoli darlledu a chyfrifoldeb am S4C i Gymru? Ac yn y cyfarfod hwnnw, a wnaethoch chi ofyn yn benodol i sicrhau bod gan Lywodraeth Cymru, a chithau fel Dirprwy Weinidog, rôl mwy ystyrlon a mwy ffurfiol yn y broses o benodi cadeirydd newydd? 

Thank you for that response. Of course, Plaid Cymru and the Welsh Government are agreed on the fact that powers over broadcasting and communications should be devolved, including responsibility for S4C. They should be devolved to this Senedd. That, of course, would ensure that the Welsh Government had a direct formal role in the appointment of a new chair for S4C. But I would like, Minister, a little more clarity on some comments made by the Secretary of State for Wales last week on Y Byd yn ei Le on S4C. The Secretary of State said that he had a meeting with you last week to discuss the situation at S4C, and that you had failed to tell him what you or the Welsh Government would have done differently about the situation in S4C. I would be interested to hear if that is the case.

But can I also ask whether you took the opportunity to use this as an example to make the case for the devolution of broadcasting and responsibility for S4C more specifically to Wales? And in that meeting, did you ask specifically to ensure that the Welsh Government, and you as Deputy Minister, would have a more meaningful and more formal role in the process of appointing a new chair?   

Thank you for those supplementary questions, Llyr. There is a role, as I said, for us in the appointment of the chair, limited though it is, and in fact there was a recommendation arising from the Institute of Welsh Affairs on the current state of regulation and accountability for broadcasters in Wales, and one of the things that they recommended, actually, was that the UK Government should transfer some functions relating to the broadcasting from DCMS, through the BBC charter, either to Welsh Government or to an independent commissioner. Now, the UK Government haven’t taken that on board. Now, you’re quite right—we are, in working in partnership with Plaid Cymru through the co-operation agreement, looking at the devolution of broadcasting. We set up the expert panel last year, and we have had the report of the expert panel. At the moment, because of the consensus that we have, not just between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, but a kind of broader consensus, I think, across Wales that the current broadcasting and communications framework doesn’t meet Wales’s needs, that’s really why we’re in the process of these discussions. And the recommendations of that expert panel are now being considered and discussed, but particularly in the context of the financial position that Welsh Government currently finds itself in, which we dealt with at some length in committee this morning. So, that will be presented to Cabinet shortly, but I can guarantee and commit to you that we absolutely remain committed to a thriving, strong Welsh broadcasting environment that meets the needs of a modern Wales.

Now, in the meeting I had with the Secretary of State for DCMS and the Secretary of State for Wales last week—. It was, I think I should say, a very short meeting. It followed from the fact that I wrote to the Secretary of State for DCMS back in November, when the Capital Law report was first published, asking her, as the responsible Minister for S4C—because, whatever our ambitions for the devolution of broadcasting might be, it currently rests with the UK Government, and it is their responsibility—. So, I wrote to the Secretary of State for DCMS back in November and asked her what her intentions were and what the next steps were in relation to S4C in terms of the report and so on. And it wasn’t until 10 January that I actually got that meeting with her, and I asked her in that meeting for an update on the position regarding the challenging circumstances with S4C, and any timeline that she had for making decisions on the next steps.

Now, during the course of that meeting, the Secretary of State for Wales actually asked me if I thought that the chairman should be sacked. Now, frankly, I didn’t feel that it was appropriate for me to make that sort of judgment, with the limited information that I had available to me, and also on the basis of it not being a matter that is devolved to Wales. That is entirely the responsibility of the Secretary of State for DCMS. So, it did feel to me as though it was a kind of deflection from their responsibility to try to get somebody else to make a decision that they should be making.

As things have turned out, and over the course of events in the last 24 hours, of course, Rhodri Williams has indicated that he will not be putting himself forward for a second term for chairman of S4C. But I repeat what I said initially in my initial response to your question, Llyr: I do think that we should have a stronger role in terms of the appointments processes for S4C, in the same way that we do for the BBC—BBC Wales, that is—through the memorandum of understanding that we have with them. I think, if anything, what this does is it brings into sharp focus the fact that we need to have those further discussions with both the Secretary of State for DCMS and S4C about how we can take this forward in future.

