Opinion

Wales is not for sale: Come to the Senedd this Saturday to demand justice for all our communities

09 Nov 2021 9 minutes Read
Mabli Siriol, Cymdeithas yr Iaith

*English follows below*

Mabli Siriol Jones, Cadeirydd Cymdeithas yr Iaith

Mae gan bawb yr hawl i gartref yn eu cymuned. Ond mae llywodraethau dros y degawdau wedi trin tai fel eiddo i wneud elw, yn lle cartrefi, a blaenoriaethu cyfalaf yn lle cymunedau. Mae’r canlyniadau wedi bod yn drychinebus i bobl gyffredin, ein cymunedau a’r Gymraeg — ac maen nhw’n gwaethygu.

Nid oes rhaid i’r sefyllfa fod fel hyn. Dyna pam bydd pobl o bob cwr o Gymru yn ymgynnull tu fas i’r Senedd yn rali Nid yw Cymru ar Werth am 1:30pm dydd Sadwrn yma, y 13eg o Dachwedd, i fynnu bod Llywodraeth Cymru yn cymryd y camau sydd eu hangen er mwyn sicrhau cartref i bawb, a chymunedau cryf, Cymraeg ymhob rhan o’r wlad.

Achos problem genedlaethol yw hon. Mewn ardaloedd gwledig ac arfordirol, gwelwn effaith tai haf, llety gwyliau a thwristiaeth sy’n trin ein cymunedau fel meysydd chwarae i’r cyfoethog. Ac mewn ardaloedd dinesig, fel fy nghymuned i yng Nghaerdydd, mae’r farchnad hefyd yn gwthio prisiau tai a rhent tu hwnt i unrhyw bris rhesymol, a’n treftadaeth yn cael ei dinistrio er mwyn fflatiau drud tra bod eraill yn cysgu ar y stryd.

Mae’r darlun yn edrych yn wahanol mewn gwahanol gymunedau ond yr un yw’r achosion — y farchnad rydd, anghyfartaledd cyfoeth a gwleidyddion di-hid  — a’r un yw’r canlyniad — elw i’r cyfoethog, anghyfiawnder i bobl gyffredin a dirywiad ein cymunedau.

Atebion

Yn ôl yn yr haf, buodd dros fil ohonon ni yn rali Nid yw Cymru ar Werth Tryweryn. Ond yr hyn rydyn ni wedi ei gael gan y Llywodraeth ers hynny ydy ymrwymiadau gwag, ymgynghoriadau di-sylwedd a diffyg awydd i ymyrryd yn y farchnad.

Tra bod y Llywodraeth yn llusgo’u traed, mae prisiau tai a rhent yn parhau i godi, mae digartrefedd ar gynnydd ac mae pobl yn cael eu gwthio allan o’u cymunedau. Dyna pam mae Cymdeithas yr Iaith yn galw am Ddeddf Eiddo fydd yn cynnwys, ymysg pethau eraill:

  • rheoli prisiau tai a rhent a newid y diffiniad o dŷ fforddiadwy
  • rhoi blaenoriaeth i bobl leol yn y farchnad
  • dod â thai gwag ac ail dai i mewn i ddwylo cyhoeddus
  • gosod cap ar nifer yr ail dai a llety gwyliau mewn unrhyw gymuned
  • a democrateiddio’r system gynllunio

Yn y cyfamser, mae angen mesurau brys eraill megis rheoleiddio AirBnB; ei gwneud yn ofynnol i wneud cais cynllunio er mwyn newid defnydd tŷ i fod yn ail gartref neu lety gwyliau; cryfhau hawliau tenantiaid a chyflwyno gwaharddiad parhaol ar droi allan di-fai; cyflwyno graddfeydd uwch o Dreth Trafodiadau Tir ar ail dai a llety gwyliau a diwygio’r cynllun Cymorth i Brynu er mwyn canolbwyntio ar helpu pobl ar gyflogau arferol a’u galluogi i brynu tai sydd eisoes yn eu cymunedau, nid dim ond tai newydd mewn stadau ar y cyrion. Rydym hefyd yn galw am drethi newydd ar dwristiaeth, ail dai, elw landlordiaid ac AirBnB.

Mae gyda ni’r atebion, yr hyn sydd ei angen nawr ydy ewyllys wleidyddol.

Chwalu

Ond — un peth mae Cymdeithas yr Iaith yn ei wybod ers 60 mlynedd bron o ymgyrchu —  ni fydd gwleidyddion yn gwneud yr hyn sydd ei angen ar ein cymunedau, ein hiaith a phobl gyffredin, oni bai ein bod ni’n sicrhau hynny. Mae angen ymgyrchu. Ac mae angen i ni uno fel cymunedau i wneud hynny.

