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Isherwood: Social justice in Wales

Speech to the National Assembly for Wales.

"The idea of social justice has been the driving force behind centre-left politics in Western societies for over a century. However, social justice in the twenty-first century is not the monopoly of any one party.

All mainstream political parties want to tackle poverty, but we must find different solutions to the deep-rooted problems of multiple deprivation and the root causes of poverty in Wales.

We often hear Labour claim that only the state can guarantee fairness. A centralised top-down approach means well, but can fail badly. I believe that social justice can only be delivered by empowering people to fulfil their potential and to take ownership of their communities.

We must start to trust people and share responsibility. We must remove the limits on what the voluntary sector, social enterprises and community groups can do.

It is those social entrepreneurs and poverty fighters who can deliver the solutions to the long-term problems of our most deprived communities. They combine public sector values with private sector standards. They can succeed where the state has failed.

I refer, for example, to Crest—a wood recycling project—in Llandudno Junction, which I visited with the shadow secretary of state for constitutional affairs, Oliver Heald, a month ago. Crest provides skills and a second chance for ex-offenders and the jobless, with support from the local authority.

I believe that the Welsh Assembly Government means well, but it continues to fail in many areas because it fails to listen. Cardiff University states that good housing should be at the heart of community regeneration and the Chartered Institute of Housing Cymru states that an adequate supply of affordable housing is key to creating sustainable communities.

Despite this and rising waiting lists, homelessness and house prices, this Labour Welsh Assembly Government has massively cut funding for social and affordable housing.

Yesterday, in Plenary, the Minister for Social Justice and Regeneration, Edwina Hart, disputed my statement to that effect. Let me help her with a few facts. Funding for the Welsh social housing grant programme was £173.7 million in 1996-97, with £98.6 million coming from the Government and £75.1 million through private finance by housing associations.

Last year, in contrast, it totalled just £96.4 million—a 45 per cent fall—with equivalent devolved Government funding cut by £42.2 million. Even with planned budget increases through to 2007-08, the social housing grant will still be less in absolute terms, and massively less in real terms than it was 10 years earlier.

Without urgent action to tackle the Welsh housing crisis, Labour's multimillion pound investment in community regeneration is like pouring water into a bucket full of holes rather than going out and buying a new bucket.

The number of households needing accommodation in Wales is forecast to increase by 12 per cent over the next 10 years. However, under Labour, the number of new social housing dwellings built in Wales has been cut by three quarters.

In the first six years of devolution, housing associations and councils built 4,436 new dwellings. That contrasts with the 17,398 dwellings built in Wales during the last six years of Conservative government.

Under Labour, the number of people in Wales receiving Government help to buy their first house has fallen by two thirds. In Wales today, an estimated 225,000 people are living in unfit accommodation; one in seven households lives in fuel poverty; and the backlog in urgent housing repairs across Wales now exceeds £4 billion.

We now see Welsh councils telling the poorest households that they will have to wait several years for essential repair grants, and we now see my own council writing to all of its council tenants to tell them that their homes will not be repaired unless they are at risk of injury or death.

As we heard yesterday, homelessness in Wales has more than doubled since devolution and Shelter Cymru estimates that at least 50,000 people now experience homelessness in Wales each year, adding that the latest figures show a continued rise in homelessness in Wales.

It comes as no surprise, therefore, to learn that waiting lists for housing across Wales rose by 50 per cent last year alone, and the number waiting is projected to exceed 100,000. We now see Welsh local authorities reporting housing waiting lists of up to nine years, which did not exist in 1999.

The bottom line is that every day in Britain, more than 1 million children wake up in squalid, temporary or crowded accommodation and that Wales has the worst housing conditions in the United Kingdom.

Bad housing is making our children ill, robbing them of a decent education and damaging their future. To tackle this crisis, we must look beyond the public sector and unlock the potential in the voluntary and private sectors.

Michael Heseltine launched community regeneration as we now know it in Liverpool on 20 July 1981. That was a momentous day. As he has said, what we did then has now become the consensus policy: a constructive partnership between the public, voluntary and private sectors.

