Written Questions tabled on 26/01/2022 for answer on 02/02/2022

Written Questions must be tabled at least five working days before they are to be answered. In practice, Ministers aim to answer within seven/eight days but are not bound to do so. Answers are published in the language in which they are provided, with a translation into English of responses provided in Welsh.

Minister for Economy

WQ84365 (e) Tabled on 26/01/2022

What steps are being taken by the Welsh Government to support the long term economic health of live music venues and related music businesses in Wales?

To be answered by: Minister for Economy

WQ84362 (e) Tabled on 26/01/2022

What support has the Welsh Government given to the Welsh brewing industry to get their products into pubs in Wales?

Answered by Minister for Economy | Answered on 07/02/2022

I will write to you as soon as possible with a substantive response and a copy of the letter will be published on the internet.

WQ84363 (e) Tabled on 26/01/2022

What long-term support will the Welsh Government provide to support the recovery of the hospitality, brewing and pub sector?

Answered by Minister for Economy | Answered on 03/02/2022

Business Wales provides businesses and entrepreneurs with a single point of contact for business information, advice and support from the public, private and voluntary sectors, and can be accessed digitally via the website and social media channels; the 03000 603000 helpline; and a network of offices located across Wales. 

As well as a range of general business advice, information and signposting, Business Wales provide specialist strands of advice such as equality & diversity; resource efficiency; international trade; skills; procurement and mentoring. 

In addition to this service, the Development Bank of Wales (DBW) helps Welsh businesses get the finance they need to start up, strengthen and grow and provides loans from £1000 up to £10m as well as mezzanine, and equity funding; and helps businesses find the right finance partner to leverage in private finance with its own gap finance when necessary. The DBW has the objective of providing greater levels of funding to SMEs and improving the integration of the provision of advice and support to businesses, by working closely with Business Wales.

We have also published a long-term strategy, ‘Welcome to Wales: Priorities for the visitor economy 2020-25’, that sets out our wider vision and ambitions for the tourism and hospitality sector.

WQ84366 (e) Tabled on 26/01/2022

How is the Welsh Government planning to support cultural freelancers in the event of further restrictions on events to protect public health?

Answered by Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport, and Chief Whip | Answered on 03/02/2022

Wales is now at alert level zero. We are confident we have passed the peak of the December-January omicron wave and there are encouraging signs cases of coronavirus are stabilising.

Freelancers are currently being supported through the local authority discretionary fund – we recently increased the award to £1,000 for individuals impacted by the alert level two measures, which were introduced on Boxing Day in response to the omicron variant. This follows support previously provided through the Freelancer Fund, which provided £17.7m to more than 3,500 individuals.

Aligned to this funding is the Welsh Government’s ambition to support the freelance community though our public sector freelancer pledge. We are continuing to develop the pledge and will shortly be providing an update on progress, in partnership with the working group that was brought together for this work.

If further measures are needed to protect public health, we will work with the wider culture sector to identify any impact on the freelance community and assess the need for additional support.

Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd

WQ84368 (e) Tabled on 26/01/2022

What grants and financial assistance will be available to farmers in Wales next year to assist with the transition to comply with new nitrate vulnerable zones requirements?

Answered by Minister for Rural Affairs and North Wales, and Trefnydd | Answered on 11/02/2022

Minister for Climate Change

WQ84364 (w) Tabled on 26/01/2022

On what basis will the additional £15 million to tackle homelessness in the government budget for 2022-23 be allocated to each local authority?

Answered by Minister for Climate Change | Answered on 03/02/2022

As set out in my oral evidence to the Local Government and Housing Committee on 21 January, £10 million of the uplift to the Homelessness Prevention BEL will be allocated to local authorities in 2022-23 to support the continuation of the ‘no-one left out’ approach. My officials have been engaging with local authorities to inform a distribution mechanism, and distribution will primarily take into account where demand for, and associated costs of, temporary accommodation has been greatest across Wales. Details of allocations to local authorities are currently being finalised and will be communicated to them shortly.

The remaining £5 million of the uplift in the Homelessness Prevention BEL will be used to fund a range of other interventions to prevent homelessness, such as development of a national scheme restricting rent to local housing allowance levels for families and young people who are homeless or who are at risk of homelessness. Details of the remaining allocations are currently being finalised and will be communicated in due course.

Minister for Education and the Welsh Language

WQ84367 (e) Tabled on 26/01/2022

What is the proposed timescale for delivering the National Music Service?

Answered by Minister for Education and the Welsh Language | Answered on 03/02/2022

Work has been progressed with a range of key stakeholders in developing the model for the National Music Service, in line with the commitment set out in our Programme for Government.

