Pwyllgor Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu, y Gymraeg, Chwaraeon, a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol

Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee


Aelodau'r Pwyllgor a oedd yn bresennol

Committee Members in Attendance

Alun Davies MS
Carolyn Thomas MS
Delyth Jewell MS Cadeirydd y Pwyllgor
Committee Chair
Hefin David MS
Heledd Fychan MS
Samuel Kurtz MS Dirprwyo ar ran Tom Giffard
Substitute for Tom Giffard

Y rhai eraill a oedd yn bresennol

Others in Attendance

Andrew Gwatkin Llywodraeth Cymru
Welsh Government
Bethan Webb Llywodraeth Cymru
Welsh Government
Dawn Bowden MS Dirprwy Weinidog y Celfyddydau a Chwaraeon, a’r Prif Chwip
Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, and Chief Whip
Dean Medcraft Llywodraeth Cymru
Welsh Government
Jason Thomas Llywodraeth Cymru
Welsh Government
Jeremy Miles MS Gweinidog y Gymraeg ac Addysg
Minister for Education and Welsh Language
Mark Drakeford MS Prif Weinidog Cymru
First Minister of Wales
Owain Lloyd Llywodraeth Cymru
Welsh Government
Paula Walsh Llywodraeth Cymru
Welsh Government
Vaughan Gething MS Gweinidog yr Economi
Minister for Economy

Swyddogion y Senedd a oedd yn bresennol

Senedd Officials in Attendance

Lleu Williams Clerc
Martha Da Gama Howells Ail Glerc
Second Clerk
Nia Moss Ymchwilydd
Osian Bowyer Ymchwilydd
Rhun Davies Ymchwilydd
Robin Wilkinson Ymchwilydd
Tanwen Summers Dirprwy Glerc
Deputy Clerk

Cofnodir y trafodion yn yr iaith y llefarwyd hwy ynddi yn y pwyllgor. Yn ogystal, cynhwysir trawsgrifiad o’r cyfieithu ar y pryd. Lle mae cyfranwyr wedi darparu cywiriadau i’w tystiolaeth, nodir y rheini yn y trawsgrifiad.

The proceedings are reported in the language in which they were spoken in the committee. In addition, a transcription of the simultaneous interpretation is included. Where contributors have supplied corrections to their evidence, these are noted in the transcript.

Cyfarfu’r pwyllgor drwy gynhadledd fideo.

Dechreuodd y cyfarfod am 09:05.

The committee met by video-conference.

The meeting began at 09:05.

1. Cyflwyniad, ymddiheuriadau, dirprwyon a datgan buddiannau
1. Introductions, apologies, substitutions and declarations of interest

Bore da. Dyma estyn croeso i'r Aelodau i gyfarfod hwn o'r Pwyllgor Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu, y Gymraeg, Chwaraeon, a Chysylltiadau Rhyngwladol. Yn unol â Rheol Sefydlog 34.19, rwyf wedi penderfynu gwahardd y cyhoedd o gyfarfod y pwyllgor er mwyn diogelu iechyd y cyhoedd. Bydd y cyfarfod hwn yn cael ei ddarlledu yn fyw ar Rŷm ni wedi cael ymddiheuriad gan Tom Giffard, ac mae'n bleser gennyf i groesawu Sam Kurtz, a fydd yn dirprwyo ar ei ran y bore yma. Dŷn ni hefyd i gyd fel pwyllgor yn danfon dymuniadau gorau at Tom Giffard. A oes gan unrhyw Aelodau fuddiannau i'w datgan, os gwelwch yn dda? Heledd.

Good morning. I'd like to welcome Members to this meeting of the Culture, Communications, Welsh Language, Sport, and International Relations Committee. In accordance with Standing Order 34.19, I have determined that the public are excluded from attending the committee's meeting in order to protect public health. This meeting is, however, being broadcast live on We've received apologies from Tom Giffard, and it's my pleasure to welcome Sam Kurtz, who will be substituting for him this morning, and we all send our best wishes to Tom Giffard. Are there any declarations of interest, please? Heledd.

Ie, dim ond o ran y llythyron sydd yn hwyrach am ateb gan Amgueddfa Cymru. Maen nhw'n cyfeirio at ymgynghori ar strategaeth newydd; fi wnaeth arwain ar y gwaith hwnnw pan oeddwn i'n gweithio i Amgueddfa Cymru.

Yes, just in terms of the letters that we will be dealing with later about Amgueddfa Cymru. They refer to consulting on a new strategy; I led on that work when I worked for Amgueddfa Cymru.

Diolch, Heledd. Carolyn, a wedyn fe wnaf i ddod at Sam. Carolyn.

Thank you, Heledd. Carolyn, and then I will come to Sam. Carolyn.

Thank you, Chair. I am a member of Theatr Clwyd—just the supporters club.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. I am a director of Wales Young Farmers Club, who have been in receipt of Welsh Government support funds and Welsh language support funds previously as well.

Diolch, Sam. Diolch i'r Aelodau am hynny.

Thank you, Sam. Thank you to Members for that.

2. Craffu ar gyllideb ddrafft Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer 2022-23: Diwylliant, Cyfathrebu a Chwaraeon
2. Scrutiny of Welsh Government Draft Budget 2022-23: Culture, Communications and Sport

Fe wnawn ni symud yn syth at eitem 2, sef craffu ar gyllideb ddrafft 2022-23 Llywodraeth Cymru, a dŷn ni'n edrych yn y sesiwn yma, yn amlwg, ar ddiwylliant, cyfathrebu a chwaraeon. Gaf i groesawu ein tystion y bore yma? A fyddech chi'n gallu cyflwyno eich hunain, plîs, ar gyfer y record?

We will move immediately to item 2, scrutiny of the Welsh Government draft budget 2022-23, and clearly we're looking at culture, communications and sport. May I welcome our witnesses? Could you introduce yourselves for the record, please?

My name is Vaughan Gething. I'm the Minister for Economy.

I'm Dawn Bowden, and I'm Deputy Minister for arts and sport.

Bore da, good morning. My name is Dean Medcraft, director of finance and operations, economy, skills and natural resources group.

Bore da. Good morning. I'm Jason Thomas. I'm director of culture, sport and tourism.

Thank you all so much, and you all managed to do that without speaking over one another. That was really impressive—

We'll go straight into questions. We've got details now about the third round of cultural recovery funding. Evidently the Welsh Government won't have been able to draw on support from the UK Government this time. Could I ask you—and I don't mean this as criticism; I'm asking this quite genuinely—because of those constraints, is your assessment of that funding that it's sufficient to answer need, or is it the most that you can afford, just because of those constraints at present?

Could I deal with the overarching point and then perhaps Dawn and Jason between them can take you through some of how we then assess that? So, the honest truth is that if furlough and the self-employment income support scheme had been in place, then people in this sector would have had additional support, and that's undeniable, and it's the same in every part of the economy and activity. We've both had to understand an assessment of need within the sector, and then go back to what we could afford. If furlough had been in place, we may have ended up in a slightly different position on this, but this was, like I said, the balance of need and what we could afford to provide, but also the speed of the turnaround as well, because I know we get some criticism, but having to pivot pretty immediately as we did does require a huge amount of work for Jason and his team to pivot to design something that Ministers can then make questions and choices on, and the discussions we need to have before Dawn and I actually sign that off.

Yes, and if I can say, Chair, I think the budget that we set for cultural recovery fund 3 was based on an analysis of spend in the previous two rounds. So, we were analysing what a 50 per cent offer on the last award to those previously successful would be in terms of the total budget required. So, the £10 million that was allocated via the Welsh Government is based on expected need. So, within all the parameters that Vaughan has just set out, it was also designed and developed with expected and anticipated need. You will recall we announced the £5.4 million winter cultural stability fund, which we actually announced prior to the onset of omicron, because we had had discussions with the sector about the ongoing pressures amongst certain organisations, and we were very concerned that there were certain organisations that really would not have been able to survive the winter without further support, and that was before omicron. When omicron hit us, we then put the additional £15 million in. And actually, because we had these two funds running side by side, that was when we decided to pull it together and form it as one fund—sorry, it was £10 million additional—to bring it in within the winter stability fund, a total package of £15.5 million. As I say, that was done in consultation with the sector about what their needs were—the immediate need to get certain organisations through the winter, with or without omicron, and then, of course, the additional support that was needed for a range of other organisations because of the onset of omicron and as a result of the different protections that we brought in from 26 December. I don't know whether Jason's got anything that he wants to add to that, but that was basically how that was arrived at.


So, it might be helpful if Jason can tell you objectively how that support compares with the support on offer across the border and others, because we often get the comparability where other people do work over this period of time as well, and the border with England is the most porous and obvious one to compare ourselves with.

Thanks, Ministers. I think you've covered everything really well. I would just say two things, with one on stakeholder engagement. We've been incredibly fortunate throughout the whole pandemic to have had fantastic engagement with our stakeholders, so when we came to pulling together cultural recovery fund 3, most stakeholders worked just really, really closely with us across the board, really, on the cultural side, from events to culture, to trade unions who represent the workers on the front line in all of this. They worked with us. We came to a figure that we believed would get them through this, and the support that we've announced has been really well received. So, that's been a really good and positive thing.

In terms of how it compared with the rest of the UK, I can certainly directly compare it with England. They announced £30 million, as you said, Chair, right at the start, for their equivalent of CRF 3. That was ultimately, we believe, recirculated money from CRF 2 there that wasn't spent. We have put new money into CRF 3 from Welsh Government on this, so it's new money and Welsh Government has gone in to support the sector. And if you look broadly at the Barnettised formula on the £30 million there, 5 per cent of £30 million is £1.5 million. We've gone 10 times that with our £15 million fund, so I think we can say with assurance that our sectors have been very well supported in Wales versus across the border

Thank you, Jason. Thank you all for that. I know that Hefin David wanted to come in on some of these points. I'll hand over to Hefin. Could we unmute Hefin, please? Thanks.

Comparing England with Wales at this point in the cycle is probably less representative, given that the sector has been closed, or certainly constrained, in Wales to an extent that it hasn't been in England, with those restrictions still in place at least until the twenty-eighth. So, what flexibility is there to deal with some of the perhaps unexpected consequences that are likely to be a hangover from the current restrictions that might run into February? If there are further calls on the budget, is there flexibility to deliver that, or is this the limit now of what you can offer?

I think if I just deal with the point about comparability, if you reflect on the fact that we're going to put £5 million into the sector anyway, that does compare much more favourably with what was happening across the border, and actually there's been a lot of behaviour change right across the UK because of the position that we found ourselves in.

When it comes to flexibility, it's about the work that Jason's outlined—the continuing conversation with the sector. We don't want organisations to go under. We've got to think about what we can actually afford and provide within this financial year as well as moving into the next one. So, this is about survival through the necessary public protection measures we've had in place, and when looked at in that regard, what we've done with our resource I think does compare well with other parts of the UK. The biggest challenge in terms of the broader support that's been available has been choices made by the UK Treasury on whether to make support available when we've undertaken public health measures. But if there is a need for organisations, then we can of course continue to have conversations, but we think that the sums that we have provided should mean that the sector survives and is able to look forward to a period where there aren't restrictions in place. There's then a different challenge, which is rebuilding people's confidence in wanting to go into this sector. Interestingly, I was looking at some of the figures on visitor numbers and some of the shift in visitor numbers around attractions, events and cultural sectors, and it's quite interesting about the choices people have made and how lots of people within this sector as customers have welcomed the fact that there are protections in place to give them the confidence to return. That isn't the point about measures, that's about—


Yes. I absolutely categorically support the measures that have been undertaken. There's no question about that.

I'm not saying you did. The point I'm really making is about rebuilding public confidence. To want to come back to use the sector is a different challenge and isn't really necessarily a budgetary one.

But I did want to come back to that comparator issue. I absolutely understand the fact that, prior to 26 December, the comparator was valid, but the comparator's not the same since 26 December, given that the English sectors have been open, whereas the Welsh sectors have been not fully closed, but relatively closed. Therefore, an understanding of what is needed is perhaps less a comparator and more a contrast with what's happening in England.

I think it's fair to point out that there have been different measures in place—that's a matter of fact. What we don't know yet, though, are visitor numbers and engagement numbers from customers, because, as we say, there's been lots of behaviour change across a range of sectors. People have made choices not to engage—we know that across the UK. The challenge will be have we done enough—and we think we have—with what we can afford, to try to make sure that the sector survives? That comes on the back of the engagement work that Jason's described and the choices that Dawn leads on as the Minister. I've got financial overview for the whole budget, but Dawn is the Minister who is making the policy choices, and this is our understanding of what we can do and what we need to do for the sector to survive.

I think, to add to that, really, is to say that both—the economy Minister has been very coy about it—the economy Minister and the First Minister have always said that future support for all of our sectors, whether it's in the business sector generally or in the arts and culture sector, will be continually kept under review, because the last thing that we want to do is to see any of our organisations go under because of the coronavirus pandemic. So far, we have been able to offer support at a level that has enabled most organisations to continue and to survive through this.

We've got to keep an eye on what happens beyond this as well. We've talked a lot about the post-pandemic recovery. I've heard UK Government Ministers talking about, 'We're coming to the end of the pandemic now.' I see no evidence of that. We've still got infection rates of somewhere in the region of 500 per 100,000. We're still very much in the middle of this pandemic, although the nature of it is changing. I think the point you're making, Hefin, is a valid one—that we will, at some point, get through the worst of this pandemic. We've got to do what we can to get as many organisations through the pandemic, but then we have to have some kind of post-pandemic support in place for organisations where they need it. And I think, as I say, both the FM and the economy Minister have said that they will continue to keep that under review.

I take from that a positive answer to the question that there may be extra space in the budget to find funding where necessary, if necessary. I'll take that as a 'yes' to my question. But the other issue, then, of course, is the impact of COVID passes, which weren't in place in England for much of the time. I know they were part of plan B, but for a much smaller part of the time, and I think that's going to go now. So, what impact have COVID passes had on the financial stability of the culture and sporting sectors?

I think part of the challenge is we may be looking at trying to prove a negative. We introduced COVID passes to try to help manage the risks when we knew that circulation rates were pretty high with delta previously. It's worth reminding ourselves that delta was more infectious than alpha and, actually, more likely to cause harm as well. The difference is, of course, that we've had a largely successful vaccination programme in the run-up to delta, and that protection has protected all of us, but we could see that there was a case for it, and the Senedd agreed that it would be proportionate to introduce passes within those sectors.

When it comes to the financial consequences of that for all the sectors where the passes were in operation, we haven't really seen that there's been a need to budget for an increase in any material way in the support we provide the sectors. We had these conversations. The stakeholders were worried about whether there would be extra costs, but, actually, I think it's of real credit to people in all the sectors where the pass has been introduced that, actually, they've managed to keep running and keep going. If you think about spectator sports, very successfully introduced, and real credit to both Cardiff and Swansea football clubs for the way they co-operated. And I, myself, have been to the rugby at the Arms Park and the passes were there, really easy, and I thought that the staff on the gate made it very easy for customers as well, and that was part of the point—


But is there clear evidence that you've got that the COVID pass hasn't had a negative financial consequence on either the demand or supply side? You're describing it—. You're giving anecdotal evidence, is there evidence you've gathered?

Well, no. The challenge is that the pass meant that some people were more likely to go out than before, so actually, trying to balance up those people who attended because they had a pass, because they could have confidence about their status and others they'd be near to—. I mean, it's very difficult to disprove the impact of that versus people who said, 'I'm not going because I've got to show a pass.' Actually, football fans in particular were the ones we were particularly concerned about and yet, it really didn't make a dent in attendances. And I think that that is largely because the two largest football clubs made a real effort with their fan base and people wanted to see their teams. Now, if you were a Cardiff City fan—before Alun Davies says anything—you might feel differently about what actually happens on the pitch, but for people to attend, it didn't appear to make a difference to people's willingness to attend or the financial viability, and it was a real protective measure, given the balance of where we were, which is why we haven't had any particular blowback from those same sectors about the pass being reintroduced with reopening.

