02/11/2016 The Wales Report


Bethan Rhys Roberts looks at Wales's housing shortage. Is the Welsh government doing enough to encourage house building in Wales? And what next for Ukip in Wales after Brexit?

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Tonight on The Wales Report, is enough being done to increase


With Brexit on the horizon, what next for the party in Wales?


We speak to Welsh leader Neil Hamilton.


And the power shift back from Brussels.


Now that the UK is leaving the European Union, what happens when


these powers are returned? What does it mean for Wales and is there a


risk that we've bitten off more than we can chew?


Good evening and welcome to the Wales Report.


You can join us too on social media tonight - #thewalesreport.


A secure affordable home is an essential part of life.


And it seems that providing that here in Wales is proving to be


While it's predicted that around T2,700 new affordable homes will be


Experts say that is just about half the number


In a moment, I'll be talking to the Welsh Government minister


But first, a look at the range of issues he's facing.


Housing in Wales has changed dramatically in the last few


decades. Council housing is virtually a thing of the past. And


the rental sector is now provided mainly by housing associations and


private landlords. And pressure on the rented sector is increasing


because more and more people are struggling to buy their own homes. A


216 increase over the last 20 years, which has not been reflected in


wages, means that affordable housing has become increasingly less


affordable for people in Wales. The knock-on effects on that in the


long-term will be one of increasing instability in the market. It will


be a fact that people are less likely to invest in their own homes.


If you do not own it, you are less likely to spend money back will have


impact on the quality of stock. And just as in the rented sector, there


has been massive change in the way we build new houses. In 1955, old


with a 70% of all new homes were built by the public sector. Now 80%


are built by the private sector. Developers have expressed concern


that the Welsh Government have made it unviable to build in some parts


of Wales through their regulations and extra red tape. Wherever the


truth lies, leading figures are stressing they are growing concern.


The problem and have is a simple supply and demand. The demand for


housing is increasing and the suppliers of keeping up. You have a


supply and demand equation that is going to get out of step and what


that then does is create pressure on prices. Whether that is in the


rented or buying sector, that forces pricing upwards. Which takes it


further out of the reach of people who are looking to access the


housing market. And there is one further phenomena which is only


going to increase pressure on Wales' housing stock. We are all living


longer. People are desperately keen to downsize from a family home to a


smaller property but inevitably, the smaller properties that are around


I'm not really designed for people in old arrays. We need to be


thinking quite cleverly about the kind of properties we are creating


for people that want to downsize and that creates a family property that


is available for people to move at the value chain. It is that value


chain of first-time buyers, families then looking to buy their second


home, third home, and if those family homes are not being freed


because there are not adequate properties for the elderly to think


about moving into, effectively the whole chain of properties gets


blocked. Housing is a convex issue driven by external market forces as


well as government policy. There may be much disagreement about the way


forward but most people agree this is one of the most pressing issues


on the government 's agenda. It is one of their top issues. My concern


is when the was given to the housing, they tended to build


affordable housing and not housing overall. We will not be able to meet


the Welsh Government target of 20,000 new affordable homes


developed over the next five years. Earlier I spoke to the Welsh


Government secretary Does he recognise that


there is a shortage The Welsh Government in the


manifesto commitment in launching 20,000 new units, a massive


commitment from this government because we recognise there are


pressures in the system. And that is your target for the next assembly


term, double your previous target. Are you convinced you will deliver


on that? The Welsh Government don't build homes. But it does enable


other people to do so and our partners deliver last time for us.


We were working with the builders and Welsh local government


Association and I am convinced that we can do this. You need partners.


What about some of those big builders who are saying that you're


just introducing too much red tape. They do not like the legislation. I


am saying there is an opportunity for all to build in Wales. I am


saying that SMEs are confident they can help us develop this as well.


Builders race this issue with me on many occasions. What seems to be


negotiable is the profits that national builders mate. I am saying


what we have to do is if we all believe there is pressure in the


housing system, we all have to come to the table and give a little bit


as well. You say you will enable people to build 20,000 affordable


homes during disassembly gym, and you commissioned research that


suggested you needed 12,000 new homes every year in Wales. That is


nowhere near your target. -- this assembly term. The figures enabled


in that report are the figures we recognise. We are not saying that


20,000 homes are the only homes that will be built in Wales. We are


expecting the market to come to the table as well. We recognise that.


