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Welsh Government ‘obsessed’ by targeting second homes owners says Conservative Senedd Member

10 Jun 2022 3 minute read
Janet Finch-Saunders in the Senedd

A Welsh Conservative Senedd Member has accused the Welsh Government of being “obsessed” with second homes rather than taking different measures to ease the housing crisis in Wales.

She was responding after the leader of Gwynedd council, Dyfrig ap Siencyn, said that “not much has happened” regarding a Welsh Government pilot scheme in his county and that it “lacked clarity and leadership”.

His comments came after Welsh Government ministers had said that the pilot scheme in Dwyfor, on the Llŷn Peninsula, would “inject fairness back into the housing system”.

Janet Finch-Saunders, the Conservative Shadow Minister for Climate Change, called for the Welsh Government to review its approach to tackling the housing crisis facing many communities across Wales.

The Senedd Member’s most recent register of interests shows that she jointly owned seven properties, including a residential/holiday-let property in Menai Bridge with her daughter.

However, she called for the “socialists and nationalists” in Labour and Plaid Cymru to focus on housebuilding and the right to buy instead of second homes.

“Industry data suggests that Wales needs to build 12,000 homes a year by 2031 but before the pandemic we saw that the Welsh Government could barely manage half of that,” Janet Finch-Saunders said.

“Shockingly in 2018-19, we saw the number of properties completed fall to 30.6% below levels seen prior to devolution.

“This failure to deliver on new homes is compounded by the reality that the Welsh Government refuses to listen to the common-sense policy solutions that I have put forward, including the re-introduction of the Right-to-Buy scheme and amendments to planning policy.

“Instead, the Welsh Government has become obsessed with targeting second homeowners and legitimate holiday let businesses.

“However, it is clear that even in this the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru are failing, once again announcing a new scheme without having thought it through. It is totally shocking that six months into this scheme Gwynedd’s Council Leader remains unsure as to what the Welsh Government are even piloting.”

[mid-content-bannr]

‘Concerned’

The issue of second homes has become a contentious one in recent years with many coastal communities calling for more powers to be able to reduce the amount of second homeowners in their areas.

This led to the Welsh Government establishing a pilot area in Dwyfor, Gwynedd, with the Climate Change Minister Julie James keen to look at several approaches to address the issue.

But Dyfrig ap Siencyn told Radio Cymru the council had been left in the dark about what the pilot scheme involved.

“We aren’t sure what it’s trying to achieve, officials have been appointed by the government – we haven’t been a part of that, so we’re asking the question,” he said.

“I’m genuinely concerned that we’re not very clear on what exactly is being piloted and agree with the report which says that the government needs to report back on this soon to tell us exactly what they are trying to do, define clearly what they are trying to do, and how they are going to evaluate that.”

The Welsh Government said they had offered to meet with the council to discuss any issues.


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Llinos
Llinos
5 months ago

A Conservative in the Welsh Senedd has accused the Welsh Government of taking different measures to ease the housing crisis in Wales instead of taking different measures to ease the housing crisis in Wales.
At this point the Conservatives in Wales are just “slamming”, “demanding” and “accusing” because they can’t think of anything else to do. They have tried Slavish Adherence To Westminster and that hasn’t worked with the electorate and now they are out of ideas.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
5 months ago

Some cognitive dissonance when a BTL landlord urges more house building by councils so they can sell them into the BTL market at a discount.
Why doesn’t she just demand the money direct from Sunak from whence all blessings and council funding flow?

Cofid
Cofid
5 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

I wonder if people like this Tory owner of multiple properties have any inkling of the extent to which they evoke contempt by such blatant self interest, and lack of concern for public feeling.

Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago

The headline should read. Member of a political party, lead by a convicted criminal, and serial liar, attempts to be relevant, in a country where they have never won a majority.

Rob
Rob
5 months ago

Conservatives are obsessed with diluting the Welsh identity and making us nothing more than a region of England

SundanceKid
SundanceKid
5 months ago

On the contrary, it is the Welsh Conservatives who are obsessed with this. Likely because second homes is a way of driving young local people out of their communities and flooding them with voters more sympathetic to their views and agendas.

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
5 months ago

One must assume that she has never visited Abersock.

Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago

Meanwhile, “Welsh” tories are obsessed with keeping young people off the property ladder to the benefit of people who can afford two houses and make a pretty penny from renters.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
5 months ago

Meanwhile, young people in Mrs Finch-Saunders’ constituency are prevented from buying or renting a home due to the extortionate house prices and rents.

I wish she would speak up for them instead of the rich!

Maglocunos
Maglocunos
5 months ago

Arch-tory Senedd Member, Janet Finch Saunders, ‘obsessed’ by protecting wealthy second homes owners in Wales.

There, fixed that for you.

Maglocunos
Maglocunos
5 months ago
Reply to  Maglocunos

Shocking self-interest

Get her gone!

Paul
Paul
5 months ago

Got to love her continued use of ‘nationalist’ as a slur term, barely a week after one of the most extreme festivals of ultra nationalism anyone has seen in decades. A festival of servility to inherited privilege that I am sure she roared on with the mindless joy of the sycophant.

Dyncwmrhymni
Dyncwmrhymni
5 months ago

This is a bit rich coming from the shadow minister for climate change. Her proposal to build more houses to help accommodate the holiday home owners keep their houses not only adds to the carbon footprint of our nation, it does not address the issue of affordability for the people of Wales needing to get on the property ladder. The holiday homes of Wales were originally built as residential homes and should be reinstated as such. People want a holiday foothold in Wales then there are plenty of caravan sites here for them to choose from. As regards to the… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

No wonder “Welsh”Conservative Janet Finch-Saunders is hostile towards Welsh Labour Government/Plaid Cymru 2nd homes policy when she herself has a vested interest co-owning 7 properties. Typical corrupt Tory. Head in the trough, morals in the gutter. She has no solution to the 2nd home crisis in Wales that’s destroying communities other than perpetuating the problem herself for financial gain. And I would advise her to direct her angst towards her beloved Tory government in London who besides having a pathalogical hatred of Europe , fleeing war-torn immigrants and an unhealthy obsession of re-establishing a nano British Empire by forcing English… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Y Cymro
NOT Grayham Jones
NOT Grayham Jones
5 months ago

Everyone is focused on Janet Finch Saunders but the real story here is what Gwynedd Plaid leader is saying about the Labour Plaid Govt which is very damming It might be a good idea to focus on his words which are more relevant-  Dyfrig ap Siencyn told Radio Cymru the council had been left in the dark about what the pilot scheme involved. “We aren’t sure what it’s trying to achieve, officials have been appointed by the government – we haven’t been a part of that, so we’re asking the question,” he said. “I’m genuinely concerned that we’re not very… Read more »

Richard
Richard
5 months ago

JSF is well known for having her mind and thoughts restricted by Llandudno towns Great & Little Ormes as no doubt she would wish to call them.

Her views are very much at variance with Michael Gove who is currently planning a major initiative to safeguard vulnerable communities in parts of England under attack by holiday homes.

I wonder what might have caused him to take a different view ?

Gareth
Gareth
5 months ago

Lots of plaid and labour members own second homes. Check out the register

Llinos
Llinos
5 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Lots more Tories do. Check out the register

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
5 months ago

Can’t see how the right to buy helps the shortage of housing, the last time the tories pulled this trick it just lead to more landlords, oh I see where she’s going with this

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