Forgive me for interrupting you, Minister, but I think Alun Davies wanted to come in on this point specifically, but not—

I hope it's not about his misery of being a Cardiff City fan. [Laughter.]

Yes, I know that as well. I won't be there.

I agree with you that I saw no—. I've used the pass many times and I've seen no issues at any point in using it—none at all. I saw it as an entirely neutral fact. My feeling is that your point, where it's positive, is probably correct, but you were far more bullish than I would be about that, and you said—well, you just said to Hefin—that it has been a positive. And I'm just wondering on what basis you can say that. I've seen no evidence, no impact assessment, that a COVID pass has had a positive impact on attendance numbers. We've heard anecdotal stuff around it, but there's been no impact assessment and the Government hasn't published any research on this, has it?

With respect, I wasn't trying to say that there's been an assessed impact that shows that the COVID pass was positive. I was trying to make the point that my impression has been positive; there's anecdotal evidence about that. But equally, you can't disprove the negative—how many people you've put off compared to how many people you've maintained. But equally, we might have been forced into making different choices about activity to continue, and it's definitely a positive for the confidence we have, and the public health advice we have now, about reopening as well. So, these are important additional measures to manage the risk, and it's all about risk management, isn't it? So, the things that we do individually with lateral flow tests, we then do with using passes and when the third jab is available in the online pass as well, I think that'll be extra protection too. So, it's about risk management rather than trying to say that there are hard and fast absolute answers that we can provide. I'd like to have been able to do that at different points in time, but we can't.

I was just going to say, without labouring the point, I think there is a comparator; the comparator would be the Cardiff City attendance when COVID passes were in place compared to, say, Bristol City, where they weren't. You know, there is a comparison that you can make, and some of the costs on the club from the supply side as well. But if there's a minimal impact and that's coming  through clearly from the sector, then, fine, that's not going to have a huge impact on the budget.

Hefin, I think the Deputy Minister wanted to come in here, but I'm not sure on which point.

It was on the overall point. But I think, generally, what we've seen in terms of attendances—and I honestly don't think this is down to the COVID pass, I think this is, as the Minister was saying,  down to behaviours and concerns—is the difference between people attending indoor and outdoor events. That's been the big difference. I mean, I went to the autumn internationals when we were using COVID passes and there were capacity crowds. But theatres and cinemas have reported significant downturns in ticket sales, with and without the COVID pass, because people are more nervous about going to events indoors. So, the COVID pass has brought a level of assurance to people who do want to go to events and feel more confident about doing that, knowing that they will be sat in an indoor venue near to somebody who is doubly jabbed and/or has had a lateral flow test, whereas, if you're in an outdoor stadium, that is not such a major concern. And I think that's more to do with the attendance than the COVID passes, i.e. whether it's an indoor or an outdoor event.


Yes, and I think it's very difficult to objectively unpick all of that and I think the attitude is absolutely understandable. I'd like to come to the spectator sports fund and the £3 million allocation and ask a very similar question to the one that Delyth asked about the cultural recovery fund: is it what's needed or is it what you could afford?

Ministers—. Forgive me interrupting, Deputy Minister. We have half an hour left of our allocated time, because we will need to finish 09:55, just for witnesses and Members to be aware. If I could ask for as brief a response to that as possible.

I'll stop and I'll turn my mike off now, Chair. [Laughter.]

No, I'm conscious of how quickly the time goes, Delyth, so I will try and keep it brief. But, yes, the £3 million that we allocated in the spectator sports fund, that was an initial estimate of what was required. Now, obviously, what we knew is, in making that announcement, we knew the number of clubs that were likely to be caught in that measure. So, we did an initial assessment of—. So, if our professional and elite clubs were going to have to play behind closed doors, and those other clubs, say in the Cymru Premier, that wouldn't necessarily have had 500 people or more attending events, and so on—. We were able to make that initial assessment. So, that was almost like a mathematical exercise: how many organisations and clubs are likely to be impacted, what would be the likely effect on their income, and that's how we came up with the figure of around £3 million. And, to date, with the applications that we've had in—and again, Jason will correct me if I'm wrong on this—that looks to be about right in terms of the applications and the support that we've been able to offer to those organisations that have had to play behind closed doors.

Absolutely spot on. Yes, absolutely spot on, Minister. I think it's just worth noting that we always envisaged this as two phases: the first phase was going up until the point of the last 21-day review and, as the Minister says, we're very much coming in on budget with that. And, again, it was the point that we made earlier: because we've got such good relationships with our stakeholders, we were able to to work with them through all the finer points of all of this before we announced the figure.

So, the more difficult bit to assess was, obviously, the second phase, which would take us beyond the current review period. But, as the First Minister set out last week, we are now moving forward, obviously, on the expectation that we will move back to alert level 0 on 28 January, so the need for the spectator sports fund will reduce, obviously, at that point then. So, I think we can say with a high degree of confidence that our funding will enable these organisations to get through again.

Thank you for that. Before we move on to Sam Kurtz, Heledd, I think you had a query about correspondence that we've received as well.

Yes, thank you, Chair. Deputy Minister, can I just ask for clarification on the letter you sent to the Chair of our committee yesterday regarding freelancers? There's just some ambiguity in the text where you reference that details will follow in due course, in terms of the creative freelance community, but then there is some detail. Therefore, is support for cultural freelancers who've been impacted by the pandemic this winter being provided solely by the emergency business fund grant, or is further support planned from the Welsh Government?

So, we've introduced and increased the emergency grant, as you already know, from £500 to £1,000. That was done as part of the business support that was announced by the economy Minister. Over and above that, part of the future development of support for freelancers in the wider sense—so, not part of the COVID response—is all wrapped up with the Arts Council of Wales funding review and how we can develop ongoing support for the freelance community across the cultural sectors. We've also got the freelancers pledge, and we want to meet the requirements of the freelancers pledge, but it is all wrapped in the future strategy around funding for the arts. Obviously, all of that is carried out by the Arts Council of Wales, but it will be part of that future funding strategy. So, I'm sorry if the letter appeared confusing, because there are two elements to that. And, again, Jason, I don't know if you want to clarify that at all, but that's where we are: we've got the emergency funding and then the longer term strategy.


Jason, unless the there's something that you wanted to contribute, that has clarified things, but Jason, if you wanted to add something—

No, the Minister is spot on again.

Okay, fantastic. Full marks from Jason there. [Laughter.] We'll turn next to Sam Kurtz. Diolch, Sam.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. Bore da, Minister, Deputy Minister. Can I, first, start off with regard to the evidence that the Welsh Government has supplied for the session? In it, it states,

'We will be tackling major inequalities in terms of access and participation, not least racial inequalities'.

Can I ask how this statement is reflected in the draft budget, please? I'll start with the Deputy Minister.

Thank you, Sam, for that. I think what you see is the budget doesn't actually have specific amounts of money allocated for race equality, so there are amounts of money that form the budget so that we have an amount allocated that will enable our organisations to deliver their requirements under the programme for government and under the race equality action plan. If you were to say to me, 'What, specifically, will each organisation then do to meet the requirements of the race equality action plan or the programme for government in increasing access and representation and so on?', I would have to say to you that that's all set out in our remit letters, and each of our sponsored bodies now have three months to respond to me with their operational plans, setting out exactly how they intend to achieve those objectives. So, inbuilt into their budget allocation is an expectation that they will do that within the budget allocation, but there isn't, say, £200,000 set aside for them to do x, y and z, because we expect that everything that our sponsored bodies do will be leading towards the inclusion and access outcomes that we're looking for. So, you can't point to a specific thing, but the operational plan that follows on from the remit letter will give us a greater insight to what our sponsored bodies are going to be doing to deliver the programme for government in this area.

And, of course, my officials meet with our sponsored bodies on a regular basis. I meet with them on either a half yearly or quarterly basis, where I discuss with them how they're operating and how they're working to achieve those objectives. So, that's basically how it's done. It's not something that you can pin down as a definitive; it's something that will go through everything that they do, and their allocation will enable them to do that.

Could we please have a copy of those sponsored body remit letters?

Yes, indeed. Sorry, Delyth, I thought you'd had them, but there's absolutely no problem with you having those. Jason, if we can organise that.

So, what I'm saying, Delyth, is that in those remit letters you will see that they set out very clearly what our expectations are, and we will then expect the bodies to come back to us with their plans to meet those expectations.

Thank you. I think Jason wants to come in on this point, and then I'll bring Dean in. Jason.

Thank you, only very briefly to say that one change, obviously, now is that the remit letters for each arms-length body are whole-term-of-Government remit letters, so it's very clear within them the expectations around equality, inclusion and access. This will be measured over a whole Government term now, which is a change from before, where we used to look at things on an annual basis, so I just wanted to mention that.

Thanks, Jason. I'll bring Dean in and then Heledd. Dean.

Thank you, Chair. I was just going to say the same thing about the whole-of-Government remit, basically, but also, we do impact assessments on every budget decision as well, so we cover all impacts, basically, so not just race equality as well.

Dim ond gan ein bod ni ar y pwynt yma o ran y remit letters yn benodol ac arian hirdymor dros dymor y Senedd hon, felly, gaf i ofyn pa ystyriaeth sydd wedi cael ei rhoi o ran arian ychwanegol i'r cyrff hyn o ran talu codiad cyflog i staff? Oherwydd yn aml mae disgwyl eu bod nhw'n cael yr un codiad cyflog â'r gwasanaeth sifil, ond dwi ddim yn gweld yn y gyllideb fod yna unrhyw ddarpariaeth ar gyfer sicrhau bod y cyrff hyn yn derbyn yr arian ar gyfer y codiad cyflog. Oherwydd, yn amlwg, mae costau'n cynyddu, er enghraifft gydag ynni ac ati. Felly, lle mae'r ddarpariaeth ar gyfer sicrhau codiad cyflog i staff y sefydliadau hyn hefyd?

Just as we are covering this point of remit letters specifically and long-term funding over the term of this Senedd, could I ask what consideration has been given in terms of additional funding for these bodies in terms of paying for pay rises for staff? Because it's often expected that they would have the same pay rises as the civil service, but I don't see in the budget that there is any provision for ensuring that these bodies do receive funding for those pay rises. Because, obviously, costs are increasing, with energy costs and so on. So, where is the provision for ensuring pay rises for staff within these organisations too?


Pwy bynnag sydd eisiau ymateb i hwnna.

I don't know who would like to take that one.

Thanks, Minister. There's no explicit line within the budget, basically, for public sector pay increases. We will work with our public sector bodies, basically, have those negotiations, and it's fair to say that we have linked those public sector bodies, as you've said, with the civil service pay rises, basically, and there are ongoing discussions with them. But we've got a finite amount of money and there will be opportunity costs to doing that. But that's something we will work through with Ministers, basically, and in discussions with those bodies. 

I think Heledd just wanted to briefly come back on that.

Yes. So, there is a possibility of additional funding, otherwise what we're seeing in the budget is a real-terms cut, then, if pay is included within the budget.

Yes, like I said, there are no specific allocations at this stage, but, as we go through the next three years—because this is a three-year provisional budget, basically—there will be opportunities for us to go to finance central reserves and actually put a bid in for those things. So, this is not a one-stop, 'This is it for the next three years.' There is potential for additional allocations, and we will be making that case to Treasury, basically—our Welsh Treasury.

Okay. And just for Members and witnesses to be aware, we have fewer than 20 minutes left of our time, if people can be as brief as possible. There will inevitably be areas where we'll need to write to you for further points, if that's all right. 

Nôl i Sam.

Back to Sam.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. Sticking on the topic of long-term and multi-year budget allocations, both Sport Wales and the arts council have called for multi-year budget allocations, noting planning difficulties caused by yearly budget decisions. But what consideration has Welsh Government given to multi-year budgets for these two organisations? 

So, our budget allocations this term have been for three years. So, the UK Government has now moved towards multi-year settlements for devolved nations. So, we had a three-year budget settlement from the UK Government and we were able to pass that on to our sponsored bodies. So, if you look at the figures that we produced for our budget you will see that there are indicative budget allocations for the next three years. Now, they are indicative, because they can change, depending on circumstances, and of course there are opportunities throughout those three years for us to have discussions on, say, additional capital allocations if there were specific projects that were brought forward and so on. But each of our sponsored bodies have now had a three-year indicative budget.

Thanks. The Deputy Minister is totally correct in what she's saying. The problem we've got is the operating model we work within within the UK, and we have an annual cycle, so, basically, even though we give three-year indicative, which probably says 90 per cent of the money that you're going to receive over the next three years is a given, there are always margins, and we work in accountancy on a 12-month cycle. So, basically, as much as I would love to say to all our organisations, 'Here's the money for three years. Just get on with it. Don't come back to us', it just doesn't work with this, because of the operating model we work within in the UK. So, I've got the same constraints as those organisations, and I would love to have three years and just get on with it with the Ministers, but we don't work like that, unfortunately, because of the operating model within the UK.

Okay. Thanks for that, Dean. I'll bring Jason in, but I think we'll probably need to move on after this because there are quite a few other areas we're hoping to squeeze in. But Jason.

Thank you, Chair. Just to say the positive feedback we've had so far with our arm's-length bodies around the multi-year budget settlement—. Ultimately, what this enables organisations to do is plan, obviously, over the longer term. I can speak, obviously, from being the accounting officer for Cadw as well. We can now, on the back of an indicative allocation like this, let multi-year contracts, because there's a level of assurance there that the funding will be there, and I know that that's the same position in all of the other arm's-length bodies, so it's already making a positive impact in terms of operations. 

Okay. Thanks. Thanks, Jason.

Gwnawn ni symud ymlaen nawr. Mae'n flin gen i, ond bydd yn rhaid inni achos amser. Gwnawn ni symud ymlaen at Alun Davies.

We'll now have to move on, because of time. We'll move on to Alun Davies.

Thank you very much, Chair. Deputy Minister, why are you cutting the budget of the national library?


I don't think we're cutting the budget of the national library, are we, Alun? What we've done—

If you look at the revenue budget, it's decreasing from £12.9 million in this year's budget, final budget, to £12.3 million in the 2022-23 draft budget, which is a decrease of 5 per cent, and is a decrease of 32 per cent in cash terms to the capital budget.

Okay. So, what we've actually got is we've got a budget allocation that, basically, is sufficient for the library to continue to deliver their programme of work. Now, I met with the national library last week, with the chief executive and the chair of the national library, well, the interim president and the chief executive officer—they're not called 'the chair', he's called 'the president'—the CEO and chief librarian. They were very positive about the funding settlement and how it will contribute to enabling the library to become financially stable going forward. So, I know that there had been some concerns in the lead up to that, but those concerns were not played out in the discussions that I had with the two most senior members of that organisation.

So, we've seen an additional funding of £1 million that was allocated in the final budget to support the operational pressures, and that's been maintained in the baseline, and there has been a modest incremental uplift of about £750,000 provided on a kind of equitable basis with the other sponsored bodies to further address the operational requirements. I think it's probably worth noting that that's offset by the non-recurrent funding of £750,000 that was put in to budget for the tailored review. That's not actually published in the budget, so it only looks like a £7,000 increase, because that was just a one-off allocation. The—

Can I stop you there, Minister? I can well understand why people would be very pleasant to a Minister over a cup of tea, but that's not the reality, is it, because the tailored review, if I'm reading it correctly, in its absolute conclusion, said that the current situation is not sustainable, and those are, I think, their words, not mine. The report called for urgent attention to the library's financial needs. So, if you commission a review, the review tells you that there's an urgent financial issue in the library, that the current situation is not sustainable, and then you do not provide consistent funding—. I recognise the one-off funding to implement that, but what any organisation needs is consistent revenue funding in order to sustain its services and to address the issues that were identified in that review. And then what really worries me, as somebody who lived in Aberystwyth and remembers the fire in the national library, is any cuts to its capital, because I remember the impact of that event some years ago. This is an absolute treasure house of our nation's history, and if we're not taking care of it then I wonder what else Government is doing.