Mae wedi bod yn gyfleus i’r rhai mewn grym ein gwahanu ni fel cymunedau a’n chwarae ni yn erbyn ein gilydd. Dinas yn erbyn cefn gwlad. Cymry Cymraeg yn erbyn y di-Gymraeg. Ond yn y bôn, o Ben Llŷn i Butetown, yr un grymoedd sy’n bygwth ein cymunedau.

Buon ni yn Nhryweryn yn yr haf ar safle cymuned a gafodd ei dinistrio, a byddwn nawr yn ymgynnull ar safle cymuned arall a gafodd ei chwalu er mwyn ail-ddatblygu’r Bae. Cymunedau gwahanol mewn nifer o ffyrdd oedd Capel Celyn a Bae Teigr, ond cafodd y ddwy eu haberthu ar allor ‘cynnydd’ sy’n milwrio yn erbyn anghenion pobl gyffredin.

A heddiw, o’r bobl ifanc yn Sir Benfro sy’n gorfod gadael eu pentref oherwydd diffyg tai fforddiadwy, ac yn mynd â’r iaith gyda nhw; i’r bobl ifanc yng Nghaerdydd sydd ddim yn gweld y budd a addawyd iddynt o ‘adfywio’ a datganoli; i’r cymunedau ar draws y wlad sy’n colli mannau gwyrdd, gofodau diwylliannol ac ysgolion bach i ddatblygwyr barus a chynghorau annemocrataidd — mae pobl yn gweld ac yn profi effeithiau niweidiol ein system tai a chynllunio yn eu bywydau bob dydd.

Felly dewch i’r Senedd ddydd Sadwrn i uno gyda chymunedau ar draws y wlad i fynnu un peth syml, ond radical: system tai a chynllunio fydd yn rhoi anghenion pobl gyffredin uwchben elw, ac yn blaenoriaethu cymunedau, nid cyfalaf.

Dyna beth rydyn ni’n galw amdano pan rydyn ni’n dweud nid yw Cymru ar werth — a dyna beth rydyn ni’n mynd i’w ennill.

Bydd rali genedlaethol Nid yw Cymru ar Werth yn digwydd ar risiau’r Senedd yng Nghaerdydd ddydd Sadwrn y 13eg o Dachwedd, gydag adloniant yn cychwyn am 1:30pm a siaradwyr am 3pm.


Cymdeithas yr Iaith rally

Mabli Siriol Jones, Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith

Everyone has the right to a home in their community. But governments over the decades have treated houses as a commodity, rather than homes, and prioritised capital over communities. The consequences have been devastating for working class people, our communities and the Welsh language — and they are getting worse.

It does not have to be this way. That’s why people from all over Wales will gather outside the Senedd at 1:30pm this Saturday for the Nid yw Cymru ar Werth – Wales is not for Sale rally to ensure a home for everyone, and strong, Welsh speaking communities in all parts of the country.

Because this is a national problem. In rural and coastal areas, we see the impact of second homes, holiday lets and tourism that treats our communities as playgrounds for the rich. And in urban areas, like my community in Cardiff, the market is also pushing house prices and rents beyond any reasonable price, with our heritage being destroyed for expensive flats while others sleep on the streets.

The picture looks different in different communities but the causes are the same — the free market, wealth inequality and apathetic politicians — and so is the result — profits for the rich, injustice for ordinary people and the decline of our communities.

Answers

Back in the summer, over a thousand of us attended the Tryweryn Nid yw Cymru ar Werth rally. But what we have had from the Government since then is empty commitments, consultations without substance and a lack of appetite for market intervention.

While the Government drags its feet, house prices and rents continue to rise, homelessness is growing and people are being pushed out of their communities. That’s why Cymdeithas yr Iaith is calling for a Property Act which will include, among other things:

  • controls on house prices and rent and changing the definition of affordable housing
  • prioritisation for local people in the housing market
  • taking empty and second homes into public hands
  • capping the number of second homes and holiday lets in any community
  • and democratising the planning system

In the meantime, other urgent measures are needed, such as regulating AirBnB; requiring a planning application for the change of use of a house to a second home or holiday let; strengthening tenants’ rights and introducing a permanent ban on no fault evictions; introducing higher rates of Land Transaction Tax on second homes and holiday accommodation and reforming the Help to Buy scheme to focus on helping people on average incomes and enabling them to buy existing homes in their communities, not just new houses on out-of-the-way estates. We are also calling for new taxes on tourism, second homes, landlord’s profits and AirBnB.

We have the answers, what we need now is political will.

Destroyed

But — one thing Cymdeithas yr Iaith knows after nearly 60 years of campaigning — politicians will not do what our communities, our language and working class people need, unless we make them. We have to campaign. And we need to unite as communities to do that.

It has been convenient for those in power to divide us as communities and play us against each other. Urban versus rural. Welsh speakers versus non-Welsh speakers. But ultimately, from Benllech to Butetown, it is the same forces that threaten our communities.