Diolch am eich cwestiynau atodol, Llyr. Mae rôl gennym ni, fel y dywedais, yn y broses o benodi’r cadeirydd, er ei bod yn gyfyngedig, ac mewn gwirionedd, cafwyd argymhelliad gan y Sefydliad Materion Cymreig ar gyflwr presennol rheoleiddio ac atebolrwydd i ddarlledwyr yng Nghymru, ac un o'r pethau a argymhellwyd ganddynt mewn gwirionedd oedd y dylai Llywodraeth y DU drosglwyddo rhai o'r swyddogaethau sy'n ymwneud â darlledu o'r Adran dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon, drwy siarter y BBC, naill ai i Lywodraeth Cymru neu i gomisiynydd annibynnol. Nawr, nid yw Llywodraeth y DU wedi ystyried hynny. Nawr, rydych yn llygad eich lle—rydym ni, mewn partneriaeth â Phlaid Cymru drwy'r cytundeb cydweithio, yn edrych ar ddatganoli darlledu. Sefydlwyd y panel arbenigol gennym y llynedd, ac rydym wedi cael adroddiad y panel arbenigol. Ar hyn o bryd, oherwydd y consensws sydd gennym, nid yn unig rhwng Llywodraeth Cymru a Phlaid Cymru, ond math o gonsensws ehangach ledled Cymru, rwy'n credu, nad yw’r fframwaith darlledu a chyfathrebu presennol yn diwallu anghenion Cymru, dyna pam ein bod yn y broses o gynnal y trafodaethau hyn mewn gwirionedd. Ac mae argymhellion y panel arbenigol hwnnw bellach yn cael eu hystyried a’u trafod, ond yn enwedig yng nghyd-destun y sefyllfa ariannol y mae Llywodraeth Cymru ynddi ar hyn o bryd, y buom yn ei thrafod am beth amser yn y pwyllgor y bore yma. Felly, bydd hynny'n cael ei gyflwyno i'r Cabinet cyn bo hir, ond gallaf warantu ac rwy'n ymrwymo i chi ein bod yn gwbl ymrwymedig i amgylchedd darlledu Cymraeg ffyniannus, cryf sy'n diwallu anghenion Cymru fodern.

Nawr, yn y cyfarfod a gefais gyda'r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon ac Ysgrifennydd Gwladol Cymru yr wythnos diwethaf—. Rwy'n credu y dylwn ddweud ei fod yn gyfarfod byr iawn. Fe'i cynhaliwyd am i mi ysgrifennu at yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon yn ôl ym mis Tachwedd, pan gyhoeddwyd adroddiad Capital Law gyntaf, yn gofyn iddi, fel y Gweinidog a oedd yn gyfrifol am S4C—oherwydd, ni waeth beth yw ein huchelgeisiau ar gyfer datganoli darlledu, ar hyn o bryd, Llywodraeth y DU sy'n gyfrifol am hynny, a’u cyfrifoldeb nhw yw—. Felly, ysgrifennais at yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon yn ôl ym mis Tachwedd yn gofyn iddi beth oedd ei bwriadau a beth oedd y camau nesaf mewn perthynas ag S4C o ran yr adroddiad ac yn y blaen. Ac ni chefais y cyfarfod hwnnw gyda hi tan 10 Ionawr, a gofynnais iddi yn y cyfarfod hwnnw am yr wybodaeth ddiweddaraf ynglŷn â'r sefyllfa o ran yr amgylchiadau heriol gydag S4C, ac unrhyw amserlen a oedd ganddi ar gyfer gwneud penderfyniadau ar y camau nesaf.

