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Tories say new scheme to protect Welsh speaking communities ‘appears to be promoting discrimination’

06 Aug 2022 3 minute read
Janet Finch Saunders speaking in the Senedd

The Welsh Conservatives say proposals to allow properties to be marketed locally only for a fixed period – in areas with a large number of second homes and in Welsh speaking communities – “appears to be promoting discrimination.”

The proposed “Fair Chance” scheme was launched at the National Eisteddfod in Tregaron last week as part of a range of measures designed to tackle the lack of affordable housing in Wales.

It will allow sellers to offer their properties to local people in the area for a certain amount of time before they go on the open market.

‘Discrimination’

Commenting on the plans, Welsh Conservative Shadow Housing Minister, Janet Finch-Saunders, said: “This scheme appears to be promoting discrimination against house buyers who do not speak Welsh.

“This is, of course, completely unacceptable. Immediate clarification on this policy is needed from the Labour Government.

“As a nation of sanctuary, there should be no prejudice against people looking to buy a house in Wales.

“We should not forget that these paltry policy tweaks and voluntary schemes will not address the underlying problem that is the Labour-caused housing crisis.

“There is no escaping the fact that Labour are only delivering half of the homes Wales needs in order to meet demand. This is Labour’s housing crisis and they are failing to deliver for local communities across Wales.”

Minister for Education and Welsh Language Jeremy Miles launched the scheme on Wednesday and outlined details of the government’s Welsh Language Communities Housing Plan, which will be published in the autumn.

He also announced the formation of a Commission for Welsh-speaking Communities which will help the government develop plans which protect those communities.

Sustainable communities

Mr Miles said: “For the Welsh language to thrive, we need sustainable communities and good job opportunities in the areas where it is widely spoken.

“This isn’t about imposing solutions, so everything we do will be in line with local communities’ aspirations.

“The Commission will help us develop future policies to sustain the language in those communities traditionally considered its heartlands.

“This isn’t about setting up a new body, it’s a group of experts in a range of fields who will give us a completely candid view about how the economy, policy decisions and demographics are affecting the Welsh language.

“I’ve said many times that the Cymraeg belongs to us all, as does the responsibility for its future. We’ll have to be brave and tackle things together that might be difficult.

“I’m sure that some of the things the Commission will tell us will be challenging, but that’s important – that’s what will help us find the most effective answers!”


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
3 months ago

The thing is, when you are in the privileged, seeing those who are not as privileged being given opportunity can feel like those people are being given an unfair advantage and to those peo[ple I say, tough excrement my darlings.

Tanwg
Tanwg
3 months ago

Typical Tory comment. We’ll be accused of racism next, no empathy with local communities.

Gareth
Gareth
3 months ago

Perhaps she and her party would approve, if our Gov announced that any incommers trying to purchase houses in said areas, will be deported to Rwanda. Have I come up with a plan, or have I heared this somewhere else?. Now, that would be discrimination.

CommonSense
CommonSense
3 months ago

There is a safe space, it’s called England

Quornby
Quornby
3 months ago

Is Cornwall promoting descrimination? Is the Lake District? No…. Just us eh? Sod off you stupid woman.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
3 months ago

Divisive MS Janet Finch Saunders is talking absolute rubbish as usual. So giving locals in Welsh speaking communities first refusal on properties, a window of opportunity so to speak, discriminates who? These areas already have large second home ownership by non Welsh speakers , so anyone discriminated against are Welsh speakers who are effectively locked out of their communities by ones with deeper pockets that inflate house prices who have no real attachment to the area other than a place to holiday a few week of the year. The Welsh Tories know these Welsh speaking communities are under threat but… Read more »

George
George
3 months ago

Her statement wouldn’t stand-up to scrutiny so clear she’s just hopeful of brining pressure and aligning herself with anti-Welsh members of the public. Don’t forget her political party made the hostile environment for immigrants far, far worse and Rishi Sunak is currently wanting to expand the Rwanda policy to exclude more asylum seekers. But these communities can’t be perceived to be shutting out people from outside. Better to focus on bringing affordable houses, expansion of education and training through Welsh and well paying jobs so both the culture and community can compete and be welcoming to those who want to… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
3 months ago
Reply to  George

This is a problem with second homes not primary residences. The purchase of housing stock as second homes destroys communities. I’m not against holiday parks, hotels etc but it needs to be the right development in the right place. Communities the world over have suffered for over-tourism and they also are taking strong measures. In terms of being welcoming, that is what we can do when the right infrastructure is in place. In terms of people making Wales their permanent home there’s a great deal we can do in terms of supporting them in learning about our language and culture.… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
3 months ago

JFS trying to make a wedge issue with bogus claims. Utter bs.