What's your target overall? The market will lead and the market


control most of that force as well. When they build homes, they control


when they build, where they go, and how they build that too. I have


meetings with the National house-builders and SMEs on a regular


basis. I listen to programmes, your


programme saying there are pressure points but we need homes across the


whole of Wales, not just on the 55 corridor. All in the Cardiff City


region. You could be pretty radical and follow your leader in


Westminster, Jeremy Corbyn, suggesting building Council homes


again. Why not go back to that? We are and I am glad that you have


raised the issue. It is a very ambitious policy. You go to... You


are more than welcome to come with me to French or Cardiff well we have


already started. There are Council homes being built -- French chef. --


Flintshire. What are the targets for new council bills? We don't have any


talismans. The issue of years but the mixing homes that we are healed


to the 20,000 from Help To Buy because all the problems it is


renting and then to own, terrestrial problems as we are going to do,


council poverty Bill Condon is a mixture of things that we are able


to do year to deliver on the 20,000. Shelter released David target


recently saying that Wales has the second was poorest housing in the UK


outside London. You can be proud of that at 16, 17 years. Indeed. The


stock and housing supplies amenities seminar troubles. Here in Wales and


we are making investments in our programme. That is something I would


be a the homes schemes, how we built another create new properties from


the appeals programmes, how would we built another create new properties


from the appeals programmes, hardly a group of disrupted their steam and


the Alves scheme which is very stressful. And long-term agenda is I


don't have a finance as soon to a deliver on some of these long-term


proposals here now. They through austerity control by the UK


Government. Our budget has shrunk by billions of pounds and therefore we


have to cut our cloth accordingly but what is important is one of our


main key priorities is good in the 20,000 units for people of Wales and


mask when ambitious but I'm sure we can do it that with our partners.


Resignations, in-fighting, physical at times, and a second


Ukip are a party at each other's throats.


Wales is no different - Ukip are down an AM in the Assembly


after a clash between Neil Hamilton and the former leader of the party


The situation is so bad, one of the leadership candidates,


MEP Paul Nutall, says the fighting in Wales must stop if the party


Before we hear from the party's leader in Wales Neil Hamilton,


here's a quick re-cap of Ukip's turbulent year.


Not long ago, it looked like tiny 16 was going to be Ukip Cor. In Mays


assembly election, you can change the face of world politics and 17


seats in the Senedd. But then things started to unravel. Claims the party


was riddled with factions and personal animosity. First there was


Neil Hamilton versus Nathan Deal. Days after taking to their biggest


electoral success in Wales, Nathan Gill was beaten by Neil Hamilton in


the vote for the leadership of the assembly group. In August, he left


the group to sit as an independent, citing infighting. Neil Hamilton


seemed pleased. Given that he's a part-time Assembly Member and we


don't see much of him, in practical terms, it is not going to make a


great difference. So seven became six in the assembly. But at least


they had a leader. Essentially, Diane James was elected to succeed


Nigel Farage. She left after 18 days in the job. The infighting turned


physical. So another week, another leadership contest, and the turmoil


of Ukip continues to delight the satirists.


So what exactly is the party for now?


Joining me is Neil Hamilton, the leader of Ukip in Wales.


Are you ashamed and embarrassed by the state of your party? Not at all.


Ukip is a vibrant, red-blooded party. It's no secret that there are


big personalities who've fallen out with each other, but that's no


different to any other party. And it is about personality rather than


political policy? This is about grown men in suits bickering? It's


not bickering. There is a leadership contest going on at the moment and


we have four or five candidates. If that is bickering, that is


democracy. Let's look at the state of the party in Wales. The former


leader, Nathan Gill - when did you last speak to him? Not for some


time. That's not important. He decided to leave our group. It's all


a bit childish. It is. You don't get on with Nathan Gill? I got on with


him well, but he couldn't cope with the fact that the majority of the


group preferred to have me as leader rather than him. He didn't like the


result of a democratic ballot. He was elected as a Ukip AM, and I


would like him to be back as a Ukip AM, but on the basis that he is a


full-time member of this place. If he gave up Brussels, you would


welcome him back, but while he remains there, he's out? It is a


decision for the group, not just me. You asked me about my personal


preference. I want Ukip here to be as big as possible. Everyone who is


in it has to be a team player. You can't have a tantrum when you don't


get what you want. Are you a team player? Very much so. You an backing


Paul Nuttall for the leadership. He has said the situation in Wales is


untenable and needs to be sorted out. He has said that you and Mr


Gill need to kiss and make up. Will that happen? That is rather a


gruesome picture! Nevertheless, I know what you mean. I have said that


if Nathan is prepared to be a team player, we will consider allowing


him back in the group. But if he will not accept the democratic


decisions of the group, I cannot see how he can be a member of the team.


