10/02/2016 The Wales Report


Huw Edwards looks at whether the Welsh government doing enough to encourage house building in Wales? And how much will social media impact on the Assembly elections this year?

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we ask if the Welsh Government is doing enough to encourage


We ask Ukip's Nathan Gill how his party would run


Wales as we look ahead to May's national


And talking of polling day - how important will social


We'll be sharing some tips from the experts.


I a word of wisdom for party leaders - don't be boring. Stay with us for


the Wales Report. Good evening and welcome


to The Wales Report. Here's a conundrum -


the Welsh Government has exceeded its house-building


target, but there are still concerns that


not enough new homes You can join tonight's


conversation on social media. Well the problem,


according to some experts, is that the Welsh Government's


housing quota hasn't been ambitious enough


- with far more homes One forecast suggests we need


to build an average of 12,000 new homes a year - a rate


we haven't seen in Wales Felicity Evans has


been investigating. Last summer Fiona and her son were


evicted by their landlord after he decided he wanted to sell the house


where they lived. They ended up sleeping on the sofas of friends and


family. I put the stuff in storage and I asked a few friends and family


and we did Monday to Friday and on a weekend we went camping, because it


was summer, or supposed to be summer. It was wet. We went camping


and that went on for five weeks and then the fifth weekend it rained a


lot. The tent got flooded and everything was wet and damp and


everything stunk and I it got to that point, I couldn't do it any


more and the council gave me temporary accommodation. She isn't


the only casualty of Wales' housing shortage. Since 1970 house building


in Wales has fallen by more than 60%. But demand for housing has seen


a steady increase. That has left a lot of people unable to find the


homes they need. If you can't get access to a home that is suitable,


in some kaleses you're almost putting your life on hold, whether


that is starting a family, moving to a new area. It has a real impact on


life. Housing is the corner stone of people getting their aspirations. We


know good quality housing helps people achieve good health. So it is


key to any government and their agenda. The Welsh government said


increasing housing supply is a top priority. It has brought in a help


to buy scheme and met its targets on building additional affordable


homes. But experts fear the targets haven't been ambitious enough and


demand for all types of housing will increase much faster than the Welsh


Government has forecast and one report suggests that on average we


will need to build 12,000 homes a year. That would mean a return to


build rates we haven't seen since the 1970s. Analysts say the Welsh


government has based it is forecasts on the demand that existed during


the recession when fewer houses were being built and people were less


likely to move. They say demand will increase faster in the future than


it did during that recession. Obviously the housing shortage isn't


just about homelessness. It us about suitability. The difficulty of


finding somewhere that is right for you needs and about young adults


living at home, because there are no other options and house prices


rising faster than income. And there are economic costs. Housing brings


big economic Ben fiments in terms of -- benefits in terms of


construction, investment in an area and we all spend money on our houses


and the cost of not building houses. The issues of homelessness is


catastrophically expensive. Looking at purely from an economic


perspective. For social issues they're more acute. There are issues


about the less of investment potential. If an investor wants to


move into the area, what they will be interested in, well, are there


the workers there? Predicting futuring housing -- future housing


need is not an expert science, but Wales does not have enough homes and


without a significant increase in building rates, Fiona's experience


of trauma of homelessness will be shared by many more families. I felt


insecure. Emotional. Just everything was taken out of my hands. I didn't


have a choice with anything. So, yeah, I lost weight, and... Gained a


debt. But yeah, it was very stressful. More stressful than I


thought it would be. But that is the type of person that I am, I look to


sort things out. If something's not right I want to put it right and I


didn't have that choice with this. It was completely taken out of my


hands. So... I hopefully can... Have a choice maybe if there is a lot of


houses that are there. Lesley Griffiths is


the Minister for Communities. She was not available


for interview, but a Welsh Government spokesperson


told The Wales Report: "There has been a long-term


positive trend in Welsh house building, with 20%


more houses started They added that:


the previous year." "Research by


the Construction Industry Training Board shows Wales'


