Wales needs to ‘take a stand’ on second homes says Huw Edwards
BBC journalist and broadcaster Huw Edwards has said that Wales needs to “take a stand” on the issue of second homes.
He was speaking as part of the programme Huw Edwards yn 60 (Huw Edwards at 60) which will be broadcast on Wednesday, 29 December on S4C.
As part of the programme, he will visit Aberarth in Ceredigion where his father, the late academic Hywel Teifi Edwards, was brought up.
He said that before he died his father was “enraged” by how much the village had changed as a result of second homes, saying that it had been “gutted”.
“He saw it as an attack on the Welsh language and culture,” Huw Edwards said.
“My message to Wales would be to say – well, what are you going to do about it? It’s not someone else’s job. It’s our job.
“Dad always said that it’s up to the people of Wales to bear the burden of their responsibility… You sometimes have to take a stand on what is important to you.”
Huw Edwards added that his own situation as a Welshman in London meant that he wasn’t sure that he “belonged”.
“My wife told me once that I was in an impossible situation,” he said.
“The people of Wales think I’ve turned my back on them and the people of England think that I don’t belong there at all, that I’m an outsider.
“And she may have hit on something quite sensible there because I’ve never felt that I belong,” he said.
He said that he was aware that some Welsh speakers were critical of his decision to make a living in London, but that he did not regret it.
“Dad always said this and mam does too. The fact that you are a Welsh speaker and you do a job a million English people would like to do and they depend on you to do it, well as my dad would say, ‘That’s a win’ and for me that’s good enough,” he said.
‘Huw Edwards yn 60’, will be broadcast on S4C on Wednesday night 29 December at 9pm.
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Interesting piece. Perhaps we should reflect upon his statement that the has been able to do “a job a million English people would like to do”. Thus he is clearly admitting that he is an economic migrant displacing English workers who could apparently (by implication) have done the job. So here we have a case of labour from Wales displacing English labour. Perhaps we should also look at second homes as a case of English capital (as for those second homes owned by English folk) displacing Welsh capital, ie. outbidding Welsh buyers. Which of these is the ‘worst’ crime? Should… Read more »
Immediate problem, is not a question of numbers speaking Cymraeg, but Where.
Your idea to pressure the Senedd on schools is, longer term, a good one, and we should all do so.
A future Cymru might probably drop emergency language laws, for that is what we are speaking about, as independence will make us a little more wealthy?
btw Is the BBC a specifically English institution? If so, let it be the EBC and refund our licence fees.
Working across the border goes both ways, plenty of English people work here, it’s okay. Second homes is not about capital, but shortage of homes, pressure on prices of those homes for local buyers whose alternative is to move away or pay much higher to rent. Homes are to live in first, not as capital to invest. A second home is about a person or family using their wealth to own several homes, thus displacing others. Another problem of course is that second home owners reduce the number of people using local amenities, leading in high second-home areas to those… Read more »
It might create a population of people able to speak Welsh, or more likely, who are able to understand the language. For a genuine increase in the numbers who habitually speak Welsh takes far more than merely providing education, it requires a socio-economic context. Housing is a real issue, and the proliferation of holiday homes and holiday let properties are a direct result of the socio-economic marginalisation of Welsh speaking areas. An equally pressing issue is the issue of a properly diversified local economy where there are opportunities for aspiring young people to stay. For many able Welsh people it’s… Read more »
Good to hear that so many folk are giving this issue some serious thought. What perhaps we need to be doing is thinking about what would best help the Welsh economy diversify. Here on the west coast the holiday trade seems to dominate with the building trade apparently doing very well and then retail looking active. Could we or should we be thinking about encouraging import substitution businesses given Brexit barriers, or is there a future in IT spun off from our universities? Where will the seed funding come from since we cannot expect much from the Tory Levelling Up… Read more »
No more second homes in wales 🏴 it’s time for a new wales 🏴 start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴
Yep, I’ll be buying a home in Wales in a few years when I retire.
Ask for more new house you 🤡
Seems relatively easy to resolve to me. In the Summer, visitors boost the local economy so they are needed and should be allowed to buy holiday homes. The local Councils should build affordable housing for local youngsters that will have a charge placed on them in the land registry. When then want to move on they would have to sell them back to the Council at a fairly set price allowing for inflation. The Council then sells them to the latest crop of youngsters. Councils can then control the number of these houses per community. In this way Councils can… Read more »