The Knowsley village estate, which was one of the most deprived in the United Kingdom at that time, was the first to benefit from the Heseltine initiative, which I am pleased was relaunched in Liverpool last Monday by the shadow Cabinet.

The Knowsley scheme manager is now working with STARS North Wales—which stands for safety, tolerance, awareness, regeneration and security, and is a social enterprise based in West Rhyl—to find a way forward here more than two decades later.

Despite winning awards and cutting crime in north Wales's most deprived ward, STARS had been forced to make 21 of its 23 community wardens redundant. When I met the Knowsley scheme manager in Rhyl before Christmas, he told me that the scheme is about building safe, strong communities, and about how to achieve whole-community involvement.

He added that regeneration began in the early 1980s with housing stock transfer from the council to a housing association, and he told me that this was about giving tenants a voice. Wales must learn from this. As the Council of Mortgage Lenders has stated, sadly, to date, the politics of the process have got firmly in the way of reality. The question is: for how much longer do the council tenants of Wales get less than they deserve and need?

That alone will not be enough. We must also restore social housing grants to levels that would allow more affordable housing. As Business in the Community states, there is a need to draw out the linkages between housing and the local economy.

The lack of affordable housing has an impact on the ability to sustain existing businesses and attract new ones. The shortage of affordable housing is putting new businesses off settling, and young people are leaving to live in larger towns.

Last weekend, former Secretary of State for Wales, Lord Walker, told us that his father's unemployment had a huge impact on his political philosophy, as, I have to say, did my father's on mine. He told us that, during the 1980s and early 1990s, Wales, with 5 per cent of the UK population, obtained 22 per cent of all inward investment.

He said that unemployment in Wales halved, going down faster than in any other UK region, that unemployment in the south Wales Valleys went down faster than in any other region in Wales, and that the Cardiff bay development got the go-ahead, despite strong opposition from a local MP called Rhodri Morgan.

We launched the Valleys initiative, and we delivered an enormous housing campaign and boosted capital investment via the private sector. In fact—and I underline the word 'fact'—Labour inherited the best record on job creation in Europe and inward investment second only to the United States internationally.

Those are completely independent figures. However, under Labour, the UK has slipped from fourth place to thirteenth in the international competitiveness league, and Wales has slipped from first to ninth place within the UK on attracting inward investment.

Wales now has lower prosperity than any other UK nation or region. The gap between the rich and the poor has widened since 1997. A third of Welsh children live in households earning less than half of the UK average income, and one in five of Welsh working-age households have no-one in employment.

One in six Welsh children is being brought up in households where no-one works. In fact, if Welsh economic activity was at the UK level, 100,000 more Welsh people would be have jobs.

Even more worryingly, the number of young people who are not in work, education or training in Wales has risen since devolution, and more than a quarter of all children, young people and adults in Wales have basic literacy and numeracy problems, which links in with debt poverty.

Citizens Advice Cymru reports that debt inquiries in Wales have increased at a faster rate than anywhere else in Britain.

When it comes to the voluntary sector, the Welsh Assembly Government talks the talk, but it does not walk the walk. Following cuts in real terms in Welsh Assembly Government funding to Wrexham Borough Council, Wrexham's older people commissioning plan reveals that direct services provided by the council are more expensive than those provided by the independent voluntary sector.

In evidence given to the North Wales Regional Committee, hospices showed that they could deliver more respite and palliative care at a lower cost than the statutory sector, generating a significant saving for the NHS.

An independent evaluation of support provided through the carers' grant scheme in Flintshire found that the voluntary sector could deliver care of equal quality at a far lower price than the statutory sector could. However, the local council there now threatens an annual cut of £150,000 in voluntary sector funding.

Mental health day care centres in that county are now threatened with closure. The Welsh Assembly Government states that it wishes to deliver care closer to home. However, community hospitals with beds that are fully occupied are threatened with closure and replacement by local treatment centres without beds.

