Y Cyfarfod Llawn

Plenary

31/01/2024

Cynnwys

Contents

1. Cwestiynau i’r Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol a'r Prif Chwip 1. Questions to the Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip
2. Cwestiynau i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol a Gweinidog y Cyfansoddiad 2. Questions to the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution
3. Cwestiynau i Gomisiwn y Senedd 3. Questions to the Senedd Commission
4. Cwestiynau Amserol 4. Topical Questions
5. Datganiadau 90 Eiliad 5. 90-second Statements
6. Cynnig o dan Reol Sefydlog 26.17(iii) mewn perthynas â Bil Senedd Cymru (Aelodau ac Etholiadau) 6. Motion under Standing Order 26.17(iii) in relation to the Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Bill
7. Cynnig i ddiwygio Rheolau Sefydlog—Adolygiad cyfyngedig o weithdrefnau Biliau Cydgrynhoi 7. Motion to amend Standing Orders—Limited review of Consolidation Bill procedures
8. Dadl ar Gynnig Deddfwriaethol gan Aelod: Bil i sefydlu goruchwyliaeth strwythuredig o reolwyr y GIG 8. Debate on a Member's Legislative Proposal: A Bill to establish structured oversight of NHS managers
9. Dadl ar ddeiseb P-06-1359 a deiseb P-06-1362 ynghylch cymorth ar gyfer costau gofal plant 9. Debate on petitions P-06-1359 and P-06-1362 concerning support for childcare costs
10. Dadl ar Adroddiad y Pwyllgor Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu, y Gymraeg, Chwaraeon a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol, 'Cysylltiadau Rhyngwladol: Adroddiad Blynyddol 2022-23' 10. Debate on the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee Report, 'International Relations: Annual Report 2022-23'
11. Dadl ar Adroddiad y Pwyllgor Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu, y Gymraeg, Chwaraeon a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol, 'Y tu ôl i’r llenni: Gweithlu’r diwydiannau creadigol' 11. Debate on the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee Report, 'Behind the scenes: The creative industries workforce'
12. Dadl y Ceidwadwyr Cymreig: Rhyddhad ardrethi busnes 12. Welsh Conservatives Debate: Business rates relief
13. Dadl y Ceidwadwyr Cymreig: Darlledu rygbi'r Chwe Gwlad 13. Welsh Conservatives Debate: Six Nations rugby broadcasting
14. Cyfnod Pleidleisio 14. Voting Time
15. Dadl Fer: Methiant y galon—Mae arloesi yn achub bywydau 15. Short Debate: Heart Failure—Innovation is saving lives

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 Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol a'r Prif Chwip
1. Questions to the Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip

Croeso, bawb, i'r Cyfarfod Llawn. Yr eitem gyntaf ar ein hagenda ni y prynhawn yma fydd y cwestiynau i’r Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol a'r Prif Chwip, ac mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf gan Mark Isherwood. 

Welcome to this Plenary meeting. The first item on our agenda this afternoon will be questions to the Minister for Social Justice and Chief Whip, and the first question is from Mark Isherwood. 

Deddf Cydraddoldeb 2010
Equality Act 2010

1. Sut y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn sicrhau bod Deddf Cydraddoldeb 2010 yn cael ei rhoi ar waith er budd pobl anabl yng Nghymru? OQ60590

1. How does the Welsh Government ensure that the Equality Act 2010 is implemented to benefit disabled people in Wales? OQ60590

Thank you for your question. The Equality and Human Rights Commission is the UK-wide statutory body whose role it is to promote and enforce human rights and non-discrimination laws with a focus on the non-devolved Equality Act 2010. It works independently and operates across England, Scotland and Wales, where each administration is also subject to the Act.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn. Y Comisiwn Cydraddoldeb a Hawliau Dynol yw’r corff statudol ar gyfer y DU gyfan sydd â'r rôl o hyrwyddo a gorfodi deddfau gwrth-wahaniaethu a hawliau dynol, gyda ffocws ar Ddeddf Cydraddoldeb 2010, sydd heb ei datganoli. Mae’n gweithio’n annibynnol ac yn gweithredu ar draws Cymru, Lloegr, a'r Alban, lle mae pob gweinyddiaeth hefyd yn ddarostyngedig i'r Ddeddf.

Thank you. The Equality and Human Rights Commission has very limited resource to enforce or take legal action on individual cases. But the Equality Act states that direct discrimination occurs when people with protected characteristics, including disability, are treated less favourably than others. 

The National Deaf Children's Society Cymru has warned that falling numbers of teachers of the deaf, and other issues with the Welsh Government's additional learning needs reforms, is hindering deaf pupils. I raised this with you in responding to your 5 December statement on the International Day of Disabled People, but your reply didn't address this.

When I raised this with the education Minister, he highlighted the investment over the past three years to support postgraduate training for local authority-based teachers of learners with sensory impairment. The National Deaf Children's Society therefore spoke to the services on the ground, which told them that this is being used to keep the level of teachers of the deaf workforce the same, as opposed to expanding it, although one in five have left the profession since 2011. They were also told that some of the funding was more targeted at additional learning needs co-ordinators and school staff to help build deaf awareness rather then extend provision, which has not provided the scope to fully grow the profession nor support deaf children in Wales. 

So, what measurable action do you propose to address this, where deafness is not a learning difficulty, but deaf children are being disabled by the continuing inequity in outcome, and where the gap between deaf children and their hearing peers risks becoming even wider in breach of the Equality Act?

Diolch. Adnoddau cyfyngedig iawn sydd gan y Comisiwn Cydraddoldeb a Hawliau Dynol i orfodi neu gymryd camau cyfreithiol ar achosion unigol. Ond mae'r Ddeddf Cydraddoldeb yn datgan bod gwahaniaethu uniongyrchol yn digwydd pan fo pobl â nodweddion gwarchodedig, gan gynnwys anabledd, yn cael eu trin yn llai ffafriol nag eraill.

Mae Cymdeithas Genedlaethol Plant Byddar Cymru wedi rhybuddio bod niferoedd llai o athrawon plant byddar, a phroblemau eraill gyda diwygiadau Llywodraeth Cymru i anghenion dysgu ychwanegol, yn amharu ar ddisgyblion byddar. Codais hyn gyda chi wrth ymateb i’ch datganiad ar 5 Rhagfyr ar Ddiwrnod Rhyngwladol Pobl Anabl, ond ni chyfeirioch chi at hyn yn eich ymateb.

Pan godais hyn gyda’r Gweinidog addysg, tynnodd sylw at y buddsoddiad, dros y tair blynedd diwethaf, i gefnogi hyfforddiant ôl-raddedig ar gyfer athrawon yn yr awdurdodau lleol ar gyfer dysgwyr ag amhariad ar y synhwyrau. Siaradodd y Gymdeithas Genedlaethol i Blant Byddar, felly, â’r gwasanaethau ar lawr gwlad, a ddywedodd wrthynt fod hyn yn cael ei ddefnyddio i gadw nifer athrawon plant byddar ar yr un lefel, yn hytrach na’i ehangu, er bod un o bob pump wedi gadael y proffesiwn ers 2011. Dywedwyd wrthynt hefyd fod rhywfaint o'r cyllid wedi'i dargedu i raddau mwy at gydlynwyr anghenion dysgu ychwanegol a staff ysgolion i helpu i godi ymwybyddiaeth o fyddardod yn hytrach nag ymestyn y ddarpariaeth, ac nid yw hynny wedi darparu'r cwmpas i dyfu'r proffesiwn yn llawn na chefnogi plant byddar Cymru.

Felly, pa gamau mesuradwy a argymhellir gennych i fynd i'r afael â hyn, lle nad yw byddardod yn anhawster dysgu, ond lle mae plant byddar yn cael eu hanablu gan yr annhegwch parhaus o ran canlyniadau, a lle mae'r bwlch rhwng plant byddar a'u cyfoedion sy'n gallu clywed mewn perygl o dyfu'n ehangach fyth, yn groes i'r Ddeddf Cydraddoldeb?

Thank you, Mark Isherwood, and I do agree with you—it's universally recognised that the Equality and Human Rights Commission is heavily underfunded and that it doesn't have the resources to fully enforce the protections offered by the Equality Act. 

But, clearly, we have our responsibilities, and this is very much across Government, as you would recognise, in terms of the role and responsibilities of the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, particularly in response to the important questions you've raised. There are ongoing discussions and scrutiny about the needs of deaf children in education and additional learning needs. So, I will make sure that I take this back to the disability rights taskforce's children and young people's work stream—this is under way. As you know, the disability rights taskforce, which I co-chair, is responding to 'Locked out: liberating disabled people's lives and rights in Wales beyond COVID-19' report, very much based on the understanding of the social model of disability and co-produced with disabled people, including children and young people. So, I will take this back to the Minister for Education and the Welsh Language, but also to that work stream.

Diolch, Mark Isherwood, ac rwy'n cytuno â chi—cydnabyddir gan bawb fod y Comisiwn Cydraddoldeb a Hawliau Dynol yn cael ei danariannu'n ddifrifol, ac nad oes ganddo'r adnoddau i orfodi'r amddiffyniadau a gynigir gan y Ddeddf Cydraddoldeb yn llawn.

Ond yn amlwg, mae gennym ein cyfrifoldebau, ac mae a wnelo hyn â'r Llywodraeth gyfan, fel y byddech yn cydnabod, o ran rôl a chyfrifoldebau Gweinidog y Gymraeg ac Addysg, yn enwedig mewn ymateb i'r cwestiynau pwysig a godwyd gennych. Ceir trafodaethau a chraffu parhaus ynghylch anghenion plant byddar mewn addysg ac anghenion dysgu ychwanegol. Felly, byddaf yn sicr o fynd â'r mater yn ôl at ffrwd waith plant a phobl ifanc y tasglu hawliau pobl anabl—mae hyn ar y gweill. Fel y gwyddoch, mae’r tasglu hawliau pobl anabl yr wyf yn ei gyd-gadeirio yn ymateb i adroddiad 'Drws ar Glo: Datgloi bywydau a hawliau pobl anabl yng Nghymru ar ôl COVID-19’, sy'n seiliedig ar ddealltwriaeth o’r model cymdeithasol o anabledd ac wedi ei gydgynhyrchu gyda phobl anabl, gan gynnwys plant a phobl ifanc. Felly, fe af â'r mater hwn yn ôl at Weinidog y Gymraeg ac Addysg, ond hefyd at y ffrwd waith honno.

Cynhwysiant Digidol
Digital Inclusion

2. Pa gamau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn eu cymryd i wella cynhwysiant digidol yng Ngorllewin Caerfyrddin a De Sir Benfro? OQ60612

2. What action is the Welsh Government taking to improve digital inclusion in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire? OQ60612

Thank you for your question. Tackling digital exclusion is a social justice and equalities priority, and we are committed to ensuring citizens are digitally confident to make informed decisions on how they use and engage with digital means, and our latest roll-out has provided access to full fibre broadband to 1,409 premises in Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire. 

Diolch am eich cwestiwn. Mae mynd i’r afael ag allgáu digidol yn flaenoriaeth o ran cyfiawnder cymdeithasol a chydraddoldeb, ac rydym wedi ymrwymo i sicrhau bod dinasyddion yn ddigidol hyderus i wneud penderfyniadau gwybodus ynglŷn â sut maent yn defnyddio ac yn ymwneud â dulliau digidol, ac mae ein gwaith cyflwyno diweddaraf wedi darparu mynediad at fand eang ffeibr llawn i 1,409 o adeiladau yng Ngorllewin Caerfyrddin a De Sir Benfro.

Thank you, Minister, and I'm grateful for your commitment that digital inclusion is a social justice issue, because digital inclusion involves proficient and equitable access to, and use of, information and communication technologies that enable participation in modern, social and economic life—basically, the ability to use a computer for day-to-day tasks. Now, the digital world spans across virtually all industries and remits, including the likes of education, health and social services. Yet, one industry where digital inclusion is becoming more important, and possibly under the radar, is within the agricultural industry. Now, the sustainable farming scheme and future farm support will rely heavily on farmers collecting and inputting data into websites, including mapping. Now, the average age of a Welsh farmer is around 59 years of age, but, knowing age is no barrier to learning, what engagement have you had, as Minister, with the rural affairs Minister, and, most importantly, with the sector itself, to ensure that our farmers have access to training and skills so that they can use with ease the necessary digital agricultural platforms to run their business and maintain their livelihoods? Diolch, Llywydd.

Diolch, Weinidog, ac rwy’n ddiolchgar am eich ymrwymiad fod cynhwysiant digidol yn fater cyfiawnder cymdeithasol, gan fod cynhwysiant digidol yn ymwneud â mynediad hyfedr a theg at, a defnydd o, dechnoleg gwybodaeth a chyfathrebu sy’n galluogi cyfranogiad mewn bywyd modern, cymdeithasol ac economaidd—yn y bôn, y gallu i ddefnyddio cyfrifiadur ar gyfer tasgau o ddydd i ddydd. Nawr, mae'r byd digidol yn rhychwantu bron bob diwydiant a chylch gwaith, gan gynnwys meysydd addysg, iechyd a gwasanaethau cymdeithasol. Fodd bynnag, un diwydiant lle mae cynhwysiant digidol yn dod yn bwysicach, ac o dan y radar, o bosibl, yw yn y diwydiant amaethyddol. Nawr, bydd y cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy a chymorth i ffermydd yn y dyfodol yn dibynnu’n fawr ar ffermwyr yn casglu ac yn mewnbynnu data i wefannau, gan gynnwys mapio. Nawr, oedran cyfartalog ffermwr yng Nghymru yw oddeutu 59 mlwydd oed, ond gan wybod nad yw oedran yn rhwystr i ddysgu, pa ymgysylltiad a gawsoch, fel Gweinidog, â’r Gweinidog materion gwledig, ac yn bwysicaf oll, â’r sector ei hun, i sicrhau bod ein ffermwyr yn cael mynediad at hyfforddiant a sgiliau fel y gallant ddefnyddio'r platfformau amaethyddol digidol angenrheidiol yn rhwydd i redeg eu busnes a chynnal eu bywoliaeth? Diolch, Lywydd.

13:35

Thank you for raising that really important point about the needs of farmers in terms of digital inclusion in the agricultural industry, as you say, in terms of the profile. Just looking at the statistics, 93 per cent of adults in Wales are now using the internet, compared to just 66 per cent in 2010. But there is an age profile, and it is about skills, isn't it, and it's about access to skills as well. So, this is being addressed by the 'Digital strategy for Wales', and that's a programme for government commitment. It makes clear that, for people who can't, or decide not to, participate digitally, we have to find ways in which to access them, to increase their skills. And I just have to say that, since July 2019, our digital inclusion in health programme, for example, has supported 18,216 people in Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire with motivation and basic digital skills needed to use the internet effectively. And we now are developing a minimum digital living standard for Wales. But this has to ensure that we do reach out to business and industry—the agriculture industry. I will discuss this with the Minister for rural affairs, recognising of course that Farming Connect, and all those engaged in the sustainable farming scheme and the implementation and delivery of it, will be up to speed on all of this. And I know we can report back to you on the developments, particularly in relation to supporting the farming community with digital skills.

Diolch am godi’r pwynt gwirioneddol bwysig hwnnw am anghenion ffermwyr o ran cynhwysiant digidol yn y diwydiant amaethyddol, fel y dywedwch, o ran y proffil. O edrych ar yr ystadegau, mae 93 y cant o oedolion yng Nghymru bellach yn defnyddio’r rhyngrwyd, o gymharu â 66 y cant yn unig yn 2010. Ond mae proffil oedran yma, ac mae'n ymwneud â sgiliau, onid yw, ac mae a wnelo â mynediad at sgiliau hefyd. Felly, mae'r 'Strategaeth Ddigidol i Gymru' yn mynd i'r afael â hyn, ac mae hynny'n ymrwymiad yn y rhaglen lywodraethu. Mae’n nodi'n glir, i bobl na allant, neu sy’n penderfynu peidio â chymryd rhan yn ddigidol, fod rhaid inni ddod o hyd i ffyrdd o gael mynediad atynt, er mwyn cynyddu eu sgiliau. Ac mae'n rhaid imi ddweud, ers mis Gorffennaf 2019, fod ein rhaglen cynhwysiant digidol ym maes iechyd, er enghraifft, wedi cefnogi 18,216 o bobl yn sir Gaerfyrddin a sir Benfro gyda'r cymhelliant a'r sgiliau digidol sylfaenol sydd eu hangen i ddefnyddio'r rhyngrwyd yn effeithiol. Ac rydym bellach yn datblygu safon byw digidol gofynnol i Gymru. Ond mae'n rhaid i hyn sicrhau ein bod yn estyn allan at fusnesau a diwydiant—y diwydiant amaethyddol. Byddaf yn trafod hyn gyda’r Gweinidog materion gwledig, gan gydnabod wrth gwrs y bydd Cyswllt Ffermio, a phawb sy’n ymwneud â’r cynllun ffermio cynaliadwy a’r gwaith o'i redeg a'i roi ar waith yn ymwybodol o hyn oll. A gwn y gallwn adrodd yn ôl i chi ar y datblygiadau, yn enwedig mewn perthynas â chefnogi'r gymuned ffermio â sgiliau digidol.

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

Cwestiynau nawr gan lefarwyr y pleidiau. Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr Cymreig, Mark Isherwood.

Questions now from party spokespeople. The Welsh Conservatives' spokesperson, Mark Isherwood.

Diolch, Llywydd. For many years, service providers and researchers across the sector have been calling for a coherent and integrated Welsh benefits system for all the means-tested benefits the Welsh Government is responsible for. Last week, you launched the Welsh Government's benefits charter, telling us it aims to increase take-up of Welsh benefits, enabling more people in Wales to take up their entitlement, and identify and remove the barriers that prevent people from claiming their entitlements. However, the Welsh Local Government Association then issued a press release that made clear that, far from being the launch of a Welsh benefits system, local authorities had only agreed to work with the Welsh Government to take action towards developing a consistent Welsh benefits system. So, just as the Children's Commissioner for Wales stated in the context of your child poverty strategy, the lack of detail on actions, timescales and deliverables again means that there is no way of holding the Welsh Government to account. Questioning you on the child poverty strategy here last week, I therefore asked what is your timescale for the introduction of a Welsh benefits system, and what targets will be in place to measure progress. You failed to answer. Will you do so now?

Diolch, Lywydd. Ers blynyddoedd lawer, mae darparwyr gwasanaethau ac ymchwilwyr ar draws y sector wedi bod yn galw am system fudd-daliadau gydlynol ac integredig i Gymru ar gyfer yr holl fudd-daliadau sy'n dibynnu ar brawf modd y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn gyfrifol amdanynt. Yr wythnos diwethaf, fe wnaethoch lansio siarter budd-daliadau Llywodraeth Cymru, a dweud wrthym mai ei nod yw cynyddu’r nifer sy’n hawlio budd-daliadau yng Nghymru, gan alluogi mwy o bobl yng Nghymru i fanteisio ar yr hyn y mae ganddynt hawl iddo, a nodi a chael gwared ar y rhwystrau sy’n atal pobl rhag hawlio'r hyn sy'n ddyledus iddynt. Fodd bynnag, cyhoeddodd Cymdeithas Llywodraeth Leol Cymru ddatganiad i’r wasg wedyn, a oedd yn nodi’n glir fod hyn ymhell o fod yn lansiad system fudd-daliadau Cymru, a bod awdurdodau lleol ond wedi cytuno i weithio gyda Llywodraeth Cymru er mwyn cymryd camau tuag at ddatblygu system fudd-daliadau gyson i Gymru. Felly, yn union fel y dywedodd Comisiynydd Plant Cymru yng nghyd-destun eich strategaeth tlodi plant, mae’r diffyg manylion am gamau gweithredu, amserlenni a’r hyn y gellir ei gyflawni unwaith eto'n golygu nad oes unrhyw ffordd o ddwyn Llywodraeth Cymru i gyfrif. Wrth eich holi ar y strategaeth tlodi plant yma yr wythnos diwethaf, gofynnais beth yw eich amserlen felly ar gyfer cyflwyno system fudd-daliadau Gymreig, a pha dargedau a fydd ar waith i fesur cynnydd. Ni wnaethoch ateb. A wnewch chi wneud hynny nawr?

Thank you very much. I'm really glad, Mark Isherwood, that you've drawn attention to our Welsh benefits charter, which I'm very proud that I launched last Monday. I launched it in Blaenavon resource centre. In fact, the designated Member, Siân Gwenllian, was alongside me, because this is all part of our work to explore the devolution of benefits. It's about developing a Welsh benefits system, and a Welsh benefits charter is part of that. I'm sure you will have seen the charter. All 22 local authorities signed up to this. I met with the partnership council, with the Minister for Finance and Local Government, and all the leaders, in November, and they all have signed up and endorsed it. But, as you say, it's about putting the charter into practice, so there's going to be an independent external reference group, which will be chaired by Fran Targett, who is a very significant figure in the third sector. But the charter outcomes are here in the document: to increase take-up of Welsh benefits; help maximise household incomes; contribute to tackling poverty in Wales; awareness of benefit entitlement, which is key, obviously, to the delivery of the child poverty strategy; commitments on income maximisation and welfare benefit take-up; reduction in the need for emergency aid; take-up measured by the number of people supported via Welsh Government benefit schemes. So, again, you will hear much more about this when I make an oral statement about this on 20 February.

Diolch yn fawr iawn. Rwy'n falch iawn, Mark Isherwood, eich bod wedi tynnu sylw at siarter budd-daliadau Cymru yr oeddwn yn falch iawn o'i lansio ddydd Llun diwethaf. Fe’i lansiais yng nghanolfan adnoddau Blaenafon. A dweud y gwir, roedd yr Aelod dynodedig, Siân Gwenllian, gyda mi, gan fod hyn oll yn rhan o’n gwaith i archwilio datganoli budd-daliadau. Mae'n ymwneud â datblygu system fudd-daliadau Gymreig, ac mae siarter budd-daliadau Cymru yn rhan o hynny. Rwy’n siŵr y byddwch wedi gweld y siarter. Mae pob un o'r 22 awdurdod lleol wedi ymrwymo i hyn. Cyfarfûm â’r cyngor partneriaeth, gyda’r Gweinidog Cyllid a Llywodraeth Leol, a’r holl arweinwyr, ym mis Tachwedd, ac mae pob un ohonynt wedi ymrwymo iddi ac wedi ei chymeradwyo. Ond fel y dywedwch, mae a wnelo â rhoi'r siarter ar waith, felly bydd gennym grŵp cyfeirio allanol annibynnol, a fydd yn cael ei gadeirio gan Fran Targett, sy'n unigolyn pwysig iawn yn y trydydd sector. Ond mae canlyniadau’r siarter yma yn y ddogfen: cynyddu nifer y bobl sy'n manteisio ar fudd-daliadau Cymreig; helpu i wneud y mwyaf o incwm aelwydydd; cyfrannu at fynd i'r afael â thlodi yng Nghymru; gwell ymwybyddiaeth o hawl i fudd-daliadau, sy’n allweddol, yn amlwg, i gyflawni’r strategaeth tlodi plant; cyflawni ymrwymiadau ar wneud y mwyaf o incwm a'r nifer sy'n manteisio ar fudd-daliadau lles; gostyngiad yn yr angen am gymorth brys; mesur y nifer sy’n manteisio yn ôl nifer y bobl a gefnogir drwy gynlluniau budd-daliadau Llywodraeth Cymru. Felly, unwaith eto, fe fyddwch yn clywed llawer mwy am hyn pan fyddaf yn gwneud datganiad llafar ar hyn ar 20 Chwefror.

13:40

Diolch. This was first raised with us almost a decade ago by the sector in committee, and in this Chamber by me and others. And you still haven't told me what timescale you're working to for the introduction of a Welsh benefits system, and whether you will have any targets in place to measure progress.

The Bevan Foundation states that it's eager to ensure that the Welsh Government delivers on its commitment to establish a Welsh benefits system in the round. How do you, therefore, respond to their statement that, although the current arrangements are based on collaboration and partnership, as participation is therefore voluntary, there's a risk that some bodies do not participate at all, while others do their own thing, and to their calls on the Welsh Government—including to put participation on a firmer footing by requiring local authorities to align their administration of a council tax reduction scheme with other devolved schemes that they administer—to set out a clear route-map to bring other means-tested grants and allowances into the system, beyond the original idea of seven different schemes brought into a common framework, and to reimburse local authorities and, potentially, others in due course, for additional costs, starting with the council tax reduction scheme, where there is expected to be the largest increase in take-up?

Diolch. Codwyd hyn gyda ni gyntaf bron i ddegawd yn ôl gan y sector yn y pwyllgor, ac yn y Siambr hon gennyf i ac eraill. Ac nid ydych wedi dweud wrthyf o hyd pa amserlen yr ydych yn gweithio iddi ar gyfer cyflwyno system fudd-daliadau Gymreig, ac a fydd gennych unrhyw dargedau ar waith i fesur cynnydd.

Mae Sefydliad Bevan yn nodi eu bod yn awyddus i sicrhau bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn cyflawni ei hymrwymiad i sefydlu system fudd-daliadau briodol i Gymru. Sut ydych chi'n ymateb, felly, i’w datganiad, er bod y trefniadau presennol yn seiliedig ar gydweithredu a phartneriaeth, a bod cyfranogiad o'r herwydd yn wirfoddol, fod yna risg na fydd rhai cyrff yn cymryd rhan o gwbl, tra bydd eraill yn gwneud fel y mynnant, ac i'w galwadau ar Lywodraeth Cymru—gan gynnwys rhoi sylfaen gadarnach i gyfranogiad drwy ei gwneud yn ofynnol i awdurdodau lleol alinio'r gwaith o weinyddu cynllun gostyngiadau’r dreth gyngor â chynlluniau datganoledig eraill y maent yn eu gweinyddu—i nodi llwybr clir ar gyfer cynnwys lwfansau a grantiau eraill sy'n dibynnu ar brawf modd yn y system, y tu hwnt i’r syniad gwreiddiol o gynnwys saith cynllun gwahanol mewn fframwaith cyffredin, ac i ad-dalu costau ychwanegol i awdurdodau lleol ac eraill, o bosibl, maes o law, gan ddechrau gyda chynllun gostyngiadau’r dreth gyngor, lle mae disgwyl y cynnydd mwyaf yn y nifer sy'n manteisio arno?

Well, I can say that you'll hear much more about this on 20 February, and I think, Llywydd, you will want me not to say much more today, because that will be the oral statement. 

But can I just say that this Welsh benefits charter is very much based on not only the work of the Bevan Foundation, which produced a very good report, 'Making the case for a Welsh Benefits System—people’s experiences', and we've drawn directly from that report, but also—and John Griffiths, of course, chaired, and, I think, you sat on—the Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee that did this important work that led us to develop the charter. One of the key points about the charter, which is reflected in the work of the Bevan Foundation, is that this is the development of a coherent Welsh benefits system to be at the heart of a compassionate, joined-up and person-centred system, where a person only has to tell their story once to access all their entitlements. And that is what the leader of Torfaen council, Councillor Anthony Hunt—on behalf of all leaders—said that they are committed to, that compassionate, joined-up, person-centred system, which we certainly do not have, I would say, in the UK social security system, which still turns to sanctions, causing great hardship and grief to the people who experience that.

But this charter is based on respect for fundamental human rights and equality. And one approach is the council tax reduction scheme—yes, we need a great deal more take-up of that scheme—but also, eligibility for free school meals, the schools essentials grant, education maintenance allowance. Those are all the benefits that we, with local government, will ensure can be taken up in one application, one contact, accessing their entitlements—one story.

Wel, gallaf ddweud y byddwch yn clywed llawer mwy am hyn ar 20 Chwefror, ac rwy'n credu, Lywydd, y byddwch am imi beidio â dweud llawer mwy heddiw, gan mai dyna fydd y datganiad llafar.

Ond a gaf i ddweud bod y siarter budd-daliadau Cymru yn seiliedig nid yn unig ar waith Sefydliad Bevan, a gynhyrchodd adroddiad da iawn, 'Making the case for a Welsh Benefits System—people’s experiences', ac rydym wedi gwneud defnydd uniongyrchol o'r adroddiad hwnnw, ond hefyd y Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb, Llywodraeth Leol a Chymunedau—a gadeiriwyd gan John Griffiths, wrth gwrs, ac rwy'n credu eich bod chi'n aelod ohono—a wnaeth y gwaith pwysig hwn a’n harweiniodd i ddatblygu’r siarter. Un o’r pwyntiau allweddol am y siarter, a adlewyrchir yng ngwaith Sefydliad Bevan, yw bod hyn yn ymwneud â datblygu system fudd-daliadau gydlynol i Gymru i fod wrth wraidd system dosturiol a chydgysylltiedig sy’n canolbwyntio ar unigolion, lle mae'n rhaid i unigolyn adrodd eu stori unwaith yn unig i gael mynediad at eu holl hawliau. A dyna a ddywedodd arweinydd cyngor Torfaen, y Cynghorydd Anthony Hunt—ar ran yr holl arweinwyr—eu bod wedi ymrwymo i system dosturiol a chydgysylltiedig sy’n canolbwyntio ar unigolion, sy'n rhywbeth nad oes gennym, yn fy marn i, yn system nawdd cymdeithasol y DU, sy’n dal i droi at sancsiynau, gan achosi caledi a gofid aruthrol i’r bobl sy’n eu hwynebu.

Ond mae'r siarter hon yn seiliedig ar barch at hawliau dynol sylfaenol a chydraddoldeb. Ac un dull yw cynllun gostyngiadau'r dreth gyngor—oes, mae arnom angen i lawer mwy o bobl fanteisio ar y cynllun hwnnw—ond hefyd, cymhwysedd i gael prydau ysgol am ddim, y grant hanfodion ysgol, y lwfans cynhaliaeth addysg. Dyna'r holl fudd-daliadau y byddwn ni, gyda llywodraeth leol, yn sicrhau y gellir cael mynediad atynt drwy un cais, un cysylltiad, i allu manteisio ar eu hawliau—un stori.

Thank you. Well, I hope, although you've still failed to address the points, that you can at least confirm that there will be targets and timescales, even if you have to wait for your statement before you can share the detail with us. And, as you indicate, the Bevan Foundation have been raising this for years, as have multiple other organisations, and this was captured in the evidence to the committee in that inquiry that I was party to. 

The Welsh benefits charter states that the Welsh Government and local authorities, and other delivery partners, key stakeholders and people accessing benefits will work in partnership to design an inclusive system. During evidence taking for the 2019 Equality, Local Government and Communities Committee inquiry into 'Benefits in Wales: options for better delivery', witnesses including Community Housing Cymru called for better integration between job centres and locally delivered services, including data sharing between the Department for Work and Pensions and local authorities. However, the Welsh benefits charter only refers to,

'continuing to work with the Department for Work and Pensions...to raise awareness and promote the take-up of non-devolved benefits in Wales',

without any reference to a collaborative role for local Jobcentre Plus offices, which are already established to administer non-devolved welfare benefits, and which, working with local authorities, can become a single point of contact for devolved benefits also. This is what the sector called for nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, one years ago. So, what, if any, discussions have you had with the UK Department for Work and Pensions regarding the role that Jobcentre Plus can play in an integrated Welsh benefits system, working collaboratively with local authorities across Wales?

Diolch. Wel, er eich bod wedi methu ymateb i'r pwyntiau o hyd, rwy'n gobeithio y gallwch o leiaf gadarnhau y bydd targedau ac amserlenni, hyd yn oed os bydd yn rhaid ichi aros am eich datganiad cyn y gallwch rannu’r manylion â ni. Ac fel y dywedwch, mae Sefydliad Bevan wedi bod yn codi hyn ers blynyddoedd, yn ogystal â sawl sefydliad arall, ac roedd hyn yn rhan o'r dystiolaeth i'r pwyllgor yn yr ymchwiliad hwnnw y bûm yn rhan ohono.

Mae siarter budd-daliadau Cymru yn nodi y bydd Llywodraeth Cymru ac awdurdodau lleol, a phartneriaid cyflawni eraill, rhanddeiliaid allweddol a phobl sy’n cael budd-daliadau yn gweithio mewn partneriaeth i lunio system gynhwysol. Wrth gasglu tystiolaeth yn 2019 ar gyfer ymchwiliad y Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb, Llywodraeth Leol a Chymunedau, 'Budd-daliadau yng Nghymru: opsiynau i'w cyflawni'n well', galwodd tystion, gan gynnwys Cartrefi Cymunedol Cymru, am well integreiddio rhwng canolfannau gwaith a gwasanaethau a ddarperir yn lleol, gan gynnwys rhannu data rhwng yr Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau ac awdurdodau lleol. Fodd bynnag, nid yw siarter budd-daliadau Cymru ond yn cyfeirio at:

'barhau i weithio gyda'r Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau...i godi ymwybyddiaeth ac annog pobl i fanteisio ar fudd-daliadau nad ydynt wedi'u datganoli yng Nghymru',

heb unrhyw gyfeiriad at rôl gydweithredol i swyddfeydd lleol y Ganolfan Byd Gwaith, sydd eisoes wedi’u sefydlu i weinyddu budd-daliadau lles nad ydynt wedi’u datganoli, ac a all, drwy weithio gydag awdurdodau lleol, ddod yn un pwynt cyswllt ar gyfer budd-daliadau datganoledig hefyd. Dyma oedd y sector yn galw amdano naw mlynedd, wyth mlynedd, saith mlynedd, chwe blynedd, bum mlynedd, bedair blynedd, dair blynedd, ddwy flynedd, un flwyddyn yn ôl. Felly, pa drafodaethau, os o gwbl, a gawsoch chi gydag Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau’r DU ynghylch y rôl y gall y Ganolfan Byd Gwaith ei chwarae mewn system fudd-daliadau integredig yng Nghymru, gan weithio ar y cyd gydag awdurdodau lleol ledled Cymru?

13:45

I think there clearly have been moves towards joining up a Welsh benefits system for many years, but they've tended to be fragmented and piecemeal, with no strategic lead. We are responding to this with the creation of a coherent Welsh benefits system. It would be good if you could actually welcome the launch by 22 local authorities and the Welsh Government for this Welsh benefits charter. I haven't heard that yet from you. And I have to say, I wonder if you will go back to your colleagues in Westminster and, indeed, make representations. When the Welsh Affairs Committee actually did a really important piece of work about what the impact of the social security system—UK social security system—had on people in Wales—.

We know that the benefit levels are too low—people are in poverty across the UK because of the low levels of UK benefits. The inequities and ill-advised use of sanctions, which are still being used, and the DWP obviously underlining and endorsing that—. So, let's just look at what we're trying to do in Wales. But of course we work, where we can, not just with Jobcentre Plus—and we all work with our local jobcentres—to ensure that there is a take-up not just of our benefits, but of very important benefits like pension credit. And that's where I am working closely with the DWP Minister to ensure that we can get that data sharing, so local authorities can encourage citizens to take up pension credit, which is an important, non-devolved benefit. 

