Second homes ‘purging population’ in Pembrokeshire claims councillor
Katy Jenkins, local democracy reporter
Increasing housing costs are forcing local people from coastal and rural areas, a councillor has said as calls are made to examine the impact of second home ownership on schools.
The impact of second home ownership and the demographics of those moving to Pembrokeshire on falling school pupil numbers must be examined, independent Cllr Mike Evans said today.
He added there was “almost social purging of the indigenous population” in coastal areas as housing costs are pushed up by second and holiday home demands.
“Locals and their children are being driven out of communities due to housing costs,” he said and plans for future building including the local Development Plan were useless if they did not include local communities.
At schools and learning overview and scrutiny committee Cllr Evans added: “It’s absolutely horrendous what is happening at the moment to families and children who aren’t in the elite, highest earnings in Pembrokeshire and without action there’s going to be more problems.”
Cllr Pat Davies agreed and said that there was need to look at the affect of second homes on pupil numbers, highlighting the increasing numbers of older and retired people moving to the area.
The committee also agreed that the planned work to review funding formulas for schools must be done “urgently” as parent governor representative Alison Kavanagh highlighted concerns about how new schools are funded.
She said that issues were found at Angle peninsula’s Penrhyn Church in Wales VC School she said, with governors left feeling they were expected to plan financially “with one hand behind our backs.”
The 21st Century School opened in 2018 for children in the Angle and Castlemartin area and parents “are expecting to see effective investment in the actual teaching” as well as new buildings said Mrs Kavanagh.
Maintenance costs had also increased by £7,000 to £24,000 she added, “a significant chunk of a small school’s budget,” said Mrs Kavanagh as she highlighted there had been difficulties in accessing financial information in order to forward plan for the new school.
This was a problem chairman Cllr John Davies had also experience as the new Preseli school is planned, he said, as had cabinet member for education Cllr Guy Woodham in his role as a governor.
It was agreed that there was need for a “joined up approach of looking at 21st Century Schools in the round” and that how the authority supports schools in business modelling be looked at.