5. Statement by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Social Justice: Culture and Social Justice — Reaffirmation of our values

– in the Senedd at 4:37 pm on 4 June 2024.

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Photo of Elin Jones Elin Jones Plaid Cymru 4:37, 4 June 2024


The next item is the statement from the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and Social Justice on reaffirming our values. Cabinet Secretary, Lesley Griffiths. 

Photo of Lesley Griffiths Lesley Griffiths Labour

Diolch, Llywydd. I am pleased to make this statement on my priorities for the culture and social justice portfolio. This is a diverse portfolio that reaches across many aspects of Government, and which has the potential to make profound and lasting change to the lives of people and communities across Wales. Culture, heritage, sport and social justice are interconnected pillars, and when leveraged effectively can help build a more inclusive, equitable and vibrant society. I want to harness the collective impact of these elements to address systemic inequalities, strengthen community cohesion and ensure Wales continues to be a nation of sanctuary.

One of my main priorities is to make progress on tackling poverty, in particular child poverty. More than 3,000 people helped to develop our child poverty strategy, and overwhelmingly the message from stakeholders is we do have the right objectives and priorities. Our focus now is on delivering them in a way that is person-centred, kind and compassionate, including ensuring people are financially and digitally included, and able to claim all the benefits they are entitled to.

There is a commitment to children's rights across my portfolio in tackling poverty, ensuring the right to play and the right to meet, addressing discrimination, protection from violence and abuse, and enabling them to participate freely in cultural life.

Another key priority will be to continue our focus on ensuring equality, inclusion and respect for human rights. Our recently published national equality objectives set out our long-term vision for the future. Disabled people are often excluded from employment and other opportunities, including arts, cultural and sporting activities. We will continue our work to advance equity for disabled people, taking account of people's lived experience. The important work of the disability rights taskforce is supporting the development of a plan that will capture our ambition and help us focus on making changes to measurably improve disabled people’s lives.

I am wholly committed to driving forward on the 'Anti-racist Wales Action Plan' and making a reality of our vision of becoming an anti-racist nation by 2030. We have committed more than £5 million over 2022 to 2025 to support this work. I am proud our LBGTQ+ action plan has been recognised by the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance as a good example, and a potential model for others. I will continue to lead the work to make Wales the most LGBTQ+-friendly nation in Europe.

In all areas of my portfolio, as across Welsh Government, the third sector and volunteers play a vital role in delivering services and supporting communities. Tomorrow I will be speaking at Gofod3, as we mark together Volunteers' Week.

Turning to criminal justice, we will continue our efforts to improve outcomes for people in the justice system. Although criminal justice is not yet devolved to Wales, these services regularly interface with devolved areas such as housing, healthcare and education. Through our women’s justice blueprint and youth justice blueprint, we are embedding a preventative, evidence-based approach to justice that addresses the underlying causes of offending and supports people towards fulfilling, crime-free lives. In 2024 to 2025, we will extend the women’s pathfinder approach to the whole of Wales to further strengthen our support for often vulnerable women, as well as maintaining our strong focus on tackling violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence through the VAWDASV blueprint. 

I will also have a clear focus on delivering a strong cultural, heritage and sports offer. The cultural well-being of Wales is indivisible from our society, our environment and our economy. I recognise the intrinsic value of culture and commit to the principle that every person in Wales has the right to access, create, participate in and to see themselves reflected in the cultural activity of our nation. Our ambition is for culture in Wales to be thriving, with a long-term strategic plan for investment. I recently published the consultation for our culture strategy, which provides a policy framework for our public and culture sectors in Wales, defining the strategic direction for the arts, museums, libraries, archives and the historic environment sectors.

The priorities set out in the strategy have been developed during a period of severe financial constraint. It would be remiss of me not to acknowledge the financial landscape, and I know many organisations are facing difficult financial challenges. The public sector in Wales has been impacted by cuts in funding over a number of years, and the culture sector feels fragile and vulnerable. I am aware of the impact the reduction in our indicative grant-in-aid allocation for 2024-25 will have on our culture, arts and sports arm's-length bodies. I have acted to mitigate the full scale of the budget pressures on them, but there is no budget flexibility that can prevent significant reductions to their budgets.