Yn amlwg, credaf fod ymdrechion wedi'u gwneud ers blynyddoedd lawer i greu system fudd-daliadau gydgysylltiedig i Gymru, ond maent wedi tueddu i fod yn fratiog ac yn dameidiog, heb unrhyw arweiniad strategol. Rydym yn ymateb i hyn drwy greu system fudd-daliadau gydlynol i Gymru. Byddai’n dda pe gallech groesawu lansiad siarter budd-daliadau Cymru gan 22 o awdurdodau lleol a Llywodraeth Cymru. Nid wyf wedi clywed hynny gennych eto. Ac mae'n rhaid imi ddweud, tybed a fyddwch chi'n mynd yn ôl at gyd-aelodau o'ch plaid yn San Steffan, ac yn gwneud sylwadau yn wir. Pan wnaeth y Pwyllgor Materion Cymreig waith pwysig iawn ar yr effaith y mae'r system nawdd cymdeithasol—system nawdd cymdeithasol y DU—yn ei chael ar bobl yng Nghymru—.

Gwyddom fod lefelau'r budd-daliadau’n rhy isel—mae pobl mewn tlodi ledled y DU o ganlyniad i lefelau isel budd-daliadau’r DU. Mae’r annhegwch a’r defnydd annoeth o sancsiynau, sy’n dal i gael eu defnyddio, a’r Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau yn amlwg yn tanlinellu ac yn cymeradwyo hynny—. Felly, gadewch inni edrych ar yr hyn y ceisiwn ei wneud yng Nghymru. Ond wrth gwrs, rydym yn gweithio, lle gallwn, nid yn unig gyda'r Ganolfan Byd Gwaith—ac mae pob un ohonom yn gweithio gyda'n canolfannau gwaith lleol—i sicrhau bod pobl nid yn unig yn manteisio ar ein budd-daliadau, ond hefyd ar fudd-daliadau pwysig iawn fel credyd pensiwn. A dyna lle rwy’n gweithio’n agos gyda Gweinidog yr Adran Gwaith a Phensiynau i sicrhau bod y data hwnnw'n cael ei rannu, fel y gall awdurdodau lleol annog dinasyddion i fanteisio ar gredyd pensiwn, budd-dal pwysig nad yw wedi'i ddatganoli.

Llefarydd Plaid Cymru nawr—Sioned Williams. 

Plaid Cymru spokesperson now—Sioned Williams. 

Diolch, Llywydd. Citizens Advice Cymru has just published their 2023 review dashboard highlights, which show that they are continuing to help unprecedented numbers of people in crisis. By the end of the year, they'd referred 21,000 people to foodbanks or other charitable support for the first time, almost double the number of 2021. And after another year of record high energy prices and decreasing levels of Government support, this winter they've helped more people with energy debt than ever before. They're seeing some of the highest numbers of people seeking help with arrears on council tax debt, water debt and rent arrears, and the level of that debt has increased.

One of the only recommendations of the Government's expert group on the cost-of-living crisis that has seen any action is that on bringing together Welsh financial support into that streamlined and automatic system we all want to see that would help alleviate poverty. And as we've heard, you launched last week the Welsh benefits charter, as that first step towards the Welsh benefits system, which Plaid Cymru has long backed and is actively working towards through the co-operation agreement. I share the concerns that it's not on a statutory footing.

But the report of the expert group also draws attention to the fact that simplifying the way Welsh benefits are delivered must go hand in hand with an increase in the eligibility thresholds and value of payments, stating that the eligibility thresholds for free school meals for older pupils, school essentials grants, education maintenance allowances have been frozen for several years, and that a household then has to be very much poorer to be eligible for these schemes than four years ago. So, does the Welsh Government accept the need to address this and review and align the different eligibility thresholds, as part of the implementation arrangements for the Welsh benefits charter? 

Diolch, Lywydd. Mae Cyngor ar Bopeth Cymru newydd gyhoeddi dangosfwrdd eu hadolygiad ar gyfer 2023, sy’n dangos eu bod yn parhau i helpu niferoedd digynsail o bobl mewn argyfwng. Erbyn diwedd y flwyddyn, roeddent wedi cyfeirio 21,000 o bobl at fanciau bwyd neu gymorth elusennol arall am y tro cyntaf, bron i ddwbl y nifer yn 2021. Ac ar ôl blwyddyn arall o'r prisiau ynni uchaf erioed a lefelau llai a llai o gymorth gan y Llywodraeth, y gaeaf hwn, maent wedi helpu mwy o bobl sydd â dyledion ynni nag erioed o'r blaen. Maent yn gweld niferoedd uchel iawn o bobl yn ceisio cymorth gydag ôl-ddyledion y dreth gyngor, dyledion dŵr ac ôl-ddyledion rhent, ac mae lefel y ddyled honno wedi cynyddu.

Un o'r unig argymhellion gan grŵp arbenigol y Llywodraeth ar yr argyfwng costau byw sydd wedi arwain at unrhyw gamau gweithredu yw'r un ar ddod â chymorth ariannol Cymru ynghyd mewn system symlach ac awtomatig y mae pob un ohonom yn dymuno'i gweld ac a fyddai’n helpu i leihau tlodi. Ac fel y clywsom, yr wythnos diwethaf, fe wnaethoch lansio siarter budd-daliadau Cymru, fel cam cyntaf tuag at system fudd-daliadau Gymreig, y mae Plaid Cymru wedi'i chefnogi ers tro ac yr ydym yn gweithio tuag ati drwy'r cytundeb cydweithio. Rhannaf y pryderon nad yw honno ar sail statudol.

Ond mae adroddiad y grŵp arbenigol hefyd yn tynnu sylw at y ffaith bod yn rhaid i symleiddio’r ffordd y caiff budd-daliadau Cymreig eu darparu ddod law yn llaw â sicrhau cynnydd yn y trothwyon cymhwysedd a gwerth taliadau, gan nodi bod y trothwyon cymhwysedd ar gyfer prydau ysgol am ddim i ddisgyblion hŷn, grantiau hanfodion ysgol a'r lwfansau cynhaliaeth addysg wedi’u rhewi ers sawl blwyddyn, a bod yn rhaid i aelwyd wedyn fod yn llawer iawn tlotach i fod yn gymwys ar gyfer y cynlluniau hyn na phedair blynedd yn ôl. Felly, a yw Llywodraeth Cymru yn derbyn bod angen mynd i’r afael â hyn ac adolygu ac alinio’r gwahanol drothwyon cymhwysedd, fel rhan o’r trefniadau gweithredu ar gyfer siarter budd-daliadau Cymru?

Well, I'm very grateful again for the work that we've done together, as part of the co-operation agreement, to take us forward to the point where not only did we launch the Welsh benefits charter last week, and, in fact, in Torfaen, but my colleague the Deputy Minister for Social Partnership visited Ynys Môn, and saw the great work on the front line there. And the designated Member and I are also going west to meet other authorities, just to see ways in which they are delivering on the delivery of the charter and what that commitment actually means.

Now, clearly, in terms of our response to the cost-of-living crisis expert group, as I said in my written statement last week, we are taking immediate action in response to many of the recommendations—the Welsh benefits charter being just one response to that. But also, I think, continuing the roll-out of free school meals in all primary schools, as part of the co-operation agreement, is a clear indication of priorities. But this is, in terms of our draft budget—. The £1.3 billion hole in it, as a result of the UK Government's atrocious settlement for us—. We are in a very difficult place financially, as you know. I think it's really excellent that we've been able to increase the education maintenance allowance from £30 to £40. That's really important to the young people I met last week in Cardiff and Vale College in Dumballs Road, just down the road—young people who are actually now accessing hospitality, catering and building maintenance and doing their A-levels, and who are able to access the education maintenance allowance. But constrained finances, as a result of the UK Government and 13 years of austerity and £1.3 billion out of our budget means that this is about priorities. Now, I'm very proud of the fact that we have been able to safeguard our discretionary assistance fund, and that helps. We have safeguarded, also, the funding that we're putting into our Fuel Bank Foundation and into our single advice fund, so that people can take up those benefits.

Wel, rwy’n ddiolchgar iawn unwaith eto am y gwaith a wnaethom gyda’n gilydd fel rhan o’r cytundeb cydweithio, i sicrhau ein bod yn cyrraedd pwynt lle nid yn unig ein bod wedi lansio siarter budd-daliadau Cymru yr wythnos diwethaf, yn Nhorfaen yn wir, ond hefyd ymwelodd fy nghyd-Aelod, y Dirprwy Weinidog Partneriaeth Gymdeithasol ag Ynys Môn, a gweld y gwaith gwych ar y rheng flaen yno. Ac mae'r Aelod dynodedig a minnau hefyd yn mynd tua'r gorllewin i gyfarfod ag awdurdodau eraill er mwyn gweld y ffyrdd y maent yn cyflawni'r siarter a'r hyn y mae'r ymrwymiad hwnnw'n ei olygu mewn gwirionedd.

Nawr, yn amlwg, o ran ein hymateb i'r grŵp arbenigol ar yr argyfwng costau byw, fel y dywedais yn fy natganiad ysgrifenedig yr wythnos diwethaf, rydym yn cymryd camau ar unwaith mewn ymateb i lawer o'r argymhellion—dim ond un ymateb i hynny yw siarter budd-daliadau Cymru. Ond hefyd, credaf fod parhau i gyflwyno prydau ysgol am ddim ym mhob ysgol gynradd, fel rhan o’r cytundeb cydweithio, yn arwydd clir o'r blaenoriaethau. Ond mae hyn, o ran ein cyllideb ddrafft—. Mae’r twll o £1.3 biliwn ynddi, o ganlyniad i setliad erchyll Llywodraeth y DU i ni—. Rydym mewn lle anodd iawn yn ariannol, fel y gwyddoch. Credaf ei bod yn wych iawn ein bod wedi gallu cynyddu'r lwfans cynhaliaeth addysg o £30 i £40. Mae hynny'n bwysig iawn i'r bobl ifanc y cyfarfûm â hwy yr wythnos diwethaf yng Ngholeg Caerdydd a'r Fro ar Heol Dumballs, i lawr y ffordd—pobl ifanc sydd bellach yn cael mynediad at gyrsiau lletygarwch, arlwyo a chynnal a chadw adeiladau ac yn gwneud eu harholiadau Safon Uwch, ac sy'n gallu cael mynediad at y lwfans cynhaliaeth addysg. Ond mae cyllid cyfyngedig, o ganlyniad i Lywodraeth y DU a 13 mlynedd o gyni ac £1.3 biliwn allan o’n cyllideb yn golygu bod hyn yn ymwneud â blaenoriaethau. Nawr, rwy'n falch iawn o'r ffaith ein bod wedi gallu diogelu ein cronfa cymorth dewisol, ac mae hynny'n helpu. Rydym wedi diogelu, hefyd, y cyllid a roddwn i'n Sefydliad Banc Tanwydd ac i'n cronfa gynghori sengl, fel y gall pobl fanteisio ar y budd-daliadau hynny.

13:50

Diolch. The expert group also highlighted, of course, the effect of the cost-of-living crisis on older people in Wales. Around one in five older people in Wales live in poverty, and many more have been badly affected by the crisis. A report published yesterday by the Older People's Commissioner for Wales found that a significant number of older people in Wales, including a third of people aged 75 plus, find themselves digitally excluded and increasingly facing barriers when trying to access the information and support that is available. This is concerning, of course, not only because it affects access to support and entitlements, but it also increases costs for older people. Home insurance, for example, can cost up to 46 per cent more when purchased offline. The experience shared in the report paints a picture of a stark digital divide exacerbating the effect of the cost-of-living crisis on older people. The commissioner says that action must be taken to tackle this exclusion as a matter of urgency, and that's been echoed by Age Cymru. In light of this, it's therefore disappointing that there's a reduction of £500,000 in the draft budget for digital inclusion, compared to the indicative budget for 2024-25. This will mean reducing activity aimed at improving digital skills and access. So, could the Minister outline what assessment has been made of this cut and its effect on digital exclusion and poverty amongst older people?

Diolch. Tynnodd y grŵp arbenigol sylw hefyd, wrth gwrs, at effaith yr argyfwng costau byw ar bobl hŷn yng Nghymru. Mae oddeutu un o bob pump o bobl hŷn Cymru yn byw mewn tlodi, ac mae’r argyfwng wedi effeithio’n wael ar lawer mwy. Canfu adroddiad a gyhoeddwyd ddoe gan Gomisiynydd Pobl Hŷn Cymru fod nifer sylweddol o bobl hŷn yng Nghymru, gan gynnwys traean o bobl 75 oed a hŷn, wedi’u hallgáu’n ddigidol ac yn wynebu rhwystrau cynyddol wrth geisio cael mynediad at yr wybodaeth a’r cymorth sydd ar gael. Mae hyn yn peri pryder, wrth gwrs, nid yn unig am ei fod yn effeithio ar fynediad at gymorth a hawliau, ond mae hefyd yn cynyddu costau i bobl hŷn. Gall yswiriant cartref, er enghraifft, gostio hyd at 46 y cant yn fwy pan gaiff ei brynu all-lein. Mae’r profiad a rennir yn yr adroddiad yn cynnig darlun o hollt ddigidol amlwg sy’n gwaethygu effaith yr argyfwng costau byw ar bobl hŷn. Dywed y comisiynydd fod yn rhaid cymryd camau i fynd i’r afael â’r allgáu hwn fel mater o frys, ac mae hynny wedi’i adleisio gan Age Cymru. Yng ngoleuni hyn, mae’n siomedig felly fod gostyngiad o £500,000 yn y gyllideb ddrafft ar gyfer cynhwysiant digidol, o gymharu â’r gyllideb ddangosol ar gyfer 2024-25. Bydd hyn yn golygu lleihau gweithgarwch ar gyfer gwella sgiliau digidol a mynediad. Felly, a allai’r Gweinidog amlinellu pa asesiad a wnaed o’r toriad hwn a’i effaith ar allgáu digidol a thlodi ymhlith pobl hŷn?

Thank you very much. A really important question. It follows on from the question from Mark Isherwood in terms of the take-up of benefits and the take-up of those benefits that aren't devolved, like pension credit, and that is an area where the older people's commissioner has led a campaign, which we have engaged with, to increase the take-up. In fact, she was meeting with the First Minister only last week and, again, they were talking about ways in which we can reach out to older people to take up that campaign. And I think our Welsh benefits charter, the linking up of the system, the Welsh benefits system that we're developing, isn't going to be exclusively about our benefits, which of course we want to extend and increase when we get the budget to do so, but also about ensuring that people can take up pension credit. It makes such a significant difference to the lives of older people. So, we have a sub-group—as part of our Advicelink Cymru funding 'Claim what's yours' campaign, we've got a sub-group specifically tasked with increasing the take-up of pension credit.

Diolch yn fawr iawn. Cwestiwn gwirioneddol bwysig. Mae’n dilyn ymlaen o gwestiwn Mark Isherwood ar y nifer sy’n manteisio ar fudd-daliadau a’r nifer sy’n manteisio ar fudd-daliadau nad ydynt wedi’u datganoli, fel credyd pensiwn, ac mae hwnnw’n faes y mae’r comisiynydd pobl hŷn wedi arwain ymgyrch arno, ymgyrch yr ydym wedi ymgysylltu â hi, i gynyddu’r nifer sy’n manteisio ar y budd-dal. A dweud y gwir, cyfarfu â’r Prif Weinidog yr wythnos diwethaf, ac unwaith eto, buont yn siarad am ffyrdd y gallwn estyn allan at bobl hŷn i'w helpu i fanteisio ar yr ymgyrch honno. Ac ni chredaf y bydd siarter budd-daliadau Cymru, y gwaith o gydgysylltu'r system, y system fudd-daliadau Gymreig yr ydym yn ei datblygu, yn ymwneud yn unig â’n budd-daliadau ni, budd-daliadau yr ydym yn awyddus i'w hymestyn a’u cynyddu pan gawn y gyllideb i wneud hynny wrth gwrs, ond mae hefyd yn ymwneud â sicrhau y gall pobl hawlio credyd pensiwn. Mae’n gwneud gwahaniaeth mor bwysig i fywydau pobl hŷn. Felly, mae gennym is-grŵp—fel rhan o'n hymgyrch 'Hawliwch yr hyn sy’n ddyledus i chi' a ariennir drwy Advicelink Cymru, mae gennym is-grŵp sydd â'r dasg benodol o gynyddu'r nifer sy'n manteisio ar gredyd pensiwn.

Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus i Gyn-filwyr
Public Services for Veterans

3. Sut y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn cefnogi cyn-filwyr i gael mynediad at wasanaethau cyhoeddus? OQ60622

3. How is the Welsh Government supporting veterans to access public services? OQ60622

The Welsh Government is fully committed to the armed forces covenant and supporting servicepeople, veterans and their families in accessing public services. This includes the work of our armed forces liaison officers at the local level and through our support for veteran-specific NHS services.

Mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi ymrwymo’n llwyr i gyfamod y lluoedd arfog ac i gefnogi milwyr, cyn-filwyr a’u teuluoedd i gael mynediad at wasanaethau cyhoeddus. Mae hyn yn cynnwys gwaith ein swyddogion cysylltu â'r lluoedd arfog ar lefel leol a thrwy ein cymorth i wasanaethau GIG sy’n benodol ar gyfer cyn-filwyr.

Thank you, Minister. I think we can all be very proud here that, across the UK, we have the Armed Forces Act 2006, and we know that this monumental piece of legislation enshrines many of the principles championed by the armed forces covenant, such as placing a legal duty on public bodies to take into account ex-service personnel status. This sort of legislation is necessary, as we know veterans are more likely to report health conditions that limit daily tasks when compared to the general public, as a result of their time in active service, and this is one among many of the reasons why the armed forces covenant lays out that veterans should be entitled to priority treatment for conditions related to their service.

However, Minister, a constituent reached out to me and this highlighted how there may be some serious discrepancies in how this Act is applied across public bodies. The constituent has been faced with a 100-week wait to receive necessary health treatment for an injury sustained during active service. It has put enormous strain on himself, his family and partner, who are undertaking caring duties for him. So, Minister, in light of this, how does the Government monitor that public bodies don't just pay lip service to the covenant, but deliver on its expectations?

Diolch, Weinidog. Credaf y gall pob un ohonom fod yn falch iawn yma fod gennym, ledled y DU, Ddeddf y Lluoedd Arfog 2006, a gwyddom fod y Ddeddf aruthrol hon yn ymgorffori llawer o’r egwyddorion a hyrwyddir gan gyfamod y lluoedd arfog, megis gosod dyletswydd gyfreithiol ar gyrff cyhoeddus i ystyried statws cyn-bersonél y lluoedd arfog. Mae angen deddfwriaeth o'r fath, am y gwyddom fod cyn-filwyr yn fwy tebygol o nodi cyflyrau iechyd sy’n cyfyngu ar dasgau o ddydd i ddydd o gymharu â’r cyhoedd yn gyffredinol, o ganlyniad i’w cyfnod ar wasanaeth gweithredol, a dyma un o lawer o resymau pam fod cyfamod y lluoedd arfog yn nodi y dylai fod gan gyn-filwyr hawl i driniaeth flaenoriaethol ar gyfer cyflyrau sy’n gysylltiedig â’u gwasanaeth.

Fodd bynnag, Weinidog, cysylltodd etholwr â mi gan nodi sut y gallai fod rhai anghysondebau difrifol yn y ffordd y caiff y Ddeddf hon ei rhoi ar waith ar draws cyrff cyhoeddus. Mae'r etholwr wedi wynebu arhosiad o 100 wythnos i gael triniaeth iechyd angenrheidiol ar gyfer anaf a gafodd ar wasanaeth gweithredol. Mae wedi rhoi straen aruthrol arno ef, ei deulu a’i bartner, sy'n gofalu amdano. Felly, Weinidog, yng ngoleuni hyn, sut mae'r Llywodraeth yn monitro nad rhoi canmoliaeth wag i'r cyfamod yn unig y mae cyrff cyhoeddus yn ei wneud, a'u bod yn cyflawni ei ddisgwyliadau?

13:55

I thank Peter Fox for his question. I know that you're a passionate and committed advocate in this area, not least because of your own personal connections to the armed forces community here in Wales. Whilst I can't comment on individual cases, but more broadly on the support that's there and the mechanisms in place and how we can make sure that they are being followed as effectively and as efficiently as they should be. So, you're right to point out the armed forces covenant has two principles at the core of that: those who have served should face no disadvantage compared with other citizens in the provision of public services, and also that special consideration is appropriate in some cases, especially those who have given the most, such as the injured.

The armed forces due regard duty has been a legal requirement since November 2022, and that applies in Wales to local authorities, health boards and schools, and that means to have due regard to that armed forces covenant as part of that, and the organisations need to consciously consider the unique responsibilities and sacrifices made by members of the armed forces. I'm aware there is work across Wales, where local health boards and authorities are implementing positive changes, such as how they identify the armed forces people in accessing services for veterans and in some of their policies to improve awareness of issues that those in the armed forces may encounter. Whilst I can't intervene in individual cases, it's something that I can take back, just to make sure that that due regard duty has been embedded as effectively as it can be in all those bodies that are subject to it now.

Diolch i Peter Fox am ei gwestiwn. Gwn eich bod yn dadlau'n angerddol ac yn ymroddedig yn y maes hwn, yn enwedig oherwydd eich cysylltiadau personol eich hun â chymuned y lluoedd arfog yma yng Nghymru. Er na allaf wneud sylwadau ar achosion unigol, ond yn fwy cyffredinol ar y cymorth sydd ar gael a'r mecanweithiau sydd ar waith a sut y gallwn sicrhau eu bod yn cael eu dilyn mor effeithiol ac mor effeithlon ag y dylid ei wneud. Felly, rydych yn llygad eich lle i nodi bod gan gyfamod y lluoedd arfog ddwy egwyddor ganolog: ni ddylai’r rhai sydd wedi gwasanaethu wynebu unrhyw anfantais o gymharu â dinasyddion eraill mewn perthynas â'r ddarpariaeth o wasanaethau cyhoeddus, a hefyd fod ystyriaeth arbennig yn briodol mewn rhai achosion, yn enwedig y rheini sydd wedi rhoi fwyaf, megis y rhai a glwyfwyd.

Mae dyletswydd sylw dyladwy'r lluoedd arfog wedi bod yn ofyniad cyfreithiol ers mis Tachwedd 2022, ac mae hynny’n berthnasol yng Nghymru i awdurdodau lleol, byrddau iechyd ac ysgolion, a golyga roi sylw dyledus i gyfamod y lluoedd arfog yn rhan o hynny, ac mae angen i’r sefydliadau roi ystyriaeth briodol i'r cyfrifoldebau a'r aberthau unigryw a wneir gan aelodau'r lluoedd arfog. Rwy’n ymwybodol fod gwaith yn mynd rhagddo ledled Cymru, lle mae byrddau iechyd ac awdurdodau lleol yn rhoi newidiadau cadarnhaol ar waith, megis y ffordd y maent yn adnabod pobl y lluoedd arfog ar gyfer cael mynediad at wasanaethau i gyn-filwyr ac yn rhai o’u polisïau i wella ymwybyddiaeth o faterion y gall aelodau o'r lluoedd arfog eu hwynebu. Er na allaf ymyrryd mewn achosion unigol, mae'n fater y gallaf fynd ag ef yn ôl, er mwyn sicrhau bod y ddyletswydd sylw dyladwy honno wedi'i hymgorffori mor effeithiol ag y gall fod yn yr holl gyrff sy'n ddarostyngedig iddi nawr.

Mesuryddion Rhagdalu
Prepayment Meters

4. Pa asesiad y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i wneud o effaith mesuryddion rhagdalu ar dlodi tanwydd? OQ60608

4. What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the impact of prepayment meters on fuel poverty? OQ60608

Thank you for the question. Many of the 200,000 Welsh householders on prepayment meters are on the lowest incomes and are at risk of self-disconnecting as they struggle to make ends meet. We're here to help with emergency funds, support on income maximisation and free energy efficiency measures.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn. Mae llawer o’r 200,000 o ddeiliaid tai yng Nghymru sydd ar fesuryddion rhagdalu ar yr incwm isaf ac mewn perygl o hunanddatgysylltu wrth iddynt frwydro i gael deupen llinyn ynghyd. Rydym yma i helpu gyda chronfeydd brys, cymorth ar weithredu pwyslais ar incwm a mesurau effeithlonrwydd ynni am ddim.

Diolch, Gweinidog. The forced installation of prepayment meters into the homes of people who are struggling to stay warm enough to live is a scandal. The fact that Ofgem is allowing energy companies to keep doing this is proof, I'm afraid, that we have a regulator that works for the benefit of companies and not customers. Last year Citizens Advice Cymru dealt with record numbers of people who couldn't afford to top up their prepayment meters and who were disconnected repeatedly. Let's not lose sight of the fact that when we talk about disconnecting a person, that means throwing them to the wolves, cutting off their heating, creating a situation, knowingly, that could lead to their death. So, what discussions have you had with Ofgem, with energy suppliers and the UK Government about ensuring better protections for people on low incomes so that they can afford to adequately heat their homes and keep the lights on? Do you agree with me that the fact that the forced installation of prepayment meters is still allowed shows that we have an energy market and a regulator that have failed?

Diolch, Weinidog. Mae gosod mesuryddion rhagdalu gorfodol yng nghartrefi pobl sy'n ei chael hi'n anodd cadw'n ddigon cynnes i fyw yn warthus. Mae arnaf ofn fod y ffaith bod Ofgem yn caniatáu i gwmnïau ynni barhau i wneud hyn yn brawf fod gennym reoleiddiwr sy’n gweithio er budd cwmnïau ac nid cwsmeriaid. Y llynedd, fe wnaeth Cyngor ar Bopeth Cymru ymdrin â’r niferoedd uchaf erioed o bobl na allent fforddio ychwanegu credyd at eu mesuryddion rhagdalu, ac a oedd yn cael eu datgysylltu dro ar ôl tro. Gadewch inni beidio â cholli golwg ar y ffaith, pan fyddwn yn sôn am ddatgysylltu unigolyn, fod hynny'n golygu eu taflu i'r bleiddiaid, torri eu cyflenwad gwres, gan greu sefyllfa, yn fwriadol, a allai arwain at eu marwolaeth. Felly, pa drafodaethau a gawsoch gydag Ofgem, gyda chyflenwyr ynni a Llywodraeth y DU ynghylch sicrhau gwell amddiffyniadau i bobl ar incwm isel fel y gallant fforddio gwresogi eu cartrefi’n ddigonol a chadw’r goleuadau ymlaen? A ydych yn cytuno â mi fod y ffaith bod gosod mesuryddion rhagdalu gorfodol yn dal i fod yn gyfreithlon yn dangos bod gennym farchnad ynni a rheoleiddiwr sydd wedi methu?

I agree wholeheartedly with those points that you've made, Delyth Jewell. I've repeatedly called for a ban on the involuntary installation of prepayment meters. It removes the ability of households to spread the cost of their energy needs evenly over a 12-month period and has led, as we know, to some householders self-disconnecting. I think, earlier on, your colleague Sioned Williams referred to a Citizens Advice report. Citizens Advice is suggesting that more than 2 million people will have their gas and electricity cut off this winter because they cannot afford to top up their prepayment meter, and 800,000 people went for more than 24 hours without gas and electricity last year because they couldn't afford that top-up.

But I have met with the new Ofgem chair in December, and made it clear that Welsh Government expect Ofgem to ensure rules are working. Now, these rules, again, from Ofgem—energy suppliers must follow new rules before a prepayment meter can be installed involuntarily. Those rules are intended to ensure that, when energy suppliers act in a fair and responsible way, they will only use them as a last resort, but we already hear that energy suppliers are planning to restart forced installation. Let's name them. Three suppliers, EDF, Octopus and Scottish Power, provided evidence, they say, and assurances that they've met Ofgem's conditions, but they're restarting involuntary installations. We remain very concerned about this, because we need to ensure that we support those households in energy debt, and we're certainly doing that with our support through the Fuel Bank Foundation voucher scheme.

Cytunaf yn llwyr â’r pwyntiau a wnaethoch, Delyth Jewell. Rwyf wedi galw dro ar ôl tro am waharddiad ar osod mesuryddion rhagdalu yn anwirfoddol. Mae’n dileu gallu aelwydydd i ledaenu cost eu hanghenion ynni dros gyfnod o 12 mis, ac mae wedi arwain, fel y gwyddom, at rai deiliaid tai yn hunanddatgysylltu. Rwy'n credu bod eich cyd-Aelod Sioned Williams wedi cyfeirio'n gynharach at adroddiad Cyngor ar Bopeth. Mae Cyngor ar Bopeth yn awgrymu y bydd cyflenwadau nwy a thrydan mwy na 2 filiwn o bobl yn cael eu datgysylltu y gaeaf hwn am na allant fforddio ychwanegu credyd at eu mesuryddion rhagdalu, ac aeth 800,000 o bobl am fwy na 24 awr heb nwy a thrydan y llynedd am na allent fforddio ychwanegu credyd.

Ond fe gyfarfûm â chadeirydd newydd Ofgem ym mis Rhagfyr, a dywedais yn glir fod Llywodraeth Cymru yn disgwyl i Ofgem sicrhau bod y rheolau’n gweithio. Nawr, mae'r rheolau hyn, unwaith eto, gan Ofgem—mae'n rhaid i gyflenwyr ynni ddilyn rheolau newydd cyn y gellir gosod mesurydd rhagdalu yn anwirfoddol. Bwriad y rheolau hynny yw sicrhau, pan fydd cyflenwyr ynni’n gweithredu mewn ffordd deg a chyfrifol, mai dim ond pan fetho popeth arall y byddant yn eu defnyddio, ond rydym eisoes yn clywed bod cyflenwyr ynni yn bwriadu ailddechrau gosod mesuryddion yn orfodol. Gadewch i ni eu henwi. Mae tri chyflenwr, EDF, Octopus a Scottish Power, wedi darparu tystiolaeth, meddent, a sicrwydd eu bod wedi bodloni amodau Ofgem, ond maent yn ailddechrau gosod mesuryddion yn anwirfoddol. Rydym yn parhau i fod yn bryderus iawn am hyn, gan fod angen inni sicrhau ein bod yn cefnogi’r aelwydydd sydd â dyledion ynni, ac rydym yn sicr yn gwneud hynny gyda’n cymorth drwy gynllun talebau’r Sefydliad Banc Tanwydd.

14:00

This is an important question that Delyth Jewell raises this afternoon, following the rather disgraceful behaviour of certain energy companies coming to public attention in 2022 with many prepayment meters being forcefully installed in people's homes, leaving them without heat and energy when credit runs out. Energy prices are still stratospheric, and, with the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis, those struggling should not suffer the additional stress of a forced installation of prepayment meters. I welcome the UK Government's action to curb the behaviour of, predominantly, British Gas, Scottish Power and Ovo, who were responsible for 70 per cent of the forced installations taking place in 2022. The UK Government's action included a five-point plan to tackle bad behaviour by energy suppliers, and calling on suppliers to stop the practice of forced prepayment switching, and the UK Government removing the premium paid by those using PPMs.

We should also welcome the UK Government support, such as the £400 grant for energy bills, and the energy price guarantee and other specific funding for low-income households, which goes some way to alleviating fuel poverty. I do have some trepidation, however, in condemning prepayment meters entirely. There are 200,000 people in Wales with a prepayment meter; for some of those people, it may work for them and their needs. But I would like the Minister to outline what the Welsh Government is doing to ensure that those on the lowest income receive a level of support with regard to their energy costs and to ensure that energy companies in Wales abide by their voluntary commitment to the UK Government's code of conduct. Thank you.

Mae hwn yn gwestiwn pwysig gan Delyth Jewell y prynhawn yma, yn dilyn ymddygiad eithaf gwarthus gan rai cwmnïau ynni a ddaeth i sylw’r cyhoedd yn 2022 gyda llawer o fesuryddion rhagdalu gorfodol yn cael eu gosod yng nghartrefi pobl, gan eu gadael heb wres ac ynni pan ddôi eu credyd i ben. Mae prisiau ynni'n dal i fod yn stratosfferig, a chyda chefndir yr argyfwng costau byw, ni ddylai'r rheini sy'n ei chael hi'n anodd orfod dioddef y straen ychwanegol o gael mesuryddion rhagdalu gorfodol wedi'u gosod yn eu cartrefi. Rwy'n croesawu camau gweithredu Llywodraeth y DU i fynd i'r afael ag ymddygiad, yn bennaf, Nwy Prydain, Scottish Power ac Ovo, a oedd yn gyfrifol am 70 y cant o’r mesuryddion gorfodol a osodwyd yn 2022. Roedd camau gweithredu Llywodraeth y DU yn cynnwys cynllun pum pwynt i fynd i’r afael ag ymddygiad gwael gan gyflenwyr ynni, ac yn galw ar gyflenwyr i roi'r gorau i'r arfer o osod mesuryddion rhagdalu gorfodol, ac ar Lywodraeth y DU i gael gwared ar y premiwm a delir gan y rheini sy’n defnyddio mesuryddion rhagdalu.

Dylem hefyd groesawu cymorth Llywodraeth y DU, megis y grant o £400 ar gyfer biliau ynni, a’r warant pris ynni a chyllid penodol arall ar gyfer aelwydydd incwm isel, sy’n gwneud rhywfaint i liniaru tlodi tanwydd. Rwy'n gyndyn, fodd bynnag, o gondemnio mesuryddion rhagdalu yn gyfan gwbl. Mae gan 200,000 o bobl yng Nghymru fesurydd rhagdalu; i rai o'r bobl hynny, efallai y bydd yn gweithio iddynt hwy a'u hanghenion. Ond hoffwn pe bai’r Gweinidog yn amlinellu’r hyn y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn ei wneud i sicrhau bod y bobl sydd ar yr incwm isaf yn cael lefel o gymorth tuag at eu costau ynni a sicrhau bod cwmnïau ynni yng Nghymru yn cadw at eu hymrwymiad gwirfoddol i god ymddygiad Llywodraeth y DU. Diolch.

Thank you for that question. I'm glad you recognise the desperately difficult situation that people on prepayment meters find themselves in. It is very important for households in energy debt to contact their energy suppliers, and I meet regularly with energy suppliers. If they can contact them as soon as possible, they can agree an affordable repayment plan, and, of course, that would avoid the point of involuntary prepayment—forced installation—meters being fitted.

