21/03/2017 First Minister's Questions


21/03/2017

Full coverage of AM's questions to the first minister from the Senedd in Cardiff Bay.


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Transcript


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Good afternoon. Welcome to the programme. Carwyn Jones is expected

:00:18.:00:29.

to face questions on a range of subjects from small businesses,

:00:30.:00:34.

rough sleeping and having a constitutional convention. Don't

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forget we are on Twitter where you can see all the latest business and

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the session is already underway. So, questions to the First Minister. I

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called a National Assembly to order and the first question is from Paul

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Davies. We want a statement to find out what the Welsh Government is

:01:02.:01:06.

doing to support his knees in West Wales. Business support is available

:01:07.:01:15.

for small, and medium business, and our focus remains on supporting

:01:16.:01:24.

entrepreneurs, jobs and the economy. First Minister, I continue to

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receive comments from constituents and business in North Wales to say

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that although you have announced additional funding, there is indeed

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confusion and many business operators don't know whether they

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are able to receive this. Can you be more specific about who qualifies

:01:46.:01:49.

and can you tell us why the Government wanted to target

:01:50.:01:52.

high-street business without including other business? Of course,

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what we have been trying to do is help those who have lost out

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temporarily because of the renewal of the business rates and many

:02:06.:02:09.

people have benefited from that, and of course, those businesses who have

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perhaps seen a drop in business rates, we hope we will be able to

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help small businesses particularly those who have seen a rise in their

:02:22.:02:28.

rates. Figures from Lloyds bank have shown that 40% fewer businesses were

:02:29.:02:36.

established in the last five year in Pembrokeshire, winning and Anglesey

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as compared to the 26 across Wales and a 20% in England. Is the First

:02:43.:02:46.

Minister willing to look into why the figures are so different in the

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Westerly counties, as compare it with places such as Gwent, where

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there's been a decline of 8% and the award goes to Merthyr, where half a

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percent decline was seen. Will the First Minister ask his ministers to

:03:12.:03:15.

look at what is happening in West Wales, in this particular area.

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Well, I believe you are talking about the Lloyds and figures. We

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don't know what methodology they used and what the nature of the data

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set is. Having said that, the number of businesses has increased by 2025

:03:35.:03:45.

in 2011. So, 11,025 in 2015, but of course, we will consider the figures

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issued by Lloyds bank to see if there's any kind of problem here

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that we need to address in one part of Wales. We are talking about

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business ones of ?7 million each. The application deadline is in just

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five weeks' time, just the same as what happened with the Growth And

:04:06.:04:13.

Prosperity By, on the 17th of last year, the deadline for the

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applications was just four weeks later. The Scottish Government has

:04:19.:04:24.

created a ?500 million fund with an open window. Every time the Welsh

:04:25.:04:31.

Government finds a bit of money down the back of their first sofa, we

:04:32.:04:37.

announce a new fund and its closed before most businesses have had the

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opportunity to hear about it. It's the opposite of strategic and I

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believe it makes Wales look amateurish. Our economic growth is

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better than Scotland and we've done better than Scottish Government in

:04:54.:04:59.

that regard. The window is short but nevertheless, the schemes are

:05:00.:05:03.

popular, they deliver and the economic statistics show that. What

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is the Welsh Government doing to tackle rough sleeping in Wales. We

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have got the legislation that we passed to ensure that rough sleeping

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was dealt with. There's a? The moment in terms of trying to

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understand the numbers of people who are sleeping rough, it difficult to

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assess but we are not complacent and we are trying to provide a programme

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to help those who are homeless. Last week, a press report highlighted

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people sleeping rough in Neath. People had had difficult times with

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job loss, addiction, leaving prison. There is an acknowledgement that the

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bear has been great progress. We are told you don't know enough about

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rough sleeping to fix it, and there is a comparative lack of housing in

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Wales. Will the First Minister look at how the Welsh Government monitors

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rough sleeping and help us find out why it happens. The housing Wales

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act 2014 has been implemented and there is a report on this, so we can

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find out how rough sleepers are being treated. And other systems are

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being explored in order to assist with the annual monitoring that