Nawr, yn y cyfarfod hwnnw, gofynnodd Ysgrifennydd Gwladol Cymru i mi a oeddwn yn credu y dylid diswyddo'r cadeirydd. Nawr, yn onest, nid oeddwn yn teimlo ei bod yn briodol imi wneud y math hwnnw o ddyfarniad, gyda’r wybodaeth gyfyngedig a oedd ar gael i mi, a hefyd ar y sail nad oedd yn fater sydd wedi’i ddatganoli i Gymru. Cyfrifoldeb yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon yw hynny'n gyfan gwbl. Felly, roedd yn teimlo i mi fel pe bai rhyw fath o wyro rhag eu cyfrifoldeb i geisio cael rhywun arall i wneud penderfyniad y dylent hwy fod yn ei wneud.

Fel y mae'n digwydd, a thros y 24 awr ddiwethaf, wrth gwrs, mae Rhodri Williams wedi nodi na fydd yn ymgeisio am ail dymor fel cadeirydd S4C. Ond ailadroddaf yr hyn a ddywedais yn wreiddiol yn fy ymateb cychwynnol i'ch cwestiwn, Llyr: credaf y dylem gael rôl gryfach o ran y prosesau penodi ar gyfer S4C, yn yr un ffordd ag y gwnawn gyda'r BBC—BBC Cymru, hynny yw—drwy'r memorandwm cyd-ddealltwriaeth sydd gennym gyda nhw. Os rhywbeth, credaf mai’r hyn y mae hyn yn ei wneud yw tynnu sylw at y ffaith bod angen inni gael y trafodaethau pellach hynny gyda’r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon ac S4C ynglŷn â sut y gallwn fwrw ymlaen â hyn yn y dyfodol.

15:25

Dirprwy Weinidog, ar ôl darllen adroddiad Capital Law, roedd e'n glir i fi bod hon yn sefyllfa siomedig iawn, ac yn anghredadwy i wybod bod hwn yn digwydd yn S4C yng Nghymru. Rydyn ni'n gwybod bod cyfrifoldeb am ddarlledu yn rhywbeth sydd yn gyfrifoldeb San Steffan, ac rydyn ni fel plaid yn credu mai dyna'r lle gorau amdano fe, ond dwi'n gwybod bod dadl yn digwydd am hynny. Ond fe wnaeth Llyr Gruffydd sôn am y rhaglen Y Byd yn ei Le, ac roeddwn i ar Y Byd yn ei Le hefyd ddydd Iau diwethaf, ac fe wnes i ddweud ar y rhaglen, ac rwy'n hapus i'w ddweud e eto, mai'r unig ffordd y mae hwn yn mynd i weithio—bod y cyfrifoldeb hwnnw yn San Steffan—yw bod DCMS yn cymryd diddordeb yn beth sydd yn digwydd i S4C. Ac roedd yn glir i mi, pan glywais y dystiolaeth gan Rhodri Williams yn y pwyllgor yr wythnos diwethaf, ei fod wedi gofyn am gyfarfod gyda Gweinidog DCMS ers pedair blynedd a heb gael cyfarfod â'r Gweinidog. Mae'n anghredadwy i'w glywed, ac mae'n fy ngwneud i'n grac a dweud y gwir.

Nawr dwi'n gwybod bod y pwyllgor hwn wedi gofyn am rôl ffurfiol i Lywodraeth Cymru o ran apwyntio'r cadeirydd newydd, ac rwy'n credu bod hynny'n bwysig, ond dŷch chi wedi sôn yn barod am y rôl anffurfiol, os ŷch chi'n moyn, sydd gan Lywodraeth Cymru yn yr apwyntiad newydd. Felly, allwch chi sôn mwy am natur y rôl honno a pha sgyrsiau ydych chi'n eu cael gyda DCMS a Swyddfa Cymru?