Tell us about the ideological differences that are ripping Ukip


apart? We know the personalities. You don't get on with Nigel Farage


or Nathan Gill. But just explain to us why Ukip is divided in terms of


its future direction? I don't think it is divided on policy issues at


all. We are determined that Britain should leave the European Union, and


we want a free trade deal to follow. In terms of domestic policy, we have


a whole range of policy positions, which are radically different to any


of the other major parties. The big problem is that you had a dream, to


leave the EU. That is going to happen. Since that dream has now


gone, and been delivered, you have imploded, and you have no purpose.


Ukip has not imploded. We have had some spectacular fallings out, and


that's with a small number of people at the top of the party, some of


whom have now left. Nathan Gill has resigned from the group at the


Senedd here in Cardiff. These individuals are not representative


of the National party. Nathan Gill was one out of seven people elected


in assembly here. The rest of us are getting on with our day job. What


are you delivering for the people of Wales, who put you hear? What


difference are you making? You said you would shake this place up. What


have you done in terms of policy? After vilifying us for many years,


because we have been sceptics about the craze for man-made global


warming, today the Welsh government has slashed its government for


climate change capital projects by a third. This is something we have


been laughed at about, for saying that it is a waste of money and is


increasing poverty amongst the most vulnerable people in Wales, because


it is all financed out of the green taxes, which people cannot afford to


pay if they are low income. What difference are you making? We are


the only party who wants to democratise the NHS. If we become


the government of Wales, that is the model we shall introduce. Sadly,


there isn't an election for another four and a half years. Many people


in Wales turned to you because you offered something different. You


promised to shake things up, that you would not be establishment


politicians, that you would play by different rules. But for out of six


of you employ family members - does that send out a message that you are


different? Of course, there is nothing wrong with that. If you look


at the position in other parties, lots of them do as well. In the case


of family members, it is the assembly responsible for


appointments, not the AMs. They have to go through a process carried out


by the HR department of the assembly. I played no part in the


appointment of my wife as my PA and diary secretary. She does have 26


years of experience in the House of Commons to fall back on, and works


24/7, because it is part of our pillow talk as well. What about the


fact that you do not live in Wales. Have you got plans to move here? I


live in Cardiff for four days a week, because this is where the


assembly is based. It meets for 35 weeks a year. I represent 75% of the


Welsh landmass, all the way from Carmarthen to Pembroke, to Hay on


Wye. I am out in my region on other days of the week. I live in my


wife's house when I have some leisure moments, which happens to be


an hour from Cardiff. I am just thinking of perception, because your


main residence isn't in Wales. Is that sending the right message? I am


100% a member of this place, and I am delivering in terms of putting


Ukip on the political map of Wales. I don't think anybody will say I


have not made an impact on this place, and Ukip has not made an


impact on Wales politically. Thank you.


What happens when powers currently held in the European Union


Will some of them come straight to Wales, or will


Dr Rachel Minto - a newly appointed Brexit expert


at the Wales Governance Centre - thinks there are complications that


She says there are serious risks that Wales could end up losing


Dr Minto has paid a visit to Blaenau Gwent, the area which saw


the strongest leave vote in Wales, to consider the implications.


National sovereignty. The authority of the UK to govern itself. This was


one of the major issues in the EU referendum, and in places that voted


strongly to leave, like here in Blaenau Gwent, many people don't


like the idea of European institutions taking power away from


the UK, or even the idea of the UK having to comply with decisions


taken at EU level. So now that the UK is leaving the EU, what happens


when these powers are returned? What does it mean for Wales? Is there a


risk we have bitten off more then we can chew. It is important to


remember that the process of devolution in Wales has unfolded


within the context of EU membership. The first successful referendum on


Welsh devolution took place in 1997, two decades after the UK joined what


was then the European Economic Community. Some policy areas


devolved to Wales, like agriculture, and are heavily Europeanised. That


means that decisions taken in Cardiff are constrained within an EU


framework. When that is lifted, Wales will have greater freedom when


exercising its powers in these devolved areas, or when you press --


if you prefer, Inc about it as powers being returned from the EU


back to Wales. What is the problem? There are three big issues to


address when thinking about the return of power to Wales. Firstly,


resources. It will be important to ensure there is enough scope for the


institutions of Wales to absorb these new policy-making


responsibilities. Does Wales have the expertise, civil servants and


funding to take it on? Secondly, policy coordination. The Wales of


Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales and England have become increasingly


different. The EU framework is able to smooth over these differences.