That is why I ask all Assembly Members to become patrons of CHANT Cymru, community hospitals acting nationally together, working in partnership with the CHANT cross-party campaign group in Westminster to lobby Ministers and raise awareness of the threat to local community hospitals. Many Labour Members belong to it, and I hope that we will see many Members here joining too.

Figures produced by Care Forum Wales show that, even if a greater proportion of older people receive care in their homes in future, demand for care home beds will increase. It adds that care in the community is not an alternative for the elderly, dependent and infirm patients who occupy its beds.

Three weeks ago, in the Assembly, Care Forum Wales stated that it was losing care home capacity because of Welsh Assembly Government underfunding. Our hospices tell me that they now face cutbacks because the Welsh Assembly Government refuses to extend direct funding.

Women's Aid tells me of its concern that cuts are affecting its ability to help and resettle abused women. Last autumn, I fought to keep open the Ty Gwyn centre for traumatised ex-servicemen, near Llandudno.

It was the only civilian centre in the UK for unstable ex-servicemen suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and associated drug and alcohol problems. The Welsh Assembly Government would not listen. Ty Gwyn closed, and a whole body of men who served their country was betrayed. That is how they see it—that is the fact.

The Tyddyn Bach respite centre in Penmaenmawr faces a funding crisis. I am a patron of that centre. As HIV/AIDS spreads, this award-winning project is the only HIV/AIDS respite centre in England or Wales, but Welsh Assembly Government rules mean that, at present, its financial viability is threatened. I appeal to the Minister and to all her colleagues to do everything that they can to save that centre.

Only charities such as Save the Family in north-east Wales are giving families classed as 'intentionally homeless' the chance to be reunited and rehabilitated.

I hosted the charity in the Assembly last year, and I visited it again last month. Once again, I extend the invitation of its members to the Minister to visit them and share their excellent practice, without which homelessness figures in north-east Wales would be far higher.

We must break the link between crime and addiction, and expand drug and alcohol treatment and education programmes. I have worked with several projects involving prisoners and ex-offenders.

No-one wants their children to find dirty needles in playgrounds or addicts on their streets, and we must therefore tackle the causes as well as the symptoms of the problem. However, the reality in north Wales today is that the number of detoxification beds is being cut, and effective drug rehabilitation schemes for ex-offenders have been denied the support that they need.

Crime, vandalism, family breakdown, addiction, and poverty of aspiration continue to wreak havoc in too many communities. Our task is to weave again the bonds of mutual obligation and responsibility to which Margaret Thatcher referred when she said that there was no such thing as society.

There is such a thing as society—it is just not the same thing as the state. Rather than shrinking the welfare state, we should talk of strengthening the welfare society.

Freedom from poverty, from addiction, and from the fear of crime—none of these are possible unless we free people from the cycle of hopelessness.

As Winston Churchill said,

'There is a limit beneath which no man may fall, but no limit to which any man might rise'.

Our task and our challenge is to deliver a set of values that are 'good for me, good for my neighbour', turning a welfare state safety net for the deprived and vulnerable into a welfare society springboard for all."

"Y grym sydd wedi bod wrth wraidd gwleidyddiaeth canol-chwaith yng nghymdeithasau'r Gorllewin ers dros ganrif yw'r syniad o gyfiawnder cymdeithasol.

Fodd bynnag, nid yw cyfiawnder cymdeithasol yn yr unfed ganrif ar hugain yn eiddo i unrhyw un blaid. Dymuna pob plaid wleidyddol brif ffrwd fynd i'r afael â thlodi, ond rhaid inni ddod o hyd i atebion gwahanol i broblemau amddifadedd lluosog ac achosion sylfaenol tlodi sydd wedi'u gwreiddio'n ddwfn yng Nghymru.

Yr ydym yn aml yn clywed honiad Llafur mai'r wladwriaeth yn unig a all warantu tegwch. Bwriadau da sy'n sail i ymagwedd ganolog o'r brig i'r bôn ond gall ymagwedd felly fethu'n llwyr. Credaf mai dim ond drwy rymuso pobl i wireddu eu potensial ac i berchenogi eu cymunedau y gellir sicrhau cyfiawnder cymdeithasol.