CJPh
CJPh
3 months ago
Reply to  Arwyn

As a proud Welsh speaker from South Wales, I find it wonderful that I’ll have 1st dibs over a house in Criccieth… Oh wait.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
3 months ago

‘Discrimination’. We don’t need lectures from anyone on that. We’d better build ourselves a floating island in Cardigan Bay because they won’t be happy until we have been driven off the land. Never take on a Tory in a hypocrisy contest. You’ll get hammered. We need to look at any precedents in place globally where measures are in place to protect languages. There must be some.

Tanwg
Tanwg
3 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Yes, Ireland.
Purchase of properties in Gaeltach areas can only be made by Irish speakers. This is what’s required!
Can you imagine the reaction from the English Nationalist, right wing Tory Party if this policy was implemented here in Gwalia.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
3 months ago
Reply to  Tanwg

I can’t believe the answer was as near as my fathers’ country and thank you for it. This is what freedom from the Empire has given Ireland, such a basic right as protecting your own communities. A basic right of a nation denied us because someone else says so.

Richard
Richard
3 months ago

For somone who sees Llandudno with all its charms as the pinicle of life in the North Welsh Region of Great Britain; JFS needs to liaise with her Tory chums across other regions…..she is becoming a lone voice even in her own limited world of Llandudno prom.

Last edited 3 months ago by Richard
NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
3 months ago

This Welsh Labour Scheme is total nonsense and anyone who thinks it is going to have any affect is dreaming. Rather than slagging of JFS i would be questioning the intelligence of Jeremy Miles who basically is saying “please sell your house to someone local even though i know they cannot afford to buy it because the Welsh Govt couldnt care less about any communities apart from Cardiff. You couldnt make it up.

Last edited 3 months ago by NOT Grayham Jones
Richard
Richard
3 months ago

Where is the real
Graham when his nation needs him ?

NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
3 months ago
Reply to  Richard

Probably in prison for his racist rants lol

Richard
Richard
3 months ago

Graham is a nation legend – and like most legends perhaps not reflecting contemporary life as it is but one who offers simple and challenging messages in a distinct manner.

I Humphrys
I Humphrys
3 months ago

No trial, just whisked away?

David Jenkins
David Jenkins
3 months ago

Sais scum

Gareth hughes
Gareth hughes
3 months ago

reading the comments here you can see why independence won’t happen in Wales and why the populace doesn’t want it.

what a blame culture there is in this site!

she makes good points about the Need to build more houses. it’s supply. the Welsh govt should make it very easy to in build affordable houses throughiut Wales to bring Hosur prices down.

I know the middle class readers on in this site don’t like hearing that house prices need to come down through more supply.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
3 months ago
Reply to  Gareth hughes

Yes, house prices do need to come down but we have had years of bad Tory Government in Westminster which has always instsituted policy actions that lead to higher house prices. Presumably Tory voters like the idea that their house will increase in value. Anyway, while we have national UK government driving housing policy it would be difficult for Wales to introduce counter measures. I suppose a good step forward would be to transfer Planning Approval from Westminster to local authorities so that local need could always trump developer greed. However, given the developer donations to the Tory Party that… Read more »

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
3 months ago
Reply to  Gareth hughes

The area’s housing needs can be re-assessed once the issue of the impact of second homes has been addressed. Housebuilding — on what, in Pen Llyn, Ynys Mon, Ceredigion ans Syr Benfro is mainly green-belt land — is very much a secondary option in the immediate present.

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
3 months ago

Anti-Welsh “discrimination” would be perfectly acceptable though..

The original mark
The original mark
3 months ago

While the houses are being offered locally for whatever period of time, will they also be at a reduced value, inline with average earnings in the locality or will they be priced more in line with english average earnings?
I can’t be the only one to see the problem with this scheme?

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