construction industry is set to grow at nearly triple


the UK average, with over 27,000 jobs to be created


in the next five years." Joining me now are the


Labour AM and former minister Alun Davies


and the Liberal Democrat AM Why are we not building enough


homes? There is a range of issues. For social housing the Welsh


Government are not setting an ambitious enough target. In terms of


private sector, it boils down to the profit margins people can get on the


south coast they can sell them on a reasonable price. As they go north


they say there are issues around planning, service and cost and


putting off builders come to Wales. We need to try a find a way around


the problems. Alun, what is your analysis of why house building isn't


there. Targets don't build houses. The Welsh Government has put funding


into schemes to enable people both to buy affordable housing and to


enable social landlords and house builders to build affordable


housing. It is an issue of affordability and availability is


one side of coin. We need to ensure that we have the quality and


standard of housing in the rented seconder, particularly the private


sector. To if you look at the policy approach the Welsh Government has


taken, it has been addressing issues both of quality and standards, but


also of availability and the number of housing built. Can I pick you up


on what you said about targets. What is the points of targets if nay


don't build houses. They're there for a reason. They're there to


provide accountability and you have seen the Welsh Government taking a


creative approach to looking at what lands is available that can be


released to either social landlords or house builders to create the


space to build new homes. We are seeing derelict buildings being


brought back into use to build new homes and we are seeing people being


funded to buy their own homes. You see a number of policy options. All


of which are designed both to enable people to buy homes to build homes


and then to ensure that the homes that are rented by people are of a


sufficient quality. On the target issue, it is one of main yard sticks


we have, what should the target be. First can I agree targets don't


build houses in the private sector. But in public housing that is the


mark that the Welsh Government should be putting in money to. The


Welsh Government has set a target of 10,000 homes in five years. But the


report that was referred in the report said they need 12,000 a year


and over 2,000 should be social housing. So my view is the Welsh


Government's target in terms of social housing should be doubled to


start to try to catch up so those homes are available for people who


can't afford to buy their property. We need to find ways of people


getting on the to the housing market. The help to buy scheme,


started by the coalition government, is great. We want to look at rent to


own schemes where your rent counts towards ownership. The problem is


getting a deposit to your mortgage. That is something that must be


overcome. On social housing, do you think the target needs to be doubled


and people know what they're trying to measure? The target has been


increepsed, because of success -- increased, because of the success of


policies. So you are seeing targets increased as we succeed in building


new homes. What we are going to do in the manifesto is to actually


describe how we intend to continue the success in building homes for


people, affordable homes across the whole of Wales. I will agree with a


number of points that Peter has made. This is one of great


challenges facing us. Peter described the number of homes needed


for young people, but also at the other end of the age range, for


older people and people affected by the bedroom tax and want to down


size and need extra care and supported housing, all these are


areas where we have got to address housing need and supply. And one of


the great successes of the last few years has been that holistic


approach to housing where we have seen support for building, but also


a drive to improve the quality and standards and we need to do both. If


it is a holistic approach, why are we in a position where we are


talking about a serious shortage? Because the Welsh government hasn't


taken that holistic approach and aren't setting ambitious new targets


and in terms of private sector, there are still, you talk to small


builders in Wales, they think there are obstacles in their way in terms


of planning and cost of attaching to the statutory services and other


issues. I think we need to review of what the obstacles are so we can


encourage homes to be build and if possible cut the cost to builders so


they can build more houses further north. Can we expect Labour to say


it will take the brakes off in both sectors, social and private sector?


I think you, when you see the manifesto, you will see policies


that respond to the needs of the people that we saw. Not empty


promises, but but solid programmes for housing of the standard and


quality people want. I think when you bring those things together what


you have is a policy that addresses our needs today and tomorrow. Thank


you. There are just three months


until the National Assembly elections and as part


of BBC Wales' How Wales Works season, the Wales


Report is speaking to the main party leaders


in Wales to find out how they'd run things if


they won power in May. Over the next five weeks we'll be


speaking to the Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru,


Conservatives and Labour, but first tonight is Ukip's leader


in Wales, Nathan Gill. Ukip are gearing up


for a campaign which could see them win AMs


for the first time, but some conflict over the selection


of candidates is also Professor Richard Wyn


Jones from The Wales Governance Centre at


Cardiff University takes This is a hugely significant


election for Ukip. In the past, Wales has been you know quite weak


in terms of Ukip support. But that has changed in the last few years.


It is now one of the areas where they can hope to do well and with


the semi proportional system that we have gives them a real chance of


actually having a block of elected representatives in a UK-based


legislature. Nathan Gill owes David Cameron a debt of thanks. If the


European referendum is held pretty close to the Assembly election, that


is going to be perfect for Ukip. It will put them in the shop window in


a way they could scarcely dream of in other circumstances. So the


timing of the EU referendum is crucial. If it is held at the end of


June, then that is going to be really great news for Ukip.


The quiz and themselves in this context presumably having his knees


and feet of Wales. He is 55 50s and five have is a visa. You see full


and this Joining me now is UKIP's leader


in Wales, Nathan Gill. With his thesis is this you? I


believe to resign and 50. For you, that his faith. Full or not


We believe we will get people elected to the Assembly. It is the


consensus feeling, is it a gamble? Everything in life is a gamble.