My priority is to ensure the allocations are targeted towards continuing to deliver our programme for government commitments. Collaboration with Government and within the sector is more important now than ever. I know how resilient the arts and cultural sectors are, and I have long admired their can-do attitude. I recognise the very real contribution heritage and the work of Cadw can make to my wider priorities of inclusion and equality—widening access for all to the outstanding historic sites and landscapes of Wales, and telling the wider stories of Wales.

I know there is nothing like a great football match in your hometown for bringing people together, which is why we must continue to work together to find innovative solutions to the challenges we all face across a range of sports. Through working together across Government and with our external partners, we have the opportunity to address and dismantle many of the harmful barriers and causes of inequality and poverty experienced by people in Wales. I am determined to do my part in making Wales a prosperous, equitable and safer place for all its citizens. Diolch. 

Photo of Laura Anne Jones Laura Anne Jones Conservative 4:44, 4 June 2024

Thank you for your statement, Cabinet Secretary, albeit a very non-committal one. I have to admit I found the statement rather interesting because you mentioned culture, yet we have the Welsh National Opera's future literally hanging in the balance, and I can't say I'm very reassured by any of the statement. There doesn't seem to be any clear plan ahead on anything that you've mentioned, particularly sport, as what seems to be an afterthought at the end of your statement, with no commitments on how to improve the current state of play in Wales.

You mention your LGBTQ+ action plan. To press ahead with this now, in light of the Cass review findings, would be irresponsible and could potentially put children and young people at risk. The Welsh Government's LGBTQ+ action plan needs to be reviewed in light of Dr Cass's findings. So, Cabinet Secretary, I ask once again: when can concerned Welsh citizens—and this Senedd—expect a review of the plan to be undertaken? These priorities are not the current priorities of the people of Wales.

However, I was pleased to hear you mention, albeit briefly, sport in today's statement, as something known to bring communities together, as you know, and to change lives. The Labour Government, in the last two decades, have completely let down the people of Wales in regards to sporting facilities. Sport just does not and has not ever received the investment it desperately needs, from community to national level, over the last 2.5 decades—embarrassingly so, when you compare it to the rest of the UK. This Government is meant to want to be a leader in sport participation at grass-roots level, and should be wanting to be a leader at elite level too. We will not achieve this, or even come close, on this current trajectory. It is clear to everyone, particularly in rural areas, that access to sporting facilities is increasingly difficult or non-existent, and yet it gets worse in winter time, due to the lack of all-weather sporting facilities, particularly, again, in rural areas, where they're found lacking. Cabinet Secretary, when sport is a leveller, it provides health benefits, it instils national pride, it improves well-being, when is it going to get the level of investment it so desperately deserves, due to the huge role it plays in the prevention of health ailments, as well as, of course, people's right to have access to sporting facilities, wherever they are in Wales, close by?

And finally, Cabinet Secretary, continuing again with sports, it is vitally important that women and girls are supported in order to grow women's sports, going forward. For reasons of both safety and fairness, the Welsh and UK Conservatives support strengthening the Equality Act 2010 to enshrine the rights of women and girls in sports in Wales through an emphasis on biological sex. Everyone should have the opportunity to play sports, but women should not be penalised by having male biological advantage—by having to accept biological males into their category. It is harming female sports and having a negative impact on the participation levels of both women and girls. I suppose, before Labour can start to claim they properly support women, they need to first learn, of course, how to define one. So, Cabinet Secretary, can you commit today to protecting biological women's sports, please? Thank you.

Photo of Lesley Griffiths Lesley Griffiths Labour 4:47, 4 June 2024

Thank you. Well, I did say at the start of my statement that I've got a very diverse portfolio, so it is very hard to kind of narrow it down to your priorities, but if I can encompass it in three from that statement—and I made this very clear to my Cabinet colleagues—tackling poverty has to be the top priority, and that obviously includes child poverty. But we know children are in poverty because their parents are in poverty, so I use the phrase 'tackling poverty', which obviously includes child poverty. For me, community cohesion or community safety is very important, because I think, for our constituents and for everybody in Wales, they need to feel safe in that community and in their home. And the third is a general bringing together. It wasn't an afterthought at all; it was bringing together arts, culture and sport, because I think the three of them—we have a tremendous amount to offer here in Wales.

