Julie James, minister for housing and local government for the Welsh government, has announced the completion of a Land Division within the Welsh government.
Speaking at CIH Cymru’s The Big Question 2019 in Swansea yesterday (7th November), James said that after nine years, the process of establishing a Land Division within the Welsh government has now finished.
Within the Division, James said she will promote joint working between public-sector bodies and that she wants to see more green infrastructure.
James also announced that a new initiative for town centres will be revealed within the next few weeks.
The main question asked at the conference was, are we creating the places of tomorrow?, to which James responded: “No, we are not creating the places of tomorrow, not in sufficient numbers anyway.”
Referencing figures showing that Wales is currently building half the social homes it needs, James said: “There’s a lot more that we will all have to do…to meet the needs of future generations.”
She added: “Social housing often looks like an afterthought.”
To combat this dearth, James said there needs to be better designs and smarter planning and that the Welsh government intends to harness publicly owned land.
James also said that she wants all government sites to comprise at least 50% affordable housing and for all homes to be zero carbon.
James ended her speech by urging the sector to work together and to collaborate more.
Julie James AM is a Welsh Labour politician, who has represented the constituency of Swansea West since the National Assembly for Wales election of 2011.
She has been minister for housing and local government since December 2018.