By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Responding to the Cabinet Secretary for Housing, Local Government and Planning’s Statement, ‘Working with Local Government to Deliver more Affordable Homes’, I pointed out that the housing sector first warned the Welsh Government about an affordable housing supply crisis two decades ago, and that the 2012 UK Housing Review stated that by 2009/10 the Welsh Government had by far the lowest proportional level of housing expenditure amongst the four UK countries.

I added that subsequent independent reports found Wales needed between 12,000 and 15,000 homes annually, including 5,000 social homes, yet only 5,720 homes, including just 940 affordable homes, were delivered on average annually in Wales between 2010 and December 2023, barely half the rate delivered in England.

I also contrasted the Welsh Government’s target to deliver 20,000 new low carbon homes for social rent during this 5-year Senedd term with the 2,825 completed in the first three years to last December, and evidenced the difficulties people are experiencing trying to get on the property ladder.

In Spokesperson’s Questions to the Cabinet Secretary, I highlighted the high proportion of respondents to the ‘Renting Homes (Wales) Act 2016 Evaluation: Phase 1’ Survey of landlords and managing agents who stated that the Act was forcing Landlords to leave the sector, evidence showing that the Welsh Government’s proposed rent controls would reduce the availability of private rented properties, and analysis concluding that Welsh Government planning system amendments are a deflection from the need to deliver more housing.

I called for a Welsh Government Statement on support for Autistic and ADHD women and girls, highlighting research by North Wales based charity ‘KIM Inspire’ which found that the lack of recognition and appropriate support for neurodiverse girls and young women across North-East Wales is leading to high levels of distress, low self-esteem and self-harming behaviours.

As Chair of the Welsh Parliament’s Cross-Party Group on Hospices and Palliative Care, I met the ‘Together for Short Lives’ charity for Children’s Palliative Care with Wales’ Children's Hospices.

Chairing the meeting of the Welsh Parliament Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee, which included an Evidence Session on NHS Finances and Governance, my questions to Welsh Government Officials about Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board included how confident they are that the Health Board’s services are safe and whether there has been enough accountability for past failures.

Other engagements included a meeting with Wrexham Council to discuss support for resident-led charity ‘We Are Plas Madoc’ to develop their essential service provision.

For my help, email or call 0300 200 7219.