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Housing crisis: Tory MS tells Welsh Gov not to be ‘reactionary’ on second homes

15 Jul 2021 3 minutes Read
Sam Kurtz, newly elcted MS for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire

A Tory MS has told the Welsh Government not to be “reactionary” on the issue of second homes.

During a debate on the housing crisis, Conservative Senedd member Samuel Kurtz suggested that there is “only limited robust evidence” that addresses the impact of second homes on the Welsh language.

The most recent statistics by Welsh Revenue Authority show that 44 per cent of the homes sold in Dwyfor Meirionnydd last year were sold at the higher rate, the majority of which are understood to be used as second homes.

Kurtz asked the Minister for the Welsh language, Jeremy Miles, to “collect more evidence” in order to avoid making decisions that were “knee-jerk”.

In response, the minister said he didn’t “accept” that the Welsh Government was approaching the issue in a way that was “reactionary”.

He added that it does “need data” so that it could find the “right answers and solutions”.

Samuel Kurtz said: “The Welsh research paper on second-home ownership published yesterday states, and I quote: ‘There is only limited robust evidence however, that addresses the impact of second homes on community sustainability and cohesion, including for example on Welsh language and culture’.

“Given that the Welsh language community housing plan is scheduled for consultation this autumn, as you mentioned, Minister, are the Welsh Government looking at undertaking any further research to collect more evidence to ensure decisions made are robust, fair and long-standing, rather than knee-jerk and reactionary?”

‘Wouldn’t accept’ 

Jeremy Miles responded: “Well, I wouldn’t accept that this is happening in a way that’s reactionary.

“I think that there is an obvious problem here for communities where Welsh is the main language and I think that problem is obvious to many of us, and certainly we do need data and we do certainly need to look carefully at the definitions that we use in this area, and those are important so that we have the right answers or solutions, but that work can happen as we take forward this work programme.”

Plaid Cymru Senedd member Mabon ap Gwynfor said: “The most recent statistics by revenue Cymru show that 44 per cent of the homes sold in Dwyfor Meirionnydd last year were sold at the higher rate.

“Now there are many definitions of what that means, but I’ve spoken to estate agents and lawyers in the area and it’s clear that the vast majority of those homes were sold as second homes.

“The statistics for the previous year were very similar too. It is clear therefore that there is a crisis in our communities and we need to see urgent action. It’s a concern therefore that this committee will not meet until the autumn and we don’t know when it will report back with recommendations, never mind actually implementing those recommendations.”

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Chris
Chris
3 months ago

Some anonymous Tory knob off the lists is hurling accusations of being reactionary? Perhaps if he removed his nose from between the buttocks of wealthy Tory donors long enough to look around he might hold a different view

Chris
Chris
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris
hdavies15
hdavies15
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris

Much as I dislike the excrement currently coming from various Tory spokesmen on this and other topics, it’s a bit much digging up old nonsense from this man’s younger foolish days as “evidence” of anything. Most people in the Welsh political echo chamber have uttered as bad if not worse things but are still awaiting discovery !

Chris
Chris
3 months ago
Reply to  hdavies15

Yeah maybe. Not an offence worth his job by any means, but younger days or not I think it gives you a flavour of the man. People don’t change THAT much in the 8 years between 21 and 29. “Oh but he was young” might be justifiable if he was a child when he wrote them. Saying that, I’m not out for blood. Just think he’s a knob. And let’s be honest here. I didn’t write the article.

Last edited 3 months ago by Chris
Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
3 months ago
Reply to  Chris

I googled him and came up with this.

stoppem
stoppem
3 months ago

Reactionary.

If anybody knows what it means, it’s a tory looking in the mirror.

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
3 months ago

Somebody is making money selling Welsh homes to holiday seekers and speculators, I would suggest a high proportion of these property owners vote Tory. Kurtz? Anybody seen “Apocalypse Now!” recently?

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
3 months ago

The evidence is terribly unclear. It’s pure co-incidence that the school in Abersoch is closing due to low pupil numbers (8?) whereas our school in an inland community in Ceredigion with a similar number of dwellings is thriving. 2021 Census will provide up-to-date data when it’s released. The 2011 one already does, and it’s damning. Abersoch had 54% of dwellings with ‘no usual residents’. Cofiwch Cwm-yr-Eglwys? Having one speaker of Cymraeg out of two permanently occupied dwellings in a village does NOT mean 50% Cymraeg speakers! And it’s not just the language. Do second home owners use the village shop… Read more »

Nick Randall-Smith
Nick Randall-Smith
3 months ago

Good observations Llewellyn, the rapid increase in holiday homes is not just a threat to the Welsh speaking communities, here along the border we are experiencing a rapid increase in the number of buildings being bought for (or converted into) AirBnB. We are seeing a huge demand for rural properties (with the resulting price inflation) being driven by people speculating or retiring from affluent parts of England, I often wonder where this influx is diluting the AngloWelsh identity of the eastern side of the country faster than the traditional Welsh language heartlands of the West.

Notta Bott
Notta Bott
3 months ago

I wish Bojo was reactionary to Covid, maybe if he controlled the borders so many wouldn’t have died.

defaid
defaid
3 months ago

If a government is meant to represent and to support a population then the repeated requests for a solution from all corners of Wales is all the robust evidence that’s required.

People want something done, it’s the government’s job to get it done. Anything else is just evasion and time-wasting froth.

Gill Jones
Gill Jones
3 months ago

The obnoxious Simon Hart as MP and this prat as MS – this is what my constituency looks like, unfortunately. This is what the little england beyond Wales mentality looks like!

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
3 months ago

So it’s “reactionary” to advocate solutions to a social problem? Man needs to buy a dictionary.

Last edited 3 months ago by Wrexhamian
Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
3 months ago

What he really means is the Welsh Parliament should ignore the problem as that is what the Tories would do.

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