Assembly Committees reconvene to look at Covid19 response
Next week the National Assembly for Wales will be reconvening a number of its key committees to look in further detail at the Welsh Government's response to Coronavirus. On behalf of the people of Wales, Assembly Members will be questioning ministers, officials and other organisations on their actions to tackle the virus and help people through this difficult time.
In March the National Assembly followed social distancing advice from Public Health Wales and closed the Senedd, suspending all committee meetings. The Assembly then implemented an 'Emergency Senedd' model and commenced Plenary meetings 'virtually' so that AMs could ask questions to the Welsh Government on its Coronavirus response.
After trialling the Zoom platform successfully for Plenary meetings, relevant committees will now use the same technology to extend the scrutiny process. The return of official meetings of the Assembly Committees will allow Members to look in more detail at the Welsh Government's work to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak. The first committees to meet will be concentrating on health, the economy, children, young people and education. The public will be able to watch live on Senedd.tv.
Elin Jones AM, Presiding Officer of the National Assembly for Wales said:
"Since the beginning of the Covid crisis the Senedd has led the way in enabling the work of holding the Government to account to carry on, despite the challenging circumstances.
"Three full Plenary meetings of the 'Emergency Senedd' have already taken place virtually, before any other parliament in the UK.
"Next week we will go a step further as the committees begin to meet formally once again in order to scrutinise matters relating to Coronavirus and any other urgent matters.
"This is crucial work which ensures that the wheels of Welsh democracy continue to turn in these extraordinary times."
The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee, chaired by Dr Dai Lloyd AM will be focusing on important issues such as PPE for NHS staff and keyworkers, virus testing, the pressure on services and the Welsh Government's lockdown exit strategy.
The Economy, Infrastructure and Skills Committee, chaired by Russell George AM will be taking evidence on the effects of Coronavirus on the Welsh economy, particularly looking at Welsh business and jobs and how effective government support has been. They will hear from business leaders, trade unions and others affected.
The Children, Young People and Education Committee, chaired by Lynne Neagle AM will look at how children and young people have been affected. They will explore how relevant services – including health, education and social services - are responding to the outbreak, and how vulnerable children in particular are being supported.
The National Assembly is committed to scrutinising and supporting the Welsh Government in this difficult time and will continue to review the way in which it does this to ensure the best outcomes for the people of Wales.