We were at Tryweryn in the summer on the site of a community that was destroyed, and will now assemble on the site of another community that was torn down to redevelop the Bay. Capel Celyn and Tiger Bay were different communities in many ways, but both were sacrificed on the altar of so-called ‘progress’ that militates against the needs of working class people.

And today, from the young people in Pembrokeshire who have to leave their village for lack of affordable housing, and take the language with them; to the young people in Cardiff who do not see the promised benefits of ‘regeneration’ and devolution; to the communities across the country that are losing green spaces, cultural assets and village schools to greedy developers and undemocratic councils — people are seeing and experiencing the damaging effects of our housing and planning system in their everyday lives.

So come to the Senedd on Saturday to unite with communities across the country and make one simple, yet radical, demand: a housing and planning system that will put the needs of people before profit, and prioritise communities, not capital.

That’s what we’re calling for when we say Wales is not for sale — and that’s what we’re going to win.

The national Nid yw Cymru ar Werth – Wales is not for Sale rally will take place on the steps of the Senedd in Cardiff on Saturday 13th November, with entertainment starting at 1:30 pm and speakers at 3pm.

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Grayham Jones
18 days ago

Stop all second homes 🏠 in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 take all second homes of incomers and give them to young welsh people who can’t get on the housing market because of incomers we in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

BigPooba
BigPooba
18 days ago
Reply to  Grayham Jones

Pretty sure ‘little Englanders’ aren’t looking for second homes in the Rhondda.

Richard
Richard
8 days ago
Reply to  BigPooba

Suggest you visit Y Rhondda and spend some time in the areas rural parts – you many be supprised to find a fair few of your chums there 😑

Jack
Jack
18 days ago

“prioritisation for local people in the housing market”

This could be a slippery slope tbf. Who defines ‘local’? Is someone from inner city Cardiff wanting to buy a house in the Vale of Glamorgan ‘local’?

How long would you have to live in an area to be a ‘local person’, or would this be for people only born and bred there? How would immigrants get on the housing ladder?

Would need more details on that proposal.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
14 days ago
Reply to  Jack

I think everyone has a fairly clear understanding of the meaning of the word “local”, tbf.

Paul Reynolds
Paul Reynolds
10 days ago
Reply to  Wrexhamian

White, predominantly English speaking, on a full salary pension from a UK public sector role and all anti-Sais in their old age?

Gill
Gill
9 days ago
Reply to  Paul Reynolds

What nonsense. If west walians were antiSais, why are there 700,000 of them living here?

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
18 days ago

Local communities need to be in complete control of all aspects of their housing, from how many can be let out as holiday outlets to the implementation of heavy taxes and acquisition of empty properties. There would have to be a balance between the tourist trade and its affects on the housing stock in the area. Only local communities with knowledge of their area will be able to do this successfully. The Senedd can put in regulations to aid in the process and to ensure some sort of balance is found. There needs to be drastic solutions and now before… Read more »

Last edited 18 days ago by Steve Duggan
SAM LEWIS
SAM LEWIS
18 days ago

Just Build More Houses !

Publicly owned, and for Rent, especially.. eg: Council Houses.. automatically under local democratic ownership and control

Glyn Jones
Glyn Jones
17 days ago
Reply to  SAM LEWIS

Just build more houses? Isn’t that the problem though? Forcing councils to supply thousands of un-needed houses when the natural population of Wales is actually falling (which is a whole other issue in itself), and when there are approx. 25,000 empty houses. Maybe it would be better for Councils to buy back from the current housing stock and build for local need only with communities calling the tune instead of a skewed market?

Frennifawr
Frennifawr
9 days ago
Reply to  SAM LEWIS

Of course. Stick the locals in reservations on the outskirts. Deny them the ability to buy a property. This is not the answer. The answer is to legislate to stop outsiders buying properties as second homes/Airbnbs. Prioritise locals for housing.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
18 days ago

The frustration I have with the second home problem is when it affects Wales, especially Welsh speaking communities in Gwynedd, are called anti-English & xenophobic for highlighting the issue. And when the same occurs in parts of SW England in Devon & Cornwall find politicians & media are empathetic.

Last edited 18 days ago by Y Cymro
Mathew Rees
Mathew Rees
8 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Yet Cymdeithas yr Iaith aren’t particularly active in the former Welsh-language strongholds in the west and north. Their activists are largely based in the slimy streets of Grangetown these days.

They’re also the same types of people who welcome refugees from totally incompatible cultures. So it’s OK for them to immigrate but not English people.

Richard
Richard
8 days ago
Reply to  Mathew Rees

Never been a member or particular supporter of CYI but i must say i have never heard any anti attitude to any nationality or racial grouping.

Cwmwl Du
Cwmwl Du
9 days ago

Come to the Senedd this Saturday to spread coronavirus.
Penau bach!

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