I recognise that we don't have enough money to be able to support our arts, culture and sport sector in the way that we would all want to, but we have to be pragmatic and in Government you have to make tough decisions, and, unfortunately, our financial situation meant those tough decisions had to be made. But I do want to reassure everyone that I continue with to work with the WNO. I've got a meeting tomorrow with Rhianon Passmore. I've met with WNO. I think, last time I was in the Chamber, I had already met with them to see what we could do, because I absolutely recognise that they're a jewel in our crown, and I think I mentioned, in our question session, that, from a global point of view, they're very widely recognised. So, you know, I can't offer reassurances about funding, but what I can offer is my commitment to continue to work with all parts of the arts sector, the culture sector and the sport sector.

I absolutely agree that sport brings people together, and, if I think about my own experience, my daughter, who comes to the football with me, she lives two hours from home, but, on a Saturday afternoon at 3 o'clock, we get together, and that's the case—. I look around the Racecourse stadium, and I can see that right across the Racecourse stadium, so, for me, that is really important. From an elite point of view, I think we punch above our weight in Wales.

Going back to grass roots, we do need to see more all-weather pitches, for instance, because, as you say, it's not just in the winter, is it, that we have flooded pitches et cetera. I've met with the FAW to discuss the plan that they have, and we just need to work together to make sure that funding is there. We've also got other people who are very happy to help us in this way with grass-roots sports, and I and my officials have had meetings and we will continue to do that. 

Around the LGBTQ+ action plan that you mentioned, as you know, that plan was published in February 2023, so I don't think we need to have a review of it; we need to focus our efforts on implementation and on making substantial and positive impacts to the lives of LGBTQ+ people here in Wales. We will make sure we update progress against each activity and action point in the plan, and they will be monitored.

The point you make at the end, and I think you referred to the Equality Act—. There is no reference to biological sex in the Equality Act. I'm not quite sure what the UK Government—the Tories—are planning around attempts to amend the Act on that basis, but I think they need to tread very carefully.

Photo of Sioned Williams Sioned Williams Plaid Cymru 4:51, 4 June 2024


Thank you for your statement, Cabinet Secretary. I'm pleased to hear the focus that you have on child poverty in particular. It's shameful, in my opinion, how little we've heard from the leaders of Labour and the Tories during the election campaign about the millions who are without the basics of life, and about the fact that the use of foodbanks is at an all-time high. Throwing around terms like 'growing the economy' is no panacea; economic growth takes years. Without different taxation and spending plans, we will see cuts to public services and levels of poverty being normalised, because, as you know, the level of child poverty in Wales is amongst the highest in the UK.

When I've asked the Government—the Welsh Government—about what it's doing to tackle this national scandal, I always hear in response that the Westminster Government is mainly to blame, and I do agree that there is much that the Westminster Government could and should do to eradicate child poverty, including, of course, removing the two-child cap on benefits, which is exacerbating child poverty in Wales.

According to the End Poverty Coalition, more than 65,000 children in Wales who are in poverty are being affected by this inhumane policy. Torsten Bell, the director of the Resolution Foundation, as he was, but who now hopes to represent Swansea West for the Labour Party in Westminster, has said that the cost of getting rid of the cap is nothing compared to the cost of keeping it—or maybe that's one of the tweets that he has now deleted.

So, do you agree with the Swansea West Labour candidate, or with your leader, Keir Starmer, who has said that this is unaffordable, while arms and weapons are entirely affordable? And will you, as the member of the Welsh Government responsible for measures to eradicate child poverty, make the case for getting rid of the two-child cap to the next Westminster Government, for the sake of the children of Wales? 

And of course, there are actions that are completely within the purview of the Welsh Government. Will you listen to the advice of policy experts and child poverty campaign groups, the children's commissioner, and the report of the Equality and Social Justice Committee, which based its recommendations on international evidence, and ensure that those actions are effective ones—those that are in the child poverty strategy—by setting statutory targets to measure progress, ensure ownership, and focus and drive action? Because, unlike what we had from you in your statement, they weren't content at all with the child poverty strategy. That suggestion is there to use national milestones instead of targets. I think that Dr Victoria Winckler from the Bevan Foundation hit the nail on the head when she said:

Photo of Sioned Williams Sioned Williams Plaid Cymru 4:54, 4 June 2024

'It's a bit like marking your own homework. I think that it's difficult to monitor progress when you don't have clear targets, because you are just reporting on trends. You're not actually reporting on the effectiveness of your own interventions.'

