Local Gov and Communities Questions 9th November 2011 – Social Fund

Mark Drakeford: Pa baratoadau y mae’r Gweinidog wedi’u gwneud ar gyfer y posibilrwydd o ddatganoli cyfrifoldebau’r Gronfa Gymdeithasol i Gymru
[What preperation has the Minister made for the potential devolution of Social Fund responsibilities to Wales?]

Carl Sargeant: A consultation on the options for replacement arrangements in Wales following the devolution of the social fund is currently being developed by my officials. I expect this consultation to be issued shortly.

Mark Drakeford: Despite its deeply unsatisfactory history, the social fund remains a safety net of last resort for many of the poorest families and individuals in Wales. If the coalition Government in Westminster succeeds in its ambition to become the only post-war administration to divest itself of such a core responsibility, can you reassure us that, here in Wales, we will look for imaginative and creative ways in which we can try to preserve the services that the social fund already provides, and build on the fund further for some of the most vulnerable families in Wales?

Carl Sargeant: You raise an important point, namely that the social fund is supporting the most vulnerable in our communities at a difficult time in their lives. I would like to see the social fund continuing in Wales. I note the Bevan Foundation’s suggestions and a pamphlet contributed by the Member. I will look at all options to ensure that the issues faced by the vulnerable in our communities are addressed during the difficult times caused by the actions of the UK Government.