But there are a great many issues for the reasons why people are in this position. I only have to go back to the Citizens Advice report that we've just been talking about, because the fact is that people have not got enough money to live on, and, last week, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said that 6 million people in the UK are in poverty and would have to have their incomes doubled in order to get out of that hardship. So, I hope you would join us in saying to the UK Government that universal credit levels are too low—£35 per week short for a single person, £65 per week short for a couple—and recognise that half of those in debt to their energy suppliers are turning off heating, 3 million living in households where they have skipped meals, cut back on food spending, or sold or pawned possessions in the last year to save money. And we've seen those pawnshops in our high streets, haven't we? And we hope that they will turn to our credit unions, which we're funding, and also to our Fuel Bank Foundation. And I must say, we've allocated nearly £4.5 million since June 2022 to fund the Fuel Bank Foundation national fuel voucher and heat fund scheme. We've got 116 referral partners, and the number of fuel vouchers issued since the project began is 46,189. But isn't it terrible that now they're piloting people having heated throws, rather than heating their homes? This is a shocking situation, but it needs a wholescale reform of our UK social security levels of benefits.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn. Rwy'n falch eich bod yn cydnabod y sefyllfa hynod o anodd y mae pobl ar fesuryddion rhagdalu ynddi. Mae'n bwysig iawn i aelwydydd sydd mewn dyled ynni gysylltu â'u cyflenwyr ynni, ac rwy'n cyfarfod yn rheolaidd â chyflenwyr ynni. Os gallant gysylltu â hwy cyn gynted â phosibl, gallant gytuno ar gynllun ad-dalu fforddiadwy, ac wrth gwrs, byddai hynny'n osgoi mesuryddion rhagdalu anwirfoddol—mesuryddion gorfodol—rhag cael eu gosod.

Ond mae llawer iawn o faterion yn ymwneud â'r rhesymau pam fod pobl yn y sefyllfa hon. Nid oes ond angen imi fynd yn ôl at yr adroddiad yr ydym newydd fod yn sôn amdano gan Cyngor ar Bopeth, gan mai'r gwir amdani yw nad oes gan bobl ddigon o arian i fyw arno, a'r wythnos diwethaf, dywedodd Sefydliad Joseph Rowntree fod 6 miliwn o bobl yn y DU yn byw mewn tlodi ac y byddai’n rhaid i’w hincwm ddyblu er mwyn dod allan o’r caledi hwnnw. Felly, rwy'n gobeithio y gwnewch chi ymuno â ni i ddweud wrth Lywodraeth y DU fod lefelau credyd cynhwysol yn rhy isel—£35 yr wythnos yn rhy isel i unigolyn sengl, £65 yr wythnos yn rhy isel i gwpl—a chydnabod bod hanner y rheini sydd mewn dyled i'w cyflenwyr ynni yn diffodd y gwres, 3 miliwn yn byw mewn cartrefi lle maent wedi mynd heb brydau bwyd, wedi torri’n ôl ar wariant ar fwyd, neu wedi gwerthu neu bonio eiddo yn ystod y flwyddyn ddiwethaf i arbed arian. Ac rydym wedi gweld y siopau pôn ar y stryd fawr, onid ydym? Ac rydym yn gobeithio y byddant yn troi at ein hundebau credyd, a ariannir gennym, a hefyd at ein Sefydliad Banc Tanwydd. Ac mae'n rhaid imi ddweud, rydym wedi dyrannu bron i £4.5 miliwn ers mis Mehefin 2022 i ariannu cynllun talebau tanwydd a chynllun cronfa wres y Sefydliad Banc Tanwydd. Mae gennym 116 o bartneriaid atgyfeirio, a nifer y talebau tanwydd a roddwyd ers i'r prosiect ddechrau yw 46,189. Ond onid yw'n ofnadwy eu bod bellach yn treialu carthenni trydan i bobl, yn hytrach na gwresogi eu cartrefi? Mae hon yn sefyllfa frawychus, ond mae angen diwygio lefelau budd-daliadau nawdd cymdeithasol y DU yn gyfan gwbl.

The action from the UK Government last year was far too little, far too late, quite frankly, and the current protections from Ofgem do not go far enough. Llywydd, I look forward to Ofgem directly responding to the recommendations made by this Senedd's Petitions Committee and the inquiry we undertook last year. I endorse the comments from Delyth Jewell and the Minister's response, and I'm pleased to see Gareth Davies taking this important issue up as well. Minister, my team met with the Enforcement Conduct Board this morning. I know you've met them too. They discussed the need for—. Where the use of enforcement agents by energy suppliers is necessary, there is a need for more protection for the public. There's a need for an independent complaints mechanism and for proper standards. We all witnessed what happened when energy suppliers like British Gas used unregulated debt collectors and bailiffs when they forced their way illegally into people's homes last year. I wonder if you would use your office, Minister, to call on the suppliers that you've mentioned today and all energy suppliers in the United Kingdom to sign up to only using enforcement agencies that have been registered with the ECB, something that local authorities in Wales have already done.

Roedd y camau gweithredu gan Lywodraeth y DU y llynedd yn llawer rhy ychydig, yn llawer rhy hwyr, a dweud y gwir, ac nid yw’r amddiffyniadau presennol gan Ofgem yn mynd yn ddigon pell. Lywydd, edrychaf ymlaen at weld Ofgem yn ymateb yn uniongyrchol i’r argymhellion a wnaed gan Bwyllgor Deisebau’r Senedd hon a’r ymchwiliad a gynhaliwyd gennym y llynedd. Ategaf y sylwadau gan Delyth Jewell ac ymateb y Gweinidog, ac rwy’n falch o weld Gareth Davies yn codi’r mater pwysig hwn hefyd. Weinidog, cyfarfu fy nhîm â’r Bwrdd Ymddygiad Gorfodi y bore yma. Gwn eich bod chithau wedi cyfarfod â hwy hefyd. Buont yn trafod yr angen am—. Lle mae angen i gyflenwyr ynni ddefnyddio asiantau gorfodi, mae angen mwy o amddiffyniad i'r cyhoedd. Mae angen mecanwaith cwynion annibynnol a safonau priodol. Gwelodd bob un ohonom yr hyn a ddigwyddodd pan ddefnyddiodd cyflenwyr ynni fel Nwy Prydain gasglwyr dyledion a beilïaid heb eu rheoleiddio pan wnaethant orfodi eu ffordd yn anghyfreithlon i mewn i gartrefi pobl y llynedd. Tybed a wnewch chi ddefnyddio’ch swydd, Weinidog, i alw ar y cyflenwyr a grybwyllwyd gennych heddiw, a phob cyflenwr ynni yn y Deyrnas Unedig, i ymrwymo i ddefnyddio asiantaethau gorfodi sydd wedi’u cofrestru gyda’r Bwrdd Ymddygiad Gorfodi yn unig, rhywbeth y mae awdurdodau lleol yng Nghymru eisoes wedi'i wneud.

14:05

Thank you very much, Jack Sargeant, and can we thank you again for the report that the Petitions Committee—a cross-party committee—produced on this issue and for the work that you've done in championing this cause, with the evidence that you have gathered together and presented to us on a regular basis? I am meeting with the Enforcement Conduct Board in a couple of weeks' time precisely to raise these issues. It's interesting, when the Enforcement Conduct Board—. Many colleagues here have actually met with them and they've had events in the Senedd. When we've engaged with them, with the Welsh Local Government Association, they have agreed—. In fact, there was a programme about this last week, about the appalling behaviour of bailiffs, actually, in England, in terms of people in arrears for council tax, and they were actually praising Wales, Welsh local authorities, for taking on board the accredited agency guide from the Enforcement Conduct Board. So, I will be raising this to find out. We know Welsh Water Dŵr Cymru has taken this on board in terms of that work.

But can I just say that, also, there are some issues that I would like to share today—one issue that I'll share, Llywydd. We remain very concerned that any prepayment customer clear of debt wishing to move off prepayment will be required to pass a credit check. I've raised this with the new chair of Ofgem. It's a barrier to the prepayment meter being replaced, and this must be changed and addressed. It's unfair, it's iniquitous, and it just, again, shows how they're driving prepayment meter customers into greater depths of poverty.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Jack Sargeant, ac a gawn ni ddiolch i chi eto am yr adroddiad a gynhyrchodd y Pwyllgor Deisebau—pwyllgor trawsbleidiol—ar y mater hwn, ac am y gwaith a wnaethoch i hyrwyddo’r achos hwn, gyda’r dystiolaeth y gwnaethoch ei chasglu a'i chyflwyno i ni yn rheolaidd? Byddaf yn cyfarfod â'r Bwrdd Ymddygiad Gorfodi ymhen ychydig wythnosau i godi'r union faterion hyn. Mae'n ddiddorol, pan fydd y Bwrdd Ymddygiad Gorfodi—. Mae llawer o'm cyd-Aelodau yma wedi cyfarfod â hwy mewn gwirionedd, ac maent wedi cael digwyddiadau yn y Senedd. Pan ydym wedi ymgysylltu â hwy, gyda Chymdeithas Llywodraeth Leol Cymru, maent wedi cytuno—. A dweud y gwir, darlledwyd rhaglen am hyn yr wythnos diwethaf, am ymddygiad echrydus beilïaid yn Lloegr tuag at bobl ag ôl-ddyledion y dreth gyngor, ac roeddent yn canmol Cymru, awdurdodau lleol Cymru, am ystyried canllawiau asiantaethau achrededig gan y Bwrdd Ymddygiad Gorfodi. Felly, byddaf yn codi hyn i ddarganfod mwy. Gwyddom fod Dŵr Cymru wedi ystyried hyn ar gyfer y gwaith hwnnw.

Ond a gaf fi ddweud, hefyd, fod rhai materion yr hoffwn eu rhannu heddiw—un mater y byddaf yn ei rannu, Lywydd. Rydym yn parhau i fod yn bryderus iawn y bydd angen i unrhyw gwsmer rhagdalu heb ddyledion sy'n dymuno newid o fesurydd rhagdalu basio gwiriad credyd. Rwyf wedi codi hyn gyda chadeirydd newydd Ofgem. Mae'n rhwystr rhag newid o fesurydd rhagdalu, ac mae'n rhaid diwygio a mynd i'r afael â hyn. Mae'n annheg, mae'n anghyfiawn, ac mae'n dangos, unwaith eto, sut maent yn gwthio cwsmeriaid ar fesuryddion rhagdalu yn ddyfnach i mewn i dlodi.

Y Comisiwn Annibynnol ar Ddyfodol Cyfansoddiadol
The Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales

5. Pa ystyriaeth y mae'r Gweinidog wedi'i rhoi i effaith argymhellion y Comisiwn Annibynnol ar Ddyfodol Cyfansoddiadol Cymru ar gyfiawnder cymdeithasol? OQ60594

5. What consideration has the Minister given to the impact of the recommendations of the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales on social justice? OQ60594

Diolch yn fawr, Huw Irranca. The constitution commission's report sets out a compelling cross-party assessment of the flaws in the current devolution settlement that deserves careful consideration. The First Minister yesterday made a statement about this important report to the Senedd.

Diolch yn fawr, Huw Irranca. Mae adroddiad comisiwn y cyfansoddiad yn gwneud asesiad trawsbleidiol cymhellol o’r diffygion yn y setliad datganoli presennol sy’n haeddu ystyriaeth ofalus. Gwnaeth y Prif Weinidog ddatganiad am yr adroddiad pwysig hwn i’r Senedd ddoe.

Indeed. Thank you for that response, Minister, and I noticed in their analysis of this, including the work with citizens in Wales, as well as experts, and building on the Thomas commission, of course, they not only concurred with what has previously been said about the devolution of youth justice and probation, as is laid out, indeed, in the Brown report, but they go further, and they say that there is a compelling case. In fact, there were only two pieces of evidence they saw against the case for the devolution of policing and criminal justice, and those were from the Secretary of State for Wales and Lord Bellamy. Those were the only two. They say it, but they don't say, 'Go at this hell for leather.' What they do say is that

'the England and Wales justice system faces major challenges of funding and leadership and in tackling these Wales will always be a relatively low priority for the UK Government. With devolution, there would be scope for innovation and reform, building on the expertise of the justice workforce and national and local stakeholders such as local authorities and health boards.'

And

'devolution could be achieved without major disruption, through a programme of work led jointly by the UK and Welsh governments'.

So, systematic, planned, considered, working its way through the devolution of these matters. Would she agree with that analysis, and would she undertake, whatever the results of the general election, to make those representations to the UK Government to work jointly on the devolution of these critical matters for social justice?

Yn wir. Diolch am eich ymateb, Weinidog, a sylwais, yn eu dadansoddiad o hyn, gan gynnwys y gwaith gyda dinasyddion yng Nghymru, yn ogystal ag arbenigwyr, a chan adeiladu ar gomisiwn Thomas, wrth gwrs, nid yn unig eu bod yn cytuno â’r hyn a ddywedwyd eisoes ynghylch datganoli cyfiawnder ieuenctid a’r gwasanaeth prawf, fel y nodir, yn wir, yn adroddiad Brown, ond maent yn mynd ymhellach, ac yn dweud bod achos cymhellol. Mewn gwirionedd, dim ond dau ddarn o dystiolaeth a welsant yn erbyn yr achos dros ddatganoli plismona a chyfiawnder troseddol, ac roedd y rheini gan Ysgrifennydd Gwladol Cymru a’r Arglwydd Bellamy. Dyna oedd yr unig ddau. Maent yn dweud hynny, ond nid ydynt yn dweud, 'Ewch amdani fel cath i gythraul ar hyn.' Yr hyn y maent yn ei ddweud yw

'mae system gyfiawnder Cymru a Lloegr yn wynebu heriau mawr, o ran cyllid ac arweinyddiaeth, ac wrth fynd i’r afael â’r rhain bydd Cymru bob amser yn flaenoriaeth gymharol isel i Lywodraeth y DU. Gyda datganoli, byddai cyfle i arloesi ac i ddiwygio, gan adeiladu ar arbenigedd y gweithlu cyfiawnder a rhanddeiliaid cenedlaethol a lleol fel awdurdodau lleol a byrddau iechyd.'

Ac y

'gellid datganoli heb lawer o darfu, drwy raglen waith wedi’i harwain ar y cyd gan Lywodraeth y DU a Llywodraeth Cymru'.

Felly, dull systematig, wedi'i gynllunio, wedi'i ystyried, o weithio ein ffordd drwy ddatganoli'r materion hyn. A fyddai’n cytuno â’r dadansoddiad hwnnw, ac a fyddai’n ymrwymo, ni waeth beth fo canlyniadau’r etholiad cyffredinol, i wneud y sylwadau hynny i Lywodraeth y DU i weithio ar y cyd ar ddatganoli’r materion hollbwysig hyn ar gyfer cyfiawnder cymdeithasol?

Thank you very much, Huw Irranca-Davies. I agree with you and recognise that key recommendation on justice and policing by the independent commission. It takes me back to a written statement that I and the Counsel General produced on 14 November, and perhaps we could recirculate that and share it. It is about the work that we're doing to pursue the devolution of justice and policing because it's a commitment in the Welsh Government's programme for government for 2021-26. It follows the unanimous recommendation from the Commission on Justice in Wales, the Thomas commission, which reported in 2019, and devolution of policing specifically was a recommendation from the Commission on Devolution in Wales, the Silk commission—cross-party, established by the UK Government—which reported in 2014. As we said in that statement, our ultimate objective is to pursue devolution of justice and policing in its entirety. We do recognise the phased approach is preferable. So, that is where we do respond to and we welcome, as the First Minister did yesterday, very positively, the Gordon Brown commission. And, of course, the devolution of youth justice and probation, we're not making the case for it; we're preparing for it. We're preparing for it. And we're preparing for it, indeed, with our colleagues in the co-operation agreement. We see this as a step towards devolution of justice. But it is important that, on the record, again, we have shown in that written statement that we are undertaking the research to prepare for the devolution of policing in Wales as well.

Diolch yn fawr iawn, Huw Irranca-Davies. Rwy’n cytuno â chi ac yn cydnabod yr argymhelliad allweddol hwnnw ar gyfiawnder a phlismona gan y comisiwn annibynnol. Mae’n mynd â mi yn ôl at ddatganiad ysgrifenedig a luniwyd gennyf i a’r Cwnsler Cyffredinol ar 14 Tachwedd, ac efallai y gallem ei ailgylchredeg a’i rannu. Mae a wnelo â'r gwaith a wnawn i fynd ar drywydd datganoli cyfiawnder a phlismona gan ei fod yn ymrwymiad yn rhaglen lywodraethu Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer 2021-26. Mae’n dilyn argymhelliad unfrydol y Comisiwn ar Gyfiawnder yng Nghymru, comisiwn Thomas, a adroddodd yn 2019, ac roedd datganoli plismona yn benodol yn argymhelliad gan y Comisiwn ar Ddatganoli yng Nghymru, comisiwn Silk—comisiwn trawsbleidiol, a sefydlwyd gan Lywodraeth y DU—a adroddodd yn 2014. Fel y dywedasom yn y datganiad hwnnw, ein hamcan yn y pen draw yw mynd ar drywydd datganoli cyfiawnder a phlismona yn gyfan gwbl. Rydym yn cydnabod y byddai'r dull gweithredu graddol yn well. Felly, dyna ble rydym yn ymateb i ac yn croesawu comisiwn Gordon Brown, fel y gwnaeth y Prif Weinidog ddoe yn gadarnhaol iawn. Ac wrth gwrs, o ran datganoli cyfiawnder ieuenctid a'r gwasanaeth prawf, nid ydym yn dadlau'r achos dros hynny; rydym yn paratoi ar ei gyfer. Rydym yn paratoi ar ei gyfer. Ac rydym yn paratoi ar ei gyfer, yn wir, gyda'n cyd-Aelodau yn y cytundeb cydweithio. Rydym yn ystyried hyn yn gam tuag at ddatganoli cyfiawnder. Ond mae’n bwysig cofnodi unwaith eto ein bod wedi dangos yn y datganiad ysgrifenedig hwnnw ein bod yn gwneud yr ymchwil i baratoi ar gyfer datganoli plismona yng Nghymru hefyd.

14:10

A very interesting answer there, considering the UK Labour Party doesn't agree with very much of what was said there at all about the devolution of justice and policing. Nevertheless, you can't promote social justice without dealing with child poverty. Earlier this month, the Centre for Cities looked at child poverty and found that the city with the biggest increase in child poverty in the United Kingdom was Swansea. If you didn't think that was damning enough of the work of the Welsh Government to tackle child poverty, it gets worse when you see that, of all the cities in the UK, not only was Swansea first, Newport was second and Cardiff was third. And now we've seen the Welsh Government launch a child poverty strategy without a single target or timeline to hold them accountable. This constitutional talking shop won't do a thing to tackle child poverty in Wales. Instead, it costs £1.5 million and counting—money that could have been spent on improving the life chances of young people in Wales. So, when can we expect firm action from this Welsh Labour Government to tackle child poverty, instead of wasting money on vanity projects like this?

Ateb diddorol iawn yno, o ystyried nad yw Plaid Lafur y DU yn cytuno â llawer iawn o'r hyn a ddywedwyd yno o gwbl ynglŷn â datganoli cyfiawnder a phlismona. Serch hynny, ni allwch hyrwyddo cyfiawnder cymdeithasol heb fynd i'r afael â thlodi plant. Yn gynharach y mis hwn, edrychodd y Centre for Cities ar dlodi plant, a chanfod mai Abertawe yw'r ddinas â’r cynnydd mwyaf mewn tlodi plant yn y Deyrnas Unedig. Os nad oeddech yn meddwl bod hynny’n ddigon damniol o waith Llywodraeth Cymru i fynd i’r afael â thlodi plant, mae’n gwaethygu pan welwch, o holl ddinasoedd y DU, nid yn unig fod Abertawe’n gyntaf, ond mae Casnewydd yn ail a Chaerdydd yn drydydd. A bellach, rydym wedi gweld Llywodraeth Cymru yn lansio strategaeth tlodi plant heb unrhyw darged nac amserlen i'w dwyn i gyfrif. Ni fydd y siop siarad gyfansoddiadol hon yn gwneud unrhyw beth i fynd i’r afael â thlodi plant yng Nghymru. Yn hytrach, mae’n costio £1.5 miliwn a mwy—arian y gellid bod wedi’i wario ar wella cyfleoedd bywyd pobl ifanc yng Nghymru. Felly, pryd y gallwn ddisgwyl camau gweithredu cadarn gan Lywodraeth Lafur Cymru i fynd i’r afael â thlodi plant, yn lle gwastraffu arian ar brosiectau porthi balchder fel hyn?

Well, I do wonder whether you would agree to devolve social security to Wales. Because, without the devolution of powers, the powers that actually impact on poverty, and social security is key to that—. And, in fact, it's not just the Equality and Human Rights Commission that shows that UK Government welfare reform since—[Interruption.] Are you listening? Llywydd? Shows that UK Government welfare reforms—. Since 2010, we've endured 13 years of austerity, but don't forget those horrendous welfare reforms since 2010 and increasing housing costs have had the most significant impact on levels of child poverty amongst working households. And it's not just—. I'm not saying that, the Equality and Human Rights Commission is saying it, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, UNICEF, are saying it is the cut in welfare benefits for children that is deepening and widening the poverty—not just, of course, in Wales, which we are tackling, with our child poverty strategy. So, yes, we have got to be held accountable for what we're responsible for, but please join us in recognising that it is the UK Government who are responsible for those key levers.

Wel, tybed a fyddech yn cytuno i ddatganoli nawdd cymdeithasol i Gymru. Oherwydd, heb ddatganoli pwerau, y pwerau sy'n cael gwir effaith ar dlodi, ac mae nawdd cymdeithasol yn allweddol i hynny—. Ac mewn gwirionedd, nid y Comisiwn Cydraddoldeb a Hawliau Dynol yn unig sy'n dangos bod diwygiadau lles Llywodraeth y DU ers—[Torri ar draws.] A ydych chi'n gwrando? Lywydd? Yn dangos bod diwygiadau lles Llywodraeth y DU—. Ers 2010, rydym wedi dioddef 13 mlynedd o gyni, ond peidiwch ag anghofio bod y diwygiadau lles erchyll hynny ers 2010 a chostau tai cynyddol wedi cael effaith sylweddol iawn ar lefelau tlodi plant ymhlith aelwydydd sy’n gweithio. Ac nid yn unig—. Nid fi sy'n dweud hynny, mae’r Comisiwn Cydraddoldeb a Hawliau Dynol yn dweud hynny, mae Sefydliad Joseph Rowntree, UNICEF, yn dweud mai’r toriad mewn budd-daliadau lles i blant sy’n dyfnhau ac yn ehangu’r tlodi—nid yng Nghymru'n unig, ac rydym yn mynd i’r afael â hynny gyda’n strategaeth tlodi plant. Felly, oes, mae'n rhaid inni fod yn atebol am yr hyn yr ydym yn gyfrifol amdano, ond ymunwch â ni i gydnabod mai Llywodraeth y DU sy'n gyfrifol am yr ysgogiadau allweddol hynny.

Tlodi Plant yng Nghanolbarth a Gorllewin Cymru
Child Poverty in Mid and West Wales

6. Sut y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn mynd i'r afael â thlodi plant yng Nghanolbarth a Gorllewin Cymru? OQ60599

6. How is the Welsh Government tackling child poverty in Mid and West Wales? OQ60599

Diolch yn fawr am eich cwestiwn.

Thank you very much for your question.

Just getting excited with my response to the last question—a serious response to the last question, and this follows on very well to your question, Cefin Campbell. Our child poverty strategy outlines our long-term ambition and vision for delivering for children living in poverty in Wales. I have mentioned the Welsh benefits charter; it confirms the collective commitment to improve access to financial support and has been endorsed by all 22 local authorities, including in Mid and West Wales.

Roeddwn wedi cynhyrfu gyda fy ymateb i'r cwestiwn olaf—ymateb difrifol i'r cwestiwn olaf, ac mae hyn yn dilyn ymlaen yn dda iawn o'ch cwestiwn chi, Cefin Campbell. Mae ein strategaeth tlodi plant yn amlinellu ein huchelgais a’n gweledigaeth hirdymor ar gyfer cyflawni ar ran plant sy’n byw mewn tlodi yng Nghymru. Rwyf wedi sôn am siarter budd-daliadau Cymru; mae'n cadarnhau'r ymrwymiad ar y cyd i wella mynediad at gymorth ariannol, ac mae wedi'i chymeradwyo gan bob un o'r 22 awdurdod lleol, gan gynnwys yng Nghanolbarth a Gorllewin Cymru.

Diolch yn fawr iawn. Minister, last week, you published your strategy on tackling child poverty, and I noted with particular interest this observation, and I quote:

'Rural communities can face particular challenges associated with distance from key services, limited job opportunities and low incomes, higher costs of living...public transport availability, social isolation, and restricted housing stock.'

Now, that's quite a list, and I wholeheartedly agree with this assessment, insofar as it goes, but I must admit that the rest of the strategy is unclear about what this means in terms of tackling child poverty in rural areas. The strategy, for example, doesn't offer any specific initiatives that could be used to tackle this particular policy challenge that rural poverty represents. As we know, and we've heard this already this afternoon, the strategy doesn't include targets at all, which we believe is a fundamental weakness. The old adage that what can't be measured cannot be improved is as true of child poverty as other Government policies. So, specifically, can I ask you, Minister, whether any rural-proofing was done during the period of developing the strategy, and can you commit to setting targets to tackle rural poverty?

Diolch yn fawr iawn. Weinidog, yr wythnos diwethaf, fe wnaethoch gyhoeddi eich strategaeth ar gyfer mynd i’r afael â thlodi plant, a nodais y sylw hwn gyda chryn ddiddordeb:

'Gall cymunedau gwledig wynebu heriau penodol sy'n gysylltiedig â phellter o wasanaethau allweddol, cyfleoedd cyfyngedig am swyddi ac incymau isel, costau byw uwch...argaeledd trafnidiaeth gyhoeddus, ynysigrwydd cymdeithasol a stoc dai gyfyngedig.'

Nawr, mae honno'n dipyn o restr, ac rwy'n cytuno'n llwyr â'r asesiad hwn ynddo'i hun, ond mae'n rhaid imi gyfaddef bod gweddill y strategaeth yn aneglur ynghylch beth mae hyn yn ei olygu o ran mynd i'r afael â thlodi plant mewn ardaloedd gwledig. Nid yw'r strategaeth, er enghraifft, yn cynnig unrhyw fentrau penodol y gellid eu defnyddio i fynd i'r afael â her bolisi benodol tlodi gwledig. Fel y gwyddom, ac rydym wedi clywed hyn eisoes y prynhawn yma, nid yw’r strategaeth yn cynnwys targedau o gwbl, sy’n wendid sylfaenol yn ein barn ni. Mae'r hen ddihareb na ellir gwella'r hyn na ellir ei fesur yr un mor wir am dlodi plant â pholisïau eraill y Llywodraeth. Felly, a gaf fi ofyn yn benodol i chi, Weinidog, a wnaed unrhyw brawfesur gwledig yn ystod cyfnod datblygu’r strategaeth, ac a wnewch chi ymrwymo i osod targedau i fynd i’r afael â thlodi gwledig?

14:15

Diolch yn fawr, Cefin Campbell. A really important point about how the child poverty strategy was developed in terms of consultation, a consultation that not only included the End Child Poverty Network players, the child poverty sector, but also Young Wales and the young people we engaged with across the whole of Wales, including those from rural communities, and young people with protected characteristics as well. I think all of the objectives, the five objectives, are relevant to rural communities: reducing costs, maximising the incomes of families, creating pathways out of poverty, child and family well-being. You've read the strategy. You can see that it is a strategy that covers all aspects of a child's life and their family well-being.

I think it is important, in terms of the delivery of the strategy, that we see this in the context of what we can do with our powers. It's very much a cross-Government document, as you can see, from education and employment to, obviously, social justice taking the lead, and health and social security. On those welfare benefits that we are responsible for, yes, clearly, we need to ensure that we do have that adequate take-up. I think, in terms of targets, it's useful to know, as you're aware, that we've committed to producing a framework to monitor and report on outcomes, and this is what we need. What is the impact of our work, what we're responsible for? We're not responsible for benefits, which is a key lever, or main tax powers.

We're engaging independent academic expertise from Professor Rod Hick of Cardiff University. I know he's going to come and meet with the committee, and he's certainly going to be meeting with our End Child Poverty Network reference group. He is taking into account the well-being of Wales national indicators, which we are all signed up to—those milestones in our well-being of future generations. Of course, we will share with him the importance of looking at this from a rural dimension. But I would say there's a difference when setting a target for the delivery of an individual service. An outcome, the impact, making this real change, depends on multiple services, and a whole range of economic and social factors, and the biggest impact is from benefits and social security, which are with the UK Government. So, yes, we have those targets for individual services and programmes, and, for example, advice services—a whole fleet of indicators—but it is actually the drive of the activity, and the impact of the activity that you see in that strategy, that you can monitor to see in terms of the positive impact we have, particularly in rural communities.

Diolch yn fawr, Cefin Campbell. Pwynt pwysig iawn ynglŷn â sut y datblygwyd y strategaeth tlodi plant o ran yr ymgynghoriad, ymgynghoriad a oedd nid yn unig yn cynnwys cynrychiolwyr o'r Rhwydwaith Dileu Tlodi Plant, y sector tlodi plant, ond hefyd Cymru Ifanc a’r bobl ifanc y buom yn ymgysylltu â hwy ledled Cymru, gan gynnwys y rheini o gymunedau gwledig, a phobl ifanc â nodweddion gwarchodedig hefyd. Credaf fod pob un o’r amcanion, y pum amcan, yn berthnasol i gymunedau gwledig: lleihau costau, gweithredu pwyslais ar incwm teuluoedd, creu llwybrau allan o dlodi, llesiant plant a theuluoedd. Rydych wedi darllen y strategaeth. Gallwch weld ei bod yn strategaeth sy’n cwmpasu pob agwedd ar fywyd plant a’u llesiant teuluol.

Credaf ei bod yn bwysig, o ran cyflawni’r strategaeth, ein bod yn ystyried hyn yng nghyd-destun yr hyn y gallwn ei wneud â’n pwerau. Mae'n ddogfen wirioneddol drawslywodraethol, fel y gwelwch, o addysg a chyflogaeth i gyfiawnder cymdeithasol yn arwain, ac iechyd a nawdd cymdeithasol. Ar y budd-daliadau lles yr ydym yn gyfrifol amdanynt, oes, yn amlwg, mae angen inni sicrhau bod gennym niferoedd digonol yn eu hawlio. Ar dargedau, rwy'n credu ei bod yn ddefnyddiol gwybod, fel y gwyddoch, ein bod wedi ymrwymo i lunio fframwaith i fonitro ac adrodd ar ganlyniadau, a dyma sydd ei angen arnom. Beth yw effaith ein gwaith, beth rydym yn gyfrifol amdano? Nid ydym yn gyfrifol am fudd-daliadau, sy'n ysgogiad allweddol, neu bwerau dros y prif drethi.

Rydym yn ymgysylltu ag arbenigedd academaidd annibynnol gan yr Athro Rod Hick o Brifysgol Caerdydd. Gwn y bydd yn dod i gyfarfod â'r pwyllgor, ac mae'n sicr yn mynd i fod yn cyfarfod â grŵp cyfeirio'r Rhwydwaith Dileu Tlodi Plant. Mae'n ystyried dangosyddion cenedlaethol llesiant Cymru, y mae pob un ohonom wedi ymrwymo iddynt—y cerrig milltir hynny yn neddfwriaeth llesiant cenedlaethau'r dyfodol. Wrth gwrs, byddwn yn rhannu pwysigrwydd edrych ar hyn o ddimensiwn gwledig gydag ef. Ond buaswn yn dweud bod gwahaniaeth wrth osod targed ar gyfer darparu gwasanaeth unigol. Mae sicrhau canlyniad, yr effaith, gwneud y newid gwirioneddol hwn, yn dibynnu ar sawl gwasanaeth, ac ystod gyfan o ffactorau economaidd a chymdeithasol, a daw’r effaith fwyaf drwy fudd-daliadau a nawdd cymdeithasol, a gedwir yn ôl gan Lywodraeth y DU. Felly, oes, mae gennym y targedau hynny ar gyfer gwasanaethau a rhaglenni unigol, ac er enghraifft, gwasanaethau cynghori—llu o ddangosyddion—ond mewn gwirionedd, gallwch fonitro grym y gweithgarwch hwnnw, ac effaith y gweithgarwch a welwch yn y strategaeth honno, i weld yr effaith gadarnhaol a gawn, yn enwedig mewn cymunedau gwledig.

Minister, in England, all working parents of two-year-olds will receive 15 hours per week of free childcare from April of this year. Minister, can you confirm that this will be the case in Wales, and if not, why not?

Weinidog, yn Lloegr, bydd pob rhiant sy’n gweithio a chanddynt blant dwy oed yn cael 15 awr yr wythnos o ofal plant am ddim o fis Ebrill eleni. Weinidog, a allwch gadarnhau y bydd hyn yn digwydd yng Nghymru, ac os na fydd, pam hynny?

We will see whether that is delivered. I can see that there are questions being raised in terms of the capacity of the workforce, a workforce that, of course, we are rebuilding as a result of our investment here in Wales. And of course it's the Deputy Minister for Social Services's responsibility, but it is important that we reflect on what we are doing in Wales in terms of childcare. So far, our childcare offer is the most ambitious across the UK, but I think our investment in Flying Start—and I think that again is a really important investment that we share in our co-operation agreement—that is the proof of what we are doing. Despite 13 years of austerity and the slashing of Sure Start years ago in England, we have continued to invest in Flying Start.

And can I just say that Flying Start actually reaches the most disadvantaged children, the very children that we are supporting through our child poverty strategy? And that's just revenue and capital. The expansion of that, I hope, you will have seen, Russell, in your constituency, as I know the Deputy Minister and, I think, the designated Member saw in Wrexham last week, the impact of our investment in Flying Start. And that provides free childcare, which, of course, in our agreement, is going to roll out to all two-year-olds in Wales.

Cawn weld a gaiff hynny ei gyflawni. Gallaf weld bod cwestiynau’n cael eu codi ynglŷn â chapasiti’r gweithlu, gweithlu yr ydym yn ei ailadeiladu, wrth gwrs, o ganlyniad i’n buddsoddiad yma yng Nghymru. Ac wrth gwrs, cyfrifoldeb y Dirprwy Weinidog Gwasanaethau Cymdeithasol yw hyn, ond mae'n bwysig inni fyfyrio ar yr hyn a wnawn yng Nghymru gyda gofal plant. Hyd yn hyn, ein cynnig gofal plant yw’r mwyaf uchelgeisiol yn y DU, ond credaf fod ein buddsoddiad yn Dechrau’n Deg—a chredaf, unwaith eto, fod hwnnw'n fuddsoddiad pwysig iawn a rannwn yn ein cytundeb cydweithio—yn brawf o’r hyn a wnawn. Er gwaethaf 13 mlynedd o gyni a thorri Cychwyn Cadarn yn Lloegr flynyddoedd yn ôl, rydym wedi parhau i fuddsoddi yn Dechrau’n Deg.

Ac a gaf i ddweud bod Dechrau'n Deg yn cyrraedd y plant mwyaf difreintiedig, yr union blant a gefnogir gennym drwy ein strategaeth tlodi plant? A dim ond refeniw a chyfalaf yw hynny. Rwy'n gobeithio y byddwch wedi gweld hynny'n cael ei ymestyn yn eich etholaeth chi, Russell, fel y gwn fod y Dirprwy Weinidog a'r Aelod dynodedig, rwy'n credu, wedi gweld effaith ein buddsoddiad yn Dechrau’n Deg yn Wrecsam yr wythnos diwethaf. Ac mae hynny'n darparu gofal plant am ddim, sydd, wrth gwrs, yn ein cytundeb, ac sy'n mynd i gael ei gyflwyno i bob plentyn dwy oed yng Nghymru.

