Communities First, Welsh Government’s anti-poverty programme since 2001, is set to close.
That’s not to say that Welsh Government is turning it’s back on poverty. Rather they are looking at other ways to tackle it across Wales. As Carl Sergeant AM said:
“[…] My priorities are wellbeing and economic prosperity. I am absolutely determined to meet them. To do that, I firmly believe it is time for a new approach to building resilient communities.
“While Communities First has supported people in some of our most deprived areas over the last fifteen years, I am not convinced that continuing to focus on 52 small areas is the most effective way to deliver for Wales.
“I am minded to phase out the Communities First programme while establishing a new approach to meet the challenges of the future. The new approach will focus on three key areas of employment, early years, and empowerment.
“Over the coming months, we will look afresh at how the Welsh Government can support resilient communities. This means communities that are empowered and engaged; communities that are ready and able to work; communities that can offer children the best start in life.”
As reported recently on FamilyPoint, the Welsh Government is looking to extend free childcare beyond Flying Start areas to all parents in Wales. This may be part of this new approach that Carl Sargeant AM was talking about.
Notably, the First Minister Carwyn Jones AM told BBR Radio Wales last month that…
“There are going to be cuts… I’m not going to pretend otherwise.
“Of course, our budget is shrinking, it has been for many years and that means very difficult decisions have to be taken.
“We are going to have to look at some of the schemes we have delivered for many, many years and make a judgement.”
Altogether it appears that Communities First is one of these schemes and that the judgement has been made to close it. Yet this was a statement to the Assembly that gave no definitive deadlines or decisions. More will become clear when the Welsh Government’s shares its budget, which should be happening soon.
What support is there now?
In the meantime Communities First will continue to operate in 52 areas in 19 counties around Wales. See our Key Families Services section for info on:
Alternatively, give the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline a try…
Want to find out about services available to you and your child in your area? Would you like to chat about family matters in general? Then get in touch with the FamilyPoint Cymru helpline.
- Phone: 0300 222 57 57
- Text: 07860 052 905
- Instant message (see top of page)
We are open 6pm – 10pm Monday to Thursday and 10am – 2pm Friday & Saturday.