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Present

  • Rt. Hon. Vaughan Gething MS (Chair)
  • Rebecca Evans MS
  • Lesley Griffiths MS
  • Huw Irranca-Davies MS
  • Jane Hutt MS
  • Julie James MS
  • Jeremy Miles MS
  • Eluned Morgan MS
  • Lynne Neagle MS
  • Mick Antoniw MS
     
  • Hannah Blythyn MS
  • Dawn Bowden MS
  • Jane Bryant MS

Officials

  • Rachel Garside-Jones, Interim Director Office of the First Minister
  • Matthew Hall, Head of Cabinet Division
  • Toby Mason, Head of Strategic Communications
  • Catrin Sully, Cabinet Office
  • Alex Bevan, Special Adviser
  • Madeleine Brindley, Special Adviser
  • Sara Faye, Special Adviser
  • Sam Hadley, Special Adviser
  • David Hooson, Special Adviser
  • Phillipa Marsden, Special Adviser
  • Maddie Rees, Special Adviser
  • Victoria Solomon, Special Adviser
  • Tom Woodward, Special Adviser
  • Christopher W Morgan, Head of Cabinet Secretariat (minutes)
  • Damian Roche, Cabinet Secretariat
  • Kathryn Hallett, First Minister’s Office
  • Helena Bird, Permanent Secretary’s Office
  • Diane Dunning, Legal Services
  • Tracey Burke, Director General Climate Change & Rural Affairs
  • Sioned Evans, Director General Public Services and Welsh Language Group
  • Tim Moss, Chief Operating Officer
  • Judith Paget, Director General Health and Social Services
  • Andrew Slade, Director General Economy Treasury and Constitution

Item 1: Minutes of the previous meeting

1.1 Cymeradwyodd y Cabinet gofnodion y 22 Ebrill / Cabinet approved the minutes of 22 April.

Item 2: First Minister’s items

Amman Valley school incident

2.1 The First Minister referred to the incident at Ysgol Dyffryn Aman in Ammanford the previous Wednesday where a young person had attacked a fellow pupil and 2 teachers with a knife. The First Minister had spoken to the police and the local authority to thank them for dealing so swiftly and effectively with the situation.

2.2 The Cabinet Secretary for Education had been in regular contact with the emergency services and the local education authority and had offered support to the school. The young person at the centre of the incident had been charged with 3 counts of attempted murder. All 3 victims had been released from hospital the following day. The First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education planned on visiting the school in due course to thank the staff and others for the way they had dealt with the situation.

2.3 On Friday that week there had also been a precautionary lockdown at the secondary campus at Ebbw Fawr Learning Community in Ebbw Vale and hoax bomb threats on Wednesday at 2 schools in the Caerphilly County Borough Area.

2.4 The Cabinet Secretary noted that all education settings have emergency plans and procedures for dealing with rare incidents and that local authorities were ensuring that emergency plans were up to date. She would be working with local authorities, the police, and other partners to learn lessons from recent incidents.

Tata Steel announcement

2.5 The First Minister also referred to the disappointing announcement by Tata Steel on Thursday that they had rejected the multi–Trades Unions report commissioned by the UK Steel Committee which suggested that one blast furnace should be kept operational at Port Talbot while it transitioned to greener steel production.

2.6 The First Minister had met with the Secretary of State for Levelling Up Housing and Communities the previous week and discussed along with constitutional matters the situation at Tata in Port Talbot.

2.7 The Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Energy, and Welsh Language informed Cabinet the announcement had taken place while the Transition Board had been meeting. The first blast furnace would be closed and dismantled in June with the second planned to close by the end of September. 2800 direct jobs were at risk across all sites. The full scale of the job losses including those in the wider economy is not fully known but could be up to 9500. There was also the impact of potential job losses within the communities concerned.

2.8 In terms of next steps, Tata would now commence negotiations with the aim of opening a voluntary redundancy scheme on 15 May. In terms of industrial action, Unite had voted to strike and the ballots of Community and GMB members were scheduled to close on 9 May.

2.9 There would be a need to seek clarity on how the £100 million fund would be utilised to provide tailored support to the people and businesses affected. Nevertheless, the Welsh Government was putting mechanisms in place to allow people to access all available support.

2.10 It was noted the Cabinet Secretary would be making a statement to the Siambr the following day.

First Minister’s engagements

2.11 The First Minister informed Cabinet that on Friday he had met a range of stakeholders from across North Wales in Wrexham. These included local authority leaders, chief executives, representatives from Higher and Further Education, and the emergency services. The Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport, the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Social Justice, and the Minister for Social Partnership had also been in attendance.

2.12 On Saturday the First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport had attended a business breakfast at the JCB training academy with representatives from the Wrexham Leadership Academy. This was followed by a Transport for Wales event at Wrexham General Railway Station to name 2 trains after Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney.

2.13 This was followed by the proclamation ceremony for the Eisteddfod for Wrexham 2025 and later that afternoon the First Minister along with the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Social Justice had met some of the owners of Wrexham AFC.

2.14 On Sunday the First Minister had attended Holi, the Hindu Festival of love and happiness, and the 7th night Passover Meal at the Cardiff United Synagogue.

Item 3: Senedd business

3.1 Cabinet noted that on Tuesday there would be voting throughout the debate on Stage 3 of the Senedd Cymru (Members and Elections) Bill. Voting time would be around 6:25 pm on Wednesday.

3.2 It was noted the First Minister would be making an oral statement to mark the 25th anniversary of the Senedd the following week.

Cabinet Secretariat
April 2024