14:20

Good afternoon, Minister. Last week, we also discussed our report, 'Calling time on child poverty', and indeed the week before, when we reported on it. And I'm grateful to you for your commitment to some of the key recommendations. But the one that you rejected outright, recommendation 6, is the one that I wanted to focus on, particularly with regard to Cefin Campbell's question around rural child poverty. We've called, and that's recommendation 6, for a dedicated Minister for babies, children and young people. Your response is that child poverty, and indeed poverty, is a responsibility across all the ministerial portfolios. So, could I ask you: to what level do you anticipate that the Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales will be able to prioritise rural poverty? Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Prynhawn da, Weinidog. Yr wythnos diwethaf, buom hefyd yn trafod ein hadroddiad, 'Amser rhoi diwedd ar dlodi plant’, ac yn wir, yr wythnos cynt, pan wnaethom adrodd arno. Ac rwy'n ddiolchgar i chi am eich ymrwymiad i rai o'r argymhellion allweddol. Ond yr un y gwnaethoch ei wrthod yn llwyr, argymhelliad 6, yw’r un yr oeddwn am ganolbwyntio arno, yn enwedig mewn perthynas â chwestiwn Cefin Campbell ynghylch tlodi plant gwledig. Rydym wedi galw, yn argymhelliad 6, am Weinidog penodedig ar gyfer babanod, plant a phobl ifanc. Eich ymateb yw bod tlodi plant, a thlodi yn wir, yn gyfrifoldeb ar draws yr holl bortffolios gweinidogol. Felly, a gaf i ofyn i chi: i ba lefel y rhagwelwch y bydd y Gweinidog Materion Gwledig a Gogledd Cymru yn gallu blaenoriaethu tlodi gwledig? Diolch yn fawr iawn.

Diolch yn fawr. I did struggle over that recommendation, because I could understand where it came from; I could understand the evidence from my colleagues, not just on the Equality and Social Justice Committee, but the Children, Young People and Education Committee. Actually, it reminds me of the discussions that we had yesterday. Yes, if we had a big enough Senedd, with a Government that could actually meet all of the specific needs that we know need to be addressed, and I feel it's another big case in point for our Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Bill, which, of course, got through its general principles yesterday. But it is up to the next First Minister in terms of portfolio arrangements. I would say that the child poverty strategy went to the Cabinet at least twice. It went in its draft form, it went in its final form. The whole Cabinet had to sign up to it. And I think the points that have been made by you, Jane Dodds, and Cefin Campbell today about the rural dimension are really important, and I will be discussing those with the Minister for rural affairs as we implement now the child poverty strategy.

Diolch yn fawr. Cefais drafferth gyda'r argymhelliad hwnnw, gan y gallwn ddeall y rhesymeg y tu ôl iddo; gallwn ddeall y dystiolaeth gan fy nghyd-Aelodau, nid yn unig ar y Pwyllgor Cydraddoldeb a Chyfiawnder Cymdeithasol, ond y Pwyllgor Plant, Pobl Ifanc ac Addysg. A dweud y gwir, mae’n fy atgoffa o’r trafodaethau a gawsom ddoe. Mae'n wir, pe bai gennym Senedd ddigon mawr, gyda Llywodraeth a allai ddiwallu’r holl anghenion penodol y gwyddom fod angen mynd i’r afael â hwy, ac rwy’n teimlo ei fod yn achos pwysig arall ar gyfer ein Bil Senedd Cymru (Aelodau ac Etholiadau), y derbyniwyd ei egwyddorion cyffredinol ddoe, wrth gwrs. Ond mater i’r Prif Weinidog nesaf yw trefniadau portffolio. Carwn ddweud bod y strategaeth tlodi plant wedi'i chyflwyno i'r Cabinet o leiaf ddwywaith. Daeth ar ei ffurf ddrafft, daeth ar ei ffurf derfynol. Roedd yn rhaid i'r Cabinet cyfan ymrwymo iddi. A chredaf fod y pwyntiau a wnaed gennych chi, Jane Dodds, a Cefin Campbell heddiw ynglŷn â'r dimensiwn gwledig yn wirioneddol bwysig, a byddaf yn trafod y rheini gyda’r Gweinidog materion gwledig wrth inni roi’r strategaeth tlodi plant ar waith yn awr.

Ysmygu ymysg Merched Beichiog yn Arfon
Smoking amongst Pregnant Women in Arfon

7. Pa asesiad y mae'r Gweinidog wedi ei wneud o'r cysylltiad rhwng tlodi a'r lefel uchel o ysmygu ymysg merched beichiog yn Arfon? OQ60597

7. What assessment has the Minister made of the link between poverty and the high level of smoking amongst pregnant women in Arfon? OQ60597

Rydyn ni'n gwybod bod y bobl sy'n byw yn ein cymunedau lleiaf cyfoethog yn fwy tebygol o ysmygu nag yn yr ardaloedd mwyaf cyfoethog. Mae effaith y defnydd o dybaco, yn enwedig yn ystod beichiogrwydd, yn elfen allweddol o'r anghydraddoldebau iechyd dwfn y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn mynd i'r afael â nhw.

We know that people living in our least well-off communities are more likely to smoke than those living in the most affluent areas. The impact of tobacco use, particularly during pregnancy, is a key component of the deep-rooted health inequalities that the Welsh Government is tackling.

Diolch am yr ateb yna. Yng Ngwynedd, mae 16.5 y cant o'r boblogaeth yn ysmygu, un o'r canrannau uchaf yng Nghymru. Mae'r ffigwr hwn yn cynnwys mamau beichiog. Ar draws Cymru, mae un o bob 10 o famau beichiog yn ysmygu, gan beryglu eu hiechyd eu hunain ac iechyd eu babanod, wrth gwrs, ac mae yna dystiolaeth gynyddol ar gael sy'n dangos bod yna gysylltiad rhwng tlodi a lefelau uchel o ysmygu ymhlith mamau beichiog. Ydy'r cynllun peilot sy'n ceisio cefnogi merched beichiog i roi’r gorau i ysmygu, sydd ar waith yn sir Ddinbych yn ardal Bwrdd Iechyd Betsi Cadwaladr, yn cyfarch y cysylltiad rhwng tlodi ac ysmygu ymhlith mamau beichiog? A pha wersi sydd yna i'w dysgu cyn belled o'r peilot pwysig yma?

Thank you very much for that response. In Gwynedd, 16.5 per cent of the population are smokers, one of the highest percentages in Wales. This figure includes pregnant women. Across Wales, one in 10 pregnant women smokes, putting at risk their own health as well as the health of their babies, and there is increasing evidence available that shows that the link between poverty and high levels of smoking among pregnant women is a real factor. So, does the pilot scheme that seeks to support pregnant women to give up tobacco, which is operational in Denbighshire in the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board area, actually address the link between poverty and smoking among pregnant women? And what lessons can be learned so far from this important pilot?

Diolch am y cwestiwn pellach. Dwi'n cytuno ei fod yn bwysig i helpu pobl i roi'r gorau i ysmygu.

Thank you very much for your supplementary question. I agree that it's important to help people to cease smoking.

You referenced the Betsi Cadwaladr pilots—that's the targeted smoking cessation support offered to pregnant people in Wales. They've implemented the 'Help me quit for baby' service model, which I understand offers specialist, bespoke and flexible support for smokers, and has taken in the wider, perhaps living and environmental, concerns as well. It not only offers pregnant people, but others in the household, the chance to get help from their own personal stop-smoking adviser every week, plus free stop-smoking medicines worth up to £250, and home visits are also offered to help increase access to 'Help me quit' services.

I know you focused on the pilot in a particular area, but in the area of Arfon, I know that there are two specialist advisers who provide support for pregnant people and others in the household who smoke. The incentive schemes also have a pilot to target pregnant people from less affluent areas, and young, pregnant smokers who are less likely to quit. I'm more than happy to liaise with my colleague the Deputy Minister for health, and to provide a further update on the progress of that pilot and actually how those lessons can be applied elsewhere in the community, right across north Wales.

Fe gyfeirioch chi at gynlluniau peilot Betsi Cadwaladr—y cymorth wedi'i dargedu ar gyfer rhoi'r gorau i ysmygu a gynigir i bobl feichiog yng Nghymru. Maent wedi rhoi’r model gwasanaeth ‘Helpa fi i stopio i fy mabi’ ar waith, a deallaf ei fod yn cynnig cymorth arbenigol, pwrpasol a hyblyg i ysmygwyr, a hefyd wedi ystyried y pryderon byw ac amgylcheddol ehangach, o bosibl. Mae’n cynnig cyfle nid yn unig i bobl feichiog, ond i eraill yn y cartref gael cymorth gan eu cynghorydd rhoi’r gorau i ysmygu personol eu hunain bob wythnos, yn ogystal â meddyginiaethau rhoi’r gorau i ysmygu am ddim gwerth hyd at £250, a chynigir ymweliadau cartref hefyd i helpu i gynyddu mynediad at wasanaethau 'Helpa fi i stopio'.

Gwn ichi ganolbwyntio ar y cynllun peilot mewn ardal benodol, ond yn ardal Arfon, gwn fod dau gynghorydd arbenigol sy’n rhoi cymorth i bobl feichiog ac eraill ar yr aelwyd sy’n ysmygu. Mae gan y cynlluniau cymhelliant gynllun peilot hefyd i dargedu pobl feichiog o ardaloedd llai cefnog, ac ysmygwyr ifanc beichiog sy’n llai tebygol o roi’r gorau iddi. Rwy’n fwy na pharod i gysylltu â’m cyd-Aelod, y Dirprwy Weinidog iechyd, a rhoi’r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf ar gynnydd y cynllun peilot hwnnw a sut y gellir cyflwyno'r gwersi hynny mewn mannau eraill yn y gymuned, ar draws gogledd Cymru.

14:25
'Y Cynllun Gweithredu Cymru Wrth-hiliol'
'The Anti-racist Wales Action Plan'

8. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am weithredu Cynllun Gweithredu Cymru Wrth-hiliol? OQ60619

8. Will the Minister provide an update on the implementation of the Anti-racist Wales Action Plan? OQ60619

Thank you for that question. The 'Anti-racist Wales Action Plan' is vital for achieving our goal of becoming an anti-racist nation by 2030. We are committed to transparency and openly sharing progress against the plan, and our first annual report was published on 1 December 2023.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn. Mae ‘Cynllun Gweithredu Cymru Wrth-hiliol’ yn hanfodol ar gyfer cyflawni ein nod o ddod yn genedl wrth-hiliol erbyn 2030. Rydym wedi ymrwymo i dryloywder a rhannu cynnydd yn erbyn y cynllun yn agored, a chyhoeddwyd ein hadroddiad blynyddol cyntaf ar 1 Rhagfyr 2023.

Minister, I think we need to see a step change in Wales in terms of tackling racism, and in order to do that we need the delivery of public services to move on markedly in understanding the issues around racism and delivering for our diverse communities, and we need organisations to show a good example. I'd like to cite two that I'm aware of locally in Newport East, Minister, and one is Llanwern High School, which has been cited by Estyn as doing some really good work around refugees and asylum seekers, and has some very good policies and activities around diversity in general, and the other is Muslim Doctors Cymru, which did some really good work during the pandemic in reaching out to communities around vaccination and accessing healthcare services more generally, and is now continuing that work. Just the other week, they held a session with a number of health professionals in a mosque in Newport East, reaching out into the community to people who, perhaps, wouldn't otherwise access those important tests and services.

Weinidog, credaf fod angen inni weld newid sylweddol yng Nghymru ar fynd i’r afael â hiliaeth, ac er mwyn gwneud hynny, mae angen i ddarpariaeth gwasanaethau cyhoeddus wneud cryn dipyn o gynnydd ar ddeall y materion sy’n ymwneud â hiliaeth a chyflawni ar gyfer ein cymunedau amrywiol, ac mae arnom angen i sefydliadau ddangos esiampl dda. Hoffwn nodi dau y gwn amdanynt yn lleol yn Nwyrain Casnewydd, Weinidog, ac un yw Ysgol Uwchradd Llanwern, sydd wedi’i nodi gan Estyn fel un sy’n gwneud gwaith da iawn mewn perthynas â ffoaduriaid a cheiswyr lloches, ac mae ganddi bolisïau a gweithgareddau da iawn yn ymwneud ag amrywiaeth yn gyffredinol, a’r llall yw Muslim Doctors Cymru, a wnaeth waith da iawn yn ystod y pandemig wrth estyn allan i gymunedau mewn perthynas â brechu a mynediad at wasanaethau gofal iechyd yn fwy cyffredinol, ac sydd bellach yn parhau â’r gwaith hwnnw. Yr wythnos o'r blaen, fe wnaethant gynnal sesiwn gyda nifer o weithwyr iechyd proffesiynol mewn mosg yn Nwyrain Casnewydd, gan estyn allan i’r gymuned at bobl na fyddent fel arall, efallai, yn manteisio ar y profion a’r gwasanaethau pwysig hynny fel arall.

Diolch yn fawr, John Griffiths, for drawing attention again to those two examples of delivery of the 'Anti-racist Wales Action Plan', in a school and in a community organisation in Newport, because as you say, we need a step change in the delivery of public services.

I think, just in terms of looking quickly at health, because every Minister, every department—. You'll see from the annual report what's being achieved. In the health sector, we've got the workforce race equality standard for Wales, and that's going to identify and measure progress in the NHS and social care workforce on race equality across primary, secondary and social care. And also, just in terms of education, I believe that the education Minister launched the new curriculum for the mandatory learning of anti-racist heritage and history in Wales at Llanwern school, and the pioneering work of the diversity and anti-racist professional learning project. So, I think it is now being embedded into public services and, although, clearly, we have a long way to go, it is as a result of those examples.

Can I just again praise that community for the work in the mosque, because it was Muslim Doctors Cymru who actually did a great deal of work during the pandemic in terms of raising awareness and tackling myths about vaccination? The Muslim doctors, I think, played a big part in Newport, as well as the rest of Wales.

Diolch yn fawr, John Griffiths, am dynnu sylw unwaith eto at y ddwy enghraifft hynny o roi 'Cynllun Gweithredu Cymru Wrth-hiliol' ar waith, mewn ysgol ac mewn sefydliad cymunedol yng Nghasnewydd, oherwydd fel y dywedwch, mae angen newid sylweddol arnom gyda'r ddarpariaeth o wasanaethau cyhoeddus.

O edrych yn gyflym ar iechyd, gan fod pob Gweinidog, pob adran—. Fe welwch yr hyn sy'n cael ei gyflawni o'r adroddiad blynyddol. Yn y sector iechyd, mae gennym safon cydraddoldeb hiliol y gweithlu ar gyfer Cymru, ac mae honno'n mynd i nodi a mesur cynnydd yng ngweithlu'r GIG a gofal cymdeithasol ar gydraddoldeb hiliol ar draws gofal sylfaenol, eilaidd a chymdeithasol. A hefyd, o ran addysg, credaf fod y Gweinidog addysg wedi lansio’r cwricwlwm newydd gorfodol ar gyfer dysgu treftadaeth a hanes gwrth-hiliaeth yng Nghymru yn Ysgol Llanwern, a gwaith arloesol y prosiect dysgu proffesiynol amrywiaeth a gwrth-hiliaeth. Felly, credaf ei fod bellach yn cael ei ymgorffori mewn gwasanaethau cyhoeddus, ac, er bod gennym lawer o ffordd i fynd, mae'n digwydd o ganlyniad i’r enghreifftiau hynny.

A gaf i ganmol y gymuned honno unwaith eto am y gwaith yn y mosg, gan fod Muslim Doctors Cymru wedi gwneud llawer iawn o waith yn ystod y pandemig ar godi ymwybyddiaeth a mynd i'r afael â mythau ynglŷn â brechu? Rwy'n credu bod y meddygon Mwslimaidd wedi chwarae rhan fawr yng Nghasnewydd, yn ogystal â gweddill Cymru.

Diolch i'r Gweinidog a'r Dirprwy Weinidog. 

I thank the Minister and Deputy Minister.

2. Cwestiynau i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol a Gweinidog y Cyfansoddiad
2. Questions to the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution

Yr eitem nesaf, felly, yw'r cwestiynau i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol a Gweinidog y Cyfansoddiad. Y cwestiwn cyntaf, Jack Sargeant. 

The next item is questions to the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution. The first question is from Jack Sargeant. 

Sgandal Horizon Swyddfa'r Post
The Post Office Horizon Scandal

1. Pa asesiad y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'i wneud o nifer y trigolion yng Nghymru y mae sgandal Horizon Swyddfa'r Post wedi effeithio arnynt? OQ60616

1. What assessment has the Counsel General made of the number of Welsh residents impacted by the Post Office Horizon scandal? OQ60616

14:30

Thank you for the question. Not even the Post Office can identify the number of people impacted by the Horizon scandal. Across the entire United Kingdom, even beyond, some former sub-postmasters are only now realising that they may have been the victim of one of the most widespread miscarriages of justice and failures of the legal system that the United Kingdom has ever known.

Diolch am y cwestiwn. Ni all hyd yn oed Swyddfa'r Post nodi nifer y bobl y mae sgandal Horizon yn effeithio arnynt. Ar draws y Deyrnas Unedig gyfan, a'r tu hwnt i hynny hyd yn oed, nid yw rhai cyn is-bostfeistri ond yn sylweddoli nawr eu bod o bosibl wedi dioddef un o'r enghreifftiau mwyaf o gamweinyddu cyfiawnder a methiannau mwyaf eang y system gyfreithiol a welodd y Deyrnas Unedig erioed.

I thank the Counsel General for his answer. If the Llywydd will let me place on record an update from Neil Hudgell from Hudgell Solicitors. He's the solicitor who has supported a number of sub-postmasters in overturning their criminal convictions in the High Court in London. Presiding Officer, he says that close to 450 new requests for legal support have come forward since the ITV drama. These include 52 people with convictions and potentially hundreds who are undercompensated. As the Counsel General said in his first answer, the Post Office don’t know what the extent of this miscarriage of justice really is. We know that there are Welsh residents included in the figures I’ve just quoted from Hudgell Solicitors, and we know there are likely to be a lot more individuals and groups that have yet to come forward. Can I ask the Counsel General what conversations he’s had with ministerial colleagues in the Welsh Government about the importance of supporting Welsh residents who are victims of this deep, deep miscarriage of justice?

Diolch i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol am ei ateb. Os gwnaiff y Llywydd adael imi roi diweddariad gan Neil Hudgell o Hudgell Solicitors. Ef yw'r cyfreithiwr sydd wedi cynorthwyo nifer o is-bostfeistri i wrthdroi eu heuogfarnau troseddol yn yr Uchel Lys yn Llundain. Lywydd, mae'n dweud bod bron i 450 o geisiadau newydd am gymorth cyfreithiol wedi'u cyflwyno ers drama ITV. Mae'r rhain yn cynnwys 52 o bobl gydag euogfarnau a channoedd o bosibl sydd heb gael iawndal priodol. Fel y dywedodd y Cwnsler Cyffredinol yn ei ateb cyntaf, nid yw Swyddfa'r Post yn gwybod beth yw hyd a lled yr enghraifft hon o gamweinyddu cyfiawnder mewn gwirionedd. Rydym yn gwybod bod trigolion Cymru wedi'u cynnwys yn y ffigurau a ddyfynnais yn awr gan Hudgell Solicitors, ac rydym yn gwybod ei bod yn debygol y bydd llawer mwy o unigolion a grwpiau nad ydynt wedi camu ymlaen eto. A gaf i ofyn i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol pa sgyrsiau a gafodd gyda chyd-Weinidogion yn Llywodraeth Cymru am bwysigrwydd cefnogi trigolion o Gymru sydd wedi dioddef yn sgil y camweinyddu cyfiawnder enfawr hwn?

Can I thank you for the question and also thank you for continuing to monitor and raise this particular issue? It is, in many ways, not just about the Horizon issue; it is also about how this managed to happen within our legal system.

As the First Minister reported some time back, I actually wrote to the Lord Chancellor generally on this back in September 2021. About six months later, I received a reply from the Minister for small business, Paul Scully—that was in February 2022. I know that questions have also gone, on a number of occasions, to the Deputy Minister as well, and, indeed, to others. Can I say that this is a matter that we are all aware of? And can I say also that I raised it only last week when I was in Scotland at the second meeting of the justice inter-ministerial group, where there were reports on the situation in Scotland as well as in England from Lord Bellamy, the under-secretary for justice? That is something that is going to continue.

You've raised in the past on this the issue of the duty of candour, which I think is fundamental. There is the issue of compensation, which is fundamental. I do not understand why that cannot be dealt with by the inquiry, but it is being excluded from that. There is the issue of the revocation of the convictions, and, sadly, I think I recognise that there probably has to be legislation to revoke. It is really an incredibly difficult position to be in where Government has to legislate in respect of decisions of the courts and the justice system, and it is an intrusion that we need to be very, very wary of. I think the position that most of us have taken, and most of the law officers have taken as well, is that this is such an extraordinary and exceptional situation that it has to happen. There is also the issue of the use of private prosecutions, and we've seen other issues to do with the warrants of execution, which you've raised before.

Can I say one other thing that's really important as well? We are now becoming aware of certain Welsh citizens, and indeed people from around the UK, in respect of the system before Horizon. There was a Mr Lewis from Ebbw Vale, a former auditor within the Post Office. He pled guilty to five charges, including theft and false accounting, and had a 12-month probation order. Another individual, a Mrs Roberts from Wirral, who kept the books for her sub-postmaster husband, refused to plead guilty for something she said she hadn't done when losses of £46,000 were discovered. This is the Capture system that has emerged. And I think that it's very, very important that that is also dealt with, because this is a sort of Pandora's box that seems to go back further and raises all sorts of other issues—more modern issues in respect of artificial intelligence and the use of technology.

But can I also say that I have written to Kevin Hollinrake, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Enterprise, Markets and Small Business? I've raised the issue of the Welsh case and the Capture system. I've suggested that this is a matter that clearly links in with the issues that the inquiry is considering, and asked to ensure that the remit of that inquiry would also allow this to happen. But this is a further area that needs to be investigated.

A gaf i ddiolch i chi am y cwestiwn a diolch i chi hefyd am barhau i fonitro a chodi'r mater penodol hwn? Mewn sawl ffordd, mae'n ymwneud â mwy na mater Horizon yn unig; mae hefyd yn ymwneud â sut y bu i hyn ddigwydd o fewn ein system gyfreithiol.

Fel yr adroddodd y Prif Weinidog beth amser yn ôl, ysgrifennais at yr Arglwydd Ganghellor yn gyffredinol ar hyn yn ôl ym mis Medi 2021. Tua chwe mis yn ddiweddarach, cefais ateb gan y Gweinidog busnesau bach, Paul Scully—hynny ym mis Chwefror 2022. Gwn fod cwestiynau hefyd wedi mynd, ar sawl achlysur, at y Dirprwy Weinidog hefyd, ac i eraill yn wir. A gaf i ddweud bod hwn yn fater yr ydym i gyd yn ymwybodol ohono? Ac a gaf i ddweud hefyd imi ei godi yr wythnos diwethaf pan oeddwn yn yr Alban yn ail gyfarfod y grŵp rhyngweinidogol ar gyfiawnder, lle cafwyd adroddiadau ar y sefyllfa yn yr Alban yn ogystal ag yn Lloegr gan yr Arglwydd Bellamy, yr is-ysgrifennydd dros gyfiawnder? Mae hynny'n rhywbeth sy'n mynd i barhau.

Rydych chi wedi codi mater dyletswydd gonestrwydd yn y gorffennol yn y cyd-destun hwn, ac mae hynny'n hanfodol yn fy marn i. Mae mater iawndal yn hanfodol hefyd. Nid wyf yn deall pam na all yr ymchwiliad ymdrin â hyn, ond mae'n cael ei hepgor ohono. Mae mater yn codi gyda dirymu'r euogfarnau, ac yn anffodus, rwy'n credu fy mod yn cydnabod bod yn rhaid cael deddfwriaeth i'w dirymu mae'n debyg. Mae'n sefyllfa anodd iawn lle mae'n rhaid i'r Llywodraeth ddeddfu mewn perthynas â phenderfyniadau'r llysoedd a'r system gyfiawnder, ac mae'n ymyrraeth y mae angen inni fod yn wyliadwrus iawn ohoni. Rwy'n credu mai'r safbwynt y mae'r rhan fwyaf ohonom wedi'i gymryd, a'r rhan fwyaf o swyddogion y gyfraith hefyd, yw bod hon yn sefyllfa mor eithriadol ac anarferol fel bod yn rhaid iddo ddigwydd. Mae mater defnyddio erlyniadau preifat yn codi hefyd, ac rydym wedi gweld materion eraill yn ymwneud â'r gwarantau i weithredu a godwyd gennych o'r blaen.

A gaf i ddweud un peth arall sy'n bwysig hefyd? Rydym bellach yn dod yn ymwybodol o rai dinasyddion yng Nghymru, a phobl o bob cwr o'r DU yn wir, mewn perthynas â'r system cyn Horizon. Roedd yna Mr Lewis o Lyn Ebwy, cyn-archwilydd yn Swyddfa'r Post. Plediodd yn euog i bum cyhuddiad, gan gynnwys dwyn a chyfrifo ffug, a chafodd orchymyn prawf o 12 mis. Gwrthododd unigolyn arall, Mrs Roberts o Wirral, a gadwai'r llyfrau i'w gŵr a oedd yn is-bostfeistr, bledio'n euog am rywbeth y dywedodd nad oedd wedi'i wneud pan ddarganfuwyd colledion o £46,000. Dyma system Capture sydd wedi dod i'r amlwg. Ac rwy'n credu ei bod hi'n bwysig iawn fod hynny'n cael sylw hefyd, oherwydd mae hwn yn fath o flwch Pandora sy'n ymddangos fel pe bai'n mynd yn ôl ymhellach ac yn codi pob math o gwestiynau eraill—cwestiynau mwy modern mewn perthynas â deallusrwydd artiffisial a'r defnydd o dechnoleg.

Ond a gaf i ddweud hefyd fy mod i wedi ysgrifennu at Kevin Hollinrake, Is-ysgrifennydd Gwladol Seneddol dros Fenter, Marchnadoedd a Busnesau Bach? Rwyf wedi codi mater yr achos yng Nghymru a system Capture. Rwyf wedi awgrymu bod hwn yn fater sy'n cysylltu'n glir â'r materion y mae'r ymchwiliad yn eu hystyried, ac wedi gofyn am sicrwydd y byddai cylch gwaith yr ymchwiliad hwnnw hefyd yn caniatáu i hyn ddigwydd. Ond mae hwn yn faes arall y mae angen ymchwilio iddo.

14:35
Y Comisiwn Annibynnol ar Ddyfodol Cyfansoddiadol Cymru
The Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales

2. Pa asesiad y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i wneud o effaith argymhellion y Comisiwn Annibynnol ar Ddyfodol Cyfansoddiadol Cymru ar ddatganoli polisi ynni? OQ60602

2. What assessment has the Welsh Government made of the impact of the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales's recommendations on the devolution of energy policy? OQ60602

Thank you. The devolution settlement in relation to energy is indeed complex, and the conclusions and recommendations of the independent commission’s report demand thoughtful and considered attention. So, we will be considering the report in the coming weeks.

Diolch. Mae'r setliad datganoli mewn perthynas ag ynni yn gymhleth iawn, ac mae casgliadau ac argymhellion adroddiad y comisiwn annibynnol yn mynnu sylw meddylgar ac ystyriol. Felly, byddwn yn ystyried yr adroddiad yn ystod yr wythnosau nesaf.

Diolch yn fawr iawn am eich ymateb. Allaf i ofyn i chi yn benodol i amlinellu i ni gynlluniau Llywodraeth Cymru i weithredu'r hyn y mae'r comisiwn wedi ei awgrymu ar ddatganoli ynni? I fod yn glir, mae'r comisiwn wedi galw am sefydlu grŵp arbenigol i roi cyngor ar frys ar sut y gellir diwygio'r setliad datganoli a chreu gwell cysylltiad rhwng Llywodraethau a'i gilydd, i hwyluso ailstrwythuro'r sector ynni. Yn ôl y comisiwn, mae hyn yn angenrheidiol i baratoi ar gyfer arloesi ym myd technoleg, i sicrhau y gall Cymru gyrraedd ei thargedau sero net ac i hwyluso cynhyrchu ynni lleol. Hefyd, dwi'n sylwi bod y comisiwn wedi argymell datganoli Ystad y Goron, ac mae'r comisiwn wedi awgrymu y gallai'r grŵp ymgynghorol hwn ar ynni roi cyngor ar opsiynau ar gyfer cyflawni hyn. Gaf i ofyn felly pryd yn union y gallwn ni ddisgwyl gweld sefydlu'r grŵp ymgynghorol hwn, beth yw'r amserlen, beth fydd ei gylch gorchwyl, a phryd yn benodol y gallwn ni ddisgwyl gweld symud ar ddatganoli Ystad y Goron?

Thank you very much for your response. May I ask you specifically to outline for us the Welsh Government's plans to implement what the commission has suggested on the devolution of energy? To be clear, the commission has called for the establishment of an expert group to provide urgent advice on how the devolution settlement can be amended and to create a better connection between Governments, to facilitate the restructuring of the energy sector. According to the commission, this is vital to prepare for innovation in terms of technology, to ensure that Wales can reach its net-zero target and to facilitate the production of local energy. I also note that the commission has recommended devolving the Crown Estate, and the commission has suggested that this advisory group on energy could provide advice on options to achieve this. So, can I ask exactly when we can expect to see the establishment of this advisory group, what the timetable is, what its remit will be, and when, specifically, we can expect to see movement on the devolution of the Crown Estate?

Thank you for the question. You do raise a very important issue with regard to energy, and, indeed, legislation that has been going through the UK Parliament in respect of energy, which impacts on Wales, and of course you will have seen the legislative consent memoranda in respect of that. It is important to recognise that we've just had the commission report; it does need very careful thought and consideration. There will be a very detailed debate in the Senedd on a date in the not-too-distant future. I know that is being planned, in order to give people time to consider carefully that.

I note also that what the commission say in respect of energy, of course, is they recognise that they've only really been able to scratch the surface of it, but they make a number of important points. They say that energy generation and distribution is an area where the binary—devolved or reserved—nature does not sit easily with the practical realities of delivery, and I think that's something that we probably all agree with across all political parties. They also say that some of the current reservations seem outdated and lacking strategic rationale, such as local heating systems and energy efficiency. And I think that is something that is probably uncontroversial. They also say the role of the regulator in relation to energy is crucial, but that, in fact, we have no formal role within that. And again, I think that is particularly important.

What they do recommend is the establishment, as you say, of a review of the inter-governmental relations that exist, and also in relation to the Crown Estate, which is totally interlinked with this. And they ask for an expert group. Well, I'm sure the issue of expert advice, assistance, and so on, in the whole energy area is something that will be very, very carefully considered, and also considered by the Minister for Climate Change in how to take this forward. I'm not in a position to give you those specific answers, but those are clearly ones that will be considered by the Minister and by the Welsh Government, and will certainly feature, I think importantly, in future discussions.

Diolch am y cwestiwn. Rydych yn codi mater pwysig iawn ynglŷn ag ynni, ac yn wir, deddfwriaeth a aeth drwy Senedd y DU mewn perthynas ag ynni, sy'n effeithio ar Gymru, ac wrth gwrs fe fyddwch wedi gweld y memoranda cydsyniad deddfwriaethol mewn perthynas â hynny. Mae'n bwysig cydnabod ein bod newydd gael adroddiad y comisiwn; mae angen ei ystyried yn ofalus iawn. Bydd dadl fanwl iawn yn y Senedd ar ddyddiad yn y dyfodol agos. Rwy'n gwybod bod hynny'n cael ei gynllunio, er mwyn rhoi amser i bobl ystyried hynny'n ofalus.

Sylwaf hefyd mai'r hyn y mae'r comisiwn yn ei ddweud am ynni, wrth gwrs, yw eu bod yn cydnabod mai dim ond crafu'r wyneb y maent wedi gallu ei wneud mewn gwirionedd, ond maent yn gwneud nifer o bwyntiau pwysig. Maent yn dweud bod cynhyrchu a dosbarthu ynni yn faes lle nad yw'r elfen ddeuol—wedi'i ddatganoli neu heb ei ddatganoli—yn cyd-fynd yn hawdd â realiti ymarferol y ddarpariaeth, a chredaf fod hynny'n rhywbeth yr ydym i gyd yn cytuno ag ef mae'n debyg ar draws pob plaid wleidyddol. Maent hefyd yn dweud bod rhai o'r materion a gedwir yn ôl ar hyn o bryd yn ymddangos yn hen ffasiwn a heb resymeg strategol, megis systemau gwresogi lleol ac effeithlonrwydd ynni. Ac rwy'n credu bod hynny'n rhywbeth nad yw'n ddadleuol yn ôl pob tebyg. Maent hefyd yn dweud bod rôl y rheoleiddiwr mewn perthynas ag ynni yn hanfodol, ond nad oes gennym ni unrhyw rôl ffurfiol yn hynny. Unwaith eto, rwy'n credu bod hynny'n arbennig o bwysig.

Yr hyn y maent yn ei argymell yw sefydlu adolygiad, fel y dywedwch, o'r cysylltiadau rhynglywodraethol sy'n bodoli, a hefyd mewn perthynas ag Ystad y Goron, sy'n cydgysylltu'n llwyr â hyn. Ac maent yn gofyn am grŵp arbenigol. Wel, rwy'n siŵr fod cyngor arbenigol, cymorth, ac yn y blaen, yn yr holl faes ynni yn rhywbeth a fydd yn cael ei ystyried yn ofalus iawn, ac a fydd hefyd yn cael ei ystyried gan y Gweinidog Newid Hinsawdd o ran sut i fwrw ymlaen â hyn. Nid wyf mewn sefyllfa i roi'r atebion penodol hynny i chi, ond mae'r rheini'n amlwg yn rhai a fydd yn cael eu hystyried gan y Gweinidog a chan Lywodraeth Cymru, ac yn sicr yn cael eu cynnwys mewn trafodaethau yn y dyfodol, sy'n bwysig yn fy marn i.

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

Cwestiynau nawr gan lefarwyr y pleidiau. Llefarydd y Ceidwadwyr, Darren Millar.

Questions now from party spokespeople. Conservative spokesperson, Darren Millar.

Diolch, Llywydd. Minister, the First Minister said in his statement yesterday to the Senedd on the report of the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales, and I quote, that he wants to continue to:

'Work for a new and successful United Kingdom, based on a far-reaching federalism.'

He said that in his 2021 manifesto pledge. The report by the commission, of course, makes multiple references to federalism as an option for the future of Wales, and it talks openly about the challenges associated with federalism, noting that only 6 per cent of the people consulted supported that view as an option for the future. So, in light of the report, does the Welsh Government still consider that pushing for federalism within the UK is a viable option?