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takes place and they will be further information that take place -- that

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will take place later in the year. We will look at local authorities

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who are responsible for meeting that need a local areas to find out and

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help with people not becoming homeless in the first place. Shelter

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are gravely concerned about the lack of data being able to monitor what

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is happening in Wales, I believe many of your other programmes such

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as communities at work, the data and a lack of data is an emerging theme

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for your Government. We have strong legislation so wide as this

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situation arise where there is such a lack of data on such an important

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issue, and what will be gunning to ensure that there is no growth of

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the number of homeless people in Wales? Well, one data which is

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important is the data from 2016, showing the legislation were

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successful in helping 85% of families who felt under pressure,

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who had perhaps lost their House because of that, so we know that has

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worked extremely well, but as I said earlier, it's important to insure

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that the data we have is adequate to ensure that the legislation works in

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the most effective way possible. As a member of the multi-agency

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cross-party working group that successfully campaigned under TCC to

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build a night shelter in Wrexham, is particularly frustrating that the

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Welsh Government's rough sleeper couch shows a 72% rise and that the

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numbers in Wrexham are up from 17 to 27 from the previous year and with

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61, it has the highest proportion of people sleeping rough over a

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two-week period in Wales, even higher than Cardiff. How do you

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propose the Government should interact with the charities there,

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stop blaming each other, and help ask it to grips with the town 's

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issues? I have to say, his party, the Conservatives have to take

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responsibility for this. The hammering people have had three the

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bedroom tax. Yes, it's true to say that we look to use legislation to

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prevent homelessness, but of course the UK Government is responsible for

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taking money away from people and making people homeless, though his

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party has to accept that they are responsible for much of the threat

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of homelessness. First Minister, the discussions around rough sleeping

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has been completely toxic. Rather than seeing them as poor unfortunate

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souls basing hyperthermia, sleeping in shop doorways, many have seen

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them as delinquents and a scourge to be removed from our high streets. Do

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you agree with me that rather than serving ASBOs on these people

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locking them up, councils across Wales should be providing shelter

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and working with various agencies in partnership to find them permanent

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accommodation. I take your point on stigma. I have been to the Salvation

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Army in Cardiff and have seen and met many of the people who are

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homeless. Some of them have very different stories, some are

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wrestling with addiction, some find it difficult to remain in

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accommodation, and there are many Rob learns individuals have to face.

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-- problems. We need to find holistic solutions to these

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problems. Thank you, Presiding Officer, may I

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wish you many happy returns. I have many years to go before I hit a

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milestone of 50! I look forward to you telling me what it is like! But

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I wish you all the best on your birthday today, and I'd like to send

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best wishes to be Minister for rural affairs who is in convalescence at

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present. We want to talk about the local deals with authorities, and

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creating a combination of projects that will hopefully lift GBA and

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employability and skills and the prospect of Swansea city, and its

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region, because it's not just Swansea we are looking at here. It's

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not in unreasonably put to people that we want to discuss what Terry

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Matthews was talking about as the chair of the City Region Board, and

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concept has moved away from the people and more to buildings. Do you

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share that view and the view that the deal before us could potentially

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be built for people to come rather than for people in the region? It

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had to be agreed by the local authorities, ourselves and the UK

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Government and almost half of the investment will come from the

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private sector. It's an example of what happens when Government call

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operate, and the public and the private sector as well. The 11

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projects are about creating 11,000 jobs. That's opportunities for

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people and that's something that both governments and the local

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authorities are confident that happening. Are you confident that

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GBA which is about 74% in the Swansea region will increase as part

:13:28.:13:32.

of the deal, so can you give firm indicators that you and the

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Government will be benchmarking the success, what we can expect in

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three, five, eight and ten years, with this deal coming forward so we

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can mark you and the UK Government and need partners about the rising

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GBA levels. So we can see this increasing rather than just sound

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bites on redevelopment has happened in the Park. One area where

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productivity can be improved is with skills and higher paid jobs. The

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lead up asks how we can measure this? Firstly with GVA per head and

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GVA compared to the rest of the UK. I Hello and welcome to the

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programme. But I'd like more definitive markers to see where GVA