Rhaid inni ddechrau ymddiried mewn pobl a rhannu cyfrifoldeb. Rhaid inni ddileu'r cyfyngiadau ar yr hyn y gall y sector gwirfoddol, mentrau cymdeithasol a grwpiau cymunedol ei wneud.

Yr entrepreneuriaid cymdeithasol hynny a'r rhai sy'n brwydro yn erbyn tlodi a all gyflwyno'r atebion i broblemau hirdymor ein cymunedau mwyaf difreintiedig. Maent yn cyfuno gwerthoedd y sector cyhoeddus â safonau'r sector preifat. Gallant lwyddo lle y mae'r wladwriaeth wedi methu.

Cyfeiriaf, er enghraifft, at Crest—prosiect ailgylchu pren—yng Nghyffordd Llandudno, yr ymwelais ag ef gydag ysgrifennydd gwladol yr wrthblaid dros faterion cyfansoddiadol, Oliver Heald, fis yn ôl. Mae Crest yn rhoi sgiliau ac ail gyfle i gyn-droseddwyr a phobl ddi-waith, gyda chymorth gan yr awdurdod lleol.

Credaf fod bwriad Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru yn iawn, ond mae'n parhau i fethu mewn sawl maes am nad yw'n gwrando. Noda Prifysgol Caerdydd y dylai tai da fod wrth wraidd adfywio cymunedol a noda Sefydliad Tai Siartredig Cymru fod cyflenwad digonol o dai fforddiadwy yn allweddol i greu cymunedau cynaliadwy.

Er gwaethaf hyn a rhestrau aros, digartrefedd a phrisiau tai sy'n cynyddu, mae Llywodraeth Lafur Cynulliad Cymru wedi lleihau'r arian ar gyfer tai cymdeithasol a fforddiadwy yn sylweddol.

Ddoe, yn y Cyfarfod Llawn, heriodd y Gweinidog dros Gyfiawnder Cymdeithasol ac Adfywio, Edwina Hart, fy natganiad i'r perwyl hwnnw. Gadewch imi ei helpu drwy roi rhai ffeithiau iddi. Yr oedd yr arian ar gyfer rhaglen grant tai cymdeithasol Cymru yn £173.7 miliwn yn 1996-97, gyda £98.6 miliwn yn dod o'r Llywodraeth a £75.1 miliwn yn dod drwy gyllid preifat gan gymdeithasau tai.

Y llynedd, mewn cyferbyniad â hynny, cyfanswm yr arian oedd £96.4 miliwn—gostyngiad o 45 y cant—a gostyngwyd arian cyfwerth Llywodraeth ddatganoledig £42.2 miliwn. Hyd yn oed gyda'r cynnydd arfaethedig yn y gyllideb hyd at 2007-08, bydd y grant tai cymdeithasol yn parhau i fod yn llai mewn termau absoliwt, ac yn llawer llai mewn termau real nag yr oedd 10 mlynedd yn gynharach.

Heb gamau gweithredu brys i fynd i'r afael ag argyfwng tai Cymru, mae buddsoddiad Llafur o filiynau o bunnoedd mewn adfywio cymunedol yn debyg i arllwys dwr i mewn i fwced sy'n llawn tyllau yn hytrach na mynd allan i brynu bwced newydd.

Rhagwelir y bydd nifer yr aelwydydd y mae angen llety arnynt yng Nghymru yn cynyddu 12 y cant dros y 10 mlynedd nesaf. Fodd bynnag, o dan Lafur, mae nifer y tai cymdeithasol newydd a adeiledir yng Nghymru wedi gostwng tri chwarter.

Yn ystod chwe blynedd cyntaf datganoli, adeiladodd cymdeithasau tai a chynghorau 4,436 o anheddau newydd. Mae hynny'n gwrthgyferbynnu â'r 17.398 o anheddau a adeiladwyd yng Nghymru yn ystod chwe blynedd olaf y llywodraeth Geidwadol. O dan Lafur, mae nifer y bobl yng Nghymru sy'n cael cymorth gan y Llywodraeth i brynu eu cartref cyntaf wedi gostwng dau draean.