Photo of Sioned Williams Sioned Williams Plaid Cymru


Will we therefore see a change, Cabinet Secretary? Are you ready to listen to this advice and show that you're serious about doing everything possible to ensure that your work in this area is as effective as possible?

You also say that the fight to lift children out of poverty will be at the heart of all of your work. So, what work will you do to drive the work to create a Welsh benefits system, which could be transformative in terms of tackling child poverty? That could be achieved so much more easily if we had the powers  in Wales, of course. So, what difference has the benefits charter that has been submitted made already? Will you give us an update on that? And has there been modelling work done in terms of how creating a statutory system would be more effective in terms of alleviating child poverty?

And, of course, we are currently celebrating Pride Month. And as we do so, we must reaffirm our commitment to the LGBTQ+ people of Wales that we respect their rights and that we will fight for their rights. Plaid Cymru believes that powers relating to the Gender Recognition Act 2004 should be devolved to Wales in order to help ensure the right of trans people to live their lives as they wish, with dignity, and free from oppression. And considering what we heard from the Tories yesterday—the cowardly attempt to play politics with the lives of people—are you as a Government sticking to what was in your last manifesto, namely to work to devolve the Gender Recognition Act and support our trans community? Thank you. 

Photo of Lesley Griffiths Lesley Griffiths Labour 4:56, 4 June 2024

Thank you very much and I absolutely recognise the importance you too put on working with us around eradicating child poverty. When I came into the portfolio, having been in this portfolio 10 years ago, it's incredibly disappointing to see child poverty at such a high level.

I'm very happy to listen to policy experts. I've already met with the children's commissioner, I've met with the Bevan Foundation, and we've had a discussion around the child poverty strategy. I have to say, I am a Minister that impulsively looks to targets, and I had a conversation with my predecessor, Jane Hutt, around that. But I do think the child poverty monitoring framework that we do have in place should be allowed to be exactly what it is—monitored. So, when I met with the children's commissioner yesterday, we will have a report within the first year against this monitoring framework. I think it is based on a range of very relevant measures of poverty. It's an assessment of progress in the delivery of our policy commitments. It's also about listening to children and adults and families with lived experience of poverty. I really think that will support us to have a look at the impact of our approach, but I think it is really important that if, in a year’s time, we look and we think that the implementation of what we are doing to try and reduce poverty, and that includes child poverty—. I'm not somebody that's going to commit for five years and not to do something differently. There's no point just keeping on doing the same things, even the same things differently. You may have to do very different things.

We do have levers as a Government, I absolutely accept that, but we also have to accept that some of those levers are with the UK Government, and I'll be very happy to have those conversations when we do have a Labour Government in place. But, as a Welsh Government, obviously, we've worked with Plaid Cymru as part of the co-operation agreement around our childcare offer, around food in schools—these are things that actively make a difference—the school essentials grant, the education maintenance allowance and, of course, the council tax reduction scheme, because the idea is to get as much money into people's pockets.

You mentioned the Welsh benefits charter. I don't have the figures to hand, but I'll be, certainly, very happy to update Members when we do have that first data to be able to evidence what we're doing, and I do think we have made a big impact. But I think it would be great if the UK Government could perhaps have some sort of campaign that we could all get behind to make sure people are aware of what they are entitled to. And, again, this is something I had started to talk about with the UK Government, but we'll have to wait until after the general election now.

I absolutely agree with what you say around Pride Month. It is something that should be celebrated and respected, and I mentioned in my earlier answer to Laura Anne Jones that our focus has been on the implementation of the LGBTQ+ plan that was published last year.

Photo of Rhianon Passmore Rhianon Passmore Labour 4:59, 4 June 2024

Cabinet Secretary, thank you very much for the statement, and I'm going to restrain my comments today to the performance sector of Wales. Welsh culture, Welsh arts and the music of Wales are for everyone, and not just for the elite or those who can afford it. But it is also right that excellence as a concept is recognised within our cultural strategy, and currently it is not. Achieving diversity of access and achieving pathways to excellence and achieving individual potential are not mutually exclusive concepts, so that artistic goal of excellence needs to be firmly in place within that strategy. But it is a simple fact, and it is not political point scoring, to state that the shrinkage of the state, public services and public spending has created an arid environment within which the Welsh Government has had to operate to safeguard Welsh cultural life. That is a simple fact. And I acknowledge the Cabinet Secretary's words that, and I quote, 'I'm aware of the impact the reduction in our indicative grant in aid allocation for 2024-25 will have on our culture, arts and sports arm's-length bodies, and I've acted to mitigate the full scale of the budget pressures on them, but there is no budget flexibility that can prevent significant reductions to their budgets.'

