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North Wales Politics

Hundreds at rally to call for action on house prices and second homes

IN some parts of North Wales almost 50 percent of the housing is a second home. With that in mind, concerned residents are be holding a protest calling for urgent and radical action which they say is needed to protect those communities.

The Welsh government has promised to consider a range of measures to reduce the impact of second homes, including possible tax changes and new planning rules.

But the people remain unconvinced

Hundreds of people turned out to protest at Tryweryn dam against the “collapse of communities” due to the housing market.

The demonstration was held on Saturday, July 10, from 1pm – with protestors forming a line along the 600-metre long dam near Bala in Gwynedd.

Cymdeithas yr Iaith said the demo symbolise their commitment “to stand against the housing market forces that are undermining the Welsh language and communities across Wales”.

Speaking ahead the rally, Mabli Siriol Jones, national Chair of Cymdeithas yr Iaith, said that the problems caused by the housing market manifested themselves differently in different areas

She added: “Young people are unable to find homes in their own communities”

“The people present at the Tryweryn Rally will be calling on the Welsh Government to take serious action for social justice and to secure the survival of Welsh as a community language.

“We don’t need more pilots, consultations and statements without substance from the Welsh Government. What we need is action.

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“As urgent steps, we’re calling for the introduction of a tax on tourism, on landlords’ profits and on second houses, and for the money raised to be invested in bringing empty and second houses back into community use. We are also calling for a Property Act to be introduced that will ensure community control over the housing market and the planning process, for a change in the definition of affordable homes, for controls to be introduced on house and rent prices, and for a cap to be introduced on the number of holiday houses in any given community.

“We already have the answers, what we now need is political will. This is an opportunity for the Government to listen and ensure a home for everyone, as well as strong, Welsh-speaking communities in all parts of the country”.