It is planned that the National Music Service will operate initially over the three-year period 2022-23 to 2024-25, with delivery of support provision to schools and settings commencing in September 2022. This is supported by an additional £3m per annum in the Welsh Government budget over this period. The National Music Service will also be supported by a National Plan for Music Education in Wales, scheduled for publication in spring 2022.

The vision for the National Music Service is to create a sustainable pathway for music education in Wales.

Minister for Health and Social Services

WQ84358 (e) Tabled on 26/01/2022

How will the Welsh Government respond to the call from professionals to review current policies around the area of substance misuse recovery, criminality and mental ill-health?

Answered by Deputy Minister for Social Services | Answered on 04/02/2022

The Together for Mental Health and Substance Misuse Delivery Plans 2019-2022 set out our approach and both commit to working to support those with co-occurring conditions. We have established a Deep Dive Group to support our approach and is also considering the needs of those in the criminal justice system. In addition we will shortly be consulting on a new Substance Misuse Treatment Framework for Prisoners and Prison Mental Health Standards. Whilst  criminal justice is not devolved, we work closely with partners in Wales where we can jointly improve outcomes for those people involved in the criminal justice system. 

Opinion Research Services (ORS) have been commissioned to undertake an evaluation of the existing all-age 2012-2022 Together for Mental Health and Talk to Me 2 Strategies and the three associated delivery plans. The evaluation will consider how well the strategy’s vision has been implemented and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This will also make recommendations for the development of the next strategy. There will be a programme of stakeholder events to enable all stakeholders to contribute to both the evaluation of the strategy and the forthcoming strategy which will be subject to a formal consultation.

WQ84361 (e) Tabled on 26/01/2022

When will the review of the mother and baby unit in Swansea Bay take place, and who will be conducting the review?

Answered by Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing | Answered on 02/02/2022

It was agreed there would be a review of the Tonna MBU, with an assessment after 12 months as to whether the Tonna site continues to meet all the requirements for a permanent MBU solution in South Wales. In April 2022, the unit will have been open for 12 months. The review will be led by the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee (WHSSC) in their role as service commissioners. Timelines on the review will be agreed with Welsh Government and the National Clinical Lead for Perinatal Mental Health.

WQ84359 (e) Tabled on 26/01/2022

Will the Welsh Government invest funding to support mental health and addiction recovery joint-working initiatives?

Answered by Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing | Answered on 04/02/2022

The Welsh Government has a strong track record of supporting individuals with complex needs, including those with a co-occurring mental health and/or substance misuse issue. To support this work, in particular for those people who are homeless, we invited Area Planning Boards, Local Mental Health Partnership Boards and housing to jointly bid for targeted funding of £1m in 2019/2020 for projects that specifically supported those with complex needs, with particular consideration of those that are homeless / vulnerably housed. 

A total of £1.3m was funded over 2019-20 and 2020-21, with ongoing funding of £1m in 2021-22. This funding supported four of the seven Area Planning Board areas in Wales. The draft budget supports the continuation of this work and a further £1m has been allocated to expand support to the remaining areas in Wales to help them address complex needs in their areas. To maintain this work our draft budget sets out a further £1.5m in 2023/24 and £1m in 24/25, taking our investment in this work to £4.5m by 2024.

In addition, there is flexibility for health boards to consider the needs of co-occurring mental health and substance misuse services as part of mental health service improvement funding being released in 2022/23 as it is a defined priority area within the Together for Mental Health Delivery Plan 2019-2022.

WQ84360 (e) Tabled on 26/01/2022

How will Welsh Government address the need to dovetail mental health and addiction recovery services?

Answered by Deputy Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing | Answered on 07/02/2022

The Welsh Government continues to work with Area Planning Boards, their partners and experts to improve the outcomes for individuals who experience co-occurring conditions and in 2015 we issued a revised substance misuse treatment framework for people with mental health and substance misuse problems. Both the Mental Health and Substance Misuse delivery plans 2019 – 2022 include co-occurring mental health and substance misuse as a priority.

Officials meet with clinicians, practitioners and academics working on co-occurring issues at quarterly Deep Dive meetings. The aim of these meetings is to improve the outcomes for individuals with co-occurring issues and to remove operational barriers to implementing the framework requirements.

We also recognise the broad range of needs that individuals in mental health crisis present with, including substance misuse issues. Since 2021/22, we have invested £6m to support crisis services, with more funding to be made available from the draft budget in 2022/23. A key strand of this work will be developing a multi-agency approach which is critical to support person-centred provision, including for those with co-occurring conditions.

As part of an external evaluation of the Together for Mental Health Strategy 2012-2022 which we have commissioned Opinion Research Services (ORS) to undertake, they will consider how well the strategy’s vision has been implemented – a vison which highlighted the need to address co-occurring issues such as mental health and substance misuse. This work will make recommendations for the development of the next strategy.