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THE HERALD FRIDAY JANUARY 13 2017


29 Politics


£7.8 million grant to prevent homelessness Corbyn stance ‘could encourage hard Brexit’ A SPEECH given by Labour


CARL SARGEANT, the Cabinet


Secretary for Communities and Children, has announced £7.8 million for the Homelessness Prevention Programme for 2017/18. The grant supports Local Authorities


and third sector organisations to deliver front line services to prevent homelessness. It helps people who are affected by homelessness through the provision of night shelters, hostels, outreach work, mediation and bond schemes, as well as providing a substantial network of advice services. Announcing the funding, Carl


Sargeant said: “Providing people with a safe, warm and secure home remains a key priority. Local authorities have made a positive start in implementing the legislation we introduced last year to help everyone who is homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. As well as helping local authorities build on this work, the funding will help projects provide services directly to people to address their housing problems. “Our legislation means more people


than ever before are getting help at an earlier stage so that homelessness can be prevented. I would urge anyone who thinks they are at risk of becoming homeless to seek advice and help. The


earlier you get advice, the less likely you are to become homeless.” One of the organisations who will


receive funding in 2017/18 is Barnardos Cymru, who manage the BAYS Mediation and Home Support service, which aims to prevent homelessness in the Swansea area by supporting young people to settle arguments and differences with their family. Sarah Crawley, Director of


Barnardos Cymru, said: “This funding will be pivotal in helping us support young people who are at risk of homelessness by allowing them to remain at home or find other suitable accommodation. We welcome the chance to support Swansea Council in its new duties of preventing homelessness for everyone.” Cllr Dyfed Edwards, WLGA


Spokesperson for Housing, said: “The WLGA welcomes the announcement of the Homelessness Prevention Programme funding. Local authorities and their partners work with thousands of households each year facing the threat and misery of homelessness. This funding is vital in ensuring that the staff and services required to prevent and relieve homelessness are available across Wales.”


leader Jeremy Corbyn could help the Conservative Government make a case for leaving the Single Market, according to Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood. Speaking in Peterborough on


Tuesday (Jan 10), Mr Corbyn said that Labour was ‘not wedded to freedom of movement for EU citizens as a point of principle’.


However, he did qualify this


significantly, firstly by saying ‘but I don’t want that to be misinterpreted, nor do we rule it out’. Mr Corbyn also stressed, as First


Minister Carwyn Jones has done, that access to the Single Market is a crucial point of the Brexit negotiations. He also promised not to ‘offer false promises on immigration targets or sow division by scapegoating migrants’. But acknowledged that ‘changes to the way migration rules operate from the EU will be part of the negotiations’. “Let’s be clear, public services are


not under pressure primarily because of immigration – especially since many migrant workers keep those public services going,” he added.


“Labour will demand that the


Brexit negotiations give us the power to intervene decisively to prevent workers, from here or abroad, being used and exploited to undermine pay and conditions at work.” Leanne Wood told the BBC that


she feared Mr Corbyn’s speech could help pro-Brexit Tories ‘make a case for leaving the Single Market’. Ms Wood said: “The most


important outcome for Wales from any negotiations is to be in the Single Market. “By upping the ante on migration,


Mr Corbyn and the Labour party risk giving Theresa May the political cover needed for a hard Brexit.


“If the speech makes rejecting the


principle of freedom of movement a priority, then it will help the Tories make a case for leaving the Single Market, which would be disastrous for the Welsh economy. “Labour, despite being the UK


opposition, cannot be trusted to know what is best for the Welsh economy.” When UKIP leader Neil Hamilton


asked Carwyn Jones about the topic during First Minister’s Questions on Tuesday (Jan 10), he suggested that freedom of movement in order to work would be viewed as ‘perfectly reasonable’. Mr Hamilton responded by pointing out that the result of the EU referendum suggested otherwise.


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