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AMs back Wales Bill in Assembly vote

Credit: PA Images

Assembly Members have voted to back the Wales Bill in today's Assembly vote. The vote was 38-17 in favour of the bill.

The Assembly's right to rename itself a parliament is one of the powers unambiguously given to Cardiff Bay by the Wales Bill.

The main concern of Plaid Cymru - and many in Labour who've agreed to swallow their doubts - is that because law and justice won't be devolved, the Assembly's ability to legislate will be curtailed.

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Programme which helps out of work parents to be extended

A scheme which helps out of work parents in Wales access education, employment and training opportunities will be extended, the Communities Secretary has announced.

The Parents, Childcare and Employment Programme will be extended until the end of March 2020.

The Parents, Childcare and Employment Programme (PaCE), which has a budget of over £13.5 million, targets unemployed parents whose childcare commitments prevent them from accessing such opportunities.

Today Carl Sargeant has confirmed the programme, which is jointly funded by the Welsh Government and EU, will be extended until the end of March 2020.

We know there are a number of barriers that can prevent parents entering work including the availability of jobs with flexible or suitable working hours and the cost of quality childcare. We want to help create resilient communities where people are ready and able to work. To date, PaCE advisers have been very effective in finding a variety of solutions to overcome childcare barriers, including encouraging employers to consider employing PaCE participants on a part time basis to accommodate childcare commitments.

– Carl Sargeant AM, Communities and Children's Secretary

Labour AMs decide to back Wales Bill

Labour AMs have agreed to back the UK Government's Wales Bill when it's debated in the Senedd today.

Although the bill includes significant new powers for the Assembly, the Welsh Government has argued that it also gives ministers at Westminster new opportunities to curtail devolution.

The UK Government had made it clear that it would not over-ride the Assembly if it refused legislative consent for the Wales Bill to be passed. It also said that a new deal with the Treasury on how the Welsh Government is funded would be dropped if the bill did not go ahead.

The decision to back the bill was taken at a meeting of the Assembly Labour group on Monday evening.

As the Conservatives are also committed to supporting the UK Government's legislation, it now seems certain to pass when the vote's taken in the Senedd tomorrow.

As the party who delivered devolution for Wales we have rightly adopted a challenging, but responsible approach towards the passage of the Wales Bill.

This is not the Bill we would have developed and it is not the Bill that Wales deserves. However, on balance this legislation will give the country more constitutional certainty and the fiscal framework in particular represents a real step forward.

After a considered debate, the Labour Group has decided to vote in favour of allowing the UK Government to proceed.

– Labour Group Chair Hannah Blythyn AM

First Minister Carwyn Jones hails 'constructive' meeting with Tata Steel UK chief

First Minister Carwyn Jones Credit: PA

First Minister Carwyn Jones and Economy Secretary Ken Skates have met the Chief Executive of TATA Steel UK, Bimlendra Jha, to discuss the future of steel making in Wales.

I made it very clear to TATA that they now have an important responsibility to explain in full the amendments to the pensions scheme to everybody involved.

It is then important that we let the ballot take place, without political interference, and let members vote on the changes that have been agreed.

– First Minister Carwyn Jones
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