Well, I absolutely agree with you, but I think there are two separate things going on here. So, we had the tailored review, and the tailored review—. There was additional funding that was allocated to the libraries for the tailored review. It was outside of the current budget allocation in this term of Government. There has been additional funding allocated in this term for the outstanding work that's still required from the tailored review. Many of the recommendations from the tailored review have actually now been drawn up, they have been implemented, we've seen the restructuring going on. That's about to be signed off. So, we've seen an awful lot of the work around the tailored review already happening and it was funded by us, and there is additional funding—albeit one-off, because that is specifically for an additional piece of work. There have been reductions over some of the capital funding, but the discussion that I've had with the library was that they felt that that was manageable, that they were—. At any point, as I said previously to a previous question, if any of our sponsored bodies want to come back to me and talk about specific projects that they need capital funding for, then we can look at that at any given point in time. But the budget allocation, as it stands at the moment, over the next three years, is a budget allocation—. It was better than was initially anticipated by the library and it's one that they have welcomed, and they are saying is more than happy to deliver their strategic priorities—

But it doesn't—. Sorry, because we're short of time, I'd prefer the officials to write to the committee.


Yes, that's fine. We can certainly do that, because I take your point, Alun—you've got a genuine concern that you want responded to and we can do that, but probably not in the detail you want within the time that we've got available this morning. But I'm happy to give that to you through the committee.

Yes, I'm grateful to you for that. Because if a report tells you that a current situation is not sustainable and you accept that report—which the Government did, of course, and, as you say, you've started to implement some of that—then cutting the funding leads to greater instability and a greater lack of sustainability, not more. And I'm concerned that the cuts that you're making, the real-terms cuts that you're making, to the national library are going to mean that the Government's objectives, which the economy Minister outlined at the beginning of this session, are not just not going to be met, but you're actually creating a potential crisis for your successor.

Okay. Well, as I say, I'm happy to—. I take the points you're making. I think Dean and Jason might be able to give some quick technical answers, but, on the more long-term strategic issues that you've raised, Alun, I'm happy to write to the committee and set that out in more detail. 

Okay. Let's do that. If we could move on, then, Delyth, because I think if we're short of time—. 

Okay. Was there—? Right. Jason, if it would be all right, please, if you could—. Because we're now into our final nine minutes. But if there was something very brief you wanted to say in a couple of seconds—. Forgive me for constraining you. 

Just to say that there is no cut to the ongoing revenue budget of the library. There was a one-off allocation last year for the tailored review, but there is an increase for the library completely commensurate with all the arm's-length bodies. They've all had exactly the same increase, and the library have welcomed their budget settlement immensely. 

Thank you. Dean, forgive me, I'm afraid we're going to have to move on. I appreciate that this will be something where we'll need to pick this up with you in writing. I have eight minutes left, and one Member who hasn't asked any questions at all yet. I know that we needed to ask you about one thing, certainly, in terms of mental health and physical health recovery being a hugely important thing that's been pushed in narrative form by the Government as we, as we all hope, are coming out of the pandemic. One might have expected to see a large increase in spending in sport as a preventative measure response to that. That doesn't seem to have happened. What was the reasoning for this having happened, or not happened?

Okay. So, again, we have regular discussions with our sponsored bodies, Sport Wales being one of them, and we talk to them extensively about what the requirements are, both in terms of revenue and capital. What I can say is that we've had a significant amount of capital allocation this year that has already been spent on meeting our programme for government objectives, particularly on grass-roots sports facilities and so on. We've—. It isn't public yet, but we are in the process of just announcing a further capital allocation for Sport Wales, because they have been absolutely inundated with applications for projects for grass-roots sports and improved local facilities. So we're looking to put another £4 million into Sport Wales for that in this financial year. There are significant capital allocations then over the next three years to meet that particular requirement. But, again, what I would say is that, with some of our sport work, it works cross-portfolio as well. So, the mental health and well-being that you talked about is not something that just applies in sport; this is something that we work across portfolios on, and Sport Wales has been helping to deliver that with other departments, with the department for health, the department for education and so on. 

So, it's—. Again, I can ask Jason to give a little bit more detail about where we are with sport, and the conversations that he had with Sport Wales that led us to the budget allocation that we have, but, certainly, again, we are satisfied that the budget allocation that we have for Sport Wales over the next three years is sufficient to deliver the objectives set out in our programme for government. 

Thank you, Minister. Jason, I'll come to you very briefly, and then we'll move on to Carolyn. But if you could write to the committee as soon as is possible with any information on—


Thank you very much. Jason, was there anything brief that you wanted to add to that?

I'll just focus on capital funding, Chair, thank you. Just to say that the capital allocation that we've made this year and going forward, again, has been really well received by sport. This has been a new line of funding that has been put in over the last three years, and it has increased year on year. We've put a figure in there that we believe Sport Wales can actually deliver over the next financial year. Again, as we mentioned earlier in the committee, if there were proposals to go beyond that allocation, we would obviously look at that in-year. But we had our quarterly monitoring meeting with Sport Wales yesterday, and it's fair to say, I think, that they are very receptive and grateful for the allocations that we've made and they can make a big difference in the years to come with that provision. 

Thank you, Jason. We're into our final five minutes and, without further ado, we'll move on to Carolyn. 

The Welsh Government's evidence paper said that the local culture and sport budget will support the cultural strategy. What is the timeline for developing this strategy, and how do Ministers envisage the money will be spent?

Okay, so, on the cultural strategy, we said that we would start the work in earnest on that this year. It is part of the co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru, so there was additional funding allocated to delivering the cultural strategy. We're not starting from a zero base, of course, because the last Government had already started work on a cultural strategy. That was held up because of the COVID pandemic, and we had always intended to start that work again in the new year, in this year. I think I've mentioned that several times on the floor of the Senedd and in conversations that I've had with the cultural spokespersons of both the main opposition parties. So, that's always been there, but there has been some added impetus now with the co-operation agreement with Plaid. So, I'm expecting that we will have an initial paper from officials fairly soon that we can start to develop. But what I have always been clear about is that this is not something that me and my officials are going to sit in the office and develop, even with Plaid Cymru on board. This is not something that we're going to sit and develop, this is something that we're going to develop after the full consultation with the sector, because this cultural strategy needs to be developed by the sector. So, I will say that in terms of where we are at and where we're going, and so the timescale will be dictated by that. 

The delivery of a cultural strategy, of course, is a programme for government commitment. So, we have a five-year term in which we would be looking to deliver that. But I would be very clear and say that, with or without the cultural strategy, this is not a Government that doesn't have any cultural direction. We absolutely have our own priorities that were set out in our manifesto that are in the programme for government and form part of the co-operation agreement. So, even without a written strategy, we have a strategic direction in which we're going to deliver our programme for government commitments. 

Thank you, Minister. I think Heledd Fychan has a very brief supplementary and then I'm afraid that we're going to have to bring the session to a close. Heledd.

Yes, just on that, throughout the paper, there are references in terms of the budget to deliver a cultural strategy, which we don't have yet. So, there seem to be a number of assumptions about the cultural strategy. I would just like to see if there is money set aside to develop this strategy and look at the funding required post COVID, because there's also a line about seeing if the work previously done is fit for purpose.

And similarly, in terms of the cultural strategy, if we are serious about this, is there a way—? Because there are a number of pockets of different funding that seem to be additional to a lot of the sponsored bodies, is it possible for us to have clarification as a committee about the actual allocations and delivering different programmes of government, not just in terms of the revenue and capital budgets, so that we have a true and accurate picture on the situation of these organisations?

Sure. I would probably need to discuss that with finance officials, Heledd, but in principle, I don't have a problem with doing that if we can. But, again, I think it's probably much like the race equality question that I had earlier on—you can't pin it down to particular activities, you say that this is something that's running through everything we do. But I will have a further conversation with officials about that and whether we can give you any more specific detail, but it was an amount of money that was allocated to enable us to do a dedicated piece of work across our portfolios to deliver the cultural strategy.


Okay, thank you very much, Ministers. I'm afraid that we've run out of time. There are lots of other areas that I know that Carolyn had wanted to raise with you there. We'll be writing to you with the transcript so that you can check it. 

Diolch yn fawr iawn i chi am eich tystiolaeth y bore yma. Mae'n flin gen i fod amser wedi'n trechu ni, ond dŷn ni'n gwerthfawrogi eich amser.

Aelodau, byddwn ni nawr yn cymryd egwyl fer iawn i dderbyn y tystion ar gyfer y sesiwn nesaf. Mae'r sesiwn nesaf yn cychwyn am 10 o'r gloch. Diolch. 

Thank you very much for your evidence this morning. I'm sorry that time was against us, but we do appreciate your time.

Members, we will now take a very short break to bring our next witnesses in, and the next session will start at 10 o'clock.

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 09:55 a 10:01.

The meeting adjourned between 09:55 and 10:01.

3. Craffu ar gyllideb ddrafft Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer 2022-23: Cysylltiadau Rhyngwladol
3. Scrutiny of Welsh Government Draft Budget 2022-23: International Relations

Bore da. Croeso nôl. Fe wnawn ni symud yn syth at eitem 3, sef craffu ar gyllideb ddrafft 2022-23 Llywodraeth Cymru: cysylltiadau rhyngwladol. Rydyn ni'n falch iawn o gael y Prif Weinidog a hefyd rhai tystion eraill gyda ni y bore yma. Gaf i atgoffa pawb yn y sesiwn, mae'r Prif Weinidog yma i ateb yn benodol am ei gyfrifoldebau materion rhyngwladol? Fe wnaf i ofyn i'r tystion gyflwyno eu hunain ar gyfer y record. 

Good morning. Welcome back. We'll move immediately to item 3, scrutiny of the Welsh Government draft budget for 2022-23: international relations. We're very pleased to be joined by the First Minister and some other witnesses this morning. May I remind everyone that the First Minister is here to answer specific questions on his duties in relation to international relations? I'll ask the witnesses to introduce themselves for the record.

Bore da. Mark Drakeford, Prif Weinidog. Fe allaf i gyflwyno—wel, mynd at Andrew i gyflwyno ei hun. Andrew.

Good morning. Mark Drakeford, First Minister. If I could ask Andrew to introduce himself next.

Bore da. Good morning. Andrew Gwatkin, director of international relations and trade.

A Paula hefyd. Paula.

And Paula too.

Bore da. Good morning. Paula Walsh, deputy director, international relations.

Thank you ever so much. I'm sure—. We're very grateful for your time this morning. We only have half an hour, so if I could ask Members and witnesses to be as succinct as possible, please, so we can get through as many issues as possible.

If I can ask firstly, First Minister, you've allocated over £8.9 million for international relations in the draft budget, but there's not anything in the draft budget narrative that tells us what that money will be spent on specifically. Could you give us an outline of that, please?

I can do. So, the budget is broken down into two main areas: £3.22 million will be allocated to international engagement, and I can break that down further for you if that's helpful; the remainder part of the budget, the £5.434 million, will support the work of the international offices. 

Okay. If you could provide us with any further breakdown, that would be fantastic for the framing of the session.

So, within the first part of the budget, the £3.22 million for international relations, that is essentially allocated for internal management purposes to the four headings of the four action plans that underpin our international strategy. So, I want to be clear that these are fluid boundaries here, these are the working assumptions we make. So, for priority regional relationships and networks, which is the first of the four action plans, then notionally we've put £150,000 against that. We've put £150,000 against diaspora engagement. We allocate £350,000 against the aspects of the Wales for Africa programme that fall to my responsibilities. There is further money and responsibilities that lie with Jane Hutt. And then £1.4 million is allocated to support the fourth action plan, and that is the public diplomacy and soft power aspect, and that's the cross-cutting part of the budget particularly, and that covers a whole range of different activities in culture, sport, education, sustainability, equality, diversity, and so on.

Diolch, Brif Weinidog. Fe wnawn ni symud at Sam Kurtz.

Thank you, First Minister. We'll move on to Sam Kurtz.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. Bore da, Brif Weinidog. 

Thank you, Chair. Good morning, First Minister.

With regard to this £8.9 million, what measurable impacts are the Welsh Government expecting from this? What key performance indicators are there to see what has been delivered from this £8.9 million?


Well, of course, every part of the budget has its own objectives and KPIs, so I would take up the whole of the half hour if I was to go through the whole budget. Can I just give a couple of examples to help the committee to understand?

In diaspora engagement, where we developed a contract with Global Wales to deliver part of that diaspora work for us, there were three specific things that they had to deliver as part of that contract. They had to connect the Welsh Government to 10 new job-creating projects for each year of the contract, they had to introduce Welsh companies to potential collaborators on a minimum of five trade missions in a year, and they had to identify and secure the services of five mentors from the Global Wales network to support Welsh companies who were looking to grow internationally. Those were specific and measurable, they were in the contract, and, in fact, all of them were delivered by Global Wales as part of the contract that we had with them. 

In a completely different example, as part of the £350,000 that I hold for the Wales and Africa programme, that covers the work we do in Mbale in Uganda, which is the tree-planting project that we have. Amongst the measurable outputs of that is that a tree is planted in Mbale for every child who is born in Wales in a year. We plant a tree in Wales and we plant a tree in Mbale, and the parents of the child get information from the Welsh Government telling them about that. So far, 15 million trees have been planted by Wales, working with 100 different local people who are employed in that part of Africa as part of our target to have reached 25 million trees by 2025. Again, we measure that annually, and are able to report on it, and we are on track to plant that 25 million trees. It's not the trees themselves that are important; it's the work that it provides to people in that area, it's the improvement that it brings about in soil conditions, and it's the long-term livelihoods that are secured because the crops that are yielded from the trees that are planted have developed an industry in that part of Uganda that will go on providing employment and economic opportunities for people well, well after the planting of trees is over. 

First Minister, I appreciate that, as you said, if you were to outline all of the KPIs for all of these areas, it would indeed take all of the session, but if it would be possible to write to the committee with any further KPIs that you have for this budget area, we'd be grateful. 

Fe wnawn ni symud at Alun Davies. 

We now move on to Alun Davies. 

Diolch ichi. Dwi'n fodlon iawn gyda'r gyllideb a'r gwaith ysgrifenedig sydd gyda ni o'n blaen ni y bore yma. Ond liciwn i ofyn i chi, Brif Weinidog: mae'r strategaeth ryngwladol yn rhywbeth oedd wedi'i chytuno cyn cytundeb Brexit, a chyn y pandemig a phob dim arall sydd wedi digwydd yn ystod y flwyddyn neu'r y ddwy flynedd ddiwethaf. Oes gyda chi unrhyw nod o adnewyddu'r strategaeth ryngwladol? Sut ydych chi'n gweld sut mae pethau wedi newid? Rhoddaf enghraifft i chi. Mae'r swyddfa yn Mrwsel yn mynd i gael swyddogaeth gwahanol iawn nawr oherwydd cytundeb Brexit. Sut ydych chi'n gweld hynny yn datblygu? A hefyd, gyda'r cytundebau masnachol rhyngwladol, dwi'n credu un o fethiannau mwyaf diflas Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig yw'r diffygion yn y cytundeb yma. Sut ydych chi'n gweld bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn gallu dylanwadu neu siapio strategaeth ryngwladol ar sail rhai cytundebau masnachol rhyngwladol?