Deputy Minister, having read the Capital Law report, it was clear to me that this was very disappointing; it was incredible to think that this was going on within S4C in Wales. We know that responsibility for broadcasting is reserved to Westminster, and we as a party believe that that's where it sits best, but I know that there is a debate on that currently ongoing. But Llyr Gruffydd did mention the programme Y Byd yn ei Le, and I was on that programme too last Thursday, and I said on the programme, and I'm happy to repeat this, that the only way that this can work—for that responsibility to lie in Westminster—is for DCMS to take an interest in what's happening to S4C. And it was clear to me, when I heard evidence from Rhodri Williams in the committee last week, that he had been asking for a meeting with the Minister in DCMS for four years and hadn't got to meet the Minister. It was incredible to hear that, and it did make me angry to be honest.

Now we know that the committee has requested a formal role for the Welsh Government in the appointment of the new chair, and I think that's important, but you've already mentioned the informal role, if you like, that the Welsh Government currently has in the appointment. So, can you tell us more about the nature of that role and what conversations you're having with DCMS and the Wales Office?

15:30

Well, can I thank Tom Giffard for that question? And, yes, as I said in my original answer to Llyr Gruffydd, Welsh Government has very limited oversight of public appointments in broadcasting, and the role that we have with S4C is slightly different to the role that we have with BBC Wales.

So, it is not an informal role. We are a formal part of the appointments process, but we make recommendations to the Secretary of State for DCMS and it is the Secretary of State for DCMS that appoints. And that is the same for my role in terms of appointing chairs to public bodies in Wales that sit within my area of responsibility. So, officials will undertake the interview and the appointments process and then they submit recommendations to me, and it is my decision as to whether I accept those recommendations, and I appoint. And that is what happens with the appointment of the chair of S4C, and it is the decision of the Secretary of State for DMCS.

But I think this does shine a light on that process and I think the report that came out from the IWA, which I referenced just now, and the importance that we place on the role of S4C in Welsh society, puts it in a slightly different position. I think S4C and the Welsh Government, we are uniquely placed to have that greater role in S4C with or without the devolution of broadcasting as a formal policy position of the UK Government. There is a role—a greater role, I believe—that the Welsh Government could have within the appointments processes for S4C, because of that unique relationship that that channel has with Wales.

A gaf fi ddiolch i Tom Giffard am y cwestiwn? Ac fel y dywedais yn fy ateb gwreiddiol i Llyr Gruffydd, cyfyngedig iawn yw'r trosolwg sydd gan Lywodraeth Cymru ar benodiadau cyhoeddus ym maes darlledu, ac mae'r rôl sydd gennym gydag S4C ychydig yn wahanol i'r rôl sydd gennym gyda BBC Cymru. 

Felly, nid yw'n rôl anffurfiol. Rydym yn rhan ffurfiol o'r broses benodi, ond rydym yn gwneud argymhellion i Ysgrifennydd Gwladol yr Adran dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon, a'r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol hwnnw sy'n penodi. Ac mae hynny yr un fath ar gyfer fy rôl i o ran penodi cadeiryddion i gyrff cyhoeddus yng Nghymru sydd o fewn fy maes cyfrifoldeb. Felly, bydd swyddogion yn ymgymryd â'r cyfweliad a'r broses benodi ac yna byddant yn cyflwyno argymhellion i mi, a fy mhenderfyniad i yw a wyf yn derbyn yr argymhellion hynny, ac rwy'n penodi. A dyna sy'n digwydd gyda phenodi cadeirydd S4C hefyd, a phenderfyniad yr Ysgrifennydd Gwladol yr Adran dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon yw hwnnw.

Ond rwy'n credu bod hyn yn taflu goleuni ar y broses honno ac rwy'n credu bod yr adroddiad a gyhoeddwyd gan y Sefydliad Materion Cymreig, y cyfeiriais ato nawr, a phwysigrwydd rôl S4C yng nghymdeithas Cymru, yn ei rhoi mewn sefyllfa ychydig yn wahanol. Rwy'n credu bod S4C a Llywodraeth Cymru mewn sefyllfa unigryw i gael rôl fwy yn S4C, gyda neu heb ddatganoli darlledu, fel safbwynt polisi ffurfiol gan Lywodraeth y DU. Mae yna rôl—rôl fwy, rwy'n credu—y gallai Llywodraeth Cymru ei chael o fewn y prosesau penodi ar gyfer S4C, oherwydd y berthynas unigryw sydd gan y sianel honno â Chymru.