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will go from where it is at the moment, 74%. Cardiff have got a city

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deal, Swansea has got a city deal and Swansea region, the North Wales

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desperately needs a great deal to be delivered. Yesterday, in the

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Guardian, you accuse the Prime Minister had a 10-year about

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concerns you have around devolution and our role in the UK. One of the

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things in North Wales that has come out is the ability for the

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Government to devolve responsibility to North Wales so those powers

:15:17.:15:21.

around transport, skills, business rates, there would be a greater

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synergy between the northern powerhouse and North Wales to create

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a better driver for economic prosperity in North Wales. Will your

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Government actively considered evolving responsibilities, or will

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you be showing a Kenya to North Wales for business and council

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leaders when they are asking you for business responsibilities. The

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Swansea Bay and Cardiff City they deals are driven by local

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authorities. Something we seek to impose. The same will pry to the

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North Wales growth deal, large urban areas, these are the two deals that

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were ready first. In the north-east, that would come next. We would look

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to devolve as many powers as we can in the future. In terms of business

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rates, it's more difficult because we know there are authorities who

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would lose out if these were devolve, and we want this main

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decisions are attained locally, meaning local authorities are as

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much in the driving seats. And working

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I would like to wish the First Minister happy birthday. Age is

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nothing to fear, as long as you remain in rude health, like me. The

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First Minister will agree, whatever our differing views on Brexit,

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uncertainty is to be deprecated and the Prime Minister is about to

:17:06.:17:08.

resolve one answer by triggering Article 50. It is regrettable that

:17:09.:17:15.

Nicola Sturgeon has now sought to create another uncertainty over a

:17:16.:17:21.

referendum in Scotland. No doubt confident the Prime Minister would

:17:22.:17:24.

refuse a request. I wonder if the First Minister would agree with me

:17:25.:17:28.

the best way to reduce this uncertainty is to call Nicola

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Sturgeon's bluff and hold the referendum? Thank you for the good

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wishes. From different perspectives. My view is, and I've said this

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publicly, if the Scottish Parliament votes to hold a referendum, the UK

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Government should not stand in its way, any more than the European

:17:52.:17:56.

Commission of Parliament should have stood in the way of the UK holding a

:17:57.:18:02.

referendum on Brexit. If the Scottish parliament seeks to hold a

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referendum, then the views of that parliament should be respected. I

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agree with him. It is rarely wrong to consult the people. If there were

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to be a referendum campaign, it would have some relevance for Wales

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because Scotland has a budget deficit of 15 billion a year,

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although it has a larger economy than Wales, it is much the same

:18:28.:18:35.

figure as we have here. 15 billion deficit. And that is effectively a

:18:36.:18:40.

transfer of funds from one part of the UK to another, which would

:18:41.:18:44.

disappear if either Scotland or Wales became politically

:18:45.:18:49.

independent. It is not my view that independence is in the interests of

:18:50.:18:55.

Wales. I am aware of the substantial financial transfers that take place.

:18:56.:19:00.

That come into Wales. That is why I am a strong devolutionist, but not

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somebody who supports independence. It is important to all those who

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believe in the sovereignty of the United Kingdom that we unite on this

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point that Wales would be vastly poorer if it were to leave the

:19:18.:19:22.

United Kingdom. There is no way that any cut in any budget from a UK

:19:23.:19:27.

department subsequently devolved to Wales could possibly be compensated

:19:28.:19:33.

for in any other way. Because public expenditure is now nearly 60% of

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Welsh GDP, there would be a massive hit for all poor and vulnerable

:19:38.:19:42.

people, and all those who rely on the NHS and other social services

:19:43.:19:49.

for their health and well-being. The case for independence by those who

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make it in Wales is not built on the economy but on emotion. It is

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important that when the UK leaves the EU, we have in place a structure

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that reflects a proper partnership of four nations within the UK. It's

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not a case of the UK Government imposing its will on devolved

:20:12.:20:17.

governments. We also have an independent judiciary process to

:20:18.:20:27.

police the internal market. For me, that will represent for Wales a very

:20:28.:20:30.