Thank you. I am very content with the budget and with the written information that we've received this morning. I'd like to ask you, First Minister: the international strategy was something that was agreed before Brexit, and before the pandemic struck and everything else that's happened over the past year or two. So, do you have any intention to renew the international strategy? How do you believe things have changed? I'll give you an example. The Brussels office will have a very different function now because of the Brexit agreement. How do you see that developing? And also, with the international trade deals, I think one of the most depressing failings of the UK Government is the deficiencies in these trade agreements. How do you believe the Welsh Government can influence or shape international strategy based on some of these international trade agreements?

Diolch yn fawr. Ar un ochr, mae popeth sydd tu ôl i'r strategaeth a oedd wedi cael ei drefnu yng nghyd-destun Brexit yn para ymlaen. Rŷn ni'n gwybod bod rhaid i ni fel gwlad fach wneud mwy yn y cyd-destun presennol i godi proffil Cymru gyda phobl eraill, a gweithio mor galed â phosib â'r rhanbarthau sydd wedi bod yn bwysig i ni dros y blynyddoedd, y rhai rydym ni eisiau bwrw ymlaen i gydweithio â nhw. So, yng nghyd-destun yr Undeb Ewropeaidd, dŷn ni'n dal i weithio'n agos â Gwlad y Basg, Llydaw a nifer o ranbarthau eraill.

Beth sydd wedi newid yw'r ffordd dŷn ni'n gweithio, yng nghyd-destun y pandemig. Gobeithio y bydd pethau'n gwella, a'n bod ni'n gallu mynd nôl i rai pethau doedden ni ddim yn gallu eu gwneud wyneb yn wyneb â phobl dramor. Ond dŷn ni wedi gwneud cymaint o bethau yn llwyddiannus, dros y we, mewn ffordd ble does dim rhaid i ni deithio. Ac mae hwnna'n bwysig yng nghyd-destun newid hinsawdd hefyd, onid yw e, i newid y ffordd o feddwl: oes rhaid i ni deithio? Allwn ni wneud mwy fel dŷn ni'n gwneud pethau y bore yma? So, mae hwnna yn mynd i newid y strategaeth. Mae mwy o bosibiliadau gyda ni yn y ffordd dŷn ni'n gyfarwydd â hi nawr, nad oedden ni wedi meddwl amdanyn nhw pan oedd y strategaeth yn cael ei threfnu'n wreiddiol.

Un o'r pethau sy'n bwysig i fi a'r Llywodraeth yw i fod yn glir gyda phobl dramor ble mae'r agweddau sydd gyda ni yma yng Nghymru yn wahanol i agweddau Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig. Ar lawr y tir, dŷn ni'n gweithio'n ddigon agos gyda nhw. Mae'r berthynas rhwng Iwerddon a Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig wedi bod yn anodd dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf. Mae'r person sy'n gweithio ar ran Llywodaeth Cymru yn gweithio mas o'r embassy sydd gyda ni yn Dublin. So, ar un ochr, mae hi'n rhan o bopeth mae'r Deyrnas Unedig yn ei wneud yna, ond mae hi wedi llwyddo i gael proffil gwahanol i ni fel Cymru. Ac un o'r pethau dŷn ni wedi ei wneud dros y flwyddyn ddiwethaf yw cael cytundeb newydd rhyngom ni a'r Llywodraeth yn Iwerddon, sy'n rhoi lot mwy o bosibiliadau i ni gydweithio â nhw, ar wahân i'r problemau sydd yna yn y berthynas rhyngddyn nhw a Llywodraeth y Deyrnas Unedig.

On the one hand, everything that underpins the strategy that was drawn up in the context of Brexit remains. We know that we as a small nation have to do more in the current context in order to raise Wales's profile internationally, and to work as hard as we can with the regions that have been important to us over the years, where we want to continue to collaborate with those regions. So, in the European Union context, we are still working closely with the Basque Country, with Brittany, and with many other regions.

What has changed is the way that we work, in the context of the pandemic. I of course hope things do improve, and we can return to certain things that we couldn't do face to face with people abroad. But we have worked in so many ways successfully, online, in ways where we don't have to travel. And that's important in the context of climate change too, that we change our mindset: do we have to travel? Can we do more in the way that we're doing things this morning? So, that is going to change the strategy. There are more possibilities open to us, in ways that we are now familiar with, that we hadn't considered when the strategy was first drawn up.

One of the things that's important to me and to the Government is that we are clear with people abroad where our approaches here in Wales are different to the approach of the UK Government. On the ground, we do work closely with them. The relationship between Ireland and the UK Government has been difficult over the past 12 months. The person working on behalf of the Welsh Government has been working out of the embassy that we have in Dublin. So, on the one hand, she is part of everything that the UK is doing there, but she has succeeded in developing a different profile for us as a Welsh nation. And one of the things that we have done over the past year is to have a new agreement between ourselves and the Irish Government, which provides far greater possibilities for us to collaborate with them, separately from the problems that exist within that relationship between them and the UK Government.


Diolch ichi, Brif Weinidog. So, dwi'n cymryd y byddwch chi'n adnewyddu neu'n reffresio'r strategaeth yn ystod y cyfnod nesaf. A fydd modd—i ddilyn cwestiynau Sam Kurtz—i chi efallai ysgrifennu at y pwyllgor gyda dadansoddiad o'ch disgwyliadau chi ar gyfer y swyddfeydd rhyngwladol gwahanol? Er enghraifft, clywais i'r Gweinidog materion gwledig yn y Siambr ddoe yn sôn am ddatblygu bwyd yn y dwyrain canol, yn sôn am y trade missions yn Dubai, er enghraifft. Dwi'n cofio bod y swyddfeydd yma wedi gwneud gwahaniaeth mawr i allu Cymru i ymestyn ei dylanwad yn ystod y trafodaethau yma a'r digwyddiadau yma. So, efallai y byddai hi'n hwylus petaech chi'n gallu ysgrifennu at y pwyllgor, yn tanlinellu beth ydy'ch disgwyliadau chi ar gyfer y rhwydwaith o swyddfeydd rhyngwladol yn ystod, dywedwch, y flwyddyn nesaf, ac wedyn eich disgwyliadau chi o'r strategaeth ei hun—er enghraifft, y gwaith dŷch chi'n ei wneud â'r sector celf. Dwi'n gwybod bod hynny'n hynod o bwysig i Eluned Morgan pan wnaeth hi gyhoeddi'r strategaeth yn y lle cyntaf. Byddai hi'n rhwyddach i ni, efallai, dderbyn y gwaith ysgrifenedig yma gennych chi, ac wedyn efallai cael sesiwn ehangach ar hynny pan mae hynny'n gyfleus yn y gwanwyn.

Thank you, First Minister. So, I assume that you will be refreshing the strategy. Following on from Sam Kurtz's questions, would it be possible for you to write to the committee with an analysis of your expectations for the various international offices? For example, I heard the Minister for rural affairs in the Chamber yesterday talking about developing food markets in the middle east, through trade missions in Dubai, for example. As I recall, these offices made a major difference to Wales's ability to extend its influence during these discussions and at these events. So, perhaps it would be useful if you could write to the committee, highlighting your expectations for the network of international offices over, let's say, the next 12 months, and your expectations of the strategy itself—for example, the work that you're doing with the arts sector. I know that that was extremely important to Eluned Morgan when she first published the strategy. It would perhaps be easier for us to receive that information in writing from you, and then perhaps to have a broader session on that when that's convenient during the spring.

Dwi'n hapus i ysgrifennu, Gadeirydd, wrth gwrs. Dŷn ni wedi cytuno'n barod i roi adroddiad blynyddol i'r pwyllgor ar waith y swyddfeydd sydd gyda ni dramor. Ac mae hwnna'n edrych yn ôl, wrth gwrs—mae'n adborth ar bethau sydd wedi digwydd. Dwi'n hapus i ysgrifennu at y pwyllgor gyda'r cynlluniau sydd gyda ni ar gyfer y flwyddyn sydd i ddod. Ac wrth gwrs, mae lot o'r gwaith sy'n mynd i ddigwydd yn ystod y flwyddyn nesaf yn codi mas o'r pethau rŷn ni wedi eu gwneud yn ystod flwyddyn ddiwethaf. Mae nifer o bethau yn y maes celfyddydau, er enghraifft, a'r rhaglen rŷn ni wedi'i chael dros y flwyddyn ariannol bresennol, Cymru yn yr Almaen—mae lot o bethau sy'n mynd i ddigwydd y flwyddyn nesaf yn y maes celfyddydau wedi codi mas o'r gwaith rŷn ni wedi'i wneud yn barod. So, wrth gwrs, dwi'n hapus i ysgrifennu i roi mwy o fanylion. 

I'm happy to write to you, Chair. We've already agreed to provide an annual report to the committee on the work of the international offices. And that is retrospective, of course—it is feedback on what has happened. But I would be happy to write to the committee with the plans that we have for the next 12 months. And of course, much of the work that will happen over the next 12 months will arise from what we have been doing over the past 12 months. In the arts, for example, the programme that we've had over the current financial year, Wales in Germany—many things that will happen next year in the arts will have arisen from the work that we've already done. But I would be happy to write to you with further details.


Diolch, Brif Weinidog. Rydyn ni hanner ffordd—

Thank you, First Minister. We're halfway—

Rwy'n fodlon gyda hynny, Delyth. 

I'm content with that, Delyth.

Diolch, Alun. Dŷn ni hanner ffordd drwy'r sesiwn. Mae gyda ni chwarter awr ar ôl a thri Aelod sydd angen gofyn cwestiynau. Os bydd pawb yn cymryd pum munud, bydd amser ar gyfer pawb. Fe wnawn ni symud at Heledd Fychan.

Thank you, Alun. We're halfway through our session. We have a quarter of an hour left and three Members who have questions to ask. If everyone takes five minutes, then everyone will have time. We'll move to Heledd Fychan.

Diolch, Gadeirydd. Bore da, bawb. Eisiau holi oeddwn i yn benodol o ran y cytundeb lefel gwasanaeth sydd gyda Celfyddydau Rhyngwladol Cymru. Rwy'n deall bod hwnnw'n bodoli, o gyfathrebiad rydyn ni wedi'i gael gan y cyngor celfyddydau, hyd at 2023. Rwy'n trio deall os ydy peth o'r arian—yr £8.904 miliwn yma—yn mynd tuag at y cytundeb hwnnw, neu ydy'r arian hwnnw ynghlwm efo cyllideb y cyngor celfyddydau?

Thank you, Chair. Good morning, everyone. I wanted to ask specifically about the service level agreement with Wales Arts International. I understand that that exists, through correspondence that we've received from the arts council, and that it's there until 2023. I wanted to understand if some of the £8.904 million will be provided for that purpose, or is that funding attached to the arts council's budget?

Maen nhw'n cael yr arian oddi wrth fwy nag un ffynhonnell. Wrth gwrs, mae cyllideb gyda'r cyngor celfyddydau ei hunan, ond maen nhw yn gallu tynnu arian mas o fy nghyllideb i hefyd pan maen nhw'n gwneud pethau penodol lle rydym ni'n trial datblygu pethau yn y maes tramor. Jest i roi enghraifft, es i draw i Japan pan oedd Cwpan Rygbi'r Byd yn mynd ymlaen yn Japan. Wrth gwrs, roeddwn i'n canolbwyntio ar bethau yn yr economi. Roedd trade mission yn Tokyo ar yr un pryd. Ond ar yr un pryd, roedd cwmni dawns Cymru draw yn Japan, yn Oita, lle'r oedd tîm rygbi Cymru yn aros. Ac roedd un o'n hartistiaid ni draw yno hefyd. Felly, fe ges i gyfle i fynd draw i Oita ac i gymryd rhan mewn rhyw fath o berfformiad. Roeddwn i yno gyda llywydd y rhanbarth ac roedd yr arian ar gyfer hynny wedi dod wrthym ni achos roedd yn rhan o becyn mwy o bethau yr oeddem yn ei ariannu er mwyn tynnu popeth yr oeddem yn gallu mas o gwpan y byd i Gymru. Felly, mae arian yn ein cyllideb ar gyfer y celfyddydau pan mae'n rhan o rywbeth arbennig rŷn ni'n ei wneud.

They are funded from more than one source. Of course, the arts council has its own budget, but they can draw funding from my funding pot when they do specific things where we are seeking to develop things in the international arena. Just to give you an example, I went to Japan when the Rugby World Cup was being staged there. Of course, I was focused on the economy. There was a trade mission in Tokyo at the same time, but the Welsh dance company was also in Japan at that time, in Oita, where the Welsh rugby team was based. One of our artists was also over there. So, I had an opportunity to visit Oita and to participate in a performance. I was there with the president of the region, and the funding for that was provided by us because it was part of the larger package that we were funding in order to get everything we could out of the world cup for Wales. So, there is funding in our budget for the arts when it is part of a particular event or drive that we're involved with. 

Heledd, a oedd rhywbeth arall roeddech chi eisiau gofyn?

Heledd, was there anything further you wanted to ask? 

Diolch, Brif Weinidog. Mi wnaethoch chi gyfeirio yn eich ateb i Alun Davies hefyd ynglŷn â phethau fel y gwaith yn yr Almaen ac ati, sydd hefyd, dwi'n gwybod, yn rhywbeth y mae Celfyddydau Rhyngwladol Cymru wedi bod ynghlwm ag o. Dwi'n meddwl y byddai'n fuddiol, os yn bosib—a dwi'n gwybod bod amser yn brin heddiw—i jest gael gwell dealltwriaeth, os gwelwch yn dda, o ran y cytundeb lefel gwasanaeth yna, a sut mae'r cydweithio rhwng Celfyddydau Rhyngwladol Cymru a'ch adran chi'n gweithio o ran y cyllid yn benodol, os ydy hynna'n bosib.

Thank you, First Minister. In your answer to Alun Davies, you referred to things such as the work in Germany and so on, which is also something I know that Wales Arts International have been involved with. I think it would be beneficial, if possible—and I know that time is short today—just to have a better understanding if we could of that service level agreement, and how collaboration between Wales Arts International and your department works on funding particularly, if possible.

Brif Weinidog, rŷn ni'n gwybod, fel roedd Heledd yn dweud, bod amser yn brin. Os ydych chi eisiau ysgrifennu atom ni gyda mwy o fanylder, byddem ni wir yn ddiolchgar am hynny.

First Minister, we know that time is short, as Heledd mentioned. If you do want to write to us with further detail, we'd be very grateful for that.

Mae mwy o fanylder gyda fi fan hyn ar y rhaglen Cymru yn yr Almaen, so dwi'n siŵr ei fod yn haws i mi roi hwnna mewn ffordd ysgrifenedig i chi.

I have more detail here on the Wales in Germany programme, so I'm sure it would be easier for me to provide that in writing to you. 

Iawn. Diolch yn fawr iawn. Fe wnawn ni symud ymlaen at Carolyn Thomas.

Thank you very much. We'll move on to Carolyn Thomas.

Thank you. This is in a similar vein, really. Your letter to the committee in November includes £1.178 million for cross-cutting activities and international engagement. Is this being maintained in 2022-23 and can you set out what this money will be used for?