I listened with great interest to the answers you gave to my colleague Llyr Gruffydd, and to Tom Giffard as well. Of course, you've talked about the need or the want for a stronger role in appointing a chair. What exactly does that mean? I have to say that a lot of the answers that were given to my colleague Llyr Gruffydd were quite vague, and I didn't hear any specific reference as to whether or not you, as a Deputy Minister, support the devolution of broadcasting. So, I'll ask a straightforward question: do you as the Deputy Minister support the devolution of broadcasting—yes or no?

Gwrandewais gyda diddordeb mawr ar yr atebion a roesoch i fy nghyd-Aelod Llyr Gruffydd, ac i Tom Giffard hefyd. Wrth gwrs, rydych chi wedi siarad am yr angen neu'r awydd am rôl gryfach wrth benodi cadeirydd. Beth yn union mae hynny'n ei olygu? Mae'n rhaid imi ddweud bod llawer o'r atebion a roddwyd i fy nghyd-Aelod Llyr Gruffydd yn eithaf amwys, ac ni chlywais unrhyw gyfeiriad penodol ynglŷn ag a ydych chi, fel Dirprwy Weinidog, yn cefnogi datganoli darlledu ai peidio. Felly, rwyf am ofyn cwestiwn syml: a ydych chi fel y Dirprwy Weinidog yn cefnogi datganoli darlledu—ydych neu nac ydych?

We have an agreement with Plaid Cymru: the co-operation agreement sets out quite clearly that there is a joint aspiration on the devolution of broadcasting. I can't be any clearer than what the co-operation agreement says.

The difference in the roles—and I think this is important—that we have with S4C and with the BBC is that we make joint decisions on the appointments to the board of BBC Wales. And I think there is a strong case, if not a stronger case, that we should have joint decision making with DCMS until or unless broadcasting is fully devolved; that we have the same arrangement with S4C as we currently have with BBC Wales; that we make joint decisions on the appointments of the board and of the chair of S4C, as we do with the BBC.

Mae gennym gytundeb gyda Phlaid Cymru: mae'r cytundeb cydweithio yn nodi'n hollol glir bod yna ddyhead ar y cyd ar ddatganoli darlledu. Ni allaf fod yn gliriach na'r hyn y mae'r cytundeb cydweithio yn ei ddweud.

Y gwahaniaeth yn y rolau—ac rwy'n credu bod hyn yn bwysig—sydd gennym ni gydag S4C a'r BBC yw ein bod yn gwneud penderfyniadau ar y cyd ar benodiadau i fwrdd BBC Cymru. Ac rwy'n credu bod achos cryf, os nad achos cryfach, y dylem gael gwneud penderfyniadau ar y cyd gyda'r Adran dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon hyd nes, neu oni bai bod, darlledu'n cael ei ddatganoli'n llawn; bod gennym yr un trefniant gydag S4C ag sydd gennym gyda BBC Cymru ar hyn o bryd; ein bod yn gwneud penderfyniadau ar y cyd ar benodiadau'r bwrdd a chadeirydd S4C, fel y gwnawn gyda'r BBC.

I have to say that I do not support the devolution of broadcasting, and the Labour Party policy isn't to support the devolution of broadcasting, so I will not be supporting that until the policy changes. But within that context, I am very positive to hear what the Minister has been saying this afternoon, because we do need to have more accountability for broadcasting in this place. And I think the whole sorry saga with S4C has demonstrated the lack of interest that the DCMS actually has in S4C and in regulating broadcasting in Wales, and that does ask some very serious questions of the relationship, going forward.