Diolch, Lywydd. Weinidog, dywedodd y Prif Weinidog yn ei ddatganiad ddoe wrth y Senedd ar adroddiad y Comisiwn Annibynnol ar Ddyfodol Cyfansoddiadol Cymru, ac rwy'n dyfynnu, ei fod am barhau i:

'Gweithio dros Deyrnas Unedig newydd a llwyddiannus, yn seiliedig ar ffederaliaeth bellgyrhaeddol.'

Dywedodd hynny yn ei addewid maniffesto yn 2021. Mae'r adroddiad gan y comisiwn, wrth gwrs, yn gwneud cyfeiriadau lluosog at ffederaliaeth fel opsiwn ar gyfer dyfodol Cymru, ac mae'n siarad yn agored am yr heriau sy'n gysylltiedig â ffederaliaeth, gan nodi mai dim ond 6 y cant o'r bobl yr ymgynghorwyd â hwy oedd yn cefnogi'r farn honno fel opsiwn ar gyfer y dyfodol. Felly, yng ngoleuni'r adroddiad, a yw Llywodraeth Cymru yn dal i ystyried bod gwthio am ffederaliaeth o fewn y DU yn opsiwn ymarferol?

14:40

One of the difficulties with the terms—whether it's devolution, whether it's independence, whether it's federalism—is that it's very much open to pejorative interpretation as to what they mean. Quite often, I find that, when different terms are used, people are quite often talking about the same thing. So, we do have a difficulty in these debates with what is a common language.

I actually believe that the long-term constitutional structure is going to be best served by a form of federalist structure. You have to interpret what that might actually mean. Gordon Brown, in his report, basically sets out a number of principles. He talks about subsidiarity, that is that decision making should be taken as close to people as possible, and it is only those areas where there is common dependency that are the subject of broad cross-governmental and parliamentary structures and so on. That is a form of federalism. Subsidiarity is probably something we would all agree with, but what does it mean in terms of what that democratic structure might actually mean?

What I think is important in what the report has done is that it's set a framework for discussion in terms of what we need—which I think we do genuinely need in Wales, and, of course, in England, where devolution is becoming more of an issue—which is a discussion, really, on how that future will develop, how those relationships should develop, and also, how power should be exercised across the UK, particularly within the global environment we're in. So, I think it is a very valid basis for discussion. 

In terms of setting a silver-bullet blueprint, the commission doesn't do that, but it does set, I think, an evidential base and a framework within which discussion on reforms can take place. 

Un o'r anawsterau gyda'r termau—boed yn ddatganoli, yn annibyniaeth, neu'n ffederaliaeth—yw ei fod yn agored iawn i ddehongliad difrïol o ran yr hyn a olygant. Yn eithaf aml, pan ddefnyddir termau gwahanol, gwelaf fod pobl yn eithaf aml yn siarad am yr un peth. Felly, fe gawn anhawster yn y dadleuon hyn o ran beth sy'n iaith gyffredin.

Credaf mewn gwirionedd mai'r ffordd orau o gynnal y strwythur cyfansoddiadol hirdymor yw drwy ffurf ar strwythur ffederal. Rhaid i chi ddehongli beth y gallai hynny ei olygu mewn gwirionedd. Mae Gordon Brown, yn ei adroddiad, yn nodi nifer o egwyddorion yn y bôn. Mae'n sôn am sybsidiaredd, hynny yw, y dylid gwneud penderfyniadau mor agos â phosibl at bobl, a dim ond y meysydd lle ceir dibyniaeth gyffredin sy'n destun strwythurau trawslywodraethol a seneddol eang ac yn y blaen. Mae hynny'n fath o ffederaliaeth. Mae'n debyg fod sybsidiaredd yn rhywbeth y byddem i gyd yn cytuno ag ef, ond beth mae'n ei olygu o ran yr hyn y gallai'r strwythur democrataidd hwnnw ei olygu mewn gwirionedd?

Rwy'n credu ei bod yn bwysig fod yr adroddiad wedi gosod fframwaith ar gyfer trafod yr hyn sydd ei angen arnom—ac rwy'n credu bod gwir angen hynny arnom yng Nghymru, ac yn Lloegr wrth gwrs, lle mae datganoli yn dod yn fwy o beth—sef trafodaeth, mewn gwirionedd, ar sut y bydd y dyfodol hwnnw'n datblygu, sut y dylai'r cysylltiadau hynny ddatblygu, a hefyd, sut y dylid arfer pŵer ledled y DU, yn enwedig o fewn yr amgylchedd byd-eang yr ydym ynddo. Felly, rwy'n credu ei fod yn sail ddilys iawn ar gyfer trafodaeth. 

O ran gosod glasbrint sy'n ateb i bob dim, nid yw'r comisiwn yn gwneud hynny, ond mae'n gosod sylfaen dystiolaethol a fframwaith y gellir cynnal trafodaeth ar ddiwygiadau o'i fewn. 

I'm grateful for the response. Of course, I can appreciate the attraction to federalism that many people in this Chamber have expressed, and that which has been expressed, of course, in the constitution commission's report. But it doesn't address the fact that it does appear to be a deeply unpopular suggestion and way forward for the future of the constitution of the United Kingdom.

Because we're talking about the constitution of the United Kingdom, as I said initially at the outset of this constitution commission, it did seem rather strange that Wales was going it alone in order to try to develop a conversation, within Wales, and across the UK, about the future of the UK. Because, of course, we had a unilateral report commissioned by the Welsh Government, rather than something commissioned by all the nations and constituent parts of the United Kingdom, which I feel would have been a much better and more appropriate way forward, particularly given that one of the criticisms in the report is the lack of joint working between the various Governments across the United Kingdom. 

So, can I ask you this? What conversations does the Welsh Government now intend to take forward with other devolved Governments in the UK, and with the UK Government, regardless of which colour of rosette the Prime Minister might wear at the next general election? Because we're never going to achieve any progress on these matters unless there is a UK-wide conversation that now takes place. So, how are you trying to bring people to the table to have that conversation?

Diolch am yr ymateb. Wrth gwrs, gallaf ddeall yr atyniad at ffederaliaeth y mae llawer o bobl yn y Siambr hon wedi'i fynegi, a'r hyn a fynegwyd, wrth gwrs, yn adroddiad comisiwn y cyfansoddiad. Ond nid yw'n mynd i'r afael â'r ffaith ei fod yn ymddangos yn awgrym a ffordd ymlaen hynod o amhoblogaidd i ddyfodol cyfansoddiad y Deyrnas Unedig.

Oherwydd ein bod yn sôn am gyfansoddiad y Deyrnas Unedig, fel y dywedais ar y dechrau, pan ddechreuodd y comisiwn ar y cyfansoddiad, roedd yn ymddangos braidd yn rhyfedd fod Cymru'n gweithredu ar ei phen ei hun er mwyn ceisio datblygu sgwrs, yng Nghymru, ac ar draws y DU, am ddyfodol y DU. Oherwydd cawsom adroddiad unochrog a gomisiynwyd gan Lywodraeth Cymru wrth gwrs, yn hytrach na rhywbeth a gomisiynwyd gan yr holl genhedloedd a rhannau cyfansoddol y Deyrnas Unedig, y teimlaf y byddai wedi bod yn ffordd lawer gwell a mwy priodol ymlaen, yn enwedig o gofio mai un feirniadaeth yn yr adroddiad yw'r diffyg cydweithio rhwng y gwahanol Lywodraethau ledled y Deyrnas Unedig. 

Felly, a gaf i ofyn hyn i chi? Pa sgyrsiau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru bellach yn bwriadu eu datblygu gyda Llywodraethau datganoledig eraill yn y DU, a chyda Llywodraeth y DU, beth bynnag fydd plaid y Prif Weinidog yn yr etholiad cyffredinol nesaf? Oherwydd ni fyddwn byth yn llwyddo i gyflawni unrhyw gynnydd ar y materion hyn oni bai bod yna sgwrs yn cael ei chynnal ledled y DU. Felly, sut rydych chi'n ceisio dod â phobl at y bwrdd i gael y sgwrs honno?

Can I thank you? I think you raise some very important issues, and I think you raise them in a very constructive way. It is an important part of this sort of debate to ask how you actually make change. There was, I think, a very well-known economist and philosopher who said that we know what we might want to change, but the question is how do you actually make change happen. 

One of the ways forward, which I think is something that does need to happen—it had been on the agenda, it's been discussed, it's been around—is that there does need to be a UK-wide debate, a UK-wide convention. Some time back, when I was on the Legislation, Justice and Constitution Committee, we pushed very hard and went back with evidence—through the Llywydd's Committee, and through the inter-parliamentary forum that existed—that there needs to be a UK convention. And I say that because, for example, when the 2014 Scottish independence referendum took place, one of the great difficulties was the question of what is the purpose of the UK.

It has come together historically through a whole series of reasons and historic events, but, as we are now, and as we are an entity that is outside of the European Union, the questions are, 'Well what is our purpose? What should be the structure? What should be the principles on which we are based?' And I think that is a very valid discussion that does need to happen, and I think it's a discussion that may well be recognised across political parties. When that 2014 independence referendum took place, I think there was a genuine struggle to actually say, 'Well, what is the purpose? What should the relationships be? What is it that people are going to buy into? What are the principles of equality?' We know there clearly many of them. One of them is—. The Barnett formula, for all its faults, is a redistributive mechanism. It is about redistribution of wealth and, to a certain degree, equality around the UK, the welfare state and aspects of that and tax raising, to that extent, are as well. So, those are matters that we get raised with the Interministerial Standing Committee through the inter-governmental forums that exist.

At the moment, we are in an environment where there is very little reluctance for there to be any movement, but I'm convinced that if there is a change of government in the near future, on the basis of Gordon Brown's report, that debate will increase. On the issue of England, because we talk about Wales and Scotland, and, of course, important events taking place in Northern Ireland now—very important events—it is equally important that the country that consists of 85 per cent of the population of the UK has largely been slightly extraneous from that debate. But, of course, you've seen it growing in places like Manchester, Liverpool, in terms of London, and it is very valid—how is power best exercised, how can it bring us as close as possible to people, what should be the governmental structures and inter-governmental structures, and, perhaps, coming to the very first point I made, how can we develop, actually, a common language that is not pejorative, that doesn't make all sorts of presumptions, but is based on things that we probably all agree on, and that is how we make our democracy work better and how we bring decision making closer to people. 

Diolch i chi. Rwy'n credu eich bod yn codi materion pwysig iawn, ac rwy'n credu eich bod yn eu codi mewn ffordd adeiladol iawn. Rhan bwysig o drafodaeth fel hon yw gofyn sut rydych chi'n gwneud newid mewn gwirionedd. Roedd yna economegydd ac athronydd adnabyddus iawn a ddywedodd ein bod yn gwybod beth y gallem fod eisiau ei newid, ond y cwestiwn yw sut rydych chi'n gwneud i newid ddigwydd mewn gwirionedd. 

Un o'r ffyrdd ymlaen, sydd, yn fy marn i, yn rhywbeth y mae angen iddo ddigwydd—roedd wedi bod ar yr agenda, mae wedi cael ei drafod, mae wedi ei wyntyllu—yw bod angen trafodaeth ar draws y DU, confensiwn ledled y DU. Beth amser yn ôl, pan oeddwn ar y Pwyllgor Deddfwriaeth, Cyfiawnder a'r Cyfansoddiad, fe wnaethom wthio'n galed iawn ac fe wnaethom gasglu tystiolaeth—trwy Bwyllgor y Llywydd, a thrwy'r fforwm rhyngseneddol a oedd yn bodoli—fod angen confensiwn y DU. Ac rwy'n dweud hynny, oherwydd, er enghraifft, pan gynhaliwyd refferendwm annibyniaeth yr Alban yn 2014, un o'r anawsterau mawr oedd y cwestiwn ynglŷn â beth yw pwrpas y DU.

Daeth at ei gilydd yn hanesyddol drwy gyfres fawr o resymau a digwyddiadau hanesyddol, ond fel yr ydym nawr, a chan ein bod yn endid sydd y tu allan i'r Undeb Ewropeaidd, y cwestiynau yw, 'Wel, beth yw ein pwrpas? Beth y dylai'r strwythur fod? Beth y dylai'r egwyddorion yr ydym yn seiliedig arnynt fod?' Ac rwy'n credu bod honno'n drafodaeth ddilys iawn y mae angen iddi ddigwydd, ac rwy'n credu ei bod yn drafodaeth a allai gael ei chydnabod ar draws y pleidiau gwleidyddol. Pan gynhaliwyd refferendwm annibyniaeth 2014, rwy'n credu ei bod hi'n anodd iawn dweud mewn gwirionedd, 'Wel, beth yw'r pwrpas? Beth y dylai'r berthynas fod? Beth mae pobl yn mynd i'w gefnogi? Beth yw'r egwyddorion cydraddoldeb?' Yn amlwg, fe wyddom fod llawer ohonynt. Un ohonynt yw—. Mae fformiwla Barnett, er ei holl ddiffygion, yn fecanwaith ailddosbarthu. Mae'n ymwneud ag ailddosbarthu cyfoeth, ac i ryw raddau mae cydraddoldeb ledled y DU, y wladwriaeth les ac agweddau ar hynny a chodi trethi, i'r graddau hynny, yn ymwneud â hynny yn ogystal. Felly, mae'r rhain yn faterion a welwn yn cael eu codi gyda'r Pwyllgor Sefydlog Rhyngweinidogol drwy'r fforymau rhynglywodraethol sy'n bodoli.

Ar hyn o bryd, rydym mewn amgylchedd lle nad oes fawr o amharodrwydd i unrhyw symud ddigwydd, ond rwy'n argyhoeddedig y bydd y ddadl honno'n cynyddu os bydd newid llywodraeth yn y dyfodol agos, ar sail adroddiad Gordon Brown. Ar fater Lloegr, oherwydd rydym yn sôn am Gymru a'r Alban, a digwyddiadau pwysig sy'n digwydd yng Ngogledd Iwerddon nawr—digwyddiadau pwysig iawn—mae'r un mor bwysig fod y wlad sy'n cynnwys 85 y cant o boblogaeth y DU wedi bod ar y tu allan i'r ddadl honno i raddau helaeth. Ond wrth gwrs, rydych chi wedi'i weld yn tyfu mewn llefydd fel Manceinion, Lerpwl, o ran Llundain, ac mae'n ddilys iawn—beth yw'r ffordd orau o arfer pŵer, sut y gall ddod â ni mor agos â phosibl at bobl, beth ddylai fod yn strwythurau llywodraethol a strwythurau rhynglywodraethol, ac efallai, gan ddod at y pwynt cyntaf un a wneuthum, sut y gallwn ddatblygu iaith gyffredin nad yw'n ddifrïol, nad yw'n gwneud pob math o ragdybiaethau, ond sy'n seiliedig ar bethau yr ydym i gyd yn cytuno arnynt mae'n debyg, sef sut mae gwneud i'n democratiaeth weithio'n well a sut y down â'r broses o wneud penderfyniadau'n agosach at bobl. 

14:45

Well, clearly, there are discussions that need to take place as soon as possible, particularly in relation to some of the immediate recommendations in the report, especially, for example, on issues of financial flexibility for the Welsh Government, which is something that we have expressed our support for on all sides of this Chamber in the past.

Can I just turn to the constitutional commission's budget? So, obviously, undertaking this exercise has cost the taxpayer about £1.5 million to the time of the report being published. That's not an insignificant sum when you consider the opportunity cost of investing that money, perhaps, in our public services at this particular time, given the struggles that many of them are facing. But I noticed, in the budget for the forthcoming financial year, there's another £1 million that has been allocated to the constitutional commission even though it's finished its work. I just wonder why the Welsh Government is allocating a further £1 million to the commission, given that its work has finished and given that that will be from April next year to April 2025. Why is that sum in your budget?

Wel, yn amlwg, mae yna drafodaethau y mae angen eu cynnal cyn gynted â phosibl, yn enwedig mewn perthynas â rhai o'r argymhellion uniongyrchol yn yr adroddiad, yn enwedig, er enghraifft, ar faterion hyblygrwydd ariannol i Lywodraeth Cymru, sy'n rhywbeth yr ydym wedi mynegi ein cefnogaeth iddo ar bob ochr i'r Siambr hon yn y gorffennol.

A gaf i droi at gyllideb y comisiwn cyfansoddiadol? Yn amlwg, mae cynnal yr ymarfer wedi costio tua £1.5 miliwn i'r trethdalwr hyd at adeg cyhoeddi'r adroddiad. Nid yw hwnnw'n swm dibwys pan ystyriwch gost cyfle buddsoddi'r arian hwnnw, efallai, yn ein gwasanaethau cyhoeddus ar yr adeg benodol hon, o ystyried y trafferthion y mae llawer ohonynt yn eu hwynebu. Ond yn y gyllideb ar gyfer y flwyddyn ariannol sydd i ddod, nodais fod £1 filiwn arall wedi'i ddyrannu i'r comisiwn cyfansoddiadol er ei fod wedi gorffen ei waith. Tybed pam mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn dyrannu £1 filiwn arall i'r comisiwn, o gofio bod ei gwaith wedi dod i ben ac o gofio y bydd hynny o fis Ebrill y flwyddyn nesaf hyd fis Ebrill 2025. Pam mae'r swm hwnnw yn eich cyllideb?

Well, can I say that the budget for the commission, having given the commission independence and a fairly broad remit in terms of how it was to go about its work and engagement, had to be one that had provision to enable that to actually happen? Now we actually have the report, and we have the end scale of that particular budget, I think there is a very valid debate now in terms of—. What is really important in this debate is that the work that has taken place is not something that comes to an end, 'Here's the report', and so on; it is actually a living document that works in terms of a debate, and, of course, an important part of it—. One of the things that Gordon Brown's report said was that he was effectively deferring to the fact that we had this commission, but, then, when it had made its recommendation, there was an important and very constructive dialogue.

So, there may well be, and I would hope there is, certainly, in my view, a continuing engagement with elements of the commission, not in terms of the scale at which it is, but in terms of what the role will be in the development of that debate, how that debate might develop with the post-general-election government and so on. Whether all that £1 million is needed or not would be a matter first to consider as to what we think might be the way of carrying forward those recommendations and some of that work and that ongoing engagement. And I think this is really the start of a process. It provides a basis for that engagement and that particular debate. But it is past that particular milestone, so there will need to be a review in terms of what the remainder of that budget is, what of it is needed and what the precise terms and functions might be of how that is carried forward. I'm not in a position to say now, but I think that is some very important consideration that will need to take place, and I think the question you raised is a very valid one. It'll be very valid when, I think, within the weeks ahead, we have the full debate in this Chamber on that.

Wel, a gaf i ddweud bod yn rhaid i'r gyllideb ar gyfer y comisiwn, ar ôl rhoi annibyniaeth i'r comisiwn a chylch gwaith eithaf eang o ran sut yr oedd i fynd ati i gyflawni ei waith a'i ymgysylltiad, fod yn un a oedd â darpariaeth i alluogi hynny i ddigwydd mewn gwirionedd? Gan fod yr  adroddiad gyda ni nawr, a bod gennym faint terfynol y gyllideb benodol honno, rwy'n credu bod dadl ddilys iawn nawr o ran—. Yr hyn sy'n bwysig iawn yn y ddadl hon yw nad yw'r gwaith sydd wedi digwydd yn rhywbeth sy'n dod i ben, 'Dyma'r adroddiad', ac yn y blaen; mae'n ddogfen fyw sy'n gweithio ar gyfer dadl, ac wrth gwrs, rhan bwysig ohoni—. Un o'r pethau a ddywedodd adroddiad Gordon Brown oedd ei fod i bob pwrpas yn ildio i'r ffaith bod gennym y comisiwn hwn, ond wedyn, pan oedd wedi gwneud ei argymhelliad, fod yna ddeialog bwysig ac adeiladol iawn.

Felly, mae'n ddigon posibl y bydd yna ymgysylltiad parhaus gydag elfennau o'r comisiwn, ac rwy'n gobeithio hynny, yn sicr, nid o ran ei faint, ond o ran beth fydd y rôl wrth ddatblygu'r ddadl honno, sut y gallai'r ddadl honno ddatblygu gyda'r llywodraeth a ddaw ar ôl etholiad cyffredinol ac yn y blaen. Byddai pa un a oes angen yr £1 filiwn i gyd ai peidio yn fater i'w ystyried yn gyntaf o ran yr hyn y credwn y gallai fod yn ffordd o gyflawni'r argymhellion hynny a rhywfaint o'r gwaith hwnnw a'r ymgysylltiad parhaus. Ac rwy'n credu mai dechrau proses yw hyn mewn gwirionedd. Mae'n darparu sail ar gyfer yr ymgysylltiad hwnnw a'r ddadl honno. Ond mae wedi mynd heibio i'r garreg filltir benodol honno, felly bydd angen adolygu beth yw gweddill y gyllideb honno, beth sydd ei angen a beth y gallai'r union delerau a swyddogaethau fod o ran sut y bwrir ymlaen â hynny. Nid wyf mewn sefyllfa i ddweud nawr, ond credaf fod honno'n ystyriaeth bwysig iawn, ac rwy'n credu bod y cwestiwn a godwyd gennych yn un dilys iawn. Bydd yn ddilys iawn o fewn yr wythnosau sydd i ddod pan gawn y ddadl lawn ar hynny yn y Siambr hon.

14:50

Llefarydd Plaid Cymru, Adam Price.

The Plaid Cymru spokesperson, Adam Price.

Thank you, Llywydd. Has the Counsel General seen the results of the survey of MSs and MPs by ITV Wales, which shows that, amongst those who responded, 76 per cent said they had felt unsafe as a result of the abuse that they have received, and 31 per cent have considered leaving public life altogether as a result. I was, this morning, at an event on abuse in politics, hosted by the Minister for Finance and Local Government, and what was clear, based on the discussion there, was that that picture is also reflected within local government in Wales. Two of the ideas that were proposed in order to respond to this terrible situation were that we gave someone the job centrally of monitoring the level of abuse that is being experienced across Wales, so we can benchmark it on an annual basis, and that we also have a central point of advice and support for elected representatives at all levels, in terms of how they can respond to abuse, given the current legal framework.

Diolch, Lywydd. A yw'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi gweld canlyniadau'r arolwg o Aelodau o'r Senedd ac Aelodau Seneddol gan ITV Wales, sy'n dangos, ymhlith y rhai a ymatebodd, fod 76 y cant wedi dweud eu bod wedi teimlo'n anniogel o ganlyniad i gamdriniaeth y maent wedi'i dioddef, a bod 31 y cant wedi ystyried gadael bywyd cyhoeddus yn gyfan gwbl o ganlyniad i hynny. Y bore yma, roeddwn mewn digwyddiad ar gamdriniaeth yn y byd gwleidyddol a gynhaliwyd gan y Gweinidog Cyllid a Llywodraeth Leol, ac roedd hi'n glir, yn seiliedig ar y drafodaeth yno, fod y darlun hwnnw hefyd yn cael ei adlewyrchu mewn llywodraeth leol yng Nghymru. Dau o'r syniadau a gynigiwyd er mwyn ymateb i'r sefyllfa ofnadwy hon oedd ein bod yn rhoi swydd i rywun yn ganolog i fonitro lefel y gamdriniaeth a brofir ledled Cymru, fel y gallwn ei meincnodi'n flynyddol, a bod gennym hefyd bwynt canolog i roi cyngor a chefnogaeth i gynrychiolwyr etholedig ar bob lefel, er mwyn iddynt allu ymateb i gamdriniaeth, o ystyried y fframwaith cyfreithiol presennol.

I haven't seen the survey, but it's not something, in your talking about it, that causes me any surprise, because I doubt whether there's a single Member in here, and across all parties, who has not experienced severe abuse. I've had quite a bit of it recently—individuals telling me that, on the Senedd reform, I belong in a padded cell. That is probably the milder and more moderate form of some of the abuse that has taken place and the language that is experienced.

There are different aspects to it. The first thing is you're absolutely right—I think there's an awful lot of people who would like to serve in public office, at whatever level, who've chosen not to because they do not want to expose themselves and their families to the sort of abuse that comes particularly through social media. I think social media is a major challenge. Like all things, it has considerable benefits in terms of communication and exchanges of information, but also, certainly—and we've seen this within the political environment internationally as well, not just locally—the potential for threat and intimidation. There are laws, of course, that provide for criminality in certain aspects of that, but I do agree very much with what you say—I think there is a need for considerable thought within our democratic process about how we do, I suppose, maintain certain principles in terms of online abuse. Legislation, of course, has gone through the UK Parliament, but, of course, much of it is subject to how those who own and control the social media networks actually operate. And we know that, even within that, there are clear vested interests, and I put that as diplomatically as I can.

In the elections Bill, which is coming forward in this Senedd, we've strengthened the issue of undue influence, and so on, within that. But I do agree, when we talk about our democratic health in the round, that the issue of people's ability to participate and to protect people, and also to protect the civil rights of people to participate and to speak freely within that, is absolutely vital. I think what you are raising is something I can't give you an answer to, other than I think it is a fundamentally important issue for the future that we have to tackle, we have to address and we have to engage with across all governments.

Nid wyf wedi gweld yr arolwg, ond wrth siarad amdano, nid yw'n rhywbeth sy'n peri unrhyw syndod imi, oherwydd rwy'n amau a oes unrhyw Aelod yma, ac ar draws pob plaid, sydd heb brofi cam-drin difrifol. Cefais gryn dipyn ohono yn ddiweddar—unigolion yn dweud wrthyf, ar fater diwygio'r Senedd, mai cell dan glo yw fy lle. Mae'n debyg mai dyna'r ffurf ysgafnach a mwy cymedrol o beth o'r cam-drin sydd wedi digwydd a'r iaith sy'n cael ei dioddef.

Mae yna wahanol agweddau ar hynny. Y peth cyntaf yw eich bod chi'n hollol iawn—rwy'n credu bod llawer iawn o bobl a hoffai wasanaethu mewn swydd gyhoeddus, ar ba lefel bynnag, sydd wedi dewis peidio am nad ydynt eisiau gwneud eu hunain a'u teuluoedd yn agored i'r math o gamdriniaeth a ddaw yn sgil hynny, yn enwedig drwy'r cyfryngau cymdeithasol. Rwy'n credu bod cyfryngau cymdeithasol yn her fawr. Fel pob peth, mae iddynt fanteision sylweddol ar gyfer cyfathrebu a chyfnewid gwybodaeth, ond hefyd, yn sicr—ac rydym wedi gweld hyn yn yr amgylchedd gwleidyddol yn rhyngwladol hefyd, nid yn lleol yn unig—maent yn cynnig ffordd o fygwth a brawychu. Mae yna gyfreithiau, wrth gwrs, sy'n darparu ar gyfer troseddoli rhai agweddau ar hynny, ond rwy'n cytuno'n fawr â'r hyn a ddywedwch—rwy'n credu bod angen cryn feddwl o fewn ein proses ddemocrataidd, mae'n debyg, ynglŷn â sut y gallwn gynnal egwyddorion penodol mewn perthynas â cham-drin ar-lein. Mae deddfwriaeth wedi mynd drwy Senedd y DU, ond wrth gwrs, mae llawer ohoni'n ddarostyngedig i sut mae'r rhai sy'n berchen ar rwydweithiau cyfryngau cymdeithasol ac yn eu rheoli yn gweithredu mewn gwirionedd. Ac fe wyddom, hyd yn oed o fewn hynny, fod yna fudd clir i rai, ac rwy'n rhoi hynny mor ddiplomyddol ag y gallaf.

Yn y Bil etholiadau, sy'n cael ei gyflwyno yn y Senedd hon, rydym wedi cryfhau mater dylanwad amhriodol, ac yn y blaen, o'i fewn. Ond rwy'n cytuno, pan fyddwn yn siarad am ein hiechyd democrataidd yn gyffredinol, fod gallu pobl i gymryd rhan a diogelu pobl, a diogelu hawliau sifil pobl hefyd i gymryd rhan ac i siarad yn rhydd o fewn hynny, yn gwbl hanfodol. Rwy'n credu bod yr hyn a nodwch yn rhywbeth na allaf roi ateb i chi yn ei gylch, heblaw fy mod yn credu ei fod yn fater sylfaenol bwysig ar gyfer y dyfodol y mae'n rhaid inni roi sylw iddo, mae'n rhaid inni fynd i'r afael ag ef ac mae'n rhaid inni ymdrin ag ef ar draws pob llywodraeth.

14:55

Women in politics suffer this abuse disproportionately, and, 12 years ago, Bolivia became the first country in the world to create a specific offence of abuse against women in politics, and that's been copied in four Latin American countries. We couldn't introduce that law because of the reservation around equal opportunities, but we could strengthen general provisions to prevent abuse in politics, which would then benefit women and those other groups—ethnic minorities, LGBTQ+ and others—that suffer this abuse. We could, for example, take the new offence of intimidating elected representatives and apply it not just during election periods but permanently or continuously. We could add to that offence by not making the sanction limited to disqualification from standing in elections, but actually having a criminal sanction involving fines and imprisonment. We could take the long-standing offence of making a false statement about somebody's personal conduct or character, and also extend that beyond election periods and apply it to political conduct—for instance, claiming that somebody voted one way when, actually, they didn't. That's not illegal currently, and that is something that is the source of abuse. Would the Counsel General look at all these ideas, and also look across the world—the Oireachtas in Ireland is about to produce its own report on safe participation in public life—would he look at all of these ideas, give them consideration and report back to the Senedd if he saw merit in implementing any of these ideas here in Wales?

Mae menywod mewn gwleidyddiaeth yn dioddef cam-drin o'r fath i raddau anghymesur, a 12 mlynedd yn ôl, Bolivia oedd y wlad gyntaf yn y byd i greu trosedd benodol o gam-drin menywod mewn gwleidyddiaeth, ac mae hynny wedi'i efelychu mewn pedair o wledydd America Ladin. Ni allem gyflwyno'r gyfraith honno am fod cyfle cyfartal wedi'i gadw'n ôl, ond gallem gryfhau darpariaethau cyffredinol i atal camdriniaeth mewn gwleidyddiaeth, a fyddai wedyn o fudd i fenywod a grwpiau eraill—lleiafrifoedd ethnig, LGBTQ+ ac eraill—sy'n dioddef cam-drin o'r fath. Er enghraifft, gallem gymryd y drosedd newydd o fygwth cynrychiolwyr etholedig a'i chymhwyso nid yn unig yn ystod cyfnodau etholiad ond yn barhaol neu'n barhaus. Gallem ychwanegu at y drosedd honno drwy beidio â chyfyngu'r gosb i anghymhwyso rhag sefyll mewn etholiadau, ond cael cosb droseddol gyda dirwyon a charchariadau. Gallem gymryd y drosedd hirsefydlog o wneud datganiad ffug am ymddygiad neu gymeriad personol rhywun, ac ymestyn hynny hefyd y tu hwnt i gyfnodau etholiad a'i gymhwyso i ymddygiad gwleidyddol—er enghraifft, honni bod rhywun wedi pleidleisio un ffordd pan na wnaethant hynny mewn gwirionedd. Nid yw hynny'n anghyfreithlon ar hyn o bryd, ac mae'n rhywbeth sy'n ffynhonnell camdriniaeth. A wnaiff y Cwnsler Cyffredinol edrych ar yr holl syniadau hyn, ac edrych hefyd ar draws y byd—mae'r Oireachtas yn Iwerddon ar fin cynhyrchu ei adroddiad ei hun ar gyfranogiad diogel mewn bywyd cyhoeddus—a wnaiff edrych ar yr holl syniadau hyn, rhoi ystyriaeth iddynt ac adrodd yn ôl i'r Senedd os yw'n gweld rhinwedd mewn gweithredu unrhyw un o'r syniadau yma yng Nghymru?

Can I say I think the point you raise is fundamentally important? It is certainly something that goes to a trope that I've been continually mentioning, and that is democratic health. I think there is a need for an ongoing debate on our democratic health. Some of that comes with some of the legislation that we are bringing, but I am happy to look at exploring ways in which this can be developed within the Senedd and can be looked at within the Senedd—whether it is the most appropriate at a Senedd level, a Senedd committee, et cetera, that then actually seeks evidence from Ministers but other bodies, et cetera, that explores that. Maybe that would be the way in which we start that process. 

I have to say, there are real concerns I have in terms of how we might be able to do things in terms of our competence, and I think our competence restrictions in terms of the online issue and other areas all begin to emerge and make this a very difficult area. Also, this is very much a cross-governmental issue and one of the issues—. Perhaps we can look forward to see how that might be raised. I think it has been raised at some of the inter-governmental meetings in a general way, and I'll happily look to explore that and perhaps come back to you—I'll happily write to you—about where we are on some of those issues, and perhaps explore what might be a way forward in terms of that. One of my portfolio responsibilities, obviously, is the constitution. I think that embraces the issue of democratic health within the confines of our devolved settlement, so I'll happily be prepared to look at that. 

A gaf i ddweud bod y pwynt a godwch yn hanfodol bwysig? Mae'n sicr yn rhywbeth sy'n cysylltu â mater y bûm yn sôn amdano'n barhaus, sef iechyd democrataidd. Rwy'n credu bod angen dadl barhaus ar ein hiechyd democrataidd. Daw rhywfaint o hynny gyda pheth o'r ddeddfwriaeth yr ydym yn ei chyflwyno, ond rwy'n hapus i edrych ar ffyrdd y gellir datblygu hyn o fewn y Senedd ac y gellir edrych arnynt o fewn y Senedd—a yw'n fwyaf priodol ar lefel y Senedd, un o bwyllgorau'r Senedd, ac ati, sydd wedyn yn gofyn am dystiolaeth gan Weinidogion a chyrff eraill, ac yn y blaen, sy'n archwilio hynny. Efallai mai dyna'r ffordd y dechreuwn y broses honno. 

Rhaid imi ddweud, mae pryderon gwirioneddol gennyf ynglŷn â sut y gallem wneud pethau o ran ein cymhwysedd, ac rwy'n credu bod ein cyfyngiadau cymhwysedd ynghylch materion ar-lein a meysydd eraill i gyd yn dechrau dod i'r amlwg ac yn gwneud hwn yn faes anodd iawn. Hefyd, mae hwn yn fater trawslywodraethol i raddau helaeth iawn ac un o'r materion—. Efallai y gallwn edrych ymlaen at weld sut y gellid codi hynny. Rwy'n credu ei fod wedi cael ei godi yn rhai o'r cyfarfodydd rhynglywodraethol mewn ffordd gyffredinol, ac rwy'n hapus i archwilio hynny ac efallai dod yn ôl atoch—rwy'n hapus i ysgrifennu atoch—ynglŷn â ble rydym arni gyda rhai o'r materion hynny, ac efallai archwilio beth allai fod yn ffordd ymlaen gyda hynny. Un o fy nghyfrifoldebau portffolio, wrth gwrs, yw'r cyfansoddiad. Credaf fod hynny'n cynnwys mater iechyd democrataidd o fewn cyfyngiadau ein setliad datganoledig, felly rwy'n barod i edrych ar hynny. 