This is undoubtedly correct, and raises questions for us as to how our arm's-length bodies operate their governance and their decision making. Why is this so important? Today on the Senedd steps, I met with some really passionate members of the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama junior department, because on Saturdays the learners, aged from four to 18, gather to learn, and the funding decisions that are made by the Arts Council of Wales now threaten that existence. On 21 May, as the chair of the cross-party group on music, I was also able to welcome the renowned conductor, Carlo Rizzi, and members of the Welsh National Opera to the steps of the Senedd, where they protested for their very existence. So, it is absolutely right that we get it right and, Cabinet Secretary, I welcome your willingness to meet with the interim general director of Welsh National Opera, as well as me, to discuss the huge concerns that exist. And it is right that our organisations of excellence, such as the Welsh National Opera, are not lost but recognised and supported by their arm's-length bodies who keep them alive.

Cabinet Secretary, as we reaffirm our cultural values, we must ensure that, as well as grass-roots participation, excellence within our cultural life is safeguarded. We have to do both. Cabinet Secretary, with the forthcoming general election offering a new direction for the British populace, what future options are available to the Welsh Government to reshape the threats to Welsh culture, and how can you work with a new UK Government to revise long-standing bi-national agreements that have supported Welsh cultural life for decades? Thank you.

Photo of Lesley Griffiths Lesley Griffiths Labour 5:02, 4 June 2024

Thank you. Well, as I think I mentioned earlier, I have already met with the WNO, with the interim director, and I look forward to meeting with you also. I think it's fair to say we've never quite seen or heard a protest like the one we had from the WNO.

Certainly, the discussions I had with the WNO, because—. It's a very unusual organisation in that it's funded by Arts Council England and the Arts Council of Wales, and that was because it had been recognised for the work it does in England too. I also think a lot of people probably aren't aware of the, if you like, extracurricular work that the WNO does, particularly in a health setting. I've had a discussion with my colleague the Cabinet Secretary for health to see if there's anything we can do to help support them there. That was certainly the first time I ever came across the WNO, when they came to my constituency and did work in a very deprived part of my constituency with young children, because, as you say, it's absolutely for everybody.

The priorities that I've set out in the cultural strategy—. And I'd like to pay tribute to the work of my predecessor, Dawn Bowden, because Dawn did most of the work around the culture strategy in very difficult financial constraints. We're not asking the culture sector to do more with less. What we're doing is setting out very clear priorities with them, to help decision making at a more granular level, so asking them to work in partnership a bit more, because even with a new Labour UK Government, we have to accept that there won't be as much money, perhaps, as we would want. But, certainly, I think there will be a focus, if we do have a Labour Government, on arts and culture in a way that currently isn't the case. So, what I've said to the WNO, what I've said to the Arts Council of Wales, is that we mustn't throw the baby out with the bath water. We mustn't lose skills that will be very, very hard to get back. But I pledge to continue having those conversations.

Photo of Heledd Fychan Heledd Fychan Plaid Cymru 5:04, 4 June 2024

I'd be grateful if you could please respond to one of Sioned Williams's points in your response to me, just in terms of clarifying what the position of the Government is on the two-child cap—something that is, of course, of huge concern to many of us because of that very cruel policy.

I will focus my contribution in terms of arts and culture, and I would ask you, perhaps, to reflect on one of your sentences where you said that you admired the can-do attitude and resilience of the arts and cultural sector. Well, yes, that has been the case but the 'can-do' has turned into 'can't any longer', and everyone has a breaking point and, unfortunately, that has been reached. These are not threats anymore—we have lost experts, key expertise. Those skills are gone. The damage is done in terms of our national institutions, to both the national library and Amgueddfa Cymru. I sponsored at lunchtime an event by Prospect, where there were many of those experts there. It was heartbreaking, Cabinet Secretary, and I would urge you to perhaps have the conversation with Members of both Prospect and PCS to hear about that heartbreaking—. They can't do more. They're really concerned about the future of the national collections, but also the accessibility of jobs within our national institutions, because they say they will not be able to provide opportunities for young people, that it will become elitist, and that's not what we want to see. So, please, can I ask you to reflect on that comment, because there is a seriousness to the situation of our national institutions, and what I'd like to know is how is the Government going to address this in the short term, not just the long term?