So, I would be grateful if the Minister could look towards joint appointments with the DCMS, for not just the chair of S4C, but the board of S4C and other appointments, such as the board member of Ofcom, board member of the BBC, so that we're able to work on this collectively, across the United Kingdom, and to ensure that the interests of the people of Wales are actually represented, even if the DCMS is asleep at the wheel.

Mae'n rhaid imi ddweud nad wyf yn cefnogi datganoli darlledu, ac nid polisi'r Blaid Lafur yw cefnogi datganoli darlledu, felly ni fyddaf yn cefnogi hynny hyd nes y bydd y polisi'n newid. Ond o fewn y cyd-destun hwnnw, mae'n gadarnhaol iawn clywed yr hyn y mae'r Gweinidog wedi bod yn ei ddweud y prynhawn yma, oherwydd mae angen inni gael mwy o atebolrwydd am ddarlledu yn y lle hwn. Ac rwy'n credu bod yr holl saga druenus gydag S4C wedi dangos y diffyg diddordeb sydd gan yr Adran dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon yn S4C ac mewn rheoleiddio darlledu yng Nghymru, ac mae hynny'n codi cwestiynau difrifol iawn am y berthynas, wrth symud ymlaen.

Felly, buaswn yn ddiolchgar pe gallai'r Gweinidog edrych ar benodiadau ar y cyd gyda'r Adran dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon, nid yn unig ar gyfer cadeirydd S4C, ond bwrdd S4C a phenodiadau eraill, megis aelod bwrdd Ofcom, aelod bwrdd y BBC, fel y gallwn weithio ar hyn gyda'n gilydd, ar draws y Deyrnas Unedig, ac er mwyn sicrhau bod buddiannau pobl Cymru yn cael eu cynrychioli mewn gwirionedd, hyd yn oed os nad oes diddordeb gan yr Adran dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon.

15:35

Can I thank Alun Davies for that question? He's absolutely right, and, of course, Welsh Ministers do actually take the decision on appointments for the Welsh representative from Wales on Ofcom. And as I said, we do have joint decision making with the Secretary of State for DCMS on the appointments to BBC Wales. So, I think the situation that we have faced recently with S4C puts us in a much stronger position to say that that role with DCMS, in those appointments processes, with or without the full devolution of broadcasting—. I mean, that's not a prerequisite to that arrangement because we already have it with the BBC and with Ofcom, and I think that is a conversation that needs to be had as a matter of urgency with DCMS and with S4C.

A gaf fi ddiolch i Alun Davies am y cwestiwn hwnnw? Mae'n hollol gywir, ac wrth gwrs, mae Gweinidogion Cymru yn gwneud y penderfyniad ar benodi cynrychiolydd Cymreig o Gymru ar fwrdd Ofcom. Ac fel y dywedais, rydym yn gwneud penderfyniad ar y cyd gyda'r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol dros yr Adran dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon mewn perthynas â'r penodiadau i BBC Cymru. Felly, rwy'n credu bod y sefyllfa a welsom yn ddiweddar gydag S4C yn ein rhoi mewn sefyllfa lawer cryfach i ddweud bod y rôl honno gyda'r Adran dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon, yn y prosesau penodi hynny, boed darlledu wedi'i ddatganoli'n llawn neu beidio—. Hynny yw, nid yw hynny'n rhagofyniad i'r trefniant hwnnw oherwydd rydym yn ei wneud eisoes gyda'r BBC a chydag Ofcom, ac rwy'n credu bod honno'n sgwrs y mae angen ei chael ar frys gyda'r Adran dros Dechnoleg Ddigidol, Diwylliant, y Cyfryngau a Chwaraeon ac S4C.

4. Datganiadau 90 Eiliad
4. 90-second Statements

Does yna ddim datganiadau 90 eiliad yr wythnos yma.

There were no 90-second statements received this week.

5. Dadl ar Gynnig Deddfwriaethol gan Aelod: Bil ar sicrwydd hinsawdd i blant a phobl ifanc
5. Debate on a Member's Legislative Proposal: A Bill on climate assurance for children and young people