What is Plenary?
Plenary meetings are attended by all Assembly Members and provide one of the key mechanisms for Members to hold the Welsh Government and Assembly Commission to account, make laws for Wales and represent their constituents.
Plenary meetings take place in the Siambr, the Assembly’s debating chamber, each Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon. Plenary meetings usually begin at 13.30 and are always held in public.
In the early days of an Assembly, Members must meet in Plenary to agree a number of key items of business. This includes the election of the Presiding Officer and Deputy and nominations for a First Minister.
The topics discussed in Plenary meetings are organised by the Business Committee and announced on a weekly basis in Plenary. A Plenary Agenda is published for every meeting.
Different categories and types of business can be taken in Plenary. These include questions, debates, statements and legislative proceedings.
The rules outlining how Assembly proceedings should be conducted – the “Standing Orders” – require Members to behave in an appropriate manner at all times in the Siambr. As chairs of Plenary meetings, the Presiding and Deputy Presiding Officer are responsible for maintaining order.