Let's talk about the people you would like to be elected with in


that case and pluck a name out of air and say Neil Hamilton, who has a


controversial past. Is he the type of person you would like to serve


with? Your commentary was right in the respect that it is a gold fish


bowl the Welsh Assembly. It is even designed to look like one. So we do


need to have a cohesive team and that is what I have been pushing


for. We need people who can work together as that team for five years


for the full term. Because it would be a disaster if they were split and


people left or we couldn't work in that cohesive manner. I feel very


strongly that the membership in Wales will make the right decisions,


they will pick people that they want to represent them and whatever team


they give me, and if I'm on that team as well, we will work together.


I am convinced. If you were drawing up a list of ideal people to serve


with would Neil Hamilton be on the list. We are in the middle of a


membership selection process. You must have a view. I do, but it is


unfair of me to give that view. You hinted a team that works together


and a cohesion and a message all the viewers would understand, that makes


political sense, where does somebody like Neil Hamilton fit into that


picture. Dooning he would fit? . If he members decided that was the


case, we would make it work. But it is not ideal? During this election


process which we are still in the middle of, I can't comment on


individuals who are putting themselves forward. I'm thinking


about the kind of individuals you would like to serve w because you


are asking people to vote for your party and your view as leader about


the kind of people you would like to see elected with you, is very


important. That is why I'm asking. My view of leader has been


petitioned to our NEN and C and we have a full grass roots, the members


themselves are going to be selecting the list and ranking in it. That is


my views have been expressed. So let's take a principle instead that


local parties should choose people with strong local links. Is that


important? Well of course, because the members need to know they can


rely on whoever is going to be representing them. They need to know


who it is. That is representing them and I think that because it has gone


back to the regions will decide who is going to be ranked on the


regional list for them and they will make the right decision. Are you


against parachute on the fourth of this is my first have people


standing on the low-fat and 70 four that. That as path of what roles as


Nigel Farage has in this process is Canvas selection, is his role. He is


on the CV of five. You are viewing the facing.


We had a flat fee of less than them. We have that.


It would be hypocritical too say you got it wrong. This is a national


legislature and an opportunity for Ukip to show we can be disciplined


and if you elect us, we can and we will do good things for Wales. The


initial referendum, that was the decision of the Welsh people to set


up the Assembly was in 97. Yes. It took a long time for you to accept


that decision? Well, as you said it was very close and for a long time a


lot of people were still undecided about the Welsh Assembly. If you ask


a lot of people in North Wales a lot of people have a negative feeling


about the Welsh Assembly. Devolution to a greater extent has failed the


people of Wales, because the three main areas that we are bothered


about through devolution of the NHS, education and the economy, we are


doing much worse in now than 16 years ago when devolution started.


So you can understand why the people of Wales would feel that actually


those people in Cardiff Bay, the bubble in Cardiff Bay, don't


represent us in Wrexham and all along the north Wales coast people


feel that it is all Cardiffcentric and I understand that. We have got


to make devolution work. We need it to be actually true devolution,


where it is brought closer to the people. Setting up huge massive


Kuehne sill -- councils, taking your local legislature further from you I


believe is a mistake. Yes, 22 councils are too many. But if your


councillor who lives at the end of the street has to go on a 50-mile


journey to the council chamber, are you really going to be represented?


Of course not. We want devolution bringing it closer to the people of


Wales. You are saying to viewers that you are a believer in the


institution of the National Assembly and Welsh Government and that there


is no question of you let's say you go to the European Parliament, that


is not an institution you believe in. Absolutely. But you would be


elected to an institution that you did believe in. That is clear is it?


Yes. In the European Parliament we, there are certain things we do not


participate in and will never ever vote to give the European


institutions any more power. We will never vote to give them more money.


We always vote against that and we are clear, whereas this institution,


the Senedd, it is there for the people of Wales and must be used


properly and it must be improved. Because it has not dlied for us --


delivered for us yet and if we are there we can be a force for good. It


is a crucial point. Because we heard Richard refer to it at the end of


his contribution there, would you be going to the Senedd with a view to


playing a constructive part. Absolutely. Or going there to play


really a destructive part? No, you kitchen is often seen -- Ukip is


seen as an we are against everything party. We are for more than we are


against and this devolution settlement has not worked, not


because we need more powers, it is because the power they have got have


been used badly. The spending priorities have not delivered for


the people of Wales. We want to be a constructive part of the Assembly


and be there to get the voices and the views of those people who vote


for us heard and we need to make sure that actually people start to


believe in the institution for the right reasons. 42% of people voted


in the last Assembly elections. How many will vote in this. People are


voting with their feet by ignoring it. That is not good for democracy


and not good fofrer for the -- for the Welsh Assembly. We need to see


that people believe their voice will be heard and be acknowledged and the


money we get is spent in a sensible ways in ways that win benefit our


children and our grandchildren. Thank you.


