Hart slams supported housing community for abusing trust

    Welsh Minister Edwina Hart has hit out at the supported housing
    community for abusing the trust of the Welsh assembly over
    Supporting People funding negotiations, writes Derren
    Hayes in Cardiff.

    Hart, the Welsh assembly social justice and regeneration,
    delivered a stinging revolt to the sector for leaking details to
    the press of discussions with assembly officials over the planned
    cuts to the supporting people budget late last year. 

    Hart, who was making the opening address to the Welsh national
    supported housing conference in Cardiff, said: “I was
    extremely angry when details came through in the press.”

    “Sometimes my officials have shared information with the
    movement and I don’t expect that to be turned back on the
    assembly through the media misinterpreting the situation,”
    she added.

    As news of the anticipated Treasury cut in Wales’
    Supporting People budget of 11.5 per cent for 2005/6 began
    filtering down to supported housing organisations, someone
    contacted the media because of fears projects could be cut, and
    called for the assembly to step in to fund the shortfall.

    Despite this, Hart was uncompromising in her criticism of that

    “I’m happy with my officials to be transparent with
    you but please don’t abuse that – don’t try
    scoring points over me.  When we are conducting conversations
    honourably I expect them to be dealt with properly.  The
    alternative is to end any conversation,” she added.


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