good outcome. My worry is the UK Government itself doesn't create the

:20:31.:20:45.

conditions were people feel annoyed enough to take the view that the UK

:20:46.:20:51.

is not worth preserving. That is not something I want to see. It is clear

:20:52.:21:00.

that Wales is so wealthy and prosperous the status quo is the

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only option for us, isn't it? First Minister, in recent years, there

:21:06.:21:08.

have been a number of scandals concerning the quality of treatment

:21:09.:21:12.

or some patients in some wards in the Welsh NHS. How confident are you

:21:13.:21:17.

that the systems for identifying and correcting problems are no robust

:21:18.:21:24.

enough to prevent another Princess of Wales style scandal? We are

:21:25.:21:32.

confident the structures are in place to avoid those scenarios and

:21:33.:21:39.

robust. One area of treatment where problems have regularly been

:21:40.:21:43.

identified is nutrition and you -- and hydration. That is a basic

:21:44.:21:49.

health care need. Yesterday, the Public Accounts Committee released

:21:50.:21:53.

another report on nutrition. This is five years after the last report on

:21:54.:21:59.

nutrition. The report found, and I quote, a story of a distinct lack of

:22:00.:22:04.

leadership, stagnant activity and frustratingly slow progress in the

:22:05.:22:09.

number of important areas. You claim to have introduced new initiatives

:22:10.:22:14.

to fix this. I have they not yet succeeded? And what reasons can you

:22:15.:22:18.

give for the slow progress on hospital nutrition? There is a

:22:19.:22:25.

formal process for responding to reports. The report highlighted good

:22:26.:22:29.

progress that had been made in a number of areas. It is hugely

:22:30.:22:33.

important to have reports such as this to make sure there is as much

:22:34.:22:38.

improvement as we want to see. How many reports do we need? 9% of

:22:39.:22:44.

patients were not being given enough water to drink. There are other

:22:45.:22:51.

areas where progress is nonexistent. No progress on a computerised

:22:52.:22:57.

information catering service, identified in 2011. Not a single

:22:58.:23:02.

health board has named director with responsibility for nutrition. Not a

:23:03.:23:06.

single health board has achieved 100% compliance with nutritional

:23:07.:23:10.

care pathway training, despite it being mandatory since its

:23:11.:23:17.

introduction in 2011. What you hear from management is very different to

:23:18.:23:21.

what we as Assembly Members here from patients and our constituents.

:23:22.:23:25.

When can we expect to see some leadership from you on hospital

:23:26.:23:30.

nutrition? When will we get beyond apologies and claims of lessons

:23:31.:23:35.

learnt, to see that these simple basic problems in the NHS have to be

:23:36.:23:40.

prevented before they cause a serious harm to some of our

:23:41.:23:44.

patients? We have already introduced a range of initiatives. We are

:23:45.:23:51.

considering ways to improve healthy food provision in hospitals even

:23:52.:23:56.

further, including an upcoming review of the mandatory standards.

:23:57.:24:02.

There have been huge improvements already achieved by the NHS. The

:24:03.:24:12.

auditor general in a report says the recognise that two thirds of the

:24:13.:24:16.

recommendations have been actioned. Must have been done, some have not

:24:17.:24:23.

yet been done. The auditor general is saying that what is left to do is

:24:24.:24:32.

the of being done. Will the First Minister provided an update on Welsh

:24:33.:24:35.

Government plans to create better jobs closer to home? Across

:24:36.:24:42.

government team is taking forward the programme to better align a

:24:43.:24:51.

range of commercial projects. It is worth remembering it was in October

:24:52.:24:56.

2015 the wheels Trades Union Congress launched its excellent

:24:57.:25:00.

campaign for better jobs closer to home to benefit valleys communities,

:25:01.:25:05.

such as my constituency. I received a friendly note last week

:25:06.:25:09.

emphasising that. I was pleased to see the same principles were

:25:10.:25:13.

contained in the programme for government. I would like to welcome

:25:14.:25:20.

the speech from yesterday it was recognised regional differences were

:25:21.:25:30.

addressed. Will the First Minister provide more specifics about the

:25:31.:25:33.

Welsh Government's approach? Will it tackle economic challenges faced by

:25:34.:25:42.

those in South Wales, building on existing strengths and the social

:25:43.:25:48.

capital that exists? The commercial pilots are a start in testing

:25:49.:25:52.

interventions, to see how they can be as effective as they can. Were

:25:53.:25:59.

looking to implement a specific strategy regionally in the northern

:26:00.:26:02.

valleys and across the whole of Wales. There is a ministerial task

:26:03.:26:06.

force which has been set up across government to address these issues.

:26:07.:26:14.

The challenges there are differences within the valleys themselves. We

:26:15.:26:24.

are looking to ensure we can even out economic development and

:26:25.:26:27.

improvement over the course of the next few years, rather than seeing

:26:28.:26:30.

some parts of the valleys do well and others less well. Pilot projects

:26:31.:26:38.

are part of that. The task force is another level. TRANSLATION: All this

:26:39.:26:49.

means for my constituents is creating quality jobs in North West

:26:50.:26:53.

Wilts. The Welsh Government is duty bound to show away in this regard to

:26:54.:26:59.

have deliberate policies to ensure that government jobs are distributed

:27:00.:27:04.

across Wales. When does the government intend to reform a job

:27:05.:27:10.

location strategy, to include specific criteria which would lead

:27:11.:27:13.

to the distribution of Welsh Government jobs in an equal number

:27:14.:27:21.

across Wales? I would suggest you amend this strategy before the

:27:22.:27:33.

people of North Wales lose all faith in your strategy? TRANSLATION: We as

:27:34.:27:38.

a government have moved more jobs out of Cardiff than ever under the

:27:39.:27:45.

Welsh office. It is not possible to have jobs in every location, but our

:27:46.:27:50.

record is extremely good, particularly in North Wales. There

:27:51.:27:54.

are more people working for the Welsh Government in North Wales than

:27:55.:27:58.

was ever true under the old Welsh office. What about home-working? One

:27:59.:28:06.

of the problems home workers face in my constituency and in other parts

:28:07.:28:10.

is pure broadband connectivity. Report last week said some of the

:28:11.:28:15.

lowest speeds can be found in North Wales. There are still many people

:28:16.:28:19.

who don't have access to superfast broadband. What are you doing to

:28:20.:28:23.

hold BT and open reach to account, to make sure they deliver on their

:28:24.:28:28.

promises and obligations under the scheme? And what action are you

:28:29.:28:32.

taking to address those 5% of properties which are currently

:28:33.:28:38.

outside the scope of the scheme, so that those in those areas have the

:28:39.:28:47.

opportunity to work from home? Many of the 96% of those who have access

:28:48.:28:56.

to broadband would not have had that without government intervention.

:28:57.:28:59.

There will be other alternatives which have to be explored. For

:29:00.:29:04.

example, the use of satellites rather than tables. We are aware of

:29:05.:29:11.

these areas. We need to ensure the 4% are not forgotten about. I'm

:29:12.:29:18.

given to understand there are present 175 businesses on lists for

:29:19.:29:24.

cancel old units in Caerphilly. Some for up to five years. Are there any

:29:25.:29:30.

government plans to help councils like Caerphilly construct new units

:29:31.:29:35.

to accommodate such surpluses? Given the fact that obviously there is the

:29:36.:29:40.

potential to create thousands of jobs closer to home. I'm unaware of

:29:41.:29:48.

the situation as he describes it. I will write to him on that as it is

:29:49.:29:53.

specific to that council. We need to avoid a situation where we build

:29:54.:29:58.

speculatively lot of factory units. Lots of them remained empty in the

:29:59.:30:04.

1990s. We want to identify existing business is appropriate for

:30:05.:30:07.

businesses who want them. And to look at where building can take

:30:08.:30:12.

place where there is demand. Back as part of the economic strategy. What

:30:13.:30:20.

progress has been made in setting up the Constitutional Convention? I

:30:21.:30:22.

have been calling for a number of years for this constitutional

:30:23.:30:33.

convention. The case is now even stronger. This is an important

:30:34.:30:41.

issue. Would he agree that the unwritten constitution of the UK is

:30:42.:30:45.

unsustainable in view of leaving the EU and with the threat of a second

:30:46.:30:54.

Scottish independence referendum? The heart of the problem is

:30:55.:30:57.

parliamentary sovereignty. All power comes from one place in Westminster.

:30:58.:31:02.

It has the ability to do whatever it wants. I think there are several

:31:03.:31:07.

centres of democratic accountability, of which this

:31:08.:31:11.

assembly is one. For me, the UK has to move more towards a system of

:31:12.:31:17.

shared sovereignty. It works in Canada. We need to get away from

:31:18.:31:24.

this idea that somehow everything is subordinate to Westminster. That is

:31:25.:31:28.

not the model I believe. It might have worked in the 19th century, I

:31:29.:31:32.

don't think it will work in this century.

:31:33.:31:42.

Moving forward, we know that the Welsh Government, Plaid Cymru White

:31:43.:31:49.

Paper has been rejected out of hand by the UK Government. We know the UK

:31:50.:31:53.

Government has broken its promise to other UK wide approach to EU

:31:54.:31:58.

negotiations before triggering Article 50. Doesn't bode well ahead

:31:59.:32:04.

of the repeal Bill and the legislation. The First Minister

:32:05.:32:12.

could trigger an article, which would bring a continuity bill to

:32:13.:32:17.

this assembly now to defend the current Welsh constitution from a

:32:18.:32:22.

power grab from Westminster. There has been no formal response to the

:32:23.:32:27.

White Paper that we have produced. Secondly, the great reform Bill is

:32:28.:32:35.

designed to be a bill that will reserve EU law in the jurisdictions

:32:36.:32:43.

of the UK. The laws of the different parts of the UK. That is all it

:32:44.:32:51.

does. But we would oppose any suggestion there will be a claw-back

:32:52.:33:00.

in devolved powers. Or that powers returning from Brussels would sit

:33:01.:33:04.

through a period of time in Westminster. We would argue against

:33:05.:33:08.

that strongly. We will not support that if that is proposed as part of

:33:09.:33:18.

that Bill. I think the problem with the convention as you can only have

:33:19.:33:21.

one until after a second referendum in Scotland, which at some point in

:33:22.:33:28.

the future does look a possibility. I just wonder if you're more

:33:29.:33:33.

immediate aim to be with the Prime Minister to see out the G system

:33:34.:33:39.

could be strengthened. I commend the remarks on how that might happen,

:33:40.:33:45.

although not the style he made them. I think he was to course when he

:33:46.:33:51.

compared it to since I gets community council. He made some

:33:52.:33:56.

interesting points about how this could be made more robust. Over the

:33:57.:34:06.

next two years, there is a golden opportunity to restructure the way

:34:07.:34:09.

in which decisions are taken across the UK. It's no good waiting until

:34:10.:34:13.

that periods of time has elapsed because then when you find ourselves

:34:14.:34:18.

in a situation where there is no way to put in place an alternative

:34:19.:34:24.

system. It means the GMC should evolve into a proper council of

:34:25.:34:28.

ministers. Where joint decisions are taken in areas which are devolved.

:34:29.:34:37.

In might be there is merit in having a common fisheries policy for

:34:38.:34:41.

example. We know when the UK leaves the EU there is the distinct

:34:42.:34:46.

possibility that state aid rules will no longer apply. In which case,

:34:47.:34:52.

there will be a free for all in terms of the insider market in the

:34:53.:34:57.

UK. It is in no 1's interest for there to be a trade war. We want to

:34:58.:35:03.

put together a set of rules in the UK agreed by the four governments.

:35:04.:35:10.

And by an independent body to police those rules. The US Supreme Court

:35:11.:35:17.

performs that function in terms of interstate commerce in the US. And

:35:18.:35:24.

internal single market without a proper policing of rules is not

:35:25.:35:28.

working properly and I don't want to see that.

:35:29.:35:34.

Personally I welcome the initiative the First Minister is showing, but

:35:35.:35:42.

regarding David's important question, following that fascinating

:35:43.:35:52.

session speaking to students at the University of South Wales looking

:35:53.:35:58.

on, if we don't achieve this polarity, what is your prognosis

:35:59.:36:04.

going forward as we transition to exiting the EU to a very different

:36:05.:36:10.

framework in the UK, what's your promise if we don't get those

:36:11.:36:16.

mechanisms in place? There is a danger that the UK will start to

:36:17.:36:22.

unravel, in particular, one thing that is not often mentioned what is

:36:23.:36:30.

worth noting is what might cause the rise of English nationalism, leaving

:36:31.:36:36.

England agreed that the system. This can be dealt with, our four distinct

:36:37.:36:45.

nationalities, but that means putting in place a structure that

:36:46.:36:50.

reflects that this is a partnership of nations, rather than believing

:36:51.:36:53.

that this is something like a unitary state, before it entered the

:36:54.:37:04.

common market. These issues are resolvable, they need to be resolved

:37:05.:37:08.

so that when the UK leads the EU, that structure is already in place

:37:09.:37:15.

in terms of the single market, the council ministers, rather than doing

:37:16.:37:18.

it in a few years' time and leaving a vacuum. Will the First Minister

:37:19.:37:33.

make a statement on the Welsh Government's efforts to combat

:37:34.:37:39.

homelessness in Romney. We have the legislation to help those at risk of

:37:40.:37:47.

homelessness. My concerns are similar to those raised by Jeremy

:37:48.:37:51.

Miles, but I have one specific point. I had the opportunity from

:37:52.:37:57.

January through to this week to volunteer in the wheel winter night

:37:58.:38:05.

shelter provided by the council in my constituency, and I would like to

:38:06.:38:09.

thank the council there for providing that night shelter and for

:38:10.:38:16.

providing selfless volunteers who worked throughout that period to

:38:17.:38:20.

assist residents there, but perhaps what I was moved by most was the

:38:21.:38:24.

total hopelessness of people who find themselves homeless now. There

:38:25.:38:31.

are many people there who are homeless for a number of reasons,

:38:32.:38:36.

health problems, drug dependency and so forth, but I'm struck by the

:38:37.:38:41.

number of those who are there because of relationship and family

:38:42.:38:43.

breakdowns. They didn't have anywhere else to live and it was the

:38:44.:38:52.

kind of downward spiral. You do need to come to a question. The question

:38:53.:39:01.

came with a discussion I had between two men who could lift themselves

:39:02.:39:04.

out of homelessness by joining together to get a place to rent.

:39:05.:39:11.

They'd... You really need to get to your question. I need to explain.

:39:12.:39:22.

You've explained your explanation. They couldn't find a guarantor

:39:23.:39:25.

because they didn't have any access to anyone who could guarantee their

:39:26.:39:28.

rental with a private landlord, could you, First Minister, gives

:39:29.:39:33.

some indication about what the Welsh Government could do, possibly

:39:34.:39:39.

working with local authorities and riders to break down the barriers

:39:40.:39:44.

that make it difficult for homeless people to secure rented

:39:45.:39:58.

accommodation. There are many points she has made. People can't get

:39:59.:40:04.

themselves out of the rut they find themselves in. They can't look the

:40:05.:40:08.

part for the job because they haven't got any money, they can't

:40:09.:40:14.

get health or mental health help for problems, or they have addiction.

:40:15.:40:20.

There are a number of pathways but getting the monster that pathway is

:40:21.:40:28.

the difficult part. A tailor-made approach to that individual will

:40:29.:40:31.

work most effectively, but we also face a situation because people have

:40:32.:40:39.

nowhere to live and can't claim housing benefit because of their

:40:40.:40:43.

age, and that is something that could have been prevented by the UK

:40:44.:40:53.

Government. The Conservative Government announced a ?14 million

:40:54.:41:01.

programme to help those endangered by homelessness, to provide

:41:02.:41:08.

educational opportunities, helping long-term rough sleepers with poor

:41:09.:41:16.

mental health and substance abuse, we'll be First Minister find out

:41:17.:41:22.

what measures can be taken to tackle homelessness in south-east Wales?

:41:23.:41:28.

