LIVE BLOG: First Minister Questions

First Minister for Wales, Carwyn Jones, took questions in The Senedd, Cardiff Bay, from backbench Assembly Members and group leaders from 1:30 – 2:15.
That’s all for First Minister’s Questions this week.
First Minister’s Questions are now closed.
Conservative AM Antoinette Sandbach asks the First Minister about the use of locums in the NHS. She says the Assembly should target to reduce the number in North Wales, which is hitting service provision hard.
The First Minister says it isn’t robust to rely on locum staff.
The First Minister is asked if he thinks it will be worthwhile to introduce a right to respite for carers across Wales as promised by the Conservatives. He says while he recognises the importance of respite, he cannot promise a right to it, but that the Assembly will continue to support carers across Wales.
Julie Morgan asks what Government provisions are being put towards childcare in Wales. She asks if present nursery due to be closed this year in her constitency could be saved by the First Minister’s influence. He says he will write to HMRC again, as he did in 2012, to preserve the nursery, and nurseries across Wales.
Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood, who is away in Edinburg at this time, confirms she is there to attend the BBC Three programme Free Speech along with SNP and Green Party leaders. Whilst there, she and others will be questioned by 100 young voters.
First Minister is asked how Welsh universities Swansea and Cardiff could influence the Welsh economy with their research.
Torfaen AM Lynne Neagle asks if the proposed charges for underground tours at Big Pit museum at Blaenavon will go ahead. First Minister says there will not be charges for this, and that attractions such as Big Pit and National Welsh museum will remain free of charge.
First Minister is asked about the potential uses of tidal power in Wales. He says that Welsh Government does not have the same powers as Scottish Government to attract companies, but that he sees opportunities in Port Talbot and Milford Haven for renewable energy centres.
Elin Jones, standing in for Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood asks about efforts to promote the Welsh language, and asks if the Planning Bill will be strengthen so that councils can do more for the Welsh Language in Wales.
First Minister says the Bill has already been strengthened, but that he will listen to sensible suggestions if they are put forward.
Andrew R T Davies says ministers are not doing enough for their high streets.
Leader of the Opposition Andrew R T Davies asks First Minister what he thinks about the campaign he launched last year to encourage people to use their high streets. He says: “There is a huge pressure on our high streets and little coming from your government.” He asks what to expect in coming 12 months to fix problem.
First Minister says shops have no customers, and blames the opposition for the fact, saying the UK Government have destroyed people’s disposable income.
Liberal Democrat AM Kirsty Williams asks about rural GP services, and questions why ambulance service spending on taxis rose by 50% in a year.
The First Minister is asked about the affect of The Bedroom Tax, or the Spare Room Subsidy, on Wales. Labour AM Joyce Watson cites the Wales Aufit Office’s report, which says Wales has been hardest hit by the tax in the UK. The First Minister agrees, but Conservative AM Janet Finch-Saunders says savings have been made.
First Minister responds, saying: “I will not accept any lectures from the conservative party when they sit there and attack the vulnerable and benefit the rich.”
Carwyn Jones has tweeted: 97% of GP practices offered appointments at any time between 5pm and 6.30pm at least 2 week days, up from 95% in 2013
First question is about access to GP surgeries in Wales. Tory AMs want to increase the number of surgeries open in the evening and at weekeneds.
First Minister says the figures show more are open in the evenings across Wales and fewer have half-day closing.

Welcome to our live blog of First Minister’s Questions from Cardiff Bay