For many of us social media is becoming a bigger


The role it plays in political campaigns and elections is becoming


Just think of the Scottish referendum on


independence, or indeed the current race for


And what about the social media scene here in Wales?


Are politicians using it with the kind of


The Guardian's Social and Community editor Elena


Cresci gives us her take on what role social media could play.


It feels like social media is every where. It is a big part of world we


live in and it is pretty much my job. It is a great thing. Because it


gets people talking. Or typing. Politicians in particular are


starting to see how personal communication with voters is just a


click away. They said 2015 would be the first social media election,


except that wasn't quite true. They said the same thing about 2010. The


Scottish referendum, now that was a master class in using social media


for campaigning. What role will social media play in the Welsh


Assembly election? Get back to basics. Wales isn't like this place.


There are still areas where mobile and online connections are not that


great and in this case, that is kind of an issue. Another thing to


remember is that getting through to that digital savvy electorate can be


a good way of getting to that crucial younger audience. Twitter


and Facebook are more established and ready to play a part in


politics. Social media likes and follows do not count for much. It is


a bit superficial. Social media hype can be a flash in the pan. For


Leanne Wood, Twitter went wild after that showdown with Nigel Farage. On


twitter, Plsid has 20,000 followers. -- Plaid. It recently came out the


Conservatives spent more than ?100,000 a month on a Facebook app


in the run-up to the general election. Perhaps it pays to cash in


on social media. The assembly election in May will be interesting.


It has been all go in Westminster with big changes to the Labour


Party. Who knows what will happen in Wales? The leadership really is up


for grabs. Social media did not predict the results of the general


election, neither did the polls. Party leaders should not be boring.


I'm joined now by Dr Rebecca Rumbul from Cardiff University


and Jess Blair, from the Institute of Welsh Affairs.


I am just wondering, in a Welsh context, specifically, can we look


forward to an election which will do something different with social


media in May? In a word, no. I do not think we are comparing


like-for-like. The Welsh context has always been different. It is


interesting that Eleanor picked up on it in the video. The Tories in


the general election really targeted the campaign. Wells does not have


the capacity. We do not have the funds. It is a different set of


circumstances. The way we use social media and the way that Welsh


politicians use social media, what is your reading of the levels of


sophistication, compared with the rest of the UK? I do not think Welsh


politicians are sophisticated and how they use social media. I find my


feed filling up with pictures of politicians at a hospital or a


school. That is not engaging to meet all interesting to me. What does


engage? First, what does engage people? People want to know what


you're going to do for them. It is not enough to post a picture of


yourself at school and say, I support my local school. We are


talking about going into election. People want to know what this person


will do for me. What are their views? Is that really a manifesto


that has been spread out on social media? Does not sound terribly


exciting the message is there have been crowd sourcing projects that


social media is one of the tools of engagement. That is a big lesson. It


is not a panacea, it is one of those things. You have to try a selection


of different ways of engaging people to see what works. Generally it is


making question is a bit more relevant to people. For example, we


did a project around cancer care and how to improve that. The question


was, how can we improve your cancer experience? Where is Wales in terms


of its ability to provide the kind of infrastructure? It is just


getting online and having decent mobile coverage which allows you to


have 4G and have a decent experience on social media. Where are we on


that? In Wales we have the lowest level of digital literacy. They do


not have the skills to get online, let alone have a Twitter account.


Internet penetration is the lowest in the UK. Without those basic


things, we're not going to have the social media election we have been


talking about. That is why it is so important to use a package of tools.


It is about getting consistent messages through social media. A


very quick question to you both. If you were advising people taking part


in this election coming up, given there are very big questions at


stake for the future of government in Wales, what would you one bit of


clever advice be to people? You said don't be boring but what would your


advice be? To have one consisting campaign messaging use it in a


variety of ways. Tested and work out what works and what is working on


the doorstep. They might be two separate things. Twitter is an echo


chamber. You have a self reinforcing situation. You need to find a way to


actually engage those people. That will not be through Twitter, it


would be through some of the more traditional manners of campaigning.


Anchor you both for coming in. That is it for tonight. If you would like


to get in touch via e-mail us or follow us on social media. We will


be back next week. Thank you for watching. A very good night.


Huw Edwards presents a current affairs series taking a look at issues that matter in Wales and asks decision-makers about the consequences of their choices.

This edition looks at tackling Wales's housing shortage. Is the Welsh government doing enough to encourage house building in Wales? And how much will social media impact on the Assembly elections this year?

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