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Affluent parts of Swansea suffer ‘poverty’ because of the size of their mortgages claims councillor

28 Sep 2021 3 minutes Read
Inset: Lyndon Jones. Background: Bishopston.

Richard Youle, local democracy reporter

A Swansea councillor has claimed that affluent parts of the city suffer from poverty because property owners have big mortgages.

Cllr Lyndon Jones said poverty existed in all parts of the county, including in his own Gower ward of Bishopston where some residents’ mortgages were “so massive” they had little to left to spend.

Average house prices in Bishopston are £362,496, according to the property website Zoopla, nearly double the £198,479 Swansea average.

Lyndon Jones was speaking at a committee meeting in which a draft policy that would prioritise deprived areas for environmental funding was being discussed.

“In my own ward, Bishopston, a lot of people are asset-rich but cash-poor,” the Conservative councillor, said.

“A lot of people who have got children in the comprehensive school – their mortgages are so massive that they have got very little cash left to spend, so you get poverty in all parts of Swansea but obviously in a slightly different way.”

‘Deplorable’

Introducing the draft policy, council officer Deb Hill said: “We are lucky in Swansea – we have a wide range of parks and wildlife sites and green spaces, but they are not equally accessible to all.

“Some of the most deprived communities are the most deprived of green space.”

The council is taking steps to improve the city’s so-called green infrastructure, and has prioritised maintaining and enhancing Swansea’s natural environment and biodiversity. Another priority is reducing poverty.

The draft policy would bring these existing policies together and try to get the most out of them. Grants would be assessed to see if they can be allocated to benefit deprived areas, and then spent accordingly.

Cllr Christine Richards said the policy aims should be incorporated into planning guidance as well.

She said mature trees had been cut down in a deprived area of her Lower Loughor ward so that developers could extend a road to a new estate.

“Trees and hedges are often casualties of development – maybe there is something we need to say about that,” she said.

To avoid duplication, councillors voted in a favour of draft policy which will say it is the council’s intention to deliver more green infrastructure in deprived areas through its existing strategies.

In due course it will be submitted to cabinet for consideration.

The committee also heard that the estimated life expectancy gap between the most and least deprived men in Swansea was around 12 years. The gap in healthy life expectancy was nearly 23 years.

Cllr Peter Jones, who represents Sketty, described this as “awful” and “deplorable”.

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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
22 days ago

Had to happen, some idiot Tory finally has to boast about his neighbours being all mouth and mortgage. I wonder if the dipsticks will re-elect him?

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
22 days ago

Ridiculous ‘argument’. Earn loads of money, mortgage yourself to the max and plead poverty because you’re spent up to the limit and got nothing to buy food or (more likely) go on your annual skiing holiday. Doesn’t wash I’m afraid. Anyway, as you’re spending so much on your house, the least you can do is live in it as much as possible. Failing that you could sell up and move to a cheaper place, somewhere else in Swansea and have loads of money to spend. In these times you’re lucky to even have a house, let alone a big expensive… Read more »

Mathew Rees
Mathew Rees
21 days ago

Better to be cash rich and asset poor these days. Whatever you own ends up owning you and there are no pockets in a shroud.

Mawkernewek
21 days ago

This sentence gives the game away:

“A lot of people who have got children in the comprehensive school – their mortgages are so massive that they have got very little cash left to spend, so you get poverty in all parts of Swansea but obviously in a slightly different way.”

People of a social class who feel they should be able to afford their children private education but can’t afford that as well as an expensive house.

hdavies15
hdavies15
21 days ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

Confirms that we have idiots here in Wales too. It’s not only an “English thing”.

Geoff Barrett
Geoff Barrett
21 days ago

If you can’t afford to live there move to a house you can afford . Or is it a case of fur coat and no nickers get real

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