Thanks to Carolyn for that. Yes, we do expect broadly the same level of investment in the cross-cutting aspects of international engagement, and they do cover a very wide range of things. I referred earlier to the Ireland-Wales forum that we agreed on St David's Day last year. That includes an annual exchange, a ministerial exchange, and in the first year it was Ministers from the Republic of Ireland who came here to Wales, and that was a genuinely cross-cutting event. It was led by their foreign affairs Minister, Simon Coveney, but he had a range of other Ministers with him. We met for lunch in the museum here in Cardiff, because there was a renewal of a very long-standing memorandum of work between the National Museum Wales and the National Museum of Ireland. We were joined by their Minister for climate change, and I know that there are plans for him—he's the leader of the Green Party in their coalition—to come to Wales, and particularly to focus on the joint interest we have in using energy from the Irish sea in a sustainable way. And I joined the Taoiseach a couple of weeks later, when he was in Cardiff for the British-Irish Council, to foreground some of the economic development parts of that forum agreement. So, you can see that that's at least four or five different Ministers in that one initiative, and it covers many other parts of the Welsh Government as well. Education: we play our part in the £65 million investment we are making in international exchange for our young people, and bringing young people from other parts of the world here to Wales. That part of the budget helped to fund the Hillary Clinton global summit at Swansea University, held not that many weeks ago, which reached literally millions of people, because it was an online event with that global reach, and that came out of that cross-cutting part of the budget as well.

Diolch am hynny, Brif Weinidog. Fe wnawn ni symud ymlaen at Hefin David.

Thank you for that, First Minister. We will move on now to Hefin David.

With the real-terms cut in the revenue allocation for international relations, can you account for that simply through moves to such things as remote working and digital working, or are there likely to be longer term consequences for current provision?

Well, the budget goes up, Chair, in cash terms, modestly, by £0.25 million. Of course, Hefin David is right that even when you add that in, in real terms, that is less than we would have had in the last financial year. But the way that we will deal with it is exactly the way that the Member said; by reducing some of the more costly things we do and doing them in a different way, then we will be able to sustain the same level of activity with the money that we have. So, when you're dealing with a relatively small budget like this, then it doesn't need, for example, more than a couple of ministerial visits, trade missions, to move online from being in person, and we're able to make up the gap between the cash uplift and the erosion of that by inflation.

So, the First Minister is confident, therefore, that that covers it, basically.

Yes. There is nothing that we are planning to do next year that we are not going to be able to do because of the budget position.

Okay. And with regard to budget allocations for international offices—those need to be funded through revenue allocation and have to be in situ—what what will be the consequences there and the allocations there?

Well, we will sustain them at their current level and there are ways in which we can accommodate that. You have to look at the whole range of costs—staff costs, accommodation costs, running costs and so on—but within the global sum, the £5.5 million that we spend on our offices overseas, we expect to keep all of them open, all of them staffed, all of them doing the things that we've asked them to do, this year into next year as well.


And will the allocation of funds be the same across all the international offices? Will there be a change in the Brussels office, for example?

Yes. This is not a guarantee that the current disposition of things is frozen. It's always a bit dynamic: people come, people get other jobs, you're dealing with them that way, and priorities change. So, next year, we will move on from our Wales in Germany year to Wales in Canada, and for 2023, when the Rugby World Cup will be with us again and in France that year, we're planning Wales in France for that year, so you can imagine that we might want to strengthen a bit of our ability to deliver things on the ground in Canada next year, and that may mean we have to do little bit less elsewhere. But these are marginal changes; the basic disposition will remain the same.

And a last question: how are you going to measure the contribution that the allocation makes to us back here in Wales? How is performance measured, please?

Well, performance linked to international offices is measured monthly. Those are internal management measures, so there is a report every month from every office, in which they set out the activities that they've undertaken against the major objectives that we set for them. Those objectives were recalibrated to deal with the coronavirus onset, because lots of our officers spent their time working alongside some UK Government colleagues sourcing PPE, for example, for us, when supplies of those things were very difficult. And we are confident that we ended up with supplies coming into Wales and into the UK because we had people on the ground in some important places who were able to make contacts and put things in place that allowed that to happen.

More generally, the work of offices is essentially economically driven; there are other aspects—and culture is an important one—but the essential mission at those offices is to make sure that where there are inward investment possibilities, we hear about them early and we work to bring them to Wales, and where there are Welsh companies wanting to expand in overseas markets, they can use our presence on the ground in those offices to find those opportunities. Those things get reported on in that monthly way and, from now on, in agreement with the committee, there will be an annual account of that which the committee will receive from us.

Brif Weinidog, dŷn ni'n fyr iawn o amser, ond mae Heledd Fychan eisiau gofyn cwestiwn atodol.

First Minister, we are very short on time, but Heledd Fychan has a supplementary.

Ie, os caf i, yn dilyn o gwestiynau Hefin David. Mi wnaethoch chi gyhoeddi yn ddiweddar yma penodi Derek Vaughan yn gynrychiolydd Llywodraeth Cymru yn Ewrop. Oes yna adnoddau ychwanegol yn gysylltiedig â hynny i gefnogi ei waith?

Yes, if I may, following on from Hefin David's questions. You recently announced the appointment of Derek Vaughan as the Welsh Government's representative in Europe. Are there additional resources attached to supporting his work?

Ie, wrth gwrs, mae'n rhaid inni ffeindio arian i gefnogi’r gwaith. So, gwaith rhan amser yw e, dau ddiwrnod yr wythnos ac am ddwy flynedd, hefyd, yw'r swydd. Ar ben top yr arian am y person sy'n gwneud y gwaith, wrth gwrs, mae e'n mynd i deithio i Frwsel, aros ym Mrwsel, so bydd yn rhaid inni ffeindio'r arian am hynny. Bydd y gefnogaeth i’r gwaith yn dod mas o’r swyddfa sydd gennym ni'n barod ym Mrwsel, so bydd hwnna ddim yn gostus, achos rŷn ni'n gallu tynnu ar yr adnoddau sydd ganddyn nhw yn barod. A phan rŷn ni'n siarad am un person, rhan amser, mae digon o hyblygrwydd yn y cyllid i gefnogi’r swydd newydd.

Yes, of course, we will have to find money to support that work. The role is a part-time role, two days a week for a period of two years. In addition to the funding for the individual involved in that work, of course, he will be travelling to Brussels and staying in Brussels, so we'll have to find funds for that. The support for the work will come out of the office that we already have in Brussels, so that won't be expensive and we can draw on the resources we already have there. When we're talking about one person working part time, then there is plenty of flexibility in our budget to support that new role.

Diolch am hwnna, Brif Weinidog. Jest yn y funud olaf sydd gennym ni gyda chi, dŷn ni'n ddiolchgar iawn am eich amser y bore yma. Dwi'n meddwl dŷn ni i gyd wedi ffeindio'r sesiwn yma yn fuddiol a dŷn ni'n gwybod pa mor brysur ydych chi, ond yn amlwg mae'r gwaith rhyngwladol mae'r Llywodraeth yn ei wneud mor bwysig, byddai fe'n fuddiol pe baem ni'n gallu cael sesiwn graffu gyda chi efallai'n flynyddol, ar y gwaith yma. Efallai bod hynny’n rhywbeth y byddem ni'n gallu trafod gyda’ch swyddfa chi.

Thank you for that, First Minister. Just in our final minute with you, we're very grateful for your time this morning. I think we've all found this session beneficial and we know how busy you are, but clearly the international work of the Government is so important, it would be beneficial if we could have a scrutiny session with you annually, perhaps, on this work. Perhaps that's something we can discuss with your office.

Dwi'n fodlon ei drafod e, wrth gwrs, Gadeirydd, ond a dweud y gwir, mae pwyllgor penodol sy'n cwrdd bob hanner tymor sy’n craffu ar bopeth dwi'n ei wneud, a dwi'n gwybod fy mod i'n gyfrifol am y gwaith yn y maes hwn, ond dwi'n gyfrifol am bopeth y mae’r Llywodraeth yn ei wneud, ac mae’r fforwm yna i'm craffu i ar bopeth. So, wrth gwrs dwi'n fodlon ei drafod e, ond dwi yn mynd bob hanner tymor am ddwy awr i gael fy nghraffu ar bopeth, so mae mwy nag un posibilrwydd i'w wneud e.

I'm happy to discuss it, of course, Chair, but there is a specific committee that meets every half term that scrutinises everything that I do, and I know that I am responsible for work in this particular area, but I'm responsible for everything that the Government does, and that forum does scrutinise me on all of the issues. So, of course I'm willing to discuss it, but I do go every half term for two hours to be scrutinised on everything, so there are many possibilities to do that.


Mae wedi troi 10:30. Diolch yn fawr iawn ichi a hefyd i bob un o'r tystion—Paula ac Andrew hefyd—am eich hamser. Bydd transgript yn cael ei ddanfon atoch chi i'w wirio. Dŷn ni'n ddiolchgar iawn. 

Ac Aelodau, mi wnawn ni gymryd egwyl fer o 10 munud. Mi wnawn ni symud yn breifat.

The clock has turned 10:30. Thank you very much to you and to our other witnesses—Paula and Andrew also—for your time. A transcript will be provided so that you can check it and we're very grateful for your time.

We will now take a short 10-minute break. We'll move into private session.

Gohiriwyd y cyfarfod rhwng 10:30 a 10:40.

The meeting adjourned between 10:30 and 10:40.

4. Craffu ar gyllideb ddrafft Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer 2022-23: Y Gymraeg
4. Scrutiny of Welsh Government Draft Budget 2022-23: Welsh Language

Bore da. Croeso nôl i'n sesiwn yn craffu ar gyllideb ddrafft 2022-23 Llywodraeth Cymru. Rŷn ni nawr yn symud at sesiwn ar y Gymraeg. Gaf i ofyn i'r tystion gyflwyno eu hunain? Fe wnawn ni ddod yn gyntaf at y Gweinidog.

Good morning. Welcome back to our scrutiny session of the Welsh Government draft budget for 2022-23. We now move to a session on the Welsh language. May I ask our witnesses to introduce themselves? We'll come first to the Minister.

Jeremy Miles, Gweinidog y Gymraeg ac Addysg yn Llywodraeth Cymru.

I'm Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and the Welsh Language in the Welsh Government. 

Owain Lloyd, cyfarwyddwr y Gymraeg ac addysg, Llywodraeth Cymru.

Owain Lloyd, director of education and the Welsh language, Welsh Government.

Bethan Webb, dirprwy gyfarwyddwr adran y Gymraeg, Llywodraeth Cymru.

Bethan Webb, deputy director, Welsh language division, Welsh Government.

Mae'n bleser gennym ni i gyd eich bod chi gyda ni y bore yma. Gaf i ofyn, yn gyntaf, Weinidog—? Yn edrych ar y gyllideb ddrafft, mae'r Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol i'w weld yn elwa ar y gyllideb; dydy hynny ddim yn wir ar gyfer y Mudiad Meithrin. Pam? Pa asesiadau oeddech chi'n eu gwneud er mwyn dod at y penderfyniad yma? Dwi'n siŵr y bydd Mudiad Meithrin—. Yn y gorffennol, maen nhw wedi dweud wrth y pwyllgor fod angen gwneud yn siŵr bod yr investment yna—beth bynnag ydy 'investment' yn y Gymraeg—yn digwydd o pan mae plant yn ifanc iawn. Felly, beth fyddai eich asesiad o hynny, os gwelwch yn dda?

It's a pleasure to have you here this morning. Could I ask, first of all, Minister—? In looking at the draft budget, the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol seems to be benefiting; that isn't true of Mudiad Meithrin. So, what assessments did you make to come to those decisions? Mudiad Meithrin have told the committee in the past that we must ensure that that investment is in place from that very early stage. So, what's your assessment of that, please?

Wel, rŷn ni'n parhau i fuddsoddi yn y blynyddoedd cynnar. Mae'r blynyddoedd cynnar yn un o'r blaenoriaethau sydd gennym ni yn ein rhaglen lywodraethu, wrth gwrs, ac rŷn ni gyd yn gwybod bod buddsoddi yn y blynyddoedd cynnar yn elwa dros yr hirdymor. Felly, yn unol â hynny, yn y rhaglen lywodraethu, rŷn ni'n ariannu Cymraeg i Blant a Mudiad Meithrin, a hefyd yn ariannu'r polisi trosglwyddo. Mae Mudiad Meithrin yn gwneud gwaith gwych yn cynnig a chynyddu cyfleoedd cyfrwng Cymraeg i blant yn y blynyddoedd cynnar ar draws Cymru. Mae ganddyn nhw dargedau nhw dros y Senedd hon i agor 60 cylch meithrin ychwanegol, gyda 12 o'r rheini'n digwydd yn y flwyddyn hon. Maen nhw wedi cyrraedd y targed blaenorol o 40. Ond, ynghyd â hynny, byddwn ni'n sicrhau ein bod ni'n parhau i ariannu Cam wrth Gam, er enghraifft, ac yn clustnodi cyllideb benodol o fewn y gyllideb adnoddau er mwyn creu adnoddau ychwanegol ar gyfer y blynyddoedd cynnar. A dwi'n credu bod cyfleoedd posibl hefyd o ran ehangu'r cynnig gofal plant, bod pwyslais ar y Gymraeg yn hwnnw hefyd, felly mae sgyrsiau'n parhau â'r Gweinidog ynglŷn â hynny. 

Mae elfen o'r gwaith mae'r mudiad yn ei wneud hefyd ynghlwm â darparu cyfleoedd galwedigaethol, ac mae'r gyllideb i wneud â hynny yn perthyn i ran arall o'r gyllideb. Rŷn ni newydd ddyrannu hefyd swm o jest dan £200,000 yn ychwanegol i'r mudiad ar gyfer gweddill y flwyddyn hon, ar gyfer ehangu rhai o'u gweithgareddau nhw. Felly, mae'n sicr bod y blynyddoedd cynnar yn bwysig. Wrth gwrs, mae ystod o flaenoriaethu gennym ni ac mae'n rhaid cloriannu y galw sydd ym mhob rhan o'r sector ar gyfer buddsoddiad pwysig ar gyfer y dyfodol.

Well, we continue to invest in the early years. The early years is one of the priorities that we have in our programme for government, and we all know that investment in the early years brings benefits in the longer term. And, in accordance with that, in the programme for government, we fund Cymraeg i Blant and Mudiad Meithrin, and we also fund the transition policy. Mudiad Meithrin, of course, does excellent work in providing and enhancing Welsh language opportunities for children in the early years across Wales. They have targets over the period of this Senedd to open an additional 60 cylchoedd meithrin, with 12 of those to be opened in this year. They delivered their previous target of 40. But, in addition to that, we will ensure that we continue to fund Cam wrth Gam, for example, and earmarking a specific budget within the resources budget in order to create additional resources for the early years. And I do think that there are possible opportunities in terms of extending the childcare offer, with an emphasis on the Welsh language there, so conversations are continuing with the Minister on that. 

An element of the work that the mudiad does does relate to providing vocational opportunities, and the budget related to that is in another part of the budget. We have also just allocated an additional £200,000 for the rest of this year to expand some of the mudiad's activities. So, certainly the early years are important. We have a range of priorities, of course, and we do have to weigh up the demand in all parts of the sector in terms of important investments for the future. 

Diolch am hwnna, Weinidog. Un peth arall, cyn inni symud ymlaen at Heledd Fychan. Yn y papur, pan dŷch chi'n sôn am y tirlun digidol, dŷch chi'n sôn am sawl elfen. Rŷch chi'n dweud—wel, fe wnaf i ddyfynnu—y gallai

'sawl elfen ohoni gael eu hystyried fel gwariant ataliol neu "unwaith i Gymru"'—

'once for Wales'. Dwi ddim wedi clywed y phrase yna o'r blaen. Ydy hwnna'n rhywbeth roeddech chi wedi'i greu, o ran y syniad yma, 'unwaith i Gymru'?

