Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government
In accordance with the inter-institutional relations agreement, I can report that the Minister for Climate Change and I represented the Welsh Government at the inaugural meeting of the Interministerial Group (IMG) for Housing, Communites and Local Government on 24 May 2022.
Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, Shona Robison MSP and the Minister for Social Security and Local Government, Ben Macpherson MSP attended for the Scottish Government. Minister for Communities, Deirdre Hargey MLA and the Minister of Finance, Conor Murphy MLA represented the Northern Ireland Executive. Rt Hon Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations chaired the virtual meeting. He was accompanied by the Minister for Levelling Up, the Constitution and the Union, Neil O’Brien MP; and the Minister for Building Safety and Fire, Lord Greenhalgh.
The group discussed their future ways of working, based on the agreed outcomes of the Review of Intergovernmental Relations, agreed to meet quarterly and I confirmed the Welsh Government would host the next meeting.
The group recognised that Building Safety is a shared issue affecting all governments around a joint aim to hold industry accountable and protect residents. Given the broad similarities across systems the Minister for Climate Change reinforced the need for better joint working on the reserved aspects of building safety, including on insurance and lending. She highlighted previously expressed concerns about the need for the Welsh Government’s inclusion in industry talks taking place between the UKG and property developers to get their agreement to fund and fix all buildings over 11 metres that they have played a role in developing.
It was agreed there was a need for the governments to work together to intensify building safety engagement and information sharing, and to join up communications. It was proposed this work would be divided into strands of activity including the developer pledges, the levy and financial institutions.