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Saturday, October 14, 2006

Laying it on the line

'No deals, no discussions, no distractions, vows Mike German'.

At last, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have set out a public position on talk about coalitions that we can all unite behind. Can we now get on with the election, please?

Meanwhile, another politician gets off the fence and makes it clear where the Assembly Government stands. Social Justice Minister, Edwina Hart, writes in the Western Mail letters column on stock transfer:

"Local authorities cannot defer action in the hope that there will be additional Assembly Government funding. It is not there. They need to address how they will fund the improvements to their housing stock to meet the quality standard - either through their existing resources or through transfer to newly formed housing associations. These transfers will have to be to a registered social landlord so that the financial benefits available from the UK Government are accessed and the Assembly Government can exercise its role as a regulator.

"I have made strenuous representations to Treasury seeking a change in the local authority borrowing rules to allow them to borrow directly from lenders in the same way as registered social landlords are able to, but this has been refused. This means, for most local authorities in Wales stock transfer is the only way that the Welsh Housing Quality Standard can be achieved whilst ensuring affordable rents for tenants."
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