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Campaigners against second homes brave the elements

18 Dec 2022 3 minute read
Cymdeithas yr Iaith campaigners in Llanrwst

A group campaigning against the proliferation of second homes and holiday homes across Wales is calling for measures to be introduced to make it easier for local groups to buy land and property for community use.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith has included the proposals in an update to its demands for the Welsh Government to introduce a Property Act in response to the worsening housing situation across Wales.

At a rally in Llanrwst yesterday, the chair of the group, Robat Idris, said grass-roots campaigning that has led to measures which tackle the issue of second homes and holiday homes.

Mr Idris said: “It is campaigners that have ensured new powers for councils to reduce the impact of second homes, but housing problems involve more than second homes and holiday homes.

“Losing young people from our communities because they cannot afford to live there, and because there is no work for them, is a tragedy. We must counteract the capitalist forces that facilitate and accelerate the decline that makes our communities less viable.

“We must keep the Welsh language as a community language in its traditional strongholds, and develop the confidence of our people to extend the Welsh language to the areas where it is less widely spoken.

“We ask the Welsh Government and the Local Authorities to do everything possible to empower our people. We ask people throughout Wales to raise their voices against this oppression.”

Forced out

According to the results of the recent Census, the number of Welsh speakers in Conwy fell from 29.2% in 2011 to 25.9% in 2021.

Beryl Wynne, one of the organisers of the rally, said that this was partly because people are having to leave their communities.

She said: “We are losing our stock of houses because people are not able to compete on the open market which sees houses as a means of making profit, not as homes.

“We are losing our stock of houses as they become second homes, holiday accommodation or AirBnBs, and to wealthier people fleeing the cities.

“As a result many young people in the area cannot afford to buy or rent a home locally, and they are forced out.

“The results of the Census have shown that the problems facing the Welsh communities of Dyffryn Conwy, Hiraethog and Uwchaled also threaten our villages throughout the country. So it’s time for the Government to act.”

Full details of Cymdeithas yr Iaith’s proposals for a Property Act can be seen here

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