Thank you for that, Minister. One other thing before we move on to Heledd Fychan. In your paper, when you talk about the digital landscape, you talk about many aspects. You say on it, and I will quote:

'several elements of which could be considered as preventative or "once-for-Wales" spend.'

I haven't heard that phrase before. Is that something that you coined yourself in terms of this 'once for Wales'?

Na, nid fy syniad i yw hwnnw; mae hwnna'n syniad sydd wedi'i sefydlu ers amser gyda ni. Y bwriad yw sicrhau ein bod ni'n creu cyn lleied o broses a ddyblygu yn y system ag sy'n bosibl, ond gallaf i ddim fy hun honni mai fi yw awdur yr enw.

No, it's not my idea; it's a well-established concept among us. The intention, of course, is to ensure that we ensure that there is as little duplication in the process as possible, but I can't claim responsibility for the phrase.

Nid 'Miles-ism', felly. Ffein. Ocê. Diolch am hynny. Fe wnawn ni symud at Heledd Fychan.

It's not a Miles-ism, therefore. Okay, thank you for that. We'll move to Heledd Fychan.


Diolch, Gadeirydd, a bore da, bawb. Gaf i ofyn ichi, Weinidog, allwch chi ymhelaethu i ni, os gwelwch yn dda, ar sut mae'r gyllideb ddrafft hon yn cyd-fynd â blaenoriaethau Llywodraeth Cymru ar gyfer y Gymraeg, fel y nodir yn ei rhaglen lywodraethu sydd wedi'i diweddaru?

Thank you, Chair, and good morning. Could I ask you, Minister, if you could expand on how the draft budget aligns with the Welsh Government's priorities for the Welsh language, as set out in the  updated programme for government?

Mae rhai o'r sylwadau dwi eisoes wedi'u gwneud o ran blynyddoedd cynnar yn berthnasol i hynny. Mae'r gyllideb ar gyfer y flwyddyn nesaf yn cynnwys £5.8 miliwn ychwanegol i'r Gymraeg i gyrraedd cyfanswm o £43.6 miliwn, a bydd cynnydd pellach, wrth gwrs, yn y blynyddoedd ar ôl hynny. Mae'r trafodaethau ar gyfer llunio'r gyllideb wrth gwrs yn adlewyrchu ac yn cael eu seilio ar y rhaglen lywodraethu. Felly, fe wnes i sôn cyn yr haf, rwy'n credu, wrth gyhoeddi'r rhaglen waith ar gyfer y Senedd hon, y buaswn i'n edrych eto ar y taflwybr yn sgil canlyniadau'r cyfrifiad fydd yn dod mas yn hwyrach eleni, ac edrych eto ar ein blaenoriaethu ni yn sgil hynny.

Ond, ar gyfer y rhaglen lywodraethu, yr oeddech chi'n sôn amdani yn eich cwestiwn, ar gyfer y chweched Senedd, mae gennym ni bwyslais ar flynyddoedd cynnar. Rwyf i wedi sôn rhywfaint am hwnnw. Mae gennym ni bwyslais amlwg, er enghraifft, ar drochi hwyr, ac rwyf i wedi dyrannu £2.2 miliwn yn y flwyddyn hon ar gyfer hynny, ac yn cynnal lefel y cyllid ar gyfer y flwyddyn nesaf fel bod sicrwydd gan y rheini sydd yn darparu neu'n ehangu neu'n buddsoddi mewn staff, fel eu bod nhw'n mynd ar hyd y llwybr hwnnw, a bod ganddyn nhw gyllideb ar gyfer y dyfodol.

Mae'r maes ôl-16 hefyd yn un o'r blaenoriaethau y gwelwch chi yn y rhaglen lywodraethu, felly, mae buddsoddiad ychwanegol o £8 miliwn erbyn 2024-25 yn y Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol ac yn y ganolfan dysgu yn ein helpu ni i ddarparu'n ehangach yn y cyfnod ôl-16. Felly, mae amryw o'r blaenoriaethau penodol hynny—dyna enghreifftiau ohonyn nhw lle maen nhw'n codi yn y gyllideb.

Ond hefyd, ar y nod ehangach o gyrraedd miliwn o siaradwyr, dyna bwrpas y gyllideb yn gyffredinol, hynny yw. Felly, fe welwch chi fuddsoddiad yn yr Urdd, buddsoddiad yn yr Eisteddfod Genedlaethol. Felly, mae'r amryw o'r pethau hynny'n cefnogi'r nod ehangach hynny hefyd.

Some of the comments I've already made in terms of the early years are pertinent to that. The budget for next year includes an additional £5.8 million for the Welsh language bringing it to a total of £43.6 million, and there will be further increases in ensuing years. The discussions in drawing up the budget of course reflect and are based on the programme for government. So, before the summer, in announcing our work programme for this Senedd term, I said that we will look again at the trajectory in relation to the results of the census published later this year, and look again at our priorities in light of that.

But, in terms of the programme for government, which you mentioned that in your question, we have an emphasis on the early years. I have mentioned that. We have a clear emphasis, for example, on later immersion, and I've allocated £2.2 million for that in this year, and we will maintain the funding levels for next year so that those who are providing or investing in staff go down that route, and that they have a budget confirmed for the future.

In terms of the post-16 sector, that is also a priority in the programme for government, so there's an additional investment of £8 million by 2024-25 in the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and in the National Centre for Learning Welsh to help us to provide broader services in that post-16 sector. So, there are many of those specific priorities, and those are just a few examples of our priorities as they arise in the budget.

But as to our broader aim in terms of reaching a million Welsh speakers, of course, that's the purpose of the budget in general. So, you will see investment in the Urdd, an in the National Eisteddfod. So, many of those things do support that broader objective too.

Diolch, Weinidog. Dŷch chi wedi cyffwrdd â hyn yn eich ymateb, ond, yn amlwg, mae'r flaenoriaeth o ran targed miliwn o siaradwyr a 2050 yn mynd ar draws holl bortffolios y Llywodraeth, felly.  Gaf i ofyn, felly, ba dystiolaeth sydd yn cael ei darparu i chi fel Gweinidog sy'n arwain ar y Gymraeg o ran sut mae'r strategaeth hon yn cael ei hymgorffori ar draws portffolios y Gweinidogion a'u penderfyniadau cyllideb benodol nhw o ran adrannau Llywodraeth Cymru, felly, yn sgil y strategaeth yma?

Thank you, Minister. You've touched on this in your response, but, clearly, the priority in terms of the million speakers by 2050 runs across all Government portfolios. So, could I ask what evidence has been provided to you as the Minister for the Welsh language in terms of how this strategy is being embedded across ministerial portfolios and Welsh Government departmental budget decisions in light of this strategy?

Y peth cyntaf i'w ddweud yw ei bod yn strategaeth drawslywodraethol, yn amlwg. Does dim un adran—ddim hyd yn oed fy adran i—yn gallu cyrraedd y nod ar ei phen ei hun, os hoffwch chi. Felly, mae angen cydweithio gyda Gweinidogion eraill, ac mae hynny'n gwbl greiddiol i lwyddiant y strategaeth. So, mae'r rhaglen lywodraethu'n dangos hynny, mae goblygiadau Deddf Llesiant Cenedlaethau'r Dyfodol (Cymru) 2015 yn rhai sy'n drawslywodraethol, ac mae'r Gymraeg yn rhan, wrth gwrs, o hynny.

Un o'r amcanion sydd gennym ni fel Llywodraeth yw prif-ffrydio defnydd y Gymraeg drwy'r Llywodraeth. Mae hynny o ran defnydd y Gymraeg o fewn y Llywodraeth, ond hefyd efallai, yn y cyd-destun hwn, mae'n bwysicach sicrhau bod ystyriaethau i wneud â'r Gymraeg yn cael eu hadeiladu i mewn i'r broses o gynllunio polisi fel ein bod ni'n dechrau o'r cychwyn cyntaf wrth edrych ar y maes polisi yn deall beth yw'r goblygiadau ar gyfer y Gymraeg—rhai, wrth gwrs, yn adeiladol a rhai yn negyddol—a'n bod ni'n cloriannu'r rheini wrth i ni ddatblygu polisi, yn hytrach na bod gennym ni, os caf i ddweud, ddiwylliant o gydlynu—hynny yw, eich bod yn edrych ar y peth fel rhan o broses; mae'n bwysig ein bod ni'n prif-ffrydio mewn ffordd sydd yn substantive yn y ffordd honno. Felly, mae sawl enghraifft o hynny'n digwydd eisoes yn y Llywodraeth. Fe wnes i sôn am y cynnig gofal plant jest nawr. Mae hynny'n un enghraifft. Mae'r gwaith sydd wedi digwydd ynglŷn ag Arfor, er enghraifft, yn enghraifft o gydweithio gydag adran yr economi, a hefyd gyda'r un adran mae'r gwaith mae Busnes Cymru yn ei wneud gyda Helo Blod yn ganolog i gefnogi'n busnesau ni. Felly, mae'r rhain i gyd yn enghreifftiau cyffredinol.

Efallai yr enghraifft fwyaf cyfredol, ac efallai y down ni i drafod hyn yn helaethach, yw'r gwaith ar yr effaith ar gymunedau Cymraeg o'r farchnad dai. Mae hynny wedi golygu cydweithio agos iawn ar draws y Llywodraeth. Ond, o ran yr atebolrwydd a thystiolaeth, fel rŷch chi'n gwybod, ar gychwyn cyfnod, rŷn ni'n datgan cynllun, ac wedyn ar ddiwedd y cyfnod, rŷn ni'n adrodd nôl ar hynny. Ac mae'r broses o gynllunio iaith o fewn y Llywodraeth yn gwbl seiliedig ar y dystiolaeth sydd ar gael, ac mae hynny'n cynnwys tystiolaeth o lwyddiant, ai peidio, y polisïau sydd gyda ni. Felly, mae lot o hynny ar waith, ac mae amryw o bethau dwi'n sicr y byddwch chi eisiau eu trafod heddiw, ond mae'n rhan o'r ffordd rŷn ni'n gweithio'n gyffredinol.

The first thing to say is that this is a cross-governmental strategy. No single department—not even my department—can reach that target alone, so we do need to collaborate with other Ministers and that is at the heart of the success of the strategy. So, the programme for government demonstrates that, the implications of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 are cross-governmental, and the Welsh language, of course, is part of that.

One of the objectives that we have as a Government is to mainstream the use of the Welsh language through the Government, in terms of the use of the Welsh language within Government, but also in this context, perhaps, it's more important to ensure that considerations in relation to the Welsh language are built into the process of policy development, so that we start from the very early stages of looking at policy with an understanding of what the implications for the Welsh language would be—some would be constructive and others negative—and that we weigh those up as we develop policy, rather than having a culture of process; it's important that we mainstream in a way that's substantive and meaningful. So, there are many examples of that happening already within Government. I mentioned the childcare offer a little earlier. That is one example. The work on Arfor, for example, is an example of collaboration with the department for economy, as is, with the same department, the work that Business Wales does with Helo Blod to support our businesses. So, these are all general examples of how this is working.

Perhaps the most up-to-date example, and perhaps we'll discuss this later, is the work on the impact on Welsh language communities in terms of the housing market. That means very close collaboration across Government. But, in terms of accountability and evidence, as you know, at the beginning of a period, we publish a plan, and then, at the end, we report back on that. And the process of language planning within Government is entirely based on the evidence available, and that includes evidence of success or otherwise of the policies that we have. So, much of that is ongoing, and there are many things that I'm sure you will want to discuss today, but it's part of the work that we do in general.


Diolch am hynna, Weinidog. Fe wnawn ni symud ymlaen at Alun Davies.

Thank you, Minister. We'll move on to Alun Davies.

Diolch ichi, Weinidog, am hynny. Yn ystod yr ateb diwethaf yna, mi wnaethoch chi sôn am Arfor. Beth yw'ch disgwyliadau chi ar gyfer y polisi iaith?

Thank you, Minister. In that previous response, you mentioned Arfor. So, what are your expectations for the language policy?

Un o'r pethau rŷn ni wedi sylweddoli ers amser o ran ffyniant yr iaith yn yr ardaloedd lle mae'r iaith—beth roedden ni, yn y gorffennol, wedi eu galw'n gadarnleoedd yr iaith, efallai—a chymunedau lle mae'r iaith yn ffynnu, fod angen sicrhau hynny drwy gefnogaeth economaidd. Felly, mae Arfor yn enghraifft o'r gwaith sydd wedi bod yn digwydd yn hynny. Ond hefyd, mae enghreifftiau eraill o'r rheini. Felly, os edrychwch chi ar gynllun tai cymunedau Cymraeg, y mae ymgynghori arno ar hyn o bryd, mae enghreifftiau yn hynny o ddefnyddio buddsoddiad llywodraethol i allu cefnogi cyrff cydweithredol, i allu cefnogi arloesi mewn modelau busnes yn lleol yn y cymunedau hynny er mwyn sicrhau ffyniant economaidd, a hefyd—bydd gyda fi fwy i'w ddweud am hyn yn hwyrach yn y flwyddyn—gynllun penodol ar gyrff cydweithredol yn ehangach yng Nghymru i sicrhau bod y rheini gyda ni. Felly, mae hwn yn rhan o'r darlun. Mae gwaith bwrdd crwn yr economi a'r Gymraeg hefyd yn sail i hyn, sy'n cydnabod nad yw polisi iaith yn gallu byw ar wahân i bolisi economaidd, os hoffwch chi.

One of the things that we realised quite some time ago in terms of the viability of the language in areas that we've described in the past as 'heartlands', in those communities where the language prospers, that we need to support that through economic development. So, Arfor is an example of the work that's been happening in that regard. But also, there are other examples. So, if you look at the Welsh communities housing plan, out to consultation currently, there are examples there of using Government investment to support co-operatives, to support innovation in local business models in those communities in order to ensure economic prosperity. Also, I'll have more to say on this later in the year, but there will be a specific scheme for co-operative bodies more broadly in Wales. So, this is part of the picture. The work of the economy and Welsh language round-table is also a basis for this, and it recognises that language policy cannot exist in isolation from economic policy.

Ocê, diolch am hynny. Gadeirydd, efallai ei fod e'n syniad inni ofyn i'r Gweinidog ysgrifennu atom ni pan fydd gyda fe well syniad o'i ddisgwyliadau fe ac o'r impact ar y polisi iaith, o Arfor. Dwi'n meddwl ei fod e'n ddiddorol iawn, gyda llaw, so dwi'n edrych ymlaen at hynny.

Un o'r siomau ym mholisi iaith Llywodraeth Cymru yn ystod y rhai blynyddoedd diwethaf yw y diffygion o ran hyrwyddo'r Gymraeg. Dwi'n gwybod, pan wnes i gyflwyno strategaeth 'Cymraeg 2050', roedd hyrwyddo yn rhan hanfodol o hynny—canolog, buaswn i'n dweud, o hynny, a dwi wedi bod yn siomedig nad yw hynny wedi aros yn ganolog i bolisi diweddar Llywodraeth Cymru. So, sut ydych chi, yn y gyllideb sydd gyda ni o'n blaenau ni heddiw, yn mynd i sicrhau hyrwyddo defnydd y Gymraeg?

Okay, thank you for that. Chair, it might be an idea for us to ask the Minister to write to us when he has a better idea of his expectations and the impact on language policy that Arfor is expected to have. I think it's very interesting, by the way, so I look forward to that.

One of the disappointments in the Welsh Government's language policies over the past few years is the deficiencies in terms of promoting the Welsh language. I know that when I introduced the 'Cymraeg 2050' strategy, promotion was a crucial part of that. It was a central part, I would say, and I have been disappointed that that didn't remain a central part of the policy more recently. So in the budget that we're scrutinising today, how will you ensure that we promote the use of the Welsh language?