When that has gone, we will need to think about new ways to coordinate


policy across the four nations. Thirdly, re-centralisation. When


considering how different the four nations' laws do become, it could be


that we see moves from the UK Government to try to bring powers


back to London. The potential for this has been strongly resisted by


policy in Wales, but in the face of such uncertainty, returning powers


to London rather than Wales could be seen by some as the safer option. In


uncertain times, Wales will have to defend the powers it has, or face


losing them. Wales will need to make sure that its institutions have the


resources and expertise to take on new powers. Failure to do this could


result in the country's ability to govern itself taking several steps


backwards. Dr Rachel Minto from the Wales


Governance Centre. I am joined now by Labour AM and format MEP Eluned


Morgan. What sort of powers are we talking about here when we are


talking about powers coming directly from Brussels to Wales? There are


Welsh powers, that we have absolute responsibility for. In particular,


agriculture, fisheries and environment. To give you some


examples, the extent to which our factories are allowed to pollute is


regulated by the European Union. That may stop, so we may potentially


have to put our own regulation in place. The number of fish you are


allowed to take out of the sea is regulated by Europe, and that will


change. Tagging of sheep and cattle is the European law as well. Would


those powers automatically come straight to Cardiff, to Edinburgh,


or will they go via Westminster? These are our powers. There is no


question about that. If the government wants to take that on as


a fight on top of the chaos they have already caused and is going to


happen as a result of Brexit, they will have a fight with the 27


countries of the EU and the home nations as well. My guess is they


will be biting off more than they can chew if they start to say they


will centralise those powers as well. So we have not seen the great


repeal bill yet. If the powers do not come directly to Cardiff, will


you kick up a big stink? No question. These are our powers. We


have effectively pooled those powers with the EU. We may say that we do


need a UK system, and we may determine later that we may want to


pull that Southern tray at UK level, but it is our power, and we may


determine that we want to share that power. That is a lot of power coming


back to Cardiff. What about the resources, the funding and the


people to deal with those new powers coming in? There's a lot of issues.


Firstly, resources. There is a real problem. At the moment we get over


?400 million from Europe directly into Wales. We need that money to


keep coming. There is I direct subsidy that goes to our farmers. We


need that money to be coughed up, or we will be in serious trouble. In


terms of resources, the mechanisms for paying people are already in


Wales. They cannot do that at Westminster because they do not have


the capacity. This is where the capacity exists. Policy-making is


different, and that is an area where we may need to beef up our


expertise. You want these powers directly in Wales so that you can


vary them in the UK? I don't think we know yet. The first issue is the


principle that they are our powers. What we do with them then... I think


it will be a strange situation within the UK if we had different


roles across the UK, because that might stop us from trading within


the UK even, which would be a ridiculous system. So we will


probably need to decide to work together across the UK. The First


Minister mentioned in the Senate this week that the EU directives


will be repatriated. But he said, maybe we will stick to them. For all


the people in Wales who voted to leave, that is exactly why they


wanted to leave. They don't want the red tape from Brussels. If you as a


government decide to stick to some of the European laws because they


are quite handy and suit us, isn't that showing disrespect to the


people who wanted to leave the EU? No, because I don't think people who


voted to leave voted for less regulation in terms of having


cleaner air. That is a good law, about pollution. Most EU law is


good, and people are going to find that out increasingly, that actually


it was very helpful, especially in relation to buying and selling


across the EU. It is no secret that you were a big remainer. The Welsh


government and Carwyn Jones were very disappointed with the boat.


RUSI over that yet? Are you more up beat with the result? I will never


get over the disappointment of the vote, I don't think. But I think we


need to accept it. We need to accept that we are going to leave the EU.


What will that relationship looked like in the future? What ever the


relationship will be, it cannot be one that Hamas Wales economically,


and that is why I think we should stick with the single market. --


that Hamas Wales economically. If you'd like to get in touch


with us, you can email us at [email protected],


or follow us on social media, where the discussion


continues, #TheWalesReport.


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