Ymgyrch Hillsborough Law Now
The Hillsborough Law Now Campaign

3. Pa drafodaethau y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'u cael â Llywodraeth y DU ynglŷn ag ymgyrch Hillsborough Law Now? OQ60615

3. What discussions has the Counsel General had with the UK Government regarding the Hillsborough Law Now campaign? OQ60615

Again, can I thank you for raising this? I have raised the objectives of the Hillsborough Law Now campaign with the UK Government on many occasions, most recently at last week’s Inter-ministerial Group for Justice in the context of the case for a statutory duty of candour.

A gaf i ddiolch i chi unwaith eto am godi hyn? Rwyf wedi codi amcanion ymgyrch Hillsborough Law Now gyda Llywodraeth y DU ar sawl achlysur, yn fwyaf diweddar yn y Grŵp Cyfiawnder Rhyngweinidogol yr wythnos diwethaf yng nghyd-destun yr achos dros ddyletswydd gonestrwydd statudol.

I thank the Counsel General for his answer and also for his long-standing commitment to fighting for justice for ordinary working people, and I again thank him for supporting the premise of a Hillsborough law now and the campaign to achieve that. As you say, Counsel General, a Hillsborough law would place a new legal duty of candour on public authorities and officials to tell the truth and to proactively co-operate with official investigations and inquiries. With that in mind, can I ask the Counsel General what assessment he has made of how a Hillsborough law will not only end the familiar pattern of cover-ups and concealment, but will also save public money in doing so?

Diolch i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol am ei ateb a hefyd am ei ymrwymiad hirsefydlog i frwydro dros gyfiawnder i bobl gyffredin, a diolch iddo unwaith eto am gefnogi cynsail cyfraith Hillsborough a'r ymgyrch i gyflawni hynny. Fel y dywedwch, Gwnsler Cyffredinol, byddai cyfraith Hillsborough yn gosod dyletswydd gonestrwydd gyfreithiol newydd ar awdurdodau cyhoeddus a swyddogion i ddweud y gwir ac i gydweithredu'n rhagweithiol ag ymchwiliadau ac ymholiadau swyddogol. Gyda hynny mewn golwg, a gaf i ofyn i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol pa asesiad y mae wedi'i wneud o sut y bydd cyfraith Hillsborough nid yn unig yn dod â'r patrwm cyfarwydd o gelu a chuddio i ben, ond hefyd yn arbed arian cyhoeddus wrth wneud hynny?

Can I just thank you again for keeping this issue on the radar, because it's a very important one? It's an issue that features also in the UK Government's Victims and Prisoners Bill, and, of course, one of the ways that that Bill is seeking to address some of the Hillsborough issues is by the creation of independent advocates. There are issues around that that we have discussed at inter-ministerial level that caused concerns, particularly in terms of the devolution settlement. There are conversations that are ongoing with regard to that Bill and legislative consent. I think even what is contained within that does not actually deal with the Hillsborough law and the issues that are raised there. I think I said when this was raised before that one of the most straightforward ways of actually resolving this is actually by making legal aid available to victims.

Just to say, whilst I’m very pleased to see today the result of the Law Society’s judicial review of the UK Government in respect of legal aid, I’m just going to mention this part of the judgment, because although it relates to the rates of legal aid and the impact that has, this, I think, is pretty fundamental in terms of what is happening with our justice system, which is creaking and is basically beginning to crack and come into disrepute:

'The court observed that it had been presented with an "impressive, compelling body of evidence" which showed "the system is slowly coming apart at the seams". "Unless there are significant injections of funding in the relatively near future, any prediction along the lines that the system will arrive in due course at the point of collapse is not overly pessimistic." '

That is a pretty damning statement coming from a senior court. They went on to say that 1,400 duty solicitors have left since 2017, and

'We’re already seeing that there simply aren’t enough solicitors to represent suspects in police stations'..."The imbalance between the defence and the prosecution will continue to grow and public trust in the criminal justice system will continue to fail." '

That relates back to the earlier question of Horizon, but it also equally relates to the Hillsborough issue and the issue that I’ve raised a number of times, and that is about access to justice.

A gaf i ddiolch i chi eto am gadw'r mater hwn ar y radar, oherwydd mae'n un pwysig iawn? Mae'n fater sy'n ymddangos hefyd ym Mil Dioddefwyr a Charcharorion Llywodraeth y DU, ac wrth gwrs, un o'r ffyrdd y mae'r Bil hwnnw'n ceisio mynd i'r afael â rhai o faterion Hillsborough yw drwy greu eiriolwyr annibynnol. Mae materion yn codi mewn perthynas â hynny sy'n achosi pryder, ac rydym wedi eu trafod ar lefel ryngweinidogol, yn enwedig mewn perthynas â'r setliad datganoli. Mae sgyrsiau ar y gweill ynghylch y Bil hwnnw a chydsyniad deddfwriaethol. Rwy'n credu nad yw'r hyn sydd wedi'i gynnwys o fewn y Bil hwnnw hyd yn oed yn ymdrin â chyfraith Hillsborough mewn gwirionedd a'r materion sy'n cael eu codi yno. Rwy'n credu fy mod wedi dweud pan godwyd hyn yn flaenorol mai un o'r ffyrdd mwyaf syml o ddatrys hyn yw trwy sicrhau bod cymorth cyfreithiol ar gael i ddioddefwyr.

Hoffwn ddweud yn ogystal, er fy mod yn falch iawn o weld canlyniad adolygiad barnwrol Cymdeithas y Gyfraith heddiw o Lywodraeth y DU mewn perthynas â chymorth cyfreithiol, rwyf ond yn mynd i sôn am y rhan hon o'r dyfarniad, oherwydd er ei fod yn ymwneud â chyfraddau cymorth cyfreithiol a'r effaith y mae hynny'n ei chael, rwy'n credu bod hyn yn eithaf sylfaenol o ran yr hyn sy'n digwydd gyda'n system gyfiawnder, sy'n gwegian ac yn y bôn yn dechrau cracio ac yn dod yn destun anfri:

'Nododd y llys fod "corff o dystiolaeth drawiadol a chymhellol" wedi dod i law a oedd yn dangos "fod y system yn dechrau datgymalu'n araf bach". "Oni bai bod chwistrelliadau sylweddol o gyllid yn y dyfodol cymharol agos, nid yw unrhyw ddarogan y bydd y system yn cyrraedd pwynt lle bydd yn chwalu maes o law yn rhy besimistaidd."'

Mae hwnnw'n ddatganiad eithaf damniol gan uwch lys. Fe aethant ymlaen i ddweud bod 1,400 o gyfreithwyr ar ddyletswydd wedi gadael ers 2017, ac

'Rydym eisoes yn gweld nad oes digon o gyfreithwyr i gynrychioli pobl dan amheuaeth mewn gorsafoedd heddlu'..."Bydd yr anghydbwysedd rhwng yr amddiffyniad a'r erlyniad yn parhau i dyfu a bydd ymddiriedaeth y cyhoedd yn y system cyfiawnder troseddol yn parhau i wanhau."'

Mae hynny'n ymwneud â chwestiwn cynharach ynglŷn â Horizon, ond mae hefyd yn ymwneud i'r un graddau â mater Hillsborough a'r mater a godwyd gennyf sawl gwaith ynglŷn â mynediad at gyfiawnder.

15:00

Dwi wedi cytuno i gwestiynau 4, 5 a 6 gael eu grwpio. I ofyn cwestiwn 4, felly, John Griffiths. 

I have agreed that questions 4, 5 and 6 should be grouped. To ask question 4, therefore, John Griffiths.

Datganoli Plismona
Devolution of Policing

4. Beth yw safbwynt Llywodraeth Cymru ar hyn o bryd ar ddatganoli plismona i Gymru? OQ60614

4. What is the Welsh Government’s current position on the devolution of policing to Wales? OQ60614

5. Pa gyngor cyfreithiol y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'i roi i Lywodraeth Cymru ar ddatganoli plismona a chyfiawnder? OQ60593

5. What legal advice has the Counsel General provided to the Welsh Government on the devolution of policing and justice? OQ60593

6. Pa gamau y mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn eu cymryd i sicrhau datganoli cyfiawnder a phlismona? OQ60588

6. What steps is the Welsh Government taking to ensure the devolution of justice and policing? OQ60588

Thank you for the question. As the Llywydd has outlined, questions 4, 5 and 6 are being grouped.

The Welsh Government’s position is clear. We continue to support the devolution of policing and justice to Wales, as supported recently by the constitutional commission. We will shortly be publishing our 'Delivering Justice for Wales' progress report with further details. 

Diolch am y cwestiwn. Fel y mae'r Llywydd wedi amlinellu, mae cwestiynau 4, 5 a 6 yn cael eu grwpio.

Mae safbwynt Llywodraeth Cymru yn glir. Rydym yn parhau i gefnogi datganoli plismona a chyfiawnder i Gymru, fel y mae'r comisiwn cyfansoddiadol wedi'i gefnogi yn ddiweddar. Byddwn yn cyhoeddi ein hadroddiad cynnydd ar 'Sicrhau Cyfiawnder i Gymru' cyn bo hir gyda rhagor o fanylion. 

Daeth Paul Davies i’r Gadair.

Paul Davies took the Chair.

Counsel General, we do not have a criminal justice system fit for purpose in England and Wales, and I think the case is very well made for devolution, and I know that you would agree with that. At the moment, people are unnecessarily criminalised. We have overcrowded prisons where rehabilitation is not possible to the extent that it should take place. This then leads to more reoffending than would otherwise happen. We know lots of people there have mental health issues, alcohol and drug addiction, poor literacy and numeracy skills and generally low skills. It’s regressive and it’s counter-productive, and we badly need a more enlightened approach along the lines of social justice and improving quality of life for our communities that Welsh Government is committed to.

The Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales has made the appropriate recommendation, so I just wonder what you could tell us in terms of your assessment of the preparedness in Wales for that devolution, and what are the most immediate next steps that need to take place?

Gwnsler Cyffredinol, nid oes gennym system cyfiawnder troseddol sy'n addas i'r diben yng Nghymru a Lloegr, ac rwy'n credu bod yr achos wedi'i wneud yn dda iawn dros ddatganoli, a gwn y byddech yn cytuno â hynny. Ar hyn o bryd, mae pobl yn cael eu troseddoli'n ddiangen. Mae gennym garchardai gorlawn lle nad yw'n bosibl adsefydlu i'r graddau y dylai hynny ddigwydd. Mae hyn wedyn yn arwain at fwy o aildroseddu nag a fyddai'n digwydd fel arall. Gwyddom fod gan lawer o bobl broblemau iechyd meddwl, dibyniaeth ar alcohol a chyffuriau, sgiliau llythrennedd a rhifedd gwael a lefel wael o sgiliau yn gyffredinol. Mae'n anflaengar ac mae'n wrthgynhyrchiol, ac mae gwir angen dull mwy goleuedig arnom o weithredu cyfiawnder cymdeithasol a gwella ansawdd bywyd i'n cymunedau fel y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi ymrwymo iddo.

Mae'r Comisiwn Annibynnol ar Ddyfodol Cyfansoddiadol Cymru wedi gwneud yr argymhelliad priodol, felly beth y gallwch ei ddweud wrthym yw eich asesiad o'r parodrwydd yng Nghymru ar gyfer datganoli o'r fath, a beth yw'r camau nesaf mwyaf uniongyrchol sydd angen eu cymryd?

I think one of the difficulties there has been when we talk about the devolution of policing is that we've got to understand the interrelationship between policing, how policing has changed over the years, its interaction with youth offending, with social communities, with socioeconomic issues, and so on. That development has actually been really, really important, and to devolve youth justice and to devolve probation also leads you to say there is an illogic in not then also devolving policing. Policing is devolved, of course, in Northern Ireland, as it is in Scotland. There are devolutions of policing in Manchester and again in London. So, I've never understood why it is that the logic of all the devolved functions we have aren't in keeping, or considered to be in keeping with the devolution of policing.

We, of course, do have in Wales four police and crime commissioners. They are a reserved matter. But when the four elected police and crime commissioners all come together and say that policing needs to be devolved, and recognise the importance of the interrelations and work that is going on with devolved functions, I think it's important that people sit up and listen to that very carefully, if you really want to see policing and the justice work more consistently and more effectively.

Can I just say that the step we have taken forward on this—? I was in Scotland for three days looking at the tribunal system, but also at the youth justice system, and there are some very interesting developments there, which I'll perhaps talk about on another occasion. But the relationship there with policing, and the understanding of how policing works, has led us, really, to the joint statement the Minister for Social Justice referred to a while back. That is in respect of the research that's being carried out, which we have commissioned with the retired Chief Constable Carl Foulkes, who's leading a review of policing, the opportunities from the devolution of policing, the practicalities of it. Because I think the onus is on us now to actually make the very, very clear case by showing, 'This is what would be different, this is what would be better.' Of course, there are inter-governmental issues across the UK in terms of specialist aspects of policing—none of those should change—but I think there is a very, very strong case there. We are working to actually present that, and there will be further debate on this when the conclusions of the research work that's being carried out are available and we can debate them in the Senedd. 

Rwy'n credu mai un o'r anawsterau wrth siarad am ddatganoli plismona yw bod yn rhaid inni ddeall y gydberthynas rhwng plismona, sut mae plismona wedi newid dros y blynyddoedd, y ffordd y mae'n rhyngweithio â throseddu ieuenctid, â chymunedau cymdeithasol, â materion economaidd-gymdeithasol, ac yn y blaen. Mae'r datblygiad hwnnw wedi bod yn wirioneddol bwysig, ac mae datganoli cyfiawnder ieuenctid a datganoli prawf hefyd yn eich arwain i ddweud bod peidio â datganoli plismona hefyd yn afresymegol. Mae plismona wedi'i ddatganoli yng Ngogledd Iwerddon, fel y mae yn yr Alban wrth gwrs. Mae yna ddatganoli plismona ym Manceinion ac eto yn Llundain. Felly, nid wyf erioed wedi deall y rhesymeg pam mae'r holl swyddogaethau datganoledig sydd gennym yn anghydnaws, neu'n cael eu hystyried yn anghydnaws â datganoli plismona.

Mae gennym bedwar comisiynydd heddlu a throseddu yng Nghymru wrth gwrs. Maent yn fater a gadwyd yn ôl. Ond pan fydd y pedwar comisiynydd heddlu a throseddu etholedig yn dod at ei gilydd ac yn dweud bod angen datganoli plismona, ac yn cydnabod pwysigrwydd y gydberthynas a'r gwaith sy'n digwydd gyda swyddogaethau datganoledig, rwy'n credu ei bod yn bwysig fod pobl yn gwrando ar hynny'n ofalus iawn, os ydych chi o ddifrif eisiau gweld plismona a'r gwaith cyfiawnder yn gweithio'n fwy cyson ac yn fwy effeithiol.

A gaf i ddweud mai'r cam a gymerwyd gennym ar hyn—? Roeddwn yn yr Alban am dridiau yn edrych ar y system tribiwnlysoedd, ond hefyd ar y system cyfiawnder ieuenctid, ac mae datblygiadau diddorol iawn yno, y byddaf yn siarad amdanynt ar achlysur arall o bosibl. Ond mae'r berthynas yno â phlismona, a dealltwriaeth o sut mae plismona'n gweithio, wedi ein harwain at y datganiad ar y cyd y cyfeiriodd y Gweinidog Cyfiawnder Cymdeithasol ato ychydig yn ôl. Mae'n ymwneud â'r ymchwil sy'n cael ei wneud, ymchwil a gomisiynwyd gennym gyda'r cyn Brif Gwnstabl Carl Foulkes, sy'n arwain adolygiad o blismona, y cyfleoedd o ddatganoli plismona, ymarferoldeb hynny. Oherwydd rwy'n credu mai ein cyfrifoldeb ni yn awr yw gwneud yr achos yn glir iawn drwy ddangos, 'Dyma beth fyddai'n wahanol, dyma beth fyddai'n well.' Wrth gwrs, mae yna faterion rhynglywodraethol yn codi ar draws y DU mewn perthynas ag agweddau arbenigol ar blismona—ni ddylai unrhyw un o'r rheini newid—ond rwy'n credu bod achos cryf iawn yno. Rydym yn gweithio i gyflwyno'r achos hwnnw, a bydd trafodaeth bellach ar hyn pan fydd casgliadau'r gwaith ymchwil sy'n cael ei wneud ar gael a gallwn eu trafod yn y Senedd. 

15:05

John Griffiths explained eloquently why we need to see the devolution of justice and policing just now. Ten days ago, on 21 January, the Counsel General posted a message on X saying:

'Those opposed to the devolution of justice have still not put forward any evidence based argument claiming merely "isnʼt it great, aren't we wonderful, the world thinks we are fantastic!» Delusional!'

End quote. And I agree completely with the Counsel General in his remarks. The next day, the most senior Labour MP in Wales, Jo Stevens, went on the BBC and said that an incoming Labour Government will not be looking at devolution of policing and justice. So, does the Counsel General believe that Keir Starmer's Labour Party is deluded? 

Esboniodd John Griffiths yn huawdl pam mae angen inni weld datganoli cyfiawnder a phlismona nawr. Ddeng niwrnod yn ôl, ar 21 Ionawr, postiodd y Cwnsler Cyffredinol neges ar X yn dweud:

'Nid yw'r rhai sy'n gwrthwynebu datganoli cyfiawnder wedi cyflwyno unrhyw ddadl sy'n seiliedig ar dystiolaeth, gan honni'n unig "onid yw'n wych, onid ydym ni'n fendigedig, mae'r byd yn meddwl ein bod yn ardderchog!" Maent yn twyllo'u hunain!'

Diwedd y dyfyniad. Ac rwy'n cytuno'n llwyr â'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol yn ei sylwadau. Y diwrnod wedyn, aeth yr AS Llafur uchaf ei statws yng Nghymru, Jo Stevens, ar y BBC a dywedodd na fydd Llywodraeth Lafur newydd yn edrych ar ddatganoli plismona a chyfiawnder. Felly, a yw'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol yn credu bod plaid Lafur Keir Starmer yn twyllo'i hun? 

Well, can I say, firstly, that the social media clip you refer to was very much in response to a clip that came from the Rt Hon Robert Buckland, former Lord Chancellor and the Secretary of State for Justice? The reason I did that was because the tone of what was being said was, 'Look at our justice system. We are so respected throughout the world. We are almost the cornerstone of justice et cetera. Who would really want to undermine that and then to devolve justice, because everything is as it is?' And my immediate response to that is, 'No, it isn't.' Our justice system is becoming a laughing stock around the world. Our legal aid system is far worse than in many other countries of the world. We are exposed to an onslaught of miscarriages of justice: senior individual cases, to the issues that we've discussed, with warrants of execution, to the issues we've had with the Horizon scandal, which goes on and on. We have a justice system with backlogs, and the legal aid system means that the majority of the population never have access to the justice system. We now have a Government that is passing unlawful legislation and that is talking about legislating to break international conventions. So, that's what I thought was actually delusional. Anyone who still believes that old mantra we had 20, 30 years ago of the mother of parliaments and the justice system we've given to the world—we have parts of the world that have now more effective justice systems than we have.

Can I say, in terms of policing—? Well, look, the first thing is that the Gordon Brown report was very clear that the starting point in terms of change was youth justice and probation. The issue of policing is one that we will continue to explore. We will continue to put evidence together. We will continue to engage for changes that I believe are inevitable. These are not things that will happen overnight, but I'm convinced that we will get there and that we will actually achieve the devolution of those areas—not because it's a battleground between whether Westminster controls it or whether we do, it's because it's better for the people of Wales. It's better for our communities, it's a better way. If I thought it would actually not work and it would be worse, then I'd say, 'No, leave it alone.' But I don't believe that, and the more I get involved in the youth justice system and in the justice aspects and in sentencing and so on, the more I actually realise that, the way that these are all integrated, it makes no sense, when you have so many devolved functions that really make up a big chunk of the justice system, to keep them separate.

Wel, a gaf i ddweud yn gyntaf fod y clip cyfryngau cymdeithasol y cyfeiriwch ato yn ymateb i glip a ddaeth gan y Gwir Anrhydeddus Robert Buckland, cyn Arglwydd Ganghellor a'r Ysgrifennydd Gwladol dros Gyfiawnder? Y rheswm pam y gwneuthum hynny oedd oherwydd mai cywair yr hyn a oedd yn cael ei ddweud oedd, 'Edrychwch ar ein system gyfiawnder. Rydym yn cael ein parchu cymaint ledled y byd. Rydym bron yn gonglfaen i gyfiawnder ac ati. Pwy fyddai eisiau tanseilio hynny o ddifrif a datganoli cyfiawnder, gyda phopeth fel y mae?' A fy ymateb uniongyrchol i hynny yw, 'Na, nid yw hynny'n wir.' Mae ein system gyfiawnder yn destun gwawd ledled y byd bellach. Mae ein system cymorth cyfreithiol yn llawer gwaeth na mewn llawer o wledydd eraill yn y byd. Rydym yn agored i gamweinyddu cyfiawnder eang: llu o achosion unigol, gyda'r materion yr ydym wedi'u trafod, a gwarantau i weithredu, a'r materion a gawsom gyda sgandal Horizon, sy'n mynd ymlaen ac ymlaen. Mae gennym system gyfiawnder gydag ôl-groniadau, ac mae'r system cymorth cyfreithiol yn golygu nad yw'r mwyafrif o'r boblogaeth byth yn cael mynediad at y system gyfiawnder. Mae gennym Lywodraeth nawr sy'n pasio deddfwriaeth anghyfreithlon sy'n siarad am ddeddfu i dorri confensiynau rhyngwladol. Felly, dyna pam y credwn eu bod yn twyllo'u hunain. Mae unrhyw un sy'n dal i gredu'r hen fantra a oedd gennym 20, 30 mlynedd yn ôl am fam y seneddau a'r system gyfiawnder a roesom i'r byd—mae gennym rannau o'r byd sydd bellach yn meddu ar systemau cyfiawnder mwy effeithiol na'r hyn sydd gennym ni.

A gaf i ddweud, ar blismona—? Wel, edrychwch, y peth cyntaf yw bod adroddiad Gordon Brown yn glir iawn mai'r man cychwyn ar gyfer newid oedd cyfiawnder ieuenctid a phrawf. Mae mater plismona yn un y byddwn yn parhau i edrych arno. Byddwn yn parhau i roi tystiolaeth at ei gilydd. Byddwn yn parhau i ymgysylltu ar gyfer newidiadau y credaf eu bod yn anochel. Nid yw'r rhain yn bethau a fydd yn digwydd dros nos, ond rwy'n argyhoeddedig y byddwn yn cyrraedd yno ac y byddwn yn gweld y meysydd hynny'n cael eu datganoli—nid oherwydd ei bod yn frwydr rhwng pa un a yw San Steffan yn ei reoli neu a ydym ni'n ei reoli, ond oherwydd ei fod yn well i bobl Cymru. Mae'n well i'n cymunedau, mae'n ffordd well. Pe bawn i'n meddwl na fyddai'n gweithio ac y byddai'n waeth, buaswn yn dweud, 'Na, gadewch lonydd iddo.' Ond nid wyf yn credu hynny, a po fwyaf y byddaf yn ymwneud â'r system cyfiawnder ieuenctid a'r agweddau cyfiawnder a dedfrydu ac yn y blaen, y mwyaf y sylweddolaf, wrth ystyried y ffordd y mae'r rhain i gyd wedi'u hintegreiddio, a phan fo gennych gymaint o swyddogaethau datganoledig sy'n creu rhan fawr o'r system gyfiawnder, nad yw eu cadw ar wahân yn gwneud synnwyr.

15:10

Dwi'n cytuno gyda phopeth rŷch chi wedi dweud. A hefyd, dŷn ni'n anomaly yn y byd, onid ydyn ni, achos ni, siŵr o fod, yw'r unig wlad, dwi'n meddwl, sydd â deddfwrfa ein hunain, sy'n creu deddfwriaeth, ond sydd heb system o weinyddu ei chyfiawnder ei hunan a'i deddfwriaeth ei hunan. Dŷn ni wedi cael cymaint o adroddiadau nawr sydd wedi awgrymu y dylid datganoli cyfiawnder a phlismona. Pa drafodaethau brys ydych chi naill ai wedi eu cynnal gyda Llywodraeth San Steffan neu sydd yn eich dyddiadur ers cyhoeddi adroddiad y Comisiwn Annibynnol ar Ddyfodol Cyfansoddiadol Cymru, a phryd dŷch chi'n meddwl y bydd hi'n rhesymol i ddisgwyl i Gymru gael y pwerau hanfodol hyn?

Ac yn olaf, ydych chi'n cytuno gyda fi nad mater ar gyfer anoracs cyfansoddiadol ydy sôn am ddatganoli system cyfiawnder a gweinyddu cyfiawnder? Byddai'r pwerau hynny yn gallu gwella safonau bywyd cymaint o bobl a sicrhau mwy o degwch yn ein gwlad. 

I agree with everything you've said. And, indeed, we are an anomaly in the world because we are, surely, the only nation that has our own legislature, that makes legislation, but doesn't have a system to administer its own justice system and its own legislation. We've had so many reports now that have suggested that policing should be devolved along with justice. What urgent discussions have you either had with the Westminster Government or are in your diary since the publication of the report of the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales, and when do you think it would be reasonable to expect Wales to get these crucial powers?

And finally, do you agree with me that this isn't just an issue for constitutional anoraks when we talk about the devolution of justice and the administration of justice? Those powers could improve the life standards of so many people and ensure greater fairness in our nation.

Thank you for your question. Of course, I understand that when you head towards a general election, when you start looking at the major issues, you want to identify what are the most immediately important issues that are there. And, of course, there are priority, broad umbrella issues and so on. I do not think that it is the case that justice is something that is not vital. I think it is of vital importance. And it's of vital importance when we look at our current justice system, which in the last 14 years—. We have increased our prison population from 45,000 to 90,000 and we're now looking to invest another £400 million to put yet more people in prison. You ask where is the limit? If that isn't an indication that the justice system is failing and that something is massively wrong, then we really need to go back to basics to look at the facts. 

We start raising these things in the Inter-ministerial Group for Justice and, of course, they will come about through other discussions. I will be chairing the Interministerial Standing Committee later in February. This is one of the issues that I will be reporting on there. It is a discussion that needs to take place, for all the reasons we had in that very long contribution I made earlier on, which I could see the Llywydd glaring at me over. [Laughter.]

Diolch am eich cwestiwn. Wrth gwrs, pan fyddwch chi'n wynebu etholiad cyffredinol, pan fyddwch chi'n dechrau edrych ar y prif faterion, rwy'n deall eich bod eisiau nodi beth yw'r materion pwysicaf a mwyaf uniongyrchol. Ac wrth gwrs, mae yna faterion blaenoriaethol, ymbarél eang ac yn y blaen. Nid wyf yn credu ei bod yn wir fod cyfiawnder yn rhywbeth nad yw'n hanfodol. Rwy'n credu ei fod yn hanfodol bwysig. Ac mae'n hanfodol bwysig wrth edrych ar ein system gyfiawnder bresennol, sydd yn ystod y 14 mlynedd diwethaf—. Rydym wedi cynyddu poblogaeth ein carchardai o 45,000 i 90,000 ac rydym bellach yn bwriadu buddsoddi £400 miliwn arall i roi mwy fyth o bobl yn y carchar. Rydych chi'n gofyn lle mae'r terfyn? Os nad yw hynny'n arwydd fod y system gyfiawnder yn methu a bod rhywbeth mawr o'i le, mae gwir angen inni fynd yn ôl at y pethau sylfaenol i edrych ar y ffeithiau. 

Rydym yn dechrau codi'r pethau hyn yn y Grŵp Rhyngweinidogol dros Gyfiawnder ac wrth gwrs, byddant yn digwydd trwy drafodaethau eraill. Byddaf yn cadeirio'r Pwyllgor Sefydlog Rhyngweinidogol yn ddiweddarach ym mis Chwefror. Dyma un o'r materion y byddaf yn adrodd arnynt yno. Mae'n drafodaeth y mae angen ei chael, am yr holl resymau a gawsom yn y cyfraniad hir iawn a wneuthum yn gynharach, y gallwn weld y Llywydd yn rhythu arnaf o'i herwydd. [Chwerthin.]

Egwyddor Cydsyniad Deddfwriaethol
The Principle of Legislative Consent

7. Pa ystyriaeth y mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi'i rhoi i ganfyddiad y Comisiwn Annibynnol ar Ddyfodol Cyfansoddiadol Cymru o ran egwyddor cydsyniad deddfwriaethol? OQ60627

7. What consideration has the Welsh Government given to the Independent Commission on the Constitutional Future of Wales’s finding on the principle of legislative consent? OQ60627

The principle of legislative consent lies at the heart of the devolution settlements and the Welsh Government has long argued that the Sewel convention is in need of reform. We are considering the commission’s thoughtful recommendations on this.

Mae egwyddor cydsyniad deddfwriaethol yn ganolog i'r setliadau datganoli ac mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi dadlau ers tro byd fod angen diwygio confensiwn Sewel. Rydym yn ystyried argymhellion ystyrlon y comisiwn ar hyn.

The commission's report, of course, stresses the pressing need to reform the Sewel convention and put it on a statutory footing, so that Westminster is no longer able to ride roughshod over our devolution settlement and legislate in devolved areas against the express will of this Senedd. I'd ask, please, for a little more clarity on how the Welsh Government is pursuing implementation of this recommendation and for the Counsel General to outline a road map to delivering this with urgency. There is, of course, a further principle of consent dealt with in the report and here I'm quoting directly from it:

'The starting point for any consideration of constitutional options should be the principle that the UK is a voluntary union of nations.... Therefore, the people of Wales should have the right to determine the constitutional future of their nation.'

Does the Counsel General therefore agree with me that this means that the right to decide on the constitutional future of Wales—that is the right to hold a referendum on Wales's constitutional status—should be devolved to Wales, and if so, will he outline what steps he will take to secure this?

Mae adroddiad y comisiwn, wrth gwrs, yn pwysleisio'r angen dybryd i ddiwygio confensiwn Sewel a'i roi ar sail statudol, fel nad yw San Steffan bellach yn gallu chwalu ein setliad datganoli a deddfu mewn meysydd datganoledig yn erbyn ewyllys ddatganedig y Senedd hon. Hoffwn ofyn, os gwelwch yn dda, am ychydig mwy o eglurder ynglŷn â sut mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn mynd ati i weithredu'r argymhelliad hwn ac i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol amlinellu cynllun i gyflawni hyn ar frys. Wrth gwrs, caiff egwyddor cydsyniad pellach ei thrafod yn yr adroddiad a dyma ddyfynnu'n uniongyrchol ohono:

'Dylai’r egwyddor mai undeb wirfoddol o genhedloedd yw’r DU fod yn fan cychwyn i unrhyw ystyriaeth o opsiynau cyfansoddiadol.... Felly, dylai pobl Cymru gael yr hawl i bennu dyfodol cyfansoddiadol eu cenedl.'

A yw'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol yn cytuno â mi felly fod hyn yn golygu y dylid datganoli'r hawl i benderfynu ar ddyfodol cyfansoddiadol Cymru—yr hawl i gynnal refferendwm ar statws cyfansoddiadol Cymru—i Gymru, ac os felly, a wnaiff amlinellu pa gamau y bydd yn eu cymryd i sicrhau hyn?

Well, can I say, just taking that last point first, I think that any party that obtains a mandate for those reforms and those changes is entitled to see them put to the people? That has always been the case, in terms of my opinion. I think it's also the position that the First Minister has presented, and that must be right, in terms of our democratic system. 

Turning to Sewel, of course, Sewel I've always described as being almost like the engine oil in a car engine—all of the different components that make up the four nations, the oil that enables them all to work together. Of course, the breach of Sewel begins to cause that process to seize, and that's where we are heading towards at the moment, with all the breaches of Sewel that have taken place.

I have to say that I'm very impressed with the contribution that Gordon Brown made in his report. I'm very pleased at the references to it within the independent commission's report, which recognises, I think, things that we have been saying consistently all along—and not just us, actually: inter-parliamentary forums of all political parties have actually been saying the same thing.

Can I also say that I was very pleased, in that same interview that you referred to, with what Jo Stevens said about Sewel, in terms of when she talked about the strengthening of devolution? She said, that, 'Well, it means that, for example, the Sewel convention, which means that what we have seen from Conservative Governments, where they ride roughshod over the devolution settlement—the internal markets Act—legislating on things that are the responsibility of the Welsh Government and the Senedd, you won't see that from the UK Labour Government. You'll see better inter-governmental relations. You'll see professional working, collaboration, trust and respect—and respecting not just the situation now, but in the future.'

Now, I think that that is a very important statement. I think that it leads on to the fact that we need to look at how we consolidate Sewel, possibly in line with the recommendations from the Gordon Brown report, but in other ways. That is its status. Now, of course, we used to have the Ponsonby convention on treaties. I'm sorry to sound like a bit of a legal nerd now. But, of course, that was converted into legislation to ensure that Parliament had an opportunity to actually scrutinise, and I think that we do need to head in the longer term into something that puts it on a solid and justiciable constitutional basis. 

Wel, a gaf i ddweud, gan gymryd y pwynt olaf hwnnw yn gyntaf, rwy'n credu bod gan unrhyw blaid sy'n cael mandad ar gyfer y diwygiadau hynny a'r newidiadau hynny hawl i'w gweld yn cael eu rhoi gerbron y bobl? Mae hynny bob amser wedi bod yn wir, yn fy marn i. Rwy'n credu mai dyna hefyd yw'r safbwynt y mae Prif Weinidog Cymru wedi'i gyflwyno, a rhaid bod hynny'n iawn, o ran ein system ddemocrataidd. 

Gan droi at Sewel, rwyf bob amser wedi disgrifio Sewel bron fel yr olew yn injan y car—yr holl elfennau gwahanol sy'n ffurfio'r pedair gwlad, yr olew sy'n eu galluogi oll i gydweithio. Wrth gwrs, mae torri amodau Sewel yn dechrau achosi i'r broses honno fethu, a dyna'r cyfeiriad yr ydym yn anelu tuag ato ar hyn o bryd, gyda'r holl achosion o dorri amodau Sewel sydd wedi digwydd.

Rhaid imi ddweud fy mod wedi fy mhlesio'n fawr gyda'r cyfraniad a wnaeth Gordon Brown yn ei adroddiad. Rwy'n falch iawn o'r cyfeiriadau ato yn adroddiad y comisiwn annibynnol, sy'n cydnabod, rwy'n credu, y pethau y buom yn eu dweud yn gyson ar hyd yr amser—ac nid ni'n unig: mae fforymau rhyngseneddol pob plaid wleidyddol wedi bod yn dweud yr un peth.

