Archive for July 18, 2013

Some real positive proposals from Councillor Russell Goodway, Cabinet Member of Cardiff City Council.

Councillor Russell Goodway

Councillor Russell Goodway

I was delighted to read in today’s South Wales Echo that Russell Goodway has put further meat on the bone of his excellent ideas to potentially save millions of pounds of tax payers’ money, in various local authorities in Wales, by using single centralised departments to conduct backroom activities.

For a population the size of Wales’, not much bigger than Birmingham, we have 22 local authorities.  In 2013, with huge improvements in technology, connectivity and transport since the last local government reorganisation, this is just too big a bureaucracy and needs to be reorganised.

While Welsh Government has ruled out any reorganisation until after the next elections in 2016, do Council’s not have to make savings on budgets now?  Let’s hope Councillor Russell Goodway and his supporters can at least get other Welsh Councils to see what services can be shared in 2013/2014.

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Carl Sargeant, Housing Minister

Carl Sargeant, Housing Minister

A strong house building industry for Wales is key to economic growth; therefore yesterday’s news from Housing Minister Carl Sargeant is to be welcomed.

He announced that energy efficiency targets for all new homes built in Wales have been drastically cut from an 8% reduction in carbon emissions from next year, rather than the previously stated 40%.  This saves a huge £4000 in the cost of building a house, which will benefit purchasers also.

This news together with the news that the requirement for all new homes to be fitted with fire sprinklers would be gradually phased in between 2014 and 2016, gives the house building industry the opportunity to gain experience and skills as well as seek opportunities to innovate and reduce the costs on installing sprinklers.

housesThe final piece of news which must be welcomed by house builders and purchasers alike is that a shared equity scheme, Help to Buy Cymru, would be introduced later this year to support new home buyers in taking their first step on to the housing ladder.

Carl Sargeant is to be applauded for taking some tough decisions but showed that he was prepared to act on representations made to him which ultimately would positively help our housing building sector and buyers alike.