Yng Nghymru heddiw, mae amcangyfrif o 225,000 o bobl yn byw mewn llety anaddas; mae un o bob saith o aelwydydd yn wynebu tlodi tanwydd; ac mae'r ôl-groniad o atgyweiriadau tai brys bellach yn fwy na £4 biliwn.

Mae cynghorau Cymru bellach yn dweud wrth yr aelwydydd tlotaf y bydd yn rhaid iddynt aros sawl blwyddyn i gael grantiau atgyweirio hanfodol, ac mae fy nghyngor i bellach yn ysgrifennu at bob un o'i denantiaid cyngor i ddweud wrthynt na chaiff eu cartrefi eu hatgyweirio oni bai eu bod mewn perygl o gael anaf neu o farw.

Fel y clywsom ddoe, mae digartrefedd yng Nghymru wedi mwy na dyblu ers datganoli ac mae Shelter Cymru yn amcangyfrif bod o leiaf 50,000 o bobl yng Nghymru bellach yn ddigartref bob blwyddyn, gan ychwanegu bod y ffigurau diweddaraf yn dangos cynnydd parhaus mewn digartrefedd yng Nghymru.

Nid yw'n syndod dysgu, felly, i restrau aros am dai ledled Cymru godi 50 y cant y llynedd yn unig, a rhagwelir y bydd y nifer sy'n aros yn fwy na 100,000. Mae awdurdodau lleol Cymru bellach yn nodi bod ganddynt restrau aros am dai o hyd at naw mlynedd, nad oeddent yn bodoli yn 1999.

Y gwir yw bod mwy na miliwn o blant yn deffro bob dydd ym Mhrydain mewn llety budr, dros dro neu orlawn a bod gan Gymru yr amodau tai gwaethaf yn y Deyrnas Unedig. Mae tai gwael yn gwneud ein plant yn sâl, gan eu hamddifadu o addysg dda a chan niweidio eu dyfodol. Er mwyn mynd i'r afael â'r argyfwng hwn, rhaid inni edrych y tu hwnt i'r sector cyhoeddus a datgloi potensial y sector gwirfoddol a'r sector preifat.

Lansiodd Michael Heseltine adfywio cymunedol fel y'i gelwir bellach yn Lerpwl ar 20 Gorffennaf 1981. Yr oedd hwnnw'n ddiwrnod pwysig. Fel y mae wedi'i ddweud, mae'r hyn a wnaethom bryd hynny bellach wedi dod yn bolisi consensws: partneriaeth adeiladol rhwng y sector cyhoeddus, y sector gwirfoddol a'r sector preifat.

Ystad pentref Knowsley, sef un o'r ystadau mwyaf difreintiedig yn y Deyrnas Unedig ar y pryd, oedd y cyntaf i gael budd o fenter Heseltine, ac yr wyf yn falch i'r fenter honno gael ei hail-lansio yn Lerpwl ddydd Llun diwethaf gan Gabinet yr wrthblaid.

Mae rheolwr cynllun Knowsley bellach yn gweithio gyda STARS Gogledd Cymru—sy'n sefyll yn Saesneg am ddiogelwch personol, goddefgarwch, ymwybyddiaeth, adfywio a diogelwch eiddo, sy'n fenter gymdeithasol yng ngorllewin y Rhyl—i ddod o hyd i ffordd ymlaen yma fwy nag ugain mlynedd yn ddiweddarach.

Er gwaethaf ennill gwobrau a gostwng troseddau yn ward fwyaf difreintiedig y gogledd, yr oedd STARS wedi'i gorfodi i ddiswyddo 21 o'i 23 o wardeiniaid cymunedol. Pan gyfarfûm â rheolwr cynllun Knowsley yn y Rhyl cyn y Nadolig, dywedodd wrthyf fod a wnelo'r cynllun ag adeiladu cymunedau cryf, diogel a sut i gynnwys y gymuned gyfan.