A gaf i ddweud hefyd, yn yr un cyfweliad ag y cyfeirioch chi ato, fy mod yn falch iawn ynghylch yr hyn a ddywedodd Jo Stevens am Sewel, pan siaradodd am gryfhau datganoli? Dywedodd, 'Wel, mae'n golygu, er enghraifft, gyda chonfensiwn Sewel, na fyddwch yn gweld gan Lywodraeth Lafur y DU yr hyn a welsom gan Lywodraethau Ceidwadol, lle maent yn chwalu'r setliad datganoli—y Ddeddf marchnad fewnol—gan ddeddfu ar bethau sy'n gyfrifoldeb Llywodraeth Cymru a'r Senedd. Fe welwch well cysylltiadau rhynglywodraethol. Fe welwch waith proffesiynol, cydweithio, ymddiriedaeth a pharch—a pharch nid yn unig at y sefyllfa nawr, ond yn y dyfodol.'

Nawr, rwy'n credu bod hwnnw'n ddatganiad pwysig iawn. Rwy'n credu ei fod yn arwain at y ffaith bod angen inni edrych ar sut yr atgyfnerthwn Sewel, yn unol ag argymhellion adroddiad Gordon Brown o bosibl, ond mewn ffyrdd eraill. Dyna yw ei statws. Nawr, wrth gwrs, o'r blaen roedd gennym gonfensiwn Ponsonby ar gytuniadau. Mae'n ddrwg gennyf swnio fel tipyn o 'nerd' cyfreithiol nawr. Ond wrth gwrs, cafodd hwnnw ei droi'n ddeddfwriaeth i sicrhau bod Senedd y DU yn cael cyfle i graffu mewn gwirionedd, ac rwy'n credu bod angen inni anelu yn fwy hirdymor tuag at rywbeth sy'n ei roi ar sail gadarn a chyfansoddiadol draddodadwy.

15:15

Ac yn olaf, cwestiwn 8—Gareth Davies.

And finally, question 8—Gareth Davies.

Deddf Iechyd Meddwl 1983
The Mental Health Act 1983

8. Pa gyngor cyfreithiol y mae'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi'i roi i Lywodraeth Cymru ar effaith Deddf Iechyd Meddwl 1983 ar gleifion o Gymru sy'n defnyddio gwasanaethau yng ngwledydd eraill y DU? OQ60624

8. What legal advice has the Counsel General provided to the Welsh Government on the impact of the Mental Health Act 1983 on Welsh patients using services in other UK nations? OQ60624

Well, thank you very much for the question. The Mental Health Act 1983 is the key legislation relating to mental health care and treatment. High-quality mental health services for all in Wales is a priority. We aim to provide care close to home wherever possible and to reduce the need for in-patient care through continued investment and community services.

Wel, diolch yn fawr iawn am y cwestiwn. Deddf Iechyd Meddwl 1983 yw'r ddeddfwriaeth allweddol sy'n ymwneud â gofal a thriniaeth iechyd meddwl. Mae gwasanaethau iechyd meddwl o ansawdd uchel i bawb yng Nghymru yn flaenoriaeth. Ein nod yw darparu gofal yn agos at adref lle bynnag y bo'n bosibl a lleihau'r angen am ofal cleifion mewnol trwy fuddsoddiad parhaus a gwasanaethau cymunedol.

Thank you for that response, Counsel General. It has been brought to my attention that it is fairly common practice for patients, once sectioned under the Mental Health Act, to be transferred to a facility anywhere in the United Kingdom for clinical mental health treatment. This means that a patient from Anglesey, for example, could be transferred to a treatment facility in Cornwall, with no right to request a transfer somewhere closer to home.

As far as I'm aware, there is more leeway with regards to Scotland after amendments to the Mental Health Act in 2007, but Wales and England are treated almost as a single entity. This can, of course, cause further stress and anguish amongst patients who have been sectioned and transferred to England, potentially hundreds of miles away from friends and family. Some patients' families may not have the means or facility to travel these distances to see their loved ones, and the anguish caused by being in an alien environment so far away from family will not help attempts to remedy their mental illness.

A constituent of mine finds themselves in this exact predicament, where they are being housed in a treatment facility in England, and they wish to be repatriated to Wales. Can the Counsel General please outline what advice you have given or could give to the health Minister regarding how much discretion Welsh Ministers have under the Mental Health Act when taking into consideration the preferences of patients who have been sectioned, namely their preference to be placed into a treatment facility that is a reasonable distance from their home and in Wales? 

Diolch am yr ateb hwnnw, Gwnsler Cyffredinol. Tynnwyd fy sylw at y ffaith ei bod yn arfer eithaf cyffredin i gleifion, a oedd ar un adeg yn cael eu cadw dan orchymyn y Ddeddf Iechyd Meddwl, gael eu trosglwyddo i gyfleuster yn unrhyw le yn y Deyrnas Unedig ar gyfer triniaeth iechyd meddwl glinigol. Mae hyn yn golygu y gallai claf o Ynys Môn, er enghraifft, gael ei drosglwyddo i gyfleuster triniaeth yng Nghernyw, heb unrhyw hawl i ofyn am gael ei drosglwyddo i rywle'n agosach at adref.

Hyd y gwn i, mae mwy o ryddid gan yr Alban ar ôl diwygiadau i'r Ddeddf Iechyd Meddwl yn 2007, ond mae Cymru a Lloegr yn cael eu trin bron fel un endid. Gall hyn achosi straen a gofid pellach ymhlith cleifion sydd wedi cael eu cadw dan orchymyn a'u trosglwyddo i Loegr, gannoedd o filltiroedd i ffwrdd o bosibl oddi wrth ffrindiau a theulu. Efallai na fydd gan deuluoedd rhai cleifion fodd o deithio'r pellteroedd hyn i weld eu hanwyliaid, ac ni fydd y gofid a achosir o fod mewn amgylchedd estron mor bell i ffwrdd oddi wrth eu teulu'n helpu ymdrechion i wella eu salwch meddwl.

Mae un o fy etholwyr yn y sefyllfa hon, lle cânt eu cadw mewn cyfleuster triniaeth yn Lloegr, ac maent yn dymuno dychwelyd i Gymru. A all y Cwnsler Cyffredinol amlinellu pa gyngor a roddwyd gennych neu y gallech ei roi i'r Gweinidog iechyd ynghylch faint o ddisgresiwn sydd gan Weinidogion Cymru o dan y Ddeddf Iechyd Meddwl wrth ystyried dewisiadau cleifion sydd wedi cael eu cadw dan orchymyn, pan fyddant yn dewis cael eu rhoi mewn cyfleuster triniaeth o fewn pellter rhesymol i'w cartref ac yng Nghymru? 

Can I thank you for that supplementary question? Can I thank you also for the dedication and attention you've given to this issue of mental health? Of course, I'm aware that you have the ballot to introduce a Senedd Bill relating to mental health. You've been given leave to introduce that. So, it's very much welcome and we recognise that commitment that you've given in that.

Can I say that most of the points you raised probably do need to be addressed to the appropriate Minister? But what I can say is that our aim, as Welsh Government, is to ensure that patients receive care as close to home as possible and to reduce the need for in-patient care through continued investment in community mental health services. In the last two years, Welsh Government has allocated £26.5 million to health boards through service improvements and to improve the availability of mental health service provisions. There's also been the establishment of the '111 press 2' service in terms of urgent mental health support and so on. The issues you raised are clearly important. I will ensure that the points you raised are passed over to the appropriate Minister on that, because I think it's appropriate that she responds specifically to that.

A gaf i ddiolch i chi am y cwestiwn atodol hwnnw? A gaf i ddiolch i chi hefyd am yr ymroddiad a'r sylw yr ydych wedi'i roi i iechyd meddwl? Wrth gwrs, rwy'n ymwybodol fod gennych bleidlais i gyflwyno Bil Senedd sy'n ymwneud ag iechyd meddwl. Rydych chi wedi cael caniatâd i'w gyflwyno. Mae croeso mawr iddo ac rydym yn cydnabod yr ymrwymiad sydd gennych i hynny.

A gaf i ddweud bod angen cyfeirio'r rhan fwyaf o'r pwyntiau a godwyd gennych at y Gweinidog priodol? Ond gallaf ddweud mai ein nod, fel Llywodraeth Cymru, yw sicrhau bod cleifion yn derbyn gofal mor agos â phosibl at eu cartrefi a lleihau'r angen am ofal cleifion mewnol drwy barhau i fuddsoddi mewn gwasanaethau iechyd meddwl cymunedol. Yn ystod y ddwy flynedd ddiwethaf, mae Llywodraeth Cymru wedi dyrannu £26.5 miliwn i fyrddau iechyd drwy welliannau i wasanaethau ac i wella argaeledd y ddarpariaeth o wasanaethau iechyd meddwl. Hefyd, sefydlwyd gwasanaeth '111 pwyso 2' ar gyfer cymorth iechyd meddwl brys ac yn y blaen. Mae'r materion a godwyd gennych yn amlwg yn bwysig. Byddaf yn sicrhau bod y pwyntiau a godwch yn cael eu trosglwyddo i'r Gweinidog priodol ar hynny, gan y credaf ei bod yn briodol ei bod hi'n ymateb yn benodol i hynny.

15:20

Diolch i'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol. 

I thank the Counsel General.

3. Cwestiynau i Gomisiwn y Senedd
3. Questions to the Senedd Commission

Fe symudwn ni ymlaen nawr i eitem 3, sef cwestiynau i Gomisiwn y Senedd. Mae'r cwestiynau heddiw i'w hateb gan y Llywydd, ac mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf gan James Evans.

We'll move now to item 3, questions to the Senedd Commission. These questions are to be answered by the Llywydd, and the first question is from James Evans.

Rôl y Senedd
The Role of the Senedd

1. Pa gamau y mae'r Comisiwn yn eu cymryd i sicrhau bod y cyhoedd yn cael eu haddysgu am rôl y Senedd? OQ60606

1. What steps does the Commission take to ensure the public are educated about the role of the Senedd? OQ60606

Mae ein strategaeth gyfathrebu ac ymgysylltu'n gosod amcanion i godi ymwybyddiaeth a gwella dealltwriaeth o rôl y Senedd. Y llynedd, gwnaethom ymgysylltu â 22,000 o bobl ifanc mewn sesiynau addysg a digwyddiadau'r Senedd Ieuenctid. Gwnaethom hefyd groesawu dros 150,000 o ymwelwyr i'r Senedd ac ymgysylltu â dros 6,000 o bobl yn ystod ein rhaglen sioeau haf a digwyddiadau. Mae rhan fawr o'n strategaeth cyfryngau cymdeithasol yn ymwneud ag egluro ein gwaith i'r cyhoedd hefyd.

Our communications and engagement strategy sets objectives to raise awareness and increase understanding of the role of the Senedd. Last year, we engaged with 22,000 young people in education sessions and Welsh Youth Parliament events. We also welcomed over 150,000 visitors to the Senedd and engaged with over 6,000 people during our summer shows programme and other events. A major part of our social media strategy involves explaining our work to the public too.

Diolch, Llywydd. One thing that does strike me every time I go out canvassing is, actually, how, sometimes, ill-informed the electorate are about what the Senedd actually does. It's amazing the number of doors I actually knock on that still think the health service is a reserved matter back in Westminster. But it doesn't help when you've got political parties—. I was at a recent by-election in my constituency where they had an election candidate for the Liberal Democrats going around telling everybody in the council how he was going to fix the health service and how he was going to improve the economy of Wales. These things aren't devolved to local councils; I'm talking about national issues. So, I'd like to know what work do the Commission do to actually engage with political parties when they are spreading falsehoods on the doorstep, because that does actually affect what our electorate do understand about the role of what we do here as Members of the Senedd, standing up for our constituents on matters that affect Wales.

Diolch, Lywydd. Un peth sy'n fy nharo bob tro rwy'n mynd allan i ganfasio mewn gwirionedd, yw'r ffordd nad yw'r etholwyr yn ymwybodol weithiau o'r hyn y mae'r Senedd yn ei wneud mewn gwirionedd. Mae'n anhygoel faint o ddrysau yr wyf wedi curo arnynt sy'n dal i feddwl bod y gwasanaeth iechyd yn fater a gadwyd yn ôl yn San Steffan. Ond nid yw'n helpu pan fydd gennych bleidiau gwleidyddol—. Roeddwn mewn isetholiad yn fy etholaeth yn ddiweddar lle roedd ganddynt ymgeisydd etholiadol dros y Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol yn mynd o gwmpas yn dweud wrth bawb yn y cyngor sut y byddai'n trwsio'r gwasanaeth iechyd a sut y byddai'n gwella economi Cymru. Nid yw'r pethau hyn wedi'u datganoli i gynghorau lleol; rwy'n siarad am faterion cenedlaethol. Felly, hoffwn wybod pa waith y mae'r Comisiwn yn ei wneud i ymgysylltu â phleidiau gwleidyddol pan fyddant yn lledaenu anwireddau ar garreg y drws, gan fod hynny'n effeithio ar yr hyn y mae ein hetholwyr yn ei ddeall am rôl yr hyn a wnawn yma fel Aelodau o'r Senedd ar ran ein hetholwyr ar faterion sy'n effeithio ar Gymru.

I think you raise a really interesting and challenging point there, requiring a great deal of self-discipline on behalf of all political parties and all politicians. How many MPs write to the Minister for Economy here on matters that are devolved to the Minister for Economy or the Minister for health? And equally, how many Senedd Members write to, possibly, a Secretary of State, or even their local council to fix a pothole in a street in Llanrwst, or anywhere? So, yes, I agree that we all need to be upfront, honest and clear with the electorate on who has responsibility for what, and political parties most definitely have a role to play in that. But I suspect that, on this one, more than anything, it starts at our very own doorsteps, at ourselves being really clear with our constituents that, on matters relating to the benefits system, they need to talk to their MP and that, on matters relating to the pothole, they need to speak to their local councillor.

Rwy'n credu eich bod yn codi pwynt diddorol a heriol iawn yno, sy'n galw am lawer iawn o hunanddisgyblaeth ar ran bob plaid wleidyddol a phob gwleidydd. Faint o Aelodau Seneddol sy'n ysgrifennu at Weinidog yr Economi yma ar faterion sydd wedi'u datganoli i Weinidog yr Economi neu'r Gweinidog iechyd? Ac yn yr un modd, faint o Aelodau'r Senedd sy'n ysgrifennu, o bosibl, at Ysgrifennydd Gwladol, neu hyd yn oed at eu cyngor lleol i drwsio twll yn y ffordd ar stryd yn Llanrwst, neu rywle? Felly, ydw, rwy'n cytuno bod angen inni fod yn blaen, yn onest ac yn glir gyda'r etholwyr ynglŷn â phwy sydd â chyfrifoldeb dros beth, ac yn bendant mae gan bleidiau gwleidyddol ran i'w chwarae yn hynny. Ond rwy'n tybio bod hyn yn dechrau, yn anad dim, ar garreg ein drws ein hunain, a'n bod ni ein hunain yn glir iawn gyda'n hetholwyr, ar faterion sy'n ymwneud â'r system fudd-daliadau, fod angen iddynt siarad â'u Haelod Seneddol ac ar faterion sy'n ymwneud â thyllau yn y ffordd, fod angen iddynt siarad â'u cynghorydd lleol.

Ysgolion Dyffryn Clwyd
Schools in the Vale of Clwyd

2. Pa gamau y mae'r Comisiwn yn eu cymryd i annog ysgolion yn Nyffryn Clwyd i ymweld â'r Senedd? OQ60626

2. What steps is the Commission taking to encourage schools in Vale of Clwyd to visit the Senedd? OQ60626

Mae ymweliadau addysgol â'r Senedd ar gael i bob grŵp ysgol a choleg ledled Cymru. Mae archebion ar gyfer y flwyddyn academaidd ganlynol ar gael ym mis Mehefin ac yn cael eu dyrannu ar sail y cyntaf i'r felin. Mae ein cymhorthdal teithio yn darparu cymorth ariannol i'r rai sy'n cymryd rhan mewn ymweliadau addysgol sy'n teithio o'r tu allan i radiws o 10 milltir i'r Senedd. Rydym yn edrych ymlaen at groesawu Ysgol Tremeirchion, Ysgol Gynradd Esgob Morgan ac Ysgol Uwchradd Dinbych dros y misoedd nesaf i'r Senedd—tair o ysgolion o'ch etholaeth chi.

Educational visits to the Senedd are available to all school and college groups across Wales. Bookings for the following academic year are made available in June and allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Our travel subsidy provides financial support to those taking part in educational visits who travel from outside a 10-mile radius of the Senedd. We're looking forward to welcoming Ysgol Tremeirchion, Esgob Morgan Primary School and Denbigh High School over the coming months to the Senedd—three schools from your constituency.

Diolch am yr ymateb, Llywydd.

Thank you for that response, Llywydd.

I welcome the Senedd Commission's engagement with schools across Wales to speak to Members and learn about the work of the Senedd and to learn, indeed, about devolution in Wales. I'm pleased that pupils from Ysgol Gynradd Pant Pastynog Primary School and Ysgol Tremeirchion from my constituency have today visited the Senedd, which, I'm sure, has been a memorable experience for the children, although, sadly, I wasn't able to meet them, as I'm in the Chamber most of the afternoon. There is a good deal of engagement between schools and Senedd Members virtually, but this, of course, doesn't compare to the real thing. It's much more engaging for school pupils to visit the Senedd in person, be given a tour of the building, watch First Minister's questions, take part in sessions that are put on for school pupils. All of this is a positive thing for the future of devolution, for children to learn and become engaged in Welsh democracy.

In my time here in the Senedd, however, there haven't been many school visits from my constituency. I have heard from schools who have said they have found arranging visits to the UK Parliament an easier process, and the opportunity to do so is better advertised. Of course, I would like pupils in the Vale of Clwyd to be as engaged in Welsh politics as much as UK politics more broadly, and their familiarity with the institution is essential for that. A visit to the Palace of Westminster is bound to leave more of a lasting impression on schoolchildren than a Zoom call with their Senedd Member. I would like to ask, then, Llywydd, what is the Commission doing to ensure that schools are aware of the opportunities available, such as the travel subsidy, that in-person Senedd visits are promoted to schools and the importance of pupils' education about Welsh democratic institutions is stressed. Thanks.

Rwy'n croesawu ymgysylltiad Comisiwn y Senedd ag ysgolion ledled Cymru i siarad ag Aelodau a dysgu am waith y Senedd ac i ddysgu, yn wir, am ddatganoli yng Nghymru. Rwy'n falch fod disgyblion Ysgol Gynradd Pant Pastynog ac Ysgol Tremeirchion yn fy etholaeth wedi ymweld â'r Senedd heddiw, sydd wedi bod yn brofiad cofiadwy i'r plant, rwy'n siŵr, er na allwn eu cyfarfod, yn anffodus, gan fy mod yn y Siambr am y rhan fwyaf o'r prynhawn. Mae cryn dipyn o ymgysylltu rhwng ysgolion ac Aelodau'r Senedd yn rhithiol, ond nid yw hynny'n cymharu â'r profiad go iawn wrth gwrs. Mae'n llawer mwy deniadol i ddisgyblion ysgol ymweld â'r Senedd yn bersonol, cael taith o amgylch yr adeilad, gwylio cwestiynau i'r Prif Weinidog, cymryd rhan mewn sesiynau sy'n cael eu cynnal ar gyfer disgyblion ysgol. Mae hyn i gyd yn gadarnhaol ar gyfer dyfodol datganoli, i blant ddysgu a chymryd rhan mewn democratiaeth yng Nghymru.

Yn fy nghyfnod yma yn y Senedd, fodd bynnag, ni fu llawer o ymweliadau ysgol o fy etholaeth. Rwyf wedi clywed gan ysgolion sydd wedi dweud bod trefnu ymweliadau â Senedd y DU yn broses haws, a bod y cyfle i wneud hynny yn cael ei hysbysebu'n well. Wrth gwrs, hoffwn i ddisgyblion Dyffryn Clwyd gymryd rhan lawn yng ngwleidyddiaeth Cymru lawn cymaint â gwleidyddiaeth y DU yn ehangach, ac mae eu cynefindra â'r sefydliad yn hanfodol ar gyfer hynny. Mae ymweliad â San Steffan yn sicr o adael mwy o argraff barhaol ar blant ysgol na galwad Zoom gyda'u Haelod o'r Senedd. Hoffwn ofyn, felly, Lywydd, beth mae'r Comisiwn yn ei wneud i sicrhau bod ysgolion yn ymwybodol o'r cyfleoedd sydd ar gael, fel y cymhorthdal teithio, fod ymweliadau personol â'r Senedd yn cael eu hyrwyddo i ysgolion, ac i bwysleisio pwysigrwydd addysgu disgyblion am sefydliadau democrataidd Cymru. Diolch.

15:25

Well, in my time, when schoolchildren from my constituency have visited here, they have been amazed to see such a modern, fantastic building that they are represented within in Wales, and I think that there's a responsibility both on the Commission, yes, to make sure that the ability to visit the Senedd is known to all schools in Wales, and we make every effort to ensure that, but I'd suggest also that you, as a local Member in your constituency, make sure that your schools are fully involved and engaged and are able to visit here as well. They are as welcome and, hopefully, as interested in their Senedd as any other place in Wales.

Wel, yn fy amser i, pan fydd plant ysgol o fy etholaeth i wedi ymweld â'r lle hwn, maent wedi rhyfeddu wrth weld adeilad mor fodern a gwych lle cânt eu cynrychioli ynddo yng Nghymru, ac rwy'n credu bod cyfrifoldeb ar y Comisiwn, oes, i sicrhau bod y gallu i ymweld â'r Senedd yn hysbys i bob ysgol yng Nghymru, a'n bod yn gwneud pob ymdrech i sicrhau hynny, ond hoffwn awgrymu hefyd eich bod chi, fel Aelod lleol yn eich etholaeth, yn sicrhau bod eich ysgolion yn cymryd rhan lawn ac yn ymgysylltu'n llawn ac yn gallu ymweld â'r lle hwn hefyd. Mae llawn cymaint o groeso iddynt yma ag yn unrhyw le arall yng Nghymru, a gobeithio bod ganddynt lawn cymaint o ddiddordeb yn eu Senedd ag yn unrhyw le arall yng Nghymru.

4. Cwestiynau Amserol
4. Topical Questions

Fe symudwn ni ymlaen nawr i eitem 4, sef cwestiynau amserol. Mae'r cwestiwn cyntaf i'w ateb gan Weinidog yr Economi, ac mae Joyce Watson i ofyn y cwestiwn. Joyce Watson.

We'll move on now to item 4, which is the topical questions. The first question is to be answered by the Minister for Economy, and is to be asked by Joyce Watson. Joyce Watson.

Fferm Gilestone
Gilestone Farm

1. A wnaiff y Gweinidog roi'r wybodaeth ddiweddaraf am ddatblygiadau mewn perthynas â Fferm Gilestone yn dilyn y Datganiad Ysgrifenedig a gyhoeddwyd ar 29 Ionawr 2024? TQ969

1. Will the Minister provide an update on developments regarding Gilestone Farm following the Written Statement issued on 29 January 2024? TQ969

Since the written statement of 29 January 2024, my officials have met with Talybont-on-Usk Community Council to discuss the findings of the osprey conservation report. The community council are supportive of engaging on future plans for the site, which we will ensure continue to align with the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.

Ers y datganiad ysgrifenedig ar 29 Ionawr 2024, mae fy swyddogion wedi cyfarfod â Chyngor Cymuned Tal-y-bont ar Wysg i drafod canfyddiadau'r adroddiad ar gadwraeth gweilch y pysgod. Mae'r cyngor cymuned yn gefnogol i ymgysylltu ar gynlluniau ar gyfer y safle yn y dyfodol, cynlluniau y byddwn yn sicrhau eu bod yn parhau i gyd-fynd â Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau'r Dyfodol (Cymru) 2015.

I thank you for that answer, Minister. I suppose I should start by declaring my registered interest as a member of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, because I'm delighted about the ospreys. As a regular visitor of the Dyfi osprey project, I've watched it grow into a world-leading wildlife business, attracting huge numbers of visitors and international interest, so there are economic opportunities here that are worth exploring. The site itself remains a valuable asset, and I'd welcome an update on the next steps that you plan to pursue, particularly in terms of helping young people to build careers locally. Of course, Green Man remains the standout success, a great advert for Wales's cultural offer, and it should be championed by all MSs.

But, on the subject of registering interests, and following up a point I made here last year, I note that the leader of the Welsh Conservative group has now tabled 90 written questions on this matter, far more than he's tabled on issues like steel, or issues like manufacturing. Some of those questions included reference to a declared interest, but many didn't. He also declared an interest when submitting questions, while failing to do the same when raising the matter verbally over the same time period. So, I hope that the Member can clarify his interest and why he failed to declare it when challenging the First Minister on this issue in the Chamber. Do you agree with me, Minister, that, given the public interest and the debate around Gilestone Farm, it's vital that there is transparency on all these matters?

Diolch am yr ateb hwnnw, Weinidog. Mae'n debyg y dylwn ddechrau drwy ddatgan fy niddordeb cofrestredig fel aelod o'r Gymdeithas Frenhinol er Gwarchod Adar, oherwydd rwyf wrth fy modd ynghylch y gweilch. Fel ymwelydd rheolaidd â phrosiect gweilch Dyfi, rwyf wedi ei wylio'n tyfu'n fusnes bywyd gwyllt sy'n arwain y byd, gan ddenu nifer enfawr o ymwelwyr a diddordeb rhyngwladol, felly mae cyfleoedd economaidd yma sy'n werth eu harchwilio. Mae'r safle ei hun yn parhau i fod yn ased gwerthfawr, a buaswn yn croesawu diweddariad ar y camau nesaf y bwriadwch eu dilyn, yn enwedig helpu pobl ifanc i adeiladu gyrfaoedd yn lleol. Wrth gwrs, mae gŵyl y Dyn Gwyrdd yn llwyddiant nodedig, yn hysbyseb wych ar gyfer cynnig diwylliannol Cymru, a dylai gael ei hyrwyddo gan bob Aelod o'r Senedd.

Ond ar fater cofrestru buddiannau, ac i fynd ar drywydd pwynt a wneuthum yma y llynedd, nodaf fod arweinydd grŵp y Ceidwadwyr Cymreig bellach wedi cyflwyno 90 o gwestiynau ysgrifenedig ar y mater hwn, llawer mwy nag y mae wedi'u cyflwyno ar faterion fel dur, neu faterion fel gweithgynhyrchu. Roedd rhai o'r cwestiynau hynny'n cynnwys cyfeiriad at fuddiant a gafodd ei ddatgan, ond roedd yna lawer nad oedd yn gwneud hynny. Fe wnaeth ddatgan buddiant hefyd wrth gyflwyno cwestiynau, gan fethu gwneud yr un peth wrth godi'r mater ar lafar dros yr un cyfnod o amser. Felly, rwy'n gobeithio y gall yr Aelod egluro ei fuddiant a pham na lwyddodd i'w ddatgan wrth herio'r Prif Weinidog ar y mater yn y Siambr. A ydych chi'n cytuno, Weinidog, o ystyried budd y cyhoedd a'r ddadl ynghylch Fferm Gilestone, ei bod yn hanfodol sicrhau tryloywder ynghylch yr holl faterion hyn?

Thank you for the question. Ninety written questions is an extraordinary amount to devote to a single topic. I think it is important that all Members are clear about where they have an interest and, if they haven't done so, that they declare it promptly. It's a matter, of course, for the chair and the authorities responsible for the Senedd procedures, and I don't want to draw myself into acting as if I'm the person making that determination, but members of the public will have their own view, I'm sure, about the matter the Member has raised.

I think transparency is important and transparency is what we're trying to do around Gilestone Farm. And I'm really pleased you mentioned Green Man, and I hope that Members across this Chamber do take up the point that Joyce Watson made. Green Man is a tremendous advert for Wales. It's a highly successful brand. It sells out within hours. And I still want to see businesses like that succeed in mid Wales, to provide economic opportunities and an economic future for young people within Powys and mid Wales, and we will carry on working with them.

It's great of you to remind us, of course, that you're a member of the RSPB, and this is the first time for more than 200 years that the ospreys have nested this far south in Wales. When we became aware of the matter at the end of summer 2023, we immediately took steps to try and commission a report and that leads us to where we are now. But I'm sure that, whilst the leader of the opposition isn't here, he will have heard the points you will have made and will want to take his own steps to deal with the matter.

Diolch am y cwestiwn. Mae 90 cwestiwn ysgrifenedig yn nifer anhygoel i'w neilltuo i un pwnc. Rwy'n credu ei bod yn bwysig fod yr holl Aelodau'n glir pan fo ganddynt fuddiant, ac os nad ydynt wedi gwneud hynny, eu bod yn datgan hynny ar unwaith. Mae'n fater i'r cadeirydd a'r awdurdodau sy'n gyfrifol am weithdrefnau'r Senedd wrth gwrs, ac nid wyf am ymroi i weithredu fel pe bai'n benderfyniad a wneir gennyf i, ond bydd gan aelodau o'r cyhoedd eu barn eu hunain, rwy'n siŵr, am y mater y mae'r Aelod wedi'i godi.

Rwy'n credu bod tryloywder yn bwysig a thryloywder yw'r hyn y ceisiwn ei wneud mewn perthynas â Fferm Gilestone. Ac rwy'n falch iawn eich bod wedi sôn am ŵyl y Dyn Gwyrdd, ac rwy'n gobeithio y bydd Aelodau ar draws y Siambr yn derbyn y pwynt a wnaeth Joyce Watson. Mae gŵyl y Dyn Gwyrdd yn hysbyseb aruthrol i Gymru. Mae'n frand llwyddiannus iawn. Mae'n gwerthu ei holl docynnau o fewn oriau'n unig. Ac rwy'n dal i fod eisiau gweld busnesau o'r fath yn llwyddo yng nghanolbarth Cymru i ddarparu cyfleoedd economaidd a dyfodol economaidd i bobl ifanc ym Mhowys a'r canolbarth, a byddwn yn parhau i weithio gyda nhw.

Mae'n wych eich bod wedi ein hatgoffa, wrth gwrs, eich bod yn aelod o'r RSPB, a dyma'r tro cyntaf ers dros 200 mlynedd i weilch y pysgod nythu mor bell i'r de yng Nghymru. Pan ddaethom yn ymwybodol o'r mater ar ddiwedd haf 2023, fe wnaethom gymryd camau ar unwaith i geisio comisiynu adroddiad ac mae hynny'n ein harwain at ble rydym nawr. Ond er nad yw arweinydd yr wrthblaid yma, rwy'n siŵr y bydd wedi clywed y pwyntiau a wnaethoch ac y bydd am roi camau ar waith ei hun i ymdrin â'r mater.

15:30

Minister, I'd like to thank you for your statement that you made the other day, but I hate to say that there's a bit of, 'I told you so', about all of this. A lot of people in my community are very angry about the situation that we actually find ourselves in. 

The basic due diligence of Welsh Government has to be questioned over this purchase. A basic desktop exercise on Gilestone Farm would have told Welsh Government officials all they needed to know. I don't lay all the blame at your door, Minister, because you are advised on what you have to do. Yes, you make the ultimate decision, but a basic search of that farm would have told you that there were issues with it from the start.

The community raised concerns from the start about biodiversity and species on the site. They were ignored. So, what I would like to know from you, Minister, is: how are we going to be in a situation where public money—£4.25 million of public money—is not going to be wasted again? I've talked to land agents locally who said that the site is worth considerably less now than what the Welsh Government paid for it, so I'd be interested to know your views on that and what you think the site is actually worth now.

You mentioned in your statement as well that you're going to be engaging with partners about the future of the site. I wonder if you can explain to us today who those partners are and what the Welsh Government intend to do with it, because I would like to know, as a local Member. And if you could keep me fully involved in this process going forward, I think it would help with the communication with the local community, it would help with the communication with me, and we can actually find a use for this farm other than what you wanted to use it for. 

And I do want to share these points: the Green Man festival is a great asset for Wales; it is a great asset for Wales and it brings a lot of revenue into my constituency, but I would strongly advise the Welsh Government that, before you put your hand in your pocket again to look to secure a long-term site for its future, you should do some basic due diligence, like I mentioned earlier, so that you don't go wasting any more taxpayers' money.

Weinidog, hoffwn ddiolch i chi am y datganiad a wnaethoch y diwrnod o’r blaen, ond mae’n gas gennyf ddweud bod rhywfaint o, 'Fe ddywedais wrthych mai fel hyn y byddai hi’, am hyn oll. Mae llawer o bobl yn fy nghymuned yn ddig iawn am y sefyllfa yr ydym ynddi.

Mae’n rhaid cwestiynu diwydrwydd dyladwy sylfaenol Llywodraeth Cymru ynghylch y pryniant hwn. Byddai ymarfer bwrdd gwaith sylfaenol ar Fferm Gilestone wedi dweud popeth yr oeddent angen ei wybod wrth swyddogion Llywodraeth Cymru. Nid wyf yn rhoi'r holl fai arnoch chi, Weinidog, gan eich bod yn cael eich cynghori ar yr hyn sy’n rhaid i chi ei wneud. Ie, chi sy’n gwneud y penderfyniad yn y pen draw, ond byddai archwiliad sylfaenol o’r fferm honno wedi dweud wrthych fod problemau gyda hi o’r dechrau.

Cododd y gymuned bryderon o'r cychwyn am fioamrywiaeth a rhywogaethau ar y safle. Cawsant eu hanwybyddu. Felly, yr hyn yr hoffwn ei wybod gennych, Weinidog, yw: sut rydym yn mynd i fod mewn sefyllfa lle nad yw arian cyhoeddus—£4.25 miliwn o arian cyhoeddus—yn mynd i gael ei wastraffu eto? Rwyf wedi siarad ag asiantau tir lleol sy'n dweud bod y safle’n werth llawer llai bellach na’r hyn a dalodd Llywodraeth Cymru amdano, felly byddai gennyf ddiddordeb yn eich barn ar hynny a beth y credwch yw gwerth y safle bellach.

Fe sonioch chi yn eich datganiad hefyd eich bod yn mynd i ymgysylltu â phartneriaid am ddyfodol y safle. Tybed a allwch egluro i ni heddiw pwy yw’r partneriaid hynny a beth mae Llywodraeth Cymru yn bwriadu ei wneud ag ef, gan yr hoffwn wybod, fel Aelod lleol. Ac os gallwch fy nghadw'n rhan lawn o'r broses wrth symud ymlaen, credaf y byddai'n helpu gyda chyfathrebu â'r gymuned leol, byddai'n helpu gyda chyfathrebu â mi, a gallwn ddod o hyd i ddefnydd i'r fferm sy'n wahanol i'r hyn yr oeddech chi am ei defnyddio ar ei gyfer.

A hoffwn rannu'r pwyntiau hyn: mae gŵyl y Dyn Gwyrdd yn gaffaeliad mawr i Gymru; mae’n ased gwych i Gymru ac mae’n dod â llawer o refeniw i’m hetholaeth, ond buaswn yn cynghori Llywodraeth Cymru yn gryf, cyn ichi roi eich llaw yn eich poced eto i geisio sicrhau safle hirdymor ar gyfer ei dyfodol, y dylech wneud rhywfaint o ddiwydrwydd dyladwy sylfaenol, fel y soniais yn gynharach, fel nad ydych yn gwastraffu mwy o arian trethdalwyr.

