Saturday, February 29, 2020

Rt Hon Mark Drakeford AM - First Minister of Wales #UCommunity20

The last item of the National Seminar was our keynote speaker, Rt Hon Mark Drakeford AM, First Minister of Wales.

Mark began by thanking public sector workers in North and South Wales for battling the recent floods and also all the community and volunteer organisations that will be helping with the longer term recovery 

Next he made it clear that the crisis in Housing is the key issue for his government. It generates more case work for Assembly members than all over topics. He made sure that there is a Housing Cabinet member and he was proud that Wales had abolished Right to Buy in order to protect homes for the vulnerable. While preventing homelessness by supporting young people to stay at home whenever possible. 

In Wales they are building 20,000 affordable homes by working with progressive Councils who will use their borrowing powers to obtain the funds to build new homes, while the Welsh Government will pay the revenue (interest) costs of the loans. These homes will be so energy efficient that they will create more power than they consume.

He is also a firm believer in a social partnership with local authorities, housing associations and the voluntary sector and reminded us that Wales was the home of the Cooperative movement. 

In the Q&A at the end I pointed out that Wales was the only part of the United Kingdom to have a Labour Government and had he any advice or lessons for those of us who live elsewhere who are desperate for a Labour Government? 

His response was that in Wales, Labour never take their support for granted and make sure that they concentrate on real bread and butter issues that make a difference in people’s lives week in and week out. 

Mark left the hall to a standing ovation by delegates.

Hat tip photo @marty_b67

No comments: