Posted: Tue 2nd May 2023

First Minister pays tribute to Carl Sargeant 20 years after his first election

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, May 2nd, 2023

First Minister Mark Drakeford today praised the late Carl Sargeant for his significant contributions to social housing in Wales, highlighting his commitment to building council houses in the country.

The tribute came in response to a question from Jack Sargeant, who marked the 20th anniversary of his father’s election to represent Alyn and Deeside.

He contrasted the Welsh approach with England’s continued sell-off of social housing and urged the First Minister to commit to ambitious social housing targets and a trauma-informed approach in future housing policies.

Jack Sargeant said, “People need secure housing and that is exactly what council housing is.” He cited his recent Nation.Cymru article on the trauma resulting from eviction, emphasising the importance of secure housing provided by council houses.

Drakeford acknowledged the crucial points raised by Jack Sargeant and highlighted the difference between the housing policies in Wales and England.

He recalled his time as finance Minister working alongside Carl Sargeant, who served as housing Minister in 2016. Drakeford said, “Jack Sargeant is absolutely right: one of my very first conversations as finance Minister… was when [Carl] came through the door to tell me that he needed an awful lot of money in order to meet the Welsh Government’s ambitious targets for 20,000 affordable homes built in that 2016 term.”

Drakeford also praised Carl Sargeant’s role in passing legislation to abolish the right to buy in Wales, which aimed to protect social housing stock for those in need.

He cited recent figures showing that between 2019 and 2020, local authorities in Wales built 1,376 houses—over 1,000 more than in the 2008-2011 period. I

n contrast, 82% of new affordable housing in Wales in the last year was social housing, while in England, the figure stood at only 13%.

The First Minister’s tribute to Carl Sargeant underscores the late politician’s lasting impact on social housing in Wales, while Jack Sargeant’s call for a trauma-informed approach to future policies demonstrates a continued commitment to addressing the country’s housing needs.

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