There are several points in response. The first is that public money hasn't been wasted. We acquired an asset at slightly under market value. We have a commercial tenancy—a commercial farm business tenancy on the site. So, the site is in use. And, indeed, we are looking at the longer term future for Green Man, which, as I say, is a fantastic cultural and economic asset for mid Wales. We need more businesses like Green Man, not fewer. And I think it is right that the mission of this Government, and indeed the mid Wales growth deal, is to create more economic opportunities by supporting businesses like Green Man to grow.

I take on board the point the Member raised about anger, and that's been one of my real concerns about the whole progress of this issue. Much of that anger has turned to abuse in a generally disgraceful way, and the Member himself has talked about abuse in politics in this Chamber. Some of that anger has enabled abuse with very little to hold it back, apart from members on the community council and some people within this Chamber trying to be on the right side of a robust, but decent debate. It has caused some people to take a pause from their life in public service. And I think the Member should reflect on how he looks to communicate with his own constituents and the way in which he stays on the right side of this. I have seen correspondence from the Member's constituents claiming that I have made statements that I have not, which have come from him. And I've had a conversation with him outside this Chamber. His conduct is a matter for him, but he should understand that I will not forget the way he has conducted himself, and I hope for better from him in the future. [Interruption.]

And when it comes to the suitability of the site, of course, the ospreys were not there in August. There was no issue about a lack of due diligence around the site. People are entitled to disagree, as of course they are, but there was no sight of the ospreys. As I say, it's the first time in more than 200 years that they have nested this far south—that in itself is a success story. And actually, that in itself also is part of the issue about the ospreys being seen as an asset. [Interruption.] The osprey conservation society themselves think that the nesting of the ospreys could increase the value of the land—[Interruption.]

Mae sawl pwynt i'w gwneud mewn ymateb. Y cyntaf yw nad oes arian cyhoeddus wedi'i wastraffu. Fe wnaethom gaffael ased am ychydig yn llai na'i werth ar y farchnad. Mae gennym denantiaeth fasnachol—tenantiaeth fasnachol busnes fferm ar y safle. Felly, mae'r safle'n cael ei defnyddio. Ac yn wir, rydym yn edrych ar y dyfodol mwy hirdymor ar gyfer gŵyl y Dyn Gwyrdd, sydd, fel y dywedaf, yn ased diwylliannol ac economaidd gwych i ganolbarth Cymru. Mae arnom angen mwy o fusnesau fel gŵyl y Dyn Gwyrdd, nid llai. A chredaf ei bod yn iawn mai cenhadaeth y Llywodraeth hon, a bargen twf canolbarth Cymru yn wir, yw creu mwy o gyfleoedd economaidd drwy gefnogi busnesau fel gŵyl y Dyn Gwyrdd i dyfu.

Rwy’n derbyn y pwynt a godwyd gan yr Aelod am ddicter, ac mae hynny wedi bod yn un o’m pryderon gwirioneddol ynghylch holl gynnydd y mater hwn. Mae llawer o’r dicter hwnnw wedi troi'n gamdriniaeth mewn ffordd eithaf gwarthus, ac mae’r Aelod ei hun wedi sôn am gamdriniaeth mewn gwleidyddiaeth yn y Siambr hon. Mae rhywfaint o’r dicter hwnnw wedi galluogi camdriniaeth gydag ychydig iawn i’w ddal yn ôl, ar wahân i aelodau ar y cyngor cymuned a rhai pobl yn y Siambr hon yn ceisio bod ar yr ochr iawn i ddadl gadarn ond gweddus. Mae wedi achosi i rai pobl gymryd saib o'u bywydau mewn gwasanaeth cyhoeddus. Ac rwy'n credu y dylai'r Aelod ystyried sut mae'n dymuno cyfathrebu â'i etholwyr ei hun a'r ffordd y mae'n aros ar yr ochr iawn i hyn. Rwyf wedi gweld gohebiaeth gan etholwyr yr Aelod yn honni fy mod wedi gwneud datganiadau nad wyf wedi’u gwneud, sydd wedi dod ganddo ef. Ac rwyf wedi cael sgwrs gydag ef y tu allan i'r Siambr hon. Mater iddo ef yw ei ymddygiad, ond dylai ddeall na fyddaf yn anghofio'r ffordd y mae wedi ymddwyn, ac rwy'n gobeithio am well ganddo yn y dyfodol. [Torri ar draws.]

Ac ar addasrwydd y safle, wrth gwrs, nid oedd gweilch y pysgod yno ym mis Awst. Nid oedd unrhyw broblem ynghylch diffyg diwydrwydd dyladwy mewn perthynas â'r safle. Mae gan bobl hawl i anghytuno, fel y gwnânt wrth gwrs, ond nid oedd unrhyw arwydd o weilch y pysgod yno. Fel y dywedaf, dyma’r tro cyntaf ers mwy na 200 mlynedd iddynt nythu mor bell â hyn i’r de—mae hynny ynddo’i hun yn llwyddiant. Ac mewn gwirionedd, mae hynny ynddo'i hun hefyd yn rhan o'r broblem ynghylch ystyried gweilch y pysgod yn ased. [Torri ar draws.] Mae'r gymdeithas cadwraeth gweilch y pysgod eu hunain yn meddwl y gallai'r ffaith bod gweilch y pysgod yn nythu yno gynyddu gwerth y tir—[Torri ar draws.]

15:35

I want to hear what the Minister has to say on this. Minister.

Hoffwn glywed yr hyn sydd gan y Gweinidog i’w ddweud ar hyn. Weinidog.

Thank you. With the potential for eco-tourism and conservation being a potential advantage, in addition to the farm business tenancy. So, we will carry on working with Talybont-on-Usk Community Council, with Powys County Council, who are wholly supportive of the objects of Green Man and want to see them carry on within Powys and expand within Powys. And I will deal with all Members, including the constituency Member, in a manner that is full of respect, and yet at the same time not being afraid to be robust where there is disagreement or conduct that I do not think should be allowed to pass without comment.

Diolch. Gyda'r potensial ar gyfer ecodwristiaeth a chadwraeth yn fantais bosibl, yn ogystal â'r denantiaeth busnes fferm. Felly, byddwn yn parhau i weithio gyda Chyngor Cymuned Tal-y-bont ar Wysg, gyda Chyngor Sir Powys, sy'n gwbl gefnogol i amcanion gŵyl y Dyn Gwyrdd ac sydd am eu gweld yn parhau ym Mhowys ac yn ehangu ym Mhowys. A byddaf yn trin yr holl Aelodau, gan gynnwys yr Aelod etholaeth, â pharch llawn, ac eto, ar yr un pryd, heb ofni bod yn gadarn lle ceir anghytundeb neu ymddygiad nad wyf yn credu y dylid ei ganiatáu'n ddiwrthwynebiad.

Can I just put on the record that I also welcome the historic discovery of the ospreys, which is something that is exciting and something to be welcomed? However, there's no hiding the fact that significant questions continue to be asked about the purchase of Gilestone Farm by Welsh Government. And long before any ospreys landed, this farm was mired in controversy.

To say it had a troubled history is an understatement. Indeed, as James Evans has already alluded to, any simple Google search on this farm would have shown that, in the last 15 years before its purchase by Welsh Government, it had been the subject of major planning rows, judicial reviews, appeal court action, planning inquiries, even leading to national park resignations, and the previous owners forced to leave the farm. Arguably, few farms in Wales have been the subject of such arduous and contentious local and legal disputes. Were I to buy a farm in rural Wales, given the chequered history of this farm, that would have rung alarm bells in my mind.

So, Minister, I just wanted to ask you one question, in two parts. Given the controversial nature of the history of this farm, what level of due diligence did you carry out before sanctioning the £4.25 million of public money? And was this based on a rigorous business case?

A gaf fi nodi ar y cofnod fy mod innau'n croesawu'r darganfyddiad hanesyddol o weilch y pysgod, sy’n rhywbeth cyffrous ac yn rhywbeth i’w groesawu? Fodd bynnag, nid oes unrhyw amheuaeth fod cwestiynau pwysig yn parhau i gael eu gofyn ynghylch pryniant Fferm Gilestone gan Lywodraeth Cymru. Ac ymhell cyn i unrhyw weilch y pysgod lanio, roedd y fferm hon yn destun dadlau.

Mae dweud bod ganddi hanes cythryblus yn danosodiad. Yn wir, fel y mae James Evans eisoes wedi nodi, byddai unrhyw chwiliad Google syml ar y fferm hon wedi dangos, yn y 15 mlynedd diwethaf cyn iddi gael ei phrynu gan Lywodraeth Cymru, ei bod wedi bod yn destun dadleuon cynllunio, adolygiadau barnwrol, achos yn y llys apêl, ymholiadau cynllunio, gan arwain hyd yn oed at ymddiswyddiadau yn y parc cenedlaethol, a’r perchnogion blaenorol yn cael eu gorfodi i adael y fferm. Gellir dadlau mai ychydig o ffermydd yng Nghymru sydd wedi bod yn destun anghydfodau lleol a chyfreithiol mor ffyrnig a dadleuol. Pe bawn yn prynu fferm yng nghefn gwlad Cymru, o ystyried hanes cymhleth y fferm hon, byddai hynny wedi canu larwm yn fy meddwl i.

Felly, Weinidog, roeddwn am ofyn un cwestiwn i chi, mewn dwy ran. O ystyried natur ddadleuol hanes y fferm hon, pa lefel o ddiwydrwydd dyladwy a gwblhawyd gennych cyn ichi gytuno i wario £4.25 miliwn o arian cyhoeddus? Ac a oedd hyn yn seiliedig ar achos busnes trwyadl?

So, we had an outline business case about the proposals from Green Man. It's in line with the objectives of the mid Wales growth deal. I looked at the opportunities at the end of that year, with the ability to use capital and whether it could further secure the Green Man business and its expansion. Audit Wales have been through this, and there's been no criticism of the propriety of the asset, or indeed about the fact that the Welsh Government had the powers to acquire the property, or indeed when we took on more professional independent advice to guide the purchase process, or indeed the value that went into it.

I'm very keen that we carry on supporting businesses, and that will require the Government to intervene in the market, and it will require the Government to take risk at various points in time. Otherwise, we have a future for mid Wales that I do not think any of us would want to sign up to. We need to use the assets that mid Wales has in a way that is genuinely sustainable, for our environment and for communities, which need work and an opportunity to access work, which is why we'll carry on working with businesses like Green Man for exactly that future.

Felly, cawsom achos busnes amlinellol am y cynigion gan ŵyl y Dyn Gwyrdd. Mae'n unol ag amcanion bargen twf canolbarth Cymru. Edrychais ar y cyfleoedd ar ddiwedd y flwyddyn honno, gyda’r gallu i ddefnyddio cyfalaf ac i weld a allai sicrhau ac ehangu busnes gŵyl y Dyn Gwyrdd ymhellach. Mae Archwilio Cymru wedi bod drwy hyn, ac ni fu unrhyw feirniadaeth o briodoldeb yr ased, nac yn wir o'r ffaith bod gan Lywodraeth Cymru bwerau i gaffael yr eiddo, nac yn wir pan gawsom gyngor annibynnol mwy proffesiynol i arwain y broses brynu, neu'n wir y gwerth a aeth i mewn iddo.

Rwy’n awyddus iawn ein bod yn parhau i gefnogi busnesau, a bydd hynny’n ei gwneud yn ofynnol i’r Llywodraeth ymyrryd yn y farchnad, a bydd yn ei gwneud yn ofynnol i’r Llywodraeth gymryd risg ar wahanol adegau. Fel arall, mae gennym ddyfodol ar gyfer y canolbarth nad wyf yn credu y byddai unrhyw un ohonom yn dymuno'i weld. Mae angen inni ddefnyddio’r asedau sydd gan y canolbarth mewn ffordd sy’n wirioneddol gynaliadwy, ar gyfer ein hamgylchedd ac ar gyfer cymunedau, sydd angen gwaith a chyfle i gael mynediad at waith, a dyna pam y byddwn yn parhau i weithio gyda busnesau fel gŵyl y Dyn Gwyrdd er mwyn sicrhau'r union ddyfodol hwnnw.

Diolch i'r Gweinidog. Fe symudwn ni ymlaen nawr i'r cwestiwn nesaf, sydd i'w ateb gan y Cwnsler Cyffredinol a Gweinidog y Cyfansoddiad, ac mae Alun Davies i ofyn y cwestiwn. Alun Davies.

I thank the Minister. We'll move on now to the next topical question, which is to be answered by the Counsel General and Minister for the Constitution, and is to be asked by Alun Davies. Alun Davies.

Y Cytundeb i Adfer Llywodraeth Ddatganoledig yng Ngogledd Iwerddon
The Agreement to Restore Devolved Government in Northern Ireland

2. A wnaiff y Cwnsler Cyffredinol ddatganiad am y goblygiadau i Gymru o ran y cytundeb i adfer llywodraeth ddatganoledig yng Ngogledd Iwerddon? TQ974

2. Will the Counsel General make a statement on the implications for Wales of the agreement to restore devolved government in Northern Ireland? TQ974

Thank you for the question. Can I say that I'm sure we all welcome any restoration of devolution in Northern Ireland, if all parties agree? But the UK Government has only just provided the details of the agreement. We will need to ensure that the financial, operational and constitutional implications for Wales are properly considered and addressed by the UK Government.

Diolch am eich cwestiwn. A gaf fi ddweud fy mod yn siŵr fod pob un ohonom yn croesawu adfer unrhyw ddatganoli yng Ngogledd Iwerddon, os yw pob plaid yn cytuno? Ond dim ond newydd ddarparu manylion y cytundeb y mae Llywodraeth y DU. Bydd angen inni sicrhau bod y goblygiadau ariannol, gweithredol a chyfansoddiadol i Gymru yn cael eu cydnabod a'u hystyried yn briodol gan Lywodraeth y DU.

15:40

I think we will all, in all parts of the Chamber, welcome this week's agreement to restore devolved Government in Northern Ireland. I suspect that many of us will appreciate that the people of Northern Ireland have suffered enough as a consequence of the DUP campaigning against the consequences of a Brexit they themselves had argued for. 

I don't expect that the Counsel General has had the opportunity to fully digest the command paper that was published about two hours ago, but in that paper, 'Safeguarding the Union', the UK Government outlines all the different provisions that have now been agreed with the DUP for the restoration of devolved Government. We all knew that Brexit would undermine the integrity and the union of the United Kingdom, and we recognised and welcomed the Windsor agreement, which was an important step in the United Kingdom Government recognising how it had misled the people of Northern Ireland, and had acted with bad faith towards our colleagues in the EU. And the Windsor agreement has enabled the UK Government to move away from the crisis that we've been in for the last number of years.

But there will be some significant consequences for Wales as a consequence of this agreement. We have already heard whispers of the financial arrangements that are being put in place for the new Northern Irish Government. We also know that the United Kingdom Government unilaterally changed the principles of funding under which they take decisions to fund the different parts of the United Kingdom. It was, prior to this change, essential for the United Kingdom Government to publicise and provide transparent rationale for the funding of all devolved administrations. They have recently changed that to enable themselves to make payments in addition to the Barnett formula to individual parts of the United Kingdom. We need to understand what the new needs-based formula is for Northern Ireland, and how it will affect the ongoing funding of Northern Ireland, because there are many of us here who have been arguing for a needs-based formula for the funding of Welsh public services as well. And it is not right that the Welsh public be short-changed again by a United Kingdom Government that doesn't give a damn about the people of this country.

We also need to understand how the divergence, or non-divergence from the EU, in goods and the single market provisions, will have an impact on trade within the Great Britain market, because there will be consequences if there is no divergence from EU rules for Northern Ireland, if we want to ensure streamlined trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland, for rules and regulations in Great Britain. We also need to understand the operation of common frameworks from now on, because we have agreed a series of common frameworks with the United Kingdom Government and the Scottish Government. That will also need to be understood. 

I don't want to try the patience of the acting Chair any further, so I would ask the Welsh Government, in answering this question, if they could undertake to make a statement, or hold a debate in Government time, when appropriate, so that we can all have an informed discussion and debate and understanding of the consequences for Wales of this agreement. 

Credaf y bydd pob un ohonom, ym mhob rhan o’r Siambr, yn croesawu’r cytundeb yr wythnos hon i adfer Llywodraeth ddatganoledig yng Ngogledd Iwerddon. Rwy’n tybio y bydd llawer ohonom yn derbyn bod pobl Gogledd Iwerddon wedi dioddef digon o ganlyniad i’r DUP yn ymgyrchu yn erbyn canlyniadau Brexit y gwnaethant hwy eu hunain ddadlau drosto.

Nid wyf yn disgwyl bod y Cwnsler Cyffredinol wedi cael cyfle i dreulio'r papur gorchymyn a gyhoeddwyd oddeutu dwy awr yn ôl, ond yn y papur hwnnw, 'Safeguarding the Union’, mae Llywodraeth y DU yn amlinellu’r holl ddarpariaethau gwahanol sydd bellach wedi'u cytuno â'r DUP ar gyfer adfer y Llywodraeth ddatganoledig. Roedd pob un ohonom yn gwybod y byddai Brexit yn tanseilio uniondeb ac undeb y Deyrnas Unedig, ac roeddem yn cydnabod ac yn croesawu cytundeb Windsor, a oedd yn gam pwysig i Lywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig gydnabod ei bod wedi camarwain pobl Gogledd Iwerddon, ac wedi gweithredu'n anonest tuag at ein swyddogion cyfatebol yn yr UE. Ac mae cytundeb Windsor wedi galluogi Llywodraeth y DU i symud ymlaen o'r argyfwng y buom ynddo dros y blynyddoedd diwethaf.

Ond bydd rhywfaint o ganlyniadau sylweddol i Gymru o ganlyniad i'r cytundeb hwn. Rydym eisoes wedi clywed sibrydion am y trefniadau ariannol sy’n cael eu rhoi ar waith ar gyfer Llywodraeth newydd Gogledd Iwerddon. Gwyddom hefyd fod Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig wedi newid yn unochrog yr egwyddorion ariannu y maent yn gwneud penderfyniadau oddi tanynt i ariannu gwahanol rannau’r Deyrnas Unedig. Cyn y newid hwn, roedd yn hanfodol i Lywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig gyhoeddi a darparu rhesymeg dryloyw ar gyfer ariannu’r holl weinyddiaethau datganoledig. Maent wedi newid hynny’n ddiweddar er mwyn galluogi eu hunain i wneud taliadau yn ychwanegol at fformiwla Barnett i rannau unigol o’r Deyrnas Unedig. Mae angen inni ddeall beth yw’r fformiwla newydd sy’n seiliedig ar anghenion ar gyfer Gogledd Iwerddon, a sut y bydd yn effeithio ar gyllid parhaus Gogledd Iwerddon, gan fod llawer ohonom yma wedi bod yn dadlau dros fformiwla sy'n seiliedig ar anghenion ar gyfer ariannu gwasanaethau cyhoeddus Cymru hefyd. Ac nid yw'n iawn fod y cyhoedd yng Nghymru yn cael cam unwaith eto gan Lywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig nad yw'n malio dim am bobl y wlad hon.

Mae angen inni ddeall hefyd sut y bydd ymwahanu oddi wrth yr UE neu fel arall, mewn nwyddau a darpariaethau’r farchnad sengl, yn cael effaith ar fasnach yn y farchnad Brydeinig, gan y bydd canlyniadau os na cheir unrhyw ymwahanu oddi wrth reolau’r UE ar gyfer Gogledd Iwerddon, os ydym am sicrhau masnach hwylusach rhwng Prydain a Gogledd Iwerddon, ar gyfer rheolau a rheoliadau ym Mhrydain. Mae angen inni ddeall gweithrediad fframweithiau cyffredin o hyn ymlaen hefyd, gan ein bod wedi cytuno ar gyfres o fframweithiau cyffredin gyda Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig a Llywodraeth yr Alban. Bydd angen deall hynny hefyd.

Nid wyf am drethu amynedd y Cadeirydd dros dro ymhellach, felly hoffwn ofyn i Lywodraeth Cymru, wrth ateb y cwestiwn hwn, ymrwymo i wneud datganiad, neu gynnal dadl yn ystod amser y Llywodraeth, pan fo’n briodol, fel y gall pob un ohonom gael trafodaeth wybodus a dadl a dealltwriaeth o ganlyniadau’r cytundeb hwn i Gymru.

You're right. It is very disappointing that on something that clearly does have significant constitutional consequences for Wales there has been no engagement with us on that. We clearly have very specific interests in the matters that are being discussed. I listened to the debate on this on the radio this morning, and, of course, the devil is in the detail, and, of course, no-one knew what the detail was actually going to be.

But, clearly, there are significant issues in respect of the internal market. Can I say that, as the Minister for Economy's here, I have no doubt that he'll be paying very close attention to this? He will, no doubt, want to look at the implications that has, the implication it has for ports, the implications it has for the economy and internal market and so on.

But, in terms of what I can say on the constitutional situation, well, of course, the United Kingdom Internal Market Act 2020 is something that undermines the common frameworks and the arrangements that are in place. It is clearly very important constitutionally—certainly, for inter-governmental relations—that there may well be elected representatives again in Northern Ireland that are participating in that inter-governmental structure. I notice, also, that one of the proposals is the creation of a UK east-west council, but I see it's described in terms of Northern Ireland and Great Britain. I wonder where the Welsh voice will be in that, because, clearly, that would be a matter that is of some considerable importance to us.

I think there are clearly going to be financial issues that are important. The Barnett formula is part of our constitutional make-up. I'm very pleased to see the talk about the establishment of a needs-based formula. How long have we been arguing for a needs-based formula for Wales? So, all I should really say, I think, at this stage, on those points that you have specifically raised, is that it is of important consequence to Wales, it is important for the constitutional relationship, the economic relationship. The devil will be in the detail and there will be a need to look very, very carefully at all the issues that you have quite rightly raised today. 

Rydych yn llygad eich lle. Ar rywbeth y mae'n amlwg fod ganddo ganlyniadau cyfansoddiadol sylweddol i Gymru, mae'n siomedig iawn na fu unrhyw ymgysylltu â ni ar hynny. Mae’n amlwg fod gennym ddiddordebau penodol iawn yn y materion sy’n cael eu trafod. Gwrandewais ar y ddadl ar hyn ar y radio y bore yma, ac wrth gwrs, y manylion sy'n bwysig, ac nid oedd unrhyw un yn gwybod beth fyddai'r manylion mewn gwirionedd.

Ond yn amlwg, mae materion sylweddol yn codi ynghylch y farchnad fewnol. A gaf i ddweud, gan fod Gweinidog yr Economi yma, nad oes gennyf unrhyw amheuaeth y bydd yn rhoi sylw manwl iawn i hyn? Heb os, fe fydd yn awyddus i edrych ar y goblygiadau sydd gan hyn, goblygiadau hyn i borthladdoedd, goblygiadau hyn i'r economi a’r farchnad fewnol ac yn y blaen.

Ond o ran yr hyn y gallaf ei ddweud ar y sefyllfa gyfansoddiadol, wel, wrth gwrs, mae Deddf Marchnad Fewnol y Deyrnas Unedig 2020 yn rhywbeth sy’n tanseilio’r fframweithiau cyffredin a’r trefniadau sydd ar waith. Mae'n amlwg yn bwysig iawn o safbwynt cyfansoddiadol—yn sicr, ar gyfer cysylltiadau rhynglywodraethol—ei bod yn bosibl iawn y bydd cynrychiolwyr etholedig yng Ngogledd Iwerddon yn cymryd rhan unwaith eto yn y strwythur rhynglywodraethol hwnnw. Nodaf hefyd mai un o’r cynigion yw creu cyngor dwyrain-gorllewin y DU, ond gwelaf ei fod yn cael ei ddisgrifio yn nhermau Gogledd Iwerddon a Phrydain. Tybed ble fydd llais Cymru yn hynny, oherwydd yn amlwg, byddai hwnnw’n fater o gryn bwysigrwydd i ni.

Yn amlwg, rwy'n credu y bydd yna faterion ariannol pwysig yn codi. Mae fformiwla Barnett yn rhan o’n strwythur cyfansoddiadol. Rwy'n falch iawn o weld y sôn am sefydlu fformiwla sy'n seiliedig ar anghenion. Ers pryd y buom yn dadlau dros fformiwla sy’n seiliedig ar anghenion i Gymru? Felly, credaf mai'r cyfan y dylwn ei ddweud ar hyn o bryd, ar y pwyntiau penodol a godwyd gennych, yw bod hyn o bwys i Gymru, ei fod o bwys i’r berthynas gyfansoddiadol, y berthynas economaidd. Bydd y manylion yn bwysig iawn, a bydd angen edrych yn ofalus tu hwnt ar yr holl faterion a godwyd gennych, yn gwbl briodol, heddiw.

15:45

I think it is important that this question has been tabled today. But, I have to say, I'm disappointed by the tone of both the Counsel General and, indeed, the Member for Blaenau Gwent in referring to it. This is a good day; it's a good day for devolution, particularly for people in Northern Ireland, who have been crying out for the restoration of the devolved Government and, indeed, Stormont. I think we need to take our hats off, frankly, to Sir Jeffrey Donaldson for coming up with an agreement, against the will of many people in his own party and in the unionist community, and taking that brave and courageous decision in order to get this deal done. And, of course, we should pay tribute as well to Rishi Sunak for the work that he has personally invested in getting this deal arranged. We know that there was a huge leap forward with the Windsor framework. We know that the EU backs this deal as well.

I've taken a look at the command paper. Like you, Minister, I haven't had time to digest it in detail, but it is very clear that, within these new arrangements, Wales will have a voice. You mentioned, Counsel General, the east-west council. It talks about that being made up of representatives from all of the constituent parts and Governments of the UK. That is right and proper, and I hope that Wales will play its full part. The other important aspect of its work will be Intertrade UK, the new body that will be set up in order to protect our UK internal market. And we mustn't forget that there were never any complaints in this Chamber about the EU single market and us having to apply certain rules to our goods and services in order that they could get into the EU single market. So, I don't see why there's such a huge anti-internal market debate going on in here today. I appreciate that there will be implications for our ports, I appreciate there will be implications for trade, and that's why it is important that an east-west council is established with a Welsh voice in it, and that the Intertrade UK body also has key Welsh businesses participating in it.

There's one thing that it doesn't mention in the command paper, and I do think that this is a deficiency in it, which I hope the Counsel General would be able to take up with the UK Government. I think there's a need for an east-west assembly to hold that east-west council to account. In the same way that we have this apparatus with the British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, which does the work of holding the British-Irish Council to account, we need a similar organisation and structure to do that work as well. So, can I ask you, Counsel General, what will you do to make sure that that is a feature of the new working arrangements, so that we can really support the work that has been done to bring this new development to the table today, which, as I say, is good news, especially for Northern Ireland, but also for the union of the United Kingdom?

Credaf ei bod yn bwysig fod y cwestiwn hwn wedi’i gyflwyno heddiw, ond mae'n rhaid imi ddweud fy mod wedi fy siomi gan iaith y Cwnsler Cyffredinol, ac yn wir, yr Aelod dros Flaenau Gwent wrth gyfeirio ato. Mae hwn yn ddiwrnod da; mae’n ddiwrnod da i ddatganoli, yn enwedig i bobl yng Ngogledd Iwerddon, sydd wedi bod yn crefu am adfer y Llywodraeth ddatganoledig, a Stormont yn wir. Credaf fod angen inni ganmol Syr Jeffrey Donaldson am lunio cytundeb, yn groes i ewyllys llawer o bobl yn ei blaid ei hun ac yn y gymuned unoliaethol, a gwneud y penderfyniad dewr a beiddgar hwnnw er mwyn cael y cytundeb hwn. Ac wrth gwrs, dylem dalu teyrnged hefyd i Rishi Sunak am y gwaith y mae ef yn bersonol wedi'i wneud er mwyn cael y cytundeb wedi'i drefnu. Gwyddom fod fframwaith Windsor wedi arwain at naid enfawr ymlaen. Gwyddom fod yr UE yn cefnogi’r cytundeb hwn hefyd.

Rwyf wedi edrych ar y papur gorchymyn. Fel chithau, Weinidog, nid wyf wedi cael amser i’w ystyried yn fanwl, ond mae’n amlwg iawn, yn y trefniadau newydd hyn, y bydd gan Gymru lais. Fe sonioch chi, Gwnsler Cyffredinol, am y cyngor dwyrain-gorllewin. Mae’n nodi y byddai hwnnw'n cynnwys cynrychiolwyr o bob un o rannau cyfansoddol a Llywodraethau’r DU. Mae hynny’n iawn ac yn briodol, ac rwy'n gobeithio y bydd Cymru’n chwarae ei rhan lawn. Yr agwedd bwysig arall ar ei waith fydd Intertrade UK, y corff newydd a fydd yn cael ei sefydlu er mwyn diogelu ein marchnad fewnol yn y DU. Ac mae'n rhaid inni beidio ag anghofio na fu erioed unrhyw gwynion yn y Siambr hon am farchnad sengl yr UE, a gorfod rhoi rheolau penodol ar waith ar gyfer ein nwyddau a’n gwasanaethau er mwyn iddynt allu mynd i mewn i farchnad sengl yr UE. Felly, nid wyf yn gweld pam fod dadl mor enfawr yn erbyn y farchnad fewnol yn mynd rhagddi yma heddiw. Rwy’n sylweddoli y bydd goblygiadau i’n porthladdoedd, rwy’n sylweddoli y bydd goblygiadau i fasnach, a dyna pam ei bod yn bwysig sefydlu cyngor dwyrain-gorllewin lle mae llais gan Gymru, a bod busnesau Cymreig allweddol yn rhan o gorff Intertrade UK.

Mae un peth nad oes sôn amdano yn y papur gorchymyn, a chredaf fod hwn yn ddiffyg ynddo y gobeithiaf y gallai'r Cwnsler Cyffredinol ei godi gyda Llywodraeth y DU. Credaf fod angen cynulliad dwyrain-gorllewin i ddwyn y cyngor dwyrain-gorllewin hwnnw i gyfrif. Yn yr un modd ag y mae gennym y cyfarpar hwn gyda'r Cynulliad Seneddol Prydeinig-Gwyddelig, sy'n gwneud y gwaith o ddwyn y Cyngor Prydeinig-Gwyddelig i gyfrif, mae arnom angen sefydliad a strwythur tebyg i wneud y gwaith hwnnw hefyd. Felly, a gaf i ofyn i chi, Gwnsler Cyffredinol, beth fyddwch chi'n ei wneud i sicrhau bod hynny'n nodwedd o'r trefniadau gweithio newydd, fel y gallwn roi cefnogaeth wirioneddol i'r gwaith a wnaed i ddod â'r datblygiad newydd hwn at y bwrdd heddiw, sydd, fel y dywedaf, yn newyddion da, yn enwedig i Ogledd Iwerddon, ond hefyd i undeb y Deyrnas Unedig?

Thank you for those comments. I'm sorry if it came over as though I was being a bit dour on it. I think it's always difficult when a very important step takes place that clearly has implications and there hasn't been that engagement, and some engagement that there clearly could have been. But you're right; it is a very good day.

I remember visiting Northern Ireland on a number of occasions in the 1970s, and, again, more recently. The transition and the importance of getting those democratic institutions back in place is important. It's important to the whole of the UK; it’s important to all the different peoples and nations of the UK. We notice the absence of being able to participate in the inter-governmental relations that we have, and, indeed, the conclusion to some of the issues with regard to the common frameworks.

You raised the point, exactly right, in terms of a Welsh voice, and of course, we have to be clear what a Welsh voice must be—a Welsh voice that is clearly related to those areas that are devolved, so it must have a proper respectful constitutional structure to that. But these are all matters that clearly need to be considered very, very carefully. I’ve started looking at the paper that came through literally two hours ago. It certainly has a lot of framework objectives within it, so, as I say, it is going to be in the precise details of that.

I do look forward very much, for example, to the next Inter-Ministerial Group for Justice that we will have Northern Ireland. We have, of course, the Northern Ireland legal representatives there, but they can only participate in actually indicating facts and consequences, not able in terms of the policies, the reform policies, and common arrangements and so on.

You raise an interesting point in terms of the issue of an east-west assembly, and I’m sure those are issues the Minister for Economy, and I’m sure other Ministers, will be looking into very closely and considering all the issues that are being raised today.

Diolch am y sylwadau hynny. Mae'n ddrwg gennyf os oeddwn yn swnio fel pe bawn braidd yn galed arno. Credaf ei bod bob amser yn anodd pan fydd cam pwysig iawn yn digwydd, ac yn amlwg, fod iddo oblygiadau, ac na chafwyd yr ymgysylltu hwnnw, ac ymgysylltu a allai fod wedi digwydd, yn amlwg. Ond rydych yn llygad eich lle; mae'n ddiwrnod da iawn.

Rwy’n cofio ymweld â Gogledd Iwerddon ar sawl achlysur yn y 1970au, ac eto, yn fwy diweddar. Mae'r pontio a phwysigrwydd cael y sefydliadau democrataidd hynny yn ôl ar waith yn bwysig. Mae'n bwysig i'r DU gyfan; mae'n bwysig i holl wahanol bobloedd a chenhedloedd y DU. Rydym yn sylwi ar y diffyg gallu i gymryd rhan yn y cysylltiadau rhynglywodraethol sydd gennym, ac yn wir, cwblhad rhai o’r materion sy’n ymwneud â’r fframweithiau cyffredin.

Fe godoch chi'r pwynt, yn gywir ddigon, ynglŷn â llais Cymru, ac wrth gwrs, mae'n rhaid inni fod yn glir ynghylch beth ddylai llais Cymru fod—llais Cymru sy'n amlwg yn gysylltiedig â'r meysydd sydd wedi'u datganoli, felly mae'n rhaid cael strwythur cyfansoddiadol parchus a phriodol i hynny. Ond mae'r rhain oll yn faterion y mae'n amlwg fod angen eu hystyried yn ofalus tu hwnt. Rwyf wedi dechrau edrych ar y papur a gyhoeddwyd ddwy awr yn ôl yn llythrennol. Yn sicr, mae'n cynnwys llawer o amcanion fframwaith, felly, fel y dywedaf, bydd yn ymwneud ag union fanylion hynny.

Edrychaf ymlaen yn fawr, er enghraifft, at bresenoldeb Gogledd Iwerddon yn y Grŵp Rhyngweinidogol nesaf dros Gyfiawnder. Mae gennym gynrychiolwyr cyfreithiol Gogledd Iwerddon yno wrth gwrs, ond nodi ffeithiau a chanlyniadau yw'r unig ffordd y gallant gymryd rhan mewn gwirionedd, gan na allant wneud unrhyw beth o ran y polisïau, y polisïau diwygio, a threfniadau cyffredin ac yn y blaen.

Rydych yn codi pwynt diddorol ynghylch cynulliad dwyrain-gorllewin, ac rwy’n siŵr fod y rheini’n faterion y bydd Gweinidog yr Economi, a Gweinidogion eraill, yn ymchwilio’n fanwl iawn iddynt, ac y byddant yn ystyried yr holl faterion sy'n cael eu codi heddiw.