Chapter 9.
Our Homes, Communities and Councils

Welsh Labour’s Promise to Wales


  1. Maintain our funding of 500 Police Community Support Officers and expand their number by 100 over the term of the next Senedd.
  2. Build 20,000 new, low carbon social homes for rent. We will also support cooperative housing, community-led initiatives, and community land trusts. We will continue to improve existing homes, helping us tackle fuel poverty, create much needed jobs, training opportunities, and supply chains.  
  3. Build in the right way using materials with low levels of embodied carbon, such as timber, and specifically Welsh timber, creating a timber based industrial strategy that can develop and sustain the high value production and processing of Welsh wood. This will take us further in tackling fuel poverty, create sustainable jobs and provide research and training opportunities.
  4. Help businesses to work co-operatively to support local supply chains, including local delivery and logistics services to enable our communities to become more sustainable and more agile economically.
  5. Keep the 1% increase in Land Transaction Tax charged on second home purchases. We will work with communities to explore and develop effective tax, planning and housing measures - which could include local rates of Land Transaction Tax - to ensure the interests of local people are protected.
  6. Improve building safety so that people feel safe and secure in their homes. Alongside this important work, we will develop a fire safety fund for existing buildings.
  1. Legislate to enact the recommendations of the Law Commission in relation to leasehold and ensure that estate charges for public open spaces and facilities are paid for in a way that is fair.
  2. Strengthen the autonomy and effectiveness of local government to make them more successful in delivering services. Across government, we will explore where services and contracts can sustainably and affordably be brought back into a strengthened public sector.
  3. Reduce the administrative burden on local authorities so that they get on with their vitally important work, including changing the performance framework for local government to better enable innovation, transparency, and local ownership. 
  4. Ensure that each region in Wales has effective and democratically accountable means of developing their future economies with coordinated regional transport and land use planning
  5. We will develop a national scheme restricting rent to local housing allowance levels for families and young people who are priced out of the private rental market and those who are homeless or who are at risk of homelessness. We will ensure Rent Smart Wales landlords respond quickly to complaints of racism and hate crime and offer appropriate support.
  6. Develop community recycling facilities in town centres and promote repair and re-use facilities to encourage zero-waste shopping. Working in partnership with Councils, the voluntary sector and community groups, we will create more community green space in town centres. We will repurpose public space for outdoor events, markets, street vendors, pop up parks and ‘parklets’.

As we plan for the future, Welsh Labour is committed to making our cities, towns and villages good places to live and work in - accessible by public transport, cleaner and greener, where the wellbeing of the whole community is paramount.

We all appreciate, perhaps now more than ever, what it means to have a safe, secure roof over our heads and somewhere to call home. A Welsh Labour Government will continue to build homes for the future – well-built climate-secure homes, which families want and can afford to rent or buy. 

The experience of the pandemic gave us reason to thank our local councillors, local leaders, and local council workers in maintaining key services. These services are part of the glue that binds our communities together and it is local government that provides the means for people to decide how they want their villages, towns, and cities to be run. We will continue to invest in local services and local democracy.

In Wales we also have a long tradition of looking after each other through volunteering, local charitable organisations, faith groups and community associations. We understand what can be achieved when people from all backgrounds work together with equal respect. And we will always put collaboration before competition.

The pandemic has brought many changes to how we work, travel, and spend our leisure time. Welsh Labour will make the most of the opportunities that these changes present. As the role of retail and services in our towns and cities changes, we will ensure that they still thrive as centres of social exchange, public services, education, health, leisure, sport, and culture.

What we did in government

  • We have invested £2bn in housing over the last five years, implemented the Welsh Housing Quality Standard and started the Optimised Retrofit Programme. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, we have delivered on our promise to build 20,000 affordable homes across Wales.
  • Our £140m four-year Innovative Housing Programme has accelerated support for new and innovative housing designs to meet challenges including pressing housing need, fuel poverty, climate change and demographic change – it will deliver around 1,900 homes.
  • Our Renting Homes (2016) Act will make renting a home in Wales simpler and fairer and our Renting Homes (Amendment) (Wales) Act will mean security of tenure in Wales will be greater than elsewhere in the UK.
  • We have housed record numbers of homeless people throughout the pandemic.
  • Despite all the challenges of Covid, the Welsh Government concluded the legislative process to enact the Local Government and Elections (Wales) Act 2021, putting councils on a strong footing for the 21st Century and enabling people aged over 16 to vote in their next local elections
  • Following the darkest days of Tory austerity, Welsh Government has invested in Local Government with successive settlements which have preserved essential services.
  • Our £110m investment in Transforming Towns is working to redesign and reinvigorate our town centres.
  • We have funded 500 Police Community Support Officers to help make our communities safer. These officers provide a valuable means of communication between people and the police, empowering local communities and helping to solve problems at a local level.
  • The Welsh Labour Government and local authorities have developed their regional capacity to deliver investment projects with Regional Coordinators, building partnerships with local authorities and other regional institutions.
  • The Welsh Labour Government’s framework for land use planning has been developed to give priority to sustaining the use of the Welsh language in communities.