Cabinet meeting: 14 November 2022
Minutes of a meeting of the Cabinet on 14 November 2022.
In this page
- Rt. Hon. Mark Drakeford MS
- Rebecca Evans MS
- Vaughan Gething MS
- Lesley Griffiths MS
- Jane Hutt MS
- Julie James MS
- Jeremy Miles MS
- Eluned Morgan MS
- Mick Antoniw MS
- Hannah Blythyn MS
- Dawn Bowden MS
- Julie Morgan MS
- Lynne Neagle MS
- Lee Waters MS
- Andrew Goodall, Permanent Secretary
- Des Clifford, Director Office of the First Minister
- Will Whiteley, Head of Cabinet Division
- Toby Mason, Head of Strategic Communications
- Jane Runeckles, Special Adviser
- Madeleine Brindley, Special Adviser
- Alex Bevan, Special Adviser
- Daniel Butler, Special Adviser
- Ian Butler, Special Adviser
- Kate Edmunds, Special Adviser
- Sara Faye, Special Adviser
- Sam Hadley, Special Adviser
- Clare Jenkins, Special Adviser
- Owen John, Special Adviser
- Mitch Theaker, Special Adviser
- Tom Woodward, Special Adviser
- Christopher W Morgan, Head of Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
- Damian Roche, Cabinet Secretariat
- Catrin Sully, Cabinet Office
- Tracey Burke, Director General Climate Change & Rural Affairs
- Jo-Anne Daniels, Director General Education, Social Justice and Welsh Language
- Reg Kilpatrick, Director General, COVID-19 recovery and Local Government
- Tim Moss, Chief Operating Officer
- Judith Paget, Director General Health and Social Services
- Andrew Slade, Director General, Economy, Treasury and Constitution
- Sioned Rees, Director Health Protection (item 4)
- Stacey-Jo Smith, Testing Manager – COVID-19 (item4)
- John Howells, Director Climate Change, Energy and Planning (item 5)
- Jon Oates, Deputy Director Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (item 5)
Item 1: Minutes of the previous meetings
1.1 Cymeradwyodd y Cabinet gofnodion 7 Tachwedd / Cabinet approved the minutes of 7 November.
Item 2: First Minister’s items
Heads of Government Council
2.1 The First Minister advised Cabinet that he, along with the First Minister of Scotland, had met the Prime Minister, Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations at the Heads of Government Council on Thursday the previous week. The focus of the discussion was on the Chancellor’s forthcoming statement, where the First Minister emphasised the fact that cuts to budgets would not lead to economic prosperity.
Cabinet meeting Friday
2.2 The First Minister informed Ministers that Cabinet would meet on Friday evening to consider the impact of the Chancellor’s Statement on the Welsh Government Budget.
Item 3: Senedd business
3.1 Cabinet considered the Plenary Grid and noted that voting time was scheduled for 6:10pm on Tuesday and would be around 6:55pm on Wednesday. So far, 2 topical questions had been tabled. One related to the recent news that Garth Bakery had gone into administration and the second was on Healthcare Inspectorate Wales’ recent report on the emergency department at the Grange University Hospital.
Item 4: Coronavirus and respiratory diseases update
4.1 The Minister for Health and Social Services introduced the paper, which invited Cabinet to note the current coronavirus situation, contingency planning for the autumn and winter and the approach to monitoring of respiratory diseases during this period.
4.2 COVID-19 prevalence had decreased over the past 2 weeks and the most recent ONS estimates indicated that around 1 in 40 people in Wales had the virus in the week to 1st November. This trend was consistent with other UK nations. Flu levels were low but increasing.
4.3 Good progress was being made against the target to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to all eligible cohorts by the end of November. This stood at 85% and some health boards would be offering walk-in options from the following week. Vaccination uptake rates were generally positive.
4.4 The Public Health approach to respiratory viruses had been published in October, which helped prepare communities and the health and social care systems for what could be a challenging winter.
4.5 Cabinet approved the paper and noted a further update would be provided after Christmas recess.
Item 5: Climate change – Final Statement for Carbon Budget One
5.1 The Minister for Climate Change introduced the paper, which asked Cabinet to agree to the publication of the Final Statement for Carbon Budget one (CB1).
5.2 The Final Statement was required to set out whether the carbon budget had been met, the reasons for the achievement and estimated consumer emissions. It must also finalise the Net Welsh Emissions Account for the 2016-20 period, which related to the Government’s first carbon budget.
5.3 Cabinet welcomed the paper and agreed that the move to Net Zero would help address fuel poverty in Wales.
5.4 Cabinet agreed the 3 recommendations in the paper.
Item 6: Any other business
Industrial action by the Royal College of Nurses
6.1 The Minister for Health and Social Services provided Cabinet with an update on the proposed industrial action by the RCN. All of the NHS organisations in Wales with RCN members, apart from Aneurin Bevan University Health Board, had met the legal requirement for strike action. Other health Trade Unions would be balloting members shortly with an overall expectation of industrial action before the end of the year.
6.2 The pay offer had implemented the NHS pay review body recommendations in full. With no additional resources from the UK government, it was impossible to provide an above inflation pay rise for NHS staff without facing extremely difficult decisions about cutting health services.
6.3 Contingency planning was underway, and the Health Boards were considering local risks. There was an Industrial Action Planning Cell at national level involving NHS employers, Health Board representation and a range of professional leads. Trade Unions had made it clear that emergency and cancer services would not be disrupted.
6.4 It was noted that the Minister for Education and Welsh Language had earlier that day had issued a Written Statement on the Teachers’ pay award for 2022.
Men’s football World Cup 2022 in Qatar
6.5 The Minister for Economy informed Cabinet that he would be making a statement to the Senedd the following day on the Welsh Government’s objectives for the Men’s football World Cup in Qatar. These were to promote Wales and project the Government’s values, while ensuring the safety of Welsh citizens and securing a positive legacy.
6.6 The government had already highlighted serious concerns about workers’ rights and LGBTQ+ rights in Qatar. These had been raised directly with the Qatari Ambassador to the UK and ministers would continue to meet with stakeholders and the Rainbow Wall fans group.
6.7 There would be four additional members of the Wales Ambassadors, who would promote Wales to the World. These were: former athlete Colin Jackson CBE; Professor Laura McAllister, DJ and presenter Katie Owen and renowned chef Bryn Williams. As part of the wider Team Wales 22 approach, FAW ambassadors and Wales legends, Jess Fishlock and Ian Rush would also support the Government’s programme of activities.
6.8 It was noted that the outline programme of activity would be shared with ministers.