Ychwanegodd fod adfywio wedi dechrau ar ddechrau'r 1980au pan drosglwyddwyd stoc tai o'r cyngor i gymdeithas tai, a dywedodd wrthyf fod a wnelo hyn â rhoi cyfle i denantiaid leisio barn. Rhaid i Gymru ddysgu o hyn.

Fel y nododd y Cyngor Benthycwyr Morgeisi, yn anffodus, hyd yma, mae gwleidyddiaeth y broses wedi rhwystro'r realiti. Y cwestiwn yw: am faint yn rhagor y bydd tenantiaid cyngor Cymru yn cael llai nag y maent yn ei haeddu ac sydd ei angen arnynt?

Ni fydd hynny ar ei ben ei hun yn ddigon. Rhaid inni hefyd adfer grantiau tai cymdeithasol i lefelau a fyddai'n caniatáu mwy o dai fforddiadwy. Fel y noda Busnes yn y Gymuned, mae angen cydnabod y cysylltiadau rhwng tai a'r economi leol.

Caiff diffyg tai fforddiadwy effaith ar y gallu i gynnal busnesau presennol a denu rhai newydd. Mae diffyg tai fforddiadwy yn rhwystro busnesau newydd rhag ymsefydlu, ac mae pobl ifanc yn gadael i fyw mewn trefi mwy.

Y penwythnos diwethaf, dywedodd cyn-Ysgrifennydd Gwladol Cymru, yr Arglwydd Walker, wrthym fod y ffaith bod ei dad yn ddi-waith wedi cael effaith fawr ar ei athroniaeth wleidyddol, yn yr un modd ag y cafodd diweithdra fy nhad innau effaith arnaf fi, rhaid imi ddweud.

Dywedodd wrthym, yn ystod yr 1980au a dechrau'r 1990au, i Gymru, gyda 5 y cant o boblogaeth y DU, gael 22 y cant o'r holl fewnfuddsoddiad. Dywedodd i ddiweithdra yng Nghymru haneru, gan ostwng yn gynt nag mewn unrhyw ranbarth arall yn y DU, i ddiweithdra yng Nghymoedd y de ostwng yn gynt nag unrhyw ranbarth arall yng Nghymru, ac i ddatblygiad bae Caerdydd gael ei gymeradwyo, er gwaethaf gwrthwynebiad taer gan AS lleol o'r enw Rhodri Morgan.

Bu inni lansio menter y Cymoedd, a bu inni gyflwyno ymgyrch tai enfawr a hybu buddsoddiad cyfalaf drwy'r sector preifat. Mewn gwirionedd, etifeddodd Llafur y record orau o ran creu swyddi yn Ewrop a record o ran mewnfuddsoddiad dim ond yn ail i'r Unol Daleithiau yn rhyngwladol.

Ffigurau cwbl annibynnol yw'r rhain. Fodd bynnag, o dan Lafur, mae'r DU wedi gostwng o'r pedwerydd lle i'r trydydd lle ar ddeg o ran cystadleurwydd rhyngwladol, ac mae Cymru wedi gostwng o'r lle cyntaf i'r nawfed lle o fewn y DU o ran denu mewnfuddsoddiad.

Mae gan Gymru bellach ffyniant is nag unrhyw wlad neu ranbarth arall yn y DU. Mae'r bwlch rhwng pobl gyfoethog a phobl dlawd wedi ehangu ers 1997. Mae traean o blant Cymru yn byw mewn aelwydydd sy'n ennill llai na hanner incwm cyfartalog y DU, ac mewn un o bob pum aelwyd oedran gweithio Cymru, nid oes neb mewn cyflogaeth.

Caiff un o bob chwe phlentyn yng Nghymru ei fagu mewn aelwyd lle nad oes neb yn gweithio. Mewn gwirionedd, pe bai gweithgarwch economaidd Cymru ar lefel y DU, byddai gan 100,000 mwy o bobl Cymru swyddi.