There are lots of young people who are homeless because of the UK

:41:29.:41:35.

Government's decision to not provide housing benefit. They end up living

:41:36.:41:38.

on the streets as a result of that. That money could have been better

:41:39.:41:46.

targeted if it had been used in that way. Our supporting people programme

:41:47.:41:55.

has played its part, we will protect that budget from 2017-2018. We have

:41:56.:42:00.

distinct approaches to support those in our community most at risk,

:42:01.:42:06.

ex-service personnel, ex-offenders, trying to help young people avoid

:42:07.:42:12.

homelessness because of the actions of the UK Government. I would argue

:42:13.:42:18.

to him that the UK Government is try to catch up with us already. Were

:42:19.:42:32.

the First Minister -- will the First Minister explain how work is being

:42:33.:42:41.

supported in south-east Wales, please? This is through... What

:42:42.:42:52.

about the sub editing hub in Newport which has been raised in this

:42:53.:43:00.

Chamber before, it has been revealed that the business has been provided

:43:01.:43:13.

with ?95,000 and ?245,000 to expand its sub editing hub last year, what

:43:14.:43:18.

conditions apply to these grants and what action would the Welsh

:43:19.:43:25.

Government take to stop this from happening in Newport? We gave money

:43:26.:43:32.

to the company to create 115 jobs. That was exceeded, but the award was

:43:33.:43:38.

conditional on the jobs being in place until May 20 20. If that

:43:39.:43:43.

condition isn't met then we will look to recoup the money. What is

:43:44.:43:53.

the Welsh Government doing to help employment practices in chains in

:43:54.:44:02.

South Wales? We expect the Welsh public sector to improve the

:44:03.:44:07.

well-being of workers in our supply chain. It's heartening to hear about

:44:08.:44:12.

the new code of practice within the employment for supply chains in the

:44:13.:44:21.

public sector. But it's only by working together that we can deliver

:44:22.:44:24.

a fairer deal for workers in the supply chains in Wales and

:44:25.:44:28.

throughout the world. Can I seek assurance from you that we will make

:44:29.:44:34.

this happen in Wales through the long reach of the public sector,

:44:35.:44:40.

third agencies and others, but reaching deep into other nations,

:44:41.:44:44.

including developing nations so that our supply chains, including

:44:45.:44:51.

sourcing overseas do not exploit any work-out, anywhere. It demonstrates

:44:52.:44:58.

the eradication of illegal practices, based in Wales and

:44:59.:45:04.

beyond. We need the longest reach possible to ensure that this role is

:45:05.:45:11.

not just through the public sector but the private one as well, we hope

:45:12.:45:17.

to raise and level the playing field for ethical businesses. So those who

:45:18.:45:23.

do so cannot be undercut by illegal methods. Will the First Minister

:45:24.:45:33.

outline how the Welsh Government is supporting disabled people to remain

:45:34.:45:39.

active members of their community? We aim to support those in their

:45:40.:45:43.

communities independently. We will be looking to renew the framework

:45:44.:45:55.

this year,. I have been dealing with a constituent whose wheelchair went

:45:56.:46:01.

into repair. He was left without a suitable turn a tip as it this boat.

:46:02.:46:06.

He has been done unsuccessful in contacting anybody.

:46:07.:46:18.

Frankly, this is unacceptable. I'm told that waiting time for

:46:19.:46:26.

wheelchairs is excessive. How can we hope to support disabled people to

:46:27.:46:31.

remain active members of our community if we can't provide such

:46:32.:46:35.

basic needs? What are you doing to eliminate this time waiting for

:46:36.:46:43.

wheelchairs and dealing with the repairs for an ailing person's

:46:44.:46:49.

support. It's evident that this constituent has gone through a bad

:46:50.:46:53.

experience. Can I ask you to write to me and I will write back to you

:46:54.:47:01.

with an explanation. That's it. First Minister's Questions is over.

:47:02.:47:06.

If you want more coverage, you can go to the Senedd live page. Don't

:47:07.:47:18.

forget the Wales Report, With Hugh Edwards is on, but from us on the

:47:19.:47:22.

programme, thanks for watching. Today we're road-testing

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