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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