Wel, dwi ddim yn cytuno bod llai o bwyslais ar hyrwyddo’r Gymraeg. Mae'n rhaid edrych ar beth ydych chi'n ei olygu wrth hynny. Ac, o ran atebolrwydd a gwaith y pwyllgor yn craffu ar fy ngwaith i fel Gweinidog, efallai y byddai hi'n haws, o'm safbwynt i, pe bawn i jest yn defnyddio'r syniad cyffredinol o hyrwyddo. Ond mae amryw o gyfrifoldebau gydag amryw o gyrff yn y maes hwn, ac mae'n bwysig ein bod ni'n edrych arnyn nhw un wrth un.

Felly, o ran defnydd yn y cartref, mae gyda ni waith sydd wedi'i sefydlu ers amser ar bolisi trosglwyddo. Fe wnes i gyfeirio'n fras at hwnna. Mae gyda ni waith o ran edrych ar wyddor ymddygiadol—behavioural science—i edrych ar beth yn fwy y gallwn ni ei wneud pan fydd pobl sy'n gallu defnyddio'r Gymraeg ddim yn defnyddio'r Gymraeg, yn y gweithle er enghraifft. Felly, mae gyda ni gynllun arfer yn y maes hwnnw, sy'n deillio o'r gwaith sydd wedi bod yn digwydd yng Ngwlad y Basg. O ran defnydd y Gymraeg, rŷn ni wedi bod yn trafod gyda'r comisiynydd beth allwn ni ei wneud i ddeall yn well y cyfraniad mae'r safonau'n gwneud at hynny. So, mae amryw o enghreifftiau, rwy'n credu. Rwyf i wedi bod yn glir o'r cychwyn mai defnydd y Gymraeg yw'r nod o'm safbwynt i—bod creu hawliau yn bwysig a bod creu siaradwyr yn bwysig, wrth gwrs, ond bod galluogi defnydd i ddigwydd o ddydd i ddydd yn gwbl ganolog i hynny ac rwyf i'n credu bod y gyllideb yn frith o hynny.

Well, I don't agree that there is less emphasis on the promotion of the Welsh language. We have to look at what you mean by that, of course. And, in terms of accountability and the work of the committee in scrutinising my work as a Minister, it might be easier for me to use that general concept of promotion. But there are many responsibilities sitting with a number of organisations in this area. It's important that we look at them one by one.

In terms of use of the language at home, we do have some well-established work in terms of language transmission policy. We have work in looking at behavioural science to look at what more we can do to understand why people who can use the Welsh language choose not to use the Welsh language in the workplace, for example. So, we have a scheme to encourage the use of Welsh, which is emerging from work in the Basque Country. In terms of use of the Welsh language, we've been discussing with the commissioner what we can do to better understand the contribution of standards to that. So, there are a number of examples, I think. I've been clear from the outset that the use of the Welsh language is the main objective, from my point of view. Creating rights is important, new speakers are important, of course, but enabling usage to happen from day to day is entirely central, and I think that the budget demonstrates that.


Ocê, fe wnawn ni ei adael e fanna. Ond o ran cynllunio iaith, a oes gyda chi yn y Llywodraeth ddigon o adnoddau cynllunio iaith ar hyn o bryd?

Okay, we'll leave it there. But in terms of language planning, within Government, do you have sufficient language planning resources at the moment?

Oes, mae gyda ni brosiect 2050, sydd yn gyfrifol am hynny o fewn y Llywodraeth, ond rydym ni hefyd yn cydnabod bod angen gwell dealltwriaeth arnom ni o'r impact cymdeithasol-economaidd ehangach ar y Gymraeg. Mae darn o waith mae'r comisiwn byddwn ni'n ei sefydlu o dan Simon Brooks—. Dyna un o'r pethau y byddan nhw yn ein cynorthwyo ni arnynt, sef sicrhau bod y dadansoddiad hwnnw ar gael a bod y dadansoddiad hwnnw yn plethu gyda'r gwaith mae prosiect 2050 yn ei wneud o fewn y Llywodraeth.

Rwy'n credu bod cyfleoedd diddorol yn codi yn sgil hynny o ran elfennau eraill o feysydd polisi. Os oes gyda chi ddealltwriaeth clir o'r impact hwnnw—yr impact economaidd a chymdeithasol ar ffyniant yr iaith ar yr un llaw, a wedyn ystod o bolisïau sydd efallai'n hyblyg ac yn gallu gweithio mewn cyd-destunau cymunedol economaidd gwahanol ar y llaw arall, mae gyda chi'n fanna toolkit eithaf diddorol, rwy'n credu, i allu newid eich gofynion polisi, newid y pwerau sydd ar gael yn y meysydd yna, yn adlewyrchu'r amgylchiadau lleol. Rydym ni'n gweld cychwyn hynny, rwy'n credu. yn y gwaith sydd eisoes ar waith o ran cymunedau Cymraeg ac ail gartrefi, ond mae mwy gallwn ni ei wneud yn hynny, ac rwy'n credu ei fod e'n gyffrous iawn.

Yes, we have the 2050 project, which is responsible for that within Government, but we also recognise that we need a better understanding of the socioeconomic impact on the Welsh language. There's a piece of work that the commission that we'll establish under Simon Brooks—. That's one of the things that they'll be assisting us on, to ensure that that analysis is available and that that analysis dovetails with the work of the 2050 project within Government.

I think that there are interesting opportunities arising from that in terms of other policy areas. If you have a clear understanding of the economic and social impact on the health of the language on the one hand, and then you have a range of policies that are flexible and can work in different community and economic contexts on the other hand, then you have quite an interesting toolkit, I think, to change your policy requirements, to change the powers available in those areas, reflecting local circumstances. We've seen the start of that, I think, in the work that's already in train in terms of Welsh-speaking communities and second homes, but there's more that we can do there, and I think it's very exciting.

Diolch am hynny. Cadeirydd, efallai byddai'n syniad i ofyn i'r Gweinidog naill ai i ysgrifennu atom ni neu ddod nôl atom ni i drafod y gwaith sy'n cael ei arwain yn y ffordd mae'r Gweinidog wedi ei ddisgrifio yn yr ateb diwethaf yna. Ond a allwch chi ddweud wrthym ni fod y Llywodraeth yn ei chyfanrwydd tu ôl i broject 'Cymraeg 2050'? Dwi'n cofio siom y cyn-Brif Weinidog ar lawnsiad yr ymgyrch fod y gwasanaeth sifil, bod y Llywodraeth yn ei chyfanrwydd ddim yn gefnogol i nod 'Cymraeg 2050'.

Thank you for that. Chair, perhaps we could ask the Minister either to write to us or to return to committee to discuss the work that he is leading on in the way that he has described in his previous answer. But can you really tell us that the Government as a whole is behind the 'Cymraeg 2050' project? I recall the disappointment of the former First Minister at the launch of the campaign that the civil service and the Government as a whole weren't supportive of the aims of 'Cymraeg 2050'.

Rhoddaf i ateb gweinidogol, ond efallai gallaf i ofyn i Owain neu Bethan am sylwadau o ran sut mae'r gwasanaeth sifil yn ymateb—

I'll give a ministerial response, and perhaps I could ask Owain or Bethan for comments on how the civil service is responding—

Dwi'n credu y buasai fe'n annheg iawn i ofyn i swyddogion ddweud hynny. Ond, i chi fel Gweinidog, dwi'n cofio'r sgyrsiau ces i gyda Carwyn, ac roedd Carwyn yn siomedig iawn, iawn, iawn gydag agwedd y Llywodraeth yn ei chyfanrwydd at nod 'Cymraeg 2050'.

I think it would be very unfair to ask officials to respond on behalf of the civil service. But to you, as Minister, I remember the conversations that I had with Carwyn, and Carwyn was very, very, very disappointed with the attitude of the Government as a whole to the aims of 'Cymraeg 2050'.

Wel, rwy'n credu bod hynny'n newid yn sicr. Y pwynt rwyf i eisiau gofyn i Owain sôn amdano yw'r bwrdd rhaglen sydd wedi ei sefydlu gyda swyddogion ar draws y Llywodraeth, felly fe wnaf i ofyn mewn eiliad iddo fe wneud hynny. Ond beth fyddwn i'n ei ddweud yw mae, yn sicr o ran Gweinidogion, ymrwymiad i weithio ar y cyd i gyrraedd y nod yma, ac rydych chi'n gweld eto, rwy'n credu—rwy'n cyfeirio at yr un enghraifft, ond mae'n enghraifft gyfredol a diweddar—yn y gwaith ar y sector tai, gwaith adrannau Julie James, Rebecca Evans, Vaughan Gething a minnau yn dod at ei gilydd i edrych mewn ffordd sy'n eithaf heriol, efallai, i'r patrymau arferol ar beth yw'r ystod o bethau y gallwn ni eu gwneud, ac rwy'n credu bod hynny wedi bod yn greadigol iawn. Felly, mae lot mwy i'w wneud, ond y peth sydd yn bwysig yw bod hynny'n dangos i ni—ac rydym ni wedi gweld hyn ym meysydd Brexit a COVID hefyd—fod ffyrdd gwahanol o weithio o fewn y Llywodraeth sydd yn fwy agored, os hoffwch chi, ac rwy'n credu bod maes y Gymraeg yn mynd i elwa o hynny. Ond fe wnaf i ofyn i Owain jest am air cyflym ar y bwrdd rhaglen, os caf i.

Well, I think that's certainly changing. The point I wanted to ask Owain to cover was the programme board established with officials across Government, so I will ask him to provide some detail on that in a few moments. But what I would say is that, certainly, in terms of Ministers, there is a commitment to work together to reach this objective, and I think—I'm referring to the same example, but it's a current and recent example—in our work on the housing sector, there's joint working between the departments of Julie James, Rebecca Evans, Vaughan Gething and myself, and we're all coming together to look in a way that is challenging to the usual modus operandi, perhaps, at the range of things that we can do. I do think that our approach has been very creative. There's a lot more to do, but what's important is that this shows us—and we've seen this with Brexit and COVID too—that there are different ways of working within Government that are more open, if you like, and I think the Welsh language will benefit from that. But I will just ask Owain to say a quick word on the programme board.

Diolch, Weinidog. So, fel dŷch chi'n sôn, mae yna fwrdd rhaglen o fewn y Llywodraeth o uwch-swyddogion sydd yn cwrdd yn gyson. Mae yna bobl o bob adran yn rhan o hynny, o ran uwch-swyddogion, ac un o'r pethau dŷn ni'n ei drafod yn gyson yw sut mae prif-ffrydio a sut mae sicrhau bod polisïau ar draws y Llywodraeth yn cymryd y Gymraeg i ystyriaeth yn sicr. So, mae hwnna'n bwysig. 

Mae hefyd, dwi'n meddwl, yn bwysig cydnabod a sôn am y strategaeth fewnol sydd gan Lywodraeth Cymru o ran defnydd mewnol o'r Gymraeg, so 'Cymraeg. Mae’n perthyn i ni i gyd', a wnaeth gael ei gyhoeddi cwpwl o flynyddoedd yn ôl. Mae yna brif themau yn rhan o honno sy'n hanfodol bwysig o ran y dyfodol, sef arwain, dysgu, recriwtio a thechnoleg. So, mae honna'n rhan bwysig o'r gwaith mewnol hefyd. Ond, yn sicr, fel mae'r Gweinidog wedi cydnabod, mae wastad mwy i'w wneud a gwnawn ni barhau i wthio'r agenda hwnnw'n fewnol.

Thank you, Minister. As you mentioned, Minister, there's a programme board within Government of senior officials that meets regularly. There are people from all departments who are involved with that in terms of senior officials, and one of the things that we regularly discuss is how we mainstream the Welsh language and ensure that policies across Government do take account of the Welsh language. So, that's very important. 

I think it's also important to mention the internal strategy that the Welsh Government has in terms of internal use of the Welsh language, 'Cymraeg. It belongs to us all'. That strategy was published a few years ago and there are some main themes that are part of that that are crucially important for the future: technology, leadership and learning. So, that's an important part of our internal work. But, as the Minister has already recognised, there's always more to do and we'll continue to push that agenda internally.


Diolch. A diolch i chi, Gweinidog. 

Thank you. And thank you, Minister.

Diolch, Alun. Gwnawn ni symud at Hefin David. 

Thanks, Alun. We'll move on to Hefin David.

Diolch, Cadeirydd. Mae problem fawr o ran nifer yr athrawon sy'n gallu addysgu yn Gymraeg. Sut mae'r gyllideb hon yn cefnogi'r angen dybryd i gynyddu nifer yr athrawon ysgol a all addysgu'r Gymraeg? 

Thank you, Chair. There's a huge problem in terms of the number of teachers able to teach through the medium of Welsh. So, how does this budget support the urgent need to grow the number of schoolteachers who can teach Welsh?

Wel, diolch am hwnna. Mae'r gyllideb hon—. Wel, yn y gyllideb, rydyn ni'n neilltuo cyllid ychwanegol dros y tair blynedd nesaf i weithredu'r cynllun 10 mlynedd sydd ar ddod yn y gwanwyn. Rydyn ni'n gweithio ar y cynllun hwnnw eisoes gyda rhanddeiliaid yn y sector, a phwrpas y cynllun hwnnw yw gyrru recriwtio yn y gweithlu addysg. So, bydd cyfanswm o £1.84 miliwn y flwyddyn hon a wedyn symiau yn y blynyddoedd wedyn. Byddwn ni'n blaenoriaethu'r buddsoddiad hwnnw yn unol â'r hyn byddwn ni'n darganfod yn y cynllun gyda'n partneriaid ni, ond y mathau o bethau y gallech chi eu gweld yn cael eu cefnogi drwy'r gyllideb yw pethau fel ehangu'r rhaglen bontio gynradd i uwchradd cyfrwng Cymraeg er mwyn cefnogi athrawon i drosglwyddo i'r sector uwchradd, gweithio gyda'r Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol a chyda rhanddeiliaid eraill i gynyddu'r nifer sy'n cymryd y Gymraeg i safon uwch, fel ein bod ni'n cynyddu nifer yr athrawon Cymraeg sydd ar gael inni, os hoffech chi, yn y dyfodol.

Rydyn ni'n parhau â'r cymhellion ariannol i fyfyrwyr astudio i ddod yn athrawon addysg gychwynnol ac ati, felly cynllun Iaith Athrawon Yfory. Byddwn ni'n parhau â hwnna. Byddaf i'n cyhoeddi ffigurau pellach ynglŷn â'r nod o ran recriwtio yn erbyn y targed yn yr adroddiad blynyddol ar gyfer y flwyddyn hon. Felly, mae buddsoddiad yno; mae cynllun ar y ffordd. Mae'n sicr bod angen defnyddio'r buddsoddiad mewn rhyw ffordd greadigol, ac mae hynny o ran cynyddu'r niferoedd ond hefyd cynyddu capasiti o fewn yr ysgolion i allu cynllunio'n strategol ar gyfer hyn a chefnogi arweinwyr ysgol i allu chwarae rôl—cefnogi nhw'n bellach, os hoffech chi, i chwarae rôl—yn hynny o beth.

Well, thank you for that. In this budget, we allocate additional funding over the next three years to implement our 10-year plan, which we'll introduce in the spring. We're currently working on that with stakeholders in the sector, and the purpose of that is to drive recruitment in the education workforce. So, a total of £1.84 million in this financial year and then further sums later on. We will be prioritising that expenditure in line with what we find through that plan with our partners, but the kinds of things that you may see being supported through that budget are expanding the primary to secondary transition to support teachers to transfer to the secondary sector, working with the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol and with other stakeholders to increase the numbers who study Welsh at A-level so that we increase the number of teachers available to us in the future, if you like.