Photo of Lesley Griffiths Lesley Griffiths Labour 5:06, 4 June 2024

Thank you. I have already met with both Prospect and PCS, and I think I'm having a separate meeting with the Musicians' Union, who I've also met, but I think they've asked for a further meeting. You will know that, as part of the co-operation agreement, Dawn Bowden and Siân Gwenllian, one of the things they did, on the funding that I think had been set aside for this financial year to implement the culture strategy, it has been used to save as many jobs as possible. I do recognise, obviously, there have been voluntary redundancies, but I have been reassured that they have tried to ensure that not all the skills from one specific area have gone. Okay, it might be spread a bit more thinly to try and protect some of those skills, but, as I said, I'm very happy to continue working with them. Some of the organisations are requesting a very small amount of money. Now, if that money should come forward, if we do have a Labour Government, because I do think we would have some, if you look at what they're pledging—and, obviously, the manifesto is yet to come out—we would get consequentials of funding. So, what I try to say to everybody is, 'If you can just hang on for a little bit longer and we can see if we can find some more money.' But we are in a very difficult financial position and I don't want to underplay that.

Sorry, I thought I had referred to two-child cap. What I had said is I will continue to have those discussions, because I think we all recognise what a powerful lever that could be.

Photo of Carolyn Thomas Carolyn Thomas Labour

Diolch, Llywydd. For me, Welsh Labour values are ensuring that nobody gets left behind, and access to play, music, culture can easily become affordable for only those that are wealthy if they're not subsidised by public funding, and that funding's been cut so much over the last 10 years, and it worries me when I hear rhetoric as well saying that we need to grow the economy before we can have funding for public services. I don't think that needs to be the way forward, and I hope you can make representations about that.

Also, I'm worried about much in this is being politicised as well, such as Wales being a nation of sanctuary, which means helping refugees belong to communities that are cohesive; it's not about asylum seekers. So, how do you address that as well, going forward, because when you get a groundswell of the public having that misinformation, then that helps control political decisions and makes the decisions  go in the wrong way, if you know what I mean.

And lots of decisions are based on GDP and business. How do we give value to health and well-being, because most people just see need a certain level of happiness and well-being, access to music, culture,  and equality, to live, not two houses and wealth. We have the future generations and well-being Act, so how do we apply that as a measure? And how can we give measure to all these valuable things to make an equal society? I'm sorry, that's not a really good question, but it's what I feel matters and what makes us as a Welsh Labour Party important, to make sure nobody's left behind. Thank you.

Photo of Lesley Griffiths Lesley Griffiths Labour 5:09, 4 June 2024

Thank you. I was just reflecting, when you were talking about nation of sanctuary and cohesive communities, that this morning I met with HOPE Not Hate, and we had a very interesting discussion about information sharing and how important that is. We'd focused this morning, because we were talking about lessons to learn—it was before I came into portfolio—about ensuring that we avoid a situation like we had in Llanelli, with Stradey Park, and the importance of two Governments working together. I've been unable to meet the Home Secretary. I've been in post now about 11 weeks and I appreciate now we've got a general election, so I'm not going to meet the Home Secretary until there's a new one. But it's really important that information is given that's correct, that you don't have rhetoric, as I think you referred to it, where people don't understand the facts, because that can lead to the very opposite of what we want in relation to community cohesion. So, I think that is really important.

We have fantastic organisations in our communities who want to be part of nation of sanctuary, who want to be part of welcoming asylum seekers and refugees. We only have to see the way we opened our doors—when I was in this portfolio 10 years ago, it was Syrian refugees. Now, obviously, it's Ukrainian refugees that have been welcomed here. So, we are a nation of sanctuary, and I will do all I can to ensure that that continues.

I absolutely agree with what you say about health and well-being and arts and culture, and I've said a couple of times I think the arts are a great redeemer of life. It is really important that they're not elitist and as many people as possible can do that so that they can thrive and not just survive.