Yr hyn sy'n peri mwy o bryder eto yw bod nifer y bobl ifanc nad ydynt mewn gwaith, addysg na hyfforddiant yng Nghymru wedi codi ers datganoli, a bod gan fwy na chwarter o'r holl blant, pobl ifanc ac oedolion yng Nghymru broblemau llythrennedd a rhifedd sylfaenol, sy'n gysylltiedig â thlodi oherwydd dyledion.

Mae Cyngor ar Bopeth Cymru yn nodi bod ymholiadau ynghylch dyledion yng Nghymru wedi cynyddu'n gynt nag mewn unrhyw fan arall ym Mhrydain.

O ran y sector gwirfoddol, mae Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru yn ddigon parod i sôn am y mater, ond mae'n llai parod i weithredu. Yn dilyn toriadau real yng nghyllid Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru i Gyngor Bwrdeistref Wrecsam, mae cynllun comisiynu pobl hyn Wrecsam yn datgelu bod gwasanaethau uniongyrchol a ddarperir gan y cyngor yn ddrutach na'r rhai a ddarperir gan y sector gwirfoddol annibynnol.

Mewn tystiolaeth a roddwyd i Bwyllgor Rhanbarth y Gogledd, dangosodd hosbisau y gallent ddarparu mwy o ofal seibiant a gofal lliniarol am gost is na'r sector statudol, gan greu arbedion mawr i'r GIG. Canfu gwerthusiad annibynnol o gymorth a ddarperir drwy'r cynllun grant gofalwyr yn sir y Fflint y gallai'r sector gwirfoddol ddarparu gofal o'r un safon am bris llawer is na'r sector statudol. Fodd bynnag, mae'r cyngor lleol yno bellach yn bygwth gostyngiad blynyddol o £150,000 yng nghyllid y sector gwirfoddol.

Mae bygythiad bellach y caiff y canolfannau gofal dydd iechyd meddwl yn y sir honno eu cau. Mae Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru yn datgan ei bod am gyflwyno gofal yn agosach at y cartref. Fodd bynnag, mae ysbytai cymuned nad oes unrhyw welyau gwag ganddynt mewn perygl o gau a bydd canolfannau triniaeth lleol heb welyau yn cymryd eu lle.

Dyna pam yr wyf yn gofyn i holl Aelodau'r Cynulliad ddod yn noddwyr CHANT Cymru, ysbytai cymuned yn gweithredu'n genedlaethol gyda'i gilydd, gan weithio mewn partneriaeth â grwp ymgyrch trawsbleidiol CHANT yn San Steffan i lobïo Gweinidogion a chodi ymwybyddiaeth o'r bygythiad i ysbytai cymuned lleol. Mae llawer o Aelodau Llafur wedi ymuno, a gobeithiaf y gwelwn lawer o Aelodau yma'n ymuno hefyd.

Mae ffigurau a gynhyrchwyd gan Fforwm Gofal Cymru yn dangos, hyd yn oed os bydd cyfradd uwch o bobl hyn yn derbyn gofal yn eu cartrefi yn y dyfodol, y bydd y galw am welyau cartrefi gofal yn cynyddu. Mae'n ychwanegu nad yw gofal yn y gymuned yn ddewis amgen i gleifion hyn, dibynnol a methedig sydd yn ei welyau.

Dair wythnos yn ôl, yn y Cynulliad, dywedodd Fforwm Gofal Cymru ei fod yn colli capasiti cartrefi gofal oherwydd tanariannu gan Lywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru. Dywed ein hosbisau wrthyf eu bod bellach yn wynebu toriadau am fod Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru yn gwrthod estyn arian uniongyrchol.

Mae Cymorth i Fenywod yn dweud wrthyf am ei bryder bod toriadau yn effeithio ar ei allu i gynorthwyo ac ailsefydlu merched sydd wedi'u cam-drin. Yr hydref diwethaf, brwydrais i gadw canolfan Ty Gwyn ar gyfer cyn-filwyr wedi'u trawmateiddio, ger Llandudno, ar agor.