We are continuing with financial incentives for students to study initial teacher training. So, we will continue with those incentives. I will publish further figures in terms of the aims in terms of recruitment against the target in the report for this year. So, the investment is there; there is a plan on its way. We certainly need to use that investment in a creative way, and that's in terms of increasing numbers but also increasing capacity within schools so that they can plan strategically for that and to support school leaders to play their role—supporting them further, if you like.

Wel, mae'r Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol yn ardderchog, ond mae nifer yr athrawon mewn ysgolion uwchradd sy'n gallu addysgu'n Gymraeg wedi aros yn gymharol wastad. 

Well, the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol does excellent work, but the number of teachers in secondary schools who can teach through the medium of Welsh has remained relatively steady.

And if you don't mind me switching to English just to say that the numbers have fallen short of the target of 2,800 secondary school teachers. So, I'd like to understand how that bridge can be built to ensure that that happens. 

Wel, mae rhan ohono fe yn ei wneud e'n haws i bobl gael mynediad at yrfa i addysgu yn y Gymraeg, felly, o ran y ffordd rŷch chi'n cymhwyso, o ran y ffordd rŷch chi'n trosglwyddo i addysgu yn y sector uwchradd. Dyna beth yw pwrpas y cynllun pontio o gynradd i uwchradd: ateb y pwynt rŷch chi newydd ei grybwyll, hynny yw bod pwysau, bod galw, os hoffech chi, am fwy o athrawon yn y sector uwchradd yn benodol.

Ond hefyd, fel rôn i'n sôn, beth rŷn ni'n clywed wrth drafod gyda rhai o'n partneriaid yw bod angen edrych yn gynharach, os hoffech chi, ar lwybr disgyblion trwy'r ysgol i sicrhau eu bod nhw'n gwybod beth yw'r opsiynau i gymryd er mwyn dilyn gyrfa i addysgu trwy'r Gymraeg, felly bod ychydig yn fwy rhagweithiol, os hoffech chi, cychwyn yn gynt ar y siwrnai i greu—dwi ddim yn hoffi defnyddio'r term yma mewn cyd-destun ddynol, fel petai, ond—pipeline, os hoffech chi, o bobl sydd ar gael i addysgu yn y Gymraeg. Rŷn ni'n gwybod hefyd fod y ganolfan ddysgu eisoes yn gweithio ar beilot i fyfyrwyr sydd mewn prifysgolion i allu treulio cyfnod yn addysgu er mwyn cael blas ar hynny. Felly, mae amryw o bethau ar y gweill eisoes, wrth gwrs, i dynnu hwnnw at ei gilydd a chwilio am bethau creadigol newydd. Rwy yn gyson yn cael cyfarfodydd gyda phobl fel Cymdeithas Ysgolion Dros Addysg Gymraeg, y cyngor gweithlu ac ati, yn gofyn am syniadau creadigol, oherwydd ein bod ni'n agored i hynny. Allwn ni ddim gwneud hyn i gyd ar ben ein hunain—mae'n rhaid gweithio gydag eraill. Ond rwy'n sicr bod arian yn y gyllideb sy'n ein cefnogi ni i wneud hynny.

Well, part of it is about making it easier for people to access a career in teaching through the medium of Welsh in terms of how you qualify and how you transfer into the secondary sector. So, that's the purpose of the bridging programme between the primary and secondary sectors: to respond to the point that you've just mentioned, namely that there is demand for more teachers in the secondary sector specifically.

But also, as I mentioned, what we hear in discussing with some of our partners is that we need to look earlier, if you like, at pupils' pathways through schools to ensure that they know what their options are if they want to follow a career in teaching through the medium of Welsh. So, we need to be a little more proactive, if you like, starting earlier during the journey. I don't like using this term in a human context, but we need to create a pipeline, if you like, of people who are available to teach through the medium of Welsh. We also know that the national centre is working on a pilot for students in universities so that they can spend some time teaching and get a flavour of that. So, there are a number of things in the pipeline already, of course, and we need to draw that together and look for new creative solutions. I am regularly in meetings with CYDAG, the association of schools in favour of Welsh-medium education, and the Education Workforce Council, asking for creative ideas, and I'm open to that. We can't do all of this alone—we do have to work with others. But I am certain that there is funding in the budget to support us to do that.


A beth am y cynllun sabothol iaith Gymraeg? A yw'r Gweinidog wedi ystyried ehangu'r gyllideb honno? 

What about the Welsh language sabbatical scheme? Has the Minister considered extending its budget?

Wel, rŷn ni'n parhau i gefnogi'r gwaith. Mae gyda ni gyllideb flynyddol o £6.4 miliwn yn y llinell wariant yn y gyllideb ar gyfer hynny. Y pwrpas, wrth gwrs, yw uwchsgilio, os liciwch chi, y gweithlu presennol fel bod gyda nhw well gapasiti a gwell sgiliau i ddarparu.

Mae'r cynllun yn creu athrawon sy'n siaradwyr Cymraeg mwy hyderus, yn sicr. Dyw hynny ddim o anghenraid yn golygu eu bod nhw'n dysgu yn y sector cyfrwng Cymraeg, ond mae e yn golygu eu bod nhw'n llysgenhadon ac yn dysgu mwy, os hoffwch chi, yn y sector cyfrwng Saesneg, i raddau helaeth. Mae dros 1,000 o athrawon eisoes wedi elwa o hyn dros y pum mlynedd ddiwethaf, ac rŷn ni'n darparu fframwaith cymhwyster ar eu cyfer nhw. Ond nid dyma'r unig ffordd o sicrhau bod gennym ni athrawon sydd â'r sgiliau Cymraeg sydd eu hangen, ac mae'n bwysig gweld yr ystod ehangach, os hoffwch chi. Er enghraifft, rŷn ni'n gweithio gyda'r Ganolfan Dysgu Cymraeg Genedlaethol i ddarparu cyrsiau ar-lein i athrawon, sy'n hyblyg ac yn caniatáu iddyn nhw ddysgu mewn ffordd sy'n asio, efallai, gyda'u patrymau gwaith nhw. Felly mae mwy nag un ffordd. Dyw'r cynllun sabothol ddim i bawb. Dyw e ddim yn addas i bawb, felly mae'n bwysig bod yn hyblyg ar y ffyrdd rŷn ni'n cefnogi athrawon i uwchsgilio.

Well, we continue to support that work. We have an annual budget of some £6.4 million in the budget expenditure line for that. The purpose, of course, is to upskill the current workforce so that they have enhanced capacity and better skills to provide. 

The scheme creates more confident Welsh speakers. That doesn't necessarily mean that they will teach in the Welsh-medium sector, but it does mean that they can be ambassadors in the English-medium sector. Over 1,000 teachers have already benefited from this over the past five years, and we're providing a competency framework for them. But this isn't the only way of ensuring that we have an adequate number of teachers with Welsh-language skills, and it's important to look at the bigger picture, if you like. For example, we're working with the National Centre for Learning Welsh to provide online courses for teachers, which are flexible and allow them to learn in a way that better dovetails with their working patterns. So, the sabbatical programme isn't for everyone. It's not appropriate for everyone, so it's important that we are flexible in the way that we support teachers in upskilling themselves.

And, finally, could the Minister just expand on the £2.7 million that's been allocated to regional consortia and local authorities for support for practitioners? How are the outcomes of that going to be measured to ensure they've been effective?

Wel, rŷn ni'n cynnal y £2.7 miliwn, fel rŷch chi'n ei ddweud. Mae hwnnw ar ben beth roeddem ni'n arfer ei alw'n y cynllun grant mewn addysg. Roedd hwnnw'n werth rhyw £5.6 miliwn pan oedd e wedi'i glustnodi ar wahân. Mae e nawr yn rhan o'r grant gwella addysg ers rhyw bum mlynedd. Ond mae hwn yn ychwanegol at hwnnw. A'r hyn rŷn ni'n disgwyl ei weld fel allbwn o'r buddsoddiad yma yw'r rôl strategol mae'r consortia'n gallu ei gwneud—gwaith ar y cynlluniau strategol yn benodol; darparu dysgu proffesiynol i sicrhau, fel rŷn ni newydd fod yn ei drafod, bod y gweithlu gyda'r ystod o adnoddau hyfforddi sydd eu hangen arnyn nhw er mwyn darparu; sicrhau eu bod nhw'n targedu, os hoffwch chi, y myfyrwyr ar gyfer y cynllun sabothol rŷn ni wedi bod yn ei drafod nawr; a hefyd sicrhau eu bod nhw'n monitro cynnydd o ran cynllunio strategol ar lefel awdurdodau lleol hefyd. Felly, mae amryw o allbynnau, os hoffwch chi, rŷn ni'n eu mesur er mwyn gweld bod y buddsoddiad hwnnw'n gweithio yn y ffordd rŷn ni'n disgwyl iddo fe.   

Well, we're maintaining that £2.7 million, as you said. That's in addition to what we used to call the Welsh in education scheme grant. That was some £5.6 million when it had been allocated separately. It's now been part of the education improvement grant for some five years. But this is additional to that. And what we expect to see as an output of this investment is the strategic role that the consortia have—work on the strategic plans specifically; providing professional training to ensure that the workforce has the range of training resources required in order to make provision; ensuring that they target students for the sabbatical programme that we've just discussed; and also ensuring that they monitor progress in terms of strategic planning at local authority level too. So, there are a number of outputs that we'll be measuring in order to ensure that that investment is working as we expect it to work.

Ocê, diolch am hynny, Gweinidog. Diolch, Hefin. Gwnawn ni symud at Carolyn Thomas.

Okay. Thank you for that, Minister. We'll move on now to Carolyn Thomas.

These questions are in relation to the Welsh Language Commissioner. So, to what extent do you, Minister, accept that the flat budget for the commissioner will impact on the efficacy of the commissioner's office? He's raised in the past that 75 per cent of the budget is staffing costs, and they have pressures regarding annual increases, and also regarding the co-operation agreement, because there are expectations with that going forward. And if there are issues with budget, in-year or next year, especially regarding enforcement of anything, would you make funding available for that office to be able to do that? 

Wel, jest i roi'r cyd-destun, y bwriad yw rhoi £3.2 miliwn o gyllideb refeniw yn flwyddyn hon, £50,000 o gyllideb cyfalaf ar gyfer y gwaith technoleg gwybodaeth yn benodol, a £120,000 o gyllid nad yw'n arian parod, sydd yn elfen o gyllido'r comisiynydd. Mae amcangyfrif ariannol y comisiynydd yn adnabod bod arbedion hefyd wedi'u gwneud gan y corff o'i gymharu â blynyddoedd diweddar, ac mae'n bwysig ein bod ni'n edrych ar y rheini hefyd wrth gael y darlun cyflawn. Felly, mae'r buddsoddiad sydd wedi digwydd yn y costau technoleg yn golygu bod y costau hynny, yn y dyfodol, yn mynd i fod yn llai. Mae'r corff ei hun yn darogan y byddan nhw'n gwario llai ar deithio. Felly, maen nhw'n cyflogi rwy 42 mwy neu lai o aelodau o staff, ac mae'r amcangyfrif yn nodi bod yn disgwyl i hynny aros yn gyson. Ond, os edrychwch chi ar yr arbedion sy'n cael eu gwneud, rwy'n ffyddiog bod hynny yn caniatáu i swyddfa'r comisiynydd allu cyflogi staff sydd yn ddigonol ar gyfer cyrraedd cyfrifoldebau'r comisiynydd. Ac mae cydnabyddiaeth hefyd, rwy'n credu, fod anghenion gweithredol swyddfa'r comisiynydd o ran staffio, lleoliad ac ati—bod y rheini yn mynd i newid yn y dyfodol, hefyd, mewn ffordd sy'n bositif o ran y gyllideb yn gyffredinol, a byddwn ni'n gweithio gyda'r comisiynydd ar yr elfen honno. Mae'r gyllideb yn heriol i gyrff yn gyffredinol, onid yw e, yn anffodus. Felly, mae hynny'n wir yn y maes hwn fel mae e, yn anffodus, mewn amryw o feysydd eraill. Ond rwy'n sicr bod y gyllideb hon yn galluogi'r comisiynydd i gyrraedd ei gyfrifoldebau.

O ran yr hyn yr oeddech chi'n sôn amdano o ran disgwyliadau'r cytundeb cydweithredol rhwng y Llywodraeth a Phlaid Cymru, wrth gwrs mae hwnnw'n gytundeb dros dair blynedd, ac mae cynllun o esblygu, os hoffech chi, safonau mewn amryw o feysydd dros y cyfnod hwnnw. Felly, dŷn ddim yn sôn am un bloc o safonau newydd yn union nawr. Ond un o'r sialensiau sydd wedi bod yn y maes hwn yn gyffredinol—rwyf wedi sôn am hyn mewn sesiynau blaenorol gyda'r pwyllgor—yw bod y broses o osod safonau yn golygu gormod o ddyblygu. Dyw e ddim yn effeithlon o ran adnoddau, ac felly rŷn ni'n gweithio—rŷn ni eisoes yn gweithio gyda'r comisiynydd ar ddarn o waith i ddeall sut y gallen ni fod yn fwy—. Beth yw'r rhwystredigaethau, os hoffech chi, sydd ar bobl pan fyddan nhw'n darparu gwasanaethau trwy Gymraeg? Ond bydden ni'n hoffi cael trafodaeth, a rŷn ni'n bwriadu cael trafodaeth, gyda'r comisiynydd ynglŷn â sut gallen ni gydweithio mewn ffyrdd efallai mwy creadigol, fel dŷn ni ddim yn dyblygu a bod adnoddau yn cael eu defnyddio mewn ffordd sydd yn cydweithio. Mae rôl rheoleiddio benodol gan y comisiynydd sydd yn annibynnol, ond mae proses cyn hynny lle mae elfen o gydweithio, a'r cwestiwn yw beth mwy gallen ni ei wneud i sicrhau bod adnoddau'r Llywodraeth a'r comisiynydd yn cael eu defnyddio mewn ffordd sydd yn effeithlon o'n safbwynt ni, ond hefyd yn effeithlon o safbwynt y cyrff hynny sydd yn disgwyl bod yn ddarostyngedig i'r safonau. Rwy'n credu bod cyfle eithaf pwysig i ni fan hyn hefyd.

Well, just to give you some context, the intention is to provide £3.2 million revenue for this year, £50,000 capital budget for work on information and communications technology specifically, and £120,000 non-cash, which is part of funding the commissioner. The financial estimate of the commissioner identifies that savings have been made by the organisation in comparison with recent years, and it's important that we look at those too in getting a full picture. So, the investment in ICT costs means that future costs will be lower. The organisation itself predicts that they will spend less on travel. They employ some 42 members of staff, and the estimate notes that they expect that to remain stable. But, if you look at the savings being made, then I'm confident that that allows the commissioner's office to employ adequate staff to meet its responsibilities as an office. And there's also recognition, I think, that the operational needs of the commissioner's office in terms of staffing and office space are going to change in the future in ways that will be positive in budgetary terms more generally, and we'll be working with the commissioner on that element. The budget is a challenge for organisations in general, unfortunately. That is true in this area as it is in many others. But I'm sure that this budget will allow the commissioner to deliver against his responsibilities.

In terms of what you mentioned in relation to the co-operation agreement between the Government and Plaid Cymru, of course that is a three-year agreement, and there will be an evolution of standards in a number of areas over that period. So, we're not talking about one block of new standards being introduced immediately. But one of the challenges that we've faced in this area in general—and I've mentioned this in previous sessions with the committee—is that the process of imposing standards involves too much duplication. It's not efficient in terms of resources, so we're already working with the commissioner on a piece of work to understand how we can be more streamli