Hon oedd yr unig ganolfan sifilaidd yn y DU ar gyfer cyn-filwyr ansad sy'n dioddef o anhwylder straen wedi trawma a phroblemau cyffuriau ac alcohol cysylltiedig. Ni wrandawai Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru. Caewyd Ty Gwyn, a bradychwyd corff cyfan o ddynion a wasanaethodd eu gwlad. Dyna sut y gwelant bethau—dyna yw'r gwirionedd.

Mae canolfan seibiant Tyddyn Bach ym Mhenmaenmawr yn wynebu argyfwng ariannu. Yr wyf yn un o noddwyr y ganolfan honno. Wrth i HIV/AIDS ledaenu, y prosiect hwn, sydd wedi ennill gwobrau, yw'r unig ganolfan seibiant HIV/AIDS yng Nghymru neu Loegr, ond mae rheolau Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru yn golygu, ar hyn o bryd, bod ei hyfywedd ariannol o dan fygythiad. Apeliaf at y Gweinidog a'i holl gyd-Weinidogion i wneud popeth a allant i achub y ganolfan honno.

Dim ond elusennau megis Save the Family yn y gogledd-ddwyrain sy'n rhoi cyfle i deuluoedd a ddosberthir fel 'digartref yn fwriadol' gael eu haduno a'u hadsefydlu. Gwahoddais yr elusen i ddod i'r Cynulliad y llynedd, ac ymwelais â hi eto'r mis diwethaf. Unwaith eto, estynnaf wahoddiad ei haelodau i'r Gweinidog ymweld â hwy a rhannu eu harfer gwych, y byddai ffigurau digartrefedd yn y gogledd-ddwyrain lawer uwch hebddi.

Rhaid inni dorri'r cysylltiad rhwng troseddau a dibyniaeth, ac ehangu rhaglenni trin ac addysg cyffuriau ac alcohol. Yr wyf wedi gweithio gyda nifer o brosiectau yn cynnwys carcharorion a chyn-droseddwyr.

Nid oes neb am i'w plant ddod o hyd i nodwyddau brwnt ar feysydd chwarae na phobl sy'n gaeth i gyffuriau ar eu strydoedd, ac felly rhaid inni fynd i'r afael â'r hyn sy'n achosi'r broblem yn ogystal â'i symptomau. Fodd bynnag, y sefyllfa sydd ohoni yn y gogledd yw bod nifer y gwelyau dadwenwyno yn cael ei dorri, a gwrthodir y cymorth sydd ei angen ar gynlluniau adsefydlu cyffuriau effeithiol ar gyfer cyn-droseddwyr.

Mae troseddau, fandaliaeth, teuluoedd yn chwalu, dibyniaeth a diffyg uchelgais yn parhau i wneud llanastr mewn gormod o gymunedau. Ein tasg yw cydblethu rhwymau cyd-rwymedigaeth a chydgyfrifoldeb unwaith eto, y cyfeiriodd Margaret Thatcher atynt pan ddywedodd nad oedd y fath beth â chymdeithas. Mae cymdeithas yn bodoli—ond nid yw'r un peth â'r wladwriaeth. Yn hytrach na lleihau'r wladwriaeth les, dylem sôn am gryfhau'r gymdeithas les.

Rhyddid rhag tlodi, rhag bod yn gaeth i gyffuriau, a rhag ofni trosedd—nid oes yr un o'r rhain yn bosibl oni ryddhawn bobl rhag y cylch hwn o anobaith.

Fel y dywedodd Winston Churchill,

Mae terfyn na all unrhyw ddyn ddisgyn oddi tano, ond nid oes terfyn ar yr hyn y gallai dyn ymgyrraedd ato.

Ein tasg a'n her yw cyflwyno casgliad o werthoedd sydd 'yn dda i mi, yn dda i'm cymydog', gan droi rhwyd diogelwch gwladwriaeth les ar gyfer pobl ddifreintiedig a diamddiffyn yn sbringfwrdd cymdeithas les i bawb."

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